The Basics: How to Make Cinnamon Rolls

by ‎12-07-2016 09:28 AM - edited ‎12-06-2017 09:16 AM


Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Glaze

Serves 12


1 recipe Cinnamon Roll Dough (see below), or 1 to 2 pounds frozen bread dough

¼ cup butter, melted and cooled

¾ cup brown sugar

1½ tablespoons ground cinnamon


Cream Cheese Glaze:

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 tablespoons butter, softened

1¼ cups powdered sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla



  1. Let the dough come to room temperature on the counter. On a lightly floured surface roll the dough into a 16-inch by 13-inch rectangle. Position the rectangle so the shorter 13-inch side is facing you. Brush the melted butter over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border uncovered along the edge farthest away from you.
  2. Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the buttered dough, keeping the 1-inch border uncovered. Roll the dough into a log starting with the edge closest to you. Roll the dough tightly, making sure to roll evenly and push out any air pockets. When you get to the uncovered edge of the dough, press the dough onto the roll to seal it together.
  3. Cut the log of dough into 12 pieces, slicing slowly with a sawing motion so you don’t flatten the dough. Turn the slices on their sides on a greased and lined (with silicone or parchment) 9” x 13” sheet pan and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Let the rolls sit in the warmest part of your kitchen for an hour to rise.
  4. To make the glaze, place the cream cheese and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Soften the mixture in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time until it is easy to stir. Gradually add the powdered sugar and stir to combine. Add the vanilla extract and whisk until smooth. Set aside.

Air-Fryer Directions:

  1. When the rolls have risen, pre-heat the air fryer to 350ºF. Transfer 6 of the rolls to the air fryer basket. Air-fry for 5 minutes. Turn the rolls over and air-fry for another 4 minutes. Repeat with the remaining rolls.

Oven Baking Directions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375ºF. Transfer the sheet pan to the oven and bake the rolls for 25 – 30 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cover with foil if the rolls start to get too brown.


  1. Let the rolls cool for a couple of minutes before glazing. Spread large dollops of cream cheese glaze on top of the warm cinnamon rolls, allowing some of the glaze to drip down the side of the rolls. Serve warm and enjoy!


Cinnamon Roll Dough



½ cup milk

2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast

¼ cup sugar

4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled

1 egg yolk

1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

3½ cups all-purpose flour

¾ teaspoon salt



  1. Warm the milk and ½ cup of water to take the chill off. Bring the liquid to roughly 100ºF. Sprinkle the yeast on top with a pinch or two of the sugar. Let the yeast “proof” and foam. This will prove that the yeast is indeed active. If there is no foaming, you will need to start again with new yeast.
  2. Add the melted (and cooled) butter, the egg and the vanilla to the yeast mixture.
  3. Combine the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. With the mixer working with the dough hook attachment, poor in the yeast mixture until a sticky soft dough forms. Let the stand mixer knead the dough for about 5 to 10 minutes or until it is soft and elastic.
  4. Shape the dough into a ball and let it rest, covered with plastic wrap, until it has doubled in size (about one hour).

You can use the dough at this stage if you’re in a hurry. Punch the dough down and follow the recipe for Cinnamon Rolls. For enhanced flavor, however, punch the dough down, knead it back into a ball and return it to the bowl. This will re-distribute the yeast in the dough. Cover the dough again with plastic wrap and let it rise for a second time. You could do all these steps a day ahead of time and let the second rise take place in the refrigerator



Looking for more Basics?  Check them out here >> The Basics Recipes 



Meredith Laurence

- Blue Jean Chef