Homemade Cinnamon Rolls with Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting



“Mom, what are you making for breakfast tomorrow?”

”I made breakfast today. What are you making for breakfast tomorrow?”

“I want cinnamon rolls, but those take too long.”

Fast forward to this morning & I’m awake at 6:30am. That, my friends, is sleeping in. The forecast was set for drastically reduced temperatures from yesterday’s perfect 70 degrees, by about 50 degrees, starting with rain, quickly turning to sleet, snow, and lots of northerly winds. AKA: perfect baking weather.

For the record, I tried my hands at cinnamon rolls once a long, long time ago as a new wife so essentially I was starting from scratch. After perusing a few trusted blogs (Add a Pinch, Smitten Kitchen, & I Am Baker) I pulled ideas from each to create my own & I got a big thumbs up from the family. I may have even put my own thumbs up after taking the first bite.

Give yourself ample time to make these, about three hours. It’s a process, but well worth the wait.


for the rolls:

  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 packet fast rising yeast
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup melted butter, cooled
  • 2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for handling

for the filling: 

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened

for the whipped cream cheese frosting: 

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 cup (or 2 oz. cream cheese)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • pinch of Kosher salt


for the rolls: 

Warm milk to 110 degrees (not more than 110 or it will kill the yeast – I’ve found if taking the milk from the refrigerator and heating for 75 seconds in the microwave, it’s about right, but, by all means, still check) and whisk in the sugar and packet of yeast. Cover with plastic wrap & allow to proof, approximately 30 minutes.

Add egg yolks, one egg, cooled melted butter, kosher salt, & proofed milk, sugar, yeast mixture into the bowl of a stand up mixer & whisk together using the paddle attachment.  Add flour, one cup at a time, stirring to incorporate. Replace the paddle attachment with the dough hook, and knead for 5-7 minutes. The dough should be soft & moist, not overly sticky. Transfer the dough into a large, lightly oiled bowl & cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise at room temperature until doubled, approximately 2 – 2 1/2 hours.

Once the dough has doubled in size, transfer to a large, lightly floured surface and roll to to a rectangle that is 18 or so inches wide (the side closest to you) & 12 or so inches long with 1/4 inch thickness.

for the filling: 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon. Spread the softened butter over the dough and sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture all over the buttered dough. Beginning with the edge closest to you, roll the dough into a tight, 18 inch long spiral. Very gently, using floss and/ or a string (or even a serrated knife sawing gently) cut into 1 1/2 inch sections. (I got a bit wonky with my sizing so I had 15 cinnamon rolls of various sizes, but ideally you’ll want 12). Place in a lightly buttered 9×13 baking dish.

NOTE: If making the night before, stop here without preheating the oven & cover with plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator for up to 16 hours. Allow to rest on counter for 30 minutes prior to baking.

Bake until puffed and golden, approximately for 28-30 minutes, or until thermometer inserted reads 190 degrees.

for the whipped cream cheese frosting: 

While rolls are baking, add the butter, sifted powdered sugar, cream cheese, vanilla extract, & salt into stand up mixer. Mix on low to just combine. Once ingredients are incorporated, turn mixer on high & beat for 4-5 minutes, scraping down the sides. Frosting will be light & fluffy.

When rolls are finished baking, allow them to cool for 5 minutes in pan before topping with frosting.



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