Recipe 14: Cinnamon Rolls

These rolls are a little intense, but holy crap are they good.

I’ll start off with this: These cinnamon rolls use a yeasted dough for the roll, so give yourself some extra time for a rise of 1.5 hrs on top of the rest of the preparation and baking time. You can make and construct the rolls the night before and refridgerate until the next morning just fine, but if you’re looking for something quick, this isn’t it. What this recipe is is quite delicious and well worth the time. These rolls come out sweet and full of cinnamon with a center worth fighting over. So roll up your sleeves and get ready for a great classic.

Recipe 14: Cinnamon Rolls

Notes: This recipe is adapted from The Joy of Cooking, 75th edition. This book is my cooking bible. Thanks mom. <3



  • 1/4 cup warm water (105-115F)
  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (1 packet if you’re using those)
  • 1/2 cup and 2 and 1/4 cup all purpose flour (you’ll add them at separate times)
  • 1/3cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, softened


  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar plus extra for sprinkling on the dough (1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup butter plus extra for brushing the dough.
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon

Icing (optional)

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 to 6 tablespoons hot water (until desired consistency reached)


Since the only limiting factor in this prep is to make the dough, make sure you have your butter softened for it well in advance (just set the block out a couple hours before). Mix your yeast and the water (at 105-115F) and let it activate for 5 minutes. This is evident by little patches of bubbles forming here and there. No worries if you aren’t getting those, some yeast is slower.

Mix the initial 1/2 cup of flour, sugar, milk, eggs, vanilla, and salt and then add the the rest of the flour one cup at a time. When it’s a smooth, non sticky dough (after about 7 minutes of kneading with a mixer on low (use dough hooks), and then add your butter slowly. Knead until smooth again, and then place into a large greased bowl , cover, and let rise in a warm place for about 1.5 hrs until doubled. In the meantime, prepare your battle stations.

Before you start the construction:

The general premise of a cinnamon roll is to roll your dough out thin to a 16″x12″ rectangle. Considering that a piece of paper is 8.5″x11″, you can estimate from there on the size. Then you butter, add your brown sugar and cinnamon, and roll up and slice so that you get the pretty spiraled pastry rounds. You then set them into a greased baking dish (I use glass lined with parchment paper). You make a syrup for these that gets poured on top before you bake them. Then you bake them for 30 minutes at 350F, remove from the oven, cool 5 minutes, and invert over a foil-lined, rimmed baking pan. This keeps the syrup that cooked down to the bottom of the dish on top of the rolls, which is why the icing is optional.

Preheat your oven to 350F.

Now, to make  your syrup, add the butter, brown sugar, and honey to a sauce pan and cook over medium until the solution is boiling. Remove from heat and cool slightly. If you wanted to incorporate nuts into your rolls, this is where you’d add them.

Press your dough out with a light hand. Oil/butter your hands to prevent sticking, and you can roll this out on a greased cookie sheet to make sure it doesn’t stick to the surface. Use a pastry brush or your fingers to spread a thin layer of melted butter on the dough, then sprinkle your brown sugar and cinnamon (I love cinnamon, so I used much more for this than it calls for), and starting with the long side, roll it up.

Slice in half, then slice the halves in half, and then slice those four pieces in half each to yield 8 pieces and arrange them cut side down in your baking dish.  Pour your syrup evenly over them. Cook for 30 minutes and then remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes before you invert over a foil-lined baking pan.

Enjoy!! I promise these are worth the work!!

3 thoughts on “Recipe 14: Cinnamon Rolls

    • Holli Mayer says:

      Thanks!! After I made them, I realized that having all of them in our house could be dangerous to my thighs, so with him to work they went! Lol.

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