There are lots of cinnamon roll recipes and I’ve tried quite a few of them through the years. This is our current favorite.
1 package yeast (or 2-1/4 tsp. if using bulk yeast)
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
6 Tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon (heaping) baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3-1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 to 1/2 cup cream (optional)
5 Tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons cinnamon
1/2 stick butter, melted
3 cups powdered sugar
4 Tablespoons Half & Half (or milk)
Vanilla extract to taste
In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water.
In a large bowl, combine 3 cups flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda and sugar.
In a microwave safe bowl or measuring cup, place butter and milk and heat til the butter is softened or barely melted.
Stir the milk/butter mixture into the flour mixture. Add the egg and the yeast mixture.
Stir until the consistency of a sticky bread dough.
Turn out onto a floured surface and continue adding flour and kneading until dough is smooth.
Place dough in an oiled bowl and let rise until doubled in size. This totally depends on the temp in your kitchen. In the winter, it takes several hours in my kitchen. In the summer, sometimes barely an hour.
Butter a baking dish and set aside.
Once the dough has risen, punch it down and knead a couple of times. Roll it out on a floured surface until it’s about 10″ x 15″.
Mix the 1/2 cup sugar and 2 T. cinnamon. I prefer to have the 5 T. butter very soft and spread it on the dough but in the winter, it will not get soft enough so I have to microwave it and it usually ends up melted. Spread the butter on the dough and if the butter is totally melted, let it sit for a few minutes so the butter hardens a bit. If the butter is completely melted, it, along with the cinnamon and sugar will all pour out when you slice the dough.
Once the butter is a bit harder, sprinkle the cinnamon/sugar mixture over the dough, keeping it away from the very edges of the dough.
Beginning with the long edge, roll the dough up as tightly as possible. Using a bit of water, dampen the long edge and pinch it together to seal it.
Slice the dough into about 3/4″ to 1″ slices. Place the rolls in the buttered dish with edges touching. Some of the cinnamon/sugar will fall out but I sprinkle all that back over the top of the rolls once they’re all in the pan.
Let the rolls rise til doubled in height. Again, the amount of time this takes will depend on the temp of your kitchen.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Caution! Stop! Take a breath! Remember . . cinnamon rolls are meant to be delicious and luscious and fattening! If you’re looking for low fat, low calorie . . grab a carrot stick!
Pour 1/4 to 1/2 cup of cream around the cinnamon rolls. I pour it around the edges but don’t pour it right over their tops! If you don’t want to use cream, you don’t have to. The cinnamon rolls will still be great but they’ll be greater with the cream!
Bake for 25 – 30 minutes.
Once the rolls are almost completely cool but just a tad warm, make the icing and spread over the rolls.
I like to use the clear vanilla so the icing stays nice and white. Vince detests this vanilla. He says it isn’t really vanilla at all. I do not know what he’s talking about and I love using it . . because it keeps my icing white and because every time he sees it, he goes through his entire speech about how it isn’t really vanilla. He told my friend the same thing and she said “He might as well have told me there was no Easter Bunny!”