A quest for Cinnamon Roll perfection…
You know how some people can’t rest unless their home is in perfect order, or their outfit is exactly what they’d envisioned or they’ve accomplished some amazing physical challenge….well for me….I can’t rest until I figure out the perfect recipe for something. Yes, my counter may not be perfectly cleared off, and my girls may scoff my “mom” outfit – but I have finally figured out the recipe for my perfect cinnamon rolls and that makes me feel very satisfied! …until the next idea pops into my head. ( :
We love cinnamon rolls when it’s holiday time and can enjoy a nice relaxing morning to dawdle around the house sipping our coffee. Waking up crazy-early to start making cinnamon rolls from the beginning would defeat the relaxing morning plan, so I make the cinnamon rolls most of the way the night before and let them proof/rise in the refrigerator overnight – which allows you to sleep in, but also it seems to improve the texture and flavor of the dough.
This dough is rich with butter, milk, an egg and egg yolks – reminds me of tender and rich brioche dough. I like my cinnamon rolls with just enough buttery cinnamon filling to smell and taste amazing, but not overpower the flavor of the beautiful tender dough – feel free to adjust the filling amount to your liking. I always spread the warm rolls with a simple icing the melts, coats the rolls and slips into all the cinnamon swirls. Sometimes I make a simple butter, powdered sugar and milk icing, sometimes I make one with cream cheese – either way, they’re delicious!
Recipe Step-By-Step Photo Tutorial:
Melt butter and warm the milk.
Let milk and butter mixture cool slightly (should be above 110-115 degrees.)
While milk and butter are cooling, gather the rest of the ingredients.
Add to Bowl: warm water, yeast, sugar, egg, egg yolks and vanilla.
Mix to combine.
Add 4 cups flour and salt…
Mix together on low speed.
Shift to speed 2 and drizzle in milk mixture.
Switch to dough hook (please excuse the chipped nails – lol!)
Knead on speed 2, adding in more flour, little by little until dough is less sticky. (I added 3/4 cup more flour)
Continue kneading on speed 2 until dough is smooth and cleans the sides of the bowl. It will be a soft dough that will ride on the dough hook a little more than some other doughs.
Transfer dough to greased bowl, turn to coat top of dough and cover bowl with plastic wrap or a clean bowl. Tip: Take a photo of dough before it rises, so you can compare and see when it has risen to double.
Find a warm spot for dough to rise. Tip: Sometimes I create a warm spot in my oven that is turned off. I pour some hot water into a heat safe dish on a lower rack in the oven.
place the dough on a rack above the hot water and close the oven door. (Do not turn on oven during this rising time.)
Gather the filling ingredients.
Mix the filling together until soft and spreadable.
Butter your baking pan and get ready to roll the dough.
Butter your baking pan and get ready to roll the dough.
…and you can poke a finger into the dough and the indentation remains – it’s ready!
Press down the dough gently to deflate.
Sprinkle some of the remaining flour on a flat surface and either pat with your hands or use a rolling pin…
…to roll into a 12″ x 18″ rectangular shape
Spread on the filling.
Begin rolling the dough from the long side facing you.
Once rolled, pat in the ends to make more even all the way across as the the ends are usually thinner
…gently press along the length to make an even roll and make sure it’s all sealed.
Use a very sharp knife, serrated knife or unflavored dental floss to cut nice “un-squished” slices.
First cut in half, then into fourths. Then cut each fourth into 3 equal pieces – you want 12 even slices
Cover with greased plastic wrap. (non-stick baking spray works well here.) Refrigerate overnight.
The next morning…Place on counter to come to room temperature – about 1.5 hours or put in a warm spot to speed up the process (I usually do the hot water in the pan in oven technique.)
When they’ve risen a little more, no longer feel cold…
…and their little centers are puffing up – it’s time to bake!
Mix up the icing while they’re baking.
Remove from oven – inhale the yummy aroma!
Slather on the icing when they’re warm – then grab your coffee and dig in!
Thanks for spending some time in the cloud with me!
I hope you enjoy the recipe! Tina ( :
Fluffy Overnight Cinnamon Rolls
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup very warm water (about 105 degrees)
- 1 envelope instant yeast
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 5 cups all-purpose flour divided (4 cups, 1 cup)
- oil for greasing bowl
- butter for greasing pan
- 6 tablespoons unsalted buter softened
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Cream Cheese Icing
- 4 ounces cream cheese softened
- 2 tablespoons butter softened
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 2-3 tablespoons milk
- Melt butter and warm milk in small pan over low heat and allow to cool slightly.
- In stand mixer bowl with flat beater attached, add warm water, yeast, sugar, egg, yolks and vanilla and mix on low until combined.
- Add 4 cups flour and salt - mix on low until flour is mostly combined, then shift to speed 2-3 and drizzle in milk mixture.
- Mix until dough starts to pull together – will still be quite wet. Switch from flat beater to dough hook.
- Begin to knead on speed 2 and add 1/2 cup more of the remaining flour. After that add 1-tablespoon at a time until dough is smooth and pulls away from bowl (I used ¾ cup of remaining cup of flour for my last batch).
- Knead about 5 minutes. Note: This dough is softer and will cling to/ride up the dough hook more than some other doughs. I stopped and scraped the dough off the dough hook a few times during the kneading process.
- Lightly oil the inside of a large bowl. Place dough in bowl, turning dough over so oiled side of dough is facing up.
- Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm place* until dough has doubled in size, about 2 hours.
- While dough is rising: Mix together filling ingredients until soft and spreadable. Grease a 9 x 13 x 2 baking dish.
- Sprinkle a little flour on a flat surface for rolling. Roll the dough into a 12 x 18-inch rectangle. (This dough is very soft, you can actually pat it out with your hands rather than rolling if you like.)
- With the long-side facing you, spread the filling mixture evenly over the surface leaving a 1-inch border around the edge.
- Starting with the long side facing you, roll with both hands. Roll so the seam-side is facing down and use your hands to even out the roll.
- Then, cut with a very sharp knife, serrated knife or unflavored dental floss into 12 equal pieces.
- Place the rolls, evenly-spaced, in the prepared baking dish and cover with greased plastic wrap. (Greased side down, so dough doesn’t rise and stick to plastic wrap.)
- Refrigerate overnight.
- In the morning, place in a warm place* or leave out on counter covered until they come to room temperature, rise and expand some more and start getting puffy in the center.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
- While the rolls are baking, make the icing: beat together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Slowly add vanilla and mix in the powdered sugar. Add the milk, 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach a texture you like.
- Spread icing over warm rolls.