Butter Roll Dessert Recipe With Crescent Rolls

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My shortcut Southern butter roll dessert recipe includes flaky crescent roll dough with a buttery cinnamon sugar filling baked in a deliciously sweet sauce.

butter roll dessert

The Southern Plate Family is plum full, brimming over actually, with brilliant people. I’m talking about you, y’all, and all of us collectively. Seriously, y’all have the best ideas! So when I posted my old-fashioned butter roll recipe on Southern Plate Family’s Facebook page recently, I had a few comments and emails about how some folks make them with crescent roll dough.

I was intrigued. I was inspired. And most importantly, I was hungry. So I took my intrigued, inspired, and hungry self into the kitchen and decided to give it a go. My mother called every five minutes to check on the progress. My house began to smell like it was placed two steps from the gates of Heaven. Then I pulled them butter rolls from the oven and had a taste while they were so hot steam was coming off my fork. Mama called and I told her, “I do not say this lightly, but these are actually better than the from-scratch version.” 

Now, in case you don’t know what a Southern butter roll dessert recipe entails, let me tell you ALL about how delicious they are! Our crescent roll dough is filled with a buttery cinnamon sugar filling, then we bake it in a vanilla-flavored milk sauce. It’s a little bit thinner than a custard but just as delicious. Can you just picture the combination of a flaky butter roll with a sweet sauce? It’s the best, y’all.

So, if you’re not in your kitchen already making this butter roll dessert recipe, I’m not quite sure what is keeping you!

ingredients for butter roll dessert recipe

 Recipe Ingredients

  • Milk
  • Crescent roll dough
  • Cinnamon
  • Granulated sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Butter

How to Make Butter Rolls With Crescent Rolls

spray pan with vegetable oil

What you need to start…

To start, you’re gonna need a surface to roll all this out onto. Usually, I get some waxed paper and sprinkle a little flour on it but I felt like being even easier today so I just grabbed a baking sheet and sprayed it with cooking spray.

Place the crescent rolls on the pan

Place your crescent roll dough on the greased or floured surface.

roll it out so the seems are flattened

Roll it out and press the seams together so it is one big old sheet of dough.

Spread butter on dough.

 Spread that whole thing with softened butter.

Don’t spread all the way to the edge but leave about 1/2 an inch all around.

sprinkle the butter roll dough with sugar

Sprinkle that with sugar.

add a bit of cinnamon

Sprinkle a wee bit of cinnamon over it if you like. You can also leave this off.

roll it up into a log

Roll that up longways and press it together a little bit with your hands.

cut that into about 12 pieces

Cut that into 10 or 12 pieces.

Just see where your knife ends up and cut. It doesn’t make no never mind if you have 9, 10, or 12 slices.

spray an 8 inch round pan with cooking spray.

Spray an 8-inch round pan (a cake pan works fine) with cooking spray.

put the slices in spacing them a bit apart

 Place your slices in it.

heat vanilla and milk in microwave a minute

Place milk and vanilla in a microwave-proof measuring cup and heat it in the microwave for about a minute or until it is very warm.

stir sugar in to the hot milk til dissolved

Stir your sugar into the warm milk and keep stirring until the sugar is dissolved.

pour the milk over the butter roll dough slices

Pour the milk mixture over the rolls.

Place this in a 350-degree oven and bake until rolls are golden brown (about 30-35 minutes).

butter rolls dessert recipe

I like to serve these warm as dessert at the end of a good country meal, but they are also delightful for breakfast or a coffee snack.

bite of butter dessert rolls

Just eat one. And then another. And you should probably have at least a third or fourth, just for quality control purposes, before serving them to your family, if there are any left!


Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can quickly reheat them in the microwave, oven, or the air fryer.

Recipe Notes

  • You can use Swerve as a replacement for sugar in this whole recipe if you like. A lot of folks have been on a Stevia kick lately so I gave it a go but Stevia is definitely not for me. Of course, if you have a favorite sweetener and want to try that, go for it. I’ve only done it with Swerve so I can’t speak for any others from a personal account.
  • For more flavor, add 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg when you sprinkle on the ground cinnamon.
  • If you like, you can also add some finely chopped apples, raisins, or chopped nuts to the filling.

Check out these other scrumptious Southern desserts:

Chocolate Chip Biscuits, Southern-Style

Ole Fashioned Southern Sugar Plum Cake

Snickers Caramel Apple Salad

Mini Boston Cream Pies, Southern-Style

Lemon Chess Pie: A Southern Family Tradition

Homemade Chocolate Pudding, Southern-Style

Butter Rolls With Crescent Rolls

My shortcut Southern butter roll dessert recipe includes flaky crescent roll dough with a buttery cinnamon sugar filling baked in a deliciously sweet sauce.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: butter, rolls
Servings: 12 rolls
Calories: 132kcal


  • 1 8-ounce can crescent roll rough
  • 1/4 cup softened unsalted butter or margarine
  • 1/8 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Milk Sauce

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Preheat the oven to 350. Roll out the crescent roll dough onto a greased or floured surface and press seams together.
    1 8-ounce can crescent roll rough
  • Spread softened butter over the dough, leaving 1/2-inch of space at the edges on all sides. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Roll up longways and squeeze lightly with hands to seal.
    1/4 cup softened unsalted butter or margarine, 1/8 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Cut into 10-12 slices and place slices in a greased 8-inch round pan or cake pan.
  • Place milk and vanilla in a measuring cup and heat in the microwave until very warm. Stir in sugar until dissolved. Pour over the rolls.
    1 cup whole milk, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown on top. Once removed from the oven, let them sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.
  • Serve warm and enjoy!



Calories: 132kcal
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  1. 5 stars
    So, I tried this recipe, but I used evaporated milk. Also, I’m a huge fan of the convection option on my stove for baking, so used that when baking. All that to say that the result was an amazing pan of goodness with very little sauce in the bottom of the pan. After 30 mins, the rolls were a perfect golden brown, slightly crunchy from the light dusting of sugar on top I’d added, and just the right amount of moist on bottom.

  2. My mom making butter rolls by hand and our vintage recipe calls for nutmeg, this was the last time she ever got to make them, she passed in 2016 and I’m ever thankful I have the original recipe written in her hand

  3. I have made these twice now. The first time as written. Soooo good. Loved them. Second time I put cherry pie filling in the bottom of the dish first then followed the recipe as written. Loved that too. Will try with blackberries , blueberries and peaches. Thank you for he recipe. I know which ever was I make them they will be outstanding.

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