A soft, warm, fragrant cinnamon roll…mmmm.

Finding a recipe for the perfect cinnamon roll is an ongoing quest. I’ve collected some very good recipes, but I am always on the lookout for one that I can offer a “forever home” to. When I posted my recipe for maple bars (and if you didn’t read it, I don’t want to know; it would break my heart. All that work for nothing…sniff) the thought that kept running through my head was “this would be perfect for cinnamon roll dough.”

Testing this theory was tricky, and required a lot of sneaky maneuvering, because – at the risk of being accused of doing my “dirty laundry” in a social networking site” – I must let you know that I’m currently on strike. My husband SOMEone has been grumpy about the messes I’m making in the kitchen.

For some reason I decided to go on a baking strike in protest. I have no idea why I didn’t pick housecleaning (or sex) instead of the one thing I’m passionate about, but now I have to be stubborn and win this battle. SOMEone is slowly working through my freezer packed with frozen goodies. When that mother lode is gone, he will surely have to accept defeat. In the meantime, this is hurting me more than it’s hurting him!

Luckily, it’s hunting season. That means that yesterday I had time to whip up a batch of cinnamon rolls, test them thoroughly, take photos, freeze them in foil (if he can’t see them, he won’t mess with them) and air the house out. I even roasted some coffee to cover any possible residual cinnamony fragrance. Cheating? Well, yes…but I did it for you! Sneaky? Uh huh. Thankfully, he doesn’t read my blogs. You won’t squeal, right?

The rolls were delicious – everything I could hope for. They were light and airy, not too sweet (so there is a little contrast between the dough and the sugar cinnamon filling) and the recipe made about two dozen rolls…just the right amount to fill my big cake pan.

One batch fills a 12″x18″ pan perfectly!

This recipe is a keeper!

Author: The Rowdy Baker
Serves: 24
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (2% or whole milk is best. I added a little half & half to my 2%)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • …………
  • Filling:
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • raisins (optional)
  • …………
  • Icing:
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons softened butter
  • 3-4 tablespoons Milk
  1. In a small pan on medium-high heat, scald the milk. To do this, let the milk heat until there are bubbles all the way around the outer edge, but catch it before it boils. Remove from heat.
  2. Add 1/3 cup sugar, shortening, salt, and cinnamon. Allow the mixture to cool down until it’s lukewarm.
  3. In a large bowl (I use my stand mixer) combine the warm water, yeast, and ½ teaspoon sugar. Let it sit until bubbly – about 5 minutes.
  4. Mix the lukewarm milk mixture into the yeast mixture. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well.
  5. Slowly add the flour, mixing until combined. Knead well–5 minutes with stand mixer using the dough hook, or 7-8 minutes by hand on a lightly floured surface. If you are letting your mixer do the kneading and the dough isn’t coming cleanly away from the sides of the bowl, add a little more flour.
  6. Set the dough to rise in a large oiled bowl, turning once to coat the dough with oil. Allow to rise until double–about an hour. Punch down.
  7. Grease a large cake pan (12″x18″) or three round cake pans (9″) and set aside.
  8. In a small bowl, mix together the filling ingredients: sugar, cinnamon, flour, and salt. Set aside.
  9. Working with half the dough at a time, on a very lightly floured surface, roll dough into a rectangle approximately 12 inches by 18 inches, with a long side facing you.
  10. Pour half of the melted butter on the dough. Sprinkle half of the cinnamon sugar mixture over the butter, and add raisins if you wish.
  11. Beginning with the long side closest to you, roll the dough up, gently pulling the dough towards you as you roll so that it remains snug. Pinch the seam to seal.
  12. Slice into twelve slices. Place into prepared pan(s), with approximately an inch between each roll. Don’t worry…if you have to put them closer together they’ll just be taller. Work with whatever pans you have.
  13. Repeat with the other half of the dough.
  14. Cover with a towel and allow to rise until double – about an hour. The rolls should be touching each other.
  15. Heat oven to 400 F.
  16. Bake cinnamon rolls for approximately 15-18 minutes. They should be medium brown on top.
  17. Place pan on cooling rack. When they are no longer hot (but still nice and warm) remove the rolls to a serving dish. This will keep them from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  18. Make icing by beating together the powdered sugar, vanilla, softened butter, and 3 tablespoons of milk. Add more milk as needed, depending on whether you want an icing (less milk) or a glaze (more milk).
  19. Drizzle (or spread) icing onto warm cinnamon rolls.

Let it rise.

Punch it down.

Pour on the butter.

Add filling and roll!

Bake them!

Just wait until you smell these baking! They freeze really well, too. I know, because I have a bunch of them hiding in my chest freezer beneath the grated zucchini! Shhhhh.