Most people don’t know the exact Cinnabon cinnamon roll recipe but for a decade, both Aaron and my mom have been intermittently attempting to crack the code, making various tweaks to their pastry-baking-marathons. They’ve been close but never hit upon a recipe that was indistinguishable, in our opinion, from the Cinnabon franchise version.
Until tonight. It finally happened. Jackpot. Victory achieved. By modifying and adjusting several different past Cinnabon cinnamon roll recipes from the Internet and – believe it or not, an unintentional mistake or two – the final product turned out far in excess of expectations. We will never look for another classic cinnamon roll recipe in our entire lives. The entire process was meticulously documented so that it could be reproduced. I’m sharing the bounty with you fellow foodies out there so you get to collect the dividend from their work. Go forth and enjoy.
Cinnabon Cinnamon Roll Ingredients
Cinnabon Cinnamon Roll Dough
1 cup warm milk
2 eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup butter, melted
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar
1 package yeast (1/4 ounce)
Cinnabon Cinnamon Roll Filling
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, softened
Spread for Cinnamon Roll Dough
1/4 cup butter, softened
Cinnabon Cinnamon Roll Icing
3 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
Cinnabon Cinnamon Roll Recipe Instructions
Microwave the milk for 45 to 60 seconds. Then, dissolve yeast in warm milk in a large bowl. Add sugar, butter, salt, eggs, and flour. Mix well. Dust your hands lightly with flour and then hand knead the cinnamon roll dough into a large ball.
Put the ball of dough into a bowl that is sprayed with cooking spray. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for roughly 1 hour or until dough has doubled in size. We turned the oven on and then put the cinnamon roll dough on top of the stove. The heat generated caused the dough to rise.
Once your dough has risen, it’s time to move on to the next step. In a new, small bowl, combine brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter. Mix them well. Spray a flat surface with cooking spray or sprinkled flour. Roll out your dough ball into a 16″ x 21″ rectangle roughly 1/4 inches thick then spread a 1/4 cup of softened butter on the dough. Next, sprinkle the rolled, buttered dough evenly with the sugar/cinnamon/butter mixture you prepared in your small bowl.
Roll up the dough starting with the longer side and cut into fourteen (14) cinnamon rolls (or more smaller rolls, if you prefer). Place the cinnamon rolls in a lightly greased 11″ x 15″ glass baking dish. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and let the cinnamon rolls rise until nearly doubled, which should take around 30 minutes. Note that in our Cinnabon cinnamon roll recipe, we had made two (2) of the fourteen (14) cinnamon rolls consist of the “end” pieces that weren’t as developed or good as the other twelve (12).
Preheat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit. Once your cinnamon rolls have risen, bake them in the preheated oven until golden brown, approximately 18 to 20 minutes (we used a professional General Electric gas-range oven at 20 minutes exactly). The dough should still be soft, though fully cooked, especially toward the center of the rolls.
As your cinnamon rolls are baking, beat together cream cheese, butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract, and salt for the Cinnabon cinnamon roll icing. The icing should be spread on your cinnamon rolls when they are still warm, shortly after being taken out of the oven so that the frosting melts into the cinnamon rolls. This is reportedly part of the official Cinnabon process according to some of the employees.
When the cinnamon rolls are still warm, serve, and enjoy!