Source: Sara Allison, Cuisine Magazine and A Spicy Perspective
My Husband’s Rating:
Will I make again?: Yes! I make these every year.
Recipe Difficulty: A little bit complicated, but not difficult.
Time Involved: There are several steps, but most of the time is proofing.
My Thoughts on this Recipe
I absolutely love to make Cinnamon Rolls for my family to have on Christmas morning, but I don’t want to mess with it the day before or day of Christmas. This recipe can be made, frozen and then baked, and it works beautifully.
These Cinnamon Rolls are perfect in every way. They are soft rolls that are full of cinnamon sugar, and topped with a decadent, delicious, cream cheese frosting. (I have also included a non-cream cheese frosting that is fantastic too, for those of you who don’t like cream cheese.) This recipe, if followed exactly, yields the most delicious cinnamon rolls. I make them every Christmas. I like to make three pans and share with my family. Trust me, if you make these, you will be your family’s hero!
The main ingredients are: flour, yeast, sugar, salt, milk, eggs, butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, powdered sugar and cream cheese. View the full recipe below.
I know that Cinnamon Rolls from scratch can seem like a daunting task, but it really isn’t that difficult if you pay attention and follow the directions exactly.
One key is the yeast. Make sure that it is “Active Dry Yeast,” and that the date on it has not expired. Also make sure the milk is 100 degrees. I use 2% milk for this. Also give them as much time as they need to proof in order to have doubled in size. I have found the times noted to work in the past.
I mix these by hand and have never tried using the mixer with a dough hook for these, so I can’t speak to if that would work as well, or not.
Measure your rectangle to add the cinnamon sugar mixture for best results.
I have never tried doubling this recipe, so again, I’m not sure if it would work, or not.
The original recipe notes that you can add raisins to the cinnamon sugar mixture, but I think that sounds terrible. I wouldn’t change a thing!
These Cinnamon Rolls are sure to make you and your family happy. Your only problem will be that they will disappear too quickly!
The Best Cinnamon Rolls
- 3½ cups all purpose flour
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1¼ cups 100° milk
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 1½ cups all purpose flour
Cinnamon Roll Filling
- 1 cup brown sugar packed
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened
- 3 Tablespoons cinnamon
Cream Cheese Icing (recommended)
- 4 oz. cream cheese at room temperature
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups powdered sugar
Plain Icing (if you don't like cream cheese)
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
Making the Sweet Dough
- Mix 3½ cups flour, sugar and salt in a medium mixing bowl.
- Whisk the yeast into 1¼ cups 100° milk.
- Add the milk and yeast mixture, eggs, and melted butter to the flour mixture. Stir until well blended.
- Add 1 cup flour and stir until the dough pulls away from the bowl.
- Knead the dough, and while kneading slowly add the remaining ½ cup flour. To knead, fold the dough in half, give it a quarter turn, and push into the dough with the heel of your hand. Then repeat kneading process for about 8 minutes.
- Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover. Let rise in a warm place (I use the proof setting on my oven) until doubled in size – about 2 hours.
Cinnamon Roll Filling
- Mix the brown sugar, soft butter and cinnamon together until soft and spreadable. (I like to use a mixer for this).
- Sprinkle some flour on your workspace, about ¼-½ cup. Fold the dough over until it is in the shape of a rectangle. Roll out the risen sweet dough into a 16" x 20" rectangle.
- Spread the filling on the dough using an offset spatula leaving about ½ inch border on the dough without filling.
- Starting from the longer, 20" side, roll the dough as tightly as possible, making a swirl. Seal the roll pinching the ends with your fingers.
- Now you are ready to cut the rolls. Using a serrated knife and a gentle sawing motion, cut the ends off that don't have filling until you can see a pretty swirl. Then use a ruler, mark, and cut every 1 ½" until you have 12 rolls.
- Grease your pan(s) with butter. Place the rolls in round pans. (I use disposable pie plates and place four rolls in each pan. They do not take up the whole pan.) You can also make one 9" x 13" pan.
- Cover and let double in size in a warm place (about 1 ½-2 hours).
- Preheat oven to 350°. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.
Cream Cheese Icing the Cinnamon Rolls
- Combine all of the icing ingredients until smooth. I use a mixer.
- While the rolls are hot, spread the icing liberally on each one. If desired, five minutes later, ice again.
Plain Icing the Cinnamon Rolls
- Combine powdered sugar and butter. Whisk in 1 tablespoon milk at a time until it is the consistency of maple syrup.
Preparing in advance
- Prepare the cinnamon rolls completely, including the icing. Let them cool to room temperature, and freeze. When you are ready for the rolls, bake the frozen rolls at 300° for 20-25 minutes until heated through.