Our House Favorite Cinnamon Rolls – the ones we make every year! With pillowy brioche dough and cream cheese glaze tucked into every bite.
Cinnamon Roll Brioche Dough:
- 1/2 cup lukewarm water (not hot water)
- 1 teaspoon instant yeast
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 2 eggs
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 1/2 cups flour + extra for dusting
Cinnamon Roll Filling:
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 5 tablespoons white sugar
- 5 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk (more as needed)
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- small pinch of salt
- Make the dough: Start by adding the water and yeast to a bowl. Melt the butter, whisk in the honey, then the egg and salt. Add your butter mixture to the bowl, and then measure in the flour. Mix with a wooden spoon until combined. It will be messy, sticky, and loose – that is correct.
- First rise: Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a damp towel, and let her rest at room temperature for 1-2 hours until the dough ball has puffed up and roughly doubled in size. I often turn on my oven to 200 degrees and place the dough bowl in close proximity to the fan to speed this process up.
- Store in the fridge: Once the dough has doubled in size, gently reach in with your hand and pull the sticky dough from the edges of the bowl. This should somewhat deflate the dough – that’s great. Put the bowl in the fridge, covered with plastic wrap. It needs at least 3 hours in the fridge so the dough has time to chill and become easier to handle. Don’t try to work with it right after the first rise – chilling is necessary to make it workable. The dough can stay in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Assemble the rolls: Remove the dough from the fridge and coat the outside lightly with flour. Roll your dough ball out to about a 9×13 rectangle. This dough doesn’t like to be over-handled, and you don’t want to have to add a lot of extra flour – so work with it right out of the fridge.
- Filling: Brush the rectangle with the melted butter and sprinkle with the sugars and cinnamon. You can use your hands to press it in and make sure it’s all evenly coated.
- Roll: Roll the dough up starting at the short side. Try not to over-handle the dough as it will become sticky. Once the log is rolled up, use floss or a very sharp knife to trim the uneven ends, and then cut the log into 8 equal rolls. Place the rolls in a 9-10 inch round baking dish or pie plate (another size could also work, I just like how they fit in a round pan with 7 around the outside and one in the center).
- Second rise: Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and then turn it off. Cover the pan loosely with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let the rolls rest in the turned-off oven for 45 minutes. They should fit a little more snugly together in the pan at this point. Cute! Take them out and turn the oven back on to 350 degrees. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-22 minutes.
- Prep the cream cheese frosting: Use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth and creamy. Mix in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and a little bit of milk at a time until you get a smooth glaze; then continue to beat with the electric mixer until you have a light and fluffy frosting.
- Frost and enjoy: When they come out of the oven, give them a minute to cool. Then brush or spoon them with the frosting so it gets every crevice coated with gooey, drippy deliciousness. You can frost them again (second layer!) once they’ve cooled a bit more. Savor every warm, pillowy, glazed bite. YOU MADE THAT. Cinnamon roll bliss is yours!
Sample Timing – for less work in the morning: Make the dough the morning before; let it rise from 8-10am. Put it in the fridge. Roll out the rolls in the afternoon or evening, cover, and put back in the fridge. Take the rolls out first thing the next morning, rise from 7-8am, bake and be ready to eat by 8:30am.
Sample Timing – for last-minute people: Make the dough the night before; let it rise from 8-10pm. Put it in the fridge. Roll out the rolls the next morning from 7:30-8, let them rise from 8-9am, bake and be ready to eat by 9:30am.
Fridge Time: This particular dough can hang out in the fridge for up to 5 days. I don’t like to leave the pre-rolled rolls in the fridge longer than overnight because I feel like the filling starts to seep out. But the dough ball itself can hang out for 5 days.
Freezing: Currently freezing isn’t a part of my routine for these because I find that the dough is so rich and buttery that it’s hard to get a good second rise. I prefer to just work within that 5 day timeframe and store them in the fridge during that time!
If your dough is not rising: This happens to me every once in a while (due to variances in temperature of the room or temperature of ingredients). I find that it’s almost always because the dough is not warm enough yet. Assuming that your yeast was alive and you are smelling that sweet, yeasty smell from the dough, it just needs a bit more time, warmth, and moisture. Covering it with a damp towel and placing it near a warm oven for an extra 30-60 minutes should get it going. You can also try any of the tricks in this post– in particular I like the boiling water / oven method.
- Prep Time: 45 minutes + 12 hours wait time
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: cinnamon rolls, maple glaze, homemade cinnamon rolls