Cinnamon Rolls

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Cinnamon Rolls
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Prep Time 30 minutes Cook Time 1 hour

The promise of freshly baked goodness will surely draw those sleepy heads out of bed and into the kitchen, especially once they catch a whiff. Because you make the dough the night before and allow it to rise slowly in the fridge overnight, in the morning, all you have to do is pop them in the oven. Though many are intimidated by making yeast dough, you'll find that this one is soft and yielding and so easy to handle. I enjoy the work of kneading dough by hand, but if you don't have the time or inclination, the "dough" setting on your bread machine will work just fine, as will a dough hook attachment on a stand mixer.

What you'll need

  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup warm -- not hot -- milk
  • 1/4 cup warm -- not hot -- water
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 extra large egg
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons dry active yeast, (1 envelope)

  • Filling:
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 3 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

  • Frosting:
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Yields 1 dozen rolls

How to make it

  1. Dissolve yeast in the water for 5 minutes, or until it is frothy. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the butter, milk and egg.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt and pudding mix. Add milk mixture and yeast mixture to the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon to combine. When mixture becomes shaggy, turn out onto a board and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Conversely, you can combine all ingredients in a stand mixer and knead with a dough hook for 2 minutes, or until smooth and elastic, or add to your bread machine, in the order specified by your manufacturer, and put on the "dough" setting.

  3. Place dough in a greased bowl, cover with a cloth, and let rise in a warm, draft free location for one hour, or until doubled in size. Once risen, remove from the bowl and roll out to an 11x18 inch rectangle.

  4. Drizzle over 1/4 cup melted butter and sprinkle on cinnamon and brown sugar, leaving a 1 inch border on the edges. Starting with the wide side, carefully roll up to a long snake shape. Cut dough in half, then cut each half in half, giving you four equal-sized pieces.

  5. Then slice each piece into three slices, so you have a dozen equally sized rolls. Set rolls, cut side down, into a greased 9 x 13 pan. Scoop up any sugar/butter mixture that may have escaped and place on top of rolls. Cover with plastic and refrigerate overnight.

  6. In the morning, remove dough from fridge, and let rise for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350° F. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, make frosting. In a large bowl whisk together butter and cream cheese. Sift in powdered sugar and whisk until smooth. Add milk and vanilla and whisk again. It should be a thick, yet pourable consistency. If necessary, add milk by the teaspoon, until you can spread it easily.

  7. Remove buns from the oven and let cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then spread with frosting.

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