Whenever I get a craving for cinnamon rolls, this is my go-to recipe. I’ve tried several cinnamon roll recipes over the years, and the Pioneer Woman’s recipe is by far my favorite. This may surprise you, but they are actually really easy to make! You don’t even need a mixer. The dough for these rolls is so soft and fluffy and the filling is sweet, buttery and deliciously cinnamon flavored. I always make two pans and freeze one of them (unglazed of course). You can just re-warm them in the oven straight from the freezer and they taste (almost) as good as the totally fresh batch, even after being frozen for a month or two. These cinnamon rolls are the perfect thing to make for a special brunch or a weekend breakfast. I have even been known to make them for dessert. Any time of day is a good time for cinnamon rolls. :) Enjoy!
For the Cinnamon Rolls:
- 2 cups whole milk
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 package (2 ¼ teaspoons) Active Dry Yeast
- 4 cups (Plus ½ cup extra, separated) all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon (heaping) baking powder
- ½ teaspoon (scant) baking soda
- ½ tablespoon (heaping) salt
- Melted butter (approximately ½ cup = 1 stick)
- ¾ cup granulated sugar (approximately… sometimes I only use ½ cup)
- Generous sprinkling of cinnamon
For the Glaze:
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 3-5 tablespoons milk
- To make the cinnamon rolls: Mix the milk, vegetable oil, and sugar in a pan. Scald the mixture (heat until just before the boiling point—approx. 170 degrees F). Turn off the heat and leave to cool 45 minutes to an hour. (The mixture should be cooled to approximately 110-120 degrees F). When the mixture is lukewarm to warm, but NOT hot, sprinkle in the package of yeast. Let this sit for a minute. Then add 4 cups of all-purpose flour and stir the mixture together. Cover and let rise for at least an hour.
- After rising for at least an hour, add ½ cup more of flour, the baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir the mixture together. (At this point you could cover the dough and put it in the fridge until you need it – overnight or even a day or 2, if necessary. Just keep your eye on it and if it starts to overflow out of the pan, just punch it down.)
- When you are ready to prepare the rolls, sprinkle a rolling surface generously with flour. Take the dough and form a rough rectangle. Then roll the dough thin, maintaining a general rectangular shape. Drizzle 1/3 to ½ cup of melted butter over the dough. Sprinkle ½- ¾ cup of granulated sugar over the butter, followed by a generous sprinkling of cinnamon.
- Starting at the end opposite you, begin rolling the dough in a neat line toward you. Keep the roll relatively tight as you go. Then pinch the seam of the roll to seal it.
- Spread 1 tablespoon of melted butter in 2 round cake or pie pans, making sure to also butter the sides of each pan. Then begin cutting the rolls approximately ¾-1 inch thick and laying them in the buttered pans. (You should fill 2 pans).
- Let the rolls rise for 20-30 minutes. Then bake them at 375 degrees Fahrenheit until light golden brown, about 18-22 minutes.
- To make the glaze: In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, maple syrup, and milk until smooth. (If the mixture is too thick, add a little more milk to thin it out. If it is too thin, add a little more powdered sugar to thicken it). The mixture should be thick but still pourable. Generously drizzle the glaze over the warm cinnamon rolls. (Note – if you are planning to freeze one of the pans of cinnamon rolls, do not glaze them at this time. To reheat a frozen pan of rolls, just place it in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F until the cinnamon rolls are warmed through – this will probably take 10-15 minutes. Then glaze them.)
Yield: approximately 16-18 cinnamon rolls (depending on size)
Source: Adapted from the Pioneer Woman