This Cinnamon Rolls recipe is incredible. Every single time I make them my knees go weak. The smell of them baking in a home is enough to conjure Santa himself, sitting on your sofa, drinking Hot Chocolate with sprinkles, whilst Rudolph is asleep on the back door mat.
Cinnamon is without doubt my favourite spice and along with these Danish Cinnamon Rolls , this is my very favourite way of eating it. No spice speaks to me more. The sight of these sugary beauties rising high above their muffin holes in the oven, makes my soul truly sing...no exaggeration I'm afraid.
The Best Cinnamon Rolls Recipe
These cinnamon rolls are so, so good I cannot express it enough. Soft, cinnamony and rich with buttery loveliness. One of my VERY favourite things to eat. My children are just starting to appreciate them themselves too.
If I could be remembered by them for one bake it would be this recipe along with the aforementioned Danish version. I know that's two......greedy. But they both are INCREDIBLE.
Plain Flour - This produces a softer crumb than strong bread flour so is preferable but not essential. I have often made them with bread flour.
Unsalted Butter - You can use salted (not for the cinnamon paste or for brushing the buns though ) and just omit the ¼ tsp of salt in the ingredients. Baking Spread will not do here.
Sugar - I use caster or granulated for the bun mix and light brown sugar for the cinnamon paste.
Milk - I use semi skimmed because that is what I have in my fridge but full fat milk is fine too.
Salt - I use fine salt here.
Egg - Large
Yeast - Instant dried yeast is my preference but fresh yeast is always fabulous to use and I think gives a better flavour, it's just not as easy to get hold of. But if using then double the weight of the dried yeast and add a bit more, so it will be about 17 grams of fresh yeast.
Ground Cinnamon - standard spice that's found in all supermarkets.
Sugar - Light Brown Sugar is best but any sugar will do.
For The Icing
Milk - again semi skimmed as that is what is always in my fridge. You can use water instead.
How Do You Make Cinnamon Rolls From Scratch?
It is actually a very easy recipe. Combining wet and dry ingredients together followed by a general first prove, rolling out into a rectangle and spreading with a sugary cinnamon paste, before rolling up into a cigar shape and slicing into cinnamon swirls.
I then bake mine individually in a large muffin tray. That way they all cook evenly rather than the outer edges catching and the inner ones still being under baked which was my experience when baking them all in one large baking tin.
I do tend to make bread and yeasty bun thingys in my food mixer with a dough hook, I quite simply could not be bothered with manually kneading, perhaps it's having two young children or perhaps I just find it boring, I'm not sure, but either way my mixer does all the work here and I am most grateful. It is a bit of a sticky dough.
You can make it though by hand with a wooden spoon and large mixing bowl, it will just be harder work and require a good amount of kneading until it becomes easier to handle. Once the dough has come together in your mixing bowl, tip it out onto the work surface and knead until it is smooth and a little elastic.
STEP 1- PREPARING THE WET INGREDIENTS
- Firstly I warm the milk up until it is just ready to bubble and then take it off the heat and add the sugar stirring until it has dissolved. If it ends up boiling then leave it to cool for five minutes before adding the egg. You don't want the egg to scramble.
- I then add the beaten egg and set aside to cool a little.
STEP 2 - MIXING THE DOUGH
- I add the liquid with the mixer running slowly at first and then on a medium speed.
- I add the soft butter in pieces and let the dough hook do it's work for about five minutes until the dough is smooth.
- I then put it in a clean oiled bowl and leave somewhere warm to nearly double in size. This can sometimes take up to 2 hours. Usually if your place is warm it will be an hour.
STEP 3 - CINNAMON SUGAR
- I mix all the cinnamon filling together in a bowl or jug. Make sure the butter is soft.
- Set aside
STEP 4 -ROLLING OUT THE DOUGH
- After the dough has doubled in size knock the air out of it with your fist and roll it out to about 12" by 9 " rectangle.
- I don't flour the work surface unless the dough is still very tacky. I also don't worry too much about getting the perfect rectangle but that is just me. I am a casual/lazy ass cook.
- Spread the cinnamon sugar paste directly onto the dough with a knife or spatula. Flipping yum.
- I leave about ¾ inch gap all around the rectangle.
STEP 5 - ROLLING AND CUTTING UP THE CINNAMON DOUGH
- Roll up tightly like a giant cigar lengthways and cut evenly into 8 sections (1 and a half inches) and nestle them into large buttered/oiled/baking sprayed muffin holes. This does mean that you will be a couple of cinnamon rolls over the 6 holes of a standard large muffin tray.
- Bit of a pain but I bake them in 2 separate lots unless you can fit both trays in your oven.
- The tighter you can roll it the better. It keeps the cinnamon butter in the bun better.
- I do measure the rolls to get them roughly even.
- When cutting use a sharp knife and try not to squash the dough as you saw
- I much prefer to bake them individually in a large muffin tray. I can then bake them through better rather than have some of them catch a little.
- But if you want to bake them all in together then do so. I recommend a 9"/10" round greased baking dish or similar.
STEP 6 - SECOND PROVE
- Cover with oiled clingfilm/plastic wrap and leave for about an hour to puff up somewhere warm like those below in the photo.
I love how the dough puffs/swells up and you can see all the layers developing
- When ready to bake brush with a little butter taking care not to smudge the cinnamon butter swirls.
STEP 7 - BAKING CINNAMON ROLLS
- Bake at 160 C fan/180 C/350 F/Gas Mark 4 for about 20/25 minutes until golden brown and your house feels like Xmas.
- If the tops start to catch then cover with loose silver foil.
- Using a blunt knife gently tease these out of the muffin holes after they have been sitting in the tray for about 15 minutes.
- Put them on a wire rack.
STEP 8 - ICING THE CINNAMON ROLLS
- Make the icing by simply mixing the icing sugar and milk very well together. I use a little mini whisk.
- You can make the icing thicker by adding more icing sugar or thinner with more milk to suit how you like it.
- You could add flavourings such as vanilla or caramel to the icing however I would rather chew my foot off.
- Drizzle these Cinnamon Bad Boys with icing whilst on the wire rack. I use my little whisk to do my drizzling.
Can I Make Cinnamon Rolls The Day Before?
Yes you can and I often do.
Although the process can be time consuming I often make them the day before up until the second prove and put them in the fridge overnight covered ready to be pulled out an hour before I want to bake them.
I did this method for the cinnamon rolls in these photos. But I let them prove/puff up a bit before I put them in the fridge overnight so that it cut down the time in the morning before they were ready to go in the oven. My children wanted them for breakfast before school. Lucky little wotnots....
The cold from the fridge halts or significantly slows down the second prove/puffing up, so to save time the next day I let them prove a little before I put them in the fridge, they were fully proved by the morning so I simply put them somewhere warm to come up to temperature before baking.
Can I Freeze Cinnamon Rolls?
Yes you can. I make them as above until the second prove whereupon I place them on a baking tray in their individual swirls to freeze hard for about an hour.
Then I put them in freezer bags (I usually double the bags up so as to prevent freezer burn). They will freeze well for up to a month.
When you want them, take them out of the bags, place in a muffin tray and leave covered lightly with greased/oiled clingfilm (plastic wrap) for 10 hours or so to thaw and then prove. Overnight is the way I usually do it. Get up and check them early though. Definitely don't have a lie in!
Cinnamon Roll Tips
- Make sure your yeast is in date! Easy to overlook.
- To get ahead you can make these up to the second prove in the muffin tray, cover and leave in the fridge overnight (see above)
- When rolling the dough up lengthways take time to keep the cigar as tight as you can.
- Measure the cigar and divide into 8 so as to get even thickness.
- Use a sharp knife to cut the rolls without squashing the dough.
- Bake them individually in a large muffin tray to prevent some of the outer rolls burning whilst the inners are not cooked enough.
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These cinnamon rolls are so, so good I can't express it enough. They are at their absolute best warm from the oven. One of my VERY favourite things to eat. They are INCREDIBLE.
- 120 grams unsalted butter soft
- 150 mls milk
- 70 grams of sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- 400 grams plain flour
- 1 large egg beaten
- 2 x 7 grams yeast packets
- 30 grams of melted butter for brushing on just before baking
- 110 grams unsalted butter soft
- 2 tbsps ground cinnamon
- 70 grams sugar
- 120 grams icing sugar
- 2 tbsps milk
Put 150 mls of milk in saucepan and warm gently till a light bubble ,remove immediately.
Add 70 grams of sugar to pan and stir to dissolve, let stand for 5 minutes to cool then add the egg and mix again.
In mixing bowl (food mixer bowl) put 400 grams plain flour, 2 packets of dry instant yeast (14 grams) ¼ tsp salt. Put salt and yeast on opposite sides as salt can kill the yeast.
Add the liquid slowly to the mixing bowl as you start to mix. Mix a little then add 120 grams of soft butter. The dough will be sticky.
If using a food mixer just keep mixing for five mins on a medium speed or take out and knead by hand for ten, until it becomes smoothish and soft. If it doesn't seem to want to come together then add a little flour.
Oil the bowl, twiddle the dough lightly around in the oil and cover bowl with the clingfilm. Put somewhere warm and wait till it doubles in size. This may take two hours.
Meanwhile mix the cinnamon filling ingredients together. That is 110 grams soft unsalted butter, 70 grams of sugar and 2 tbsp of ground cinnamon.
When dough is big enough, empty out onto surface and knock out most of air with a few knocks.Then roll out into rectangle roughly 9" by 12"
Spread the cinnamony, sugary butter, leaving ½ " border.
Roll rectangle up long ways tightly into a giant cigar.
Use a sharp serrated knife to cut up cigar roll in 1 ½" increments (8). Saw through the roll rather than push down so as not to squash the slices. Clean your knife after each cut.
Place rolls in large muffin trays that you have oiled or buttered well and cover lightly with oiled clingfilm and leave to rise again somewhere warm until nearly doubled in size and beautifully puffy.
Brush melted butter gently over the top.
Bake in 180 Celsius oven for about 20/30 mins or until nicely brown. It is best to keep a close eye on the baking so they do not burn. Ovens can be temperamental things. Leave in tin to cool for ten mins before gently placing them on a wire rack to cool. Use a blunt knife to help them out.
Once cooled a bit, mix icing and drizzle over.
OMG, OMG Apply To Face.
To make these the day before you want to eat them you can make these up until the second prove begins. Cover them with oiled clingfilm and then leave in the fridge. Bring them out a couple of hours before you want to bake them to allow the dough to come up to room temperature and puff up for the second prove.
Do let me know how you got on in the comments below. I love a good old hairy chinwag.