I made these fantastic and very large cinnamon rolls last week. They are fluffy and light and soft and airy and buttery and pretty delicious and remarkably un-vegan. Personally I prefer my pumpkin vegan cinnamon rolls, which are a bit heavier, smaller, and denser with a stronger cinnamon/ginger/nutmeg flavor and filling, and they don’t really require frosting. These white cinnamon rolls definitely require frosting- the cream cheese/butter combo makes them super delicious and ties together what’s basically a soft white roll + brown sugar and cinnamon. It’s just down to your preferences- are you a sugar cookie or a spicy ginger cookie kind of person? This was from a recipe called “Clone of a Cinnabon” and they are quite similar to that mall staple.
If you don’t have three hours to spare/you want cinnamon rolls RIGHT NOW, check out these super fast banana ones that I’ve made over and over again.
I microwaved my milk for thirty seconds and put it in the mixer bowl, then added the yeast- you want it to be warm but not too hot. Tickle the yeast, don’t kill them. Also, turn on your oven to 350 while you prepare the dough, so you can have a warm place for the dough to rise.
Another way the kitchen aid stand mixer has changed my life- no more ten minutes of kneading required! Just use the dough hook and the mixer does it for you! I’ve never been a good kneader so this is great. I did use a whisk to mix the liquid stuff first though (the yeast with the milk, then the egg and melted butter).
Now that my measuring cup was empty (because the milk was in the mixing bowl), I could use it to melt six tablespoons of butter- another 30 second zap.
Add that in to your mixing bowl, then measure out your dry ingredients: flour, sugar, salt. Toss them in, and use that incredible dough hook to knead the dough. Or knead it yourself on a floured surface for ten minutes, until it makes a nice soft ball.
If kneading yourself, turn off your oven beforehand so it’s the right not-killing temperature for the dough to rest. Otherwise, turn it off, then put the dough back in a bowl, cover it with a kitchen towel, and stick it in the off-oven for an hour. Go do something else, like attend to the little monster who’s been crying at your feet this whole time:
Anyways, when you come back to it the ball should be twice as big as before and so fluffy. Plop it onto a clean floured counter, leave the kitchen towel on it, and make your filling: this is just a mixture of brown sugar and cinnamon, but I like adding white sugar to cut the molasses-ness of it. This time I used the Cinnabon method and spread butter, then topped with sugar/cinnamon, but I actually think it’s better to mix the butter with the sugar/cinnamon ahead of time and use that as a filling, like we did with the pumpkin rolls.
Roll out your dough into a nice thin rectangle and fill it. I used to use wine bottles or tomato sauce jars for this, but we got this awesome fancy rolling pin as a wedding pressent and I love it. It’s too large for a drawer and sits on our counter looking mildly rustic/pretentious and I love it. It’s like you’ve been eating jelly beans your whole life of various quality, and then someone gives you some Jelly Bellys. That’s how I feel about this rolling pin. (I love Jelly Belly jelly beans a LOT. If you’re ever near Fairfield, CA I highly recommend the free Jelly Belly factory tour.)
Notice that I don’t put the cinnamon sugar all the way to the edge- this helps keep the filling from leaking out.
Now roll that log up (long side rolls up) and pinch the ends and the seam.
Cut it in half, then cut each half in thirds, and cut each third in half. If that sentence was hard to read, just cut it into 12 pieces in a reasonable way. Put them into a buttered 9×13 (I used a pyrex), toss it back into that warm oven for half an hour.
Take out the big cinnamon rolls, then heat the oven to 350. Bake for 20 minutes, until very lightly browned on the top. Meanwhile, switch to the regular paddle (not the dough hook) for your mixer and beat some butter with some cream cheese until homogenous, then add a bunch of confectioners sugar, a dash of vanilla, and a bit of salt.
Let the rolls cool a bit before your frost them, so the frosting doesn’t totally melt everywhere. Like 5-10 minutes. Then frost and eat these beauties. We actually split them usually because a single one is so huge.
Fake cinnabons, adapted from “Clone of a Cinnabon” on allrecipes
1 c milk
1 packet of yeast
6 TB melted butter
4 1/2 c flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 c sugar
3/4 c brown sugar
1/4 c white sugar
3 TB cinnamon (+ginger, nutmeg if you like that)
6 TB softened butter
1 package cream cheese (8 oz)
1/2 c butter (1 stick)
3 c powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
- Heat up the milk until warm, then mix in the yeast. Turn on oven (to whatever temperature). Mix the egg and melted butter with the yeast-milk, then add the flour, sugar, and salt. Mix until it turns dough-like, then knead until soft (10 minutes by hand, 3-4 minutes by stand mixer). Turn off oven, and cover the kneaded dough and put into oven for an hour.
- Filling: mix all the filling ingredients together: you’ll actually want to cut the butter into the sugar so you’ll end up with a crumbly delicious mess.
- Take out your dough from the oven once it’s doubled in size, and plop it onto a floured surface. Let rest for ten minutes, then roll it out into a big rectangle (12″ by 8″ or so), and spread the filling on it. Roll up from the long side, tightly, and pinch the seams and end. Cut into 12 pieces, and place into a buttered 13″x9″ pan. Cover and put back into that warm oven for half an hour
- Take out the rolls, heat oven to 350, and bake the rolls for 20 minutes until very lightly golden on top.
- Meanwhile, beat the cream cheese and butter together, then add the sugar, vanilla, and salt and beat until smooth. Frost the rolls about 5 minutes after they’re out of the oven.