Recipe 60: Perfect Cinnamon Rolls


I have this long-standing rule in my home that if I want something that is unhealthy, I can have it, but I have to make it myself. Often, the most unhealthy things tend to take the longest to make. So if my desire for a treat overwhelms my laziness to make it, then I make the concession of allowing myself to enjoy the fruits of my labor, hehe. This desire was for a giant, gooey cinnamon roll that rivals that of Cinnabon.

The results were perfect.

Recipe 60: Perfect Cinnamon Rolls

Adapted from: Source

Total Time: 2hrs 30 mins

Yields: 12-15 cinnamon rolls



  • 2 & 1/4 tsp Active Dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm Water-100F-110F-(microwaved about 30s)
  • 1/2 cup hot Milk-(microwaved about 1 min)
  • 1/4 cup Raw Sugar
  • 1/3 cup Unsalted Butter-melted
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 Egg
  • 3 & 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour


  • 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter-softened/melted (about 20s in microwave)
  • 3/4 cup Raw Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Ground Cinnamon
  • (nuts optional)


  • 2 tbsp Unsalted Butter-melted
  • 2 tbsp Vegetable Shortening-melted
  • 2 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 3-6 tbsp hot Water-(microwaved 30s)


For the Dough: In a small bowl, add about a tsp of the 1/4 cup raw sugar to the warm water, mix it lightly to partially dissolve. Then sprinkle the yeast onto the surface of your mixture and set aside.

In the mixing bowl, combine the hot milk, melted butter, remaining raw sugar, and salt, mixing to dissolve the sugar and salt.

Once the yeast has frothed (5-10min), test the milk/butter/sugar/salt mixture for temperature. If it’s less than 110F, add the yeast and mix together. (This is important because temperatures above 110F could kill the yeast!). Add the egg to the bowl and mix all together. Gradually add the flour 1/2 cup at a time, and mix with a dough hook or bread machine (or by hand if you’re epic like that), until the dough is satiny-smooth (about 10 mins).

Allow the dough to rise to double the volume (about 40 mins), then knead again for 2 minutes, allow to rest for 5 minutes, then roll out onto a lightly floured surface into a 15″x19″ rectangle (I use a regular sheet of printer paper to help me measure, as it is 8.5′”x 11″ standard).

For the Filling: Microwave your butter until it’s only partially melted (about 20 seconds), then add your 3/4 cups of sugar and your 2 tbsp cinnamon. Stir until smooth (lumps of butter are okay).

Prepare a 9″x13″ baking dish by lining it with parchment paper. Spread a VERY thin layer of the cinnamon/sugar/butter mixture along the bottom  & pre-heat your oven to 350F.

Spread the filling along the entire length of the cinnamon roll, save for a 1/4″ strip along one of the long sides. You’ll start rolling from the opposite long side, very tightly, pinching the dough together gently as you roll. Finish by running dipping a finger into some water and running it along the last, bare strip of dough to act as “glue” for when you press the roll to complete the log. (see pictures)

With a sharp knife, slice the log into 1-2″ pieces, working quickly and making sure to not flatten out the roll. Wipe your knife after each cut, it will make things easier :). Gently place the cinnamon rolls onto the baking dish, packing them so that they are touching one another. Place the end-pieces cut-side down. Cover with plastic wrap and allow the rolls to rise in a warm place for 20-30 minutes (until doubled).

Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Keep an eye on them because the sugar content will allow them to burn quickly if left unattended. Once finished, remove from oven and allow to cool.

For the Icing: In a medium bowl, add the powdered sugar, shortening, and butter together, and vanilla together. Once combined, add the hot water to the mixture one tbsp at a time, making sure to whisk the mixture completely before adding another tbsp. Once the desired consistency is reached, use a spatula to ice the rolls and serve!

Enjoy with a cup of coffee!

2 thoughts on “Recipe 60: Perfect Cinnamon Rolls

  1. Sam says:

    I recognize that rule – Michael Pollon, Food Rules? I have a similar rule though it doesn’t work out so well for me because I love to cook. These look incredible! I’ve never made cinnamon rolls myself before, but holy cow these looks a tad glorious.

    • Holli Mayer says:

      Hahaha, BINGO! I’m a big Michael Pollan fan, and that rule just stuck with me. It doesn’t always work, but I figure even if I whip up something unhealthy, it’s worlds better than something off the shelf. Thanks!! ;)

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