Prep 30 mins Rising 1 1/2 hours Bake 12 mins Eat 2 hours 12 mins
Nothing says comfort food like the smell of Cinnamon Rolls baking in the oven. With the scent wafting in your kitchen, you are immediately transported to childhood and warm fuzzy memories. Although, I must admit that in my hometown of Minneapolis where Pillsbury is king, the cinnamon rolls I ate as a child came out of a cardboard tube you hit on the edge of the counter to open. Thankfully my standards and tastebuds have been elevated! These cinnamon rolls are soft and gooey sweet, light and airy, dripping of caramel just like the ones you might be familiar with at Cinnabon. Yes they have sugar, yes they have white flour and weigh in at 301 calories each. But what they don’t have is HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) and all kinds of other words you can’t pronounce that I imagine are on the label of the Pillsbury version and the ones in every mall in America.
The hardest part of making these is waiting until they are ready to eat. Yes, they take a little time. They are Fresh Food, but not so much in a Flash. But once you bite into them, none of the time that has passed will matter. Also, make them with kids and you’ll be teaching them a great lesson that will get them hooked on baking and cooking fresh foods at home. This goes a long way to getting processed foods out of your house.
So let’s get started. Mix up your dough. I use Rapid Rise yeast and mix it up in a food processor for extra speed, but you can also mix it together in a bowl. Once your dough has risen you are ready to form your cinnamon rolls.
Roll the dough out on a well floured surface and spread softened butter on it. Next sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon over the dough, then the walnuts and raisins, lightly pressing them into the dough.
Roll up the dough along the long side like a pinwheel until you have a long log.
With a serrated knife, cut the rolled up dough crosswise into 18 equal pieces. Place the pinwheels on a well buttered baking sheet. Sprinkle any of the crumbs from your work surface over the top of the rolls.
Cover the baking sheet lightly with a kitchen towel, parchment paper or foil and let rise. The warmer your space is, the faster they will rise. Give them 1-2 hours, as you want them to grow to their maximum potential. You can even leave them overnight, so they are ready to bake in the morning for breakfast or a special brunch.
Bake them and get ready for the earthy smell of yeast baking and this yummy comfort food to fill your home.
Spread or pipe cream cheese icing over the top. Use a spatula to lift them out of the pan. The bottom will have a gooey caramel formed at the bottom of the pan. If you are like me, you will scrape every last bit of caramel off the tray. WARNING: Only make these when you have a group big enough to devour them all. You don’t want extra hanging around your kitchen when you are home alone. Although if you do have any leftover, make sure to heat them in the oven on low heat before you eat them to get the full effect of their lusciousness. Enjoy!
Oven temperature 375º
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), half melted, half room temp + more for greasing tray
1 package yeast, preferably Rapid Rise
1 cup milk
4 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teapoon salt
2 large eggs
vegetable or olive oil
1 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup walnut pieces
1/2 cup raisins
Cream Cheese Icing
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1. Melt 1/4 cup of butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add milk and heat until it is temperature of warm water that you can put your finger into without burning. Remove from heat and sprinkle the yeast on top of the mixture.
2. In bowl of food processor, combine flour, sugar and salt. Pour milk mixture into food processor and pulse a few times to mix. Add eggs and pulse again. Pulse a few more times until mixture is combined and gooey.
3. Brush oil onto a large bowl. With a rubber spatula, scrape the dough from the food processor into the bowl. Use your hands to knead and shape the dough into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm part of your house to let rise until nearly doubled, which will take about 30-45 minutes.
4. After dough has risen, shape into a small rectangle and roll it out onto a well floured surface into a 12 x 18 rectangle. Spread room temperature butter onto the dough. Sprinkle with brown sugar, cinnamon, followed by walnuts, then raisins. Lightly press the walnuts and raisins into the dough.
5. Roll up the dough along the long side like a pinwheel until you have a long log. With a serrated knife, cut the log crosswise into 18 equal pieces. Place the pieces on a well buttered baking tray allowing plenty of space in between each. Sprinkle any of the crumbs left on your work surface over the top of the rolls.
6. Cover the baking sheet lightly with a kitchen towel, parchment paper or foil and let rise. The warmer your space is, the faster they will rise. Give them 1-2 hours, as you want them to grow to their maximum potential. You can even leave them overnight, so they are ready to bake in the morning.
7. While cinnamon rolls are rising, mix up the Cream Cheese Icing. Combine all ingredients together and beat with a mixer until fluffy. Cover bowl with plastic wrap until ready to use or place into a piping bag. Can be refrigerated, but bring out to room temperature when ready to use.
8. Preheat oven to 375° and bake for 12-15 minutes or until top is a light golden brown. Do not overbake. Before serving, spread or pipe cream cheese icing onto each cinnamon roll and serve while they are still warm.
Servings: 18 301 calories each