Homemade Cinnamon Rolls Recipe & Tutorial

Post by Megan

About 3 years ago, I was introduced to a website that is wonderful! At the time, she was rising in stardom, but still not well known like she is now. Thepioneerwoman.com is an excellent resource for comfort food recipes. Ree knows how to cook! And her tutorials are hilarious! I love her sense of humor.

Anyway, every year, I make The Pioneer Woman cinnamon rolls. They are a fabulous addition for breakfast, brunch, or can stand alone as dessert. This recipe makes a huge batch, so if you aren’t planning to share them, you can bake the cinnamon rolls and freeze them without the icing.

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The following recipe has been taken directly from www.thepioneerwoman.com with a few minor changes to the butter and sugar amounts. She is very generous with the sugar and butter she uses. I can assure you, they still taste great with less!


1 quart Whole Milk (4 cups milk)
1 cup Vegetable Oil
1 cup Sugar
2 packages Active Dry Yeast, 0.25 Ounce Packets
8 cups (Plus 1 Cup Extra, Separated) All-purpose Flour
1 teaspoon (heaping) Baking Powder
1 teaspoon (scant) Baking Soda
1 Tablespoon (heaping) Salt
Plenty Of Melted Butter
2 cups Sugar (I reduce this amount to 1 cup which is plenty for the entire batch)
Generous Sprinkling Of Cinnamon

1 bag Powdered Sugar (2lb)
2 teaspoons Maple Flavoring
1/2 cup Milk
1/4 cup Melted Unsalted Butter
1/4 cup Brewed Coffee
1/8 teaspoon Salt

Preparation Instructions

For the dough, heat 4 cups of milk, 1 cup of vegetable oil, and 1 cup of sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat to just below a boil. You want to scald it, not boil it so turn off the heat once you see bubbles and movement in your milk mixture (it looks like the milk is about to erupt). Set aside and cool approximately 45 minutes to an hour so it is warm, not hot. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let it sit on the milk for 1 minute.

Add 8 cups of the flour. Stir until just combined, then cover with a clean kitchen towel and set aside in a relatively warm place for 1 hour.

After 1 hour, remove the towel and add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and the remaining 1 cup flour. Stir thoroughly to combine.

Use the dough right away, or place in a mixing bowl and refrigerate for up to 3 days, punching down the dough if it rises to the top of the bowl. (I often make the dough one day and the cinnamon rolls the next day)

To assemble the rolls, remove half the dough from the bowl. On a clean and floured surface, roll the dough into a large rectangle.

The dough should be rolled very thin. (I hardly ever get this right. Mine is usually 1/4″ thick because it falls apart if I roll it thinner. I’m also not good at making a rectangle, as you can see)

To make the filling, pour 3/4 cup to 1 cup of the melted butter over the surface of the dough (I use 1/2 cup butter for each of my rectangles).

Use your fingers to spread the butter evenly.

Generously sprinkle half of the ground cinnamon and 1 cup of the sugar (again, I reduce this amount to a little less than 1/2 cup sugar per rectangle) over the butter.

Now, beginning at the end farthest from you, roll the rectangle tightly towards you. Use both hands and work slowly, being careful to keep the roll tight. When you reach the end, pinch the seam together and flip the roll so that the seam is face down.

At this point, I hope you’re feeling confident that this process doesn’t require perfection. My photos show that clearly…but these cinnamon rolls are so forgiving!

Slip a cutting board underneath the roll and with a sharp knife, make 1/2-inch slices. Pour a couple of teaspoons of melted butter into disposable foil cake pans and swirl to coat. Place the sliced rolls in the pans, being careful not to overcrowd.

Repeat the rolling/sugar/butter process with the other half of the dough and more pans.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cover all the pans with a kitchen towel and set aside to rise on the countertop for at least 20 minutes before baking. Remove the towel and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden brown. Don’t allow the rolls to become overly brown.

While the rolls are baking, make the maple icing: In a large bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, butter, coffee, salt, and maple flavoring. Whisk until very smooth. The icing should be slightly thick but still pourable.

Remove pans from the oven. Immediately drizzle icing over the top. Be sure to get it all around the edges and over the top. As they sit, the rolls will absorb some of the icing’s moisture and flavor.

Seriously delicious!!!


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