Cinnamon rolls are one of my family’s favorite breakfast treats. This recipe from The Pioneer Woman is one of the best I’ve tried. These rolls are so soft and fluffy, and the cinnamon filling is just sweet enough.
One of the things I love about this recipe is that you can make the dough the night before, and then let it rise in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, all you have to do is roll it out, spread on the filling, and bake. These cinnamon rolls are perfect for a lazy weekend breakfast.
If you’ve never made cinnamon rolls before, don’t be intimidated. This recipe is actually quite easy, and the results are worth the effort. Trust me, your family will thank you for it!
Pioneer Woman Cinnamon Rolls
These are a part of our Sunday morning family ritual, waking up early and making cinnamon rolls and bacon. The smell of the two starting to heat up just makes me smile so big! I hope when my kids grow up they’ll be transported back to their childhood everytime they smell that combo coming from the kitchen.
Pioneer Woman Cinnamon Rolls Recipe
FOR THE DOUGH AND FILLING
1 qt. whole milk
1 c. vegetable oil
1 c. sugar
2 packages active dry yeast (0.25 ounce packets)
8 c. (plus 1 cup extra, reserved) all-purpose flour
1 tsp. (heaping) baking powder
1 tsp. (scant) baking soda
1 tbsp. (heaping) salt
Plenty of melted butter
2 c. sugar
Generous sprinkling of cinnamon
FOR THE MAPLE FROSTING
1 bag powdered sugar
2 tsp. maple flavoring
1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. melted butter
1/4 c. brewed coffee
1/8 tsp. salt
- For the dough: Heat the milk, vegetable oil, and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat to just below a boil. Set aside and cool to warm. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let it sit on the milk for 1 minute.
- Add 8 cups of the flour. Stir until just combined, then cover with a clean kitchen towel, and set aside in a relatively warm place for 1 hour. After 1 hour, remove the towel and add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and the remaining 1 cup flour. Stir thoroughly to combine. Use the dough right away, or place in a mixing bowl and refrigerate for up to 3 days, punching down the dough if it rises to the top of the bowl. (Note: The dough is easier to work with if it has been chilled for at least an hour or so beforehand.)
- To assemble the rolls, remove half the dough from the pan/bowl. On a floured baking surface, roll the dough into a large rectangle, about 30 x 10 inches. The dough should be rolled very thin.
- To make the filling, pour 3/4 cup to 1 cup of melted butter over the surface of the dough. Use your fingers to spread the butter evenly. Generously sprinkle half of the ground cinnamon and 1 cup of the sugar over the butter. Don’t be afraid to drizzle on more butter or more sugar! Gooey is the goal.
- Now, beginning at the end farthest from you, roll the rectangle tightly towards you. Use both hands and work slowly, being careful to keep the roll tight. Don’t worry if the filling oozes as you work; that just means the rolls are going to be divine. When you reach the end, pinch the seam together and flip the roll so that the seam is face down. When you’re finished, you’ll wind up with one long buttery, cinnamon-y, sugary, gooey log.
- Slip a cutting board underneath the roll and with a sharp knife, make 1/2-inch slices. One log will produce 20 to 25 rolls. Pour a couple of teaspoons of melted butter into disposable foil cake pans (or regular 9-inch round cake pans) and swirl to coat. Place the sliced rolls in the pans, being careful not to overcrowd. (Each pan will hold 7 to 9 rolls.)
- Repeat the rolling/sugar/butter process with the other half of the dough and more pans. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cover all the pans with a kitchen towel and set aside to rise on the countertop for at least 20 minutes before baking. Remove the towel and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden brown. Don’t allow the rolls to become overly brown.
- While the rolls are baking, make the maple icing: In a large bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, butter, coffee, and salt. Splash in the maple flavoring. Whisk until very smooth. Taste and add in more maple, sugar, butter, or other ingredients as needed until the icing reaches the desired consistency. The icing should be somewhat thick but still very pourable.
- Remove the pans from the oven. Immediately drizzle icing over the top. Be sure to get it all around the edges and over the top. As they sit, the rolls will absorb some of the icing’s moisture and flavor. They only get better with time… not that they last for more than a few seconds. Make them for a friend today! It’ll seal the relationship for life. I promise.
Watch Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls video here