Monday, April 19, 2010



I made Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls this weekend. Sinfully sweet rolls of cinnamon, sugar and butter. Lots of butter. The kind of deliciousness that makes your eyes roll back in your head. And I learned something along the way. Dough is not my friend. Cookie doughs, yes. Pastry and bread doughs, not so much. If you need further evidence, you can read this doughnut post. I’ve only worked with rolling dough a few times, but after making several pans of rolls, I think I know what part of my problem is. I don’t think I generously flour my surface enough. It’s like I’m afraid of flour or something. Well, no more. Next time, the flour will flow.


I started out making a half batch of PW’s recipe since 50 rolls seemed a little much for breakfast.

To do so, start with 2 cups milk, 1/2 cup oil and 1/2 cup sugar.

Note: In this picture, you may notice that this is one cup of sugar instead of a half. Yeah, I didn’t realize the mistake until I was all done. I hate it when I do that, but I think the extra sugar made them even more delicious.

Mix them all together in a saucepan over medium heat, turning it off before it begins to boil. Let it cool until lukewarm (around 45 minutes) and then add 1 package of active dry yeast (for a half batch, that is).


Active dry yeast. This is the first time I’ve ever used this stuff.


Sprinkle it on top of the lukewarm milk mixture and then let it sit for one minute.


After that add four cups all-purpose flour. Stir until just combined…


Then cover with a towel and let sit in a warm place for an hour to let rise. After an hour, add another 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Stir together until thoroughly combined.

Then you can roll out the dough. Roll it into a large rectangular shape around 30 X 10 inches.


Spread 1 cup melted butter, sprinkle 1/8 cup ground cinnamon and shake about a cup of sugar right on top.

Then, starting from the edge farthest from you, carefully roll the dough towards you tightly. Once you have the dough in a nice, long roll, you can cut 1 1/2 inch slices and place in a melted butter-coated pan.

Here comes trouble. I have no pictures of a nice, long, round roll because mine was rather flat and when baked, produced…

Now, don’t laugh…


My flimsy roll produced these…


Quite possible the ugliest cinnamon rolls I’ve ever seen.


Luckily, looks can be deceiving because they were some of the most delicious things I’ve ever put in my mouth. And definitely the best cinnamon rolls I’ve ever had.

My mom was over and we ate them straight up, sans icing. They didn’t even need it.

But I wasn’t satisfied. I wanted pretty little swirls like Pioneer Woman’s rolls had.

Swirls. I must have swirls.

So I went again later in the day. This time, I made a full batch (deciding I could freeze any uneaten rolls for later) so I would have even more dough to practice with and also, since I used twice the amount of sugar for the dough in the first round I thought that might have something to do with it.

This time, before rolling I chilled the dough for a little while in the fridge and I generoooooously floured my work surface.


So here we go again, more melted butter.


Spread it.


Cinnamon. Sprinkle it.


Sugar. Shake, shake, shake it.

This time, I was able to shape it into a decent roll.


Not perfect, but decent.


And, look… swirls of cinnamon.

These bake for about 13-17 minutes in a 375 degree oven.

While they are baking you can whip up the icing.


It calls for a little coffee. I don’t own a coffee maker, so I used one of PW’s favorites.


Whisk together 2 lbs. powdered sugar, 1/2 cup milk, 6 tablespoons melted butter, 1/4 cup coffee and a dash of salt.

Then add 1 tablespoon maple flavoring and stir it all together.

You’ll die from how yummy this smells if you haven’t already passed out from the scent of the cinnamon rolls.

When the rolls are ready, remove them from the oven.

And hope for pretty little swirls.


Like these.


And these.

Swirls. Thank you.

I don’t think my hips could afford any more attempts.


While the rolls are still warm, you can pour on the icing.


That’s right. Pour it all over the top, covering up all your hard work. Swirls or not.


It’s perfect for disguising any batch of less than swirly cinnamon rolls.


I ran out of aluminum pans, so I placed a few leftover dough slices in a buttered muffin tray to bake.

Cinnamuffins. I think they look pretty cute like this.


And of course, these were covered in icing, too.


If you’re lucky you might even get a cute little swirl.

Read Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Roll Recipe for the full how-to.


rivernorthlove said...

Love this, made a third of the original recipe. Sooo yummy. Thanks for sharing, posting to my blog {}

May 11, 2010 09:19 PM
Elisa said...


May 13, 2010 09:40 AM
Stephanie said...

Making some right now! Can’t wait to see how they turn out!

May 13, 2010 08:24 PM
Missi said...

I have to say I feel for you and your bread problems. I’ve made bread and bread products for years learning it from my grandmother as did my sister, but she still can’t get it to turn out even when we are making the same thing side by side! I’ve tried the cinnamon rolls you posted from PW and must say that while they are good, they are much to complicated. So, i send you an easier and VERY tasty one from Alton Brown. It’s so much easier and it turns out EVERY TIME!. Make sure you use INSTANT yeast and nothing else. And, I double the sugar, I’m an addict, I know. Hope you find the time to try this and it works well for you. Oh, a tip my grandmother gave me. When you need to roll something on a floured surface, put the flour in a shaker, like the ones restaurants use for parmesan cheese and shake it on. Also helps if you put wax or parchment paper down first then flour the paper. I hold the paper down with a touch of butter or oil in each corner. Let me know if this works for you. It’s the only receipe my sister can make and we can eat. :o)

May 14, 2010 05:24 PM
daniela said...

Hi, I’m doing the cinnamon rolls but I’m using instant yeast instead of active dry yeast, can I add it to the milk, oil and sugar combination or should I add it to the dry ingredients? Thanks

May 31, 2010 02:24 PM
Kim said...

Im typing this as i wait for my mixture to cool and await the yeast. Never used yeast before but you and PW make it look easy. As for the coffee, I dont drink it but love the way it smells. I dont have a coffee maker either but took a chance that the grocery store carried some sort of individual-coffee-something. Turns out they do. Just like those little packets you flavor your water bottles with, little packets you can carry in your purse to make coffee on the go… perfect for this non coffee drinker to cook with… ok off to sprinkle my yeast .

June 1, 2010 06:29 PM
Erin R said...

Can I make the dough the day before and leave it in the fridge so I can bake them for work the next morning?

June 3, 2010 12:30 PM
Stephanie said...

The muffin tin idea was genius – could they be any cuter?

July 13, 2010 12:21 PM
Jessica @ Jessiker Bakes said...

Sigh. I love your blog. And I love baking myself. My blog proves that. But

You’re making this “slim” thing not work out for me. :(. Why? Why?

This looks too good.

August 20, 2010 12:59 PM
sandrin said...


August 27, 2010 10:58 PM
Sara said...

oh dear, i can smell these now.
what to do…. what to do….

October 20, 2010 11:06 AM
diane mauck said...

I am so glad to have found this site. Found it in the Sunday section of the newspaper mentioning cookbooks. I will begin to try these recipes. Every recipe seems to be a lot of work but definitely worth it in the end.

November 9, 2010 04:23 PM
Athena Poullos said...

You are a legend!
I have been looking for a decent cinnamon scroll recipe your muffin scroll ideas are so genius!
I cant wait to try thid recipe

PS I feel your pain dough does not like me either! Yeast is too temperamental! lol
Sending love all the way from Australia

December 14, 2010 04:25 AM
Deena Schares said...

Oh my Bakerella I just laughed so hard seeing your first attempt of these rolls. I too have made PW cinnamon rolls and they are heavenly! I want to make them again now. I just got your book for Christmas and I am SO excited to make my first batch of cake pops =D

December 26, 2010 07:23 PM
Frankie said...

Your photos are amazing! And those look absolutely delicious! A must try! :)

December 29, 2010 04:03 AM
Brenda Mault said...

I attempted to make these tonite and I had good swirls but I forgot to add the sugar to the milk and oil. Lol. Fun to make and pretty good even without the sugar. Thanks for posting this. I had fun making these cinnamon rolls.

January 3, 2011 10:12 PM
Shari Rickert said...

I made these to take to work but before I did I just had to try one, then two and finally stopped myself after three!! These are absolutely the best thing I have eaten in a long time. I want more!

February 15, 2011 10:01 AM
Karen said...

made these today, after about a year of wanting too. have a lot to learn about baking from the way mine turned out, but a pretty good first attempt. They are yummy though.

March 11, 2011 08:48 PM
Kathy said...

I’m going to make these when I get my hands on a rolling pin!!
I have a question though, did you use a mini muffin tray, or a regular-sized one?

March 16, 2011 04:02 PM
Julie said...

Hey I just wanted the recipe please

March 28, 2011 06:10 PM
Renee said...

I’ve learn this recipe from my grandma.
We loved it to eat it in the sun!
The taste was really great!!

April 1, 2011 07:45 AM
Sarah said...

Not really in relation to this post, but more in appreciation of our love for great breakfast food at great prices.

New York’s answer…

April 27, 2011 10:29 AM
Marissa C. said...

This was the first of PW’s recipes I tried directly from her blog (before her book came out), and I can verify that yes, the dough is RIDICULOUSLY hard to roll (and I even had hubby helping me!), even with a generously-floured work surface, but if you have it in you to persevere, these rolls are…well, there’s no clean way to say it; they’re positively orgasmic, no lie. Having limited resources when it came to my icing, I elected to go with pure vanilla extract rather than maple flavoring (which I was out of, grrr), and leave out the coffee. It was still. A. Maze. Ing!

June 13, 2011 01:56 AM
Jaycee said...

A wonerdful job. Super helpful information.

June 27, 2011 01:59 PM
Emmanickel said...

I tried these the other day and my dough was extreamly wet and I was unable to work with it. Do you have any tips as to how I can make my dough more workable?

June 28, 2011 01:40 PM
ckwwdfzywdy said...

7lLFoc ujgabiainkdw

June 29, 2011 04:01 AM
Tamis said...

I was introduced to your site today and have spent all day off and on reading the different articles. I must say this one made me laugh so hard! I mean seriously, I had to stop myself before I could write this…only because pastry dough is not my friend either! I will however give it one more shot in light of this wonderful recipe you brought to us… I just need a good strong cup of coffee and some yeast! Wish me luck!

July 3, 2011 08:33 PM
Tina said...

I’m a sometimes-baker but very rarely do I ever eat what I bake, but the kitchen smelt too good for me to forego even tasting these. They’re amazing. Crisp on the outside and soft and delicious on the inside. I added raisins and dark chocolate pieces to the dough too while reducing the sugar to make up for the extra sweetness. Deliiiccciious.

July 9, 2011 10:40 AM
Hawley said...

eeefffffffffff I’m going to make these ten minutes ago

August 22, 2011 05:04 PM
Briana said...

Bakerella, you’ve done it again! I saw this post like, 7 months ago, and I can’t get them off my mind! I think these should be on everyone’s bucket list. I will DEFINITELY make these soon. Yum!

September 5, 2011 01:32 PM
reg said...

Hi there, I just thought I would offer you a little tidbit of advice! to make lovely cinnamon rolls easily, without all that extra flour, all you gotta do is pour a little oil onto your work surface (no flour) and rub it around, then grease ur hands with it and the rolling pin too. then roll out and fill with the good stuff, and roll up. easy as pie! :) seriously, oil works much much better than flour! happy baking :) (also, use string to cut them)

September 19, 2011 07:24 PM
francesca said...

the breakfast I’ve always dreamt about…thank you very much for posting this!

October 3, 2011 05:24 PM
Zeiny said...


October 5, 2011 09:07 PM
briana said...

I’m so making this for breakfast! I just have to find dry active yeast…

June 22, 2012 09:06 PM
Desiree said...

Just did this recipe for the second time and the house smells like cinnamon swirls. Such a great way to start this sunday and my boyfriend loves them

July 1, 2012 06:29 AM
Nancy said...

If you eat these all the time you’ll have the same problem as Paula Deen….diabetes!!! They love heavenly.

July 19, 2012 01:03 PM
Nancy said...

I meant look heavenly!

July 19, 2012 01:04 PM
den-den said...

Do u have to use yeast ?

July 23, 2012 11:40 PM
Arthur said...

I love the Cinnamuffins!

August 5, 2012 10:24 AM
Pam N. said...

I like the square pans with the swirls inside. Where can I buy them? You also really simplified PW recipe. Love it.

August 30, 2012 06:37 PM
Sarah said...

Jumped up and made a batch the moment I saw this! The cinnamuffins were delicious :) unfortunatley I had no maple extract so I just whipped up a plain vanilla icing. In-laws loved it. Sweetened their bitter day.

October 16, 2012 06:01 PM
Alicia said...

YUM! Those look amazing!!!!
Greetings from South America! First of all, congratulations for your amazing page…
Just a question: Here we can´t get maple extract.. Witch other flavor we could add to replace it? Ideas?
Can´t wait to make them!

October 20, 2012 07:52 PM
Vanessa said...

Hi, im all ready to try this recipe out! except i realised.. what is all purpose flour? can i just use self raising flour?


November 7, 2012 10:13 AM
KK said...

Made some yesterday. They are very very good!!

January 6, 2013 11:55 PM
Lantana said...

Oh my gosh. Did you hear that clunk? That was me fainting from my intense craving for cinnamon rolls. :-) YUM!

June 27, 2013 12:53 AM
Hannah said...

WOW! Those look amazing!!!

February 22, 2014 11:04 PM
Sydney Sun said...

These look incredible, I’ve always wanted to make cinnamon buns from scratch!

Sydney Sun
For the Love of Baking

September 11, 2014 08:50 PM
Comment Pages

Random Sweetness
Newsletter 2
Left Custom Ad
Google Left
Bakerella T-Shirts
Show off your inner Bakerella with a super-cute T!
FM Media Survey