Classic Cinnamon Rolls

Flavorful cinnamon rolls, covered with delicious cream cheese frosting!  You really can’t beat this classic pairing.

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Classic Cinnamon Rolls

Yields 16 rolls

Total Time:  12 hrs.

Prep Time:  35 min

Rise Time:  11 hrs.

Cook Time:  15 min

 

Dough Ingredients

  • 1 tsp active dry yeast
  • 6 oz. milk
  • 4 oz. unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 oz. granulated sugar (approximately ¼ cup)
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 15.5 oz. bread flour (approximately 3 ½ cups), plus extra for kneading
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil

 

Filling Ingredients

  • 2 oz. unsalted butter, melted and divided
  • 2 oz. granulated sugar (approximately ¼ cup)
  • 4 oz. brown sugar (approximately ½ cup)
  • 2 Tbsp. ground cinnamon

 

Icing Ingredients

  • 2 oz. unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 12 oz. powdered sugar (approximately 3 cups)
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt

 

Directions

  1. Heat the milk to 115 degrees Fahrenheit.  Add the yeast, stir, and allow to foam (approximately 5 minutes).  If the yeast does not foam, repeat the process again.
  2. Add the butter and sugar to a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.  Cream together for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the eggs, yeast mixture, and vanilla extract and mix on low until combined, scrapping down the bowl as needed.
  4. Add the bread flour and salt and mix until combined.  The dough will begin to form a ball at the bottom of the bowl.
  5. Switch to the hook attachment and knead the dough for 10 minutes on medium-low speed (make sure the mixer is in the locked position).
  6. Coat a metal or glass bowl with the vegetable oil.  Add the ball of dough and toss to coat.  Cover with plastic wrap, then a tea towel and rise in a warm place until doubled in size (approximately 2.5 hours).
  7. Meanwhile, prepare the filling by stirring together the sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon.
  8. Then prepare the icing.  Place the butter, cream cheese, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl.  Beat with a hand mixer until smooth (2 minutes).  Add the powdered sugar and beat for another 2 minutes until creamy.  Store in the refrigerator.
  9. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper and brush them with some of the melted butter.
  10. Once the dough has finished rising, place the dough on a floured cutting board.  Roll the dough into a 12×16-inch rectangle with the long side nearest you.
  11. Brush the dough with the remaining melted butter, except for a 1-inch strip along the top edge.  Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture on top of the butter and lightly press down.
  12. Tightly roll up the dough, starting with the long edge nearest you.  Make sure you end with the seam side down and gently press to seal.  Gently squeeze the dough until it is a 16-inch long cylinder of even thickness.
  13. Cut the cylinder in half, then continue cutting each section in half until there are 16 rolls.
  14. Place the rolls on the baking sheets (2 per row, 8 per sheet).  Cover the baking sheets with plastic wrap and let the rolls sit in the refrigerator overnight.
  15. Remove the baking sheet from the refrigerator 1 hour prior to baking.
  16. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  17. Bake the rolls for 15-18 minutes until puffy and golden brown.  Allow the rolls to cool for 10 minutes.
  18. Ice the warm rolls with cream cheese icing and enjoy!

I know, I know.  This recipe is LONG.  But trust me, making cinnamon rolls from scratch is definitely worthwhile.  And once you read through the steps below, you’ll be ready to start baking asap!  Only a short 12 hours between you and this 😉

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Here are the ingredients for the dough:  bread flour, eggs, vegetable oil, milk, yeast, kosher salt, sugar, vanilla extract, and butter.

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Heat the milk in the microwave or in a saucepan on the stove until it reaches 115 degrees Fahrenheit.  This temperature will help wake up the yeast!  Once the milk is ready, add the yeast and stir.  After about 5 minutes the yeast should begin foaming – if it does not, it’s probably best to restart.  This could mean the yeast is dead or the water is not the right temperature.

Meanwhile, add the softened butter and sugar to a stand mixture.

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Cream this together for 5 minutes using the paddle attachment.  Look how light and fluffy it becomes!

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Add the eggs, the milk/yeast mixture, and the vanilla.

Mix this until combined – don’t worry if it looks curdled, it will come together once the flour is added.

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Next up is the bread flour and salt.

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Once this has been combined, the dough will start to form a ball at the bottom of the bowl.

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Switch the paddle attachment out for the hook attachment and knead the dough for 10 minutes on medium-low speed.  Make sure the mixer is the locked position so it won’t jump all over the counter top.

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Here is the action shot for the day:

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Coat a bowl with vegetable oil.  Add the ball of dough and toss to coat.  Cover this with plastic wrap and a tea towel; then place in a warm place.  It will double in size after about 2.5 hours.

While the dough is rising, time to move on to the good stuff – the filling!  I mean, how can you go wrong with cinnamon and sugar?!   White sugar, ground cinnamon, and brown sugar:

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Mix these ingredients together.  With a whopping tablespoon of cinnamon, it will definitely be the shining star of these rolls.

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Next up, prepare the icing.  These ingredients are:  powdered sugar, vanilla extract, kosher salt, ground cinnamon, butter, and cream cheese.

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Place the butter, cream cheese, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl.

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Beat with a hand mixer for 2 minutes.  Already so smooth and creamy!

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Add the powdered sugar and beat for an additional 2 minutes.

Place in the refrigerator.  It will thicken up as it cools.

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The big reveal!  Finished dough!

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Place the dough on a floured cutting board.  Here is my setup:

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Roll the dough into a 12 x 16 inch rectangle, making sure the long side is closest to you.

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Brush melted butter on the dough – making sure to leave a 1-inch strip along the top edge.  This will allow us to seal the dough once it is rolled.

Sprinkle the tasty filling all over the melted butter.  Lightly press down the filling so it won’t spill all over during the rolling.

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Starting with the long edge, tightly roll up the dough.

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Once you reach the end, continue rolling the dough until the seam is down.  Gently press the seam into the roll to seal everything together.

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Very gently squeeze the dough to even out the thickness.  I also gently push in the ends if there is any dough hanging out.  By the end, the dough should be a 16-inch long cylinder.

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I’ve found the easiest way to cut the dough into even rolls is to cut the cylinder in half, then cut those sections in half, then all those sections in half, etc. until you end up with 16 rolls.

I like to use baking sheets to bake the rolls on.  I use 2 baking sheets and line them both with parchment paper, then brush them with melted butter.  Place 2 rolls in each row, leaving them with plenty of space to expand in the oven.

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Cover the baking sheets with plastic wrap so the rolls won’t dry out.  Place into the refrigerator overnight.

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Refrigerating the rolls overnight will develop more flavor as the yeast ferments.  If you do not have time to refrigerate the rolls overnight, you could just let them rise at room temperature for 1 hour, then bake.  They won’t be as flavorful, but will still be pretty darn delicious.

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Before you bake the rolls, remove them from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour.

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Bake the rolls for 15-18 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Once done, they will be puffy and golden brown!

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Allow the rolls to cool for 10 minutes.  Patience is key lol.

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And now, it’s time to ice these beautiful rolls!  Icing is delicious… more is always better, right?

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If you’ve made it this far, thanks for sticking through until the end!

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I hope you have enjoyed this recipe and will try it soon!  It’s one of my favs 🙂

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