Prep: 1 hour (excluding time for the dough to rise) Bake: 350ºF Cook: 20-25 minutes
Waking up to the sweet smell of warm cinnamon and dough wafting through the house has always been one of my favorite memories. Cinnamon rolls are a sweet, creamy, and doughy treat that most everyone enjoys. Of course, I typically pair it with a hot cup of coffee (or three), but a glass of milk also does the trick. One time, when I was little, my parents would typically only make cinnamon rolls for special occasions, but to this day, they are still one of my favorite treats!
Although this recipe is not difficult to make, be prepared, the dough can take a little bit of time to rise so only start this recipe if you have time to spare. Granted, our homemade family cinnamon roll recipe is a guarded family secret, this “Extra Gooey Cinnamon Rolls” recipe by Laura Dembowski is a fierce competitor! Enjoy!
To help keep the cinnamon rolls from sticking to your pan, I highly recommend using the OXO Good Grips Non-Stick Pro Cake Pan 9×13 inch. This pan has a specially engineered, double-layer, and ceramic enforced non-stick capability. This will ensure that whatever you bake in this bake, whether that be cinnamon rolls or a more traditional cake, they will not stick. To learn about other baking utensils that I believe every baker should have, learn more on my Tools page.
Dough and Smear Ingredients
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 1 packet active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 4 1/2 – 5 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
Filling and Frosting Ingredients:
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
- 2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 3 cups confectioners sugar
Dough and Smear
- Make the dough. In a large bowl, pour in water, yeast, and 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar. Stir and let proof 5 minutes. Finally, once the mixture is bubbly, add remaining ½ cup sugar and salt. Stir to incorporate.
- In a small bowl, stir together milk, oil, and egg. Add to the yeast mixture and stir to incorporate. Add 2 cups of flour and mix to combine. Then, add additional flour in ½ cup increments until the dough comes together and is sticky, but not sticky enough to stick to hands. Next, knead the dough by hand for about 5 minutes. Once completed, place the dough in an oiled bowl (the same one is fine), cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise in a warm place for about 2 hours until at least doubled in size.
- Prepare the pan. Line a 9 by 13-inch pan with parchment. Butter with the 2 tablespoons of butter. Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon.
Filling and Frosting:
- Make the filling. In a medium-sized bowl, stir together brown sugar, cinnamon, and cornstarch.
- Flour a large, clean surface to roll out the dough. Lightly flour the dough, the rolling pin, and your hands. Second, roll out dough to a large rectangle, perhaps about 12 by 20 inches, until it is ¼-1/2 inch thick. Just do the best you can – it doesn’t have to be perfect. Spread 4 tablespoons of the butter over the dough and sprinkle the brown sugar mixture over it. Use all of it. Lightly press it into the dough.
- Starting from one of the long sides of the dough, roll into a tight spiral. Cut off the uneven ends. Next, cut the roll in half, in half again, and then cut each half into thirds, leaving you with 12 rolls. Place the rolls into the prepared pan, cover with plastic wrap, and place in a warm place to rise for about 2 hours. They should be giant and touching. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- Finally, bake rolls for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.
- While the rolls bake, make the frosting. In a large bowl, beat together cream cheese and remaining stick of butter using a hand or stand mixer. Add vanilla bean paste, corn syrup, and lemon juice and beat to combine. Next, slowly add confectioners’ sugar while beating on low. Once all the sugar has been added, beat until frosting is light and fluffy.
- Once completed, remove the rolls from the oven and frost immediately with half of the frosting. Of course, allow them to cool for a couple of minutes and then add more frosting.
- Lastly, the rolls are best served hot out of the oven, but they may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Warm them in the microwave for 30 seconds. Rolls may also be frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator for a couple of hours or in the microwave for about 1 minute, until warm.