Is there anything better than a fresh-from-the-oven, ooey-gooey cinnamon roll? Decidedly not. There’s something about warm pastries that we can’t get enough of, especially when they’re homemade, and we’re here to break down the process for you, so that you can make this weekend staple in the comfort of your own kitchen! Especially for those of you who are intimidated by the thought of working with yeast – fret not, anyone can do this!
We used to think it was scary too, but working with yeast is actually pretty straightforward, you just need to take the dough into account and see how’s it’s reacting, then adjust your rise time from that. Once a shaggy dough comes together, you’ll want to keep adding flour until it smoothes out and stays tacky and elastic, but not sticky. Once it pulls away from the side of the bowl and bounces back when you poke it, it’s ready for its first rise somewhere warm, but not hot; give it enough time so that it doubles in size.
After that first rise, you’re in the clear! Roll it out (letting it rest a bit more if it’s not keeping its form), brush it with butter, sprinkle it with cinnamon sugar, then roll it up and cut it into slices! Let it rise a bit more, then pop it in the oven and you’re good to go. The finished result is a decadently delicious, hot pastry that everyone will flip for. You’ll be surprised how quickly these disappear once you make them!
The BEST Cinnamon Rolls
2 hours to prepare serves 16
- 4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 cup lukewarm whole milk
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 large egg
- 3-4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2-2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- In a large bowl or mixer (fitted with dough hook), combine warm milk, yeast, sugar, salt, butter and egg, beating until combined.
- Add in 1 cup flour with mixer on low, then gradually increase speed and continue adding flour until dough comes together and is elastic, but not sticky.
- Transfer dough to a large mixing bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap, then place in a warm area until dough has risen and doubled in size. 1-1 1/2 hours.
- If using wood workstation, lightly flour, if using a baking sheet, lightly grease with vegetable oil.
- Roll risen dough out into a 12x18-inch rectangle, then brush with melted butter.
- Whisk together brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl, then sprinkle in an even layer on top of melted butter.
- Starting on the long side of your dough, roll into a tight log. Use a sharp knife to slice into 1-inch slices, then transfer to a 9x13 baking dish.
- Cover baking dish and let dough rise again for 45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 325º F.
- Place baking dish in oven and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown on top.
- While rolls are in the oven, make frosting by beating cream cheese and butter together until smooth and fluffy.
- Beat in vanilla extract, then gradually beat in powdered sugar.
- Add 1 tablespoon of milk first, adding remaining milk until desired consistency is reached. Remove rolls from oven and let cool 10 minutes, then drizzle frosting on top and serve warm.
Recipe adapted from The Stay At Home Chef