Sometimes I don’t know why I love baking so much because I am incredibly impatient. But, I guess when being patient means getting tasty homemade snacks, it’s totally worth it. I’m pretty sure everyone would agree that one of the best morning (or afternoon or evening) pastries is an ooey gooey homemade cinnamon roll. Now, I’m not going to lie and say that a certain brand of canned cinnamon rolls aren’t delicious, but the processed dough and chemically laden flavors aren’t really my style.
Now I’m jumping off my soapbox and back in the kitchen to show you how to make some fluffy and fresh homemade cinnamon rolls to take your Sunday brunch to the next level. Anytime you bake something homemade, it’s automatically going to be ten times better because you are putting love and time into it. It’s like when you made homemade macaroni art in preschool and your parents hung it on the fridge even though it was hideous. Now, I promise your cinnamon rolls won’t be hideous but you get the point.
One of my cardinal rules of baking (and cooking) is to get all of your ingredients out and ready before you do anything. Read your whole recipe and then portion out all the ingredients you’ll need to get ready for the day. I know this can seem annoying but when you are elbow deep in dough, you’ll thank me for that easy to reach rolling pin.
These cinnamon rolls use yeast as their leavening agent but aren’t as time consuming as making bread from scratch. Easy enough to not scare you away from the daunting task of proofing, rising and rolling but difficult enough to impress your friends and family. Once you mix all the goodies together (specifics in the recipe), you’re going to have this gorgeous little ball of yeasty, fresh dough that’s soft to the touch and ready to rise. If Yankee Candle needs inspiration for another candle, I’d like them to bottle up this scent and send it to me.
After you let this little ball rise for just a few minutes, you’re going to roll it on out to a thin continuous layer. I use a baking sheet as a guideline to set a bit of a standard. Then, you want to lather on butter, cinnamon and sugar and I really mean lather. Channel your inner Paula Deen and enjoy. Then it’s the fun part, roll it on up and slice into little pinwheels to put in your 8×8 baking pan or pie pan.
I’m not even going to lie to you. I let these beauties rise in a “warm” oven and when I pulled them out to check on them, I audibly said “oh. my. god.” because they smelled so amazing. If it wasn’t weird, I would have eaten the raw dough straight from the pan. I may have also danced around my kitchen but that’s neither here nor there.
Oh, did I not mention the best part? After spending some time baking these tasty little morsels, you get to layer on a silky vanilla glaze and toss on some more cinnamon and sugar. The only thing better than these cinnamon rolls is having a giant cup of hot coffee to enjoy with them.
- 2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 packet instant yeast
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 egg, whisked
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 1/3 cup sugar
- vanilla glaze
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons whole milk
- Gather all your ingredients and portion them out for easy access.
- Set aside 1/4 cup of flour.
- Mix 2 and 1/4 cup flour, sugar, salt and yeast together in your stand mixer and let it hang out for a minute.
- Place water, heavy cream and butter in small saucepan over low heat until butter is melted and fully incorporated. Careful not to let this mixture boil.
- Turn mixer on medium and add butter mixture, then whisked egg and the extra 1/4 cup flour.
- Mix dough until it pulls away from the side and is soft to the touch.
- Lightly flour your counter or a cutting board and knead the dough for a few minutes. Then, place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and let it rest for about 10-15 minutes.
- Once it's done resting, roll the dough out on your baking sheet and cover with softened butter and a heaping amount of cinnamon and sugar. Don't be afraid to really load up on the cinnamon and sugar, you don't want dough with a smidgen of flavor.
- Once finished, roll your dough up and cut into 12-15 pieces and place in your 8x8 or pie pan.
- Before you put the pieces in the pan, you can also spread a layer of butter and cinnamon & sugar in the bottom.
- Cover the rolls with aluminum foil or a kitchen towel and let them rise in a warm area for about 60 minutes or until they double in size.
- Once you are ready to cook them, preheat your oven to 375°F.
- Bake for 15 minutes, pull out and cover with foil to avoid too much browning. No one like a crunchy cinnamon roll.
- Bake for another 5-10 minutes.
- Pull out of oven, let cool for a few minutes and then lather on vanilla glaze.
- Sift powdered sugar into bowl of your stand mixer. (This assures you that your glaze will be smooth and not have weird chunks of powdered sugar in it.)
- Stir in heavy cream and vanilla until mix is fairly thick.
- Add milk one tablespoon at a time, mixing until smooth and creamy.
- Toss on semi-cooled cinnamon rolls and try not to each just one.. or two.