Cinnamon Rolls

It’s one thing to bake cookies, cupcakes, and brownies. It’s another thing to bake rolls and breads. Since I started baking in August, I’ve avoided every recipe in my cookbooks that involves yeast. It’s scary. It’s temperamental. It’s… mysterious. And it involves waiting. (I hate cookies that need waiting too. Boo.)

But something kept tugging on me. Maybe it’s the anticipation of Christmas, a mere 11 days away. Or it’s my craving for something soft, yielding, and dripping in icing. And cinnamon rolls definitely qualify. Here’s to my first time using yeast, and may there be many more!

Oh and I needed an excuse to use my early Christmas gift from my boyfriend. I’m pretty sure only yeasted baked goods involve heating water (unless I wanted to make a double broiler… also scary). You’ll see what I mean…

Ta-da! My first dutch oven! Stephen got me this beautiful dutch oven from Le Creuset. He knew I wanted the purple one (or “cassis” as they call it) and I’m so glad he didn’t fall back on his practical side and get the white one or something. It’s amazing. It’s perfect. It’s gush-worthy. Yes, it is heavy, but the weight is almost comforting. As it heats up, it just gets cozy and warm… kinda like it’s blushing. A creation of the gods, I’m telling you.

This is the dutch oven in better lighting. Nothing has looked better on my stove.

It was then that I knew I could finally open this package. And I was a changed woman.

After I stopped drooling, I decided to make the rolls. I know this looks like butter and egg yolks. But it’s not, I promise. The butter comes later, don’t you worry. Start by heating milk, oil, and sugar. You want to heat it until it starts bubbling softly, but you do not want it boil. Then let it cool down for about 30 minutes. The recipe I used (at the end of the post) said 45 minutes, but even though I waited that long, I think the mixture has cooled down enough by 30.

Add the yeast, wait a minute for it to foam and dissolve. Add flour and stir a bit.

Let the dough just sit. It’s going to do it’s homework for an hour. Meanwhile, assemble your ingredients. Ignore the nutmeg, it’s really not necessary. But definitely do not ignore my chicken kitchen timer. Or is it a kitchen chicken timer? Hehe. Isn’t it weird that kitchen and chicken are just a switching of consonant sounds apart? Maybe we can just call it a hen timer. Oh and yes, of course these cinnamon rolls are from the Pioneer Woman.

After an hour, the dough should’ve risen considerably. You’re ready to make the rolls! But before you do that, add an extra cup of flour, salt, and baking soda.

Flour the work surface and your rolling pin. Roll half the dough into a rough rectangle. Have plenty of melted butter waiting in the wings.

Sprinkle copious amounts of cinnamon and sugar on top of the drizzled butter.

Starting from one end, roll up the dough, tightening just slightly as you go. Pinch the seam to seal the end of the dough to the roll itself.

Cut the roll into rolls (wow, I’m clever) and arrange them in a greased pan. To cut, you should probably use a scraper or a spatula instead of a knife. You don’t want to cut your pastry mat with a knife. If you’re really ingenious, you could use dental floss, which is what my mom’s Better Homes and Gardens cookbook recommends. Nifty. After cutting, let the rolls relax and puff up again for about 30 minutes.

After baking, you’ll get this! Um. Amazing.

But we’re not done! You need to make the frosting!

And just get it all over the cinnamon roll. It’s not complete without icing. Life is not complete without icing. Literally and figuratively.

Devour. Consume. Gorge.

Somehow it feels as though a whole in my soul has been filled. It’s a fantastic feeling.

And then I realize what a glorious mess I’ve made.

The Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls (KbK’s adaptation)
You can find the original recipe and the complete instructions here.

  • 1 quart whole milk (I used 1% milk)
  • 1 cup vegetable oil (I used olive oil, because it’s all I had)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 packages of yeast (I used 2 1/4 tablespoons of yeast, because I halved the recipe and my yeast came in one monstrous package)
  • 8 cups of flour plus an extra cup for later
  • 1 teaspoon (heaping) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (scant) baking soda (I still can’t tell the difference between baking soda and baking powder, so I just used baking soda…sorry, I’m completely lame like that!)
  • 1 tablespoon (heaping) salt
  • An unquantifiable amount of butter
  • Plenty of sugar
  • A motherlode of cinnamon

Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-18 minutes. I was closer to the 18 minute mark. Keep in mind that the Pioneer Woman’s cinnamon roll recipe makes enough for like, an army. Make sure you make what you need! You don’t want cinnamon rolls tumbling out of your house… In my case, I halved her recipe, as I said earlier.

Additionally, I do not own maple flavoring and cannot operate a coffee machine to save my life. (Another lame thing about me…) So, I used Paula Deen’s recipe for the icing.

Paula Deen’s Cinnamon Roll Icing
You can find her original recipe here.

  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 3 to 6 tablespoons of hot water (I just used room temperature water and it was fine)


About kraftedbykelly
I'm a California girl living in Durham, North Carolina. I like to focus on baking from scratch, student-friendly cooking, and both high and low dining.

4 Responses to Cinnamon Rolls

  1. Debbie says:

    Bravo to you for making these, they have been on my to-do list for months and the idea of waking up early and dealing with yeast just hasn’t gotten me excited enough yet! I love your cartoons too, you are so creative!

    Also, I posted an award for you over on my blog 🙂

  2. Lillian T. says:

    I made these same cinnamon rolls for christmas breakfast this year, and I really enjoyed them. But I changed the frosting a bit as I also did not have maple flavoring. I did however have pure maple syrup, and instant espresso. So I mixed about 2 cups of powdered sugar, a Tablespoon of instant espresso grains, about 4T maple syrup, and 3T of butter. I mixed these around in a bowl ’til it was nice and smooth, and adjusted the amounts until I was satisfyed with the taste. Just thought I’d share, as I really liked the maple and coffee flavor over the rolls. Yum!

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