[Update 1/12/16: I made these rolls last weekend for the first time since I posted this recipe. I changed the recipe up a little bit for experimentation, and ended up liking the new recipe more. I added more butter (yikes, I know), tried traditional scalded milk instead of buttermilk, and used a different icing. The original recipe is in the body of the post, and the new recipe is on a recipe card at the bottom of the post. The new rolls are more fluffy, but if you prefer the old recipe, it’s still there, no worries! I also updated some new pictures, since my photography has gotten significantly better (but still left the old ones with instructions and whatnot). Hope you guys love! Xo.]
These are so good.
Have you ever had like, a really really really good cinnamon roll? Not like a Cinnabon one, but a really delicious, homemade cinnamon roll? It’s a special kind of experience everyone should get to have.
I’m happy to report that you may now make your own if you truly wish to experience the phenomenon of eating an out-of-this-world cinnamon roll.
I have truly done it. I have created the perfect cinnamon rolls.
They take pretty much all day to make, but they’re super easy. I promise, you can make these! Just make sure you have new yeast and everything is going to be okay. You can do anything.
Sara Lynn: motivator and cinnamon roll goddess.
Maybe that’s a little dramatic. Maybe it’s not. Maybe you should make these cinnamon rolls and let me know if you think that I’m a cinnamon roll goddess.
A disclaimer about the following pictures:
1. My nail color randomly changes from red to sparkly pink because I got my nails done while the dough was rising. I highly recommend you find something time consuming to do while you wait because cinnamon rolls take a long time to rise and a long time to make in general (but still so worth it).
2. The pictures change from good quality to bad quality because, again, they take a while to make and I ran out of daylight.
Shall we get started?
1/2 c. warm water
1 package instant yeast
1/2 c. + 1 Tbs. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. buttermilk
1/3 c. melted butter
4 1/2 c. flour
1/2 stick butter
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. white sugar
2 1/2 Tbs. cinnamon
4 oz. cream cheese
2 Tbs. butter
1 1/2-2 c. powdered sugar (depending on how sweet you like your icing!)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2-3 Tbs. milk, to thin
First, you’re going to want to mix together your warm water, yeast, and a tablespoon of sugar. Set it aside to double in size!
Mix 1/2 c. sugar, flour, and salt in a bowl.
Nice and doubled! Yay!
Mix together buttermilk, egg, and butter.
Add half of the flour mixture until it’s incorporated.
Add the yeast mixture and stir together.
It might not mix very well because it’s going to be very lumpy and thin like pancake batter.
Mix in the rest of the flour and knead a few times with your hands.
Knead until smooth and beautiful.
Set aside in a warm place covered with plastic wrap or a towel. Let rise for 1-2 hours.
*insert random photo and nail color change*
Roll until about 1/8 inch thick.
Brush with melted butter.
Mix together cinnamon, sugars, and salt for your filling.
And spread it all around!
Roll it up.
Brush it with more butter (sorry cholesterol).
Cut into rolls that are about 2 inches wide. You should have about 8 pretty ones.
And a few not so pretty ones 🙁 Oops!
Brush a parchment lined casserole dish with more butter.
Sprinkle with remaining cinnamon and sugar.
Line the cinnamon rolls in the casserole dish. Set them aside, covered, to rise for another hour or two.
Look how pretty!!! (That top left one is so sad. Poor little guy. Still delicious).
Bake at 350* F for about 14-16 minutes, or until a light golden brown.
Meanwhile, mix together the icing! Whip butter and cream cheese together until incorporated. Add sifted powdered sugar and vanilla. Thin with milk.
(Uhm, is this not just the worst picture you’ve ever seen? Did I even try? Just trust me, it’s a delicious icing).
Yay, they’re baked and beautiful!
Spread frosting over warm cinnamon rolls.
Do you see that cinnamon filling? Oh my gosh. I might go grab one of my extras from the freezer right now. They’re sooooo good.
Which reminds me, if you have too many because you made 11 cinnamon rolls and you live by yourself, just go ahead, wrap them in some plastic wrap individually and then place them in freezer bags. They’ll stay good for a few months and you can indulge in cinnamon bun goodness whenever you want!
Go make these. Right. Now.
* Notes*: 1. I use my mixer with dough hook, but these can also be made with a mixing bowl and wooden spoon! I’ve done tries both methods and either works! 2. If your dough won’t rise, try heating oven to 250* F, turning oven off, and placing covered bowl of dough in warm oven (make sure bowl is oven proof!). Leave alone for 2 hours. 3. If dough still won’t rise, your yeast is probably old. Buy new yeast and start again. 4. Rolls can be made one night, and baked in the morning! Just form the rolls and let them do their second rise in the fridge overnight (8-12 hours). In the morning, remove from fridge, and let warm up for about an hour. They will take longer to bake (upwards of about 30 or 40 minutes, so don’t worry if they don’t bake quickly! Cover with foil halfway through if they start to brown too much.)
*Song of the Day: Won’t You Come Over by Devendra Banhart
I’ve decided to start off the official twelve days of Christmas by posting a holiday recipe every day until the 25th! Cookies, candies, and other foods that are bad for you (but it’s okay because it’s the holidays). The recipes will be some old, some new, but all worthy of your holiday baking list.
First Day of Christmas: German Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
This is an old recipe, dating back to 3 years ago (didn’t really think I had a blog that long ago tbh). These cookies remain one of my favorites, and I also like how they look snowy!
Second Day of Christmas: Soft Sugar Cookies with Sour Cream Frosting
These cookies are perfect for the holidays, because the recipe makes a lot, everyone likes them, and you can decorate them with holiday sprinkles. They take a little extra time than most cookies, but it’s worth it, I promise!
Third Day of Christmas: Orange Drop Cookies
This is my grandma’s recipe that I bake entirely too much (although, I don’t really see anyone complaining about it). It’s been one of my favorite desserts since I was really little. If you’re indecisive about holiday baking, just trust me on this: make these cookies.
Fourth Day of Christmas: Cheesecake Crumb Bars
Taking a break from the cookies to present cheesecake crumb bars! A mix between cheesecake, crumb cake, and shortbread. Customize with different flavors, or go simple with a little vanilla.
Fifth Day of Christmas: The Best Nut Caramel Ever
This is one of my family’s favorite holiday recipes! The caramel is super easy to make, and it’s customizable, because you can just add in whatever nuts you have on hand (although I highly recommend walnuts and hazelnuts). Wrap them in mini Christmas cupcake liners, because it’s cute.
Sixth Day of Christmas: Pineapple Zucchini Bread
This bread is a nice break from all the super sweet that comes with cookies and candy during the holidays. Filled with zucchini, walnuts, and pineapple, it’s perfect with a little butter and some coffee for breakfast!
Seventh Day of Christmas: Cinnamon Butter Candy
Unique, spicy, and the hardest part of the recipe is boiling the water. Wrap as a gift, and give your friends a break from peppermint chocolate bark. Or just keep it for yourself (trust me, you’ll want to)!
Eighth Day of Christmas: Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
These are time consuming, but if you make these, you will pretty much win Christmas baking altogether. P.S. They’re not hard. They just have to rise for a few hours!
Ninth Day of Christmas: Cranberry White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
These cookies are really easy to make, and I love how festive they are! Sweet from white chocolate, tart from the cranberries, and chewy from the oatmeal. Santa will be happy 🙂
Tenth Day of Christmas: Butter Cookies with Walnuts
Effortless, buttery icebox cookies filled with walnuts that melt when you eat them. Keep them simple with vanilla, or add extra flavors to get more creative with your holiday baking. This recipe makes a lot of cookies, so you have plenty to wrap up and gift!
Eleventh Day of Christmas: Espresso Hot Chocolate with Vanilla Whipped Cream
This is by far my favorite hot chocolate I’ve ever had. Only 5 ingredients and perfect for Christmas brunch!
Twelfth Day of Christmas: Norwegian Lefse
My family’s Christmas tradition every year! Lefse is a cross between a tortilla and a crepe, made out of potatoes. I look forward to making lefse every year, because it’s fun and of course, it tastes amazing! If you’ve ever wanted to make Nordic food, this is the best place to start.
Merry Christmas, my friends ♥