My baby baker put in a request for cinnamon rolls recently - it feels like we've been doing a ton of baking, but when Lindsey has a special request we pretty much always make it happen! Really, if anyone in my house has a special request I will find a way to incorporate it into the plan. There's always wiggle room!
Cinnamon rolls aren't something I've perfected yet - I've only made them a handful of times over the years. They are a wonderfully special treat. In fact, on the very rare occasion I visit the mall for any reason Cinnabon is on my "must visit" list. That, and Orange Julius. I don't know why - but those are my special mall food treats! And I do love that warm, gooey, perfect Cinnabon roll, that's what I'm always hoping for when I attempt them at home. The flavors on this one are really wonderful - just be careful not to over bake them and dry out the dough too much!
I've had bad experiences with cinnamon rolls that were raw in the middle before so mine were slightly over baked and came out a little dry. The flavor was still wonderful though - that frosting is literally the "icing on the cake"! So good! If you over bake yours a little too - enjoy with some tea or coffee for added moisture!
Cinnamon Rolls from Ambitious Kitchen
For the dough:
¾ cup warm milk (whole milk or 2% preferred) (110 degrees F)
2 ¼ teaspoons quick rise or active yeast (equivalent to a 1/4-ounce package of yeast)
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
¼ cup butter, melted
3 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting
3/4 teaspoon salt
For the filling:
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 ½ TBS ground cinnamon
¼ cup butter, softened
For the cream cheese frosting:
4 oz (1/2 a brick) cream cheese, softened
3 TBS butter, softened
¾ cup powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pour the warm milk into the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast over the top. Add in the sugar, egg and egg yolk, and melted butter and blend. Add in the flour and salt until a dough begins to form. Use the dough hook and on medium speed allow to form a dough ball and knead for about 5-8 minutes.
- Scrape dough out of the bowl and add a little oil to the bottom. Return dough to bowl and flip so both sides are lightly covered in oil. Cover bowl with a kitchen towel and set in a warm place to rise for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
- When doubled in size, lightly flour a surface and pour dough out. Roll out into a 14x9 rectangle.
- Spread softened butter all over, leaving a 1/4" border around the outside edges of the rectangle.
- Sprinkle the cinnamon and brown sugar over the butter, rubbing all in to combine evenly by hand.
- Tightly roll the dough up from the 9" side for thicker rolls (you will get about 9) or the 14" side for slightly smaller rolls (you will get 12).
- Tuck the seem under, pinching gently to seal, and cut your rolls. Place the cinnamon rolls in a 9x13 dish that has been sprayed with baking spray if you have 12 rolls - if you have 9 rolls use a slightly smaller pan (9x9 or 9" cake pan). Cover with a tea towel and set aside to rise again for at least another 30-60 minutes.
- When they look puffy, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- For the larger rolls, bake 20-25 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through. For 12 rolls, bake at about 18-20 minutes and check for doneness. Slight underbaking is ok to keep them soft in the middle.
- Allow to cool for at least 5-10 minutes while you prep the frosting, before frosting.
- To prepare the frosting, blend the cream cheese and butter together in the bowl of a stand mixer until creamy and smooth, add in the vanilla and powdered sugar. Taste and adjust sweetness level if desired.
- Frost warm cinnamon rolls and enjoy!