Take ordinary cinnamon rolls up a notch this Valentine’s Day with these homemade cinnamon knots. These fluffy morsels of goodness include sugar, cinnamon spice, and everything nice!
Valentine’s day at my house is all about family. Just like my mother before me, I like to cook a special meal for my kids, and our traditional meal has become heart-shaped meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and cinnamon knots shaped into love hearts. It may not sound romantic but it sure does sound like home and what could encompass more love than that? Now since I posted that menu last year and it doesn’t change, I thought this year I’d bring you one last Valentine’s recipe and a little spin on my cinnamon love knots.
This is my homemade cinnamon knot recipe. However, if you are lazy and proud of it (I feel ya), you might want to refer to my original recipe for love knots which you could pretty much make with your eyes closed. But if we’re going from scratch, these are the ingredients you’ll need: flour, granulated sugar, salt, yeast, ground cinnamon, vegetable shortening, eggs, and butter or margarine.
The instructions aren’t too difficult, I promise. We just need to mix the dough, let it rise, knead the dough, twist the dough into the sweetest hearts you’ve ever seen, proof, and bake. The final touch is a vanilla glaze on top. If you like cinnamon rolls, I just know you’ll love these cinnamon knots as well. They’re sweet and fluffy cinnamon-spiced knots full of goodness!
By the way… here are 40+ Valentine’s Day recipes to enjoy so you can make your own menu. Now, let’s make some sweet sweet cinnamon knots!
- All-purpose flour
- Granulated sugar
- Active dry yeast
- Vegetable shortening
- Unsalted butter or margarine
- Ground cinnamon
- Powdered sugar
- Milk (or heavy cream)
- Vanilla extract
How to Make Cinnamon Knots From Scratch
Make the dough
Measure your sugar, salt, 2 cups of all-purpose flour, and yeast into a mixing bowl.
Cut in shortening with a long-tined fork.
You can use a fancy pastry cutter if you want to but that’s just one more thing to clutter up my kitchen so I got rid of it years ago.
After you get your shortening cut up in there real good…
Add your eggs.
Beat up your eggs a bit and then add the melted butter.
You want to melt this and then give it time to cool so that it isn’t too hot.
Add the remaining flour.
Then add the water, making sure the water is the temperature of a baby’s bath water.
Stir that up well.
It’s going to look like a lumpy blob when you’re done.
Cover the dough with a towel and let it sit for 20 minutes.
Create the knots
After 20 minutes, it’s going to look like an even bigger lumpy blob.
Now we need to flour a surface and pour our blob out onto it.
You can put out a sheet of waxed paper to save cleanup and sprinkle a good bit of flour over it so the dough doesn’t stick if you like.
Okay, so you need to knead your dough a time or two.
What I do is just put some flour on your hands, press the dough into a ball, and then smoosh it out with the heel of your hand. Then put it into a ball again and smoosh it out again with the heel of your hand.
Alrighty now, here we have our big lumpy blob, all kneaded and ready to go.
Pull off a small lumpy blob.
Take that ball and make a worm.
Hmm, how long is this worm? I have no idea. Five, six inches maybe. Just wing it and roll with me here.
Dip the worm into some melted butter.
Roll him around in a cinnamon sugar mixture.
Next, tie that worm in a knot and place it into a greased baking dish.
Cut the remaining dough up into squares with a pizza cutter and place them into another greased baking dish.
Cover the cinnamon knots and rolls with towels and place them in a warm place to proof for another 20 minutes.
Now bake them both at 350 for 20 to 25 minutes until the tops are golden brown. Yummikins!
When they come out of the oven, brush your rolls with melted butter again.
Add a vanilla glaze (optional)
I usually serve my love knots as a side dish, but this year will serve them as a dessert by adding a little vanilla glaze.
All the details are in the recipe card.
Enjoy them as a Valentine’s Day treat or anytime you want to show your friends and family some love.
- Store leftover cinnamon knots in an airtight container in the fridge or at room temperature for up to 3 days. I recommend reheating them in the oven or air fryer so they get crispy once more.
- You can also freeze leftovers for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge or at room temperature and then reheat as above.
- The thing about yeast bread that is most tricky to folks is getting their liquid ingredients at the right temperature. A good rule of thumb that has always served me well has been to make sure liquids are about the temperature as a baby’s bath water. Yes, I stick my finger in the melted margarine, it doesn’t hurt anyone. If it’s as warm as a baby’s bath water, but not hot, then it is a great temperature.
- Instead of the vanilla glaze, the original recipe includes cinnamon cream cheese icing if that’s more your style.
- Another way to make cinnamon knots is to twist them into cinnamon buns and bake them in a muffin tin. Here’s how to do it that way.
Can you use instant yeast instead?
Yep, both types of yeast will work in this recipe.
Can you make cinnamon knots in advance?
Yes, you can make cinnamon knots ahead of time. Follow the instructions until the knots are proofing and then cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and store it in the fridge so the knots can rise overnight. In the morning, let them warm to room temperature while the oven preheats, and follow the remaining instructions.
You may also like these recipes:
- 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1.5 tsp salt
- 2 packets active dry yeast
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs
- 1 stick melted unsalted butter or margarine
- 1.5 cups warm water
Cinnamon Sugar Mixture
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 stick melted butter or margarine
- 1 cup confectioner's sugar
- 3 tbsp milk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Place sugar, salt, 2 cups of flour, and yeast in a large bowl. Cut in shortening with a long-tined fork.1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1.5 tsp salt, 2 packets active dry yeast, 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
- Add eggs, beating lightly with a fork before stirring them in. Add remaining flour, melted butter, and water. Stir together well. The mixture will look like a big old lumpy blob.5 cups all-purpose flour, 2 eggs, 1 stick melted unsalted butter or margarine, 1.5 cups warm water
- Cover with a dish towel and let the dough sit in a warm place for 20 minutes.
- While that is rising, mix the additional sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Melt butter or margarine in the microwave in a separate bowl and set these aside.1 cup granulated sugar, 1 tbsp ground cinnamon, 1 stick melted butter or margarine
- After 20 minutes, turn out onto a floured surface. Sprinkle the flour over the top and knead three or four times.
- Pinch off six balls about one inch in size and roll them out into worms. Dip each one in melted butter and roll in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Tie into a knot and place on a greased baking dish or sheet.
- Cut the remaining dough up into squares with a pizza cutter and place them into another greased baking dish. Cover the cinnamon knots and rolls with towels and place them in a warm place to rise for another 20 minutes.
- Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
- Meanwhile, stir up the vanilla icing ingredients in a bowl until well blended. Serve it drizzled over your love knots or on the side.1 cup confectioner's sugar, 3 tbsp milk, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Our attitude toward life determines life’s attitude toward us.
~ John N Mitchell