There is almost nothing better than a warm, fresh, ooey gooey, cinnamon roll dripping with vanilla glaze. Literally nothing better!! Cinnamon rolls are a classic sweet and are just as awesome on a cozy Sunday morning as they are for Christmas breakfast. I’ve tried many different recipes for these rolls and some were decent but I found that many of them yielded a rather dense, almost dry roll. I was looking for light, fluffy, soft roll and I found that in the cinnamon roll recipe from The Pioneer Woman . These were AMAZING!
The only adjustment that I made to this recipe was to substitute a vanilla glaze for the maple glaze that she suggests. I do not care for maple flavor in any of my baked goods, I reserve that for pancakes and waffles only. As per The Pioneer Woman, you can also make other substitutions to this recipe such as adding chopped pecans to the rolls or by making an orange glaze in place of the maple one. I am a cinnamon roll purist so for me I like to keep it pretty straightforward with a basic roll loaded with nothing but butter and cinnamon sugar and then covered in warm vanilla glaze. That is absolute perfection in my eyes.
This recipe will yield A LOT of cinnamon rolls so if you don’t feel like halving the recipe, you can actually make the full batch and freeze individual pans of rolls. Just place the rolls in a pan and BEFORE they rise, cover them tightly with foil, and freeze. When you’re ready to make them simply thaw the pan, allow the rolls to rise, and then bake them off as you would if they were freshly made. Alternatively, you can also freeze the baked, iced rolls as well. Just pull them out of the freezer and warm them up in a 250 degree oven for about 15 minutes and then serve. Making big batches of these heavenly treats is a great idea around the holidays so that you’ll always have a homemade dessert on hand to serve any unexpected guest that drop by!
For the dough
- 1 qt whole milk
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 packages (4 1/2 tsp) active dry yeast
- 9 cups all purpose flour
- 1 heaping tsp baking powder
- 1 scant tsp baking soda
- 1 tbs salt
For the filling
- 2 cups melted unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup ground cinnamon
- 2 cups granulated sugar, plus more as needed
For the vanilla glaze
- 1 heaping cup powdered sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 1/2 tbs milk
For the dough, heat the milk, vegetable oil, and sugar in a pan over medium heat, do not allow the mixture to boil. Set aside and cool to lukewarm.
Sprinkle the yeast on top and let it sit on the milk for 1 minute.
Add 8 cups of the flour and stir until just combined. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and set is aside in a warm, draft free area (or use the proofing function in your oven if you have it) and allow them to rise for 1 hour.
Remove the towel and add the baking powder, baking soda, salt and remaining flour. Stir thoroughly to combine.
To assemble the rolls, remove half of the dough. On a floured surface, roll the dough to about 30X10 inches.
To make the filling, pour 1 cup of the melted butter over the surface of the dough. Using your fingers, spread it evenly. Generously sprinkle half of the ground cinnamon and 1 cup of the sugar all over the butter. Add a little more butter or sugar as needed.
Beginning at the end of the dough farthest from you, roll the rectangle tightly towards you. Use both hands, work slowly, and keep the roll tight. It’s okay if some of the filling begins to ooze out.
When you reach the end, pinch the seams together. Transfer to a cutting board and with a very sharp knife, make 1 1/2″ slices. One log will make about 20-25 rolls.
Pour a couple of tablespoons of melted butter into a round tin pan or other desired baking dish. Swirl to coat. Place the rolls in the pan, be sure to not overcrowd them as they need room to “grow”. Repeat this process with remaining dough. Cover the pans with a kitchen towel and allow them to rise again for at least 20-25 minutes.
While they are rising, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake the rolls for 13-17 minutes or until they are golden brown. Do not over bake them and allow them to get too browned on top. While the rolls are baking, make the vanilla icing.
To make the icing, add the sugar, vanilla, and heavy cream to a bowl, Stir to combine and add the milk, 1 tbs at a time, until the icing is well combined and smooth.
Remove the rolls from the oven and while they are still warm, pour the vanilla icing over them, spread evenly across the pan using an offset spatula. As the rolls sit and cool, they will absorb all of that yummy vanilla glaze goodness. Serve warm. Enjoy!