Homemade from scratch cinnamon rolls. Wake up to these tempting rolls for breakfast or brunch for a delicious start to your day!
A batch of freshly baked cinnamon rolls is my go-to breakfast treat on weekends off work and the smell of these baking in the oven is simply so enticing.
I’ll quite happily admit that I’ve baked (and still do!) those super scrumptious pre-made cinnamon rolls that are cross-between bread and pastry and come with a small pot of sugar to make into icing. When I’m not too busy and have some spare time to be the kitchen, then I really do love baking bread and preparing enriched dough.
I have a handful of bread recipes on my blog, mostly savoury, so for a change I felt like baking a sweet bread recipe. Making enriched dough was one of my first patisserie lessons at culinary school. Back at the start of my first year, myself and my fellow classmates/chefs in training were set the task of baking Chelsea buns and various bread recipes to develop our dough and bread making skills – I learnt a lot in those classes and was inspired to continue baking bread.
I’m yet to meet anyone who doesn’t enjoy cinnamon rolls. I can’t get enough of the soft, pillowy dough filled with a yummy cinnamon-infused butter and sugar mixture. I figured you’d probably share the same love of cinnamon rolls as I do?
You’ll start this recipe by preparing the dough. Take strong white bread flour and add salt, dried yeast, sugar, softened butter, an egg and milk. I also add the zest of an orange to my dough as I really like the flavour it adds, but this is an optional ingredient.
Mix all the ingredients and knead your dough until it’s well elasticated. Leave the dough until it’s doubled in size – this recipe is one that takes a bit of time and patience, but I promise you it’ll be worth the wait.
While the dough rises, you can prepare the buttery cinnamon sugar mixture. Take the same quantity of butter and light brown sugar and add a tablespoon (you can add more if you’re a super fan) of ground cinnamon, after giving it a good mix it’s ready to spread evenly over the dough.
Now roll the dough up tightly lengthways and cut 12 pieces from the dough – don’t worry if each piece is not identical or the same size/shape as that really won’t matter once your cinnamon rolls are baked. Generously butter a baking tin (exact measurements listed in the method below) and place the cinnamon rolls in the tin – there will be space between each roll and enough room for them to expand and join up on the second rise.
Once the rolls have all joined up and have doubled in size, now they can be baked. You don’t want these to colour too much on top as they dry out very easily in the oven if baked for too long. Leave the rolls to cool slightly and in the meantime you can get all your ingredients ready to prepare the icing to top the cinnamon rolls with.
The cinnamon rolls right in the centre are my favourite – I love how extra soft they are and like how slightly crisp cinnamon sugar filling goes on top when baked
I decided this time to decorate these cinnamon rolls with a zingy orange drizzle icing. I absolutely adore cream cheese frosting, however since the recipe I shared before this one was covered in a generous layer of cream cheese frosting, I decided something different would be a nice choice for these cinnamon rolls.
I recommend eating these cinnamon rolls on the day of baking to truly experience them at their best, but they will last for up to 2-3 days at room temperature. That being said, we thought these rolls tasted just as good on the second day as they did on the day of baking.
500g strong white bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
50g light brown sugar
14g fast-action dried yeast (2 x 7g standard UK packets)
1 large orange, zested (optional)
75g butter (salted or unsalted), softened and cut into small cubes
200ml milk, luke warm – this must be warm to the touch, but not boiling hot otherwise the yeast will not activate
1 large free-range egg, at room temperature
125g light brown sugar
125g butter (salted or unsalted), softened
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Orange Drizzle Icing:
150g icing sugar
2-3 tablespoons fresh orange juice or water – start by adding a little at a time until the icing reaches your preferred consistency
- To make the dough: In a large mixing bowl, place the flour, salt, sugar, yeast and orange zest (if using). Mix to combine and add the softened butter. Using your fingertips, rub the butter in until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the warm milk and the egg and mix until a dough forms.
- Knead the dough by hand or with a dough hook attachment in a stand mixer for 10 minutes until smooth and elasticated. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover and leave the dough somewhere warm for 80-90 minutes until the dough has doubled in size.
- To make the filling: Cream together the sugar, butter and cinnamon until thoroughly combined. Set aside for later.
- Grease the base and sides of a 23cm x 30cm / 13 x 9-inch baking tin with extra butter. When the dough has doubled in size, tip it out the bowl and knock the air out. Lightly flour a work surface and roll the dough into a large, neat rectangle about 50cm x 30 cm / 20 x 12-inches and with one of the longer sides nearest to you.
- Evenly spread the cinnamon mixture over the dough, ensuring the mixture reaches all the edges.
- Starting with the long side of the rectangle, roll the dough up into a sausage shape. Using a sharp knife, trim the edges of the dough and then cut the dough into 12 rolls.
- Place the rolls side by side in the baking tin, with the spiral facing upwards. Cover and leave somewhere warm until they’ve all joined up and have nearly doubled in size – this should take approx. 45-60 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 200°C / 180°C Fan / 400°F / Gas Mark 6. Bake the rolls for 10 minutes, then turn the oven down to 180°C / 160°C Fan / 350°F / Gas Mark 4 and bake for a further 15-20 minutes until the rolls are a light golden colour on top. Leave to cool in the tin for about 15-20 minutes.
- To make the icing: Mix together the icing sugar and enough orange juice/water until the icing reaches your preferred consistency. Drizzle the icing over the top of the cinnamon rolls and leave to set for about 5-10 minutes.
- Once the icing has set, the cinnamon rolls are ready to eat. The rolls will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2-3 days.
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