Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing

by Lana Stuart on February 15, 2011 · 48 comments

Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing

I have something to really tempt you with today. Fresh hot cinnamon rolls warm from the oven slathered with rich cream cheese icing. Ahhh…. Who can resist that? If you’re currently on a diet, I apologize in advance. Maybe you could file this post for future reference. Or maybe you could make a pan full of these, have one for yourself and share the rest with your neighbors. On second thought, maybe not. They’d be permanently camped out in your kitchen waiting for the next batch. They’re just that good.

One of the greatest pleasures of the kitchen for me is working with yeast doughs. In years past I made bread nearly every weekend. I love the whole process – the kneading and the rising. The way the dough feels in your hands and the way it grows while resting – almost like the dough is alive. There’s also something calming and restful about it. Working the dough gives your hands and arms a good workout and gives time for your mind to wander. It’s been quite a while since I worked with a yeast dough and I was really starting to miss it. I wanted to make an old tried-and-true cinnamon roll recipe that I used to bake about twice a month. It was a recipe that I found on the internet way, way back. But, sadly, I couldn’t find that recipe anywhere! Never fear though, this one from the King Arthur Flour web site is just as good, if not better, than my old standby.

For the dough:
1 cup lukewarm milk
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup butter, cut in cubes
4 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ¾ tsp. salt
½ cup sugar
1 pkg. rapid rise yeast

For the filling:
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, packed
3 tblsp. ground cinnamon

For the icing:
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
¼ cup butter, softened
1 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar
½ tsp. vanilla extract

Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing

Combine all the ingredients for the dough in a large mixing bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer). Stir until the mixture begins to come together (see above – it will look pretty “shaggy” at this point and that’s okay).

To knead by hand, transfer the dough to a lightly oiled work surface and knead for 5-8 minutes or until smooth. To knead in a stand mixer, attach the dough hook and knead for 4-7 minutes at medium speed.

Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing

Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turning it to grease all sides. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place for 60 minutes or until doubled in size. Note: I find that my granite countertops are too cool for dough to rise correctly so I put the bowl in the oven with the light on. It’s just cozy enough in there for the rising to take place.

Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing

Punch down the dough. Transfer to a lightly greased surface (I just sprayed a little cooking spray on my countertop) and roll into a 16×21 inch rectangle. Leaving a 1-inch border at one of the short ends, spread the dough evenly with the 1/3 cup softened butter. Sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon evenly over the buttered area of the dough. Be sure to carry the filling all the way out to the edges except on the one-inch border.

Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing

Starting at the opposite end from the clean one-inch border, roll the dough into a log. Pinch the end all the way across the log to seal the dough.

Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing

Cut the dough into 12 equal slices and place the buns in a lightly greased 9×13 pan. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let the buns rise for about 30 minutes or until nearly doubled.

While the buns are rising, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing

While the buns are baking, make the icing. In a small bowl, beat together the cream cheese, butter, sugar, and vanilla.

Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing

When the buns are golden brown, remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes.

Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing

Spread with the icing.

Enjoy!

Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Homemade cinnamon rolls warm from the oven slathered with cream cheese icing.
Ingredients
For the dough:
  • 1 cup lukewarm milk
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • ⅓ cup butter, cut in cubes
  • 4 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¾ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 pkg. rapid rise yeast
For the filling:
  • ⅓ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3 tblsp. ground cinnamon
For the icing:
  • 3 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients for the dough in a large mixing bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer). Stir until the mixture begins to come together. To knead by hand, transfer the dough to a lightly oiled work surface and knead for 5-8 minutes or until smooth. To knead in the stand mixer, attach the dough hook and knead for 4-7 minutes at medium speed.
  2. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turn over once to grease all sides. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rise for 60 minutes or until doubled in size.
  3. Punch down the dough. Transfer to a lightly greased surface and roll into a 16x21 inch rectangle.
  4. Leaving a 1-inch border at one of the short ends, spread the dough evenly with the ⅓ cup softened butter.
  5. Sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon evenly over the buttered area of the dough. Be sure to carry the filling all the way out to the edges except on the one-inch border.
  6. Starting at the opposite end from the clean one-inch border, roll the dough into a log. Cut into 12 equal slices and place the buns in a lightly greased 9x13 pan.
  7. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let the buns rise for about 30 minutes or until nearly doubled.
  8. While the buns are rising, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  9. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes.
  10. While the buns are baking, make the icing. In a small bowl, beat together the cream cheese, butter, sugar, and vanilla.
  11. When the buns are golden brown, remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes.
  12. Spread with the icing.
Notes
Recipe from King Arthur Flour web site (http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/cinna-buns-recipe)

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{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Deeba February 15, 2011 at 11:05 am

These are whimsical Lana… ever so pretty! Love love love the frosting!

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2 Lana February 15, 2011 at 11:45 am

Thank you, Deeba!

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3 Spruce Hill February 15, 2011 at 11:13 am

Can you send those to Maryland? I’ll take three tins please. :)

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4 Lana February 15, 2011 at 11:45 am

You know I’d send you some if I could! Give them a try – you’ll really love these.

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5 Happier Than A Pig in Mud February 15, 2011 at 12:35 pm

The last time I made cinnamon rolls was over 20 years ago! Maybe I’ll make some for the office next week:@)

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6 Lana February 15, 2011 at 1:10 pm

Well, then it’s high time to make some again! I’ll bet the folks at your office will really enjoy these.

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7 Lori @ RecipeGirl February 15, 2011 at 4:37 pm

They’re beautiful! I can eat this morning, noon & night!

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8 Amy | She Wears Many Hats February 15, 2011 at 5:48 pm

I want one. Will you save one for me?

My mouth is watering.

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9 Lana February 15, 2011 at 8:55 pm

I’ve got one put aside just for you, Amy! Come on over and get it :-)

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10 Feast on the Cheap February 15, 2011 at 6:09 pm

Whoa, my tummy just growled. These look INCREDIBLE! So much better than Pillsbury ;)

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11 Lana February 15, 2011 at 8:56 pm

I’d say these were a little bit better than the refrigerator section brands :-)

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12 Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen February 15, 2011 at 6:09 pm

They are so beautiful and perfect! And I am sure they taste wonderful!

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13 Lana February 15, 2011 at 8:56 pm

They did turn out very well. It was so nice to be working with a yeast dough again. I had really missed it!

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14 JehanP February 15, 2011 at 7:00 pm

Ughhh…now I’m going to make these tonight. I’ve been dreaming of cinnamon rolls for quite some time now and just the sight of these have convinced me to bake a pan. And yes I AM on a diet!

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15 Lana February 15, 2011 at 8:57 pm

Sorry to tempt you, Jehan! Just have one and take the rest to work or to your neighbors. They’ll love you for it!

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16 Drick February 15, 2011 at 8:47 pm

I can do a lot of things and cook a lot of foodstuff, working with yeast is not one of my better qualities… but I would love to give this one a go..

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17 Lana February 15, 2011 at 8:58 pm

Working yeast doughs is one of the things I enjoy the most, Drick. Something so pleasurable about the kneading and rising. I’ve got to do it more often!

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18 Lana February 15, 2011 at 9:16 pm

Also, Drick, this is a very forgiving dough. You can leave it to rise too long and it doesn’t care at all. In the interest of full disclosure I’m going to tell you that I actually forgot that it was rising in the oven while I cooked supper and by the time I remembered it had been in there about 2 1/2 hours. I still punched it down and went right on with the recipe. It was so relaxed that I didn’t even have to roll it out, just pressed it into a rectangle with my hands. Still turned out fantastic!

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19 Mama Kelly aka Jia February 15, 2011 at 9:35 pm

These just look sinfully good!!! I am definitely going to have to make these soon.

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20 Lyle Von D February 16, 2011 at 12:29 am

Lana,
I came across your site tonight and am so glad I did. I also grew up in the South and some of your recipes take me back to my momma’s cooking. I’m looking forward to trying some of your wonderful dishes.
Thanks for sharing!

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21 Lana February 16, 2011 at 8:11 am

Thank you, Lyle. So glad you enjoy it!

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22 Jessica February 16, 2011 at 2:37 am

These look perfect! Love the photo too!

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23 Maria February 16, 2011 at 9:08 am

These look wonderful!

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24 Lana February 16, 2011 at 11:52 am

Thanks, Maria! They did turn out really great if I do say so myself :-)

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25 Morgan February 16, 2011 at 9:56 pm

Gosh-I don’t have cabinet space to make these at my house-can you just make them and send them to me?? Haha!! These look SO good!

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26 Lana February 17, 2011 at 10:02 am

Morgan – I’ve had so many people here and on Twitter ask me to send those buns to them, maybe I should start a mail order business!

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27 sophia February 17, 2011 at 12:12 am

Hark!! My tummy is grumbling!!

I’m not on a diet, so no apology needed for me. I just feel cheated that I have to drool over these lovely pics without getting a taste. ;-)

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28 Lana February 17, 2011 at 10:03 am

Sophia – You could make up a batch this weekend. It’s a really easy recipe and an easy dough to work with.

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29 Lauren at KeepItSweet February 17, 2011 at 7:20 am

I really wish I had these in my kitchen right now!

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30 Amanda February 17, 2011 at 7:50 am

Ohhhhhh! Amazing! I have that same plate too, only in large size! :) stumbled and pinned!

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31 Lana February 17, 2011 at 10:03 am

Thanks, Amanda! I’ve got to take time to look at Pinterest. I’m seeing a lot about it on Twitter lately.

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32 Melissa Daams aka Cute Kitty Punk March 2, 2011 at 6:18 am

I love your sweet rolls. They look so appetizing.
I’m having a sweet roll linky party this week and I’d love it if you would link up :)

http://sweet-rolls-that-rock.blogspot.com/2011/03/sweet-rolls-o-rama-linky-party.html

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33 ayen March 27, 2011 at 7:37 am

can i substitute active dry yeast for the rapid rise?

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34 Lana March 27, 2011 at 8:33 am

Yes, but it will lengthen the rising time.

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35 Heather Davis April 5, 2011 at 5:14 am

Hey Lana, if I wanted to make these fresh for breakfast can you leave them to rise overnight? I don’t want to get up at the crack of dawn to make them!

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36 Lana April 5, 2011 at 7:25 am

Hi Heather! I’m not sure about the overnight rise. Maybe if the dough was refrigerated, but a regular rise overnight would probably be too long. If I wanted to serve these for breakfast, I’d probably bake them a day or two before and then reheat and put the icing on the morning I was serving.

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37 Mercedes April 7, 2011 at 3:52 am

I stumbled across this recipe and loved how precise your directions were! Loved the pictures as well. I added walnuts and raisins to the recipe and it came out perfect! Definitely going to use this as my go-to recipe! Thank you so much!

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38 Lana April 7, 2011 at 10:37 am

Thanks, Mercedes! I’ll be the raisins and walnuts were really great in this!

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39 Terri July 28, 2011 at 10:39 am

I love this recipe but I do have a question. I plan to make a batch to leave for family to have during the week for breakfast while I am away. We like our cinamon rolls warm. Should I leave the baked rolls in the fridge unfrosted and then warm and frost individually or will they become too hard? Is it better to frost them all at once and just reheat in microwave?

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40 Lana July 28, 2011 at 11:16 am

Terri – I have rewarmed the frosted rolls in the microwave very successfully. Just about 6 to 7 seconds (depending on your microwave) per roll is about right. Be careful, though, because overheating will melt the frosting. Sorry, I can’t answer about refrigerating them. Never tried that :-)

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41 Katie March 16, 2012 at 12:38 am

I just made these and they didn’t turn out very well, they didnt rise very much and turned out super dense. What did I do wrong?!

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42 Lana March 16, 2012 at 5:25 am

Katie,

It sounds like a problem with the yeast. Either it was past its expiration date or you got the liquid too warm and killed it.

So sorry you had a problem with the recipe. It’s a great one that always turns out for me and I hope you’ll try again.

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43 Luz April 7, 2012 at 3:01 pm

Lana,

I too want to thank you for the step by step pictures with the recipe. My boys love cinnamon rolls so I used to cheat and buy store brand. Came across recipe and made them. Not only did my boys love them, they will no longer eat store brand ones. Thank you again.

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44 Tracey April 15, 2012 at 8:09 pm

Lana,
Thank you so much for sharing this recipe; my daughters and I made these today and they were awesome (we added raisins too )!

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45 miranda December 12, 2012 at 11:44 pm

Hi I have never used yeast before and I wanted to know how much is in a packet of yeast so I don’t get the wrong one. Thank you they look so good and I want to make them for my family Christmas morning!

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46 Lana December 13, 2012 at 8:18 am

Miranda – it’s 1/4 ounce per packet.

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