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Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

Balance. That’s my resolution. One word. 

I think a lot of resolutions come down to that, finding a balance by remembering the things that you have allowed to unbalance in your life. 

Most problems in life come down to too much, or not enough, of one thing or another. This is where I am, right at this moment. 

I care too much about what others think about me, my blog and my recipes. I worry too much about how many Twitter followers or Facebook likes I get. I’m much too hard on myself about not being further along in my quest to work full time in the world of food. I am much too self-deprecating too often. 

I don’t allow myself enough space and time to grow and learn. I don’t give myself enough credit for my accomplishments. 

In the name of balance:

I am grateful. I am a hard worker. I am a fast learner. I push myself. (That is the start of my resolution, balance the bad thoughts with good ones.)

More than anything I want to teach these things to my Daughter. This thing called "balance" that we all find so hard.

My promise to my little girl, just a year and a half into her life, is this: 

I will try as hard as I can to show you how to love yourself, by loving myself. The world will teach you enough self-loathing, I will not model it for you. I will be the example of how to push yourself towards your goals, while still enjoying your life. And while every little girl in the world, at some point, will say, "I wanna be like my Momma!" I promise to try and be worthy of that statement. I will do my best to teach you how to put your self-worth into your SELF not into others. How to be in a relationship, not defined by it. How to set a goal and reach it, while still giving space to fail and get back up. 

Cinnamon Rolls where my resolution two year ago, when I was pregnant. I called my sister in a pregnancy induced semi-panic over Christmas Traditions. We didn’t have any Holiday traditions growing up and I wanted, no, NEEDED to have some for my own family. Where do I start? What do I do?? My sister, who has always been a strong force in  my life, as well as a great example of balance, reminded me that my fetal child had no current need for holiday pageantry and I had time for decision making. I told her that I wanted to make cinnamon rolls from scratch on Christmas Morning. She said that was a great place to start.

A few weeks later, on my birthday, a Cinnamon Roll pan from King Arthur Flour showed up at my house. I cried. I decided right then that my Holiday Traditions would revolve around being together as a family, like a Traditional Christmas Morning breakfast with Cinnamon Rolls. I resolved to spend more time with people I love. 

For the rest of my life, I’ll be making these on Christmas Morning. Sometimes resolutions do stick with you. 

This is food Networks attempt to re-create the carefully guarded secret recipe of Cinnabon’s Cinnamon Rolls. It’s amazing, which is why this is the recipe that I have decided to use as my Christmas Tradition and not attempting to create my own, although slight alterations have been made. 

Almost Famous Cinnamon Rolls

(Adapted from The Food Network)

For the Dough:

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/4-ounce packet active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup plus 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for the bowl
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more if needed
  • 1/4 cup Dry Milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

For the Filling:

  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the pan
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp fresh ground nutmeg

For the Glaze:

  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


Make the dough: Warm the milk in a medium saucepan over low heat until it reaches about 100 (you can also use the microwave, and test every 20 seconds. I keep a digital people thermometer from the drug store in the kitchen to use when I heat up liquid to proof yeast. It’s cheap and accurate). Remove from the heat and sprinkle in the yeast and 1/4 teaspoon sugar (don’t stir). Set aside until foamy, 5 minutes. Whisk in the melted butter, egg yolk and vanilla.

Whisk the flour, the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, dry milk, the salt and nutmeg in the bowl of a stand mixer. Make a well in the center and pour in the yeast mixture. Mix on low speed with the dough hook until thick and slightly sticky. Knead on medium speed until the dough gathers around the hook, 6 minutes. (Add up to 2 more tablespoons flour if necessary.)

Remove the dough and shape into a ball. Butter the mixer bowl and return the dough to the bowl, turning to coat with butter (those are the Food Network instructions, I use a large glass bowl that I spray with butter flavored cooking spray). Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, 1 hour 15 minutes.

Roll out the dough, fill and cut into buns (see instructions below). Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan; place the buns cut-side down in the pan, leaving space between each. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, 40 minutes. If you are making this the night before, this is a good place to stop. Instead of allow to rise until double in size on your counter top, place the buns in a cold fridge. It should take about 6-8 hours for the second rise to happen in a cold fridge, instead of 40 minutes at room temp. 

Preheat the oven to 325.

Bake the buns until golden brown, about 35 minutes. Cool in the pan 15 minutes. Meanwhile, make the glaze: Sift the confectioners' sugar into a bowl, then whisk in the cream and melted butter. Transfer the buns to a rack and spoon the glaze on top while still warm.

How to Form Cinnamon Buns

1. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 12-by-14-inch rectangle with the longer side facing you.

2. Spread with the softened butter, leaving a 1/2-inch border on the far long edge. Mix the sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over the butter.

3. Brush the unbuttered far edge with water. Roll the dough away from you into a tight cylinder and press on the long edge to seal.

4. Cut the cylinder with a sharp knife to make 6-9 equal-size buns.

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Becca December 30, 2011 um 11:53 am

Oh wow, Inspiring post and resolution. And I love this recipe, yum!


Lynn @ I’ll Have What She’s Having December 30, 2011 um 12:13 pm

I think focusing on positives is the key to success for resolutions. Yours are very inspiring!
Your new cinnamon roll tradition sounds great, and the rolls you made are gorgeous!


Colleen Bierstine December 30, 2011 um 3:13 pm

Oh wow, these look heavenly! I am drooling. I also love this recipe because it doesn’t use a cream cheese frosting. I am one of the few ppl in the world who HATES cream cheese. But it seems that everyone uses it to frost cinnamon rolls! Thank you for not doing that 🙂


Liz December 30, 2011 um 5:39 pm

I’m with Colleen…I’m not a fan of cream cheese frosting on my cinnamon rolls. It’s been way too long since I’ve made homemade cinnamon rolls…so next batch will be from your recipe!!! YUM!


Jackie December 30, 2011 um 7:08 pm

I’m a sucker for some good cream cheese frosting, but I think this is just more classic. It’s really the way it should be 🙂


Amber December 30, 2011 um 8:36 pm

Love this so much … Thank you, Jackie.


Art Mills December 31, 2011 um 6:39 am

I Love your writing! Beautiful rolls


Maragret Gloria December 31, 2011 um 8:52 am

Each and every family member of all of us choose a breakfast to make. Think this will be mine


Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. January 1, 2012 um 8:29 pm

You have made some really good points here! I think a lot of us get caught up in things like photos and followers, and it’s bad because it makes blogging not fun! I’ve also recently resolved to just not care about those things and to just continue doing what I love: cooking!

My husband would go NUTS for these cinnamon rolls!! I think I would too!


Jackie January 2, 2012 um 11:32 am

It’s just way to easy to get caught up it those things. I’m just really trying to keep my head down and focus and why I love food blogging and my success rather than other people.


Baking Serendipity January 2, 2012 um 4:18 pm

I love your resolution this year and your cinnamon roll tradition 🙂 My husband and I haven’t created too many traditions of our own yet either, as we always travel home to spend Christmas with our families and continue the traditions of our childhood. I expect this will change when we have kids of our own too.


Afton Carillion January 3, 2012 um 5:36 am

Wow, just wow. Can i have one please?


Kari January 3, 2012 um 1:25 pm

I worked at Cinnabon on Christmas break in college and I can tell you that the filling was a mix of the cinnamon and BROWN sugar (and we didn’t mix it in the store or I would SO tell you the ratios!). And of course LOTS and LOTS of margarine (I think like 1/2 lb for every batch that made 6-8 rolls or something crazy like that) but I would use real butter. We used the margarine because it could be kept at room temp for longer periods of time. The I’ve always said I would re-create it but I’ve never did. Also the frosting was totally out of a bucket but man that stuff was delicious. I do believe there is a touch (or a bit of the flavoring) of cream cheese in it!


Jackie January 3, 2012 um 1:36 pm

Good to know! The crazy thing is that I DID make these with brown sugar, but I wanted to post the Food Network recipe because I though ti would be closer! Man, I should listen to my instincts more often 🙂 thanks for the "Insider Tips" !


Esther January 3, 2012 um 10:54 pm

You can bet I’ll be trying this recipe. Ohmanohman..

Love your candidness in this post. I think that’s something that a lot of (if not all) bloggers, etc. struggle with. It’s hard to be patient because you just want to be successful instantly. And it’s hard not to let numbers and followers affect you. But I keep hearing that the most important thing is to do it because you LOVE it, and just be yourself and let your voice and passion come through…which I think you’re doing! Keep up the good work 🙂 and thanks for the inspiration!


Jackie January 4, 2012 um 8:52 am

You are so right, and I do LOVE it 🙂 but my biggest problem is that even when I reach the goals I set for myself, I don’t take a second to enjoy it and be proud of myself. I almost instantly start to think of all the things I still haven’t don yet, or the things I am still not that great at. Most of all, I don’t want to teach that mentality to my daughter. I want her to work but to be proud of herself!


Liz January 4, 2012 um 4:18 am

I made these last night! Fabulous!!!


Jackie January 4, 2012 um 8:49 am

You did?!! YAY!! SO glad you liked them 🙂


Tiffany January 5, 2012 um 3:28 pm

I think balance is the perfect resolution… particularly when balance encompasses cinnamon rolls! 😀


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