Thanksgiving! It’s soon! Do all the things!! Today I made a list of all the food I’m making. Then I made a grocery list. Then I made myself a schedule to reference the day of so that I know when I need to prep and cook everything. Overthinking things? Yes. Unnecessary? Very likely. I make a lot of things complicated that don’t need to be. It’s in my nature. BUT: these Cinnamon Roll Bars are quick, easy, and not at all fussy!
I was just going to call these babies “cinnamon bars,” but they reminded me too much of my Mom’s cinnamon rolls! These Cinnamon Roll Bars are chewy, super cinnamony (it’s a word), and slathered in vanilla-cinnamon cream cheese frosting.
This recipe requires no special equipment–not even a mixer! The only “special” ingredient is a bit of vanilla bean paste in the frosting. You know I can’t help myself when it comes to vanilla bean paste! It has fantastic flavor, and leaves gorgeous flecks of vanilla in the frosting. <3 If you’re looking to buy vanilla bean paste, you can find it [here]. If you prefer to substitute, just add vanilla extract instead.
So when I said these bars are “slathered” in frosting, I meant it. It’s pretty much a 1:1 ratio. Don’t question it, just enjoy. It’s Thanksgiving and stretchy pants are a must.
So, while you’re running around doing all the things, remember that dessert doesn’t have to be time-consuming to be incredible! 🙂
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Recipe adapted from Buns in My Oven (link here).
Cinnamon Roll Bars
- 1 cup flour
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- pinch salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Vanilla-Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
- 5 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1½ tsp vanilla bean paste (see note)
- ¾ tsp cinnamon
- 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Line an 8"x 8" pan with foil that overhangs the sides (so you can use as a handle to remove the bars later). Grease the foil and the pan. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, cinnamon, and salt). Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the melted butter, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla extract. Mix until thoroughly combined.
- Add the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Scrape mixture into the prepared pan.
- Press the mixture evenly into the pan with damp fingertips. Bake 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow bars to cool completely on a wire rack.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine cream cheese and butter. Beat until thoroughly combined and smooth.
- Add vanilla bean paste (see note) and cinnamon. Mix to combine.
- Gradually add the sifted powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Pipe or spread frosting on top of cooled bars, adding sprinkles if you desire.Enjoy!