Cinnamon. Rolls. Need I say more? These are little pillowy rolls of heaven. The thick icing adds a nice sticky sweetness to the cinnamony dough. This recipe is very versatile, skip the cinnamon and brown sugar filling and swap it for fresh blueberries, lemon zest, and sugar. So. Good. Turn these bad boys into sticky buns or keep them as is and add some whipped cream on top instead of icing. Get weird with it. Let your imagination run wild.
Photography by Sophie Marie Creative
- 1 package dry active yeast
- 1 cup warm milk (110° F to be exact, if it is too hot it will kill the yeast)
- 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 1/2 sticks butter
- 3 eggs; room temperature
- 4 cups all purpose flour plus more for rolling the dough (about 3/4 cup more)
- 1 stick butter; softened
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 2 ounces cream cheese
- 1/2 stick butter
- 1/3 cup heavy cream (more or less depending on how thick you like it)
- 2-3 cups powdered sugar (more or less depending on how thick you like it)
- 1 vanilla bean pod; split and scraped (like this)
- Add the warm milk, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and yeast to your stand mixer or a large mixing bowl. Let it bloom for about 5 minutes or until it begins to foam.
- Put half a stick of butter in a heat safe bowl. Put the full stick of butter in a small sauce pan and heat it over medium heat. It will bubble and start to foam, whisk it occasionally and let it keep cooking until it turns a deep golden brown. Pour the hot browned butter into the bowl with the half stick of butter. Whisk it until the mixture begins to cool and the cold butter is melted.
- Beat the eggs until well incorporated. Add the browned butter, eggs, and sugar to the yeast and milk mixture. Add the flour in one cup at a time, mixing after each addition. If using a stand mixer, attach the dough hook and let it knead for about 6 minutes or until if forms a ball and is no longer sticky. If kneading by hand, turn the dough out onto a clean, lightly floured surface and knead it (push down, fold the dough over itself, quarter turn, and repeat) for about 10 minutes or so until it is no longer sticky. At this point, whether done in the stand mixer or by hand, the dough should “bounce back” when you press it with your finger. Lightly oil a bowl with cooking spray or just a drizzle of oil and put the ball of dough in it. Cover with a kitchen towel. Turn on your oven to 200 degrees. As soon as it reaches 200 degrees, shut it off and open the door. Put the covered bowl with dough into the oven. Let it rise for about an hour or until it doubles in size.
- Mix together the filling mixture until well combined.
- On a lightly floured surface, turn out the risen dough. Roll out the dough into a rectangle-like shape, about a 1/4 inch thick. Spread the cinnamon sugar butter filling evenly across the surface.
- Starting with the side closest to you, roll the dough into a log shape. Cut off the uneven ends then divide and cut the dough into 12-16 pieces (depending on how many cinnamon rolls you want). Put the pieces in a baking dish then cover with a towel and let them rise in a turned off oven for about 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
- Remove the unbaked cinnamon rolls from the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
- Bake the cinnamon rolls uncovered for
- For the glaze, microwave the cream cheese for about 10-15 seconds to begin to melt it then whisk in the remaining ingredients until it is all combined and smooth.
- Uncover the cinnamon rolls and bake them for 25-35 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through.
- Remove the cinnamon rolls and pour half of the glaze over them while they are hot so it will soak in. Once it has cooled, spread the remaining glaze over them. I highly recommend reheating them when eating the leftovers.