Uncoil the tight swirls and dig in.
By America's Test Kitchen | April 13, 2012
<< Back to Article: Secrets to Beautiful Cinnamon Rolls
Looks delicious and I’d love to try making these, but have a question. I only have a hand mixer, so when it says in step 2 to knead the dough with the mixer, I imagine they are talking of a stand mixer. Will it work with a hand mixer or by actually kneading it by hand?
Hi dantast, we agree — they’re super delish! On your mixer question, here’s an answer from the kitchen: “Hand mixing is doable, but requires work. There’s another (better) method: stretch and fold. For that 2 to 2½-hour first rise, you’d fold the dough every 30 minutes or so. It’d give the same results with no elbow grease.”
I’ve made them once and they are super delicious.
I’ve made this reciPe a few times. To. Die. For.
Sounds easy enough and they look scrumptious!
going to try this recipe tonight for my family
if i wanted to make the dough the night before and let it proof overnight in the fridge would that work too?
Delicious; blend a tablespoon of almond paste into the filling for an extra layer of flavor.
I am so excited to make them!!!
Can this be converted to standard (regular rise) yeast? I haven’t used rapid rise/instant yeast in years. I buy the regular stuff by the 2lb bag at Costco.
While I will give your dough recipe a try, I’ll stick to my usual filling of 1/2 c. of butter, 1/2 c. of brown sugar, and 1/4 c. of cinnamon, mixed together and spread over the rolled dough. (Hubby also likes chopped nuts, but I’m a purest.) If we’re going to call them cinnamon rolls, there should actually be cinnamon in them. ; )
Sounds good, but have you ever thought about adding dry vanilla instant pudding to the dough? Gives it extra flavor!
I used regular rise yeast and mine turned out fine.
I think that an easier way to slice the dough into rolls is to use either thread or dental floss. Take a few inches underneath the dough log, then bring both ends together to slice the dough. It works every time.
I just made these – though I am putting them in the fridge and will let them finish rising in the morning since it’s already after midnight. I did add some pumpkin pie spice to the brown sugar/cinnamon for a little extra something special! The dough came out beautifully – so silky smooth. Anxious to taste the final product in the morning.
hi i want to make these, but i cant find buttermilk , how can i adapt the recipe? and i only have active dry yeast would that do?
Hi laknahour, you can try either of these buttermilk substitutes. Yogurt: A mixture of 3 parts plain whole-milk or low-fat yogurt to 1 part milk can be swapped for buttermilk (that translates to 3/4 cup yogurt plus 1/4 cup milk to replace 1 cup buttermilk). Milk: For 1 cup of milk, simply add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, white vinegar, or cream of tartar and let the milk stand for about 10 minutes. This milk will be similar to buttermilk in sourness and acid content, but it will not be as thick.
cant wait to try it. looks interesting and simple.
Laknahour- I have also found a dry cultured buttermilk blend near the dry pancake mixes in the store. The instructions say to blend it into your dry ingredients, and then add water where the recipe calls for the buttermilk. The amounts to use are on the container.
Can I use a bread machine for the dough?
Hi Gimmymore, thanks for stopping by! We recommend following the recipe as written, making the dough in a mixer and then kneading by hand. Your rolls will come out beautifully.
I like the recipe just the way you have it! Taking them to the coast for the 4th! Thank you!
Wow! I’ll read the entire recipe instructions befor starting next time! I need some sleep but still have an hour to wait for the second rise and then need to bake them! Hope they’re worth it!
What if you don’t have 2-1/2 hours to wait in the morning for the dough to rise? Can you make this at night and let it rise the 2-1/2 hours then put it into the fridge? Or make the cinnamon roll and wait until the morning to cut and cook it? These sound delish!
Can hardly wait to make these. I am not the greatest baker, but am willing to test these on my family. Thank you for sharing your recipe!
Can I make a low calorie version?
How about freezing the dough? Normally I bake, then freeze, but I imagine these would be best to freeze directly after they rise, but prior to baking. Any thoughts?
Hi Innej, just checked in with the cooks. Our typical approach is to freeze after shaping, but before proofing. The reverse can cause them to overproof.
I am anxious to try this as I am always looking for a good, moist cinnamon roll recipe. Thank you!
Looks fantastic…I’ll try it….one word of advice for tasty rolls….once the C.Rolls come out of the oven, transfer them to another plate and when doing so, dump them upside down onto the plate..it allows the sweet richness of your cinnamon juice to work it’s way back through the bun while cooling…..Leaving an even more Fantastic flavour profile!
Haven’t tried it yet just found it will let you know
My family loves cinnamon rolls. I have never made them before. I will give it a try and surprise them.
Hi, Christine: Thanks for the recipe–it looks great! But I don’t think you answered the question about proofing in the refrigerator overnight. I would love to make these, but not if it means I have to get up at 3AM to do it!
There are “Make-Ahead” instructions at the end of the recipe for letting the rolls sit overnight in the fridge.
Mine are in the oven now….can hardly wait! They look AMAZING!
Wondering if I could use a silicone pan instead of metal? Would the silicone allow for proper rising and thereby baking a light enough bread? Should I adjust the oven temperture and bake time?
muy buena es maravillosa para compartir con las familia en un buen desayuno me gusto
What can I use instead of buttermilk?
the recipe calls for All-Purpose flour. Can I use bread flour instead or will this change the texture/moisture too much?
Hi Ruth – different flours have different levels of protein content, and that affects the outcome. We strong recommend using the flour prescribed. Happy baking!
can the dough recipe be doubled?
I tried this recipe last weekend. Made the dough, let it rise, rolled out then rolled and cut. I did not let them rise that night, I placed them in the refridge. I set my alarm early the next morning to take them out and let them rise. By the time I woke for the day – about an hour and a half later – they seemed to have “doubled” in size to me and I couldn’t wait another minute to get these in the oven. They turned out amazing and beautiful! I also used dry active yeast instead of instant yeast. Thank you for the great recipe!!!
I overcame my fear of yeast and made these for Christmas morning breakfast. They were delicious! I love the buttermilk, gives it a nice taste. Also liked that they weren’t too sickeningly sweet or greasy. Will definitely make these again.
Instead of buttermilk, I used the powdered buttermilk that is recommended by Cooks Illustrated. Rather than mix it with water as per the instructions on the can, I just mixed one tablespoon in with the dry ingredients, then substituted 2% milk (that’s what I had) for the buttermilk in the recipe. The rolls came out perfect!
Wow these look amazing! I’m a bit of a scaredy cat when it comes to working with the yeast dough, never done it before. And I don’t have a stand mixer either.
I did the recipe and I really liked it but my glaze was lumpy. Any ideas? Maybe the cream-cheese wasn’t softened enough. I left it out for quite time sitting on top of the oven. I’m making another batch now because I’m making these for my daughter’s 3-rd grade class, and I don’t think they’ll like the lumpy-glaze. I”m not sure if I should try it again or maybe just use a different glaze.
Is there any way to convert the weight in grams.
I’ve tried several cinnamon roll recipes but I’ve always messed them up! This is the first time I’ve made cinnamon rolls and they look pretty and taste incredible. Thank you! I wasn’t planning on making cinnamon rolls but your suggestion for the blizzard weekend turned out to be a successful spontaneous event!
I am always looking for a good cinnamon recipe and this sounds really good. My grandmother use to make cinnamon rolls to die for and the whole family would fight over them. Sadly she never taught her daughters how to make them so the recipe died with her. Now only the granddaughters are left and we have no clue. We have all tried but no luck. I will be making these very soon.
I have only a hand mixer and I read the previous comment above about stretching and folding. So do I skip the hand kneading part all together? And then how much do I stretch the dough and how small should I fold it back down to? How will I know it is doubled in size then, or does it not matter for this technique as long as I do it for 2-2.5 hours?
YIKES not sure the dough is turning out correct, I used all 4 1/2 cups of flour and the dough is still very sticky
I added numerous table spoons more at a time till the point I think it was to much so I started to need it on the cutting board to the point of it sticking to the board and my hands… It’s sitting in the bowl now waiting on the time to rise
All in all not sure if it needed more flour
In addition I make pizza dough all the time, and if you don’t have enough flour in it it’s very sticky
I’m still thinking it needs more flour
Hello I can’t wait to try this recipe…I’m hoping these are soft and stay soft..the other recipes I’ve been baking get hard when cool..bummer..hope these stay soft ..let you know how they turn out <3
they don’t seem to reply with needed help when asking, oh well time to move on !
Hi grpe411, we’re happy to help, but it’s not clear what your question is. How did your dough come out with the amount of flour you used? Did you follow the recipe exactly, as to ingredients and steps?
I do agree with grpe411 and feel that this site should be more interactive. This isn’t like a message board on a news site where people are posting random things. People here are posting questions and expecting it to be interactive. I guess since you’re a test kitchen, we’d be expecting Christine Liu (or whoever monitors this) to provide insightful comments and have an idea of where the “recipe could go afoul.” We’d like to hear something like: “Well, if the dough is sticky, perhaps the butter didn’t cool enough, etc.. ” I hope that on your site you guys get a notification every time someone makes a comment. The more interactive you can be with the site – providing comments to all of us “bakers” the more successful you’ll be, more comments you’ll get and it’ll drive traffic to your site. For the record, I posted nearly two months ago about lumpy glaze and no one ever responded back. It was the perfect opportunity for someone to say, “Well, the glaze could be lumpy for these factors… etc..”Again, this is an awesome site, but work on the interactive side of it. Thanks!
Hi liss_hidler, thank you for your thoughtful feedback. We try to do our best, but because of sheer volume (we also get constant posts on Twitter, 3 Facebook pages, and email) we may not be able to get to every single question. If anyone desires direct, guaranteed responses to their cooking questions, there is an “instructor-led” option in our online cooking school that allows you to directly send cooking questions to one of our test kitchen cooks. For more information: http://www.onlinecookingschool.com/about
Christine Liu, I did follow the directions to the T and made sure i dotted every I.. after all ingredients were together in the bowl, it was still some what wet, so i added more flour to the mix and after putting in another cup of flour and mixing it well, there was no way i could lay that out on the counter and work with it to shape it to size…. so being this was my 1st attempt at making them, i wasn’t sure if to much flour was good bad or indifferent for the recipe, it just wasn’t working so into the trash it went.
I did try the next weekend a site called joyofbaking and they turned out perfect after following the video she has posted, so i am not sure were it went wrong with your instructions, however I still like your site and will continue using it, but i do agree with liss_hidler there needs to be more activity responding at least in a timely manner not one that takes almost 3 weeks. Thanks !
Hi grpe411, one of our test cooks suggests that King Arthur AP flour might work better for you; there’s no reason the rolls couldn’t use a bit more protein, and that might make the dough more workable without changing amounts.
I can’t believe that your cooks think that any type of knife is better to cut these. All bakers and judges at cooking shows know that the best and only way to cut cinnamon rolls is to use dental floss or string. Also to make sure the slices are even, it is better to start in the middle. Cut the roll in half and then cut each half in half. It is much easier to handle the rolls this way and to make sure that the slices are even. When you use the floss or string, don’t slice from top, you put string under the roll and cross the ends over the top, so you are not slicing but actually pinching the pieces off.
Hi gshoup, don’t worry, we love the floss technique as well: http://www.americastestkitchenfeed.com/curious-shortcuts/2011/08/5-kitchen-tricks-we-can-thank-our-dentist-for/
Yummy! Can I use a Bread maker for this recipe instead of a standing mixer? It does the same thing, but I just have to make sure I take the dough out before it starts baking! It mixes all of the ingredients together just in one go, so Can I use it instead of a Standing Mixer?
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