Cinnabon-inspired Cinnamon Rolls

16 Feb

On a cold, dreary day like this, there’s nothing more I want than to curl up with a good book, a cup of hot chocolate, and a cinnamon roll.

Cinnamon Roll Recipe adapted from Tartelette

Makes 12 rolls

For the dough:
1 pkg. active dry yeast (1/4 oz. size or 2 1/4 tsp.)
1 cup warm milk (105º to 110º F.)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
4 cups all-purpose flour

For the filling:
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup unsalted butter at room temperature

For the icing:
1/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1/4 cup (2 oz.) cream cheese at room temperature
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon whole milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Prepare the dough:
Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk in a large bowl.
Mix together the sugar, butter, salt & eggs. Add flour and milk and mix well
Knead the dough into a large ball, using your hands lightly dusted with flour. Put in a bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place about an hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough flat until it is approximately 21 inches long and 16 inches wide. It should be about ¼ inch thick.
Preheat oven to 400º F and position a rack in the middle.

Prepare the filling:
combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Spread the softened butter evenly over the surface of the dough, and then sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar evenly over the surface.

Form the rolls:
Working carefully from the top (a 21 inch side), roll the dough down to the bottom edge.
Cut the rolled dough into 1 ¾ inch slices and place 6 at a time, evenly spaced, in a lightly greased baking pan. Let the rolls rise again until doubled in size (about 30 min.). Bake for 10 minutes, or until golden on top.

Prepare the icing:
While the rolls bake, mix the butter and cream cheese in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high speed. Add the powdered sugar and mix on low speed until the sugar is incorporated, then add the milk and flavorings. Mix on high speed again until the icing is smooth and fluffy.
When the rolls come out of the oven, let them cool for about 10 minutes, then coat generously with the icing.


  • To create a more homogeneous mixture of the brown sugar and cinnamon filling I threw it in the food processor for a few pulses.
  • On cold days, it’s rather difficult to find a warm place for the yeast to rise. I ended up turning on the heater in the living room and placing the dough nearby.
  • My coworker, also an avid baker, gave me a great tip for cutting the rolled dough. Floss! Simply use a piece of floss, preferably unused, place it beneath the rolled dough and cross the ends above the roll and pull. Essentially, you’re just tying a knot to make a clean cut. Using a knife will just squash the dough.
  • If I could go back in time, I’d put the icing on the cinnamon rolls while they’re still warm. By doing so, it’d help melt the icing to get in between the layers and create more of an ooey-gooey sticky cinnamon rolls result. Microwaving it for ten to twenty seconds does the trick too.

Stay warm!


3 Responses to “Cinnabon-inspired Cinnamon Rolls”

  1. Michael C February 16, 2011 at 9:24 am #

    oh oh oh!! I love cinnamon rolls!! <3 yummy!

  2. stew February 17, 2011 at 9:49 pm #

    those look so good damn

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