It has been on my to-do list to make my own cinnamon rolls.
back story… J had a family tradition growing up that his dad would go out and buy Cinnabon cinnamon rolls for them to have on Christmas every year. I always thought that was such a fun tradition and I love to bake so I told myself I would get around to perfecting a recipe so we can start our own tradition.
So I stumbled upon this recipe that is supposed to be a Cinnabon copycat recipe. It is PRETTY DARN CLOSE. There is a “secret” ingredient that apparently is what makes the Cinnabon rolls super gooey. Hint, you pour heavy cream over the buns before you bake them. Obviously this recipe isn’t one for the diet but for a Christmas tradition I can handle the amount of butter and sugar this recipe contains. With the rising times and prep you should set aside about 2 ish hours. With a toddler around your legs, give yourself closer to 3…
**As usual after I make a recipe I decide what I would change for next time. For these rolls I would double the cinnamon filling and also roll out the dough a little thinner so that there are more folds in the cinnamon rolls**
Cinnabon Copycat Cinnamon Rolls
1 cup warm milk, not too hot or you will kill the yeast!
2 1/2 teaspoons instant dry yeast
2 large eggs at room temperature
1/3 cup butter melted
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter almost melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1/2 cup heavy cream (for pouring over the risen rolls)
6 ounces cream cheese (softened)
1/3 cup butter (softened)
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
Pour the warm milk in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast overtop.
Add the eggs, butter, salt and sugar.
Add in 4 cups (save the other 1/2 cup and add only if you need it later) of flour and mix using the beater blade just until the ingredients are barely combined. Allow the mixture to rest for 5 minutes so the flour has time to soak up the liquids.
Scrape the dough off the beater blade and remove it. Attach the dough hook.
Beat the dough on medium speed, adding in up to 1/2 cup more flour if needed to form a dough. (I didn’t add in much more than the original 4 cups). Knead for 5-7 minutes or until the dough is elastic and smooth. The dough should be tacky and will still be sticking to the sides of the bowl.
Spray a large bowl with cooking spray.
Use a rubber spatula to remove the dough from the mixer bowl and place it in the greased large bowl.
Cover the bowl with a towel or wax paper.
Set the bowl in a warm place and allow the dough to rise until double. Let rise for about 30 minutes.
While the dough is rising, prepare the cinnamon filling. In a medium bowl, combine the soft butter, brown sugar and cinnamon, mixing until well combined. Set aside.
Sprinkle your work surface with flour. Turn out the dough and sprinkle the top of the dough with additional flour.
Flour a rolling pin and roll the dough to about a 24 x 15″ rectangle. (I would go probably 30 x15″ next time)
Use a rubber spatula to smooth the cinnamon filling over the whole dough rectangle.
Starting on the long end, roll the dough up tightly.
Cut into 12 slices and place in a greased 9 x13 baking pan.
Cover the pan and allow the rolls to rise for 20 minutes or until nearly double. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Warm the heavy cream until the chill is off. It should be warm to the touch.
Once the rolls have risen, pour the heavy cream over the top of the rolls, allowing it to soak down in and around the rolls.
Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes, until the rolls are lightly golden brown and the center rolls are cooked through. Baking time will vary so just keep watch for that golden brown.
While the rolls are cooling, prepare the cream cheese frosting.
In a large bowl, combine the softened cream cheese and butter using a hand mixer. Blend well.
Add in the extract and the powdered sugar. Beat until combined.
Spread the frosting over the cooled rolls.
Store in an airtight container. I put mine in the fridge.
You can also freeze the rolls. Just follow the recipe until right before the 2nd rising, before you put them in the pan. Take your uncooked rolls and put them on a cookie sheet (not touching) in the freezer for about an hour. Then you can transfer them into a bag and place in your freezer. I also froze the icing.
This is a somewhat labor intensive process but SO worth it. Especially if you freeze a bunch to take out whenever the craving strikes!
I am excited for Christmas next year to start our own cinnamon roll tradition!