First, I am aware that you could just go to Walmart and get a sleeve of Pillsbury cinnamon rolls and everyone would still be happy … But people! Seriously, there are no words for this recipe.
This was actually my first time making cinnamon rolls from scratch. I love to bake, but usually stick with cookies, cakes, muffins and bars. However, after baking these make ahead homemade cinnamon rolls for Easter morning this year, I think I’m going to have to add “rolls” to the list.
Even though I’m a morning person, I like to keep breakfast simple: eggs, oatmeal, cereal, bagels and the like. If it requires a lot of effort, I’d rather make it after I’ve had my cup of coffee or two for the day.
That’s why these rolls are fantastic, because you make them the night before. With a bake time of 20 minutes, you can easily throw one of these bad boys in the oven before you take a shower, or read the morning headlines.
Although I’ve included a vanilla glaze, you really don’t even need to make a glaze to enjoy the sweetness of these rolls.
I say, bring it on, Pillsbury! Don’t believe me? Come over, and if by the time I make you some I haven’t changed your mind, then I will personally refer you to the dentist to have your taste buds examined.
Make Ahead Cinnamon Rolls
Author: Adapted from Pink of Perfection | Makes: 12 rolls
For the dough:
1 cup milk
1/3 cup butter
1 package active dry yeast
1/2 cup white sugar
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
For the filling:
1 1/3 cups (packed) golden brown sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
For the glaze:
½ cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon milk or cream
Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles, then remove from heat. Stir in the butter until it melts and let cool for a few minutes.
In a large bowl, combine 2 1/4 cup flour, yeast, sugar and salt with an electric mixer. Add the eggs and milk mixture; beat well. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring after each addition. When the dough has just pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, adding more flour as needed, about 5 minutes. (You can also use a knead hook on your electric mixer to do this.)
Cover the dough and let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the filling ingredients.
Using a rolling pin, spread out the dough into a 9-by-12-inch rectangle. Using a spoon, spread the filling mixture evenly across the dough. Roll up dough from the long end and pinch seam to seal. Cut into 12 equal size rolls and place in a 9-by-12-inch baking pan. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
The next morning, remove the cinnamon rolls from refrigerator and let sit on the counter for about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375˚ F. Bake for 20 minutes, or until browned.
Meanwhile, for the glaze – combine the powdered sugar with vanilla and milk, adding a teaspoon of milk at a time until glaze slightly thickens. Remove the rolls from oven, and pour glaze over hot cinnamon rolls. Serve warm with coffee, tea or a tall glass of milk!