Cinnamon Rolls

Last week I went bonkers crazy. I was so stressed out between work and school and blog and life and damn-I-forgot-to-call-my-mom-again!, that I lost my mind for a few days and stopped sleeping, eating and showing any signs of being reasonable. I mainlined coffee just to keep my eyes open and my brain was acting like it was running Windows 95, and I’m pretty sure that if I were less prideful, I would have had a pity cry because I’m just THAT busy and no one understands and waaaahhh. By Friday night, this clearly had to end, since I discovered that life is not about who can have the earliest heart attack; it’s about sleeping in, good coffee and cinnamon rolls with friends. So I slept in, brewed some Vietnamese coffee beans, invited my friend over, watched “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”  and made these cinnamon rolls. And you know what? This is way better!

So on the topic of cinnamon rolls! This is the first time I’ve made cinnamon rolls and they turned out quite fabulous. I do have a word of advice: don’t use more flour than the recipe calls for, or the dough will turn out a bit tough and chewy. It should feel shaggy and sticky while you’re kneading it, but don’t be like me and give into temptation and add more flour. Otherwise, the filling is fantastic, the frosting is crazy-sweet and the buns turn out gigantic. It takes about 5 hours to make them, but they’re totally worth it for curing Crazy Life Syndrome.

Cinnamon Rolls
Yields 8
Prep Time
4 hr 30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
5 min
Prep Time
4 hr 30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
5 min
569 calories
70 g
109 g
30 g
7 g
16 g
149 g
396 g
35 g
1 g
12 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 569
Calories from Fat 259
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 30g
Saturated Fat 16g
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 9g
Cholesterol 109mg
Sodium 396mg
Total Carbohydrates 70g
Dietary Fiber 3g
Sugars 35g
Protein 7g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 2¼ tsp active-dry yeast
  2. ½ tsp. + ¼ c. granulated sugar
  3. ¼ cup warm water
  4. ½ cup whole milk
  5. 2 tbsp packed brown sugar
  6. 1 tspp pure vanilla extract
  7. 1 egg
  8. 1 egg yolk
  9. 2¾ cup all-purpose flour + 1/3 cup more for kneading
  10. ¾ tsp salt
  11. 1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, softened
  1. ½ cup granulated sugar
  2. ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  3. ½ cup finely chopped pecans
  4. 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  5. ½ tsp. salt
  6. pinch ground cloves
  7. 3 tbsp pure maple syrup
  8. 1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, melted
  1. Combine yeast, ½ tsp. of sugar, and water in the bowl of a mixer. Stir and let sit until foamy, 5-10 minutes.
  2. Add remaining sugar, milk, brown sugar, vanilla, egg, and egg yolk. Beat until well combined. Using a dough hook, add flour and salt to bowl and mix at medium speed until dough just begins to come together. Turn mixer to medium-high and knead for ~4 minutes.
  3. Add the softened butter and continue to knead for ~6 minutes. The dough will be wet and sticky. Place the dough on a well-floured surface and knead another ⅓ cup of flour into the dough. Dough should be just slightly tacky and very soft, but it should not stick to your hands.
  4. Place in a large, greased boil. Cover with plastic or clean kitchen towel and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 2 hours.
  5. When dough has doubled in bulk, tip it out of the bowl onto a heavily floured work surface. Gently knead the dough until it is no longer sticky, adding ~2 tbsp of flour as needed for ~2 minutes. The dough should be soft and tacky, but not stick to your hands. Let rest on counter for 5 minutes.
  1. While dough is resting, combine sugars, pecans, cinnamon, salt, and cloves in a medium bowl. Stir in the maple syrup and set aside.
  2. Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough into roughly a 10"x 20" rectangle. Position dough so that the short sides are parallel to you (you'll be rolling from the short side). Brush about half of the melted butter over the top of the dough, enough to coat it well.
Assembly and baking
  1. Dump all of the filling onto the buttered dough and spread evenly, leaving a 1" border at one of the short edges of the dough so the roll can be properly sealed. Lightly press the filling into the dough.
  2. Roll the dough into a tight cylinder. Pinch all along the edge to seal. Cut into 8 equal slices.
  3. Arrange slices, cut side up, in a greased 9" x 13" pan. Each roll will have a bit of space on all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rest in a warm place for 2 hours. You can also refrigerate the rolls overnight, just be sure to bring them to room temperature before baking the next morning.
  4. Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Drizzle with the remaining 1/4 cup melted butter just after the rolls come out of the oven.
  5. If you wish, you can frost the rolls with maple cream cheese frosting.
  1. This recipe takes a total of about 5 hours, but about 4 of those hours are passive, as the dough is rising.
Adapted from Joy the Baker Cookbook
Adapted from Joy the Baker Cookbook
A Kitchen Odyssey