Cinnamon rolls have long since been a favorite treat/snack/breakfast of mine. Growing up they always came from the paper tubes that you popped open with the package of icing but they really were nothing but delicious,. The smell of cinnamon and bread baking early in the morning and then the drizzle of icing when they were still hot made for an intense sensory overload (for me, at least). We didn’t have them often but when we did you can be sure that I was first at the table!
I’ve made cinnamon rolls before but I wasn’t 100% thrilled with the results. I think it was a combination of not being totally confident with my bread making & baking abilities and not a perfect recipe. For me, this recipe was perfect. It’s a Cinnabon “copy cat” that I saved from the Food Network magazine a long, long time ago. It’s been sitting in the To Make pile and I finally took the plunge.
James was working a midnight shift (after working a daytime shift) and I wanted to send something for them to snack on during the air traffic lulls. He said that they were a hit and we enjoyed part of the batch at home, as well.
For the dough:
- 1 cup buttermilk, warm (about 115° F)
- 2 ¼ tsp. yeast
- ¼ cup plus ¼ tsp. sugar
- 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melts
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- ¾ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. nutmeg
For the filling:
- 8 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the pan
- ½ cup sugar
- 3 tbsp. ground cinnamon
For the glaze:
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
- 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1. To make the dough: Combine the warm milk, yeast, and ¼ teaspoon sugar in a small bowl and set aside until foamy, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the melted butter, egg yolk, and vanilla.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the flour, remaining ¼ cup sugar, salt, and nutmeg. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and gradually add in the yeast mixture.
3. Mix on a low speed using the dough hook until dough begins to gather on the dough hook in a mass, about 6 minutes (dough should still be sticky). Add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed.
4. Shape the dough into a ball and place into a lightly greased bowl, turning once to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
5. Once the dough has doubled in size, turn the ball out onto a light floured work surface and roll into a 12×14-inch rectangle with the long side facing you. Spread the softened butter over the surface of the dough rectangle leaving a ½-inch border on the long side opposite you. Mix the cinnamon and sugar together and sprinkle evenly over the butter.
6. Brush the unbuttered edge with a little water and then begin to roll the dough away from you into a tight cylinder. Press the edge to seal. Cut the cylinder into 12 equal pieces.
7. Butter a 9×13-inch cake pan and place the buns cut-side down in the pan, leaving a little space between each one. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 325°F.
8. Bake the cinnamon rolls until golden brown and cooked through, 30-35 minutes. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes.
9. To make the glaze: Whisk the confectioners’ sugar, cream, and melted butter together. Spoon over cinnamon rolls while still warm and serve warm.
Adapted from Food Network magazine