Monday, March 01, 2010

On a Roll: Cinnamon Rolls

I had some fancy Ceylon cinnamon rattling around in the cupboard just begging to be baked into this recipe. According to Penzey's Spices — a great place to order hard to find spices — there are two main types of cinnamon. The first, Cassia cinnamon, is native to Southeast Asia and has the strong, spicy-sweet flavor that most Americans are familiar with. The second type of cinnamon, Ceylon, or "true" cinnamon, has a much different flavor — less sweet, with a more complex, citrus flavor. They recommend using Ceylon cinnamon for baked goods and it was perfect in these buttery, luscious cinnamon rolls. But feel free to use whatever cinnamon you have on hand — they're sure to be tasty!

Ceylon Cinnamon Rolls
Adapted from Whipped

1 c. warm milk (heated over medium heat for 4-5 minutes)

1/4 c. lukewarm water (110º F)

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 c. butter, room temperature

2 eggs, room temperature and beaten

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 c. sugar

5 c. bread flour

3 tsp instant active dry yeast (Often marked Rapid Rise)


1/2 c. butter, melted or softened

1 c. firmly-packed brown sugar

4 to 5 Tb ground cinnamon

3/4 to 1 c. chopped walnuts (optional)

2 oz. cream cheese, room temperature

1/4 c. butter, room temperature

1 c. powdered (confectioners) sugar

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

In a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all the ingredients in the order given — except Filling and Frosting ingredients. Using a dough hook, mix everything together until a soft dough forms.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly oiled surface (You don’t want to add more flour if it is sticky), and knead until elastic — about 10 minutes. Place in a large, lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, butter a 9×13x2 inch baking pan; set aside. Combine the cinnamon and sugar for the filling in a separate bowl.

After dough has rested, roll and stretch the dough into approximately a 15×22.5-inch rectangle. (This is quite large — you might want to actually measure rather than eyeball it.) Spread the softened butter over the top of the dough with a rubber spatula. (If you use melted butter, use a pastry brush and be sure your surface is pretty level or it will pool unevenly.)

Sprinkle the cinnamon filling over the butter. Sprinkle chopped nuts over the cinnamon filling. Starting with long edge, roll up dough jellyroll style; pinch seams to seal.

With a knife, lightly mark off fifteen sections approximately 1 1/2-inches wide. Using a serrated knife, saw very gently into pieces. Place the slices cut side up in prepared pan — you should have three rows of five. The unbaked cinnamon rolls should not touch each other before rising and baking. Do not pack the unbaked cinnamon rolls together.

To bake immediately: cover and let rise in a warm place for approximately 45 to 60 minutes or until doubled in size (after rising, rolls should be touching each other and the sides of the pan).

To bake the next morning: Put them in the refrigerator covered. They will rise slowly overnight. Put them into the oven the next morning and follow below cooking instructions.

To freeze: Wrap in plastic wrap. Take them out the night before baking and leave out of the fridge. Allow them to thaw and rise before baking.

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Bake approximately 20 to 25 or until they are a light golden brown. Spread the warm rolls with Butter Frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting
In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese and butter with a wooden spoon until creamy. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and mix until creamy. Refrigerate frosting until ready to use and then bring to room temperature before spreading.

I whipped these together Saturday afternoon and left them in the fridge overnight. I had the frosting ready to go, too and then just popped them into the oven Sunday morning. The smell was heavenly and I got to sit back and enjoy my coffee while they baked — the perfect Sunday morning activity!

Stay tuned for more spiral baking adventures this week!


  1. I'm going to have to try these! The last ones I made from allrecipes (cloan-of-a-cinnabon)were really good, but too dense, not fluffy enough. Thanks for passing it along!

  2. Hey Lindsay,
    These are very fluffy — I recommend making them when you have a crowd in the house because I ate way too many of them!!
    Let me know if you end up making them!

  3. Oh my! These look great! I will have to try this recipe... thanks for sharing!

  4. I have only tried the Clone of a Cinnabon, too, and it is my go-to recipe. I don't think it is too dense, but I am still curious about your recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Hi Bridget and Memoria! Let me know if you do try it!

  6. thanks! I'm actually looking for desserts and snacks recipes. Cinnamon Rolls are the best. the rolling effect on top are very nice. I would have to try this, thanks again!

  7. Thanks for visiting, Kathy! Stop back and let me know if you do try them and how it goes!

  8. Anonymous6:16 AM

    this looks sooo yummy! thanks! im a huge fan of cinnamon!

  9. You won't be disappointed, Hannah — try them!

  10. My coterie of lady bakers made these this morning and oh. my. Thanks for posting the recipe!

  11. Yay, how fun! Who are these mysterious lady bakers?!?! Glad you enjoyed!