cinnamon-rolls.jpg

ul⋅ti⋅mate   [uhl-tuh-mit]
–adjective
1. last; furthest or farthest; ending a process or series: the ultimate point in a journey
2. maximum; decisive; conclusive: the ultimate authority; the ultimate weapon.
3. basic; fundamental; representing a limit beyond which further progress, as in investigation or analysis is impossible
4. not to be improved upon or surpassed; greatest; unsurpassed: the ultimate recipe; the ultimate cinnamon roll.

In every aspect of the word, ultimate is the right descriptor for this recipe. It was the first recipe I have tried for cinnamon rolls and it will likely be the last. I could not imagine wanting anything more out of a cinnamon roll. This perfect bun satisfied each sense: fragrance in through the nose, the variant warm colors, the squish of the fork, the warmth of the soft roll, the sweet cinnamon-y flavor and the sound of silence as you take a moment to revel in its perfection.

I found this recipe here and was drawn in by its flexibility. You can freeze the unbaked rolls or prepare them the night before and bake them fresh in the morning. There are notes for making these in a stand mixer, a Cuisinart and even a bread machine! In addition to all these options, you know that cream cheese frosting gets me every time!

Harvest Cinnamon Rolls

1 cup milk (heated approximately 1 minute in microwave)
1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F.)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 eggs, room temperature and beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
5 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten (optional, I did not use it)*
3 teaspoons instant active dry yeast
Cinnamon Filling (see recipe below)
Butter Frosting (see recipe below)
* The Vital Wheat Gluten helps the sweet bread dough rise better, be more elastic, and easier to roll out

CINNAMON FILLING:
1/2 cup butter, melted or softened
1 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
4 to 5 tablespoons ground cinnamon
3/4 to 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

(find photos and instructions for using a bread maker here)
In a Standup Mixer: In a large bowl or in the bowl of a 5 quart stand mixer, combine all the ingredients in the order given except the Cinnamon Filling and the Butter Frosting. Using a dough hook, mix everything together until a soft dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a lightly oiled surface (you can spray the counter with cooking spray, you just don’t want to add a lot more flour if it is sticky), and knead until elastic, approximately 10 minutes. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.

Butter a 9x13x2-inch baking pan; set aside. After dough has rested, roll and stretch the dough into approximately a 15×24-inch rectangle. Brush the softened butter over the top of the dough with a rubber spatula. Combine the cinnamon and sugar well in a separate bowl. Sprinkle the cinnamon filling over the butter. Starting with long edge, roll up dough; pinch seams to seal.

With a knife, lightly mark roll into 1 1/2-inch section. Use a sharp knife (I like to use a serrated knife and saw very gently) or slide a 12-inch piece of dental floss or heavy thread underneath. By bringing the ends of the floss up and criss-crossing them at the top of each mark, you can cut through the roll by pulling the strings in opposite directions. Place cut side up in prepared pan, flattening them only slightly. The unbaked cinnamon rolls should not touch each other before rising and baking. Do not pack the unbaked cinnamon rolls together.

To bake immediately: cover and let rise in a warm place for approximately 45 to 60 minutes or until doubled in size (after rising, rolls should be touching each other and the sides of the pan). Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. for regular oven or 325 degrees F. for a convection oven. Bake in a regular oven approximately 20 to 25 or until they are a light golden brown. Bake in a convection oven approximately 15 to 20 minutes.

To bake the next morning: Put them in the refrigerator covered. They will rise slowly overnight. Put them into the oven the next morning and follow above cooking instructions.

To freeze: Wrap in plastic wrap. Take them out the night before baking and leave out of the fridge. Allow them to thaw and rise before baking.

Once baked, spread the warm rolls with Butter Frosting. Mmmmm

BUTTER FROSTING: (If you love a ton of frosting or want to serve with extra, double this!)
2 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup powdered (confectioners) sugar
1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon lemon extract or oil (optional, I did not use it.)

In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese and butter until creamy. Add powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and lemon extract or oil until well mixed and creamy. Refrigerate frosting until ready to use and then bring to room temperature before spreading.

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40 Responses to “The Ultimate Cinnamon Rolls”

  1. Tim Says:

    AHHHHH! I want these right now. I have been thinking about cinnamon rolls a lot lately, thanks for inspiring me to actually make them.

  2. Kaitlyn Says:

    Not only do these look utterly delicious, the recipe actually looks easy. This would be a perfect breakfast for the weekend, I can’t wait to try it out!

  3. KT Says:

    I don’t know if I can wait until Saturday morning to try these out… I’ve seen a couple posts in recent memory (Amateur Gourmet, someone else??) about disastrous cinnamon rolls, so they’ve been on my mind too, but only because I wanted to see some done well! If you had to make one sweet indulgence only, would it be these or the chocolate layer cake?

  4. Caroline Says:

    oooo KT, I LOVE someone turning the Would You Rather on me… I think it would have to be the… um.. er…..the chocolate cake. Love a cake for celebrations but it kills me to think of giving up the cinnamon rolls.

    Kaitlyn – I have been thinking make a big weekend batch, freeze some, bake some EACH weekend.

    Tim – Glad I have inspired you. Tell me if you think they are as good! Not sure if I was just carried away but I really think they are perfect.

  5. kickpleat Says:

    wow. those look amazing!!!

  6. Kristin Says:

    Our Christmas morning tradition is cinnamon buns…I’ve made them every where we’ve been, even in the Philippines…I’ve used the same recipe every time, but I have to say, I may try these out and let you know how they compare!

  7. chef-renee Says:

    I am so excited! I have never had luck with baking cinnamon rolls. Truth be told, I am not a fan of baking, but I love eating the goods! So
    I am ready to try again. I’ll let you know how it goes.

  8. Alisa - Frugal Foodie Says:

    Oh yum! I just made cinnamon rolls last week for the first time in ages. These look great too!

  9. Cakespy Says:

    They sound PERFECT. I haven’t had a cinnamon roll for some time–looks like it’s time to rediscover an old friend!

  10. Mia Says:

    Looks soooooo gooooooood! Really rich :)

  11. Mia Says:

    I’ve been trying for the last five minutes to close this page, telling myself I already have a good recipe for this and I hate confusing myself with too many recipes for one thing….but its impossible! Oh heck, I’m gonna save this one too!! I hope you’re happy now! ;)

  12. Caitlin Says:

    Oh wow. I totally need to make these, like, this weekend. If not sooner.

  13. Nancy Says:

    I made these Friday night and baked them Saturday morning for breakfast. They’re amazing! I had a few worries with some of the instructions in the recipe, but they turned out great. (Believe me, my kneading skills are quite questionable.)

    1. It says to knead the dough on an OILED surface. I did that, don’t know if it’s right or not, but it seemed to work out just fine.

    2. “Brush the softened butter over the top of the dough with a rubber spatula. For the filling, soften the 1/2 cup butter and set aside. Combine the cinnamon and sugar well in a separate bowl. Spread the butter on the dough rectangle with the rubber spatula. Sprinkle the cinnamon filling over the butter.” I assumed these directions were just doubled. I brushed only 1/2 cup of softened butter on the dough then covered it with the cinnamon sugar mixture.

    3. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I didn’t need to double the amount of frosting. I had way too much.

    I will definitley make these again…and again…and again…!

  14. Caroline Says:

    Nancy – thank you so much! I made recipe corrections based on your comments :)

  15. Mushroom, Spinach & Gruyere Strata Recipe :: Whipped Says:

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  16. alex Says:

    I made this a few months ago after coming across the original website. They are incredible!! I had tried several other recipes that did not come close to this one. The dough is so easy to make, I did use the bread flour and vital wheat, which I think helped it come together. It was delicious and you are right the Ultimate. My boyfriend said they were better than his mom’s which is saying a lot and I would agree.

  17. Shirley Says:

    Ive always been a big fan of Cinnabon. Unfortunately there isnt one in Switzerland. For some time I have been supressing my cravings until I thought about baking my own. Finding this recipe in the web was a big relief for me. i tried this recipe today and it was amazing! Who needs Cinnabon now that I have this. Thanks for sharing!

  18. Lynn Says:

    Try adding a 1/4 tsp of ground cloves to your filling — it’s amazing the difference it makes in the depth of flavor.

  19. Phil E. Drifter Says:

    Put down the biscuit and slowly back away from the table, fatty.

  20. Hams Says:

    So you only tried one recipe? Doesn’t sound like there is much foundation to calling this the ultimate recipe, posting the definition just makes it more obvious.

    Go Go Action-Pointless-Hyperbole!

  21. Caroline Says:

    Well Hams, as you probably know from reading many blogs… they are all an expression of the writers feelings and style. Yes, I like to be extreme. Yes, Whipped is a place I choose to just have fun with writing. Action-pointless-hyperbole? Bring it.

    Appreciate all of you stopping by and taking the time to comment, no matter what your thoughts.

  22. Richard Says:

    These look great will take a look at some of the suggestions and see what I want to incorporate into them!

  23. Mary Mo’s Orange Frosted Cookies Says:

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  24. Government refinance programs Says:

    This is a fantastic recipe. I tried it over the weekend and it turned out perfectly – with any recipe like this though, I am always careful to make sure not to overcook. My oven is a bit on the older side and that can lead me to problems if I don’t keep an eye on things!

  25. Annie Says:

    I just stumbled upon your blog and think that it is awesome! These cinnamon rolls are making me so hungry…off to subscribe now!

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  27. CookLinker Says:

    The Ultimate Cinnamon Rolls :: Whipped…

    I love cinnamon rolls.. love them. My wife on the other hand is not a fan, but when I can.. I have to partake….

  28. Larry Says:

    I’ve made these twice in one week. Now have someone wanting to pay me to make them a batch. AWESOME CINNAMON ROLLS!

  29. Ruben Says:

    I thought these were good, http://www.hm-innovations.com/2011/04/chocolate-covered-strawberry-cupcakes.html I just Stumbled from that site, and landed on this one…. And I think now the Cinnamon Rolls are going to take the next spot in the AWESOME list!

  30. Jalal Hameed Bhatti Says:

    Amazing!!!This is a fantastic recipe

  31. escort bayanlar Says:

    mmmm great thank you

  32. trina @ best salad recipes Says:

    That look DELICIOUS!! And it looks super easy too. These cinnamon rolls are making me so hungry…

  33. Best Smoothie Recipes Says:

    I made your cinnamon rolls and my whole family loved it, thanks for sharing :)

  34. Plum Jo Says:

    I just made these– they came out great! Really delicious.

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  37. WantM Says:

    Amazing!!!This is a fantastic recipe!!!

  38. Ina Says:

    Thank you so much for the recipe! It was my first attempt at baking and thanks to your detailed instructions everything turned out perfect. Thank you.

  39. Alicea Says:

    I want to try this recipe, but my sand mixer is broken. I have dough hooks on my hand mixer, do you think it will work alright?

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