Cinnabons Cinnamon Rolls – A Cinnabon copycat recipe, adapted from Todd Wilbur’s “More Top Secret Recipes” cookbook. About the closest you’ll get to the real thing. Super easy to make.
KitchenAid Classic 4.5 Quart Stand Mixer
Glass Mixing Bowl Set (3 piece)
9×13-inch Baking Pan (set of 2)
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast or instant yeast
1 cup milk lukewarm
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup butter unsalted, softened, or margarine
1 tsp salt
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar packed
3 tbsp cinnamon
1/3 cup butter unsalted, softened, or margarine
Cream cheese icing
6 tbsp butter unsalted, softened, or margarine
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar also known as icing sugar, or confectioner’s sugar
1/4 cup cream cheese at room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
US CUSTOMARY – METRIC
For the rolls, dissolve the yeast in the warm milk with a tsp of sugar (you can take a tsp out of the 1/2 cup of sugar) in a large bowl. Let it sit for about 5 minutes. If the yeast is good, it will start to froth up.
To the bowl of your mixer add the sugar, butter or margarine, salt, eggs, and flour and mix until well incorporated.
Pour the milk/yeast mixture over the flour mixture and using the dough hook, mix well until well incorporated and the dough comes clean from the side of the bowl.
Place the dough into an oiled bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place about 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.
Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray or butter.
Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface, until it is approximately 16 inches long by 12 inches wide. It should be approximately 1/4 inch in thickness.
Spread the 1/3 cup of butter evenly over the dough, then sprinkle with the sugar evenly over the surface of the dough.
Working carefully, from the long edge, roll the dough down to the bottom edge.
Cut the dough into 1 1/2 inch slices, and place in a lightly greased baking pan. You can also use floss to cut into slices, as seen in the video. Place the cut rolls in the prepared pan. Cover with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let them rise for another 30 minutes, or until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place the baking pan in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cooking time can vary greatly!
While the rolls are baking make the icing by mixing all the icing ingredients and beat well with an electric mixer until fluffy and smooth.
When the rolls are done, spread generously with icing.
Prep time does not include time to let the dough rise.
Always check the expiration date on your yeast and make sure it hasn’t expired. All your yeast products whether it’s in a jar or a package should be stamped with a “Best if Used by” date. Always make sure you check this date, even when you purchase the yeast, who knows it could have been on the shelf past its expiry date.
To keep your yeast fresh and longer lasting, unopened yeast packages or jars should be stored in a cool or dry place such as your cupboard. However, you can also store your yeast in the fridge or freezer. If you do store it in the freezer and need to use yeast for your baking, make sure you take out the amount you need and let it sit at room temperature for at least half hour before using.
Once your yeast package or jar has been opened, you must refrigerate the yeast or freeze it in an airtight container.
One thing to remember about your yeast, is that it is a living organism and over time it will lose activity, even if you’ve never opened the jar or package. So if you don’t bake often, buy the smaller yeast packages rather than a big jar of yeast.
Make sure your milk is not too hot or it could kill the yeast which will cause your dough not to rise at all. The ideal temperature for the milk should be between 105 F degrees and 110 F for proofing. While 95 F degrees is the best temperature for yeast to multiply, that’s not warm enough for proofing active dry yeast.
If after dissolving the yeast in the warm milk, the yeast didn’t start to froth up, do not continue with the rolls, your dough will not rise.
TIP: To speed up the dough rising process, heat your oven to 200 F degrees. Turn off the oven and place your dough as specified in step 4 in the oven with the door closed. This will ensure a warm environment for your dough and the dough will rise fairly quickly, assuming the yeast was good.
You could prepare this the day before up until step 10. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge overnight. The rolls should continue to rise in the fridge but if by morning they have not doubled in size, turn your oven on to 200 F degrees until it warms up, then turn it off. Place the pan in the oven for about 30 to 45 minutes until the rolls double in size. Then you can bake them as instructed.
To freeze unbaked rolls, complete everything up to and including step 10, then wrap the pan in two layers of plastic wrap. Freeze for 8 hours up to 6 weeks. The night before you want to bake the rolls, thaw them out in the refrigerator, still wrapped. They will thaw overnight. Finish the rest of the steps to bake them.