Making homemade dough is something that I have not always been comfortable with. But learning from talented pastry chefs at The Chopping Block and after teaching plenty of kids and teen baking classes, I feel far more confident. The Chopping Block really knows how to break yeast doughs down for any home cook to tackle. Who doesn’t want to wake up to freshly made cinnamon rolls? And if I can teach teenagers to make them, I am sure you can tackle this recipe!
The best part of this dish is that you probably already have all of the ingredients that you need in your kitchen!
All you need is:
- Unsalted butter
- Granulated sugar
- Active dry yeast
- All-purpose flour
- Sea salt
- Brown sugar
- Ground cinnamon
- Cream cheese
- Vanilla extract
- Powdered sugar
The steps might seem long and overwhelming. So, let me break down these larger steps into simpler ones.
You can think about the recipe in five steps:
- Step 1: Make the dough and let proof.
- Step 2: Make the filling.
- Step 3: Roll out the dough into a rectangle and add the filling.
- Step 4: Roll up and cut into multiple logs. Let proof.
- Step 5: Bake and spread with cream cheese frosting over.
Let me tell you about this delicious cream cheese frosting that only has 4 ingredients. First, you mix together the cream cheese, butter and vanilla extract until smooth. Add the powdered sugar for desired sweetness. The recipe calls for using between 2 to 3 cups. You can’t have cinnamon rolls with frosting!
You can change up this recipe by playing around with the filling and the frosting. This filling calls for butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and raisins. I am a huge fan of raisins in cinnamon rolls, but plenty of people would choose to omit them. You could change up the spices by using cardamom, allspice and really any warm baking spice can be interchanged here. You could make your own frosting, like the recipe provided, or you can always go for store bought!
Scroll down for a printable version of this recipe
Yield: 12 rolls
Active time: 40 minutes
Start to finish: 2 hours, 40 minutes
1 cup milk
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water (110º to 120º)
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
3 3/4 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
For the filling:
1 stick unsalted butter
2 cups brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 cup raisins, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes and drained (optional)
1. Combine the milk, butter and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Turn off the heat and allow butter to melt completely. Cool to room temperature.
2. In a small bowl or measuring cup, stir together the yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar and water. Allow it to sit to activate the yeast. The yeast mixture should start to become frothy within 5 minutes.
3. Beat the egg in a large mixing bowl. Add the cooled milk mixture, the yeast mixture, flour, and salt. Stir with a wooden spoon until thick.
4. Turn out onto a floured work surface and knead for about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. The dough should be a little tacky. You can also use a stand mixer to knead the dough.
5. Place the kneaded dough in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise until double in size, about 1 hour. Note: You can alternatively place the bowl of dough in the refrigerator and allow to rise slowly overnight.
6. Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Stretch it into a rectangle with your fingertips, then use a rolling pin to stretch it further until you have a rectangle that is about 18- by 10-inches and about 1/4- thick. (If dough is shrinking back a lot, cover it with a towel and let it rest for 3 or 4 minutes; then continue rolling.)
7. To make the filling, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add the sugar and cinnamon and stir until smooth. Drizzle this mixture over the dough and spread it with a spatula to cover. Sprinkle on the raisins, if using.
8. Starting on one of the long sides, roll up the dough into a tight log. Slice the log into 12 equal pieces. Place the pieces in a greased, 10-inch cake or pie pan with the spiral showing on top. Cover with plastic and allow to proof until very puffy and almost double in size, about 1/2 hour.
9. Preheat the oven to 350º.
10. Remove plastic wrap and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and the center is no longer doughy. Cool in the pan.
11. Spread the cooled rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows).
Cream Cheese Frosting
Yield: 3 cups
Active time: 5 minutes
Start to finish: 5 minutes
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 to 3 cups powdered sugar
1. Using an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese, vanilla extract, and butter in a large bowl until smooth.
2. Add the powdered sugar and beat until fluffy and smooth.
3. Frost cooled cinnamon rolls.
If you love cinnamon rolls, you can't miss making these Cinnamon Roll Pancakes and this Apple Butter Cinnamon Swirl Bread. If you would like to learn new baking techniques, join us for one of these upcoming baking classes at Lincoln Square.
- Perfect Pie Dough
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Or, join us virtually from the comfort of your own kitchen.
- Maple Pot de Crème with Whipped Cream and Candied Pecans
- Apple Fritters with Cinnamon Sugar