cinnamon rolls

cinnamon rolls out of the oven

Have you heard of Pioneer Woman? Her blog is fantastic!

Go on, take a peek. She covers all kinds of topics besides food. She was up for six Bloggies this year, you know, and won three!

These are her cinnamon rolls. If you like cinnamon rolls, you must try these. They are just as good (if not better than) any that I’ve had in stores or bakeries or coffee shops. Do not fear working with yeast! Just make sure that it hasn’t expired. And really, that’s the hardest part.

Well, actually the other hardest part was scaling down the recipe from PW’s. The original makes seven (!!) pans of rolls. The first time I made these, I only halved the recipe, and ended up with three very stuffed pans. We are only two average-sized people around here. That was just too many rolls, and I’m sad to say that I had to throw some out. Never again! This time, I quartered the recipe, which yielded a full pan plus four more rolls. And really, scaling wasn’t too hard, especially since this recipe doesn’t contain eggs (who wants to bother with negotiating out 1/4 of an egg?) and to spare you even that small hassle, I have provided for you the scaled recipe.

So go on and gather up all the ingredients. If you’re like me, you might not have yeast handy. Go get it. Also, make sure that you have enough cinnamon… it would be a shame to run out of it during this recipe.

Then you’d just have rolls.

sliced and ready for a final rise

cinnamon Rolls
- adapted (and way scaled down) from Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls 101. You can head over to her site if you’d like the full recipe for a full SEVEN pans!

For the rolls:
1 c milk
1/4 c vegetable oil
1/4 c sugar
1/2 packet Active Dry Yeast (that’s 1 1/8 tsp)
2 + 1/4 c AP flour
1/4 heaping tsp baking powder
1/4 scant tsp baking soda
3/4 heaping tsp salt
1/3 c softened butter
1/4 c brown sugar
healthy dose of cinnamon

For the icing:
1 tsp vanilla
2 T milk
1 T butter
1-2 T brewed coffee
pinch of salt
1 – 1 1/2 c powdered sugar (or enough to thicken icing as desired)

First, we make the rolls:

Mix milk, vegetable oil, and sugar in a saucepan. Heat the mixture just to the point of it beginning to boil (small bubble will begin to form) and remove from heat. Leave to cool at least 30 minutes or so, or until the mixture is lukewarm to warm. Sprinkle the yeast over top of the warm mixture and let sit for a minute. Add 2 cups of flour. Stir together well; the mixture will be sticky. Cover and let rise for at least one hour.

Add 1/4 cup more flour, and baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir together. You should have a slightly sticky dough at this point.

You now have two options: 1) Cover and put the dough in the fridge overnight to rise. PW mentions even letting sit for a day or two until you’re ready to make the rolls. I went this route. OR 2) Go ahead and make the rolls.

Sprinkle counter generously with flour. Dump the dough out onto the counter and form a rough rectangle. Roll the dough out thin; try to keep the shape generally rectangular. Spread the softened butter out over the dough; then sprinkle on the brown sugar and enough cinnamon as you’d like. Begin rolling up the dough at one of the long sides of the rectangle. Try to keep the roll relatively tight. Once fully rolled, pinch the seam to seal it up.

Smear a little more softened butter around two round foil tins or pie pans. Then cut your rolls approximately 3/4 to 1 inch thick and arrange them in the buttered pans. (They should be spaced approximately as shown in the earlier photo.) Allow the rolls to rise another 20-30 minutes.

In the mean time, preheat your oven to 375F. After the rolls have risen, bake until light golden brown (around 15 to 18 minutes).

When your rolls are almost done, make the icing:

In saucepan, heat butter, milk and coffee until warmed through. Stir in salt and vanilla. Add powdered sugar slowly until it reaches the desired consistency. It should be pourable. We tried to keep the powdered sugar as minimal as possible, so we could still taste the coffee and vanilla flavors, but it is up to you. Adjust the ingredients to taste. Drizzle icing over warm rolls.

Eat ‘em up! (And if there are any leftovers, keep them tightly covered in the fridge. Before eating, heat in the microwave until they’re warmed through.)

cinnamon roll insides

soft, sweet cinnamony goodness


  • This recipe definitely takes a bit of planning ahead. Check out the times — it requires a bit of waiting with all the cooling and rising and resting and whatnot. If you want them for breakfast, it might save you some time in the morning to make the dough the night before, then form and rise the rolls in the morning. It means less time between when you wake up and when you can enjoy these yummies.
  • I made a vanilla icing with extra coffee, but PW has directions for a maple flavored icing that also sounds good. I just always forget to look for maple flavoring at the store. If you try it, let me know how it tastes!
  • PW’s original recipe calls for a hotter oven, but it dried my rolls out a bit last time. She recently mentioned that she dropped her temperature a bit, and I think it works much better now. Also, if you need any visual help when it comes to rolling out the dough, she’s got every step of the process well-documented.

4 thoughts on “cinnamon rolls

  1. Hannah

    I agree, this is really a fantastic, fool-proof recipe- I even veganized it! Definitely an easy to make favorite for special occasions.

  2. Tyler

    Thanks for the recipe! You might want to edit the instructions and say to use only the cane sugar, milk, and oil to create the yeast mixture since it just said sugar I added the brown sugar too and had to start over when I went to add the brown sugar! But they turned out great! Thanks again!

  3. Aimee

    In Rhee’s original icing recipe she has Maple extract in her icing recipe. What would be the correct amount of maple extract for this scaled down recipe?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>