Cinnamon Rolls
Cinnamon Rolls
5 from 2 votes
Warm, sweet, and comforting, these cinnamon rolls are a classic favourite. The perfect indulgent treat for dessert or breakfast. Paired with a creamy, and melt-in-the-mouth icing, these cinnamon rolls are absolutely delicious.
Cinnamon Rolls

Have you ever been whisked away by the enchanting aroma of Cinnamon Rolls wafting from a bakery or your kitchen? I can almost guarantee that your answer is a resounding “yes!” because, let’s face it, the magnetic pull of this humble yet exquisite pastry is undeniable.

Today, I invite you to join me on a delectable journey through the art and joy of making homemade Cinnamon Rolls.

Picture this: It’s a sunny weekend morning, you have some extra time, and you’re yearning to create something that warms the soul and tempts the palate. Enter our main character, the classic Cinnamon Roll.

This delightful treat doesn’t require any outlandish ingredients or complex techniques, making it an accessible yet rewarding baking endeavour. But don’t let the simplicity of its composition fool you; it is the orchestration of these straightforward ingredients that births an undeniably sensational culinary experience.

The roots of Cinnamon Rolls trace back to Sweden where they are lovingly referred to as “kanelbulle.” The Swedes are so fond of these pastries, they’ve dedicated October 4th to celebrating National Cinnamon Roll Day.

Despite their Swedish origin, Cinnamon Rolls have found a home in numerous cultures, each leaving their unique signature on the recipe. The Americans, for example, lavish theirs with a generous frosting, whilst the Finns enjoy theirs with a dash of cardamom.

Now, to address the elephant in the room: “Are Cinnamon Rolls difficult to make?” Well, if I were to place it on the scale of culinary challenges, I’d rank it a comfortable 4 out of 10. Yes, there are a few steps involved, but each is as straightforward as the next, and none require a Michelin star to execute successfully.

We’ll begin with creating the dough – a medley of bread flour, caster sugar, salt, instant yeast, milk, butter, and eggs.

Don’t be intimidated by the bread-making process; there’s something profoundly therapeutic about the act of kneading, watching the dough rise, and shaping it to your will. This is where you truly engage with your ingredients, becoming a part of the food you’re creating.

Next, we’ll delve into the heart of these rolls – the filling. This is where our star ingredient, cinnamon, shines, partnered with butter and brown sugar. This triumvirate creates a filling that is sweet, spicy, and wonderfully gooey, all at once.

Finally, we’ll roll, slice, and bake our creation to golden-brown perfection, all while our kitchens fill with an aroma so delectable, it feels like a warm hug. As a cherry on top, a simple icing glaze is drizzled over the warm rolls, rendering them absolutely irresistible.

To the uninitiated, the act of baking can seem daunting. But in the process of making these Cinnamon Rolls, you’ll find not just a recipe, but an opportunity to create something truly special with your own hands.

So, put on your apron, roll up your sleeves, and let’s fill our homes with the soul-warming scent of homemade Cinnamon Rolls.

Cinnamon rolls, a popular pastry known for its sweet cinnamon flavour and soft texture, are similar to Kanelbulle and Kanelsnegl, two traditional Scandinavian pastries that also feature a delicious cinnamon filling.

Originally, cinnamon rolls are from Sweden. However, as the recipe became popular each country developed its own versions. My recipe follows the typical style of an American cinnamon roll.  

The combination of sweet cinnamon and warm dough in these cinnamon rolls is simply irresistible. A Swedish dessert that is perfect for breakfast or dessert.  

I absolutely adore cinnamon rolls. Unlike other sweet dishes, I find that they don’t overpower you with sweetness. Although I suppose that depends on how much you lather them in icing.  

The first step in making the perfect rolls is to perfect the dough. It is relatively simple, but I have a few tips to help you make the best and fluffiest cinnamon rolls.  

You have to make sure that all the ingredients are at room temperature. This will ensure that everything mixes together properly and that the dough rises evenly. 

Yeast is a very important ingredient in cinnamon rolls as it helps the dough rise. If you’re like me and just keep yeast in the cupboard and just forget about it, you need to make sure that the yeast is still active.  

Do this by testing it in warm water with a little sugar before adding it to your dough. If the mixture does not bubble or foam after a few minutes, the yeast may be old and you need to buy a fresh batch. 

For the milk, you need to make sure it’s not too hot or too cold. Too hot and it will kill the yeast. Too cold and the yeast will not activate.  

After you’ve made the dough, you need to let it be proof. Do this in a warm place, free from any incoming drafts. I like to put it on my living room table because that always gets a lot of sun! 

You need to make sure that you let the cinnamon roll dough rise twice, first after mixing and then after shaping. Both of these steps cannot be mixed and are crucial to making light and airy cinnamon rolls.  

Proofing the dough allows it to rise and develop its texture and flavour. The yeast in the dough feeds on the sugar and releases carbon dioxide gas during proving, causing the dough to expand and rise.   

This technique relaxes and develops the gluten in the dough, resulting in a soft and fluffy texture. The rolls may be dense and sticky if you don’t proof the dough long enough.  

When the dough has completely risen, try your best to roll it out as evenly as possible. This will ensure that your cinnamon rolls bake evenly, with no burnt edges or uncooked centres.  

One thing I have concluded from making so many cinnamon rolls, you should always use softened butter. It is so much simpler to spread and you’ll be able to spread it evenly. If it’s too cold, you’ll have a tough time spreading it.    

Now, I usually use a serrated knife to cut my rolls, but I have found that dental floss works so much butter. You get much cleaner and evener slices.   

If you’re using dental floss, all you need to do is simply slide the floss under the dough, cross the ends over the top, and pull tight to slice through the dough.   

This will help prevent the rolls from getting squished as they are being cut. All that’s left now is to bake! 

Once they’re fresh out of the oven, you won’t be able to resist having them all. Warm, fluffy, and ever so gooey, these cinnamon rolls are the perfect treat for any occasion. 

What Ingredients to Use & Why

There’s a unique satisfaction that comes from creating a warm, homemade batch of cinnamon rolls. Every ingredient plays a crucial role in crafting these heavenly pastries that smell just as good as they taste.

You’re forming a symphony of flavours that will dance on the palate and satiate the soul. Now, let’s explore the role each of these ingredients plays in the recipe.

Bread Flour: Flour is the backbone of any pastry, providing structure to the dough. In this case, bread flour is used for its high protein content, which will give our cinnamon rolls a soft yet slightly chewy texture.

If you don’t have bread flour, all-purpose flour can be an acceptable substitute, but the texture might be less chewy.

Caster Sugar: Used in the dough, caster sugar provides the right touch of sweetness without being overpowering. It also helps feed the yeast, promoting a good rise. If caster sugar isn’t readily available, granulated sugar can be used; however, it may alter the texture slightly due to its coarser grind.

Salt: Salt enhances the flavours and helps control the yeast’s fermentation rate, preventing the dough from rising too quickly. No practical alternatives here, as salt is pretty unique in its function.

Instant Yeast: This is the magical ingredient that causes our dough to rise and become fluffy. It can be replaced with active dry yeast, although the dough may need a longer rise time.

Milk: The addition of milk in the dough brings richness and creaminess, making our cinnamon rolls tender and delicious. A dairy-free milk alternative can be used if you’re catering to dietary restrictions.

Butter: Unsalted butter is used in the dough and filling, adding richness and a melt-in-your-mouth quality to the rolls. Margarine could be used as a substitute, but it may affect the overall taste and texture.

Eggs: Eggs add structure, colour, and flavour to our dough. If you need an alternative due to allergies or dietary preferences, you might try a flaxseed or chia seed “egg.”

Brown Sugar & Cinnamon: The star duo of the filling. Brown sugar provides a molasses-like sweetness while cinnamon gives that warm, spiced flavour we all know and love. In a pinch, white sugar could replace brown, and cardamom or nutmeg might step in for cinnamon, but the flavour profile will change.

Icing Sugar & Milk for Glaze: This creates a sweet, creamy glaze that complements the warm, spiced flavours of the roll. You can also consider cream cheese frosting as a delicious alternative.

In essence, each of these ingredients has its role to play, working together to create a sweet, warm, and fulfilling treat that is the cinnamon roll.

The Total Time It Takes to Make Cinnamon Rolls

Creating the perfect homemade Cinnamon Rolls can be quite an adventure! The time required will depend on various factors, including how quickly the ingredients are assembled, the dough rises, and the rolls bake. For the recipe provided, I typically find that the total process takes around 3 to 4 hours.

This estimate includes the preparation time of around 30 minutes. This is when I gather my ingredients and make the dough. It also includes the first rise time of 1-2 hours, the assembly of the rolls which can take about 15-20 minutes, and another 30-45 minutes for the second rise. Finally, the baking itself usually takes around 20-25 minutes.

Keep in mind that the dough rising time can fluctuate depending on the temperature and humidity of your kitchen. Dough typically rises faster in a warm, humid environment.

If my kitchen is cool, I might put my dough in a slightly warm oven to help it rise faster. It’s worth noting that the rising time is essential to create fluffy and soft rolls.

And don’t forget, although making Cinnamon Rolls takes time, there is nothing better than the smell of freshly baked rolls wafting through the house, and the taste of these homemade delights is well worth the effort!

Using Whole Wheat Flour in Your Cinnamon Rolls

Experimenting with different ingredients can bring a whole new dimension to your baking. In my cinnamon roll recipe, I’ve often considered swapping the bread flour for whole wheat flour. It’s a healthier alternative, offering more fibre, vitamins, and minerals than white flour.

Substituting whole wheat flour in cinnamon roll dough is definitely possible, but there are a few things to keep in mind. Whole wheat flour absorbs more liquid than white flour.

Therefore, I usually have to add more liquid to my recipe to prevent the dough from becoming too dry. For the recipe mentioned, I’d suggest starting with an additional 10% more milk.

Another consideration is that whole wheat flour can make the rolls denser because it is heavier and it doesn’t rise as much as bread flour.

To counteract this, I often use a mix of whole wheat and bread flour, which gives me the nutritional benefits of whole wheat, but still allows for the light, fluffy texture we love in cinnamon rolls.

Remember, baking is an art and science combined, so don’t be afraid to experiment until you find the perfect balance that suits your preference!

Preparing Your Cinnamon Roll Dough a Day Ahead

Being prepared can take a lot of stress out of baking, and making the dough for my Cinnamon Rolls a day ahead is one way I streamline the process.

After mixing and kneading the dough, I let it rise as per the recipe, then after the first rise, I punch it down and refrigerate it. The cold slows down the yeast activity, making the dough rise much slower. This way, I can leave it in the fridge overnight and shape it into rolls the next day.

To use the refrigerated dough, I remove it from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature. Then, I proceed to roll it out, add the filling, and cut it into rolls. From there, I let it rise one more time before baking.

The bonus of preparing the dough ahead is that it not only splits the work over two days, but some people also find that it deepens the flavour of the bread.

Storing Your Leftover Cinnamon Rolls

Let’s talk about what to do if you’re fortunate enough to have leftover Cinnamon Rolls. As much as I’d love to, I can’t always finish them all in one go. To ensure they don’t go to waste and maintain their delicious flavour, I follow specific steps for storing them.

If I plan to eat them within a day or two, I simply cover them and leave them at room temperature. I typically use a cake dome or just a simple plastic wrap to protect them from air exposure.

For longer storage, I recommend refrigerating or freezing them. Before refrigeration, I ensure the rolls are completely cooled, then I place them in an airtight container. They can last up to a week in the fridge.

When it comes to freezing, I wrap each roll individually in plastic wrap and then put them in a freezer bag or an airtight container. They can last up to 3 months in the freezer.

When it’s time to enjoy the leftover rolls, I heat them up in the oven or microwave, ensuring they’re warmed through. If frozen, I let them thaw at room temperature before heating them. Nothing beats a warm cinnamon roll with a fresh cup of coffee!

Dairy-Free Alternatives for Cinnamon Rolls

As a baker, I often find myself looking for ways to make recipes suitable for everyone, including those with dietary restrictions. For this Cinnamon Rolls recipe, several dairy-free alternatives can be used without compromising the delicious outcome.

For milk, any plant-based milk like almond, soy, oat, or coconut milk works well. Just ensure you choose unsweetened versions to avoid altering the sweetness of the recipe.

For the butter, dairy-free margarine or even coconut oil can be good substitutes. If using coconut oil, bear in mind it might add a slight coconut flavour.

In the glaze, dairy-free milk can be used again, ensuring that the final touch on the rolls can be enjoyed by all.

While substitutions can slightly change the texture and flavour of the rolls, the end result should still be a delicious, fluffy, and comforting cinnamon roll, proving that dietary restrictions do not mean missing out on this delectable treat.

Knowing When Your Cinnamon Rolls Are Perfectly Baked

Baking is an art, and knowing when your masterpiece is ready can be a challenge. Over the years, I’ve learned a few tricks to recognize when my Cinnamon Rolls are perfectly baked.

Firstly, I look for the colour. The rolls should be a lovely golden brown on top. This shows they have baked enough to develop a slight crust, which contrasts wonderfully with the soft inner swirls.

Secondly, I check the texture. I lightly tap the top of the rolls. If they are properly baked, the tops will feel firm and crusty.

Lastly, you can also check using a digital thermometer. The internal temperature of a fully baked cinnamon roll should be around 190°F (88°C).

Remember, oven temperatures can vary, so these signs are a more accurate measure of doneness than baking times. By following these tips, you’ll ensure that your Cinnamon Rolls come out perfect every time.

Substituting Instant Yeast in Cinnamon Rolls

The joy of baking is found not only in the process but also in the flexibility it provides to adjust and substitute ingredients. One such ingredient that can be replaced in my Cinnamon Rolls recipe is instant yeast.

The most straightforward swap is to use active dry yeast. It’s similar to instant yeast, but the grains are larger and it needs to be activated before use. To do this, I mix it with a small amount of warm liquid (usually a portion of the recipe’s water or milk) and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes until it becomes frothy.

I typically use 25% more active dry yeast as it’s not as concentrated as instant yeast.

If yeast isn’t an option at all, there are still alternatives. For example, baking powder can be used as a leavening agent. It’s important to remember that this might change the flavour and texture of the rolls slightly, as yeast also contributes a specific taste to the dough and the rise might not be as high.

Whichever substitute you choose, it’s all about making sure the rolls still rise and become that delightful, fluffy treat we all love.

Freezing Cinnamon Rolls for Later Use

I often find myself making batches of Cinnamon Rolls and freezing them for later. This way, I can have a delicious homemade roll at any time, and it also helps manage portion control.

There are a couple of ways to freeze Cinnamon Rolls. The first method is to freeze them after they are baked. I ensure the rolls are completely cooled before wrapping each individually in plastic wrap and storing them in an airtight container or freezer bag.

The second method is to freeze the unbaked rolls. After I’ve cut the rolls and placed them in the baking tin, instead of leaving them to rise a second time, I put them straight into the freezer. Once they are frozen solid, I wrap each individually and store them as before. When I’m ready to bake them, I thaw them in the fridge overnight, then let them rise to room temperature before baking.

Freezing is a fantastic way to make the most of a large baking session and enjoy the fruits of your labour at a later date!

The Best Way to Reheat Cinnamon Rolls

Reheating Cinnamon Rolls correctly can make them taste as good as when they first came out of the oven. There’s something special about a warm roll where the glaze is just slightly melty.

If my rolls are at room temperature, I usually reheat them in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 10 minutes. This method is my favourite as it helps to keep the rolls moist and brings back that freshly baked aroma and taste.

When reheating refrigerated rolls, I let them come to room temperature before putting them in the oven. For frozen rolls, I first thaw them in the refrigerator overnight and then follow the same process.

Microwaving is another option, especially if I’m short on time. I heat a roll for about 20-30 seconds, but I’m careful not to overdo it as they can become tough if microwaved for too long.

Regardless of the method, it’s always worth taking the time to reheat Cinnamon Rolls properly to enjoy them at their best.

Using Different Types of Sugar in Cinnamon Rolls

As an adventurous baker, I’ve experimented with different types of sugar in my Cinnamon Rolls recipe. While caster sugar and light brown sugar are my go-to choices, other sugars can also bring exciting flavour profiles to these rolls.

In the dough, granulated sugar can be used instead of caster sugar. It might alter the texture slightly, but the difference is usually negligible.

For the filling, dark brown sugar can be used instead of light brown sugar. The darker the sugar, the more molasses it contains, adding a deeper, more caramel-like flavour to the rolls.

Coconut sugar is another interesting alternative, giving a slight hint of coconut flavour to the rolls.

In the glaze, swapping icing sugar with a powdered sugar alternative like Swerve or Monkfruit sweetener can lower the sugar content. Note that these might give a slightly different texture and sweetness to the glaze.

Remember, experimenting is part of the fun of baking! Each type of sugar has its unique characteristics and can bring a new dimension to your Cinnamon Rolls.

Check Out These Other Recipes

Just because you’ve finished indulging in my warm, sugary cinnamon rolls doesn’t mean the sweet journey has to end there! I’ve whipped up some other treats that are just as satisfying, so why stop the taste exploration now?

First off, do not, I repeat, do not, skip the heavenly experience that is my Chocolate Doughnuts. The crunchy exterior and fluffy interior, all wrapped up in a rich chocolate glaze, will keep you coming back for more. I promise it’s an indulgence that’s worth every calorie.

While we’re still lingering on the topic of delightful indulgences, my Red Velvet Cake is another one that shouldn’t be missed. This classic bake has a tender crumb that’s coloured a vivid, enticing red. The cream cheese frosting just elevates it to another level – it’s the perfect companion for the cocoa-tinged cake.

Don’t overlook the charming simplicity of my Vanilla Cupcakes either! Soft, fluffy, and crowned with a creamy frosting, these cupcakes are the perfect little treat for when you want to satiate your sweet tooth without going overboard.

For the cookie lovers out there, you have to try my Chocolate Chip Cookies. These cookies are a classic for a reason, and mine are just the right blend of chewy and crispy, bursting with melting chocolate chips.

If you’re looking for something a little more sophisticated but equally delicious, my Blueberry Cheesecake is just the thing. Creamy, tangy, and topped with a sweet blueberry compote, it’s an elegant dessert that impresses without demanding too much effort.

Finally, if you’ve got a celebration coming up, why not give my Oreo Cheesecake a whirl? Packed with the goodness of everyone’s favourite cookie and a creamy, velvety cheese layer, this is one dessert that’s sure to make your special day even more memorable.

Remember, I always love hearing from you guys. So don’t be shy – drop me a line in the comments section and let me know how you get on with these recipes!

Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Rolls

by Nabeela Kauser
Warm, sweet, and comforting, these cinnamon rolls are a classic favourite. The perfect indulgent treat for dessert or breakfast. Paired with a creamy, and melt-in-the-mouth icing, these cinnamon rolls are absolutely delicious.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Proofing TIme 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Course Baking, Dessert
Cuisine American, Swedish
Servings 12 Rolls
Calories 359 kcal

Ingredients

For the dough:

  • 500 g Bread Flour
  • 75 g Caster Sugar
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Instant Yeast
  • 120 ml Milk
  • 60 g Butter Unsalted, and melted
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 120 ml Water

For the filling:

  • 100 g Butter Unsalted, and softened
  • 100 g Brown Sugar Light
  • 1 tbsp Cinnamon Ground

For the glaze:

  • 100 g Icing Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Milk

Instructions

  • Combine the flour, caster sugar, salt, and instant yeast in a large mixing bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together whole milk, melted butter, and eggs.
  • Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and mix until a dough forms.
  • Knead the dough on a floured surface for 10-15 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic.
  • Grease a bowl, put the dough in it, and cover it with cling film. Leave it in a warm place for 1-2 hours, or until it doubles in size.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C fan/200°C/gas mark 6.
  • Grease a 23cm square baking tin.
  • On a floured surface, roll out the dough to form a rectangle of about 40cm x 30cm.
  • For the filling, mix softened butter, light brown sugar, and ground cinnamon until smooth.
  • Spread the filling evenly over the dough’s surface.
  • Roll the dough tightly from the long edge to form a long sausage shape.
  • Cut the dough into slices of approximately 2.5cm thick, and place them in the greased baking tin.
  • Cover the tin with cling film and leave it in a warm place for another 30-45 minutes, or until the rolls have risen and are touching each other.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the rolls turn golden brown.
  • For the glaze, mix icing sugar and whole milk until it becomes smooth.
  • After the cinnamon rolls are cooked, let them cool in the tin for 5 minutes.
  • Drizzle the glaze over the rolls and serve them while they’re still warm.

Notes

  • Make sure the milk is not too hot when adding it to the dry ingredients to avoid killing the yeast.
  • You can use a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment to knead the dough if you prefer.
  • Adding a tablespoon of honey to the glaze will make the cinnamon rolls softer.
Nutritional facts:
The provision of nutritional information is done so merely as a courtesy and should not be taken as a guarantee.

Nutrition

Calories: 359kcalCarbohydrates: 55gProtein: 7gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 61mgSodium: 204mgPotassium: 99mgFibre: 2gSugar: 23gVitamin A: 402IUVitamin C: 0.03mgVitamin D: 0.3µgCalcium: 44mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Baked, Bread, Dessert, Food, Party Food, Recipe, Sweet
Tried this recipe?Mention @CookwithNabeela or tag #CookwithNabeela!

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Cook with Nabeela

Hi, I'm Nabeela!

I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family-friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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