Cinnamon Rolls

I have quite the sweet tooth and although dark chocolate normally does the trick, I’ve been craving another type of sweet.  You know the kind that will manifest itself at your dentist visit?  The one that’s so decadently evil that you hide when devouring?  The one that elicits alien-like guttural sounds of pleasure?   Yup, that’s the one…and that is what these Cinnamon Rolls will do to you.  So good but sooooo bad…I keep saying that I’m going give some away but it just hasn’t happened yet!

One of the other reasons I wanted to make these is that I’ve been reminiscing about Atlanta and missing a certain store in the Cumberland Mall food court.  Cinnabon…sigh! Hearing that name alone gets my saliva glands in a tizzy.  My friend, Fe, and I would burn calories marathon shopping only to order a Caramel Pecanbon at the end of our trip.  And then, we’d tell each other that we hadn’t really been bad because we ordered one and split it!  Not that it mattered because one of those babies  sets you back a thousand calories but who’s counting?  Sometimes we just shouldn’t know how many calories are in our favorite foods!  As a warning, I don’t know how many calories are in the cinnamon rolls in this recipe so if you are the calorie-counting type, keep it moving.  For the rest of you, as with everything in life, MODERATION is the key.  Trust me when I say IT WILL BE HARD TO MODERATE these sinfully delicious rolls but the sugar high you get is so worth it. That plus the adulation you will no doubt receive from your family and friends is doubly worth it.  This is the type of food item that I call “bribe food” because if you want to get your way with someone, they’ll be hard-pressed to say no to you after eating these!

So, let’s get to the recipe shall we…

After your milk, sugar and oil mixture come to the point just before boiling, turn off and leave for about an hour then add your yeast, wait about a couple minutes and add your 8 cups of flour and mix together. Cover and let sit for about an hour or so.

See how the dough has risen after an hour?  Add 1 cup of flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and mix together to form a dough.

Makes a lot of dough huh.  Divide your dough in half so that it is manageable to work with. I only prepared half of the dough and refrigerated the other half for use another day.

Roll out your dough to a rectangular shape…I’m going to have to work on my shapes but you get the drift.  I probably should have rolled it out a little thinner as well.  If your dough tears, like mine did in the middle, just pinch it together and pass your rolling pin over and it will be fixed!

Pour your melted butter, sprinkle your sugar and cinnamon – these are all subjective quantities.  Use as much or as little as you want of each ingredient. I mixed my cinnamon with the brown sugar before sprinkling. No particular reason.

Roll the dough toward you and keep the dough roll tight.  I had a problem doing that but I attribute that to not rolling out my dough thin enough.  When you get to the end pull the dough from the bottom and up toward the middle of the roll and pinch the ends to seal.

Using a sharp serrated knife, cut your dough into 3/4 to 1 inch thick and lay on buttered dish/foil pans.  My rolls look bigger than they should because I used a sawing motion to cut the rolls – which is wrong because it causes you to inadvertently bear down on the dough, squashing it to a loaf shape instead of roll shape.  Learn from my mistakes.  The best way to cut the rolls is with one swift motion downward or to use a piece of dental floss. Slide the dental floss under the roll, lift up and criss-cross the ends then pull outward.

Let the rolls rise for about 30 minutes and then pop into a 400F oven for about 15-18 minutes.  As most ovens vary in calibration, yours may not bake exactly as the recipe.  Mine baked for 21 minutes.

While rolls are baking, make your frosting. I didn’t use all the powdered sugar called for in the recipe so my frosting is thinner in consistency than the original recipe.  I haven’t seen maple flavoring in Nairobi, so I sub’d it with vanilla extract and I also used espresso instead of regular coffee because I love the coffee taste it imparts.

Pour your frosting over the rolls when you pull them out of the oven.  I had also toasted some walnuts (after realizing that I didn’t have any Pecans in the pantry) and added them to one of my pans along with the frosting.

How yummy does that look?  The Mr loves the rolls but he asked me to leave a pan unfrosted for him the next time I make these.  Unfrosted? Ok, where’s the fun in that?  I’ve tried to convert him for years but he doesn’t have a sweet tooth.  He also has a HIGH metabolism (which I would kill for) so I often force him to share desserts with me so that I feel better about consuming a gazillion calories.  He does it because a) I cook his meals and b) you don’t wanna mess with the person who cooks your meals. Such a good sport…

Go ahead and make these then give yourself permission to lick your fingers with reckless abandon!

A couple of notes:

  • Milk Quantity Conversion: 1qt (US)=4 Cups=946ml=2 pints
  • Yeast Conversion: 2 packages Active Dry Yeast, 0.25 Ounce Packets(US). One package =2 1/4 teaspoons
  • Sugar: The recipe called for regular sugar. I used regular sugar in the milk mixture but substituted brown in the rolled dough and I also used less by 1 cup.
  • Powdered Sugar: Original recipe calls for 1 bag powdered sugar (US)=2 boxes (US). Each box is a pound = 4 Cups
  • Frosting Flavoring: Original recipe called for Maple Flavoring. You can sub vanilla extract but only use 1 tsp as it can be overpowering; I used espresso instead of regular coffee because I wanted to punch up the flavor of coffee.  The taste doesn’t vary that greatly however.

Recipe for:  Cinnamon Rolls (Courtesy of  The Pioneer Woman

Servings: 6-7 foil pans

Ingredients Directions
  • 1 qt Whole Milk
  • 1 Cup Veg Oil
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 2 packages Active Dry Yeast (1/4oz packs)
  • 8 Cups AP Flour, plus 1 Cup extra, separated
  • 1 Tsp Baking Powder, heaping
  • 1 Tsp Baking Soda, scant
  • 1 Tbsp Salt, heaping
  • 1/2 Cup Butter, melted
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar
  • Cinnamon, generous sprinkling
MAPLE FROSTING:
  • 1 500g/bag powdered Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 Cup Milk
  • 1/4 Cup Melted Butter
  • 1/4 Cup Espresso
  • 1/8 Tsp Salt
  1. Mix the milk, vegetable oil and sugar in a pan. Scald the mixture (heat until just before the boiling point). Turn off heat and leave to cool 45 minutes to 1 hour. When the mixture is lukewarm to warm, but NOT hot, sprinkle in both packages of Active Dry Yeast. Let this sit for a minute. Then add 8 cups of all-purpose flour. Stir mixture together. Cover and let rise for at least an hour.
  2. After rising for at least an hour, add 1 more cup of flour, the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir mixture together. (At this point, you could cover the dough and put it in the fridge until you need it – overnight or even a day or two, if necessary. Just keep your eye on it and if it starts to overflow out of the pan, just punch it down).
  3. When ready to prepare rolls: Sprinkle rolling surface generously with flour. Take half the dough and form a rough rectangle. Then roll the dough thin, maintaining a general rectangular shape. Drizzle 1/2 cup melted butter over the dough. Now sprinkle 1 cup of sugar over the butter followed by a generous sprinkling of cinnamon.
  4. Starting at the opposite end, begin rolling the dough in a neat line toward you. Keep the roll relatively tight as you go. Next, pinch the seam of the roll to seal it.
  5. Spread 1 tablespoon of melted butter in a seven inch round foil cake or pie pan. Then begin cutting the rolls approximately ¾ to 1 inch thick and laying them in the buttered pans.
  6. Repeat this process with the other half of the dough. Let the rolls rise for 20 to 30 minutes, then bake at 400 degrees until light golden brown, about 15 to 18 minutes.
  7. For the frosting, mix together all ingredients listed and stir well until smooth. It should be thick but pourable. Taste and adjust as needed. Generously drizzle over the warm rolls.
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2 Comments Add yours

  1. mercy says:

    my cinnamon rolls backfired on me…Everything worked perfectly but they tasted of yeast.I think i had my yeast measurements all wrong.I added 2 packs of 125 grams each after googling to see if my measurements were right….You had 2 packs of 4oz each…I think i put too much…any tips?????I still ate a full one…yuck..lol

    1. caughteating says:

      Mercy, sorry for the bad yeasty taste! Yes you put WAY to much -the measurements are definitely wrong. Let me explain: the packets are 0.25oz/quarter packets (not two 4-oz packs as you stated). I knew the oz, gr, teaspoons would be an issue depending on whether one is using metric or imperial (US) and that is why I put all three measurements on the notes section. So per the recipe, we needed 2 packets (quarter ounce weight each). One packet = 2+1/4 teaspoons, or 7grams. Two packets = 4+1/2 teaspoons or 14 grams, which is what we needed for this recipe. Do give it another go!

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