April Baking Challenge – Cinnamon Rolls!

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For this month’s baking challenge we are working with yeast! And making homemade cinnamon rolls!

small batch cinnamon roll on a plate with a fork


 

What is the April Baking Challenge?

It’s a chance for you to test drive one of my recipes, take a picture (it doesn’t have to be pretty!), post a picture in my Facebook group, and enter to win a prize! 

I find it is so helpful for me to see how my recipes turn out for you and to hear about what changes you made or would make. I love the great feedback and know how to make my recipes even better, and you get a chance to win!

Cinnamon Roll Recipes

How To Join The Baking Challenge:

  1. Recipe: Make a cinnamon roll recipe from the blog
  2. Bake. Bake up one of the recipes above.
  3. Share. Take a photo and submit below in the entry form. There are multiple ways to enter!

For April 2024, I’m giving away A $100 USD Amazon gift card — so you can treat yourself to whatever your heart desires!

Rules and regulations:

Giveaway is open to any residents over the age of majority in their country of residence. Giveaway is open from the time of posting until April 30, 2024 at 11:59 pm EST.

Winner will be selected at random and notified within 72 hours of the contest ending. Facebook winner will be notified by a comment and tag. Winner must respond within 48 hours of initial comment by direct message or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is sponsored by The Boston Girl Bakes and is in no way associated with Facebook, Paypal or Amazon and you release Facebook of all responsibility.

The prize will be sent by email directly from Amazon. The Boston Girl Bakes is not responsible for defective products or missed delivery.

Have fun!

If you have any questions about how this is going down, shoot me an email or leave me a comment on this post and I will respond as quickly as possible!

Cinnamon Rolls

This homemade cinnamon roll recipe is going to become a family favorite! An easy yeast dough is rolled up with a brown sugar cinnamon filling, and then frosted with a cream cheese icing that will knock your socks off.
5 from 34 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Resting Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours
Servings: 12 rolls
Calories: 503kcal

Ingredients

Dough:

  • 1 cup (240 ml) milk lukewarm (about 105-110°F)
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons instant yeast *see note
  • ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar divided
  • 4-5 cups (480 – 600 g) all-purpose flour spooned and leveled
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 6 Tablespoons (85 g) unsalted butter very soft cut into tablespoons

Filling:

  • 4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick, 57 g) unsalted butter very soft
  • 3/4 cup (160 g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) heavy cream slightly warmed (for pouring on rolls before baking)

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese softened to room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons (57 g) unsalted butter softened
  • 1 ½ cups (170 g) confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

Make the cinnamon rolls

  • Proof yeast. In your stand mixer, or large bowl, stir together the warmed milk, yeast, and 1 teaspoon of the sugar. Let sit for 5-10 minutes until the yeast mixture becomes foamy and bubbly.
  • Make dough. In a bowl of your stand mixer with a paddle attachment, add in the rest of the sugar, flour, salt, eggs, and butter and stir to combine until a shaggy dough comes together.
  • Knead the dough. Fit the mixer with a dough hook attachment, and knead at medium speed for 6-8 minutes. If the dough is super sticky, add additional flour a little at a time if needed. If you are kneading the dough by hand, then turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes by hand. Dough will be sticky at first, and get less sticky as you knead, so I add extra flour a tablespoon at a time if needed. The dough should still be slightly sticky to the touch but feel smooth and elastic. Do not use more than 5 cups of flour and not overknead or your cinnamon rolls will become out dense and chewy!
  • Let the dough rise. Lightly grease a large bowl, and place dough into the bowl, turning once to coat. Cover the bowl and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. If you're using active dry yeast, the rise time will take longer.
  • Roll out the dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and roll out the dough into a 18×12 inches rectangle.
  • Spread filling. Spread the dough with the softened, leaving about a ½-inch border at the top long edge. In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over the butter, pressing down lightly to adhere.
  • Cut rolls. Starting on the long edge with filling, roll up the dough tightly into a log. Pinch the dough to seal. Using a serrated knife cut the log into 12 equal rolls. You can also cut the rolls using a piece of thread or unflavored dental floss,which I find gives the cleanest cuts. I place a long piece of thread underneath the dough, bring up the thread on each side, criss cross it, and then pull the thread through the dough so it cuts right through leaving the spiral intact.
  • Let rolls rise. Grease a 9”x13” baking dish with butter or non-stick cooking spray. Place rolls into pan spiral side up. Cover the baking dish and let rise in a warm, draft free place for 45 minutes until the rolls are slightly puffy, and nearly doubled in size. If you used active dry yeast, the second rise time will be near 75 minutes.
  • Bake rolls. Near the end of the second rise time, position a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 350°F/177°C. Pour the slightly warmed heavy cream over the rolls right before baking. Bake rolls in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes until golden brown. Let cool in the pan for about 20 minutes, then spread the frosting on. I like to spread on the frosting on when they are still slightly warm so it melts into the rolls a bit.

Make the cream cheese icing

  • Beat cream cheese and butter. In a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer, or in the bowl of your stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter together on medium-high speed, for about 2 minutes until smooth and combined.
  • Add sugar. Add in the confectioners sugar, about a ½ cup at a time and mix on low speed until combined.
  • Add vanilla. Then beat in vanilla extract until combined. Beat on medium-high speed for about an extra 1-2 minutes until fluffy and light in texture.
  • Ice rolls. Spread the cinnamon rolls with the cream cheese icing. I like to ice the rolls while they are still slightly warm so the icing melts on top of the rolls a bit.

Video

Notes

  • Storage: Because of the frosting I store these in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can always re-warm in the oven, or microwave before serving.
  • Make ahead: After the first rise, roll out the dough, spread on the filling, roll up and cut out. Then place in your pan and cover with plastic wrap and pop in your fridge to rise overnight. The next morning, let rise at room temperature for about 45 minutes to an hour until they are puffy and then bake as directed.
  • Freezing: Yes you can freeze cinnamon rolls before or after baking for up to 3 months.
    • Before baking: After the first rise, roll, fill and cut the rolls. Place in a freezer-safe pan, cover well and then freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to bake, let them thaw overnight in the fridge, then bring them out about an hour before baking them to bring them to room temperature and allow to rise. Then bake as normal. 
    • After baking: Once they are baked, let them cool to room temperature before freezing. You can freeze the whole pan if you choose or individual cinnamon rolls. For individual rolls, place in a freezer safe container or bag and wrap well and freeze for 3 months. When ready to eat, you can defrost overnight in the fridge, or at room temperature quickly and warm in your microwave for 10-15 seconds, or in a 350oF preheated oven for 10-15 minutes.
  • Bread maker: I haven’t tried but follow the instructions on your bread maker for making the dough and you should be all set! If you do let me know in the comment section below.
  • All-purpose Flour – I always use all-purpose flour for my cinnamon rolls. I know some recipes call for bread flour to give the dough more structure but I find that all-purpose flour works just fine.
  • Instant Yeast – I used instant yeast, but you can also use active dry yeast in this recipe in a 1 to 1 exchange. However, the rising times will vary (I put the differences in times in the recipe for you). I always use and recommend Red Star’s yeast – it’s by far the best yeast and always yields amazing results.
  • Milk – I always use whole milk for my cinnamon rolls because it has a higher fat content which will yield a more tender roll, but low-fat milk could also be used. I haven’t tested these with a non dairy milk. You want your milk to be lukewarm, not cold straight from the fridge, so it can begin to activate the yeast. Cold milk will slow down the rising time. I aim to warm my milk somewhere between 105-110°F.
  • Unsalted butter – I always bake with unsalted butter vs. salted butter because it’s fresher and I can control the salt amount. If you do you want to use salted butter than you will you want to reduce the salt in the dough by 1/4 teaspoon.
  • Cream Cheese – I used cream cheese in the frosting that gets spread on top after they bake. I recommend full-fat cream cheese, but low-fat would also work. I do not recommend fat free or the whipped tub varieties.
  • Dough adapted from Baker Bettie’s Baking Book

Nutrition

Calories: 503kcal | Carbohydrates: 72g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 350mg | Potassium: 159mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 38g | Vitamin A: 714IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 80mg | Iron: 2mg
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4 Comments

  1. Shanice Lam says:

    5 stars
    These baked beautifully and ended up tasting delicious, love love love!

    1. wonderful thank you so much Shanice!

  2. Olivia Anne Tworkowsky says:

    4 stars
    Cinnamon Rolls!!! YUM

    The only thing I don’t do is the cream, I just don’t like what it does to the rolls as much, not saying it’s not delish as well but I just like the traditional!!!

    SO DELISH

    1. aw thank you Olivia! I’m so glad you loved these!!

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