The sweet smell of fresh, hot cinnamon rolls is so inviting. Having one of these soft, gooey, sticky buns filled with butter, brown sugar and cinnamon, topped with sweet vanilla cream cheese frosting is one of life’s little simple indulgences, like a luxurious scented candle, an afternoon cat nap, or a refreshing shower after a long, tough day. The smell alone just puts me in a good mood where I want to cozy up with a cup of coffee or hot tea as I enjoy my bites and appreciate the moment.
Using my favorite olive oil bread roll recipe, I thought I’d try making my own homemade soft pillowy bites of sweet buttery goodness. The process is easy, and the results are bakery delicious. For the cream cheese frosting, I use heavy cream, which gives it a nice creamy weight without being too structured and stiff. The frosting is light, creamy and one of the best parts about this recipe. You’re going to want to add my Bakery Cinnamon Rolls to your next weekend brunch or holiday gathering!
Prep/Bake Time: ~2 hours (dough, proofing, cinnamon roll mix and frosting 1 hour 30 mins; bake time 20-25 mins)
Quantity: 15 rolls (9×15″ baking pan)
Author: Mindi Cunningham | sweet basil & lemon
Cinnamon roll dough:
5 cups unbleached bread flour
1 & 1/2 cups of milk (luke warm 110-120 degrees)
1 Tbsp yeast
1/3 cup sugar
5 Tbsp olive oil
1 egg room temperature
1 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp cinnamon
5 Tbsp melted butter
1 cup brown sugar
3 Tbsp cinnamon
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 package cream cheese room temperature
3 cups confection sugar
3 tsps vanilla
Combine yeast and warm milk together in a large bowl or stand mixing bowl. Add in the remaining ingredients along with 3 cups of flour, except the cinnamon. Mix together and use the dough hook to knead the dough for 1-2 minutes before adding another cup of flour and the tablespoon of cinnamon. Mix and knead using the dough hook for another 2 minutes. Add the remaining cup of flour and knead for a final 2 minutes. Dough should be tacky but not sticky. When you pick it up dough should not easily stick to your fingers. If need be, sprinkle just a very small amount of flour on the dough and work it in with your hands until the dough is not sticking to your fingers. Form a ball with dough.
Lightly oil a large bowl and place the dough in the bowl. Then cover with plastic wrap or a towel. Set dough aside to proof for 30 minutes. I like to place my bowl in the microwave or near a window where natural sunlight comes in. Make sure you keep it away from any cool air flow.
While the dough is proofing, mix up your cinnamon and brown sugar filling in a small bowl. Melt the butter in the microwave, at 30 second intervals at a time until melted, then set aside in a separate bowl.
Once the dough has doubled in size, roughly at 30 minutes, remove top layer and punch down dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough in a very large rectangle to a thickness of one quarter of an inch. Brush the butter over the entire surface of the dough, and sprinkle the cinnamon mixture on top. Be sure not to sprinkle cinnamon mixture on the very edge of the dough surface. This way you don’t experience overflow as the rolls are baking.
Now roll your dough neatly into a log. Using a very sharp knife or dental floss, cut 1″ slices and place onto a parchment lined 11×15″ baking pan. Cut off any uneven dough from each end first, before making clean slices. Be careful not to squish the dough as you are gently cutting your slices. I recommend using a back and forth motion, applying light pressure as you cut each slice versus just cutting straight down into the dough. Cover the rolls with a towel and let proof for another 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375. After 30 minutes, the dough will have filled out the spaces between the individual rolls and will be ready to pop into the oven for baking.
Place rolls into the oven on the top rack, and bake for 20-25 minutes. While the rolls are baking, go ahead and whip up the cream cheese frosting emptying the ingredients into a small to medium sized mixing bowl. Blend together using a hand mixer. Start the setting on low and increase the speed to medium, then high, for 2-3 minutes until the frosting is smooth and creamy.
Once rolls are done baking between 20-25 minutes, they will be slightly golden on top. At 20 minutes, slide a wooden toothpick into a roll to check whether the rolls are finished baking. If the toothpick slides out without any dough sticking to its sides, you know the rolls are ready to remove from the oven. If not, then return the rolls back to the oven and repeat the toothpick check in 2 minute intervals until finished. In my oven, these rolls finish in 20 minutes. You do not want to over bake your rolls, as you want them soft and not dried out. Be sure to keep a close eye on them as you approach the 20 minute mark. If the tops are getting too brown, then go ahead and check the dough to be sure not to over bake. You can also loosely place a layer of foil on top the rolls to prevent over browning.
Let cinnamon rolls cool for 15-20 minutes before frosting. I’d suggest frosting the rolls if you are going to serve them immediately. Otherwise, store the frosting in a separate container in the fridge within 8 hours of making. Rolls will keep for about 3 days in an airtight container and frosting will keep for 4-5 days in the refrigerator. Heat rolls individually in the microwave for 20-30 seconds the next day to recreate that warm coziness from the day they were made fresh!
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