Sometimes, you just need a cinnamon roll. Let me tell you the story of how these began. I was out for a run on a Monday and as most food bloggers do, I was thinking about food…for most of the 6 miles that I was huffing and puffing along.
I was thinking about what sounded good. Cupcakes sounded good, I haven’t made cupcakes in a while, cookie bars sounded good – I haven’t make those either. Cinnamon rolls sounded amazing…I haven’t had those since last Thanksgiving – that’s Thanksgiving morning of 2014. It’s been too long.
I wasn’t thrilled with those though, they used a ton of butter and at the end, I wasn’t overly thrilled with the result. However, I still wanted cinnamon rolls.
Fast forward two days later to a Wednesday, my husband asks if I would like to come eat lunch with him at work. I was more than happy and I knew that I needed to bring a rocking dessert. One for me, one for him and the rest to leave there for everyone to fight over.
Now, here comes the honesty part, cinnamon rolls aren’t exactly a “healthy” recipe, so I did a little research. I’m telling you, the “healthy” cinnamon roll recipes I found didn’t exactly tickle my fancy and my kitchen does not contain vegan butter. Sorry, it’s just not something I use. Also, the whole wheat cinnamon rolls did not want to make me eat a cinnamon roll. If you’re eating a cinnamon roll, please make it taste like a cinnamon roll.
Also, many of the recipes had too many steps. I don’t like a lot of steps, there is a greater chance of me screwing it up and then I would’ve wasted all that time and still not had cinnamon rolls. And then finally the heavens opened and the stars aligned and I found something I could work with.
I changed it up a little, because I at least have to try to go easy on the butter and it totally works and they are delicious. The original recipe is credited at the bottom just in case you are wondering.
This is easy, no kidding. It does take a little time, because all good things do. But you can’t really get a good cinnamon roll without a little rise time, the yeast has to do its thing.
I named these “special occasion” because that is what they should be. Christmas morning, birthdays, potlucks, or even to gift to a neighbor. And, I will also refrain from posting nutritional content because we all need to get away from counting calories every once in a while and just eat, not in excess, but to live and enjoy life.
I also want to encourage everyone to start cooking from scratch again. Forget about popping open the can of cinnamon rolls and take the time. Because really, if you want a cinnamon roll, you should have to work for it.
- 1 cup warm low fat milk
- 2.5 teaspoons active dry yeast
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour - plus ½ cup for kneading
- 1.5 teaspoons salt
- ¼ cup softened butter
- 2 large eggs
- Non-stick cooking spray
- 3 Tablespoons room temperature butter
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 2 Tablespoons cinnamon
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 Tablespoons of liquid of choice (coffee, orange juice, milk)
- In a large bowl combine all of the ingredients for the rolls in the order listed - break up the softened butter with your fingers
- Stir to combine and pour out on a clean counter to start kneading
- Knead the extra ½ cup flour into the dough until the dough is tacky, but not still sticky
- Spray the bowl with cooking spray, put the dough in the bowl, turn it once to coat, cover with a towel and put in a warm place to rise (about 60 minutes)
- After this rise, remove the dough from the bowl and place on counter sprinkled with flour
- Roll the dough out to approximately 16x20 rectangle
- Spread 3 Tablespoons of butter all over the dough
- Mix the cinnamon and brown sugar together and spread on the dough, leaving ½" on the long sides
- On the 20" side, start rolling the dough so that you eventually have a long tube of dough
- Spray a 13x9 baking pan with cooking spray
- With your tube of dough, make one slice down the middle to split the dough into even sides, slice each of those sides evenly until you have 12 rolls
- Place the rolls in the baking sheet with the swirls facing up, cover with a towel and allow to rise again for about 30 minutes
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF or 205ºC
- Bake the cinnamon rolls for 15-20 minutes or until they are golden brown on the top
- Remove from oven, mix the icing ingredients in a bowl and pour over the top while the rolls are still hot