Seeing swirls is one of the perks of fresh cinnamon rolls
Here’s the problem with watching too much “Great British Bake Off” (GBBO to the cool kids in the know), it makes me think that it isn’t that hard to make pastries. Here’s a group of lovely Brits baking away, constructing towers and baskets out of cakes and the like and it lulled me into a false sense of security. So that’s how we ended up here.
In an effort to flex my baking skills, I decided to bake wildly outside my comfort zone and bake cinnamon rolls from scratch. Why was this outside my comfort zone? Yeast. I have an ongoing battle going in my kitchen with yeasty bakes and their unwillingness to rise. However, after tying on my battle apron (you can’t bake properly in chainmail) and busting out my nifty steed (my standing mixer), I managed to get it to cooperate.
One of the issues with baking with yeast is that it needs time to rise, which is super inconvenient if you’re in a hurry (which I usually am), but it does give you plenty of time to work on tidying up the kitchen and preparing the filling while you wait for the dough to puff up. So while it takes the better part of three hours to make the cinnamon rolls, it’s absolutely worth it for the gooey and decadent swirls you’ll end up with. What’s great about this recipe is that the cinnamon rolls aren’t super sweet, so enjoy these tasty treats without worrying about falling into a sugar coma, and you can gently torment your friends with them to show off your baking superiority.
1 cup room temperature heavy cream
5 tbsp room temperature butter
4 ½ cups flour
½ cup granulated sugar
1 ½ tbsp vanilla extract
2 ½ tsp active dry yeast
2 tsp salt
¼ tsp baking soda
½ cup room temp butter
1 cup light brown sugar
2 tbsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp salt
8 oz. softened cream cheese
½ cup room temp butter
1 ½ cup powdered sugar
⅓ cup heavy cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
Lightly grease a large bowl and a baking pan with cooking spray. Combine all of the dough ingredients until smooth. Let the dough sit in the bowl, covered with a towel for 1 ½ hours. For the filling, combine all the ingredients with a hand mixer and combine until it forms a thick paste.
Once the dough has finished rising, roll it out on a flour lined sheet of parchment paper, flatten the dough until it becomes an 18” by 18” square. Evenly spread the filling over the dough. Roll the dough into a log and slice it into 12-14 rolls.
Place the rolls in the baking pan and cover it with a towel to let the rolls rise for another 20 minutes. Once the dough has risen again, bake them for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. While the rolls are in the oven, beat the butter and cream cheese together for the frosting. Gradually beat the sugar and cream and vanilla into the frosting until smooth. For looser icing, add extra heavy cream.
Once the cinnamon rolls are done baking, frost them immediately and serve.