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Jan 28, 2011 09:45 AM

Best Cinnamon Roll Recipe?

I am hosting my young nieces for a sleepover this evening. I want to make cinnamon rolls with them as an introduction to baking with yeast. The problem is that I don't have a tried and true cinnamon roll recipe. The last ones I made were Cooks Illustrated and I found them a little bready for my liking. Any good recipes out there? Thanks!

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  1. Too bready? Isn't that what cinnamon rolls are? I like Dorie Greenspan's sticky buns made w/ her brioche from Baking from My Home to Yours. If you're making something with them, they might like making monkey bread. It's really the same idea as cinnamon rolls, only more fun to make and eat.

    If you want a good basic cinnamon roll, Paula Deen's is pretty good. I don't use melted butter in between but softened butter, and brown sugar in the middle, not white, no glaze--but sometimes use cream cheese frosting.

    2 Replies
    1. re: chowser

      Thanks for the suggestions - I forget about monkey bread - something I don't think I've had since I was in girl scouts. I did look at the Paula Deen recipe but dismissed it because of her use of white sugar in the middle, good to remember that I can just make my own substitutions.

      1. re: glittersocks

        I usually use the dough recipe accurately but wing the rest.

    2. The Pioneer Woman has a pretty good cinnamon roll recipe and it makes a lot. I vary the recipe by adding pecans and instead of putting maple and coffee in the icing, I just use vanilla.

      I've always wanted to try Julia Child's recipe, which uses brioche dough, but it's way too time consuming to make for that morning's breakfast.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Avalondaughter

        I make them the night before, do the second rise in the refrigerator overnight and then bake in the morning. There's no other way we'd have them in the morning otherwise!

      2. Have you tried this one from Cook's Country? It uses a modified brioche dough. (requires free registration


        We love this recipe, although it makes cinnamon buns almost as big as a child's head.

        4 Replies
        1. re: DebL

          Thanks for the link - this is the recipe I went with and the rolls looks beautiful. I ended up making 12 rather than 8 but they seem plenty big.

          1. re: DebL

            Could you post this recipe please?

            1. re: AmandaCA

              Here is the paraphrased recipe for the Cook's Country Ultimate Cinnamon Buns.

              3/4 c whole milk, heated to 110 F
              1 envelope (2 1/4 tsp.) instant yeast
              3 eggs, room temp
              4 1/4 c AP flour
              1/2 c cornstarch
              1/2 c sugar
              1 1/2 t salt
              12 T unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces and softened

              1 1/2 c packed light brown sugar
              1 1/2 T cinnamon
              1/4 t salt
              4 T unsalted butter, softened

              4 oz. cream cheese, softened
              1 T whole milk
              1 t vanilla
              1 1/2 c confectioner's sugar

              For the dough: Adjust oven rack to middle of oven and heat to 200 F. When the oven reaches 200 F, turn off. Line 13-by-9-inch baking pan with foil & allow excess foil to hang over pan edges. Grease foil and a medium bowl.

              Whisk milk and yeast in measuring cup until yeast is dissolved, then whisk in eggs. In bowl of stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix flour, cornstarch, sugar, and salt until combined. With mixer on low, add warm milk mixture in steady stream and mix until dough comes together, about 1 min. Increase speed to medium, and add butter, one piece at a time, until incorporated. Continue to mix until smooth and dough comes away from the sides of the bowl, about 10 min. (If dough is still wet and sticky, add up to 1/4 c flour, a tbsp at a time, until the dough releases from the bowl. ) Turn out onto clean surface and knead into a smooth, round ball. Transfer to prepared bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place in warm oven. Let rise until doubled in size, about 2 hrs.

              For the filling: Mix brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in small bowl. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Roll into 18-inch square, spread with butter, and sprinkle with filling. Starting with the edge nearest you, roll dough into tight cylinder, pinch lightly to seal seam, and cut into 8 pieces (or for smaller cinnamon buns, into 12 pieces) . Transfer cut-side up to prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in warm spot until doubled in size.

              For the glaze, and to bake: Heat oven to 350 F. Whisk cream cheese, milk, vanilla, and confectioner's sugar on medium bowl until smooth. Bake buns until deep golden brown and filling is melted, 35 - 40 min. Transfer to wire rack and top with 1/2 c glaze. Cool for 30 min. Use excess foil to lift buns from pan and top with remaining glaze.

              To make ahead: After transferring pieces to prepared pan in step 3, buns can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for 24 hrs. When ready to bake, let sit at room temperature for 1 hr. Remove plastic wrap and continue with step 4.

              1. re: toveggiegirl

                A must try even tho' yeast hates me.

          2. When I make cinnamon buns I use twice the amount of filling called for as I love them to be extremely ooey and gooey and buttery.

            1. Pioneer Woman's cinnamon rolls are the best I've come across. I scale the recipe down to 1/4, though; that's way too many cinnamon rolls!