Ok, I know what you’re thinking, this recipe uses 5 sticks of butter and lots of cinnamon! But trust me, these rolls are decadent and worth it. This recipe makes a very large crown pleasing batch of cinnamon rolls. Use either one large 12x17 inch jelly roll pan or two 9x13 inch pans. The recipe can easily be cut in half to use one 9x13 inch pan if you prefer a smaller batch.
The original recipe does include walnuts and raisins, but I normally omit these because some of my family members, prefer cinnamon rolls without the nuts and raisins. I have taken the liberty of making a few slight modifications to the original recipe along with attempting to improve on the recipe instructions.
I have included instructions below for using an electric mixer to blend and knead the dough, or making by hand. I made these for our family Christmas Eve celebration this year, 2016, and should have made two large jelly rolls pans, everyone loved them so much. I hope you will try this recipe, I think you’ll love it too.
Help: Toasting Nuts and Seeds
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- 1 cup warm water (110 to 115 degrees)
- 2 packages active dry yeast Tip: use quick-rise yeast for faster rise time
- ⅔ cup plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, divided
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup warm milk (110 to 115 degrees)
- ⅔ cup (1 stick plus 3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened. Tip: I like to use butter that is even softer than room temperature so it blends easier into the dough. Soften for a few seconds in the microwave but don’t melt the butter.
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 7 to 8 cups all-purpose flour Tip: I use an electric mixer for the mixing method and normally use a total of 7¼ cups flour. This is a soft dough and you don’t want to add any more flour than necessary.
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1½ cups walnuts, coarsely chopped (optional) Tip: using nuts is optional, but if you are using nuts they are best if lightly toasted.
- 1½ cups raisins, plumped (optional) Tip: Using raisins is optional, but if you are using raisins they are best if first plumped. Plump the raisins by steaming with a double boiler; steam the raisins about 1 minute or until softened. Thoroughly drain or spread the raisins on paper toweling to dry.
- 4 cups confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
- ⅔ cup (1 stick plus 3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ¼ cup hot water, or more if needed
- Prepare the yeast mixture: In a medium-sized bowl combine warm water, yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar; stir together and let sit until yeast is dissolved and starting to get foamy, about 10 minutes.
- If Mixing Dough by Hand: In a large mixing bowl, lightly beat the eggs with a whisk or fork, add the warm milk, softened butter, salt, ⅔ cup sugar, and yeast mixture. Stir or whisk to combine ingredients. Add 2 to 3 cups of the flour; stir until well mixed. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn dough onto a lightly floured pastry mat or pastry board; knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes, adding additional flour 1 tablespoon at a time if dough is too sticky.
- If Mixing dough by Electric Mixer: In a large bowl of an electric mixer, lightly beat the eggs with a whisk or fork, add the warm milk, softened butter, salt, ⅔ cup sugar, and yeast mixture. Stir or whisk to combine ingredients. Add 3 cups of the flour. Using the paddle attachment beat on low speed to start blending the flour, then add an additional 4 cups of flour and blend until mixed. increase the mixer speed to medium speed and beat 2 to 3 minutes until well mixed and smooth adding additional flour 1 tablespoon at a time if dough is too sticky. Tip: I use an electric mixer for the mixing method and normally use a total of 7¼ cups flour. This is a soft dough and you don’t want to add any more flour than necessary.
- Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula, scraping the dough into the center of the bowl. Switch to the dough hook attachment and beat the dough on medium speed for 5 minutes.
- Tip to test when the dough is done: If kneading by had the dough should become smooth and elastic and not sticky. If using an electric mixer, you should hear the dough make a slap-slap-slap sound as it hits the sides of the bowl. Also, test the dough by taking a bit of dough in your fingers and gently pulling it; the dough should stretch and become thin like a window pane of glass. If it just breaks apart when you pull, then continue to knead the dough, or continue to beat the dough with dough hook of electric mixer another 2 to 3 minutes or until it develops more strength and stretches as you test by pulling it again with your fingers.
- Lightly grease a large mixing bowl using either vegetable shortening or vegetable oil. Place dough in the greased bowl, turning once to grease the top of the dough or just lightly rub the top of the dough with a bit more shortening or oil.
- Cover bowl with a small kitchen towel and let dough rise is a warm place until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
- Have one 12x17x1 inch Jelly Roll pan or two 9x13x2 inch pans ready to place the rolls.
- Pour the melted butter in the bottom of the pan, tip the pan to spread the butter over the entire bottom of the pan, or use a small spatula to spread the butter, then sprinkle sugar evenly over the top. Set pan aside while preparing the filling and assembling the rolls.
- In a small bowl combine the sugar and cinnamon, stir to mix. Set aside.
- Punch the risen dough down then turn onto a lightly floured pastry mat or pastry board; knead dough briefly, 4 to 5 times. Roll and gently stretch the dough into as large a rectangle as you can, about 15-inches by 24 to 30-inches. Tip: this is a messy stage. I often use a large piece of freezer paper, lightly floured, and then when the rolls are completed I simply fold up the paper and throw away the mess.
- Spread the melted butter evenly over the top of the rolled dough, then sprinkle the sugar-cinnamon mixture evenly over the top. Sprinkle nuts and raisins on top, if using.
- Roll-up dough jelly-roll style, starting with a long side. Slice the roll into 24 pieces, each about 1 to 1¼ inch thick, and arrange them in the prepared pan. Tip: Measure the length of the roll and use the back of a kitchen knife to lightly mark the roll into equal sized pieces. Use either a serrated knife to slice the rolls at each mark, or use a long piece of plain dental floss; slide the floss under the dough then bring the ends up, crisscross the ends and pull to cut through the dough.
- Place the rolls cut side up in the pan leaving a small space between each roll.
- Cover and let rolls rise is a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Bake: Bake the rolls for 20 to 30 minutes or until the rolls are a rich golden brown and the internal temperature reads 190 to 200 degrees F using an instant read thermometer to gauge the temperature. Check the temperature at 20 minutes, then bake longer if needed. Tip: Using one 12x17 inch jelly roll pan will probably take a longer bake time than if using two 9x13 inch pans. Make sure the inside row reads 190 degrees to ensure they are completely baked and don’t worry if the outside rows read a higher temperature. You don’t want to over-bake cinnamon rolls as they won’t be gooey soft, but the rolls in the center of the pan need to be fully baked.
- When rolls are removed from oven, set pan on wire cooling rack to cool slightly while preparing the Creamy Glaze.
- In a medium-size bowl, combine confectioner’s sugar, melted and cooled butter, vanilla, and ¼ cup hot water. Beat with a wooden spoon to thoroughly blend ingredients. Add additional hot water if needed to make a good spreading consistency. Spread glaze onto still warm rolls. Tip: This will seem like a lot of glaze but make sure and use it all! The Glaze will melt a little on the warm rolls before setting up as it cools.