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Apr 13, 2007 01:09 PM

Making Cinnamon Rolls for the First Time

Tomorrow I'll try and see if I can make a good cinnamon roll with cream cheese frosting from scratch. I've got Penzey's cinnamon and a good recipe.

Anyone have any good suggestions or tips to make sure my buns come out delicious?

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  1. Use waxed dental floss (unflavored) to cut the rolls. I keep a roll of floss in my kitchen drawer just for this (and other dough slicing recipes). Even with the sharpest knife, you'll still squish the rolls and then have to work to make them round. With floss, it slices from the outside in so the slice stays round. Just slip it under the log of dough, cross once, then pull.

    1. Could you post the recipe? I'm becoming bored with my own and I'm interested in the cream cheese frosting...Thanks!

      1 Reply
      1. re: PBnBanana

        It's actually someone's here from Chowhound. You can find it at the bottom of this thread, posted by Kim Shook

        I thought it looked really good, so figured I'd try it.

      2. Place a pie pan of boiling water on the rack below the rolls in the preheated oven for extra initial ovenspring. You could also use a baking stone and spray bottle a few times in the first minutes of baking. Of course, this is not necessary if it would stress you.

        Enjoy the process and the results, and report back!

        2 Replies
        1. re: amyzan

          I am looking forward to these recipes QB! I get the request for these all the time!!!

          1. re: amyzan

            I'll post the results with pictures. They're going through their final rise right now and I can't wait to taste one.
            I used the dental floss trick that leanneabe suggested and it worked really well!

          2. Ok, just tried the first cinnamon roll. The dough turned out fantastic, as did the icing. However, I had a slight problem with the cinnamon filling. It was a mixture of butter, cinnamon and brown sugar. As the rolls cooked, the filling seemed to seep out. Also, the brown sugar stayed crystallized, and did not get "goopy", like I am used to. They taste great, just the sugar crunchies are a bit strange.

            Anyone have any idea as to what may have went wrong? I cooked them for the right amount of time, so they were not underdone. Maybe I should have rolled the log tighter?

            8 Replies
            1. re: QueenB

              Did you press the filling into the dough (this is what alton brown says to do)? I only made these once, a week ago, and I didn't have the crunchiness. I think I might like that! :)

              p.s. where are your pictures? I always look forward to them!

              1. re: alex8alot

                I did press the filling into the dough. I'm wondering if maybe I should have spread the butter on first, then sprinkled the sugar/cinnamon mixture and pressed it in. Instead, I mixed it all together and pressed it in. I am just stumped.

                Here's the pictures. Pre and post-frosting.

                1. re: QueenB

                  These look so great you've inspired me to make them for my pups while home on vacation (?!).

                  1. re: 4chowpups

                    Great, 4chowpups! I'm sure they'll enjoy them. I used the recipe I posted above. It makes a HUGE amount of rolls (12 big ones!). I also used the recipe for the icing from the same recipe, with one change. I added an equal amount of butter and cream cheese (8oz of each). Definitely not good for you, and definitely not low-fat, but I was looking for an icing similar to what you get at Cinnabon, and I'm convinced that has butter in it, which is why I added it.
                    It's a very good recipe and if Kim Shook is still around, I'd like to say Thanks!

                  2. re: QueenB

                    The rolls have opened up a lot, I wonder if the filling didn't get enough moisture as it cooked. I usually put 9 in an 8 or 9 inch square pan and they're pretty crowded by the time they rise. The other possibility is that you needed more butter. I mix the butter, cinnamon and sugar together to make a paste that I spread on mine.

                    I like the gooey stuff on the bottom so I put the pans over a low burner just long enough to melt some butter then add brown sugar and a couple of squirts of honey before putting the shaped rolls in for their final rise. They need to be turned out of the pan 5 mins after they come out of the oven or they'll stick solid.

                    1. re: sharonanne

                      Honestly, I don't think I could have fit these into a smaller pan. They were pretty big and filled up the 9x13 after they had risen. I'm thinking maybe I need to change two things next time: first, I need to use more butter and combine the butter/sugar/cinnamon mixture really well. The mixture was mostly sugar, so that may have been my problem. It definitely wasn't of "paste" consistency. Second, I'm going to try and roll them tighter to see what happens.

                      1. re: QueenB

                        I think you're right about rolling them tighter and adding more butter (hard to have too much butter in cinnamon rolls). Try rolling out the dough into a larger rectangle, which will give your more "rings" -- I usually end up with half a dozen or so rings. The key I've found is to roll the dough as tightly as possible without stretching it. If you stretch it, the dough contracts and in the oven it squeezes the middle of the roll and pops it up. Still tastes OK, but not very pretty. To get a tight roll, I start at the far end and roll back towards myself. I fold the far edge down about half aninch and then, placing my thumbs parallel to the edge and using my thumbs to keep a slight tension on the seam, I roll that half inch fold gently back and forth until it starts to form a roll. It's very tactile -- once the folded part starts to move like a single piece of dough rather than one piece of dough sliding over another, then I'm ready to roll the whole thing. I use pretty much the same motion -- keeping a slight tension on the seam with my thumbs and rolling the dough towards me with my finger tips. If the dough is fighting you, let it relax a couple of minutes.

                    2. re: QueenB

                      gorgeous! Mine were really crowded in the pan too, with good gooey results. I wonder if that is the key?

                2. Hi Queen B. Still haven't made the buns yet because...can I make the dough the night before and bake in the morning???? Or do I have to get up at 5 and make them??? If th at is the case...Pillsbury is looking awfully good ; )

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: 4chowpups

                    4chowpups, yes, you can make the dough ahead of time. You can stop at one of two points. You can make the dough, put in the bowl to rise, then refrigerate overnight, bring to room temp in AM, roll out, fill, shape, let rise and bake. Or, you can do the dough, rise, roll out, fill and shape...put in pan, cover and put in fridge overnight. Take them out in the morning, bring to room temp (probably around a half-hour), then bake.

                    1. re: QueenB

                      Great, thanks for the tips!!! Can't wait to try them out!!