Jan 13, 2016

Recipe: Better than Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls

I grew up in a suburb in North Carolina, so when the weather wasn't great outside, there were no good movies playing in the theaters, and our mothers were all tired out by one too many sleepovers, the fun thing to do with friends was go to the mall!

I tend to have sensory memory of things, so when I think back to those pre-teen afternoons spent walking around the mall, laughing, trying on clothes, and talking about anything and everything, I especially remember the sounds and smells (and, to a lesser extent, sights) of the mall.

Other than the amazing warm, sweet smell by the mall cookie shop during the holidays and the strong floral scent by the Bath & Bodyworks store, one of the smells that stands out the most is the buttery, spicy, sweet smell by the Cinnabon shop!

I was always more of an ice cream or cookies girl when it came to dessert, and more of a cereal or bread girl when it came to breakfast, so I'm not sure if I ever bought anything from the Cinnabon. I certainly remember enjoying the smell, however, so I was thrilled when I got to make cinnamon rolls for a roommate's potluck!

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
Pre-frosting, but don't worry - I frosted them!
Not only did these cinnamon rolls get rave reviews from his coworkers (not a single roll remained after the potluck) but our apartment smelled like a Cinnabon for hours!

The recipe is easy to make, sure to please, and both a lot more budget-friendly and brings you a lot closer to your food than a trip to a Cinnabon would, so enjoy!

Better than Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls

Makes 12

Dough - 

* 1 c. warm milk
* 2 eggs
* 0.33 c. unsalted butter, melted
* 4.5 c. all-purpose flour (more as needed)
* 1 tsp. salt
* 0.5 c. granulated sugar
* 2.5 tsp. active dry yeast

Filling -

* 1 c. brown sugar, packed
* 2.5 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
* 0.33 c. unsalted butter, softened

Frosting -

* 1 (3 oz) package plain cream cheese, softened
* 0.25 c. unsalted butter, softened
* 0.5 tsp. vanilla extract
* 0.125 tsp. salt
* 1.5 c. powdered sugar

Easy Cinnamon Bun Recipe

1) Warm the milk. 110F (45C) is ideal if you have a way to measure, but otherwise think warm milk for a child's night time snack. It shouldn't be boiling hot or you'll kill the yeast! If it would scald a child's mouth, it's too hot.

2) In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast and a tablespoon of the white sugar in the warm milk. Set aside in a warm place for ~5 minutes, until bubbly.

3) Mix in the sugar, salt, butter, and eggs with a heavy wooden spoon.

4) Mix in the flour and knead for 8-10 minutes, until you have a smooth and elastic dough. You may need more than 4.5 c. of flour (up to ~5.5c.) if your dough is really sticky. It shouldn't be, it should be kneadable!

5) Cover with a clean, wet kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place for about an hour, until doubled in size.

6) Turn out onto a clean, lightly floured surface. Punch the dough down and let it rest, covered lightly, for 10 minutes.

7) Meanwhile, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and softened butter for the filling in a small bowl.

8) Roll the dough out evenly into a 16x21-inch rectangle.

Baking Breakfast Treats

9) Spread the filling evenly over the dough, leaving a little space (~1 inch) around the edges so that the filling doesn't spill out.

10) Roll the dough up, starting from one of the long edges, to create a long log.

11) Cut the loaf into 12 equal sized rolls with a serrated knife.

Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

12) Place the rolls on a greased tray with a few inches between. I used parchment paper instead of greasing my tray, to make the cleanup easier!

Cinnabon Recipe

13) Cover and let rise in a warm place until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes.

14) Bake the rolls in a preheated 400F (200C) oven for ~15 minutes, until golden brown.

15) While the rolls bake, beat together the cream cheese, butter, vanilla extract, and salt. Add the confectioner's sugar a half cup at a time, with the electric mixer on the lowest or second lowest setting. 

16) Remove the cinnamon rolls from the oven and cool on a wire rack for ~10 minutes.

Baking Cinnamon Rolls

17) Spread the frosting on the warm rolls. Alternately, you can pipe it on for a fancier presentation if you have more time and patience!

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls


Love Cinnamon Rolls? Tweet it!

{ 0 } comments... read them below or add one

Post a Comment

Please say hello, leave your comments, or answer my questions! It makes me smile when you leave me a note :) I read every single one of them and it makes my day when you guys say hi!

© Living, Learning, Eating, AllRightsReserved.

Designed by Danai