These big puffy cinnamon rolls will fill your entire kitchen (and beyond) with a drool-inducing cinnamon sweetness. I like to think of these cinnamon rolls as a cross between the soft gooey ones from the US that are covered in icing, and the more pastry-like ones I find in Europe merely sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. They are the best of both worlds.
When I look at these puffy cinnamon rolls, all I can think of is my rotund pregnant belly staring at me while I type this post. I’ve reached the 6-month mark, and the belly just keeps growing!
The difference though is that these cinnamon rolls are gone within 20 minutes of coming out of the oven. They are big and puffy, like an overstuffed marshmallow of cinnamon-y sweetness asking to be devoured.
While some cinnamon rolls are soft throughout – you lightly poke the top and it sinks in (like a Cinnabon), these cinnamon rolls are not like that. They have structure to them, and you can taste the different textures with each bite. The outside is a bit sturdier, while the inside is incredibly soft and chewy with distinct layers of cinnamon and sugar spiraled in.
I like to think of these cinnamon rolls as a cross between the soft gooey ones from the US that are covered in icing, and the more pastry-like ones I find in Europe merely sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. These cinnamon rolls aren’t as doughy as a Cinnabon, but once you bite inside, you get the chewy soft texture like a classic homestyle cinnamon roll from the US. It’s really the best of both worlds. And to get a true European taste, use ceylon cinnamon, which seems to be more popular in Europe, instead of cassia cinnamon, which is more popular in the US.
By the way, happy autumn! These cinnamon rolls are the perfect for the season and when you bake them, they will fill your entire kitchen (and beyond) with a drool-inducing cinnamon sweetness.
Big Puffy Cinnamon Rolls
Cinnamon Roll Dough
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon fast-acting yeast
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter - melted
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 medium egg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 - 3 cups all-purpose flour - plus more added 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar - lightly packed
- 2 tablespoons cinnamon
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter - at room temperature
Cream Cheese Icing
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter - cubed and at room temperature
- 1/2 cup cream cheese - at room temperature
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
In a large microwavable cup (at least 2 cups), heat the milk in the microwave for about 45 seconds to 1 minute, until it is warm. Add in the sugar and stir until it is dissolved. Add in the yeast and give it a quick stir. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together the butter, sugar, egg, salt, vanilla extract, and 1 cup of the flour. Make a well in the middle and mix in the yeast mixture.
Gradually knead in 1 1/2 - 2 cups of flour, adding it 1/2 cup at a time, until you have a smooth dough, about 5 minutes. If the dough is too sticky, add in 1 tablespoon of flour at a time to make a soft smooth dough. Continue to knead for another 5 minutes.
Place the dough back in the bowl and cover with a tea towel. Leave it in a warm place for about 1 hour, until it almost doubles in size.
In the meantime, in a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
When the dough is ready, split the dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll out half of the dough to form a rectangle about 20-cm x 30-cm (12-inch x 8-inch) and 1/4-inch thick. Spread on half of the butter, then evenly sprinkle on half of the brown sugar mixture. Beginning on the long side, slowly roll up the dough to form a log. Set aside. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Cut the dough into 5-cm (2-inch) pieces. Place in a greased rectangular cake pan (23-cm x 33-cm / 9-inch x 13-inch), leaving about 2-cm (3/4-inch) between each piece. Cover with a tea towel and leave it in a warm place for about 45 minutes, until it almost doubles in size.
In the meantime, make the frosting. In a medium bowl, add in all the ingredients and mix with a spatula until the sugar is combined. Using an electric hand beater on high speed, beat everything together until smooth. Cover and place in the refrigerator until ready to be used.
When the dough is almost ready, preheat oven to 175°C/350°F. Bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.
Remove from oven and let it cool before spreading on the cream cheese frosting.