Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Breakfast & Brunch, Holiday Recipes, Recipes, Sweet Treats

Cinnamon Rolls

When I was a senior in high school, our varsity basketball team lost every single game. Following previous undefeated seasons, the 0-20 record was especially hard for the seniors on the team to swallow and a topic that no one especially liked talking about.

At this time, I worked on the school newspaper, where I contributed primarily to the news and features sections.

Since we had covered the basketball team’s undefeated recordΒ  the year before, someone in journalism class suggested that we highlight the inexplicably humiliating season. No one wanted to cover it, most likely to spare the egos of the seniors on the basketball team, but somehow, I found myself volunteering.

When word spread to the basketball team that I was writing the story,Β  one of the team captains took the predictably childish approach and told the entire varsity team not to speak to me.

Since I couldn’t get the quotes that I needed from the current players, I interviewed the coach as well as the JV captains who were more than happy to see their names in print.

Despite the fact that I reported a balanced story (in which I don’t recall crucifying any of the starting seniors by name), if memory serves me correctly none of them spoke to me for a very long time after the article published.

What I am trying to say here is that I don’t really go with the flow.

When I’m told not to do something, that makes me want to do it even more.

When everyone in the world is doing X, I want to be the one doing Y.

Which is why in a sea of “Top 11 Recipes from 2011” and “Healthy Green Blah Blah For Your New Year’s Diet” I’m giving you a recipe for cinnamon rolls.

Think about it. It’s 13 degrees outside and there is a thin layer of frost coating your lawn.

Do you really want to eat pureed spinach and beets for breakfast? I didn’t think so.

You need something to take the sting out of January mornings and soft dough, cinnamon sugar and creamy icing will do just that.

And as for your diet? What are you talking about? You look great.

Cinnamon Rolls

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
Recipe type: Sweet Treats, Breakfast and Brunch

  • For the Dough:
  • ¼-ounce package yeast
  • ½ cup warm water
  • ½ cup hot milk (heated until bubbly on the stove or 30 seconds in the microwave)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3½ cups all-purpose flour

  • For the Filling:
  • ½ cup melted butter, plus more for pan
  • ¾ cup sugar, plus more for pan
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

  • For the Glaze:
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 to 6 tablespoons hot milk (heated until bubbly on the stove or 30 seconds in the microwave)
  1. Prepare dough in advance: In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside. In a large bowl mix warmed milk, sugar, melted butter, salt and egg. Add half of the flour (about two cups) and mix until smooth.
  2. Add yeast mixture to the flour mix and combine until smooth. Mix in remaining flour until dough is easy to handle - it shouldn't stick to your hands and if it does, add more flour by the ¼ cup.
  3. Knead dough on lightly floured surface for 5 to 10 minutes. Place in well-greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in size, usually 1 to 1½ hours.
  4. When doubled in size, punch down dough. Roll out on a floured surface into a 15 by 9-inch rectangle. Spread melted butter all over dough. Mix sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over buttered dough. Sprinkle with walnuts, pecans, or raisins if desired. Beginning at the 15-inch side, roll dough and pinch edge together to seal. Cut into 12 to 15 slices.
  5. Prepare rolls for baking: Coat the bottom of baking pan with butter and sprinkle with sugar. Place cinnamon roll slices close together in the pan and let rise until dough is doubled, about 45 minutes. (If you are preparing them the night before, place in the refrigerator and let them rise overnight).
  6. To bake rolls: When you're ready to bake the rolls, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for about 30 minutes or until nicely browned.
  7. Meanwhile, mix butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Add hot water 1 tablespoon at a time until the glaze reaches desired consistency. Spread over slightly cooled rolls and enjoy.

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  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Roxana GreenGirl {A little bit of everything}
    January 22, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    the basketball players are probably biting their nails right now, hoping they’d get over that article and talk with you just so you share some of these cinnamon rolls with them!

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Raisin Questions
    January 18, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Hi Maris, I really love this recipe! It looks so simple compared others and also yields just the kind of rolls I like, not mushy, oversized, or mishapen. I’m going to try to follow the recipe to T! Except, I don’t want to bake all twelve at once. I was thinking of freezing half, before allowing the second rise, to bake in another week. What do you think of that?

  • Reply
    Samantha @ Bikini Birthday
    January 13, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    I found that using brioche dough makes for the best cinnamon buns although they’re not ideal if you’re watching your diet.
    I’ve made a recipe from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice too which turned out really good, though not quite as rich.

  • Reply
    Christina @ Sweet Pea's Kitchen
    January 10, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    I love homemade cinnamon rolls!!! These look incredible! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Alana D
    January 9, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    I’m horrified of making my own cinnamon rolls but those look great!

  • Reply
    January 7, 2012 at 8:08 am

    Oh my goodness.. I’ve been wanting to make these so badly.. I really just should, right?! Yum!!

  • Reply
    January 5, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    DROOLING! seriously.

    Happy New Year to you.

  • Reply
    Lisa’s Smokey Tomato & Red Lentil Soup [New England Soup Challenge Voting]
    January 5, 2012 at 3:10 pm

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  • Reply
    January 5, 2012 at 6:42 am

    Haha LOVE IT. I totally made sticky buns yesterday. Whatevs. I’m not DIETING, I’m LIVING. End of story.

    These look awesome.

  • Reply
    Erin @ The Speckled Palate
    January 5, 2012 at 4:06 am

    Loving that you aren’t going with the flow here… and definitely wanting to try these cinnamon rolls sometime soon. There’s something to be said for a good, warm, delicious breakfast that is semi (or TOTALLY) unhealthy during the winter. It just sounds right to me…

    Keep it up, lady!

  • Reply
    Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella
    January 4, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    I’m the same Maris! If you tell me I can’t do it then I want to do it even more πŸ˜› These cinnamon rolls look great and I’d be on your team for sure πŸ˜‰

  • Reply
    January 4, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    We should be friends in real life – when everyone else was starting their new year with a bowl of sugar-free oatmeal, I had a yummy breakfast of french toast casserole, bacon, and cheesy eggs! These cinnamon rolls look amazing – I wish I could lick that frosting right off my computer screen!

  • Reply
    January 4, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    LOL, I love that story. Okay, well not that your teammates wouldn’t speak to you any more, but as a reason you gave us cinnamon rolls instead of green healthy stuff!

  • Reply
    natalie (the sweets life)
    January 4, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    you go girl! great story and great justification for posting cinnamon rolls-i’ll take them, jan 4 and all! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Kitchen Belleicious
    January 4, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    This is what I love about ya! Delish doesn’t even begin to describe how that cinnamon roll looks! Give it to me!

  • Reply
    January 4, 2012 at 11:36 am

    I love your philosophy! And I agree. Those look like the perfect way to celebrate the beginning of a new year.

  • Reply
    Alexis @ There She Goesa
    January 4, 2012 at 8:56 am

    oh my gosh! i was asst. editor on my high school paper and i never wrote any hard hitting new stories like that! i was more of a “review this movie” kind of girl πŸ™‚ good for you!

  • Reply
    Pudding Pie Lane
    January 4, 2012 at 8:52 am

    Haha, why thank you, clearly my dress has hidden my mince pie food baby quite well :p… which means I can have more cinnamon rolls! Great story btw, I think doing this your own way is the only way of doing things πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    January 4, 2012 at 7:34 am

    Love it and I’mmthe same way. Sem to be doing the opposite of everyone else!

  • Reply
    Lisa {Smart Food and Fit}
    January 4, 2012 at 7:16 am

    They look so perfect, much better than Cinnabons from the mall. When I’m done with my Whole Living 28 day Action Plan diet, I’m definitely going to make these for my boys….well mostly for me! Have a good day!

  • Reply
    alyssa - fashion fitness foodie
    January 4, 2012 at 6:34 am

    I’ve always been nervous to make these because they seem like such hard work! Yours came out beautifully maris

  • Reply
    January 4, 2012 at 6:29 am

    I love your attitude (and your cinnamon rolls!)…I’ve been starting out the New Year by having a different soup for dinner every night. But I didn’t make myself any promises about breakfast! I smell cinnamon in my future. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    January 4, 2012 at 6:02 am

    Oh, I am so with you on all of it! I not only don’t go with the flow but I avoid it like the plague. And I could easily and happily settle down with a big fat, luscious, perfect cinnamon roll and a cup of coffee for lunch… now.

    Wishing you a very Happy, Unpredictable, Exciting 2012! xo

  • Reply
    January 4, 2012 at 12:56 am

    hahaha. The middle school I went to was like 8 people total, and my basketball team lost religiously, also. Allowing me on the team was the coach’s first poor decision. Things changed real fast when I went to a top sports recruiting high school and losing just wasn’t in the cards. I still remember that humbling middles school basketball experience though.

    PS. Cinn rolls look AWESOME!

  • Reply
    January 3, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    Great story, I like that you don’t succumb to what some consider the norm and don’t follow the leaders. I like these Cinnamon Rolls even better. Happy New year to you!

  • Reply
    January 3, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    You don’t look so bad yourself πŸ™‚ I was thinking about cinnamon rolls today. Now I’ve really got to have them.

  • Reply
    January 3, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    Best breakfast I’ve seen in a while! Happy New Year to you! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Sarah @ pΓ£o e queijo
    January 3, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    I wish I could grab one from my computer screen… they look amazing!

  • Reply
    Autumn@Good Eats Girl
    January 3, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    Happy New Year, Maris! I now need to go and make these…OMG! Yum!!

  • Reply
    January 3, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    Haha. This post is awesome. So these arent spinach filled rolls ;)?

  • Reply
    A Plum By Any Other Name
    January 3, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    I love the perspective! Just because it’s a new year doesn’t mean we’ve gotten new brains … or stomachs for that matter. Happy New Year. You look great too. πŸ˜‰

  • Reply
    lynn @ the actor's diet
    January 3, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    i always loved the smell of the mall just b/c of the cinnabon…

  • Reply
    Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)
    January 3, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    Oh, how I wish I could indulge in cinnamon rolls… I can’t, but I wanted to stop by and wish you a happy new year.

  • Reply
    Bee (Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine)
    January 3, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    I love the little anecdote with this πŸ™‚ Great job doing what you want, regardless of what others say–especially a sports team in high school, that takes… well… balls! πŸ˜‰ Also, these cinnamon rolls look awesome. Well done!

  • Reply
    Priscilla - She's Cookin'
    January 3, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    I’m all about eating healthy year round- that’s how I balance out indulgences like sweet, doughy cinnamon rolls πŸ™‚ Wishing you a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year, Maris!

  • Reply
    Nikki Rappaport
    January 3, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    Ha, this is exactly why I love you! Thanks for not suggesting I eat beets for breakfast. These look much better! Next time I have a guest over, I’m making these! Happy New Year Maris. xo

  • Reply
    January 3, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    These look amazing!

    Happy new year!

  • Reply
    January 3, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    Yay for this recipe! I kept seeing such wonderful pictures of people’s christmas morning celebrations that included cinnamon rolls but no recipes included!

  • Reply
    Barbara | Creative Culinary
    January 3, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    My only problem with making rolls like this at home is not eating them all in one sitting. I think I’m kidding. They look wonderful Maris and I seriously would have one for dinner with soup!

  • Reply
    January 3, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    HI Maris. Please send a dozen to: Roz NEEDS these, Vancouver, BC. πŸ™‚
    Happy New Year!!!! May all your wishes come true this year. (mine will come true when the cinnamon rolls arrive! πŸ™‚ )

  • Reply
    Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray
    January 3, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    Oh thank you. All these “shape up for 2012” recipes are just making me feel inadequate. πŸ˜‰

  • Reply
    January 3, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    A very refreshing post! These look delicious.

  • Reply
    Simply Life
    January 3, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    I just posted about cinnamon rolls today too- must be a good way to start the year πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    January 3, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    While I did my Top 10 round up..I do ever year..and people seem to enjoy it…you won’t see many salads on my site either!!!! πŸ˜‰

  • Reply
    Heidi @ Food Doodles
    January 3, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    Yummy! Going against the flow isn’t a bad thing πŸ™‚ Your cinnamon rolls look delicious! Funny, I actually made some of my own yesterday, but your look much better. That glaze looks perfect πŸ˜€

  • Reply
    Bev Weidner
    January 3, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    Oh geez, I’d love these ALL up in my mouth right now. Yum!

  • Reply
    January 3, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    I will never say no to cinnamon rolls! These are lovely!

  • Reply
    T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types
    January 3, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    This is a much welcomed indulgence! Thank you Maris, and Happy New Year! Keep going against the flow!

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