Cinnamon rolls: We don't make ’em like they used to... thankfully

I grew up on cinnamon rolls. You know, the ones that pop out of the tube, your mom puts them in the oven, and you get to pry open the can of soft frosting and spread it on when they’re done. I LOVED those rolls; they were a top o’ the heap treat. And we only had them like twice a month; they alternated with cinnamon streusel coffeecake as the Sunday-morning-after-church reward.

I hadn’t had one of those rolls in years. Sunday has become just another day (albeit one that still includes church in the morning). I eat low-fat protein for breakfast, rather than sweets. And if I do treat myself to some carbs, they’re usually in the form of homemade pancakes or an almond puff loaf.

But a few weeks back, I sampled one of those cinnamon rolls from my past. And the experience just wasn’t what I’d remembered. They tasted, well, chemical-y. And while the icing was finger-licking sweet, it was also kind of flat-tasting. No aromatic vanilla, no butter notes…

I thought I’d read the package to see just what was in these babies, and was surprised to see no vanilla, no butter. In fact, they featured bleached flour, partially hydrogenated oil, cellulose gum, Yellow 5 and Red 40… Ewwwww! This just isn’t the way I want to eat.

So, the longing for cinnamon rolls still lodged in my soul, I dug out my favorite all-purpose soft white bread recipe, and turned it into cinnamon rolls. Not difficult. Cinnamon-y and lovely. And the ingredient statement reads unbleached flour, butter, yeast, sugar, vanilla, salt, cream… So much nicer, don’t you agree?

When you want a Sunday morning treat that’s high on flavor, low on chemicals, try these Cinnamon Rolls.
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Start with the usual yeast bread suspects: flour, butter, salt, liquid, and yeast. In this case, I’m using active dry yeast that’s been jump-started by dissolving it in water with a pinch of sugar. For you yeast neophytes (or instant yeast users), it’s that foamy tan stuff on the left.

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Mix to make a rough dough. At this point, you can get an idea of whether you’ve got the correct flour/liquid ratio. This looks pretty good; it’s hanging together, and not too sticky. If you can’t squeeze the dough and make it cohesive, add a tablespoon or two additional liquid; if it seems really sticky, add a bit more flour.

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After 7 minutes of kneading (speed 2 in my KitchenAid stand mixer), it’s a bit sticky, but nice and smooth. Better a bit sticky than too dry; the stickier the dough (to a point), the lighter the rolls.
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Put the dough in a greased container large enough for it to at least double in size. I like to use an 8-cup measuring cup; it lets me see exactly how much the dough has grown. And yes, for all of you who’ve been asking, we’ll be selling this measuring cup beginning in early August.

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See? Doubled in bulk—no guessing necessary.

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Roll the dough into a rectangle, and brush it with milk. This will help keep the cinnamon-sugar filling in place.

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Sprinkle the dough with the cinnamon-sugar, and roll it up.

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Cut the log into even slices. If you’re cutting on a silicone mat, be careful; you don’t want to cut into the mat. Like I did a few months ago—see how this mat is sliced on the right? DUH. Live and learn… That’s why they call it the “test” kitchen, I guess.
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Divide the rolls between two 9” round cake pans, spacing them evenly. Flatten the rolls slightly. Cover the pans, and let the rolls rise…

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…until they’ve gotten puffy and started to crowd one another in the pans. Ah! They’re ready to bake.

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While the rolls are baking, whisk together the icing ingredients, adding enough milk or cream to make it nicely spreadable.

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Remove the golden-brown rolls from the oven.

If you’re going to serve them later, allow them to cool; don’t ice them yet! That’s one of the things I learned about homemade cinnamon rolls; unlike the chemical-laden variety, they dont’ stay soft for long. So it’s best to bake the rolls ahead (up to 2 or 3 days prior), then reheat briefly and ice just before serving.

If you’re serving immediately, spread the icing over the rolls.

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Warm cinnamon rolls, dripping with vanilla icing… what’s not to like?

Read, rate, and review (please) our recipe for Cinnamon Rolls.

I’ll tell you what’s not to like: the long list of ingredients in those bake-and-serve cinnamon rolls you’ll find in the dairy case at the supermarket. Take a look:

Buy vs. Bake

Buy: Supermarket bake-and-serve cinnamon rolls, 23¢/ounce
Ingredients: Enriched Flour Bleached, Water, Sugar, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and Cottonseed Oils. Dextrose, Wheat Starch, Baking Powder (Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Baking Soda), Whey, Salt, Cinnamon, Corn Starch, Corn Syrup Solids, Mono and Diglycerides, Cellulose Gum, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative), Polysorbate 60, Artificial Flavor, Colored with Yellow 5 and Red 40.

Bake at home: Cinnamon rolls, 8¢/ounce.

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel was born in Wisconsin, grew up in New England, and graduated from Brown University. She was a journalist in Massachusetts and Maine before joining the King Arthur Flour Company in 1990, where she's been ever since. Author or co-author of three King Arthur ...

comments

  1. Marilyn Buchanan

    These look so good I can’t wait to try them. I remember my grandmother making some yummy ones and also Aunt Jessie so thanks for the beautiful pictures that make you want to hurry to the kitchen. I use my breadmaker to do the dough for me as my mixer doesn’t do a good job (it isn’t the Kitchenaid). It does a great job but I like to handle and then put it in pans where I can see it rise. Thanks so much.

    Reply
  2. Louise Hebert

    I am going to try these I have a good recipe but this also sounds good and I lke to try diffeent ones. Can you e-mail me when you have the
    measuring cup to buy that sound great … NO GUESSING
    lhebert01@cox.net

    Louise, it’s awfully hard to keep track of “things to do” that fall pretty far out in the future – the item number will be 4394 (I’m pretty sure), and I’ll email our customer service folks your address and see if they can figure out how to remember to email you when it’s available. Thanks for your interest! – PJH

    Reply
  3. Kelli

    My favorite way to cut cinnamon rolls is with dental floss (unflavored obviously).
    I’ve always used melted butter (instead of milk to hold the cinnamon/sugar in place). I’ll have to try this version.

    Kelli, I’ve used the dental floss, too, but get frustrated with it tangling, etc. I think I should have used a thicker floss… I find that butter kind of makes a “grease barrier” that encourages the rolls to unravel (which is fine, if that’s what you want), while milk or beaten egg kind of glue them together. – PJH

    Reply
  4. grace padron

    i love your baker’s banter blog the pictures of how the dough should looked at the different stages is really helpful specially when you are not to experience in the bread baking. thank again for thinking about your customers. grace

    Grace, that’s my goal here – to make baking as foolproof as possible by giving an abundance of detail. I always said, if you can read, you can bake… and as we all know, pictures make for an even easier read! – PJH

    Reply
  5. Jana

    Thanks my kids have a sleepover scheduled and I wondered what to make. I LOVE the fact you give yeast exchanges. Once I tried instant yeast I dont want to go back to the active dry.

    Reply
  6. Elizabeth Davis

    try adding a bit of cocoa powder to the cinn. sugar center the taste and
    smell are ten times what you remember!!!!

    WHOA, I’ll remember that tip, Elizabeth – thanks! – PJH

    Reply
  7. Francesca

    Rather than using the 1/2 cup of instant potato flakes, would the texture of the buns be undesirable if mashed potato were used? How much would you reccommend?
    By the way, your Banters Blog recipes are a much anticipated part of our family’s meals! You have managed to keep my husband, parents, and 13 year old very happy!!!!! Thanks so much

    Francesca, glad to be of help with your daily menu! Mashed potato would be fine; hard to say the amount, since the consistency of everyone’s mashed potatoes can be very different… but wait a minute, I’ll go look at the box of instant potatoes….. OK, it says to make them with equal parts water and potato flakes. So since the recipe calls for 1/2 cup potato flakes, use 1/2 cup mashed potatoes, and reduce the water in the recipe by 1/4 cup. See if that works for you… – Good luck! – PJH

    Reply
  8. Eric

    The secret to ridiculously moist cinnamon rolls that *do* stay soft for days? Instant Clearjel. Combine the sugar and cinnamon with like 1/2 tsp Instant Clearjel, stir until very well mixed, then whisk in just enough water to make a paste of peanut butter consistency. Spread, roll, cut and bake as normal.

    The key is that by maintaining the sugar layer at a lower temperature (the moisture holds the temp below 212F longer) and contributing a little extra liquid, you get *gooey* cinnamon rolls without the candylike shard problem.

    It’s almost criminal how well it works.

    Wow, Eric, I didn’t know that about the ClearJel… thanks, I’ll have to try that. You’re a font of wisdom! – PJH

    Reply
  9. Sheila Roth

    Can I use potato flour instead of instant potato flakes? How much?

    Sheila, use 3 tablespoons of potato flour. – PJH

    Reply
  10. Royce Robertson

    Hey Bakers,
    I’m going to give these a try (I do keep trying). Never had much luck making cinnamon rolls, not even with the frozen bread dough one buys in the market. It’s generally a waste of time, ingredients and money for me. But, I’ll give these a whirl – I’ll keep my fingers crossed.
    Thanks for all that you do and share.

    Royce, just take your time and follow the directions – step by step – you’ll do fine! Good luck- PJH

    Reply
  11. Loretta

    Awhile back I bought your 12″ . 12″ sweet roll pan especially for making cinnamon rolls placing 4 rolls in each direction. Is it still OK to use this recipe for that pan rather than the 2 round pans. Also, is there any reason you aren’t using the KA cinnamon roll filling? I really like the way it stays inside the rolls. I want to try Elizabeth’s tip on using a bit of cocoa in the filling. Another flavor I like to add to my cinnamon roll dough is cardamon. Thanks for your wonderful help in baking.

    Loretta, yes, the 12″ x 12″ pan is fine. And so is the Baker’s Cinnamon Filling – it’s just that sometimes, in an effort to make the recipes more universally accessible, I try to use ingredients that are widely available, not just from us. I happen to LOVE that cinnamon filling – so go for it!

    Reply
  12. Em

    I’ve made KA’s Instant Gratification Cinnamon Rolls many times and love them so much. Always wanting to make the real-honest-to-goodness yeasty-kind, where else would I turn but to KA again.

    I love this blog and my family is still thanking you for the Egg McMuffin-like sandwiches you recently posted… they’re a big hit here (store-bought muffins… sorry! LOL).

    Thanks for a great blog – and I’ll be trying this Cinnamon Roll recipe this weekend. My family thanks you… but my waistline, well, it does not ;-) LOL

    Have a delicious day!

    Reply
  13. Linda

    PJ, I’ve never had good success with dental floss either. One trick I found to cutting sticky or soft things is a cheese knife (we call it the Klingon blade at work!). It’s great for slicing cheesecakes cleanly as well as sticky caramel blocks. The hole in the blade eliminates virtually all the drag and the slight serration helps with the cutting. I wondered about the Cinnamon Filling too but I am happy to see you show an alternative for those of us who might not have that filling immediately at hand. Thanks for all the great ideas and recipes–I look forward to your newsletter weekly. Not to mention the great specials (like the $5 survey)

    I look forward to trying this recipe on my co-workers! Thanks for the tip about baking ahead of time and reheating later. That helps when you have a short time before having to leave for the commute!

    Linda, I’m betting you could even bring them to the office cold, microwave very carefully (25 seconds or so?), spread on frosting, and serve HOT. Wouldn’t THAT impress everyone! – PJ

    Reply
  14. Mary S.

    These cinnamon rolls sound great, but, I have another recipe that I always make for Christmas morning. I can make the rolls to the point of putting them into the pans to rise, then I pop them in the refrigerator. Next morning, I stumble downstairs to take them out of the refrigerator and turn on the oven to preheat. Then, by the time I take a shower and get dressed, the oven is warm and I can put them into the oven. The baking rolls fill the house with a warm cinnamon smell for everyone to wake up to. It is also much faster than having to wait for risings.

    Do you think this would work with this recipe? Thanks for all your suggestions and ideas!!

    Mary, I do think that would work with this recipe. In fact, I just made sticky buns this way -actually refrigerated them overnight in the pan, then put them in a cold oven in the morning, turned on the oven, and they were done in about 45minutes. Give it a try- PJH

    Reply
  15. Stephanie

    I’m a recent unemployed college graduate. In an effort to keep busy while waiting for interviews, I’ve taken up baking and the gym. I figured as long as I workout in the morning, I’m free to bake in the evening!
    I’ve never worked with yeast before, and I knew I’d have to try another yeast recipe before I tackled this. I found a recipe for calzones on the KA site and baked dinner for my family. Well ladies, I’m here to report success, because they loved my calzones! Their praise gave me enough confidence to try these yummy rolls!
    I’ve been craving these rolls all day, and I’m currently waiting for them to rise! I can’t wait!
    Although I’m worried about finding a job, I am so excited to have time to learn how to bake from scratch :D

    Good for you, Stephanie – yeast baking is very accessible; just follow the directions and you should be fine. And best of luck with your job hunt. By the way, King Arthur Flour is hiring – check out our Web site, kingarthurflour.com.- PJH

    Reply
  16. S. Tamara

    I have an old recipe for cinnamon rolls that I use, but I have an extremely hard time getting the middle to be done, while the outsides burn and dry out. I have even tried putting them in two 9X13 pans. Yours looked so golden and nice. How do you do that ?? :) Would baking them in stoneware rather than metal help ? And I always lower the temp. on the oven and bake them for longer, instead of the high temp. they call for , for a shorter time. Is baking them longer, but lower temp my problem ? Do they need to be like bucuits where it’s quite hot, but not that long?

    Hard to diagnose. You could try baking them in round cake pans, as I do, and putting insulated cake strips (kingarthurflour.com) around the pans to keep he outsides a bit cooler. A slower (cooler) oven for a longer time should actually help, not hurt. Just make sure the round pan you use is no larger than 9″ – better to use more smaller pans, than one larger one. -PJH

    Reply
  17. JanH

    Using floss for cutting dough is actually pretty easy once you get the hang of it. Try this:

    Lay the floss flat on the table. Gently slide it under the dough to the desired point. Cross the ends of the floss over the top of the dough, then pull out, parallel to the table top-not up-to cut the dough. Be sure the floss slides against itself as you pull, so you get even cuts.

    Thanks, Jan, I’ll try that. It’s the sliding it under the log I usually have trouble with – positioning it exactly. Seems like more trouble than it’s worth- but your method makes it sound easy, for sure. PJH

    Reply
  18. Maryhelen Latimer

    I own a small bakery and am always looking for new cinnamon roll ideas …I am going to try these this a.m. and will let you know how they turn out for me…Where can I get instant clear jel?

    Maryhelen, I’m not sure of other sources, but you can get Instant ClearJel from us, kingarthurflour.com. I’m not sure these are appropriate for bakery sales – they really should be served hot from the oven. Contact our bakery sales manager, Tod Bramble (tod.bramble@kingarthurflour.com) for something that might be better as a foodservice product. Have fun! – PJH

    Reply
  19. Pricila M. Longanilla

    Hi Mr. Baker,
    I just graduated from a Baking Course, last october 2007, and trying to make breads specially cinnamon rolls, for my family and i love cinnamon rolls. we don’t have potato flakes or flour here in Zamboanga City, Philippines, we have cassava flour, corn flour and rice flour. Can this be an alternative to the given ingredients?, how about fresh boiled potato can it also replace it?
    Since i signed in i have learned and try different cake and bread recipe’s. My family and I are so amaze cause it turn out well and very delicious. Please teach me different techniques in baking delicious cake’s and breads. Thank’s so much for this blog, which helpful in me. God bless!!!

    Hi Pricila – Yes, you can use any of those starches you mentioned – try using about 3 tablespoons. and yes, you can substitute 1/2 cup mashed potatoes; reduce the water in the recipe by 1/4 cup. Have you visited our recipe Web site? go to kingarthurflour.com, and click on “recipes” – you’ll find all knods of cakes, breads, etc. there. Also, click on “education” at kingarthurflour.com to view some online classes. Good luck! – PJH

    Reply
  20. Sue E. Conrad

    M-m-m-m, cinnamon rolls!!!!!!!!!!!! Actually, anything cinnamon is A#1 on MY list……….even better than chocolate!! Loved the tip about brushing milk rather than butter on the dough prior to applying the cinnamon filling; have always used butter before – now I know why the rolls separated! Many thanks as always for your blogs, P.J.

    Reply
  21. Jill

    Hi!
    Rolls last longer if you paint the tops with a thin layer of peanut oil or any light non-flavored oil. butter by rights needs to be refrigerated and not recommended to refrigerate breads after baking. Also be sure to let the breads and items you bake cool completely without steaming. When packaged too soon the condensation inside the container/ bag traps bacteria that is in the air and promotes molding. I keep water and boiled potatoes in my freezer to add moistness to my breads ( thicken my soups too) and don’t consider packaged processed foods in my shopping list as a norm. I buy organic whole foods when possible and it saves in the long run as well as being truly nutritious. Why not make your own cinnamon roll freezer dough in advance? Thaw in fridge night before and knock them out in the morning? In sweet breads I prefer to add fresh chopped fruit with the water if there’s juice and add the drained and blotted chunks to the cInnamon roll dough. Sunday’s cinnamon rolls will have ground almonds and fresh Burgundy Cherry pieces minced, with a buttery Tahitian vanilla glaze. The hardest part is waiting for Sunday!

    Thanks, Jill -I’ve never tried the oil, I’ll have to give it a go next time. Thanks for all the good info – your variations sound delectable! – PJH

    Reply
  22. Jana

    I made these yesterday, and it has been very humid out even though we have the air cond on, and today they are still soft and perfect! We ate warm out of the oven, some later at a party, and the rest this morning. Each time they were perfect!! Another hit from your blog thanks!

    I also took the rustic olive rolls that had cheddar and jalapeno pepper slices on top fot the party. I just made little balls and included the cheese, great with the hamburgers. I looked good for my baking skills Thank you so much

    YAY, Jana – two successes. That’s what we’re here for – to help you learn how to “look good” for friend and family, AND to produce yummy stuff, reliably (which actually has a lot to do with King Arthur Flour itself, because it’s just SO reliable – always – because we always buy the best wheat and make sure it’s milled right. Sounds like a sales pitch, but I had to throw this in because it’s true and I’m very proud of our flour!) – PJH

    Reply
  23. Max

    When heating sweet rolls with icing, to keep the icing from getting hot and melting, heat them on 4 or 5 on your microwave. Depending on thickness of roll, heat for 17-25 seconds and they will be just the correct temperature to enjoy.

    Thanks, Max – Heat in short increments, too, until they’re exactly right. It’s easy to heat a bit more; impossible to “unheat” if they get too hot. PJH

    Reply
  24. Margy

    I do have a question for Pricila in the Philippines–do you ever make ensaymada at home, and, if so, do you have a recipe. I visit the Philippines with a medical group every year or so, and have to satisfy my ensaymada cravings while I’m there, since there are no Filipino bakeries in my area!

    Reply
  25. Joy

    My dad’s special trick, first used when making fried cinnamon rolls many years ago, was to use fishing line (monofilament) to cut the rolls. It is much easier to manage than dental floss or thread but a bit less common. I bought some just for this purpose as I don’t fish.

    Reply
  26. Eric

    PJH – I must confess; I got the idea from the KAF Cinnamon Roll mixes available in grocery stores; I saw the modified food starch on the filling label, and started experimenting, as they were absolutely the tastiest shortcut cinnamon rolls I’d ever tasted. I only steal from the best. ;0)

    E

    Reply
  27. Elizabeth T. Williams

    I appreciate the wonderful recipe for cinnamon rolls. I just made my first batch to give as Father’s Day tokens at church. Believe it or not, I made them up on Sat., evening, and baked them just past midnight, about 2: a.m. yesterday morning. I even dared to ice the batch, pulled them apart, placed them in individually in saran wrap, and boxed them . Labeling them , cinnamon rolls baked just for you! Happy Father’s Day! I gave away 10 boxes, and kept the other 6 at home. The Williams family and company all concur that these are “THE CINNAMON ROLLS” we’ll be serving from now on. They are delicious @ room temperature, as well as popped for 5 secs. in the microwave. The visual presentation is very helpful, it’s like you were
    standing there guiding me all the way. They are perfect ! My question for you, as a matter of fact I have 2 questions. In step 1. of the procedure, do you actually use two tbsps. of lukewarm water in addition to the 1 1/8 cups of water. and , is it necessary to sift the flour several
    times to get the accurate flour measurements ? Does this have anything
    to do with the texture of bread,cakes as well as cookies?
    thanks again for informing potential bakers with your ideas.

    Hi Elizabeth~

    Nowadays, flour is pre-sifted at the mill, and you do not need to sift before measuring. However, flour does compact with storage, so be sure to fluff it up (I stir it in the container with a chopstick), sprinkle the flour into your measuring cup until it is overly full, and then draw a straight edge across the top to get a level measure (again, the chopstick works well). If you recipe calls for adding baking powder, or cocoa and THEN sifting, you would still sift then.

    As for the liquid, you would use 2 tablespoons of the liquid in the recipe, unless otherwise specified. In reverse, if the recipe is written for active dry yeast, with additional proofing liquid, and you are using instant yeast, be sure to use that additional proofing liquid or the dough may be too dry.

    Reply
  28. GRACE PADRON

    I BAKED THE CINNAMON ROLLS FOR FATHER’S DAY, I DON’T KNOW WHAT I DID WRONG BUT THEY WERE A LITTLE DRY AND I DON’T THINK THEY TURNED AS BIG AS THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN, ANOTHER THING IS I FORMED THE ROLLS THE AFTERNOON BEFORE AND LEFT THEM OVERNIGHT IN THE REFRIGERATOR, IN THE MORNING WHEN I PULLED THEM OUT THEY HAD NOT GROWN AT ALL I HAD TO PUT THEN INSIDE THE OVEN NEXT TO A STEAMING PAN, AFTER TWO HOURS THEY HAD FILL UP THE 9 INCH PAN BUT THEY WERE NOT TO TALL. DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT WENT WRONG, I WAS CAREFUL WITH THE FLOUR AND DID NOT AD ANY EXTRA. REGARDS AND THANK YOU . GRACE PADRON

    Hi Grace,

    Usually a rising issue has more to do with yeast. One of the baker’s will email you to ask some questions, and we will post the results here later on.

    MaryJane @ The Baker’s Hotline

    Reply
  29. Lori R

    My grandmother was the Queen of baking cinnamon rolls. She made them at least once a week. They were flaky and moist and loaded with cinnamon sugar. She NEVER put icing on her rolls. She said if there was icing on the rolls that they were probably hiding something and she was usually right. I can’t tell you how many iced cinnamon rolls I have eaten that were tough, dry and poorly risen. Therefore, I believe Grandma was right–if there is icing on the roll, they are hiding something! LOL!

    Reply
  30. Allie

    Can you make these with whole wheat flour for some of the white flour? They look great!
    Absolutely! I would start with substituting whole wheat for up to half of the white flour. If you are happy with the flavor and result at that point you could certainly use more whole wheat the next time!

    Reply
  31. Mary Crull

    Cinnamon rolls are a tradition in my family. Some things we do are: slice the dough with an electric carving knife, brush the hot rolls with melted butter after removing them from the oven, and add a couple drops of almond extract to the icing.

    Sounds delicious, Mary – thanks for sharing. -PJH

    Reply
  32. Linda

    I wonder, if i don’t have nonfat dry milk, would simply substituting milk for the lukewarm water work out the same?

    Linda, I think that would be just fine. – PJH

    Reply
  33. Joanne

    Mashed potato flakes contain sulfites ( a preservative). If you have Asthma and your are allergic to sulfites you may have a bad reaction if you use the flakes in this recipe. And since the flakes contain a preservative ( you are adding this to an otherwise natural recipe) it could be left out. Unless, of course, you can find Mashed Potato Flakes made without Sulfites, Sodium Metabisulfite, etc.

    Thanks for the heads-up, Joanne -PJH

    Reply
  34. Judy

    My husband and two sons also have a severe a sulfite allergy – it and derivitaves are hidden in so many food items, such as Vitamin A Palmitate – that I hesitate to use many prepared foods. But, there are now sulfite-free instant potato flakes that I use for baking. Read the labels closely and also beware of Non-Fat dry milk which usually contains the Vitamin A Palmitate to which Sulfite allergy victims are allergic. King Arthur has a product that I love and use instead – dried whole milk! In this case most of the “non-fat” items are not good for sulfite allergy sufferers!

    Reply
  35. Angie

    Is it possible to freeze the rolls after the point of rising in the pan a couple of days before I want to serve them, defrost them the day before in the fridge and then bake them in the morning?

    We make pizza dough all of the time and freeze the extra and it comes out fine. Would it work the same way with the rolls?

    Sure, Angie – not sure I’d let them rise ALL the way, to the point of being fragile before freezing. Maybe let them rise about 3/4 of the way? Then proceed as you wrote. – PJH

    Reply
  36. Tom

    I whipped the ingredients for a batch of these cinnamon rolls into the bread machine on Saturday. I got interrupted and threw the dough into a container and put it in the fridge. After I got home from a church on Sunday, I dug the dough out and let it warm up a bit. I did the rolling, brushed with milk, added the filling mix, and let them raise. I discovered I should have taken them out at about 17 minutes instead of letting them go 20 – they were slightly over-baked.

    I only had 3 oz of powdered sugar for the glaze so reduced the other ingredients accordingly. The rolls are good. I have a 60 minute recipe I prefer, but these are good. The glaze turned out too sweet for me. Next time I would use a cream cheese based frosting.

    Thanks PJ!

    Tom, we have another recipe I like that uses cream cheese icing – Cinna-Buns. Take a look at those (kingarthurflour.com) – they’re a knockoff of CinnaBons. – PJH

    Reply
  37. Susan

    I made these this Sunday night for a Monday morning treat. One whole pan didn’t make it to Monday morning. These are easy and very good. The dough is perfect.

    Reply
  38. Marsha

    My grandma made cinnamon rolls almost every Sat. She also used butter for the cinnamon sugar filling and that was (and still is) a joy to me to slowly unravel and eat the roll. The best part, of course, was the last little inside piece. MMm, thanks for the memories. I need to make some.

    Reply
  39. Susan

    Help! I’m catching up on my Baker’s Blog entries, and my mouth has been watering (very messy on the computer keyboard!) as I’ve read the description of these rolls and the various comments–BUT THE RECIPE LINK DOESN’T WORK! Is it just gremlins in my computer (in which case I’ll try again later), or is there a glitch on your side? Help me please! I’m dying to make these for the holiday weekend. Thanks so much, King Arthur! I’m so happy you started these blogs!

    WHOA, Susan – link doesn’t work on my home computer, either. We just relaunched our site today – let me try and figure out what’s going on… If worse comes to worse, I’ll email it to you tomorrow (it’s on my computer at work – yes, I do go home sometimes!) – PJH

    OK, Susan, all set. Our ever-busy IT dept. took care of it overnight… You should be able to access that recipe now. Thanks for your patience! – PJH

    Reply
  40. Susan

    Thanks so much, PJ, for your prompt response (and please extend my thanks to your IT department, too)! I just printed out the recipe–can’t wait to try it!! Happy 4th to you and all my friends at King Arthur!

    Happy 4th to you, too… Hey, I just tried another version of this – instead of the sugar/flour/cinnamon filling and brushed with milk, I just sprinkled 2 teaspoons of cinnamon on the dough and rolled it up. I actually like these better; they’re not quite as sweet. And my theory is, without the sugar “sucking” the moisture out of the rolls as they sit (because it’s hygroscopic), they’ll stay fresher longer? Just a theory… Have fun! – PJH

    Reply
  41. Maggie

    Can it be done with white whole wheat flour?

    It would be so nice if some…if not all of these great recipes had alternate directions for whole grains….

    I can’t eat all purpose flour and neither can my husband for medical reasons… I just don’t have the expertise to figure it out on my own. We miss so many foods….

    Maggie, you can ALWAYS substitute whole wheat for all-purpose flour in yeast bread recipes. Always. Esp. white whole wheat. The tradeoff is usually a denser, sometimes drier bread, one that takes longer to rise, and won’t rise as high; and may need to bake a bit longer. These rolls, for instance, will probably be quite dry, and won’t rise too high; they may also taste a bit strong, as ww flour has a naturally stronger taste than all-purpose. The only adjustment I’d make, if I were you, would be adding a bit more liquid (maybe 1-2 tablespoons; make it orange juice, in order to cut back the tannic taste of the whole wheat, if you like), and letting the dough rest for 20 minutes after you’ve mixed, but before you start to knead. That gives the whole wheat a chance to absorb the liquid, making it easier to work with. Give it a try— and good luck. – PJH

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  42. Emilie

    I’ve got a quick question about these related to freezing. I know I can freeze them in the pan after the first rise, but would it be even better to freeze the log whole, then when ready to use, thaw the log and proceed from there with the cutting and second rise? I wondered if maybe freezing the whole thing intact would keep it fresher, plus it would take up less space in the freezer. And BTW, thanks for including the kneading time in your recipes, PJ. Even though I bake a lot, I’m still usually unsure how long to knead in my KA just based on visual clues. So I really appreciate when you tell us how many minutes it took you!

    Emilie, that sounds like a good idea, freezing the log whole. But can I suggest – instead of brushing with milk and sprinkling with sugar, flour and cinnamon, try just sprinkling with a couple of teaspoons of cinnamon. I think the rolls will hold together better; no telling what freezing then thawing will do to that sugar/milk mixture. And anyway, he topping on these is so sweet, you can get away with no sugar in the filling (in fact, I prefer them this way). I’d also suggest cutting them while still partially frozen, so they retain their shape. Give it a try, and good luck- PJH

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  43. Lee

    PJ, thanks for another awesome recipe, I made these 2 weekends ago and 3 of us finished the whole batch! So I was thinking about making these to sell from my bakery but I read your response to someone else saying these aren’t really appropriate for sale because they should be served warm. I also thought the icing would be an issue (kinda messy), as well as asking retailers to separate them for sale would be awkward. Any ideas for cinnamon roll-like recipe that my clients who sell in cafes/restaurants could use? Maybe stand-alone cinnamon buns with a thicker icing? These are so good, I just want to share them! I’ll do a test run this weekend with solo rolls…

    Lee, contact our bakery sales manager, Tod Bramble: tod.bramble@kingarthurflour.com. If you use King Arthur Flour, he’ll be happy to help you identify a good cinnamon roll recipe – he probably has one he can share. – PJH

    Reply
  44. Lee

    Hi PJ, I’m in Kenya so no King Arthur Flour here, unfortunately. (I would love to import it but it would make my products too expensive with shipping and customs, etc!) But I made them in muffin tins and it worked – in fact they were more uniform than the ones together in the pan – so maybe I’ll buy bigger tins and increase the recipe for retail sale? Then I was thinking maybe cream cheese in the icing to make it thicker and less sweet?
    Another idea, I added cocoa powder like one of your readers suggested, which was nice. Then I was thinking about trying mostly cocoa (or a chocolate sauce) in the middle of the dough with some chopped almonds? Then an icing with almond essence? Yum! Lots of possibilities.

    ALL sounds good, Lee – wish I was a “little” closer to your bakery! – PJH

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  45. Lu

    I have the dough rising but I may have made a mistake. I did purchase the instant potato flakes but did not reconstitute it. The flakes are visible in the dough. Did I do something wrong?

    Flakes will disappear once they’re baked – or they should. They’re VERY faintly visible in dough when I make it. And you were right, they don’t need to be reconstituted- PJH

    Reply
  46. Kasey

    This sounds delious.. but i am doing cinnamon rolls for a baby shower on sunday and there is going to be around 50 to 100 people there and i was needing a receipt that i could make the night before and then maybe cook them the next day or even reheat them.. do you know if that is possible or should i just get up at 5 the morning and make them and so they are ready by 12?
    If anyone has any sugestions please let me know!!

    Thanks, Kasey

    Kasey, bake but don’t frost the day before. Next day, tent with foil, reheat for 10 minutes at 350°F, then frost. Should be just dandy – PJH

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