Homemade Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting


I can't tell you how excited I am to tell you about these cinnamon rolls. They've got me so jazzed.

Although that might be the sugar rush from eating one of them...

Nope, I'm going with excited.

Every time I'm thinking out loud of what to make next Brandon always says, "Well, you could make your world famous cinnamon rolls that I've never tried." Subtle, that one.

Since I had a bit of extra time this weekend I decided to do him a solid and make the cinnamon rolls. Plus, it's dropped to below 95 degrees (most of the time) in Texas so I'm charging forward in full fall mode.

I went to grab the recipe and couldn't find it anywhere, so I started to look for a new one. The last time I made cinnamon rolls, they ended up dry. The time before that, they weren't done in the middle. I'm not looking so "world famous" at this point, and I was starting to get a little worried.

Well thank goodness I lost my original recipe because this new one is so. good. I don't have a rooftop to shout about them on (I could do it on my balcony, but my neighbors might get a little weirded out), so this is my metaphoric rooftop.

Whenever I think about making cinnamon rolls, I always remember how long it takes to make them. I wasn't so sure I wanted to use my precious Saturday afternoon lazy time to spend hours in the kitchen. Luckily, everything came together pretty quickly. You do have to let the dough rest for about 1 hour 45 min total, but honestly that makes them the perfect lazy afternoon task.

This recipe calls for fast-acting instant yeast, so that does speed things up a bit. I always buy the Fleishmann's brand yeast, and buying them in the individual packets is so handy. If you have a jar of yeast already on hand, feel free to use that. Anything works as long as it's fast-acting instant yeast.

When mixing together the warm milk, yeast, sugar, salt, butter and eggs, I found it best to do so by hand. I started off with my whisk attachment on my mixer, but ended up having to mix it by hand because it was too soupy for the whisk to even break the yolk or do damage on the butter. I mixed mine until most of the butter was incorporated, but didn't worry about getting it completely smooth.

Once you add in the flour, the dough comes to life. Now, I have a weird obsession with sweet bread dough. It's just so fun to knead. Honestly, the fact that the dough hook does all the work here (though decidedly faster), kinda bummed me out. If you don't have a stand mixer with a dough hook, mix in as much flour as you can with a spoon and then knead the rest out on a floured surface. You won't regret it.

The dough will be slightly tacky to the touch when it's ready and will pull away from the edge of the mixer. I know it's good if I can hold it in my hand and it's soft and pliable. Dry dough is not welcome here. When the dough is ready, place it in a slightly greased bowl and cover with a towel to rest for about 1 hour. Since the dough rests for an hour, feel free to clean up the kitchen....or catch up on some old Real Housewives of New York episodes like I did.

When the dough has doubled in size, it's ready. Give it a solid punch down and roll out on your chosen surface. The original recipe calls for a greased baking pan, but I chose to roll mine out on parchment paper. If I did this again I would slightly wet the counter so the paper sticks better because it was sliding around a lot.

Enter: a small mistake, or what we'll call here, a "misguided judgement."

I had read recipes in the past where butter was directly mixed in with the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture instead of sprinkling the mixture on top of the butter. Supposedly turning it into a "cinnamon butter" type texture. So I took my melted butter and I poured it into the cinnamon/sugar mixture...and it was clearly too much butter. A bit too runny. It kind of oozed out the sides and onto the parchement paper as I rolled up the dough.

But is it really that big of a mistake if it tastes amazing in the end? Exactly.

Slice the dough into 12 equal parts (about 1-2 inch per slice) using a serrated knife, or whatever you normally slice dough with. Arrange them in the pan, cover with a towel and let them rise for another 30-45 minutes.

Pop these babies in the oven, and whip up the frosting!

I don't have enough words to describe this frosting. I typically don't like cream cheese frosting because it always has a fake taste to me. But I was tired of the normal powdered sugar, milk and vanilla icing approach, so I decided to try out the cream cheese.

Holy moly. It's so incredible. It's been at least an hour since I've had some and I'm STILL dying over it. It's definitely not low-cal, but it's definitely worth it for a little treat.

The cinnamon rolls are done when they are lightly browned on top. Spread the icing on them while they're still warm, and try not to drool. Shower every single person you meet with one of these rolls, or pop them in the fridge for another time. It's win win.

print recipe

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting
These melt in your mouth cinnamon rolls are the ultimate crowd pleaser. For breakfast, snack, or dessert they are sure to win over the hearts of many. I'm pretty sure they could solve a world war if needed.

  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 1 tablespoon (or 1 packet) instant dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons white granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup salted butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup salted butter, softened
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons milk
1. In the bowl of the stand mixer, combine warm milk, yeast, sugar, salt, butter, and eggs with fork. Add in flour. Using a dough hook, turn the mixer on to a low speed.2. Once the flour starts to incorporate into the dough, increase the speed to a medium range. Add more flour as necessary so that the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. The dough mixture should be tacky, but not stick to your hands. It should be soft.3. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased mixing bowl. Cover with a towel and let rise until double in size, about 1 hour.4. Prepare your desired surface for rolling dough. Punch down the dough, and roll into a 12x18 inch rectangle.5. Spread softened butter over the entire rectangle. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Sprinkle on top of the spread butter. Lightly press the mixture into the butter. Roll up tightly lengthwise so you have one long roll. Use plain dental floss or a serrated knife to cut the dough into 12 equal parts.6. Place the slices onto a lightly greased 9x13 inch pan. Cover and let rise 30-45 minutes.7. Preheat over to 325 degrees. Bake the rolls for 14-17 minutes, until very lightly browned on top.8. While the rolls are baking, make the cream cheese frosting by whipping the cream cheese and butter in a bowl until fluffy. Whip in powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Add milk until desired consistency is achieved. 9. Frost rolls while still warm. Serve immediately or cool and store.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 12 rolls

Recipe adapted from The Stay at Home Chef.

Let me know if you try out this recipe! I would love to know if you love it as much as I do.

No comments