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homemade cinnamon rolls in white baking dish

BEST Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

  • Author: Quin Liburd
  • Prep Time: 3hrs 15m
  • Cook Time: 30m
  • Total Time: 3hrs 45m
  • Yield: 12 rolls 1x
  • Category: Breakfast, Brunch
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

You will love these easy Homemade Cinnamon Rolls: scratch-made, tender, fluffy, and so flavorful. Then slathered with scrumptious vanilla bean cream cheese icing! These are the cinnamon rolls to make for cozy weekends inside, holiday gatherings, and everything in between. They’re so insanely good, you can’t have just one!


Ingredients

Scale

Yeast Dough:

  • 1 cup whole milk, warmed to about 110°F
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast- see notes
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted & slightly cooled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Filling:

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Icing:

  • 4 ounces (brick) cream cheese, softened to room temperature 
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste

Instructions

  1. Make the dough. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large mixing bowl (if you plan to mix by hand with wooden spoon), combine the warm milk and about half of the sugar together. Then sprinkle the yeast on top and mix well. Let the mixture sit for 10-15 minutes or until foamy.
  2. Once the mixture is foamy, add in the remaining sugar, eggs, butter, vanilla extract, flour, and salt.
  3. Secure dough hook attachment to mixer and mix on low speed until the dough begins to come together, about 1-2 minutes. Increase the speed to medium and continue kneading the dough until smooth, elastic, and supple, about 5-6 minutes. Alternatively, if you are not using a stand mixer, knead the dough by hand for 10 minutes on a lightly floured surface.
  4. Shape the dough into a ball and place it into a lightly greased large bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel. Let the dough rise/proof in a warm environment until it doubles in size, about 1 1/2 hours or longer depending on the temperature of your environment. *If using rapid rise/instant yeast, no need for this 1st proof, proceed with step below.
  5. Roll, fill, & cut rolls. After the first proof, punch down the dough knocking out the air and turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough to about 15×10 inches, now let’s prepare the filling. Spread the softened butter over the dough, leaving a slight margin around the edges. Sprinkle the brown sugar on top of the butter and use your hands to rub it in, leaving a slight margin around the edges. Lastly, evenly sprinkle the cinnamon and salt over the top and gently pat it into the mixture.
  6. Roll up the dough into a tight log starting from the longest side with the seam side down. Pinch the seam to seal in the edges as much as you can. I like to cut off a bit of the ends of the dough because they are not as full in size as the other sections. Use a large sharp knife or unscented dental floss to cut the log crosswise into 12 pieces.
  7. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with a piece of parchment paper (this helps just in case any of the filling leaks out). Add the rolls into the baking pan, leaving a bit of space between each one for expansion. Cover the pan with plastic wrap/clean kitchen towel. To make same-day rolls: Let the rolls proof in a warm environment until puffy, about 1 – 1 1/2 hours or longer depending on the temperature of your environment. Towards the end of proofing time, preheat the oven to 350°F. *Alternatively, transfer the covered pan with assembled rolls into the refrigerator to rest overnight, about 8-10 hours max (to bake cinnamon rolls in the morning). Before baking: let the rolls sit out at room temperature until puffy and proceed with step below. 
  8. Baking the rolls: Remove the plastic wrap/kitchen towel. Bake the cinnamon rolls at 350°F until lightly golden brown, about 30 minutes. While the rolls bake, prepare the icing.
  9. To make the vanilla bean cream cheese icing: In the bowl of a stand mixer or using a handheld electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Then add in the powdered sugar and continue beating until fully incorporated. Add in the vanilla bean paste and continue mixing until the icing is well combined, silky smooth, and free of any lumps. Set aside until the rolls are done baking.
  10. Ice ’em & serve. When the rolls are done, use a spreading utensil to spread the icing over the rolls, slathering every nook and cranny. These cinnamon rolls are best served right away. Enjoy! 

Notes

  1. If using instant/rapid rise yeast: simply bring the yeast dough together with all ingredients, no need to wait for activation and only 1 proof needed (as directed in step #7).
  2. For best recipe success, please read the blog post & notes in its entirety with video tutorial before beginning.

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