For the past few years, cinnamon rolls have been our traditional Christmas breakfast. Well, except for last year when they completely flopped, sending my mom out in a frantic panic on Christmas Eve to find something suitable for the next morning. That’s why this year, I needed a new recipe. This one has cinnamon baked right into the dough, and they’re so soft when they come out of the oven (and for hours after), that they practically melt in your mouth. We prefer pecans over raisins, but fill yours with whatever filling you like best and they’ll be delicious. These really are the best cinnamon rolls. Ever.
But the taste might not even be the greatest thing about these cinnamon rolls. The fact that you can prepare them the day before and then let them rise in your fridge overnight makes them a quick breakfast any day of the year.
For the cinnamon rolls:
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling $0.49
- 1 package rapid-rise yeast $0.33
- 1/3 cup sugar $0.06
- 2 large eggs, room temperature, beaten $0.40
- 1 cup milk $0.28
- 4 tablespoons butter, plus more for greasing pan $0.30
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon $0.30
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt $0.01
For the filling:
- 1 1/4 cup packed brown sugar $0.25
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon $0.90
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg $0.08
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt $0.01
- 6 tablespoons butter, room temperature $0.36
- 1 cup pecans, chopped and lightly toasted $4.99
For the glaze:
- 1 cup powdered sugar $0.33
- 1 1/2 tablespoons milk $0.02
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract $0.05
- Pinch salt $0.01
Total cost $9.17
Cost per cinnamon roll $0.57
1.) Start by making the dough. Place flour, yeast and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until well combined. Add eggs and mix on low to combine.
2.) In a small saucepan, heat milk, butter, and cinnamon over medium-low heat until butter is melted and mixture is warm, but not hot. (I stick my very clean finger into the mixture and when I can only hold it there for a couple of seconds, I know it’s ready.)
3.) Add warm milk mixture and salt to stand mixer. Beat on low speed for 2 to 3 minutes, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl. Beat on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, until the dough comes together. It will be very sticky.
4.) Place dough onto lightly floured surface and just bring it together. Do not knead at this point, you just want to bring it into a ball.
5.) Place a teaspoon of olive oil into the bottom of a large bowl. Place the dough in and turn to coat in oil. Cover with a tea towel and let rise in a warm place for about 2 hours.
6.) While dough is rising, butter two 9-inch cake pans, then fit with parchment, and butter the parchment. In a bowl, combine the cinnamon, brown sugar, nutmeg and salt for the filling and set aside.
7.) After the dough has risen, punch it down lightly and transfer it to a lightly floured surface. Roll out into a rectangle, approximately 16″ x 12″. Spread the butter over the dough, leaving a 1/2 border on the longer sides. Sprinkle the filling mixture even over the butter, then sprinkle pecans over top.
8.) Starting at the long edge closest to you, roll dough up to the other longer edge, pinching it gently underneath as you do. Once you’ve rolled the cinnamon rolls into a log or loaf, cut the dough crosswise into 6 even pieces. I do this by first cutting it in half so that I have two pieces. I then cut those two pieces into half so that I have four pieces, and so on until I have 16 pieces. This will help you create even pieces.
9.) Divide the rolls between the cake pans, arranging them cut-side up. It’s okay if the rolls are touching, but don’t cram too many into one, as they will still rise in the fridge.
10.) Cover rolls with plastic wrap or a clean tea towel and place them into the fridge for an overnight rise.
11.) In the morning, remove rolls from the fridge and allow them to stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
12.) Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Once oven is hot, bake rolls until the tops are golden, about 25 minutes.
13.) While rolls are baking, prepare the glaze. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, vanilla and salt.
14.) When rolls come out of oven, allow them to cool for 10 minutes. Then drizzle glaze over top while cinnamon rolls are still warm.
15.) Serve and enjoy!