I really like cinnamon rolls. They're super delicious. But I LOVE Cinnabon. No other cinnamon rolls compare, at least in my opinion. So, if I'm going to take the time (the very long time) to make cinnamon rolls, I want them to be just as good.
Therefore, I use this recipe to make some darn good Copy Cat Cinnabon rolls. And I don't even need a bread machine!
First things first, here is the INGREDIENT LIST:
(Note: This is a doubled recipe, and the dough needs to be made in two halves.)
FOR DOUGH[halved amount]:
2 cups milk [1 cup]
2 (¼ oz) packets yeast [1 packet]
⅔ cup (1 ⅓ stick) butter, melted [⅓ cup]
1 cup sugar [½ cup]
2 tsps salt [1 tsp]
4 eggs (room temperature) [2 eggs]
9 cups flour (+ extra for rolling) [4 ½ cups]
2 cups brown sugar, packed
5 tablespoons ground cinnamon
½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
12 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
6 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tsps vanilla extract
½ tsp salt
Step 1: Prepare the Pans and Preheat the (p)Oven
Prepare 9x13in (doesn't have to be exact, just close) baking pans by lining with parchment paper. I use parchment paper just about every time I bake anything. Not only does it help keep things from sticking to the pan, it also helps keep the dough from burning.
Now is a good time to start the oven preheating (350°F). There won't be any baking for almost two hours, but you'll need a warm place for the dough to rise, and the top of a hot oven is perfect for that.
Step 2: Making Some Dough
The dough needs to be made in two halves, so make sure to only use half of the ingredients on each dough.
With the first half of the ingredients:
Microwave milk (1 cup) for about 45 seconds. It needs to be nice and warm, but not hot. Pour in the yeast (1 (¼ oz) packet) and and make sure it's totally dissolved before continuing. Pour the yeasty milk into the mixing bowl and add the butter (⅓ cup or ⅔ stick [which should be melted, but I forgot and only softened it]), sugar (½ cup), salt (1 tsp), and eggs (2). Using the paddle attachment, mix until it's all fully combined. Add the flour (4 ½ cups) a half cup at a time and keep mixing until it's totally incorporated.
When the dough ball gets too heavy for the mixing paddle, change to a dough hook. Beat on high for about 3 minutes until it all forms into one lump of dough. (If dough keeps sticking to the sides, add some more flour.)
Step 3: Time for the Yeast to Shine
Plop that dough onto a floured cutting board and knead it into a ball with floured hands. Grease a large bowl, put the dough in there, and cover it tightly with plastic wrap. Place the bowl on top of the stove (or somewhere warm), and let it sit there for an hour to let the yeast double the size.
Go back to the previous step and repeat it with other half of ingredients. Place the second dough on the stove as well and take a break until the first dough is ready.
Once the dough has doubled, turn it out onto the floured cutting board and cover it. Let it sit for another 10 minutes while you move on to the next step.
Step 4: The Cinnamon Part
For the filling, mix the brown sugar (2 cups), the cinnamon (5 tablespoons), and the butter (½ cup [1 stick]). It's important that the butter is very soft, otherwise it'll be hard to mix it fully.
Step 5: Get in Shape
Find a large area to work on. I didn't have a cutting board large enough, so I put some parchment paper on the counter and floured that.
Now back to the dough. Punch it and stretch it and roll it out on that surface until it's 16x21in.
Step 6: Spread It on Thick
Originally I was only going to use half a stick of butter for spreading, but I ended up adding another half stick because it really needed more butter. Make sure to spread it all the way to the edges, EXCEPT for one of the long edges. Leave about ¼in margin so, when it's all rolled up, the filling will be sealed in.
Sprinkle over the butter with half of the sugar mixture and spread it nicely to cover everything (except for that ¼in margin).
Step 7: We're Rolling, We're Rolling... Aaand CUT!
Starting with the side opposite from the ¼in margin, roll it up tightly. Start with the middle and work to the edges and keep going until it's all rolled up.
Set the seam on the bottom and get a sharp knife (I've heard the some people use dental floss, but I like using a very sharp knife.). I've found that the easiest way to make sure all the pieces come out even is to start by cutting the roll in half, then into fourths, then cutting each fourth into thirds. Then you have 12 even rolls!
Step 8: Into the Pan
Space your rolls out evenly, try not to let them touch, since they'll spread out and tough each other later. Set the end pieces in upside-down for the nicest looking effect. Once you've got your rolls situated, cover the pan with plastic wrap and let them sit for 30 minutes or until they've nearly doubled again. While those are rising, go back to step 5 and repeat the process with the second dough.
Make sure your oven is preheated to 350°F by the time your rolls are ready to go in. Bake them for about 18-20 minutes or until they turn golden brown.
Step 9: The Deliciousness Is in the Frosting
While the rolls are in the oven, make the frosting! I make a LOT of frosting, because I like it. You could probably get away with half this amount if you don't care as much for the frosting.
Put the cream cheese (12 oz), butter (1 cup [2 sticks]), vanilla extract (2 tsps), salt (½ tsp), and confectioners' sugar (6 cups) in the mixing bowl. Using the whisk attachment, mix it all together until it's completely combined... then keep mixing! I set my mixer on high and let it go for a good while because I wanted the frosting to be fluffy. You don't have to whip it as long as I did, but it does make it nice and fluffy.
Step 10: Finally Time to Eat Them
As soon as the rolls come out of the oven, spread the frosting on. You want the rolls piping hot so the frosting gets nice and melty. For this amount of frosting, you only need a little over a fourth of it to cover each set of rolls once. The frosting will soak in a bit and you can use the rest of the frosting to cover it again, or you can set the frosting aside and let people add more to their personal rolls if they so choose.
Once they're cool enough to touch, they're cool enough to eat. These are best warm!
Tip: If you're serving them to a group, you can pull them all out by the parchment paper and it'll make them easier to get at.
To store these, I just put the remaining rolls back into the pan, covered it with tin foil, and stuck it in the fridge. To reheat one, just microwave it for 30-60 seconds depending how hot you like it. If you have leftover frosting, you can heat that up too and drizzle (or pour, if you're me) it on to make it extra delicious.
Thanks for reading and I hope you liked my Instructable! (^･ﻌ･^=)~