Oh so Easy Jumbo Cinnamon Rolls, made from scratch and topped with cream cheese frosting! YUMMMMM!!
YAY!!!! It’s the weekend! I’ve had a crazy-busy week of food styling and I have been looking forward to spending some at home time baking. You might think that after cooking all week on photo shoots, that I would be ready for a break from the kitchen. It may seem crazy, but spending time baking on the weekend is very relaxing to me. And all week long I have been thinking about cinnamon rolls. You know the kind I am talking about. Those giant cinnamon-filled pillows you see at the shops in the mall, that are drenched in creamy icing. This recipe is JUST like those! And we are going to make them at home, because nothing smells better or warms my heart more than the smell of fresh-baked cinnamon rolls! SO… let’s get started!
How do you feel about making yeast dough? I know it scares a lot of people. But I am here to tell you that it’s much easier than it used to be. There’s a lot to talk about in order to cover all the ins and outs of yeast dough, so this post is going to be a little longer than most. If you want to get the 411 on successful yeast baking, grab a cup of coffee and read on. If you just want to get started, skip down to the recipe and just follow the instructions carefully.
First, lets chat about yeast. There are different types of yeast available now, compared to what your grandma may have used, and these new products are more reliable. I will give you a quick rundown on the different options, so you know how to use each kind:
Active Dry Yeast (ADY): This variety is the type your mom probably used and is readily available. You will find it in the baking aisle at your grocery store in single use packets. It is dormant, so you will need to “proof” it in some warm water with a bit of sugar until it begins to foam. Once it is proofed, then you add it to the rest of the ingredients.
Instant Yeast: This type of yeast can be called a number of different names, such as “rapid rise”, “quick rise”, or “fast acting”. It is similar to ADY, but the granules are more porous, so you don’t need to proof it in liquid before using. You simply stir it into the flour and then the moisture from the dough will activate it. This type is my favorite, as it is very reliable and seems to give the best results.
Fresh Yeast: Like the name sounds, fresh yeast is fresh. It comes in little squares that you crumble into your ingredients or add to warm water. You will find fresh yeast in the refrigerator section of your grocery store. One of the 0.6 squares is equal to a packet of dry yeast.
For this recipe, I used instant yeast, so that means you just stir the yeast into the flour and other dry ingredients, so no proofing required! Easy Peasy! The dough is made with the traditional ingredients: flour, sugar, yeast, salt, butter, milk and eggs. I made the dough extra rich by adding a little extra butter and an extra egg. This means your cinnamon rolls are going to just MELT in your mouth! The steps are pretty simple. You heat the butter and milk together until the butter melts and the mixture is very warm to the touch (about 120-130 degrees F). You should use a thermometer and measure the temperature for best results. This warm milk mixture gets added to the dry ingredients, along with the eggs. The dough will start out sticky and then will begin to pull away from the sides of the bowl. At this point, it’s ready for kneading!
You can knead your bread the old fashioned way, like grandma did, on a lightly floured counter top. Everyone should knead dough by hand at least one time, so you get the sense of how the dough should feel. In a nutshell, you place the ball of dough on a lightly floured surface. Fold the dough in half towards you, then use the heel of your hand to push the dough down and away from you. Give the dough a quarter turn and repeat the folding and pushing process, adding a little flour every few turns until the dough is smooth and elastic. Be careful not to add too much additional flour or your rolls will be dry.
If you aren’t into kneading by hand, you can use a heavy duty stand mixer with a dough hook attachment. Let the mixer run for 3-4 minutes.
Once the dough is ready, lightly spray a large bowl with cooking spray or coat the inside with butter or oil. Place your ball of dough in the bowl, then roll the dough ball over, so the part that was on the bottom, is now on top. Why am I doing this, you ask? It’s so the dough has a nice coating of oil on top, which means it will not dry out while it’s rising. Now, just cover the bowl lightly with a towel and set it on the counter to rise.
Depending on how warm your kitchen is will determine how fast your dough will rise. After about an hour, check to see if the dough has doubled. Uncover the dough and push two of your fingers about a half-inch into the dough. If your finger imprint remains, your dough is ready to go!. If not….cover it back up and check again in 20 minutes or so.
Once the dough has doubled, you are going to shape the rolls, following the instructions in the recipe. These Easy Jumbo Cinnamon Rolls have brown sugar in the filling, which gives them a richer flavor than most recipes. Once you shape the rolls, you put them in your baking dish and you are almost done! You let them rise for about 30 minutes. See? That wasn’t so hard was it?
Now into the oven they go! Oh, your kitchen is going to smell SO good! While they are baking, mix up the smooth and creamy cream cheese frosting. Let the rolls stand for a few minutes when the come out of the oven before you frost them. This will ensure that you don’t smoosh these fluffy beauties. Slather on the icing and watch as it melts into them a bit. Ohhhh, these are going to be so gooey and good! They taste JUST as good as the cinnamon rolls at your local mall and you didn’t have to drive anywhere to get them! Happy Baking!
Yields 9 rolls
2 hr, 30 Prep Time
20 minCook Time
2 hr, 50 Total Time
- 4 cups flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 packet instant dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons cinnamon
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 6 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, yeast and salt; stir together; set aside.
- In microwave-safe container, heat milk and butter together on HIGH for 1-2 minutes, until butter is melted and temperature reads between 120-130 degrees F.
- Add milk mixture to flour mixture. Add eggs. Stir together until dough begins to pull away from sides of bowl.
- Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for 4-5 minutes, until smooth and elastic, adding up to an additional 1/4 cup flour if needed.
- Spray a medium bowl with cooking spray. Place dough in bowl; turn dough upside down in bowl so oiled side is up. Cover bowl lightly with a towel and let stand 60-90 minutes, until dough has doubled in size.
- While dough is rising, in small bowl, mix together brown sugar and cinnamon; set aside.
- To test if dough has doubled, push two fingers into dough and see if impression remains. Once dough has doubled, make a fist with your hand and punch into center of dough to deflate.
- Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface . Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll dough into a 12x16-inch rectangle.
- Using a pastry brush, spread 1/3 cup melted butter over dough, leaving a 1-inch border bare along one of the long sides. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture evenly over butter.
- Starting on the long side with brown sugar, roll dough tightly into a log.
- Using a serrated knife, cut dough into 1 1/2-inch thick slices.
- Place rolls in 3 rows of three in a lightly greased 13x9-inch baking pan.
- Cover lightly with a towel and let rise for 30 minutes, until almost doubled in size.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake rolls at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.
- While the rolls are baking, make Icing. In medium bowl, beat together cream cheese and butter. Add powdered sugar and vanilla; mix until smooth and creamy.
- Remove rolls from oven nd let stand 3 minutes. Spread icing evenly over hot rolls. Serve warm.