Pillowy soft, perfectly sweet and deliciously gooey bakery style cinnamon rolls are the best cinnamon rolls you will ever eat... EVER. As an added bonus these cinnamon rolls will make your house smell like a professional bakery!
Let me forewarn you, if you serve these to your friends they will:
a. not believe that these are actually homemade.
b. you will be stuck bringing these to EVERY function for the rest of your life.
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- active dry yeast
- granulated sugar
- kosher salt
- all purpose flour
- extra virgin olive oil
- brown sugar
- vanilla extract
- cream cheese
- powdered sugar
See recipe card for quantities.
Making fresh cinnamon rolls at home can be a daunting task. Wether you are an advanced baker or a beginner, these detailed step-by-step instructions are easy to follow and will have you baking the best cinnamon rolls you have ever tasted in no time!
In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the milk, sugar and yeast. Let the yeast bloom until frothy.
Add the rest of the ingredients for the dough into the foamy yeast.
Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead until smooth.
In a large bowl add the extra virgin olive oil. Add the ball of dough and turn the dough ball to completely coat it. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap or a bowl cover and let rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size.
Tip- While you are waiting for the dough to rise, make the fillings and frosting!
This is what the dough will look like at the end of the first rise.
Punch down the dough to release the gasses that formed during the rise and turn it out onto a large, lightly floured surface.
Split the dough into two equal parts. Roll one of the parts into a rectangle that is roughly 20" x 14".
Top the vanilla butter mixture with half of the cinnamon sugar filling, sprinkling it evenly overtop of the entire surface.
Starting with a long edge, tightly roll the dough into a log.
Trim the ends off of the dough log. Mark the dough log evenly into 8 pieces and cut. You can use a sharp knife, bench scraper (what I use) or kitchen twine to cut the cinnamon rolls.
Grease a 9"x13" baking dish with butter and place 8 of the cinnamon rolls face up in the dish.
Repeat the above steps with the second piece of dough.
Cover the dish loosely with plastic wrap and let the cinnamon rolls rise for a second time, this time about 30 minutes. While the cinnamon rolls are rising, preheat the oven.
Bake the cinnamon rolls until golden brown and fluffy. Remove from the oven and let cool before adding the cream cheese frosting.
Fillings & Cream Cheese Frosting
These can be done during the time that you are waiting for the dough to rise.
The top bowl is the cinnamon sugar filling and to make it all you have to do is stir together the ingredients.
Before adding the cream cheese frosting the cinnamon buns should be only slightly warm to the touch. If they are too hot the frosting will melt!
Using the back of a regular kitchen spoon, spread the frosting generously overtop of the cinnamon rolls.
Now all that is left to do after all your hard work is swan dive into these amazing ooey gooey bakery style cinnamon rolls!
Making bakery style cinnamon rolls does take a while. Between the labor, and the 2 rise times, they will take you about 3 hours to complete. But trust me when I tell you that THEY ARE WORTH EVERY SINGLE MINUTE.
If you want to spice up these cinnamon rolls even further you can try some of these variations:
- Add Raisins - soak 1 ½ cups of raisins in hot water for 30 minutes. Drain off any excess water and sprinkle the raisins on top of the cinnamon sugar filling before you roll up the dough.
- Citrusy Rolls - If you want these cinnamon rolls to have a crisp citrusy flavour add 2-3 teaspoons of orange zest to the vanilla butter and add an additional 2-3 teaspoons of orange zest to the cream cheese filling.
- Dried Fruit & Nuts - make fruit & nut cinnamon rolls by adding some chopped nuts and dried fruit on top of the cinnamon sugar filling before you roll up the dough.
For the vanilla butter layer, it takes some elbow grease to get the vanilla to mix into the butter. For this step I recommend using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or a hand mixer. Although, this again can be done using some elbow grease.
For the cream cheese frosting, I recommend using a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment or a hand mixer. You need to be able get the cream cheese super creamy and smooth and using a whisk or a spoon by hand will not let you accomplish the creaminess that you need.
Store the cinnamon rolls covered tightly with plastic wrap or in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
You can freeze these cinnamon rolls. Freeze the cinnamon rolls (unfrosted) for up to 2 months. Let the rolls defrost and come to room temperature before adding the frosting.
The cream cheese frosting can not be frozen, because it is cheese based, when it thaws it will have a grainy consistency.
A fun little note
November 15th, 2011 was the very first photo of food that I ever took and posted to my social media page. And yup, you guessed it, it was a homemade cinnamon roll!
My husband (boyfriend back then) and I had just moved into our first apartment and making any kind of bread or pastry from scratch was a mystery to me. I think the picture below speaks for itself, I had a lot to learn.
Since then I have developed my own recipe (this recipe!) for cinnamon rolls and improved greatly in my pastry skills and in the kitchen. I truly love cooking and baking and I am a firm believer that you just have to start somewhere and eventually you will succeed!
Bakery Style Cinnamon Rolls
- 2 cups Milk warmed to 110°F
- ½ cup Granulated Sugar
- 2 Tablespoons Active Dry Yeast
- ½ cup Butter softened and cut into cubes
- 2 Large Eggs room temperature
- 6 ¼- 6 ½ cups All Purpose Flour divided
- 2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
- 1 teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Cinnamon Sugar Filling
- 1 ½ cups Dark Brown Sugar
- ¼ cup Granulated Sugar
- 2 Tablespoons Cinnamon
- ½ cup Butter softened
- ¼ cup Cinnamon Sugar Filling Mixture
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 oz Cream Cheese softened
- ½ cup Butter softened
- 2 ½ cups Powdered Sugar
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- pinch Salt
- In a small saucepan over medium low heat, warm the milk to 110°F or lukewarm. Once the milk is warm, pour it into the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Add the sugar into the milk and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
- Sprinkle active dry yeast on top and slightly stir. Let the yeast sit and bloom, about 5 minutes. After 5 minutes the yeast should look frothy and puffed, if it doesn’t your yeast might be dead. It is best to start over with new milk, and new yeast.
- Once the yeast has bloomed add the butter, eggs, and 3 cups of flour. Using the dough hook attachment (or with a sturdy wooden spoon if you’re not using a mixer) and mix until a sticky dough has formed.
- Gradually add another 3 cups of flour until a soft dough has formed. The dough will still look slightly sticky, but it will be firm enough to pull away from the sides of the mixing bowl.
- On a large lightly floured surface knead the dough for 3-5 minutes adding small amounts of flour as needed. When the dough is done, it will spring back when lightly poked.
- Lightly grease a large bowl with the extra virgin olive oil. Add the dough ball, turning over to completely coat it and tightly cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a bowl cover. Place in a warm space and let the dough rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
- Once dough has risen and roughly doubled in size, remove the plastic wrap and punch the dough down.
- Turn the dough onto a large lightly floured surface and divide into two pieces.
- Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a rectangle that is approximately 20"x14". Dough should be about ¼” thick.
- Use a spatula or an offset spatula to spread half of the vanilla butter mixture onto the dough.
- Sprinkle half of the cinnamon sugar filling mixture on top of the vanilla butter layer, making sure to cover the entire surface.
- Starting on a long side, roll the dough up tightly. Place it seam side down.
- Repeat the above steps with the second piece of dough to make a second cinnamon roll log.
- Lightly butter two 9”x13” oven safe dishes and set aside.
- Trim off the ends of each log and mark each into 8 even pieces. Cut using a sharp knife, bench scraper, or kitchen twine.
- Place cinnamon rolls in the buttered baking dishes, 8 per dish. They can sit close together.
- Cover the baking dishes loosely with plastic wrap and place in a warm area to let rise another 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F
- After the rolls have finished the second rise, remove the plastic wrap and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
- Let the cinnamon rolls cool until just slightly warm to the touch, and then using the back of a spoon, spread generously with cream cheese frosting.
Cinnamon Sugar Filling
- In a medium sized bowl, combine the brown sugar, white sugar, and cinnamon. Using a fork, combine, taking care to break up any large clumps of brown sugar. Set aside.
Vanilla Butter Filling
- In a small bowl, combine the softened butter, vanilla, and ¼ cup of the above dry filling. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat on medium high until fully combined. Set aside.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- In a large bowl with a hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment combine the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and salt. Mix until velvety smooth. Cover and set aside.
- If you notice that your yeast is not getting frothy, it could mean that the yeast is "dead". Before continuing with the recipe, remake the yeast portion until you have frothy yeast. One of the first culprits of killing yeast is that the milk is too warm.
- Sift the all purpose flour through a fine mesh sieve to ensure there are no lumps in your dough.