After testing out many recipes, I believe that this is THE BEST Cinnamon Rolls recipe. These are soft, with a gooey cinnamon filling and topped with tangy cream cheese frosting.
Because of the use of yeast, this recipe does take some time, but the finished product is well worth the effort. And with all this new found time at home while quarantining, there’s no excuse. But, if you are short on time, in the instructions there is an overnight option for you.
Cinnamon rolls are a staple of the quintessential North American pastry and coffee shop, however they originated in Europe. It is believed that the first cinnamon roll or bun was baked in Sweden.
For all the cinnamon roll fans out there, October 4th is known as International Cinnamon Roll Day! So, mark your calendars.
The Best Cinnamon Rolls Recipe
- 1/2 cup Whole Milk
- 1/2 cup Butter
- 1/2 cup Warm Water about 110 to 115 °F
- 2 1/4 tsp Dry Yeast
- 1/4 cup Sugar
- 1 large Egg
- 2 Egg Yolks
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
- 1 cup Packed Brown Sugar
- 2 tbsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp Salt
- 3 tbsp Melted Butter
- 1 cup Powdered Sugar
- 4 ounces Cream Cheese softened
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1-2 tbsp Whole Milk or Heavy Cream
- Heat the milk and butter in the microwave until the butter is completely melted.
- Stir and set aside until the mixture is lukewarm or about 100°F.
- In a stand mixer bowl, using the paddle attachment, mix together the water, yeast, sugar, eggs and yolks at low speed until everything is combined.
- Add the warm milk mixture, salt and 2 of the cups of flour to bowl. Mix at medium speed until blended.
- Switch to the dough hook, add another 2 cups of flour and knead at medium speed until the dough is smooth and no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl but still be a bit sticky. You can add up to a 1/4 cup more, if necessary but do it a tablespoon at a time but be careful. The mixing could take up to 10 minutes.
- Shape the dough into a ball and place into a very lightly oiled large bowl.
- Cover the bowl with a clean dish towel and leave in a warm, draft-free area until it has doubled in size. This should take about 90 to 120 minutes. Tip: turn on your oven at a low temperature for a minute. Switch it off and put the dough in the oven to rise.
- Once the dough has doubled, press is down and turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface.
- Using a rolling pin, shape the dough into a 16 x 12 inch rectangle.
- Sprinkle the filling evenly over the dough, leaving a 1/2 inch border at the far edges.
- Roll the dough into a log-like shape. Moisten the top border with water and seal the roll. It should look like a uniform 16 inch long cylinder.
- Grease a baking pan or line with parchment paper. Here is where you have options. I prefer really thick rolls so I use an 8 x 8 inch deep baking pan but you can definitely use an 9 x 13 inch pan.
- Using a sharp serrated knife, cut the roll into equal pieces and place the rolls cut side up in the pan. You should have 9 pieces if using and 8 x 8 pan or 12 if using a 9 x 13 pan.
- Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft-free spot until it doubles in bulk. This will probably take 90 to 120 minutes.
- If you are preparing the rolls the day before you want to bake then, you have the option at this point of not letting them rise but instead putting them in the refrigerator overnight. Before baking, they should come to room temperature (I usually take them out 1 hour before baking).
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Bake the rolls until golden brown on the top or about 25 to 30 minutes. The best way to check if they are done, is to insert a thermometer into the center. It should read 185 to 188 °F.
- Let cool for 10 minutes and glaze.
- In a small bowl mix the brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and melted butter.
- Using a mixer, prepare the glaze, continuing to mix until there are no clumps and adding milk to reach desired consistency.
If you are thinking of going with the overnight option but are worried that they won’t be as good, don’t. I almost always do them that way! Also, be careful not to over cook the roll or they might be a bit hard.
If you are looking for other great brunch recipes, below is a list of our favorites.
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