Monday, November 2, 2009

Cinnamon Rolls

This past Halloween weekend, I went to Los Angeles to spend the holiday with my girlfriend and her two daughters, whom I affectionately call my stepdaughters. I've known them since they were 2 and 4; now they are 11 and 13!
An old photo of the girls when they were around 4 and 2 years old.

Since I started baking last year, I always ask the kids what they want me to make and bring to them in hopes that they will ask for something different from their usual request - cinnamon rolls. Well, as usual, the conversation goes something like this:
Me: ¡Hola B (la menor)! ¿Cómo estás, cariño?
Me: Hi, B (the youngest)! How are you, sweetie?
B: Bien. (pausa) [¿Memoria?] (they actually address me by my middle name)
B: Fine. (pause) [Memoria?]
Me: Sí, mi amor.
Me: Yes, my love.
B: ¿Vas a venir?
B: Are you coming?
Me: Sí.
Me: Yes.
B: ¡Yeaaaa!
B: Yeaaaa!
Me: ¿Qué quieres que yo te traiga?
Me: What do you want me to bring you?
B: Ummmmmmmm, cinnamon rolls.
B: Ummmmmmmm, cinnamon rolls.
Me: ¿Otra vez?

Me: Again?
B: ¡Síííí!
B: Yeess!
Me: Ok. Pásame a tu hermana.
Me: Ok. Let me talk to your sister.
T (la mayor): Hola.
T (the eldest): Hi.
Me: Hola, T. ¿Qué quieres que yo te prepare?
Me: Hi, T. What do you want me to prepare for you?
T: Cinnamon Rolls.
T: Cinnamon Rolls.
Me: *suspiro* Okey.
Me: *sigh* Okay.
So, the day before I left this time around, I made these cinnamon rolls. I made a double batch - which came out to 29 rolls - because these little girls can gobble up these suckers so quickly. In fact, they can go eat 5 or 6 of them in just one day! Even though they ask for the same thing all the time, I enjoy making these for them. It truly is an enjoyable and relaxing labor of love.

Anyway, when I arrived this past Thursday, I jokingly told them,
"Yo hice estos cinnamon rolls con mucho amor. De hecho, ¡abracé cada uno de ellos!" ("I made these cinnamon rolls with lots of love. In fact, I hugged each and every one of them!") They laughed and said, "Ewwwww!" *sigh* :D They're so precious.

I never stray from this recipe when making cinnamon rolls for the girl. If I want to try out other recipes, I never try them on the girls because they will notice the difference. However, once I find a recipe that is
considerably better than the one I've posted today from (although, the cream cheese rolls come close!), I may just have to try it out on them to see what they say.
I am submitting this post to yeastspotting!

"Clone of a Cinnabon" Cinnamon Rolls

adapted from
2 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast (I use active yeast)
1 cup warm milk (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup margarine (or butter), melted (and slightly cooled b/c of the eggs)
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
4 1/2 cups bread flour

Filling (USE IT ALL! :D):
1/3 cup butter, softened (I spread all of it on the dough with a flat cake knife. It's my favorite part!)
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

(optional add-ins: raisins, apples, nuts, etc.)

Cream Cheese Frosting (I suggest doubling this part if you like a lot of icing):
1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened (you could use 4 ounces)
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick), softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
(For instructions using a bread machine, go to the allrecipes website.)

Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk in a large bowl
(or stand mixer). Mix in the sugar, margarine (or butter), salt, and eggs. Add flour and mix well. Knead the dough into a large ball (or use the dough hook for about 5 minutes), using your hands dusted lightly with flour. Put in a bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

After the dough has doubled in size turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, cover and let rest for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon.

Roll dough into a 16x21 inch rectangle (I don't measure the dough; I just make sure it's thin enough...but then again, I've made these a lot.). Spread dough with 1/3 cup butter and sprinkle evenly with sugar/cinnamon mixture. (I saw the following tip on another website from someone who claimed to have worked at Cinnabon: lightly roll the cinnamon/sugar/butter mixture into the dough. I then pat it down with my hand until it is well-meshed or integrated into the rolled-out dough.)

Roll up dough and cut into 12 rolls. Place rolls in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking pan.
(I almost always overnight these by placing them in the refrigerator at this point. I then take them out of the fridge 60 minutes before baking time and then throw them in the oven.) Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

Bake rolls in a preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes. While rolls are baking, beat together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Then add confectioners' (or icing) sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Spread frosting on warm rolls before serving.


  1. These look so amazing, one of the best cinnamon rolls I've seen. I am totally drooling. I've bookmarked this and hope to make it later.

  2. Yum, those look fantastic! I can totally see why "your" girls want them! I want one or two myself.

    I'm actually learning to bake with yeast so I can make a batch for my kiddos.

  3. I made these too.. they are delicious and I love your picture!

  4. I'm making these this week! Thanks for the adaptation from using the bread machine. Your photos are gorgeous.

  5. Those look soo good! I like the use of the bread machine too. Your "step daughters" sound adorable!

  6. I had such fun reading this post. I've started taking a Spanish class and could understand some of the conversation. The girls are adorable and I would ask you to bring these cinnamon rolls all the time too!

  7. Yummy, Memoria! Your cinnamon rolls look so doggone delectable, and the pictures of the "little" girls are too precious!

    One day, I too am going to make some cinnamon rolls . . . if I ask nicely as your girls do, will you help me? :o)

  8. mmmm! these look awesome!

  9. Heavenly and Jen - Keep me posted as to how these turned out for you!

    Thanks, mom! You're right. The pics of MY girls are precious :D. On the day you decide to mean make cinnamon rolls, remind me to vanish and run far, far away from your kitchen! Love you!

    Thanks, La vie! They are truly as awesome as they look.

  10. Cinnamon rolls are my VERY FAVORITE treat - yours look truly amazing. Looking forward to trying these - bookmarked.

  11. Oh I love cinnamon rolls! This recipe sounds really great! :)

  12. Your cinnamon rolls look so delicious I think I can almost taste them!

  13. I have been looking for a good recipe for cinamon rolls. I lovge the cinabuns in America and I always crave. Thanks for sharing

  14. I've only had one cinnabon in my life, but I became an instant addict and obsessed in finding the recipe, so I'll have to try these out! They look just perfect!

  15. They are just beautiful. Of all the beautiful food photos, yours just stood out. Love these cinnamon rolls and the story behind them.


  16. Trissalicious - Thanks! Make some so that tasting them can be a reality! :)

    Cupake or two - Unfortunately, these do not taste exactly like Cinnabuns, but they are more than good enough!

    Bethie - Thanks!

    Iheartcakes - They don't taste exactly like cinnabuns, so the title is deceiving :). They are very good, though.

    Teochew - I always love your comments. Thank you so much for the kind words!

  17. I thought these looked tantalizing and had a big bag of [expired] bread flour that I wanted to get rid of... so I made three batches of these! They turned out great and looked just like your pictures. I brought them to school and my roommates and our friends ate them all within a few days. The only comment I have about the recipe is that using fresh ingredients probably makes a huge difference (that is common sense to every baker though. maybe I'll be able to afford it when I graduate...?) and I actually had too much filling. Otherwise I am definitely making these again!

  18. Bonnquiqui - I'm glad you enjoyed these!! These truly are my favorite cinnamon rolls. I actually use ALL of the filling b/c I love the cinnamon flavor, but to each her/his own, right? That's the beauty of baking for yourself. I bet your roommates were so thankful! Please come by again!

  19. YUM. totally tempting. i made some using pudding mix but they didnt turn out as good as yours ):

  20. Girl!! I think I've gained 10 pounds tonight reading your blog!! Sucks I can't get half the things I would need to bake here. My shopping lest for next summer's tri phome has already doubled! LOL


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