When I last made cinnamon rolls on here, I was in a creative foodie exploration phase and overcomplicated the recipe by 200 fold. This past weekend in Cashiers NC, the weather was chilly, the leaves were dropping and it just seemed like my only option was to measure some flour and make the fluffiest cinnamon roll recipe.
I’ve decided to uncomplicate this recipe and break it down to the basics and help you craft your best fluffy cinnamon roll recipe. I have a few helpful tips up my sleeve to help you navigate some challenges that you may encounter along the way.
How long do Cinnamon Rolls take to make?
This cinnamon roll recipe takes 2 hours for rising, and 20-25 minutes for baking.
How do Cinnamon Rolls rise?
By using active yeast, the by-product of the yeast digesting sugars causes the dough to rise when set in a warm environment. My favorite brand of yeast is Saf Instant Yeast. I find with Fleishmann’s (the grocery store kind in packets) the yeast is typically dead. When I buy my Saf Instant Yeast, I store it in the freezer to keep it preserved until I need it (great for the occasional baker). You can store it at room temperature until you open it, but highly recommend putting it in the freezer afterward.
What dish should I bake my Cinnamon Rolls in?
Whatever deep-sided dish you would like! I like packing my cinnamon rolls in pretty tight to make sure they rise upwards and not outwards. It won’t affect the cooking time significantly.
What Oven Rack should I place it on?
Bake your cinnamon rolls in the middle of the oven. Too close to the bottom and the bottom of the dough will burn. Too close to the top and the tops will get too crusty.
How do I store my Cinnamon Rolls after they’re baked?
Tightly seal them with plastic wrap on the counter for a few days. If unfrosted, place them in the freezer in an airtight bag for up to 2 months.
What’s your trick for keeping them soft and moist?
Right before baking, put a small pad of unsalted butter on the top of each cinnamon roll and in between any “gaps”. As the butter melts, it will melt into the dough protecting it from drying out as it bakes.
- 1 Cup Lukewarm milk
- 2 Large eggs
- 5 Tbsp unsalted butter room temperature
- 4 Cups White Lily unbleached all purpose flour
- 1 3/4 Tsp Salt
- 1/2 Cup granulated sugar
- 2 1/2 Tsp instant yeast
- 1/2 Cup Packed brown sugar
- 1 1/2 Tbsp Cinnamon
- 5 Tbsp unsalted butter softened
- 3 Ounces cream cheese room temperature
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 1/2 Cups Confectioners sugar
- 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla extract
Combine the sugar, milk and yeast together in a bowl and let it come to life for about 10 minutes. When little gas bubbles emerge, add the rest of your ingredients. Knead into a soft dough for about 2 minutes. You’ll know it’s good when you press your finger into the dough and it springs back. Don’t over work the dough. If it doesn’t seem super springy, or if it’s too wet, add a little extra flour.
Transfer dough into a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit for 1-2 hours depending on how warm your kitchen is. If you have a proof setting on your oven, pop it in there (with a cloth covering instead of plastic) for 30 minutes.
While the dough is rising, make your filling by combining the brown sugar with the cinnamon in a bowl and set aside.
Once it has risen, grease your working surface and roll the dough out into a large rectangle.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and place a rack in the middle of the oven.
Spread your unsalted butter on the rolled out dough and sprinkle on your filling. Gently press the filling into the dough to keep it in place.
Starting with your short end, tightly roll the dough up. Once rolled, cut into 2 inch slices and place in your greased baking dish.
Let the dough rise for 15-25 minutes on the counter before popping in the oven. Place pads of butter on top to keep the dough moist while cooking.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until the tops are golden brown.
While cinnamon rolls are baking, combine all your ingredients for the frosting and set aside.
Remove cinnamon rolls from the oven, let sit for 5-10 minutes, spread frosting and enjoy.