Yeast has not been my friend but I keep trying to master it and I’m still trying to. My daughter has the patience and is so much better than I when it comes to baking with yeast. She is my baker. I’ve made these rolls several times and I think this recipe I have here has worked for me. Success. It feels good, at least for this recipe using yeast.
Who doesn’t like cinnamon rolls. The thing I have to prevent myself from doing is eating more than one at a time.
It does help if you can snuggly roll the dough into a log. For some reason with my small hands I haven’t been able to roll it as snug as I would like but these cinnamon rolls still turn out well and delicious.
I’m sometimes impatient to wait for the yeast to foam, the dough to rise twice. The reason I love making these is this recipe teaches me patience which I think you need when baking sometimes. I know I do. And patience pays off for lovely soft delicious Cinnamon Rolls. I think this will be my go to for Sunday Mornings or anytime I feel like having something that is filled with the warm spice of cinnamon.
4 ½ – 5 cups of flour, start with 4 cups and add as needed for tacky, not sticky dough
½ cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
3 Tbsp cinnamon, (I like cinnamon so add 2 Tbs or more if you prefer)
¼ tsp grated nutmeg
1 tsp cornstarch
¼ cup walnuts, finely chopped (optional)
1 egg, beaten for egg wash
2 oz cream cheese, room temperature
2 Tbls butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp fresh lemon juice and zest (or orange juice and zest)
1 ¼ cup powdered sugar, less or more depending on the consistency you want.
I like to drizzle it over the cinnamon rolls
For the Dough
Preheat oven 350 degrees
In a measuring cup, warm up the milk to 110F, it will feel like warm bath water, add 1 Tbsp sugar, stir and then add the yeast. Gently stir the yeast and let it stand til you see the yeast foam up, about 5-10 minutes.
In a small bowl whisk together buttermilk, butter and egg till egg is mixed in. In another bowl whisk together 2 cups of flour and salt. Reserve the other 2 ½ -3 cups of flour in a separate bowl.
In the bowl of a mixer, fitted with a dough hook, add the yeast mixture and remaining sugar. Stir on low for about 2 minutes. Pour buttermilk mixture into yeast and stir for about 1-2 minutes more.
Pour 2 cups of the flour and salt into the mixer and stir on low until incorporated. Add about ¼ cup of flour at a time and continue ¼ cup at a time until the dough cleans the sides and the bottom of the bowl is no longer sticky but tacky to the touch. Don’t worry if you don’t use all of the flour. The dough is ready to knead.
Remove the dough and on a clean counter or cutting board, dusted with flour, knead for about 5 – 10 minutes.
Grease a large bowl and place dough in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and a warm dish towel and place dough in a warm room temperature area. Let the dough rise. It may take about 1 – 1 ½ hours until it doubles in size.
Filling and Cutting Rolls
In a medium size bowl, stir together brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cornstarch and walnuts, if desired.
After the dough has risen, lightly punch it down and rest for about 2-3 minutes. Flour a large clean surface and then roll out dough into a large rectangle shape, about 12 x 20.
Spread the butter over the dough, making sure to leave about ½ inch dough untouched on one of the longer end sides. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture evenly all over the butter dough, making sure filling doesn’t fall off the sides. Lightly press the sugar mixture into the butter.
Brush the end of the untouched dough with the egg wash.
Starting from the longer end, roll the dough up as snug as you can into a log shape roll. Finish with the plain side of the dough and seal the dough together, pinching to seal if needed. Cut off the uneven ends to square off the ends. Cut dough into 2 inch slices and place in a parchment paper lined greased pans. You can use two smaller pans, 9 x 13 pan, large cake pan or whatever pan you have to fit the rolls in. Allow enough space for the rolls to expand and get puffy. You don’t want them to touch before rising again. Cover pans lightly with plastic wrap and a warm dish towel.
Let the rolls rise, for about 1-1 ½ hours or until they have risen and are touching the sides. Bake rolls in a preheated 350 oven for about 15 – 18 minutes until they turn just slightly golden brown. Try not to over bake them.
While the rolls are cooling down, in a bowl mix together cream cheese and butter with a hand mixer. Stir in vanilla, lemon juice and zest and blend all together. Add powdered sugar and slowly mix together till fully incorporated and smooth and the consistency you desire.
Spread icing on rolls, and if still a little warm, let it melt into the rolls. Wait for another few minutes to cool down before finishing icing the rolls.
Enjoy the Cinnamon Rolls not just in the morning but any time of the day.
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