It’s almost Christmas! That means it’s time for family, fun, and FOOD! I wanted to share our family recipes for Homemade Cinnamon Rolls. They are the best. THE BEST. My sister-in-law shared this recipe with me one Christmas and my kids have asked for them ever since! I’m so happy she shared it with me. There are a couple of disclaimers with this recipe: 1) There is nothing healthy about this recipe. 🙂 If you are looking for a healthy Christmas recipe, just skip past this one. These are rich and gooey. I believe in everything in moderation, and that is why I only make these a couple of times a year. My kids always request them for the first day of school and we have them for Christmas or company or both. 2) This recipe makes a TON of rolls. You will fill up two 9×13 pans with this recipe. This is perfect for a large family gathering. If you are a small family, you have some options with this recipe.
1) Go ahead and make two pans of rolls and share the extras with friends and neighbors (my personal favorite option).
2) Make one batch in a 9×13 pan for yourself and then put the rest of the cinnamon rolls in disposable aluminum pans. Set the rolls, unrisen, in aluminum pans and cover tightly with plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Freeze. When you are ready to make them, allow them to thaw and rise and continue with directions.
3) You can use a disposable pan again and follow the directions and bake them. Once they have cooled, cover them with plastic wrap and aluminum foil and freeze them. When you want to eat them, allow them to thaw and warm them for a few minutes in the oven. Once they are warm, ice them as normal.
*Another tip is to set out a stick of butter when you start making these. You will want soft, room temperature butter when it is time to spread it on the rolls.
Here are the kitchen items that you will need for this recipe: A good stand mixer, a rolling pin, Two 9×13 pans (glass or disposable), a knife to cut the rolls.
It really doesn’t take a lot of ingredients to make the rolls. You probably have most of the items in your pantry!
Start with two cups of warm water in your mixer. I don’t use a certain temperature of water. I usually make it as hot as possible out of the tap. That’s pretty scientific. 🙂 Add 1 package of active dry yeast to the warm water. Stir until dissolved.
Now, add in one cup of sugar and stir until dissolved. Add 1 egg. Mix well. Add in 3 1/2 cups of all purpose flour, 1 tsp salt, and 3 TBSP of melted butter or shortening. Once it is all mixed, it should look like the picture above.
Add another 3 1/2 – 4 cups of flour (give or take a little bit). Yes, you need that much more flour. People always ask me if that is right. It is. Add enough flour that a dough forms and pulls away from the side. You will want it to look like this picture.
Put the dough onto a well-floured surface. Knead the dough for a couple of minutes. If you need to know how to knead the dough, watch this video: https://youtu.be/ySOj0fFWo1U
Put the dough back into the mixing bowl and allow to rise for about 2-4 hours or until it is doubled in size. In these pictures, I allowed the dough to rise for about 3 hours. It also helps if your kitchen is warm. Your dough will rise better. When the dough is ready, punch it down and place it on a well-floured surface again.
You are going to need a large work area to make these rolls. I rolled these out and measured them so I could tell you how big to roll it. This dough is about 27 inches by 22 inches. This will give you the perfect amount for 2 pans of rolls.
Don’t be light-handed with the next few steps. You need to take a knife or spreader and cover the surface of the dough with butter. This was about 6 TBSP of butter.
Next, cover the surface of the dough with light brown sugar. I used about a half of a bag. I sprinkle the sugar on the dough and then i rub it in with my hand so that the surface is covered. Then you want to take your ground cinnamon and liberally cover the surface with cinnamon. These are cinnamon rolls. Make them taste like it. 🙂
Now, start at the bottom edge of your dough and start to roll up like a jelly roll. Go slowly. The dough might be a little sticky in places and you won’t want it to stick. Continue to roll upwards until the entire piece is like a jelly roll.
At this point, I cut the uneven ends off. This allows the rolls to be even in the pan. I use the ends to fill up the pan if I need more. Divide the dough up equal sections. I cut the dough at about 1 inch intervals.
After you cut the rolls, place them cut side up in your 9×13 Well-greased pan. Now, spray some parchment paper with cooking spray and cover the pans. Allow the rolls to sit out on the counter overnight. That might seem strange, but just trust me. It works.
When you wake up in the morning, remove the parchment paper and you should have big cinnamon rolls that are ready to bake!
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the cinnamon rolls for about 15-20 minutes or until they are a very light golden brown.
Ta-da! Perfect! So yummy. Your family is going to be so happy. Allow the rolls to sit and cool for a little bit. While they are cooling, it’s time to make the icing.
You only need 4 ingredients to make the icing. It’s so easy. Begin by melting half a stick of butter in a microwaveable bowl. Then add 1 cup of powdered sugar. Stir until mixed. Add one tsp of vanilla and a little splash of milk. Stir again. Now it’s time to play with the icing until it is how you want. Add a little more powdered sugar at a time until it is as thick as you would like. If you add too much powdered sugar, add some more milk to thin it out.
The second picture shows the consistency that I like. It is thick, but it slowly drips off the spoon.
Once the rolls have cooled somewhat, add your icing. I like to add a spoonful of icing to each roll and then spread it out. You could also pour this all over the pan and spread it. Whatever floats your boat. There is no right or wrong answer!
Here is the finished product! It’s beautiful! This is way better than anything that you are getting out of the can. I love to see all of the layers inside! Enjoy this recipe and share it with family and friends! Please let me know if you try it! I love to know that people are making my recipes! Merry Christmas to you and your family from our family! Frohe Weihnachten!
Here is the recipe for you to print: Homemade Cinnamon Rolls