recipe

“We had to wait so long, but they were worth the wait. They tasted delicious. I even licked the extra frosting.” —Sonia, 9

safety
  • Uses the microwave
  • Uses the oven
difficulty
  • Advanced
time
  • 1 hour and 35 minutes, plus 1½ hours rising time, plus 15 minutes cooling time
yield
  • Makes 8 rolls

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Prepare Ingredients

For the Dough

2¼ cups (11¼ ounces)
all-­purpose flour, plus extra for counter
3 tablespoons
sugar
1½ teaspoons
instant or rapid-rise yeast
½ cup (4 ounces)
room-­temperature water
4 tablespoons
unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces and softened
1
large egg
Vegetable oil spray

For the Filling

¾ cup packed (5¼ ounces)
light brown sugar
1¼ teaspoons
ground cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon
salt
Glaze (optional)

Gather Baking Equipment

Stand mixer with dough hook attachment
Whisk
Rubber spatula
3
bowls (1 large, 1 medium, 1 small microwave-­safe)
Plastic wrap
9-­inch round metal cake pan
9-­inch round piece of parchment paper
Ruler
Pastry brush
Bench scraper (or kitchen shears)
Oven mitts
Cooling rack
Butter knife
1
 
2¼ cups (11¼ ounces)
all-­purpose flour
3 tablespoons
sugar
1½ teaspoons
instant or rapid-­rise yeast
¾ teaspoon
salt

For the dough: In bowl of stand mixer, whisk together flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Lock bowl in place and attach dough hook to stand mixer.

 
2
 
½ cup (4 ounces)
room-­temperature water
4 tablespoons
unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces and softened
1
large egg

Add water, 4 tablespoons softened butter, and egg to flour mixture. Start mixer on low speed and mix until no dry flour remains, about 2 minutes. Increase speed to medium and knead dough for 8 minutes. Stop mixer.

 
3
 

Sprinkle extra flour on clean counter and coat your hands with extra flour. Use rubber spatula to scrape dough onto floured counter and use your floured hands to knead dough for 30 seconds. Move dough to clean portion of counter and use your hands to form dough into smooth ball.

How to Knead Dough Ball

  1. Place heel of your hand in center of dough ball and press down and away from you.
  1. Fold dough over. Rotate dough and repeat steps 1 & 2 until dough looks smooth, about 1 minute.
  1. On clean counter, use your cupped hands to drag dough in small circles to form smooth ball.
 
4
 
Vegetable oil spray

Spray inside of large bowl with vegetable oil spray. Place dough in greased bowl and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rise until doubled in size, 1 to 1½ hours.

 
5
 

While dough rises, spray inside bottom and sides of 9-inch round metal cake pan with vegetable oil spray. Line bottom of cake pan with 9-inch parchment paper round.

 
6
 
¾ cup packed (5¼ ounces)
light brown sugar
1¼ teaspoons
ground cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon
salt

For the filling: In medium bowl, use clean rubber spatula to stir together brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt.

 
7
 
2 tablespoons
unsalted butter

When dough is ready, melt 2 tablespoons butter in small microwave-safe bowl (click here to learn how to melt butter). Transfer dough to clean counter and shape, fill, and roll up rolls (following photos, below).

Shaping Cinnamon Rolls 1 of 2

  1. Pat dough into 16-by-8-inch rectangle with long side parallel to counter’s edge. Use pastry brush to paint melted butter evenly over dough. Sprinkle filling evenly over dough, leaving 1-­inch border at top.
  1. Use bench scraper to cut dough into eight 2-inch-wide strips.

Shaping Cinnamons Rolls 2 of 2

  1. Roll each strip away from you into tight log.
  1. Place roll, spiral side up, in parchment paper–lined cake pan. Arrange 7 rolls around outside of cake pan and place 1 roll in center.
 
8
 

Use bench scraper (or your hands) to scoop up any filling left on counter and sprinkle it evenly over rolls. Spray sheet of plastic wrap with vegetable oil spray. Cover cake pan loosely with greased plastic and let rolls rise at room temperature until puffy, 30 to 45 minutes.

 
9
 

While rolls rise, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees.

 
10
 

When rolls are ready, discard plastic from cake pan. Place cake pan in oven. Bake until rolls are golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes.

 
11
 
Glaze (optional)

Use oven mitts to remove cake pan from oven (ask an adult for help). Place cake pan on cooling rack and let rolls cool in pan for 15 minutes. Run butter knife around edge of cake pan to release rolls from pan. Drizzle with glaze, if using (see “Food for Thought,” below). Serve warm or at room temperature.