The Best Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
(This recipe is part of the “Ultimate Comfort Food Experience“)
The Aromatherapy of Cinnamon Rolls
Mmmmmmm! There is aromatherapy happening in my home right now. The scent of cinnamon and rising yeast are mingling with anticipation and permeating my senses. I only have about 12 minutes before I grab a hot pad and pull a luscious pan of The Best Homemade Cinnamon Rolls out of my oven. I’m amazed at how something so simple can bring such joy to my life! And of course, I add a cup of coffee to this picture and my day is set for greatness!
Aromas Radiating from My Kitchen
Aromatherapy is supposedly a very real “therapy” – they say it can relieve stress, it works as an antidepressant and increases energy levels, etc. I would say that I’m experiencing all of these benefits as the aromas are radiating from my kitchen.
Incorporating All Your Senses
In my opinion, the best way to fully enjoy something right out of the oven is to incorporate all your senses. The smell. The taste. The texture. They all add up to a tantalizing experience. And what better experience than sinking your teeth into swirls of cinnamon and sugar puffed goodness that has been slathered with sweet cream frosting. Now that’s what I call pure delight.
A Classic Family Recipe – The Best Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
This recipe, The Best Homemade Cinnamon Rolls, comes from a bread recipe that has been a family classic of ours for generations. I’m not sure where it originated but I do remember both my mom and grandma making bread with this recipe hundreds of times. They passed the tradition on to me and whether I’m forming the dough into crescent rolls, clover leaves, knots or just basic bead loaves the recipe has NEVER failed me.
Add Some Indulgence to a Bread Recipe
My very favorite though is to add a little indulgence and bake some of these homemade cinnamon rolls. Just so you know – I use a lot of butter (like 3 sticks). I also use a lot of cinnamon and sugar (about 2 cups). Usually I just eyeball it – when it appears to be loaded up, I will add a little bit more. Why? Because you can never have enough of the buttery, sugar filling!
“The Icing on the Cake”
The “icing on the cake” is definitely the cream cheese frosting that I whip up right when it comes out of the oven and spread it on the pan of rolls while they are still hot. That way, it seeps down into cracks and crevices.
This Recipe Takes Some Time, But Well Worth It
If you’re looking for a quick fix for a sugar addiction, this is probably not what you’re going for. By the time you knead the dough, let it rise, roll it out, slice it, let it rise again and then finally into the oven – you’re looking at about 3 to 3 1/2 hours. But if you can endure to the end, I promise it will be worth its weight in gold.
An Additional Layer of Flavor – Pie filling
If I want to change things up a bit, I will add a dollop of pie filling to the top of each cinnamon roll after I have frosted them. It adds a nice bit of color, some extra texture, but mostly it brings in an additional layer of flavor
The dinger on my oven just went off. I’m gonna add another “therapy” to my morning – “tastetherapy.”Print
The Best Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
These cinnamon rolls start with a bread recipe that has been in my family for generations and it never fails. Add lots of butter, cinnamon, and sugar for the filling and creamy, buttery frosting that melts into the creases.
- Prep Time: 1 hour and 20 min
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Total Time: 3 hours and 30 minutes
- Yield: 18 Large Cinnamon Rolls
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup shortening, heaping
- 1 tablespoon Kosher Salt
- 2 cups boiling water
- 2 packages Rapid Rise Yeast
- 1 tablespoon Sugar
- 1 cup warm Water
- 2 Eggs, slightly beaten
- Approximately 8 cups Flour, more for kneading
- 3 sticks Butter + 2 tablespoons for rising dough
- 2 cups Sugar
- 6 tablespoons Cinnamon
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 stick of softened Butter
- 1 – 8 oz Cream Cheese
- 1 – 32 oz pkg Powdered Sugar
- 4-6 tablespoons Whole Milk
- 1 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
- Pinch of Kosher Salt
For Bread Dough
- In a large bowl, combine sugar, shortening, salt and boiling water. Stir until dissolved. Set aside and let cool to room temperature.
- In a small bowl, combine yeast, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 1 cup warm water. Stir until dissolved. Set in a warm place (a microwave works great) for 10 minutes until the yeast has risen and the foam is doubled in size.
- Add the beaten eggs and yeast mixture into the melted shortening mixture. Make sure the shortening mixture has cooled to room temperature. If it is too hot it can kill the yeast.
- Stir in 5 cups of flour. Continue to add the remaining flour one cup at a time. At this point, I use my hands to fully combine the ingredients. The texture of the dough should be somewhat sticky but firm enough to work with.
- Place the dough on a floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes. Continue adding flour to the surface as necessary when the dough becomes sticky again. You can tell by the feel of the dough when it is ready. It will start to feel dense and firm but not dry.
- Butter a large mixing bowl along with the ball of dough using the 2 tablespoons of butter. Cover with a dish towel and place in a warm area. A microwave works great or on top of a warm stove. Let rise for 1 hour.
- Punch down the dough and on a floured surface roll out the dough to a rectangle of 24×12 inches.
- Spread the 3 sticks of softened butter onto the dough. Generously sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon. Roll from the 24-inch side and finish with the seam down. I gently squeeze back and forth across the dough in order the get consistent thickness.
- Slice the dough with a serrated knife in 2-inch sections (I like my cinnamon rolls thick). Makes 12 large cinnamon rolls. If you want to have more, cut the sections into 1 or 1 1/2 inches.
- Place on a greased cookie sheet. Cover with a dish towel and set in a warm area. Let rise for another hour.
- Preheat the oven to 375° F. Bake the cinnamon rolls until golden brown, for approximately 30-40 minutes depending on their thickness. While the rolls are baking, prepare the frosting.
- Remove the cinnamon rolls from the oven. While they are still warm, frost with the cream cheese frosting. As an option, make a little well in the top of the cinnamon rolls and add your favorite pie filling.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- Cream together with a hand mixer the butter and cream cheese.
- Add 1/2 the powder sugar and continue mixing until combined. Add the remaining powder sugar, 1-2 tablespoons of milk, vanilla and a pinch of salt.
- Continue beating and adding extra milk until the desired consistency. Beat until light and fluffy. This makes more than enough frosting for this batch of cinnamon rolls.