The BEST Cinnamon Rolls

These are my new favorite dessert!

For Mother’s Day this year my family and I had brunch at home.  I would say it was due to COVID-19, but it was not.  I do not like going out to crowded restaurants for special occasions.  I do not want to wait in line, so we typically have a nice dinner the night before Mother’s Day and then a special meal at home.  This year I decided I wanted cinnamon rolls for Mother’s Day brunch and all I can saw is that these are so worth all the work and calories!  It was hard to stop at just one, so we ended up giving a few to some neighbors.  These are better than any I have had at a restaurant and I highly recommend you make them this weekend.   I prepared these Saturday and then left them in the fridge overnight for the second rise.  I left them sitting in the counter for 30 minutes before baking. 

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls {Cinnabon Copycat}
recipe by Tastes of Lizzy T

For the Dough:

1 cup warm milk (about 115 degrees F)
2 1/2 teaspoons instant dry yeast
2 large eggs at room temperature
1/3 cup salted butter (melted)
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (divided)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar

For the Filling:
1/2 cup salted butter (almost melted)
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon

1/2 cup heavy cream (for pouring over the risen rolls)

For the Frosting:
6 ounces cream cheese (softened)
1/3 cup salted butter (softened)
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tablespoon maple extract (or vanilla)

Pour the warm milk in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast overtop. Add the eggs, butter, salt and sugar. Add in 4 cups (save the other 1/2 cup and add only if you need it) of flour and mix using the beater blade just until the ingredients are barely combined. Allow the mixture to rest for 5 minutes so the flour has time to soak up the liquids. Scrape the dough off the beater blade and remove it. Attach the dough hook. Beat the dough on medium speed, adding in up to 1/2 cup more flour if needed to form a dough. Knead for 5-7 minutes or until the dough is elastic and smooth. **The dough should be tacky and will still be sticking to the sides of the bowl.  Use a rubber spatula to remove the dough from the mixer bowl and place it in the greased large bowl.  Cover the bowl with a towel or wax paper. Set the bowl in a warm place and allow the dough to rise until double.

While the dough is rising, prepare the cinnamon filling. In a medium bowl, combine the soft butter, brown sugar and cinnamon, mixing until well combined. Set aside.

Sprinkle a pastry mat generously with flour. Turn out the dough onto the pastry mat and sprinkle the top of the dough with additional flour.  Flour a rolling pin and roll the dough to about a 24×15″ rectangle, it does not need to be exact. Use a rubber spatula to smooth the cinnamon filling over the whole dough rectangle. Starting on the long end, roll the dough up tightly jelly roll style.  Cut into 12 slices and place in a greased 9×13 baking pan. Cover the pan and allow the rolls to rise for 20 minutes or until nearly double.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Warm the heavy cream until the chill is off. Once the rolls have risen, pour the heavy cream over the top of the rolls, allowing it to soak down in and around the rolls. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-22 minutes, until the rolls are lightly golden brown and the center rolls are cooked through.  While the rolls are cooling, prepare the cream cheese frosting.

In a large bowl, combine the softened cream cheese and butter using a hand mixer. Blend well. Add in your favorite extract and the powdered sugar. Beat until combined. Spread the frosting over the cooled rolls.

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