Pillsbury Crescent Rolls are the dough crescents sold in the refrigerator section of grocery stores. This Crescent roll recipe is the Copycat recipe for Pillsbury crescent rolls and is equivalent to two 8-count tubes of Pillsbury dough sheets. Learn how to make crescent rolls for quick and easy recipes using this convenient ready-to-use dough for your favorite crescent dough sheet recipes! 

homemade pillsbury crescent rolls (dough recipe)

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Try these easy weeknight dinners using pastry dough like this Chicken Pot Pie Casserole with Biscuits, Easy Stromboli Recipe, or Sheet-Pan Breakfast Pizza! And if you’re craving something sweet this flaky Nutella Dessert is made from an easy cream cheese dough!

Pillsbury Crescent Roll Recipe

Pillsbury Crescents can be used in so many recipes, it’s no wonder these tube crescents are known as convenient food that can be quickly unrolled and used for favorite recipes. Our ultimate favorite ways to use up this dough is Ham and Cheese Crescent Roll-Ups, Pigs In A Blanket (hot dog crescents), and this Bacon Cheddar Pizza Twists!

how to cut crescent dough into triangles

Of course, you can make turnovers, plain dinner rolls, apple dumplings, taco pie pizza, cinnamon rolls, wreaths, danishes, bars, pizza rings, and so much more! But the idea of keeping a few sheets of this dough in the fridge can make mealtime a breeze throughout a busy week.

And since crescents are flexible dough, you can easily pinch together seams to shape it any way you like for your favorite crescent recipes. It’s basically like using Pillsbury crescent rolls from the tube. This recipe makes 2 dough sheets with 8 triangles just like Pillsbury dough.

how to make crescent rolls like Pillsbury refrigerated cans

Snack on them, make pretty appetizers, use them with chicken recipes, bake them with brie cheese, make cups, or wrap around smokies–there is a recipe for you whether it’s dessert or breakfast!

What Are Pillsbury Crescent Rolls Made Of?

Originally Pillsbury crescent rolls are made up of flour, hydrogenated oils, preservatives, dough enhancers, sugar, and leavening. The good part about making this dough is that healthy fats and flour can be used. Feed your family healthier ingredients like swapping out butter for margarine and unbleached flour for enriched.

Since homemade crescent dough stores well in the fridge you can use it up within a week or freeze it for extended use.  Keep in mind fats that solidify will harden once refrigerated so plan accordingly and give your dough time to thaw on the counter before unrolling. On the other hand, margarine stays soft even when cold, which makes it great for this purpose. However, I only use butter now.

how to roll up crescent dough sheets for refrigeration like Pillsbury cans

Crescent Rolls vs Croissants

The difference between crescent rolls and croissants is that crescent rolls are made from hydrogenated fats and leavening, like baking powder. This creates a flexible dough that is easy to work with. Croissants, on the other hand, are buttery flaky layers of pastry sheets that get laminated with butter to create flaky layers.

Although both crescents and croissants roll up starting with the widest part of the dough, the two differ in texture and fluffiness. Crescent dough is not as flaky as Croissants.

Make These Bacon Cheddar Pizza Twists From Crescent Rolls: 


pull apart bread from crescent dough to make a pizza twist


Ingredients Needed:

  • Flour- all-purpose or bread flour can be used.
  • Sugar- I used granulated white sugar.
  • Leavening- a combination of dry yeast and baking powder is used to enhance dough.
  • Margarine or Butter- the original recipe calls for margarine but I like to use unsalted butter instead. The only downside with that is that it needs to thaw longer than margarine-enriched dough which is more flexible.
  • Warm Water- binds the dry ingredients together.

How Do You Make Pillsbury Crescent Rolls?

This sheet of refrigerated crescent rolls dough makes eight rolls. It makes an easy dinner or side by simply baking in the oven. Use your favorite Pillsbury recipes to make creative triangle-shaped snacks or go seamless by pinching seams together to create a quick pastry or pizza crust.

  1. Heat the oven to 375°F. Separate the dough into triangles or unroll if refrigerated. Cut or fill according to your favorite recipe if needed.
  2. If making dinner roll crescents roll up starting at the widest side of the triangle and roll up to the pointed tip.
  3. Place dough on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  4. Curve each into a crescent shape.
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Note: filled crescents may take longer to bake.

How Many Crescent Rolls Does This Dough Make?

This recipe makes two rectangle sheets of dough with 8 cutout triangles. This is equal to 2 store-bought Crescent cans.

Storing Crescent Dough:

Crescent roll dough equals two (8oz) cans of store-bought crescent rolls that you pop, roll, and bake. To replicate the Pillsbury crescent rolls you’ll have to roll the dough over aluminum foil or parchment paper. This helps protect the dough from drying out or sticking.

Roll dough out to a 12×8 rectangle over a piece of parchment paper. Using a bench scraper cut rectangle into 4 equal pieces then each piece in half to make 8 triangles. Leave on the paper and roll up in sheets of triangles starting at the shorter end. Place rolled-up sheets of crescents into a grocery bag and keep refrigerated for up to 4 days.

Thawing Instructions: Remove from the fridge a couple of hours before baking if using butter. Dough made from margarine or shortening won’t as long to thaw.

Can You Freeze Crescent Dough?

Homemade Crescent Dough is best when refrigerated. However, extended use is possible if freezing dough, no longer than 2 months. When yeast sits in the dough for a prolonged time in the freezer it can eventually lose its strength.

To Freeze Crescents: roll up sheets of dough on top of parchment paper. Place rolled-up sheets into a grocery bag and keep frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw completely before unrolling and using.

Can I substitute Margarine?

The original recipe for Crescent Roll Dough calls for margarine, however, we like butter. Semi-solid fats like margarine or shortening are ideal for refrigerated doughs as they are flexible after refrigeration. If you will be using solid fats like butter you will need to thaw the dough from the refrigerator before using.

Tips For Making Crescent Rolls:

  1. Use a bench scraper to cut and separate dough into triangles.
  2. If using butter for your crescents, thaw the dough for a few hours or until it’s flexible.
  3. This recipe is equivalent to 2 cans of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls.
  4. This crescent dough is slightly sticky like the refrigerator Pillsbury dough. Use parchment paper to roll out the rectangle sheets and keep stored rolled up in parchment paper so it doesn’t stick.
  5. Lightly coat your rolling pin with flour if the dough gets too sticky when rolling.
  6. Place rolled-up crescent sheets into a grocery bag so they don’t dry out.
  7. If making a pizza crust from crescent dough pinch shut the seams and roll to the desired shape.

Tools Needed To Make Crescent Rolls:


How To Make Crescent Rolls Recipe:

Crescent Rolls (Pillsbury Copycat)

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Resting Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 16 triangles
Author: Alyona Demyanchuk
Pillsbury Crescent Rolls are the dough crescents sold in the refrigerator section of grocery stores. This Crescent roll recipe is the Copycat recipe for Pillsbury crescent rolls and is equivalent to two 8-count tubes of Pillsbury dough sheets. Learn how to make crescent rolls for quick and easy recipes using this convenient ready-to-use dough. 


  • 1 mixing bowl
  • 2 sheets of parchment paper


Crescent Rolls:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp dry active yeast
  • 11 Tbsp margarine or softened butter (2/3 cup)
  • 3/4 cup warm water


How to Make Crescent Rolls:

  • In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add the margarine and water and mix well. Let it rest for 30 minutes. (Dough will be slightly sticky.)
  • how to make crescent rolls like Pillsbury refrigerated cans
    Divide the dough into two equal parts and roll out each piece to a 12x8 rectangle over parchment paper. Using a bench scraper cut each rectangle into 4 then each piece in half diagonally to make 8 triangles.
  • This recipe makes 2 tubes of Crescents. Use it in any recipe calling for bought crescents.


This Recipe equals 2 (8 oz) tubes of store-bought crescent rolls. 
To Bake Dough: Preheat oven to 375°F. Separate and roll up each triangle starting at the widest part and ending at the tip. Place crescents on a lined baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes.
**Baking times will vary depending on how you cut and fill crescents. Use your favorite Crescent Roll recipes as a baking guide. 

Nutrition per serving

Serving: 1crescentCalories: 144kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 2gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 2gSodium: 237mgPotassium: 38mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 344IUCalcium: 11mgIron: 1mg



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    • Lani Bitgue

    Im using this recipe, I love to work with it, very good for all my recipes.

    • Christine

    New baker here. How do you add the butter and water to the flour mixture? In a food processor? With a pastry cutter? I’m hesitant to use the food processor because I understand it could “overdevelop” the gluten in the flour and make the pastry tough.

      • Alyona Demyanchuk

      Hi, you do not need to cut the butter in, simply mix together the dough ingredients with your hands or you can use a mixer.

    • Leona Johnson

    Can you store in freezer or refrigerator if you don’t need two?

      • Alyona Demyanchuk

      Hi Leona, You can keep the dough in the refrigerator for up to a week.

    • missy

    wow their great total 5 star!! thanks for your help

    • missy

    i didnt make them yet but the comments say there great so ill make them and give you a update

    • Holly

    How do you freeze the dough?

      • Alyona Demyanchuk

      Hi Holly, I haven’t done that yet.

    • Jen

    The dough is quick and easy to make, and tastes almost exactly like store bought but without all the preservatives and extra cost!

    Tip: Maybe it was my parchment paper, but I absolutely could not get the dough to unstick from it after rolling, so the end result was messy and less pretty than I hoped. Will flour the parchment before rolling out the dough next time.

      • Alyona Demyanchuk

      Hi Jen, happy to hear it was like the store bought dough! You could always add a little more flour if the dough is too sticky to handle, otherwise it is a tacky dough but shouldn’t be too messy to work with.

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