Best. Cinnamon Rolls. Ever.

I love the classics, and American food is rich with influences from all over the world.  Spices that have never grown here are incorporated with techniques that clearly came from another part of the globe.  When considering “American” cuisine, we all think of apple pie, chocolate chip cookies, and blueberry muffins.  I think that cinnamon rolls, though they originated in Sweden, also belong on that list.  This recipe is my go-to when I want to create something truly special.

Cinnamon Rolls
Author: Joe the Baker
For the rolls
  • 1 and a half tablespoons yeast
  • 5 ounces warm water with a pinch of sugar added
  • 6 ounces flour
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • Teaspoon salt
  • Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 cup nonfat dry milk
  • 1/4 cup mashed potato flakes
For the filling
  • Milk half and half, or cream for brushing the dough
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon flour
  • 2 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  1. Dissolve the yeast into sugar water and let sit for about ten minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, combine all other ingredients in the bowl of a mixer and mix well.
  3. Pour the yeast into the dry mixture and mix slowly until completely incorporated. The dough should be very sticky and lumpy.
  4. Let sit for about five minutes to allow dry ingredients to fully hydrate, thus creating a smoother dough.
  5. Mix for another five minutes on low speed. The dough should be smooth and just barely stick to the sides of the bowl.
  6. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover with a damp towel for about an hour. Gently deflate the dough and knead to form a smooth ball, then allow to rise once again for about an hour.
  7. Gently stretch the dough into a large rectangle about 1/4" thick. Thoroughly mix dry ingredients.
  8. Brush the milk onto the dough and sprinkle the cinnamon mixture over it.
  9. Roll the dough into a tight spiral, brushing the end of the dough with milk to hold it closed.
  10. Cut with a very very sharp knife and place the rolls onto a sprayed pan.
  11. Cover and allow to proof until very soft and full in size, probably another hour or two.
  12. Bake at 375 until the edges are golden and the very center of each roll starts to brown.
Recipe Notes

For the icing, you'll need 16 parts powdered sugar, 2 parts heavy cream, 1 part vanilla extract, and 1 part soft butter. Pour the sugar into a large bowl. Add vanilla and stir gently. Add the cream and mix until a paste starts to form. Add the butter and salt and mix until you have the desired consistency (thicker if icing straight from the oven, or thinner for dipping when cooled).

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