The BEST cinnamon rolls in the WORLD. Big, fluffy, soft and absolutely delicious. You'll never go back to any other recipe once you try this one! This cinnamon roll recipe includes options to make them overnight or ahead of time and even freeze them.
For the dough:
¾cupwarm milk (whole milk or 2% preferred) (110 degrees F)
2 ¼teaspoonsquick rise or active yeast (1/4-ounce package yeast)
1egg plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
¼cupunsalted butter, melted
3cupsbread flour, plus more for dusting
For the filling:
2/3cupdark brown sugar (light brown sugar also works)
1 ½tablespoonsground cinnamon
¼cupunsalted butter, softened
For the cream cheese frosting:
4ozcream cheese, softened
3tablespoonsunsalted butter, softened
Warm milk to around 110 degrees F. I like to do this by placing milk in a microwave safe bowl and microwaving it for 40-45 seconds. It should be like warm bath water. Transfer warm milk to the bowl of an electric mixer and sprinkle yeast on top. Add in sugar, egg, egg yolk and melted butter. Mix until well combined. Next stir in flour and salt with a wooden spoon until a dough begins to form.
Place dough hook on stand mixer and knead dough on medium speed for 8 minutes. Dough should form into a nice ball and be slightly sticky. If it's TOO sticky (meaning it's sticking to the bottom of the mixer, add in 2 tablespoons more bread flour.) If you don’t want to use an electric mixer, you can use your hands to knead the dough for 8-10 minutes on a well-floured surface.
Transfer dough ball to a well-oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a warm towel. Allow dough to rise for 1 hour to 1 ½ hours, or until doubled in size. This may more or less time depending the humidity and temperature in your home.
After dough has doubled in size, transfer dough to a well-floured surface and roll out into a 14x9 inch rectangle. Spread softened butter over dough, leaving a ¼ inch margin at the far side of the dough.
In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar and cinnamon. Use your hands to sprinkle mixture over the buttered dough, then rub the brown sugar mixture into the butter.
Tightly roll dough up, starting from the 9-inch side and place seam side down making sure to seal the edges of the dough as best you can. You will probably need to cut off about an inch off the ends of the dough as the ends won’t be as full of cinnamon sugar as we’d want it to be.
Cut into 1 inch sections with a serrated knife or floss. You should get 9 large pieces.
Place cinnamon rolls in a greased 9x9 inch baking pan or round 9 inch cake pan. (I also recommend lining the pan with parchment paper as well, in case any of the filling ends up leaking out.) Cover with plastic wrap and a warm towel and let rise again for 30-45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove plastic wrap and towel and bake cinnamon rolls for 20-25 minutes or until just slightly golden brown on the edges. You want to underbake them a little so they stay soft in the middle, that’s why we want them just slightly golden brown. Allow them to cool for 5-10 minutes before frosting. Makes 9 cinnamon rolls.
To make the frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Beat until smooth and fluffy. Spread over cinnamon rolls and serve immediately. Enjoy!
To make overnight cinnamon rolls: After placing rolls into the greased pan (after the first rise), simply cover, place overnight in the fridge and then bake them in the morning as directed. I like to bring my cinnamon rolls to room temperature first by leaving them on the counter for 30-45 minutes before baking (this is known as the second rise).
Check the blog post for instructions on how to freeze cinnamon rolls, plus additional tips and tricks!