There are no valid excuses for not making these cinnamon rolls. Yes, they take a few hours from start to finish. Watch a movie, study for finals, go for a run. Sure, you can buy a roll at the grocery store and make some in twenty minutes. I can guarantee you they won’t be half as good as these—sorry, Pillsbury. Yeah, it’s getting warm outside and you’d rather eat something cold like ice cream. Um, cinnamon roll ice cream sandwiches, duh. Like I said, no excuses.
Seriously, these cinnamon rolls are so freakin’ soft, fluffy, and gooey that once you’re a bite into these cinnamon-sugar clouds, you’ll be so glad you made the decision to make them. Now go make yourself proud.
Prep Time: 3 hours (2½ hours of waiting)
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours
Servings: about 30 rolls
2 cups whole milk
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup granulated sugar
1 package active dry yeast
4 ½ cups flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons salt
1 stick butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
Tons of cinnamon
1 8-oz block of cream cheese, room temperature
½ cup butter, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon to taste
1. Stir the milk, vegetable oil, and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat until it’s just about to boil. Turn off the heat and let this mixture sit for an hour to cool.
2. Once mixture is no longer hot, mix in the yeast. Let it sit for five minutes just so that it can activate and make your dough all nice and light and fluffy.
3. Now mix in 4 cups of your flour. Let this sit for another hour with a towel on top. (Tip: the dough tastes HEAVENLY at this point. Seriously, taste it.)
4. Once that time is up, uncover, punch down the dough, and mix in your baking soda, baking powder, salt, and ½ cup of flour until completely combined.
5. Transfer all of your dough into a large mixing bowl and place it in the refrigerator with a towel on top for at least two hours. Check on it a few times and punch down the dough if it rises too far out of the bowl.
6. When your dough is chilled enough, preheat your oven to 375°F. Then, take your dough out of the bowl and place on a floured surface. Roll the dough out pretty thin into a rectangle shape.
7. Now pour a nice, even coat of melted butter over the dough. You will probably use a ½ stick, but feel free to use more/less as you feel is necessary.
8. Sprinkle tons of cinnamon on top of the butter, and then half of your brown sugar and half of your white sugar. If you feel there’s not enough sugar, add more. No one’s watching ya.
9. Starting at the end farthest from you, begin to roll the dough towards you. Make sure it’s very tight. Once you finish rolling, flip the log so that the seam is on the counter.
10. Next, start slicing that baby into 1-inch thick slices. Then butter, oil, or spray three or four pans—any type you like—and place those sugary, buttery rolls in ’em.
11. Cover the pans with a towel and let them rest one more time for 20-30 minutes. Once that time is up, you can finally bake the rolls for 17-19 minutes or until they’re lightly golden on top.
12. While the rolls are in the oven, you can make your icing. Whisk together cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and cinnamon (to taste) until smooth and creamy.
13. When those rolls are browned and beautiful, take them out of the oven.
14. Spread on your icing ASAP! Watch it melt all over the hot and steamy rolls.
15. Finally you can enjoy one of these gooey, sugary, doughy buns. Enjoy them while they last—which won’t be very long. Now aren’t you proud of yourself?
Looking to spice up your buns? Check out these takes on the classic cinnamon roll: