Sweet Swirls: Mastering the Art of Cinnamon Rolls
These fluffy delights, oozing with sweet cinnamon and topped with creamy icing, are not just a breakfast treat but a symbol of love and comfort. Gathered around the table, enjoying these warm rolls, your family shares more than a meal – they share laughter, stories, and the warmth of togetherness.
Read our tips for creating the perfect cinnamon roll below!
For the Dough:
- 1 cup warm milk (about 110°F)
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
For the Filling:
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- 2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
For the Icing:
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1-2 tablespoons milk (as needed)
Prepare the Dough
- In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in warm milk. Add sugar, melted butter, eggs, flour, and salt. Mix until well combined.
- Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for about 5 minutes, until it’s smooth and elastic.
- Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a cloth, and let it rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, or until it has doubled in size.
Make the Filling
- In a bowl, mix together brown sugar and cinnamon.
- After the dough has risen, roll it out on a floured surface into a 14×9 inch rectangle.
- Spread softened butter over the dough, then sprinkle evenly with the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
Form the Rolls
- Roll the dough tightly along the long edge.
- Cut into 12-14 even rolls and place them in a greased 9×13 inch baking pan.
- Cover with a cloth and let them rise for another 30 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Bake the cinnamon rolls for 25-30 minutes, or until they are golden brown.
Make the Icing
- While the rolls are baking, beat together cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and milk until smooth and fluffy.
- Once the rolls are out of the oven, spread the icing over them while they are still warm.
Tips for creating the perfect cinnamon roll:
- Yeast Quality: Always check the expiration date on your yeast. Fresh yeast is crucial for the dough to rise properly.
- Milk Temperature: The milk should be warm, around 110°F, to activate the yeast. Too hot and it can kill the yeast; too cold and the yeast won’t activate.
- Kneading the Dough: Knead the dough until it’s smooth and elastic. This develops the gluten, which gives the rolls their structure and texture.
- First Rise: Ensure the dough is placed in a warm, draft-free area for the first rise. This helps the dough to rise evenly and sufficiently.
- Rolling the Dough: When rolling out the dough, aim for an even thickness to ensure uniform baking and texture in the rolls.
- Butter for Filling: Soften the butter for the filling so it spreads easily on the dough without tearing it.
- Tight Rolling: Roll the dough tightly when forming the rolls. This prevents the filling from spilling out and ensures a nice swirl.
- Even Slicing: Use a sharp knife or dental floss to cut the rolls. This helps in making clean, even slices.
- Second Rise: Don’t skip the second rise after the rolls are cut and placed in the pan. This makes them fluffier.
- Oven Temperature: Preheat your oven before baking. An accurate oven temperature is key to baking the rolls evenly.
- Don’t Overbake: Keep an eye on the rolls as they bake. They should be golden brown, not too dark, to avoid drying them out.
- Icing Consistency: Adjust the milk in the icing to get the right spreading consistency. It should be thick yet spreadable.
- Serving Warm: Cinnamon rolls are best served warm. If you need to reheat them, a few seconds in the microwave can revive their gooey goodness.
- Experiment with Flavors: Feel free to add nuts, raisins, or even a dash of orange zest to the filling for a unique twist.