These cinnamon rolls are the epitome of soft, sweet goodness. Lots of butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon, and don’t forget the thick cream cheese glaze that tops it all off!
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a little intimidated by homemade bread and pastry recipes. I don’t have a lot of experience with bread flour, dry active yeast, quick breads or anything like that. But there’s no other way to get experience without trying it out first right? When I found this recipe online I was hooked. The list of ingredients seemed easy enough, most of the ingredients I already had on hand and the steps seemed straight forward. Not to mention how good fresh, homemade cinnamon rolls sounded at the time, I got an instant craving.
I mean just look at that beautiful brown sugar – cinnamon swirl! When your smearing the butter over the rolled out dough and then sprinkling on the brown sugar and cinnamon… oh do the senses awaken! These yummy rolls have a delicious aroma even before their baked.
Just a quick tip, this rolls rise a lot when they bake, so give them a little wiggle room (I didn’t) when your ready to put them in the oven. A few of them got squished during the baking process in my batch but we’ll just chalk that up to the learning curve, even if some of them didn’t have a perfect shape they still tasted pretty darn good. And don’t forget, it’s nothing a little cream cheese glaze can’t cover up 😉
For the most part, I followed the recipe as is. You’ll see in the recipe below that in step 6 it says roll dough to about 34 x 21 inches in size. I didn’t roll mine out to this size, I rolled mine out to be about 14 x 20 inches in size which is probably another reason why they rose up so much when baked. I also used less butter and brown sugar for the filling since the surface area of my rolled out dough was smaller. The recipe calls for 1 cup of butter, 2 cups of brown sugar and 2 tablespoons of cinnamon. I used 1/2 cup of butter (1 stick) and used 1/2 cup of light brown sugar and 1/2 cup of dark brown sugar. If you read any of my other posts you know how much I love using a light brown / dark brown sugar combination. I kept the cinnamon the same (2 tablespoons) and I thought the flavor and finished result was amazing.
- 1/2 cup of warm water
- 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 package (3.4 ounce) instant vanilla pudding (and milk called to prepare it - usually 2 cups)
- 1/2 cup butter (unsalted and melted)
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 7 cups all purpose floor
- 1 cup of butter (unsalted and softened to room temperature)
- 2 cups brown sugar (I used half light brown and half dark brown)
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 1/2 cup of butter (unsalted, at room temperature)
- 1 to 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 3-4 tablespoons milk
- In a small bowl combine water, dry active yeast, and sugar. Stir until completely dissolved and set aside.
- In a large bowl make pudding according to package directions. Next, add butter, eggs,and salt to the pudding and mix together completely until thoroughly combined.
- Add the yeast mixture and mix everything together. Gradually add in flour, I added about 2 cups at a time, thoroughly mixing together until all the flour is added and combined well. Dough will be very soft.
- Place dough into a greased bowl. Cover and let it rise until doubled. This should take about an hour or so. I let the dough rise until doubled and then kept it in the refrigerator over night but you can continue to the next step if your making the rolls the same day.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Lightly flour a flat surface and roll dough out to about 34 x 21 inches in size. Spread 1 cup of butter over the entire surface area of the dough. In a small bowl combine brown sugar and cinnamon and mix it together. Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon mixture all over the surface of the dough as well. Roll up the dough very tightly starting with the long end of the dough. With a sharp or serrated knife cut rolls about 1 and 1/2 inch thick. Place rolls in a greased 9x13 in baking dish or a cookie sheet, leaving about 1 inch space between each roll.
- Bake for about 20-25 minutes, taking them out just as they start to turn golden brown. Its very important not to over bake them because you want them to have a super soft texture.
- To make the glaze, combine cream cheese and butter into a bowl and cream together until combined. Add in vanilla extract, powdered sugar and milk. Pour glaze over cinnamon rolls while their still warm so it slightly melts over the rolls.
- Rolls are best served warm, any leftovers should be stored in an airtight container.
- * the original recipe is posted in the recipe card but any alterations I made are reflected in the post.