These cinnamon rolls are surprisingly easy to assemble thanks to a very forgiving dough. And believe it or not, they taste even better than mom’s homemade cinnamon buns. We think that’s because of their inspired reliance on honey butter, cinnamon sugar, and cream cheese frosting.
Cinnamon rolls. Mmmm. We don’t know about you, but when we’re about to tuck into homemade cinnamon rolls, especially these irresistible buns made with honey butter and cream cheese frosting, we first slink off to change into baggy sweatpants whose waistband no longer has barely any elasticity whatsoever left. We consider it proper cinnamon rolls attire. [Editor’s Note: Does that mean we’re realists and not romantics?!] Kindly note that the unbaked rolls can be assembled and rolled and stashed in the fridge the night before so all you have to do in the morning is pull the rolls from the fridge while the oven preheats. This recipe has been updated. Originally published November 11, 2011.–Renee Schettler Rossi
Cinnamon Rolls Recipe
- Quick Glance
- 45 M
- 3 H, 15 M
- Makes 20 small or 9 giant rolls
- For the dough
- 10 ounces warm milk, [about 105°F (40°C)]
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 5 to 5 1/2 cups bread flour, plus more as needed and for the work surface
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for the baking sheet
- 3 large eggs
- For the honey butter
- 1 cup honey
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
- For the cinnamon sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- For the icing
- 5 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 4 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 10 ounces confectioners sugar
- 2 ounces heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Make the dough
- 1. In the bowl of a standing mixer, stir together by hand the warm milk, yeast, and sugar. Let stand for 5 minutes. Add the flour, salt, butter, and eggs. Using the dough hook, mix until the dough is completely developed, 8 to 10 minutes. (By “completely developed” we mean that the dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl with no extra flour left at the bottom. It’s possible that you may need to add a little more flour if the dough seems sticky. The dough, when completely developed, should be tacky but not sticky.) Remove the dough hook and cover the bowl with plastic. Set the bowl in a warm place and let stand until it’s double in size.
- Make the honey butter
- 2. In a medium bowl, stir together the honey and the butter until completely combined.
- Make the cinnamon sugar
- 3. In a small bowl, stir together the sugar and cinnamon until completely combined.
- Assemble the cinnamon rolls
- 4. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface. Roll it out into a rectangle, roughly 18 inches by 24 inches and 1/2 inch thick. Liberally brush the dough with half the honey butter. Sprinkle with as much of the cinnamon sugar as you please.
- 5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and rub the parchment with butter. Beginning with the 24-inch side of the dough, roll it tightly from one side to the other, gently pulling the dough to make an even spiral. Divide the long roll into individual rolls by grabbing a serrated knife and slicing the dough roll in half crosswise. Then slice each half in half again. Slice each quarter into 5 rolls. Place each spiral roll on its side on the prepared baking sheet. Carefully take the tail end of the piece of dough from one roll and gently pull and wrap it around the rest of the spiral dough, tucking it underneath. Place the roll on the baking sheet and press down slightly on it. Repeat with the rest of the rolls, fitting them sort of snugly in little rows. (You can cover and refrigerate the rolls overnight if you wish.)
- 6. Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C). Cover the rolls with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and set it in a warm place. Let the rolls rise while the oven preheats.
- 7. Bake the cinnamon rolls, rotating the pan once, until they’re a deep golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and lightly brush the tops of the rolls with the remaining honey butter.
- Make the icing
- 8. Place the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of a standing kitchen mixer, and mix on low speed until smooth. Add the confectioners sugar, cream, and vanilla and whip until smooth.
- 9. When the cinnamon rolls are completely cool, slather them with icing. Serve the cinnamon rolls as-is or warm them in the oven at 325°F (163°C) for 2 to 3 minutes.
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