Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

By • July 21, 2014 14 Comments

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Author Notes: After much experimentation I found my favorite recipe for cinnamon rolls, and I slathered them with cream cheese frosting for a super decadent finish.

I also picked up one of my favorite tips during my research: using floss or string to cut the dough (it's complicated to explain, so I've taken photo of the process). This process means that even pressure is applied in all directions on the log of dough, which means that the rolls don't get squished when you cut them! (The same method can also be used for cutting Swiss roll cakes neatly.) It's not really necessary, but it makes for very photogenic rolls.
Izy Hossack


Makes 9 to 10 rolls

For the dough:

  • 3/4 cup milk (any kind)
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • One packet (1/2 ounce) active dried yeast
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 cups white bread flour, plus extra for rolling
  • 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs

For the filling and frosting:

  • 2/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour or white bread flour
  • 1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened (divided)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Make the bread dough: In a medium bowl combine the milk and boiling water. Stir them together and then add in the yeast along with 1 teaspoon of the granulated sugar. Stir and set aside for 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile place the flours, remaining granulated sugar, salt, vegetable oil, and eggs into the bowl of a stand mixer. (If you don't have a stand mixer, just use a large bowl.)
  3. Pour in the milk mixture and, using the dough hook attachment, mix everything together. Let the mixer knead the dough on medium speed for about 10 minutes, until it's smooth and quite sticky. (If you don't have a stand mixer, stir the mixture together with a wooden spoon or your hands until it comes together, then knead it on a lightly floured surface for 10 minutes until smooth.)
  4. Lift the dough out of the bowl and pour some oil into the bowl to grease it. Place the dough back into the oiled bowl, turning to coat. Cover the dough loosely with plastic wrap, then leave it in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 to 2 hours.
  5. Make the filling: In a small bowl stir together the dark brown sugar, ground cinnamon, and flour. Set aside.
  6. Once risen, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Sprinkle it with some more flour, then roll it into a 20- x 12-inch rectangle.
  7. Spread the 1/3 cup of softened butter all over the surface of the dough, and then sprinkle over the cinnamon mixture.
  8. Starting at the long edge (20-inch edge) of the rectangle, roll the dough up tightly into a long log. Cut off the ends so you have a roughly 18-inch log, then score along the dough every 2 inches so that you can see where you'll be cutting to make 9 cinnamon rolls.
  9. Using either a thread or unflavored dental floss (as shown in the photos) or a sharp knife, cut the dough into 9 pieces.
  10. Place the rolls cut side-down into a large greased tray. Cover them loosely with plastic wrap and leave the rolls somewhere warm to rise for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350° F. When the rolls have risen, remove the plastic wrap and bake them for 20 to 30 minutes, until well risen and golden brown. Leave them to cool before frosting.
  11. Make the frosting by creaming together the 1/4 cup of softened butter, powdered sugar, cream cheese, and vanilla extract until smooth. Spread the frosting all over the cooled rolls.

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