I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving (if you celebrate) and a safe Black Friday.
If you happened to be at a mall with a Cinnabon this Friday, whether you had a roll or not, you’re probably still thinking about that smell, the gooey cinnamon sugar, and melty cream cheese frosting. We all know the only thing better than fresh Cinnabon is fresh Cinnabon in the comfort of your own home. That’s why these are perfect. Not to mention, they really are better than Cinnabon. They taste homemade, Cinnabon still has that processed, frozen and thawed taste if you ask me.
So, if you’re feeling a little extra grateful to your friends, family, or coworkers this holiday season, why not surprise them with a pan of fresh-baked happiness? Because you’ll have to get up early and it’s a lot of work? That’s what I thought too, but after lots of recipe testing, I learned they’re actually really quick and easy to make. The active prep takes about 30 minutes total, with about 2 hours of rising time and 25-30 minutes of baking. They’re easy to make the night before and pop in the oven while you shower in the morning. Also, you can cut the first hour of rising in half by placing the rolls in a warm and humid spot. I have a small laundry room, whenever I’m in a rush for something to rise I turn the dryer on and close the door.
If you’ve tried other recipes in the past but haven’t been able to achieve that spectacular gooeyness that all cinnamon rolls need, you’re probably missing one thing, heavy cream. After the rolls rise, I pour warm heavy cream over top. Warm because your rolls are rising in a warm environment. The last thing you want to do is pour icy cold cream over top. The reason for the cream is that the dough soaks it up, makes it rich, and adds moisture to anything that might have dried out during the time it takes to rise.
Other than that, you want your dough to remain slightly sticky. Sticky dough means soft and moist rolls. If you add too much flour not only will it dry out the rolls, but it will mess with how the dough rises. You only want to add as much flour as the yeast can handle. I would say maximum 5 cups but the most I’ve ever needed is 4.5 cups of flour. It should stick on your fingers a little bit and absorb some of the flour on the counter but not sticky to the point of it being impossible to work with.
Prep: 30 Minutes | Rise: 2 Hours or Overnight| Bake: 25-30 Minutes | Temperature: 375
- 1 C Whole Milk, warm
- 1 Packet (2 1/4 tsp) Instant Yeast
- 2 Large Eggs
- 1/2 C Granulated Sugar
- 5 TBSP Butter, melted
- 4-4 1/2 C AP Flour
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1/4 C (4 TBSP) Butter, softened
- 3/4 C Brown Sugar
- 1/4 C Cinnamon
- 1/2 C Heavy Whipping Cream, Warmed
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 oz Package Cream Cheese
- 1/4 C Butter, softened
- 1/4 C Powdered Sugar
- 2 TBSP Milk
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- In a small bowl combine warm milk and yeast, stir until combined. Set aside until foamy, about 5 minutes.
- In a large bowl combine eggs, sugar, butter, and salt. Add yeast mixture when ready.
- Add 4 C flour to the liquid and stir, if it is still extremely wet, add the other 1/2 C flour.
- Dump onto a floured surface and let it sit for a couple minutes. In this time you can rinse the bowl, as you’ll need a clean bowl anyways. The dough will seem very wet, let it rest to absorb some of the flour.
- Begin kneading lightly just until all ingredients are combined and the dough is smooth. Don’t add too much more flour as you want the dough to be slightly sticky. Just enough to stick to your fingers a little bit and absorb some of the flour on your surface.
- Place dough in a large, greased bowl, cover with plastic and let it sit at room temperature to rise. The dough should double in size, about 1 hour.
- While the dough is resting you can make the filling by simply combining the brown sugar and cinnamon and making sure your butter is warm.
- Dump the risen dough onto a floured surface and roll into a large rectangle and remove and curved or jagged edges.
- Brush an even layer of softened butter over the dough and dump the cinnamon sugar mixture on top spreading it into an even layer as well.
- Starting from the longest side of the rectangle, roll the dough into a tight log.
- Using a wire or floss, cut twelve rolls from the log.
- Place the rolls in a buttered 9×13 baking dish. Cover with plastic and set at room temperature to rise for about 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 375°F
- Heat the heavy cream up and pour it evenly over the risen rolls.
- Place rolls in the oven and bake until golden brown on top, 25-30 minutes.
- For the frosting, combine all ingredients using an electric mixer.
- Remove rolls from oven and cool for 5 minutes before frosting.
- Frost and serve warm.