I want to share my secrets for making the most amazing Cinnamon Rolls—I wooed my wife for life with this recipe! Just kidding, I wooed her in other ways but I’m certain these rolls helped a fair bit!
They are a family recipe I inherited from my mother (I still have her recipe card!), and which I’ve tweaked over the years.
These really are delicious—they might even tempt you to make them for your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day!
- 1 cup warm (not hot nor cold) milk
- 2 1/2 teaspoons instant dry yeast
- 4 large eggs
- 1/3 cup butter (I prefer salted)
- 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt to balance out the sweetness
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy cream for pouring over the rolls (refer to my notes below)
- 1/2 cup salted butter (almost melted)
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons cinnamon
- 6 ounces cream cheese
- 1/3 cup salted butter (softened)
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract (or two vanilla pods with seeds scraped out)
Making the Dough:
- I like to use an instant yeast. If you don’t use the instant variety, be sure to allow the yeast to proof in the warm—not hot nor cold) milk until it is frothy. This will take an extra 5 -10 minutes; I was taught—and I teach my young culinary elders aka kids—to listen for the yeast bubbling and gurgling away (see photo). If you can’t hear the bubbling it’s very likely the yeast is no longer active and you’ll need to get new yeast;
- Bring the eggs to room temperature by placing them in a glass of warm water before adding them to the mix. If any of the ingredients are cold, the yeast will not rise the rolls properly;
- Fold in the remaining dough ingredients (except the last dough ingredient in the list—the 1/2 cup of heavy cream that you’ll pour over later, see below);
- Spray a large bowl with cooking spray or grease it with vegetable oil to prevent sticking (do not use peanut oil as it affects the taste of the dough plus is an allergy alert).
- Place the lightly mixed dough into the greased large bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a clean tea-towel;
- Set the bowl in a warm place and allow the dough to rise until double;
- 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.
After you let the dough rise until it’s approximately doubled in size, you can roll the rolls!
You’ll need to put a bit of flour down on the rolling surface to keep the dough from sticking.
After you’ve rolled the dough, gently spread the cinnamon filling on top and roll it up like it’s a jelly-roll.
Cut the long ‘jelly-roll’ as I like to call it (see photo) into as many rolls as you’d like. I recommend 12 rolls and place in a large baking pan or glass or ceramic dish.
Cover and allow the rolls to rise for 20 minutes or until they appear nearly double in size.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Add the last dough ingredient on the list, the warm—not hot or cold—1/2 cup of heavy cream to the cinnamon rolls before baking (see photo). This will keep them moist and oh so creamy and dreamy (according to my kids!).
Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes, or until the rolls are golden brown and cooked through.
If you are watching your carbohydrate count, these rolls are tasty without the frosting (see photo).
For extra indulgence, however, the frosting can be created by mixing the butter, powdered sugar, cream cheese and vanilla essence. You can either add the frosting while the rolls are warm, or you can apply it on once the rolls cool down. Adding it while warm will create a more sticky, albeit more moist, roll.