“You know, I really don’t think I need buns of steel. I’d be happy with buns of cinnamon.” – Ellen DeGeneres.
Cinnamon rolls are one of my all time favorite pastries. I don’t treat myself to them often because they are so decadent…and caloric. And to Ellen’s point, I wouldn’t have buns of steel (I don’t anyways), it would be more like buns of squishiness. But when I DO treat myself, I want super yummy ones.
I love to bake on the weekend because I have the time to take my time. Baking is such an exact science – especially when dough is involved. Yet, it truly is an art. Knowing how sticky or not sticky the dough needs to be, or when to pull a bake out of the oven takes a lot of practice…and patience…and trust in yourself and your baking abilities.
This particular recipe is great for beginning bakers because you don’t need to let the dough rise – it doesn’t have any yeast in it. And it’s a very forgiving dough. A perfect, foolproof way to start dabbling in the baking world.
A couple of notes before you get started. First, this recipe takes about 1 to 1 1/2 hours to make – so plan ahead. If you don’t use your time wisely, your breakfast pastry could easily turn into a brunch bread. Also, you’re going to need either a ruler or a dough/pizza mat to measure out your dough. It’s very important to measure out the dough before you roll it out, or the individual rolls won’t fit right in the pan.
When you’re rolling the dough, be sure to roll the dough fairly tightly and pinch the final seam together so the lovely cinnamon filling doesn’t ooze out all over the place when it bakes. But if it does, who cares. You’re making cinnamon rolls from scratch! Woot! Your friends and family are going to love you. That is, if you share. You should share…these cinnamon rolls are too good not to.
Delicious Homemade Cinnamon Rolls From Scratch
- 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 1/8 tsp table salt
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (12 1/2 oz)
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled (Divide up into three portions - 2 tbsp, 2 tbsp and 2 tbsp
- 2 tbsp cream cheese, softened
- 2 tbsp buttermilk
- 1 cup confectioner's sugar
Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Spray a 9-inch non-stick cake pan with cooking spray, or you can butter the pan. I used the non-stick spray. It really is whatever you prefer.
Start by making the filling first. Melt the butter in a small saucepan or a small bowl in the microwave. Add the remaining dry ingredients to the butter and mix it up until you have a paste. Put in a small bowl (if it isn't already in a bowl) and set aside.
Next up is the dough. I recommend weighing out the flour if you can, but if you don't have a scale, that's OK. Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Combine with a whisk until well mixed.
Pour the buttermilk and 2 tbsp the melted butter on top of the dry ingredients and fold with a spatula until combined. Be careful not to overmix. The dough will look a little ragged, that's what you want. Also, you'll want to get into the nooks and crannies of the bowl to make sure there aren't and pockets of dry ingredients left.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured counter and knead until the dough becomes smooth. Again, don't over work it.
Shape the dough into a 9 inch by 12 inch rectangle. This is where the ruler comes in handy (or the dough/pizza mat).
Brush 2 tbsp of melted butter on the rectangle of dough and put the filling on it. Spread the filling out, leaving about 1/2 inch around the perimeter (see the photo).
Tightly roll up the dough into a cylinder and pinch together the seam. It should look like a log. Cut the dough into eight equal pieces.
Put the first roll in the middle of the pan. Place the rest of the rolls around the one in the middle. Press on the top of the rolls a bit to seal any open edges and keep the filling in place.
Brush the last 2 tbsp of butter on the rolls. Pop them in the oven. You'll want to start checking them at about 20 minutes. It will take 20 - 25 minutes, depending on your oven. Also, you'll want to turn the pan a half turn at the 10 minute mark. Bake them until they're golden brown around the edges.
While the rolls are baking, make the icing. Make sure the cream cheese is really soft or you'll get lumps. Gross. All you need to do is put all of the icing ingredients in a bowl and mix it with a whisk or spoon. The finished icing should look like glue.
When the rolls are done, let them cool a bit in the pan - for about 5 minutes - then pop them out of the pan with an off-set spatula. Immediately drizzle the icing on the rolls.
*This recipe was adapted from America's Test Kitchen.