These homemade cinnamon rolls have power behind them – real power. You could pretty much get anything you wanted if you showed up toting a plate of these warm cinnamon rolls with icing oozing down the side. You can use them as wonderful gifts of gratitude and tokens of caring.
Make ’em Ahead of Time
I especially love that I can make these ahead of time and put them in the fridge to pop in the oven first thing in the morning – which makes your gifts of gratitude and tokens of caring all the more easier to provide!
Use the Short Cut Method to Make Cinnamon Rolls
I have been making these for years but only in the past few have I started using the shortcut method. While it’s fun to make the dough from scratch (see recipe for dough from scratch below), its much more time consuming and not that easy on your hands. Using store bought bread dough as opposed to making your own makes these super easy for anyone, regardless of experience in the kitchen, to turn out these supremely impressive cinnamon rolls.
To make these the Homemade Cinnamon Rolls the easy way the ingredients you’ll need are:
- White bread dough (1 loaf)
- A stick of butter
- Cream cheese (here’s my easy recipe for homemade cream cheese)
- Brown sugar
- Confectioner’s sugar
How to Make Homemade Cinnamon Rolls – The Easy Way
- Get out one loaf of bread dough and sit it on a plate at room temperature to thaw. This will probably take about an hour.
- Just go check on it every now and then and poke it a bit to see if it is still frozen in the center. We need it completely thawed because we’re gonna take our rolling pin and put some elbow grease into flattening and stretching that puppy out!
- In a small bowl, place brown sugar and cinnamon.
- Mix those up.
- I used one of Katy Rose’s “golden forks” for this. She was pretty proud of that.
- Place your thawed bread on a floured surface.
- I always roll out a bit of waxed paper to do this on for easy clean up.
- Now, putting some elbow grease into this, roll out the dough.
From Scratch versus The Easy Way
My original cinnamon roll recipe called for it to be rolled out to about 16×21 but that was when I was making the dough from scratch. When I use a loaf of dough, I roll it out to about 9×16. It comes out just the same but you just don’t have as many spirals to your cinnamon rolls.
- Take half of your stick of melted butter and spread it over your dough.
- Sprinkle your brown sugar mixture over it and pat down lightly. I leave a little bit of edge on each side to help it seal when we roll it up.
- Carefully begin rolling it all up into a log.
- Like this. Press that together just a little bit.
- Using a serrated knife (because that is what works best for me, but if you prefer some other type feel free!) cut one inch slices all down your log.
- Place the slices in a greased 9×13 pan.
- I am using metal but you can use glass if you prefer, whatever you have on hand.
- Cover the uncooked cinnamon rolls with cling wrap and place in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, which could take anywhere from two to four hours, depending on the temperature.
TIP to find a place for the dough to rise
Sometimes it’s hard to find a warm place in your house in the winter time. In the summer, I go put them in the garage. In the winter, I dry a load of clothes and set them on top of the washing machine, near the dryer.
At this point, you can also put them in the refrigerator and let them rise overnight. They will rise much more slowly in the fridge so get up about an hour before you want to bake them because you may need to sit them on the counter for about an hour to let them finish rising.
Looky there! Isn’t that beautiful? See how easy this is?
- Remove cling wrap and bake at 400 for 15 minutes, or until lightly browned.
How To Make The Icing for Cinnamon Rolls
- Place 1/2 brick cream cheese (recipe calls for 3 ounces, half of an eight ounce brick works for me!) and the other half of the stick of butter in a mixing bowl.
- Add confectioner’s sugar and cinnamon. The cinnamon gives your icing a bit of oomph!
- Mix that up until smooth and creamy.
Now if I am serving these rolls right out of the oven I let my family and guests ice them on their own, but if I am taking them someplace I ice them myself. Whatever you do is perfectly fine!
Ooooh Lawdy, isn’t that gorgeous? These heat up well, too. You can make them for dessert for dinner and heat them up for breakfast in morning. Delicious!
- 1 loaf frozen white bread dough such as Rhode's
- 1/4 Cup butter or margarine softened (Filling)
- 1 Cup brown sugar packed (Filling)
- 3 Tablespoon ground cinnamon Filling
- 3 ounce cream cheese softened (Icing)
- 1/4 Cup butter or margarine softened (Icing)
- 1-1/2 Cups confectioner's sugar Icing
- 1/2 tsp vanilla optional, I usually just leave it out (Icing)
- Place loaf of dough on plate and let sit at room temperature until thawed. Once thawed, roll out onto floured surface to a size of about nine inches by sixteen inches. Spread 1/4 C margarine over dough.
- In small bowl mix together brown sugar and 3 T cinnamon. Sprinkle over top of cinnamon roll, stopping about 1/2 an inch away from the sides so it will seal (see photos). Carefully roll up cinnamon roll into a log and press lightly to seal. Slice into one inch slices with serrated knife. Place in greased 9x13 inch pan and cover with cling wrap. Place in warm spot and allow to rise until doubled in size. Remove cling wrap and bake at 400 for about 15 minutes, or until done.
- Icing: Mix all ingredients together and beat with electric mixer until creamy. Spread over cinnamon rolls.
From Scratch Dough
*This dough replaces the frozen loaf of bread dough. Use the rest of the recipe as written above.
- 1 Cup Lukewarm Milk
- 2 Large eggs, at room temp
- 1/3 C unsalted butter or margarine, cut up
- 4 3/4 Cups All Purpose Flour
- 1 3/4 tsp Salt
- 1/2 C Sugar
- 2 1/2 tsp instant or bread machine yeast
Place all of the dough ingredients into the pan of your bread machine in the order listed. Program the machine for dough or manual and press start. After about ten minutes, check the doughs consistency. It should be smooth, not too sticky and not too dry. Adjust it’s consistency with additional flour or water if necessary to allow the machine to complete the kneading.
*If not using a bread machine, combine all of the dough ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir until mixture becomes cohesive. Transfer to lightly oiled work surface and knead by hand for five to eight minutes or until it is smooth. The way I think of smooth is…~looks around to make sure no one is listening~ it needs to be like a baby’s bottom.
Place kneaded dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turn to grease all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place for one hour, until it is nearly doubled. Transfer to floured work surface and roll into a 16×21 inch rectangle. Spread with 1/2 stick margarine and sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar mixture. Complete using recipe above.
You may also like these recipes: