Ultimate Cinnamon Rolls

I woke up one Saturday morning, after enjoying a few (too many?) libations the night before, with a hankering for a really good cinnamon roll. In a world full of fancy donuts, macaroons, cupcakes and even cake pops it’s bewildering to me that there aren’t any truly awesome cinnamon rolls around anymore.

Back when I was a kid Cinnabon was the king. They were hot, fluffy, flavor-rich and delicious. But the last few times I’ve had them (probably three in the last ten years) they’ve been super disappointing.

So when I embarked on making the ultimate cinnamon roll, perhaps still a little tipsy from the night before, I did my best to avoid the “Cinnabon Clones” and instead decided to try something a little more original.

Gooey and Delicious Homemade Cinnamon Roll

What I ended up with was a fluffy, gooey and delicious roll. I’ve made these now four times, each time a little different, but this recipe is the latest and best so far. 

Lots of cinnamon roll recipes require preparation a day ahead. One of the great aspects of these cinnamon rolls is that you can make them the same day you want to enjoy them. All told, it takes around two hours from start to finish to have hot and delicious cinnamon rolls. Plus you probably have everything you need for this recipe in your pantry, unless it’s weird that I keep a supply of yeast around at all times…

Cinnamon Rolls

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 2 tbsp instant yeast
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 large egg at room temperature
  • 3 1/4 cups all purpose flour

Filling

  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar

Frosting

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 pound powdered sugar

Warm milk and butter to 115°F degrees. Pour into a large mixing bowl and sprinkle in yeast. Whisk lightly with fork to froth and let sit for 10 minutes.

Lightly whisk in egg, sugar and Kosher salt then stir in flour 1/2 cup at a time. Knead in stand mixer or on floured surface until it forms a loose ball. Spray mixing bowl with oil before setting the dough ball in the center and covering with a moist towel. Let sit in a warm space for one hour to rise.

Once dough has doubled in size roll out onto a floured surface into a rectangle that is twice as wide as it is tall and 1/8-1/4” thick.

Heat the butter and spread across the dough evenly. Whisk together brown sugar and cinnamon (the cinnamon will help dry out the sugar and remove lumps) then sprinkle across the buttered dough (I use a sifter to help keep it even).

Slice lengthwise down the dough in even 1 1/2 inch ribbons. Carefully roll each ribbon into a roll and place into a greased 9” round baking dish (makes around 6-7 rolls).

Set aside to rise a second time as the oven heats to 350°F. Bake for 25 minutes or just until the tops of the rolls are golden brown. Remove from the oven and prepare the frosting.Cinnamon-Rolls-Baking-in-Oven

Beat room temperature butter, cream cheese, Kosher salt, vanilla and lemon juice in a stand mixer with paddle attachment until creamed. Slowly add in powdered sugar and mix until smooth.

Spread frosting over hot rolls and enjoy!

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