Oh Cinnamon Rolls. They’re really a Sunday morning thing, aren’t they? But who goes to bed Saturday night prepared to get up at the crack of dawn on Sunday to mix, shape, roll, rise, and bake cinnamon rolls? Ok sometimes me. But my point is, usually we wake up thinking about how good one would taste with our coffee, but if we haven’t planned ahead, it’s usually lunch time before there’s any cinnamon smells coming from your kitchen.
But then a few years ago I discovered this recipe for cinnamon rolls. It was before I learned how to bake and was too scared to attempt anything with yeast. I couldn’t believe how easy and yummy they were! To this day, I still make this recipe, not only because they are insanely easy, but because they taste as amazing as the real deal (yeasted) cinnamon rolls.
Many years and cinnamon rolls later, I’ve tweaked the recipe a bit to make the dough easier to handle, which makes these even simpler. They come together in less than 10 minutes, bake for about 17, and by the time you’re ready for your second cup of coffee you can have a warm, tender, fluffy, cinnamon-spicy, sugary, melty, gooey cinnamon roll with it. So delicious!
I’ll tell you something, I thought it would actually be possible to make these, photograph them, and not eat one. Pah! You can see the lovely before and after shots here:
And my left-behind crummies:
And it wasn’t even a Sunday morning. It was a Tuesday. But maybe from now on Cinnamon Rolls will be a Tuesday thing in my house. It certainly made the rest of the day sweeter.
Some notes about this recipe:
There is a total of 8 Tbsp of unsalted butter in this recipe. Melt it all at once, then measure it out by the Tbsp as you need it.
You can use buttermilk in the recipe where milk is called for; for milk I use 2% or Whole with perfect results.
If you want to make a quick glaze, whisk 1 cup of icing sugar with about 2 Tbsp of milk and a pinch of salt.
Humidity matters – some days my dough is sticky, some days it’s not. Feel free to add more flour to the dough a Tbsp at a time so it’s a consistency you can knead without ending up with all of it stuck to your hands.
These are best warm, and keep for a day or two. Alternatively, freeze them (unglazed) with excellent results for up to a month.
- 1 Tbsp Butter, melted, for pan
- For Cinnamon Sugar Filling
- 3/4 Cup Packed Light Brown Sugar
- 1/4 Cup Sugar
- 2 Tsp Cinnamon
- 1/8 Tsp Ground Cloves
- 1/8 Tsp Salt
- 1 Tbsp Butter, melted
- For the Dough
- 3 Cups All Purpose Flour
- 2 Tbsp Sugar
- 1 1/4 Tsp Baking Powder
- 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
- 1/2 Tsp Salt
- 1 1/4 Cup Milk (2% or Whole are great)
- 6 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, melted and cooled
- 2 Tbsp Cream Cheese, softened
- 2 Tbsp Milk
- 1 Cup Icing Sugar
- The recipe calls for 8 Tbsp of butter total - melt it all at once and measure it out as you need it.
- Add 1 Tbsp melted butter to a 9” pan, set aside.
- Heat oven to 425.
- For the filling, combine dry ingredients with 1 Tbsp melted butter in a small bowl and mix with a fork until it resembles wet sand. Set aside while you make the dough.
- For the dough, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl.
- Add 2 Tbsp of the melted butter to the milk and whisk to combine. Add to the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until it just comes together. Transfer to your countertop and knead until it is no longer shaggy, usually no more than 10 times.
- Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a 9” by 12” rectangle with the long end facing you. Brush the dough with 2 Tbsp of melted butter.
- Add the filling mixture to the surface of the dough and spread it out evenly using your hands, pressing into it firmly.
- Starting at the long end closest to you, roll the dough away from you into a tight spiral. Don’t worry if some filling falls out, you will scatter that over the top of the rolls once they’re in the pan.
- End the roll with the seam-side down.
- Starting in the middle, cut the log into 8 pieces. (Once in the middle, then each of those two halves in half, and once more for a total of 8 even pieces).
- Place the rolls into the pan, starting with one in the centre, then seven around the perimeter. Scatter any filling that escaped over the top of the rolls, and brush the tops with the remaining 2 Tbsp of butter.
- Bake until puffed and golden-brown, about 17-20 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan about 5 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack. Top with icing while still warm.
- Place a the cooling rack over a parchment lined baking sheet. Whisk the cream cheese with the milk until smooth, then add the icing sugar and whisk until desired