A breakfast favorite and coffee shop staple, cinnamon rolls first made their sugary debut in Northern Europe. Eventually travelling throughout North America and making their way into ovens and display cases everywhere. This cinnamon filled pastry comes in many variations outside of the traditional selection. Apples, nuts and oreos are all filling possibilities for the swirly log.
A rich sweet dough filled with cinnamon-sugar, tightly rolled and topped with a smooth cream cheese frosting.
Quick question! Is there anything better than the smell of fresh baked cinnamon rolls, or the anticipation of that first bite?
Okay...Maybe you can name atleast ten, but that's not the point!
The point is, I'm pretty sure we're about to make some of the best cinnamon rolls both you & I have ever tasted.
Grab an Apron & Let's Get Started!
cinnamon buns 101
Flours: Although all-purpose flour is usually the go-to when baking , i chose to add bread flour into the mix. The high protein content of bread flour means more gluten, which ultimately increases the elasticity and texture of the dough. Mixing both flours gives us a soft, light texture while limiting the chance of our finished buns being dense. *However! If you don't happen to have bread flour, use all-purpose for the entire recipe.
Filling: Every classic cinnamon roll is filled with three ingredients: butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. However, the way those elements are incorporated tend to vary. For this recipe I chose to spread an even layer of butter onto the rolled dough. With the brown sugar and cinnamon already mixed together, I sprinkle it onto the butter. Ta-Da! you have your filling, yummy, buttery cinnamon sugar in each bite.
Frosting: Though this is a dessert, I didn't want sweet piled onto sweet — I wanted to achieve a balance for both my palate and my teeth. Cream cheese has a naturally mild flavor, however, when combined with powdered sugar we have the two main components of our topping. To thin out the mixture, the addition of heavy cream helps to create a smooth yet luscious frosting. Vanilla is also added for an extra touch of flavor.
How to Make:
Soft & Fluffy Cinnamon Rolls
Yield: 12 rolls
Prep Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
1 cup whole milk *warm
1/2 cup sugar
1 packet of active dry yeast (approx. 2 1/4 tsp)
1/2 cup butter *melted
3 cups bread flour *see note above
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter *softened
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp cinnamon
8 oz cream cheese *softened
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
In a small bowl combine lukewarm evaporated milk, sugar and yeast. Stir gently and set aside for 5-10 minutes, mixture will begin to look foamy.
In the large bowl or the bowl of your mixer add both flours and salt. Mix until combined.
Add the eggs and butter to the yeast mixture and stir until fully incorporated.
Pour the yeast mixture over the flour mixture, mix until a soft dough begins to form. Add up to 1/4 cup more flour if your dough is still a little too sticky to roll out.
In a large bowl add a bit of oil, transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around until completely coated.
Cover the bowl with a damp towel. Let the dough rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until doubled in size.
Shape and Bake:
In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
Roll out dough onto a lightly floured surface, into a 19-inch x 13–inch rectangle. Spread softened butter onto dough, creating an even layer. Sprinkle cinnamon mixture on top, then gently rub the mixture into the butter.
Beginning at one long side, roll up dough tightly like a jelly-roll; then gently pinch the seam down to seal. Trim the ends for even slices, and cut dough into 12 slices.
Arrange the rolls in a lightly greased 9x13-inch baking dish. Cover with the damp towel and allow to rise for a further 40 minutes or until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 375º. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
Prepare icing while rolls are baking. Combine together softened cream cheese, heavy creamy and vanilla, until smooth and creamy. Beat in the powdered sugar until lump free. Drizzle icing or spread over rolls. Serve warm & Enjoy!
If you prefer a thicker icing, add more powdered sugar (a tbsp at a time). If you prefer it to be thinner, add more heavy cream (a tsp at a time).