It never fails that on any given Saturday or Sunday, my kids ask for cinnamon rolls for breakfast. And, it never fails that I always forget to plan ahead when it comes to weekend breakfast or brunch. Always.
Don't these kids know that most cinnamon roll recipes need to be prepared the night before?! Well, now I'm the hero.
Because I discovered these ready in one hour homemade cinnamon rolls. And they're not the kind that come out of a can either. These are made start to finish in about an hour. Can I get a woo-hoo for being a weekend breakfast hero?!
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Homemade cinnamon rolls ready in one hour, you say?
That's right, you read that correctly. These homemade cinnamon rolls are made from scratch, baked, smothered in cream cheese icing and ready to be devoured in one hour flat.
They're like miracle cinnamon rolls, that's what they are. The trick to these is instant yeast, which requires much less proofing time than active dry yeast. You could always go the cinnamon rolls in a can route, but... Lemme count the ways this homemade 1-hour recipe is waaaaaay better:
- You make them yourself so you know exactly what goes into them
- You don't have to worry about popping that scary cardboard tube of cinnamon rolls open with a knife or a spoon. I cringe just thinking of that pop
- You get to decide exactly how much cream cheese icing gets slathered all over your warm, fresh-out-of-the oven cinnamon buns. You won't become another victim of the there's-not-enough-icing-for-everyone-so-use-it-sparingly pre-made version
- Your house will smell like a bakery and your family will sing your praises for at least a week and it wouldn't be hard to set out some fluffy self-rising flour pancakes with 100% maple syrup topping them to go with the breakfast that turns into a whole morning date
- You don't have to think ahead and prepare anything the night before! You can wake up on a lazy weekend morning, prepare these, stick them in the oven and instantly become the mom/dad/sister/brother/aunt/uncle/best friend who makes delicious homemade sticky cinnamon buns for breakfast - hero status, I tell ya
Putting these Cinnamon Rolls together
To make these cinnamon rolls, start by mixing the dough and letting it rest for a few minutes while you make the filling. The filling is a simple mixture of cinnamon and sugar which you'll sprinkle on top of a layer of butter. Mmmmmm!
When the dough has rested, roll it out into a rectangle, spread the butter on top then sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar mixture. Roll it up from the long end, pinch the seams, and cut into 11-12 individual rolls.
Allow these to rise for 25 minutes then bake. When they're baking, mix up the cream cheese icing (the very best part and really the only reason I make cinnamon rolls to begin with).
I like to slather as much of the cream cheese icing on top when the cinnamon rolls are still very warm. Some of it will melt and that's perfectly okay! This recipe makes plenty of icing to keep everyone happy.
Tips for Making This Recipe
- In the first step, you need to warm up a mixture of milk and butter until the butter is melted. Before moving onto the next step, it's very important to make sure the milk has cooled down to 110 degrees F. You do not want to add your yeast to the milk/butter mixture if it's too hot. This will certainly kill your yeast and any chances of becoming the weekend breakfast hero your family is routing for. Yeast is sensitive in that it needs a warm, not hot, environment in which to bloom and give life to your dough. I highly recommend using a digital thermometer to get an accurate read on the temperature of your milk before adding the yeast to it. The thermometer is inexpensive and if you order one today, I'm sure Amazon Prime will have it to you before the weekend is here!
- Once you have rolled your dough up with the filling, it's easiest and best to use unflavored, unwaxed dental floss to cut the dough into individual rolls, preventing the dough from getting squished down. To cut dough with dental floss, simply break off a piece of floss about 12 inches long. Very carefully slide the middle of the floss under the dough to the place where you want to cut. Pull the ends of the floss up and cross over the top of the dough, as if you were about to tie a knot. Give a quick tug on both sides of the floss to cut all the way through the dough. This is the best method for not squishing down your dough while cutting it. If you do not have dental floss, use a sharp knife and press down gently to avoid misshapen rolls
- To get a good rise on your cinnamon rolls in a short time, I recommend placing the covered pan in a slightly warm oven. You can warm up your oven in a couple of ways: 1) turn the oven on for exactly 1 minute to 350 degrees F then turn off and place the pan inside or 2) simply turn on the interior oven light while the rolls are proofing inside. Either of these methods provides a just-warm-enough environment in which to allow the buns to rise
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For more delicious weekend breakfast or brunch recipes that won't take you all day to prepare, give these a try:
Useful Kitchen Tools for Making Cinnamon Rolls
Unflavored Unwaxed Dental Floss
- 1 cup whole milk
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour divided
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 envelope instant yeast approximately 2 ¼ teaspoons
- 1 large egg room temperature
- ¼ cup granulated
- ¼ cup brown sugar packed
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup unsalted butter very soft
Cream Cheese Icing
- 4 ounces cream cheese softened
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons whole milk if needed
Prepare the Dough:
- In a small saucepan, combine milk and butter. Heat on low and stir until the butter is melted and the milk is warm to the touch. If needed, let the milk mixture sit for a few minutes until it is warm but not hot. (It should be around 110°F).
- In a separate bowl, whisk together 3 cups flour, sugar and salt until combined.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough-hook attachment, add yeast and lukewarm milk mixture and stir by hand to combine.
- Add the flour mixture and egg and mix on medium-low speed until combined.
- If the dough is sticking to the sides of the bowl, add the remaining flour, ¼ cup at a time, until the dough begins to form a ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl (only add up to 3 ½ cups of flour total).
- Continue kneading for 5 minutes on medium-low speed. Remove dough and gently form it into a ball with your hands.
- Place it in a bowl greased lightly with vegetable oil and cover with a damp towel.
- Let rest for 10 minutes.
- While the dough is resting, whisk together the sugars and cinnamon in a bowl until combined.
Prepare the Filling:
- When the dough is ready, gently turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Use a floured rolling pin to roll the dough out into a large rectangle, about 14 x 9 inches in size. (If you want all edges to be even, you can use a to cut the dough into a perfect rectangle.)
- Use a knife or offset spatula to spread the softened butter evenly over the entire surface of the dough.
- Sprinkle evenly with the cinnamon and sugar mixture.
- Beginning at the 14-inch edge, tightly roll up the dough. Pinch together the seam so that it seals.
- Use a piece of unwaxed, unflavored dental floss (see note below) to “cut” off the two ends of the roll (an inch on each end – discard that dough) so that they are even.
- Then cut the remaining dough into 11 or 12 equally-sized pieces.
- Place each of the cut cinnamon rolls into a lightly greased pie plate or 9 x 13-inch baking dish.
- Cover again with a damp towel and leave the dish in a warm place to allow the cinnamon rolls to rise for 25 minutes.
Prepare the Icing:
- While the dough is rising, whisk the softened cream cheese and butter together until combined using an electric mixer or by hand.
- Whisk in the vanilla until combined.
- Whisk in the powdered sugar until combined. If the icing is too thick, add a tablespoon or two of milk to thin it out to your desired consistency (I usually add in two tablespoons of milk).
- When the rolls have risen, uncover the dish.
- Place the dish on the center rack of the oven and bake at 350°F for 15-20 minutes, or until the rolls are golden brown and cooked through.
- Remove and let cool on a wire rack for at least 5 minutes.
- Slather on the icing and serve warm.
- To cut dough with dental floss, simply break off a piece of unflavored, unwaxed floss about 12 inches long. Very carefully slide the middle of the floss under the dough to the place where you want to “cut”. Pull the ends of the floss up and cross over the top of the dough. Give a quick tug to cut all the way through the dough. This is the best method for not squishing down your dough while cutting it. If you do not have dental floss, use a sharp knife and press down gently to avoid misshapen rolls
- To store, cover tightly in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently in the oven until warmed through. The cinnamon rolls are best stored in the fridge without icing. Store the icing separately in a tightly sealed jar. Iced cinnamon rolls may also be stored in the fridge. The icing may drip and melt into the rolls when reheated, so go ahead and add some more
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