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What’s Cooking – Cinnamon Rolls

Impress your crowd with homemade cinnamon rolls!! They do take a little time commitment but they are easy and they are worth the time it takes to make them!


For the Rolls

  • milk (1 cup)
  • active dry yeast (2 1/2 tsp)
  • sugar (1/4 cup)
  • butter (4 TBSP), melted
  • egg yolk
  • vanilla extract (1 1/2 tsp)
  • All Purpose Flour (2 3/4 cup)
  • salt (3/4 tsp)
  • nutmeg (1/2 tsp)

For the Filling

  • brown sugar (1/2 cup, packed)
  • 3 TBSP cinnamon
  • butter (1/4 cup) at room temperature
  • pinch of salt

For the Icing

  • coffee (1/2 cup)
  • powdered sugar (2 cups)
  • salt (1/8 tsp)

The items I used for this recipe are…

  • large bowl
  • measuring cups and spoons
  • mixer with dough hook
  • thermometer
  • whisk
  • rolling pin
  • plastic wrap
  • cooking spray
  • baking dish
  • olive oil

Once I’ve gathered all the ingredients and supplies, I preheat my oven to 200 and oil my large bowl.

Up next, the magic. If you don’t get this step right your cinnamon rolls won’t rise so pay attention and if it isn’t right start over, don’t keep going. Warm milk to 100 degrees, don’t over warm it. If you do, it will kill the yeast. When you get 100 degree milk, sprinkle in the yeast and 1/2 tsp sugar. Give it a little stir and set aside for 5 minutes. SET A TIMER! After the 5 minutes, the mixture should be foamy. If it isn’t give it another minute or two but if it doesn’t foam after another minute or so start over, your milk was probably too warm OR your yeast is too old. While you are waiting for the yeast, whisk the egg yolk, melted butter, and vanilla together. Once the yeast mixture is foamy, whisk in the egg/butter/vanilla mixture.


What your yeast mixture should look like when it’s ready

While you are waiting for the yeast mixture to foam you can prepare the dry ingredients. In the mixer bowl whisk flour, 1/4 cup sugar, salt, and nutmeg. Make a well in the center. Once the yeast mixture is ready and you’ve whisked in the egg/butter/vanilla mixture pour the contents into the center of the dry ingredients. Mix on low with the dough hook until this and sticky. Up the speed to medium for about 6 minutes (set a timer) or until the dough gathers around the hook.

After the dough gathers around the hook you can turn the dough out onto a floured counter and shape into a ball. Drop the ball into the bowl prepared with olive oil and cover with plastic wrap. Let this rise until doubled. You can do this by sitting the dough in a cool dry place OR you can speed up the process by placing the bowl into the oven at 200 degrees (close the oven door) for approximately 20 minutes.

While you wait on the dough to rise make the filling. The filling is easy and can be prepared 2 ways. The first being to mix the brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt into a bowl and keep the butter separate. The second (which is my preferred method) is to mix all the filling ingredients together.

When the dough has doubled in size, remove it from the oven (using oven mitts, it will be very warm) and turn it out onto a floured counter top. Roll the dough out into a rectangle, fill, roll, and cut into 6 sections. To fill, if using set one, spread the butter onto the dough and sprinkle the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture on top. If using method two spread the whole mixture on the dough evenly.


When you roll, if filling falls out the ends, it’s fine. Just tuck it back in and keep rolling.


The easiest way to get relatively equal sized rolls is to cut the large roll in half, line up the halves, and cut each into three.

Now spray a baking dish with cooking spray, place the 6 pieces into the dish, cover with plastic wrap, and pop back into the 200 degree oven to rise a second time. This takes approximately 20 minutes during which the rolls should double in size.

Remove the rolls from the 200 degree oven once they have risen and adjust the temperature to 325. When your oven reaches 325 pop the baking dish (with the plastic wrap removed) back inside for approximately 30 minutes. You may need to leave them in a little longer than 30 minutes but it’s best to start checking around 30 minutes. Cinnamon Rolls are MUCH better underdone than overdone, trust me.


Fresh out of the oven. I’ve cut each of my rolls into 4 to take to a group meeting and serve a crowd.

The final step is to make and pour the icing. Simply place the coffee (better if it’s hot), salt, and sugar into a mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. Pour this mixture over the cinnamon rolls evenly.


Final Product! Look at all that icing, so good!!

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meet the photographer jaden

Working on my dream and meeting special families along the way, I believe everyone deserves amazing photographs which capture the moments in life that bring them joy. I photograph families, like yours, who wish they could freeze time, even for just a second, and always remember the special moments of life.

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