Back in my innkeeping days, we made the BEST homemade cinnamon rolls. From scratch. It’s an easy recipe, it takes a little extra time. But once you make them from scratch, you’ll never want the pre-made stuff at the store again.
This recipe is originally from my innkeeping blog, Inn The Kitchen. You can hit the button above to skip right down to the recipe. Or scroll through the step-by-step photos and get a peek into my former life as an innkeeper. Either way, I’m sure you’ll enjoy these homemade cinnamon rolls.
Store-Bought vs Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
Flour. Butter. Eggs. Milk. Sugar. These simple ingredients offer so many baking possibilities.
It never ceases to amaze me how many different things can be baked from just tweaking a combination of them.
For this morning, I’m going to make a traditional chilly-morning-gooey-cozy-comfort-food favorite — cinnamon rolls. I confess, I usually make these by popping open a cylinder can with a certain giggly dough boy gracing the label. The orange icing was my favorite. Artificial … yes, I know. But quick and easy.
This recipe is not a quick one. But it is easy. And they taste soooo much better with the added ingredients of time and love.
There are a lot of different variations of recipes for cinnamon rolls, but this one in particular comes from our friend Dee over at Anchor Inn on the Lake in Branson.
HOMEMADE CINNAMON ROLLS – INGREDIENTS
Here’s a quick checklist of ingredients you’ll need to have on hand to bake cinnamon rolls from scratch.
- brown sugar
CINNAMON ROLLS – STEP-BY-STEP PHOTOS
Add the yeast to a mixing bowl with just a little bit of water, about a 1/2 cup. As the yeast dissolves into the water, you may need to mix it up just a bit to make sure there are no big clumps.
Scald the milk and melt the butter into it. Just don’t boil it. This is on low to medium heat.
Break the egg into a separate bowl and beat with a whisk. This helps with mixing it in, but it’s also so you don’t ruin your whole recipe in case the egg is bad. Luckily, I’ve never encountered a bad egg.
Add the eggs to the milk/butter mixture and mix. Then add the milk/butter/egg mixture to the yeast absorbed in water and mix.
Next, add the flour and white sugar to the wet mixture and lightly mix with a spoon, just so that all the flour/sugar is wet. Cover with a towel and put it in a warm place (I place it on top of my heating oven) to let the dough rise for an hour.
LETTING THE DOUGH RISE
In the recipe, Dee suggests turning the dough out onto a floured surface and kneading for 5 minutes, THEN setting it aside to rise. I followed this instruction making my first batch of cinnamon rolls, and the dough never rose. But I’m pretty sure that had a lot to do with the fact that it was a hot humid sticky sauna outside that day. Even in my second batch, it did rise, but it didn’t double in size. As much satisfaction as I would have received from punching down the dough, I didn’t want to fight mother nature. So I just let it rest and rise on it’s own.
ROLLING THE DOUGH
Put the dough out onto a floured surface. Also flour your hands up pretty good, then work dough into a ball and then roll it into a rectangular shape. It doesn’t have to be perfect since you’ll be rolling it up with cinnamon.
Spread on melted butter (about 3/4 of a stick) and sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon.
Roll into a tight roll and pinch the edge together at the end. Some cinnamon sugar gooeyness might ooze out. That’s okay.
Then slice into 1 inch think rolls and place onto a greased/floured cookie sheet or baking dish.
Next batch, I think I’m going to try adding the orange glaze from The Old Hen Bed & Breakfast. Then I’ll have the full homemade version of my dough boy childhood favorite.
- 1/2 Cup Water
- 1 tbsp Active Dry Yeast
- 1 Cup Milk
- 1/2 Cup Butter (For Dough)
- 1 Tbsp Butter (For Cinnamon Filling)
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 Egg, beaten
- 4 1/2 Cups Flour
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
- 1 tbsp Cinnamon
- Dissolve yeast in 1/2 Cup warm water in a large mixing bowl.
- Scald milk and melt 1/2 cup butter in it. Add sugar and salt to milk mixture. Let cool to 120 degrees and add beaten egg to milk mixture.
- Add milk mixture to yeast and mix well, then add flour. Let dough rise until doubled.
- Punch down dough and roll out into 9x13 rectangle.
- Spread 2 tbsp butter across rolled out dough.
- Cover with 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1 tbsp cinnamon.
- Roll up dough lengthwise into tight roll.
- Slice dough into 1 inch slices.
- Place slices cut side up on a greased cookie sheet or pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 362Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 40mgSodium: 283mgCarbohydrates: 62gFiber: 2gSugar: 24gProtein: 7g
Nutrition information provided is only an estimate.
MORE BREAKFAST RECIPES YOU’LL ENJOY
- Homemade Pancakes From Scratch
- Barley Pancakes With Blueberry Sauce
- Homemade Pancake Syrup
- Stuffed French Toast
- Baked Cinnamon French Toast
Originally Published Dec 21, 2009. Updated 2020.