Saturday, January 8, 2011

Cinnamon Rolls Like Cinnabon's

Cinnamon rolls have always been one of those items on my bucket list of things to bake. Originally, I had intended to make these two years ago, but just couldn't get up the time and energy to do it. However, I determined that this year (or rather last Christmas) would be THE time. Plus, a house full of people meant that there would be no trouble finding someone to eat them all up.

Thus, I became a man (ahem a woman) with a mission. I set my alarm and woke up early to start my dough. The recipe was originally made for a breadmaker. However, I haven't had the best of experiences with my breadmaker, so I decided to modify this recipe so it could be made by hand. Once my dough was set to rise, I promptly . . . went back to sleep for another hour. Yeah, like I said, it was early and with everyone in the house still asleep, what else was I going to do?

The rest of the process went off without a hitch, until I got to the point where I had to roll the dough up. In my naivete, I had rolled the dough out on a piece of wax paper believing all the while that it wouldn't stick. Oops. I guess I should have floured the paper a little more, or better still, used the countertop because that dough fought me for all it was worth. I was pretty much praying at that point, "Please don't let my dough tear. Please, just let it roll up all nice and pretty (or, forget pretty, just roll up NOW.)" Luckily, although it didn't roll up tightly enough that first time, I was able to re-roll each one after slicing it off and it all worked out fine.

They baked up beautifully, iced fantastically, and smelled heavenly. But, what would everyone think? That was the important thing. I watched like a hawk as the others took a bite. "These are exceptionally delicious," were the exact words of my sister's friend as he ate one and then another. I breathed a sigh of relief and joy, then gleefully went to cram a roll in my own mouth and sigh once again with pure sweet cinnamony pleasure.

Clone of a Cinnabon (adapted from Allrecipes)

1 c. warm milk (110F)
2 eggs
1/3 c. margarine, melted
4 1/2 c. bread flour
1 tsp. salt (I used less)
1/2 c. sugar
2 1/2 tsp. bread machine yeast

1 c. brown sugar, packed
2 1/2 Tbsp. cinnamon
1/3 c. butter, softened

3 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 c. butter, softened
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar (I used 1 1/4 cup)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. salt (I omitted this)

Add two teaspoons of sugar to the warm milk and stir to dissolve. Add the yeast to the milk, stir a little to prevent clumping of the yeast, and let sit 5-10 min. until foamy.

Beat the eggs with the melted margarine and add the milk mixture. Add two cups of bread flour with the salt to start and stir to combine. Gradually add flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough no longer sticks to the bowl (I ended up using only about 3 1/2 cups of flour).

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for several minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic (you can add a little more flour as necessary to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands and the surface). Place dough into an oiled bowl (I use a large measuring cup), cover with plastic wrap and a dishtowel, and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

After the dough has doubled in size, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, cover, and let rest for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon.

Roll the dough into a 16x21 inch rectangle. Spread the dough with 1/3 c. butter and sprinkle evenly with sugar-cinnamon mixture. Roll the dough up and cut into 12 rolls. Place rolls in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking pan. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 min. Preheat the oven to 400F.

Bake rolls in preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes. While rolls are baking, beat together the cream cheese, 1/4 c. butter, and powdered sugar. Fold in the vanilla with a rubber spatula. Spread frosting on warm rolls before serving.

  • For the first rising of the dough, I prefer to use a large measuring cup with markings on the side. That way, I can simply look at the measurements to determine what my starting point is and what the "doubled" point should be.
  • I also recommend using a piece of dental floss instead of a knife when slicing the rolls. It's a whole lot neater and easier.

This recipe is linked to:
Fat Camp Friday
Friday's Potluck
Decidedly Healthy or Horridly Decadent Blog Hop


  1. Hi Lisa! Your cinnamon rolls look delicious! We love cinnabon but don't go there very often. I wish we had some of these right now!

    I am passing them all on to you =o) I think you deserve all of them and I couldn't separate who gets what. Too many choices so you get them all! You deserve it. I love your blog!!!

  2. Your cinnamon rolls turned out perfect Lisa! That's a funny story about the wax paper. I ran out of flour on Christmas eve and tried it also. I had 2 helpers holding down the paper while I rolled. It all worked out though. I love fresh baked cinnamon rolls from the oven!

  3. I LOOOVE these Cinnamon rolls! I made them twice last year and would have liked them on Christmas morning but just couldn't get myself to get up and do it :( They are soo yummy but soo time consuming. In fact the only two times I made them last year we had them in the middle of the afternoon! LOL!

  4. Those look so good! I have never tried making cinnamon rolls yet--this looks like a good recipe to try!

  5. Lisa these look delicious! I wish I had one right now :-)

  6. gr8 nd tempting love to eat it just now

  7. These look great. I can totally relate. I had always wanted to make cinnamon rolls and made them for the first time last month. I felt panicky the whole time, praying after each step that I would not screw them up. Definitely totally worth it, though. Thanks for sharing yours:)

  8. YUUUUMMMM!!! :-) Great job

  9. Gosh, I printed a few of these recipes out almost a year ago but like you, keep putting it off again and again! Looks really good, don't know when I'll be making this, hopefully real soon!

  10. Nothing reminds me of my mom like cinnamon rolls. She would make these for special occasions and the fact that she was making them was just special! These look and sound delicious. I would love to give these a try sometime.

  11. these look incredible. I want to make them now instead of going to bed :)

  12. They look beautiful! I've never been brave enough to try these but, these look so perfect. Maybe one day :(

  13. These look yummy ... I love it when things eventually work out!

  14. These look perfect! It took me a while to bring myself to make cinnamon rolls but once you get going, its hard to find a reason NOT to make them. Glad you gave it a go.

  15. Wonderful! They look mouthwatering!

  16. Wow - those are truly a labor of love! A lot of yeast doughs rise well overnight in the fridge. Next time guests come up to ski (so I don't eat the whole pan, can't do without guests)I'll try and let you know.

    Thanks for sharing with the Decidedly Healthy or Horridly Decadent Blog Hop !

  17. I have made the original Allrecipes version before - I can verify that it is FANTASTIC! Thanks for reminding me of these - I'll have to make a batch again soon.

  18. Oh, that's just an evil way to wake me up!! If I had one in front of me that I could pick up and devour, then I'd be endlessly happy :D You did a fantastic job. And now I have another thing to make. SOON!!!

  19. I have to make these I adore cinnamon rolla, are amazing! delicious, gloria

  20. I am always in search of a great cinnamon roll recipe, these will go on my list to try next. Thanks for sharing with Fat Camp Friday, hope to see you back again next week with another great recipe!

  21. I love cinnabon! These look incredibly delicious! I made Alton Brown's cinnamon rolls last year for Christmas and they weren't that good - such a disappointment.

  22. OK, if I made these, my DH would be in heaven! Thanks for posting this... he asked for them TODAY!

    e-Mom @ Susannah's {Kitchen}

  23. I recently made this recipe, too (also got it from anyway, the recipe makes 12 very large rolls... i like to divide the dough into 3 parts and make 36 cini minis... the frosting is really good huh?! love it! i'm making these again this weekend for my friend's birthday party - the beauty thing about making them mini's is everyone gets to eat at least one - maybe two!

  24. Cinnamon rolls are still in my bucket list. I still have the recipe but didn't got the motivation to do it! Yours look perfect and delicious!

  25. Love your description, and they look fantastic! You're a natural:)

  26. I have a cinnabon copycat recipe too that is so delicious. Yours look so oooey gooey delicious. Makes me crave 'em!

  27. wow, those look so amazing! i like recipes you can actually do at home!

  28. These look so tasty! I'm a sucker for cinnamon rolls and every once in a while I'll make them. My hubby makes his with a chalah base but I like a sweet dough, just like yours. I discovered you through @ceodraicght's blog hop!

  29. I'm always on the lookout for new cinnamon rolls to try...still looking for that perfect one. I'll give this a try now too.... and... good for you revealing your faux pas with the wax paper... it lets the uninitiated know...

    Luckily I have rolled a few pieces of dough...and always just a floured counter works so well..or... for table which happens to be a slab of granite..and lower.... love it for rolling or kneading anything....

  30. I am making these rright now and am wondering where the 1st 1/2 cup of sugar goes. it is in the ingredience for the rolls but not the instructions. can anyone help?