I love to make these for Easter morning and also for Christmas morning.  I just make them the day before (but don’t bake them until the morning of.)

I came across this recipe years ago, and now it’s the only recipe I use for home-made cinnamon rolls.  The dough is a dream to work with.  I usually add a little extra butter and sugar to the filling to make them more gooey.  Don’t add more cinnamon, though- there is such a thing as too much cinnamon.  But never too much butter!

My tips: These rolls are PERFECT fresh out of the oven, but as they age they seem to loose flavor and harden.   I usually cheat and use Pillsbury Cream Cheese Frosting, instead of making the frosting from scratch.   If you do make the frosting from scratch, I’d make a double recipe so they are extra gooey.

2 1/2 hours | 2 hours prep
Makes 8-12 rolls

1 (1/4 ounce) package dry yeast
1 cup warm milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup margarine
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
4 cups flour

1 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon (use SAIGON cinnamon)
1/2 cup margarine, softened

8 tablespoons margarine
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
(or cheat and use Pillsbury Cream Cheese frosting!)


Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk in a small bowl.  Set aside.
In a large bowl combine sugar, margarine, salt, eggs, and flour. Add the milk/yeast mixture, mix well.
Add more flour if needed to make a slightly firm ball of dough.
Knead the dough for 8 minutes, using your hands dusted lightly with flour. When dough is finished it should be very elastic.
Put in a greased bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place about 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
Punch down and let sit for 5 minutes before rolling out.
Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface, until it is approx 21 inches long by 16 inches wide.  It should also be approx 1/4 thick.

Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.
Spread the softened margarine over the surface of the dough, then sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon evenly over the surface.
Working carefully, from the long top edge, roll the dough down to the bottom edge.
Cut the dough into 12 rolls, approximately 1 3/4 inch slices, and place in a lightly greased baking pan.
Cover and let the rolls rise again for about 45 minutes, then bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until light golden brown.

When rolls are out of the oven, combine the icing ingredients.
Beat well with an electric mixer until fluffy.
Spread icing generously over the still warm rolls.

NOTES: If you roll the dough out as directed, you end up with about 12 rolls each measuring 3″ in diameter (if you use a 9×13 pan).  The first time I made these I rolled the dough the opposite way (rolling short end to short end) and ended up with super spiral rolls that were more like 4″ in diameter and I could only fit 8 in the pan.  But they were the best ever- and the one’s pictured above.  YUM!!

You can also make the rolls in advance and freeze them!

Option 1 is to freeze them unbaked: immediately after rolling the dough place them onto a cookie sheet (with space between) and freeze individually.  When frozen, place rolls in a freezer bag.  When ready to bake, simply take the number of rolls desired, place in a greased baking dish, let thaw and rise before baking.

Option 2 is to freeze them after baking so they simply need to be reheated.