Nothing beats the warm, comforting aroma of freshly baked cinnamon rolls. These gooey, soft pastries are a perfect breakfast or brunch treat, but can also be enjoyed as a dessert or snack any time of day. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or just starting out, this recipe for cinnamon rolls is easy to follow and sure to impress your family and friends.
Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
When I was a kid, my mom used to make cinnamon rolls on special occasions like Christmas and Easter. It was always such a treat to wake up to the smell of freshly baked cinnamon rolls in the air. As I got older, I started to make them myself and found that they were the perfect treat to make for friends and family on lazy weekend mornings.
One time, I had a friend come over for breakfast and I decided to surprise her with a batch of homemade cinnamon rolls. She had never had them before and was blown away by how delicious they were. We spent the morning chatting over coffee and cinnamon rolls, and it was one of those simple moments that ended up being incredibly special. From that day on, cinnamon rolls have held a special place in my heart, and I always think of that morning with my friend whenever I make them.
Cinnamon Rolls Recipe
Homemade Cinnamon Rolls are a classic breakfast pastry that everyone loves. This recipe features soft and fluffy rolls filled with a sweet cinnamon mixture and topped with a rich cream cheese frosting. The dough is easy to make and can be prepared in advance, making it perfect for a special breakfast or brunch. With its warm, comforting flavors and deliciously sweet aroma, these homemade cinnamon rolls are sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
|2 hours 20 minutes
For the dough:
- ¾ cup warm milk (whole milk or 2% preferred) (110 degrees F)
- 2 ¼ teaspoons quick rise or active yeast (1/4-ounce package yeast)
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
- ¼ cup butter, melted (I prefer salted, but unsalted works, too)
- 3 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
For the filling:
- 2/3 cup dark brown sugar (light brown sugar also works)
- 1 ½ tablespoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup butter, softened
For the cream cheese frosting:
- 4 oz cream cheese, softened
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Warm milk to around 110 degrees F. I like to do this by placing milk in a microwave-safe bowl and microwaving it for 40-45 seconds. It should be like warm bathwater. Transfer warm milk to the bowl of an electric mixer and sprinkle yeast on top. Add in sugar, egg, egg yolk, and melted butter. Mix until well combined. Next, stir in flour and salt with a wooden spoon until a dough begins to form.
- Place dough hook on the stand mixer and knead dough on medium speed for 8 minutes. Dough should form into a nice ball and be slightly sticky. If it’s TOO sticky (meaning it’s sticking to the bottom of the mixer, add in 2 tablespoons more bread flour.) If you don’t want to use an electric mixer, you can use your hands to knead the dough for 8-10 minutes on a well-floured surface.
- Transfer dough ball to a well-oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a warm towel. Allow dough to rise for 1 hour to 1 ½ hours, or until doubled in size. This may take more or less time depending on the humidity and temperature in your home.
- After dough has doubled in size, transfer dough to a well-floured surface and roll out into a 14×9 inch rectangle. Spread softened butter over dough, leaving a ¼ inch margin at the far side of the dough.
- In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar and cinnamon. Use your hands to sprinkle mixture over the buttered dough, then rub the brown sugar mixture into the butter.
- Tightly roll dough up, starting from the 9-inch side and place seam side down, making sure to seal the edges of the dough as best you can. You will probably need to cut off about an inch off the ends of the dough as the ends won’t be as full of cinnamon sugar as we’d want it to be.
- Cut into 1-inch sections with a serrated knife or floss. You should get 9 large pieces.
- Place cinnamon rolls in a greased 9×9 inch baking pan or round 9-inch cake pan. (I also recommend lining the pan with parchment paper as well, in case any of the filling ends up leaking out.) Cover with plastic wrap and a warm towel and let rise again for 30-45 minutes.
- To make the frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Beat until smooth and fluffy. Spread over cinnamon rolls and serve immediately. Enjoy!
One important thing to keep in mind is the temperature of your ingredients. Make sure your milk, egg, and butter are all at room temperature before you start making the dough. This will ensure that the dough rises properly and that the yeast is activated.
Another important step is kneading the dough. If you’re using an electric mixer, make sure to knead the dough for the full 8 minutes to activate the gluten and get a nice, smooth texture. If you’re kneading by hand, make sure to knead for at least 10 minutes to get the same results.
When rolling out the dough, make sure to do so on a well-floured surface. This will prevent the dough from sticking and make it easier to roll. Additionally, when cutting the rolls, you can use either a serrated knife or dental floss to get a clean cut. Just make sure to be gentle when cutting so as not to squish the rolls.
When it comes to serving the cinnamon rolls, I like to serve them warm with a generous amount of cream cheese frosting on top. The frosting recipe included in this recipe is perfect, but if you want to mix things up, you can also try adding some orange zest or maple extract to the frosting for a unique twist.
Cinnamon rolls are a classic breakfast treat that are perfect for special occasions or lazy weekend mornings. With this recipe, you can make them from scratch and impress your friends and family with your baking skills. So go ahead and give it a try – I promise you won’t be disappointed!