For years I searched for the perfect cinnamon roll recipe. It had to be ooey and gooey, not too fluffy or bready and chewy and moist were a must. This was long before the dawn of pinterest, so I had to do it the old fashioned way and ask around. I tried many different cinnamon roll recipes, all with the promise of being the best. There were some decent ones that came close and there were some complete fails. I didn't give up in my quest though. One day I was talking with a friend from church, Susan. Christmas was just around the corner and I had visions of cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning dancing through my head. I knew she liked to cook so thought I'd see if she could help me in my search. I was in luck. She pulled out her grandma's cinnamon roll recipe. I didn't realized it at that moment, but in my hand I held the treasure I had been searching for. Finally, the stars aligned and my search for the perfect cinnamon roll had come to an end. I don't remember many specific details about that Christmas except that that morning we ate the best, most amazing, perfect cinnamon rolls ever. That was about ten years ago now and this recipe continues to make mouths happy far and wide as I make it for others and have passed along the recipe to those on their own quest to find the perfect cinnamon roll. If you're here, then good news, you've found it!
2 TBS yeast
1 1/2 cup water
1 stick butter, melted
1/2 tsp salt
4 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
Mix all ingredients except for the last three. Knead for several minutes until smooth and well mixed. The dough should not really stick to your hands. If it's really sticky, add a little more flour but not more then you need to. When the dough is well kneaded, form into a ball, place in mixing bowl, cover with a dishtowel and set in a warm place to rise. Let it rise until doubled in size. Knead down then cover and let it rise again until doubled in size. Remove dough, place on a floured surface and roll out into a rectangle. Brush with butter. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle evenly over buttered dough. Roll up, cut into circles about 1/2 inch thick. A little trick for cutting the dough is to use a thick thread or floss. Wrap it around the dough at the place you want to cut. Pull the two ends together crisscrossing them over each other. Pull tight until it cuts through the dough. Place the cut circles on a greased cookie sheet.* Cover and let rise one more time. I know there is a lot of rising time, but be patient and trust me, it'll be well worth it! When doubled in size, bake at 400 for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
*If you want to prepare these the night before to cook in the morning, stop here, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate over night. Pull it out in the morning, place in a warm place and let the dough rise until doubled in size. It will take a bit longer since the dough is cold to start with.
And a perfect cinnamon roll needs a perfect frosting. Some like a light drizzle of glazy frosting on their cinnamon roll but I prefer something thick and creamy. This cream cheese frosting is the perfect companion for the perfect cinnamon roll.
Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
4 TBS butter, at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
Mix thoroughly until smooth and creamy. Store in sealed container in refrigerator.
Cinnamon Rolls - Susan Sorenson
Cream Cheese Frosting - Disney's Family Cookbook