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Kelsey Nixon’s Cinnamon Rolls

  • Author: Kelsey Nixon
  • Yield: 12 rolls 1x


Nothing beats pulling out cinnamon buns from the oven, the aroma of fresh bread and spices filling the air… it’s what dreams are made of! Each roll results in a soft gooey center with bursts of cinammony flavor and a slightly crispy exterior.




  • 2 (.25 oz.) packets dry active yeast (4 ½ teaspoons)
  • 2 cups warm whole milk (105-110°F)
  • 5 to 6 cups all purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt


  • ⅓ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature



  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ½ package (4 oz.) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


For the dough:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine yeast and warm milk; let stand for 5 minutes until bubbly. Turn the mixer on low and add 1 ½ cups of the flour, the sugar, melted butter, egg, and salt. Increase the speed to medium and mix for 2 minutes. One cup at a time, add an additional 3 ½ cups flour and mix until the flour is fully incorporated and the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Add more flour if the dough is too sticky or not pulling away from the sides of the bowl. The dough should be soft, not stiff. Transfer the dough to a large greased bowl, cover with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  2. Punch the dough down and turn it out onto a well-floured surface. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough out into a 12” by 8” rectangle.

For the filling:

  1. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon. Spread the softened butter evenly over the dough, then sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
  2. Starting with the long side, roll up the dough lightly. Trim the ends and cut the roll into twelve 1-inch-thick slices. Place the rolls, cut side down, in a greased 9×13-inch baking dish and cover with a kitchen towel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 20-30 minutes.*
  3. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  4. Bake the rolls until the tops are light golden brown, 15-20 minutes. Let cool in the pan.

For the glaze:

  1. Meanwhile, using a hand or stand mixer, beat together the powdered sugar, cream cheese, butter, milk, and vanilla until smooth.
  2. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled rolls. The cinnamon rolls can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days.


*Cook’s note: You can also prep the rolls to this stage the night before and let them rise in the refrigerator overnight; just bring the rolls to room temperature the next morning before proceeding.

SWEET ORANGE ROLLS: Substitute a filling of ½ cup sugar and the zest and juice of 1 orange for the cinnamon sugar. Substitute a glaze of 1 cup powdered sugar, 2-4 Tablespoons orange juice, 1 teaspoon grated orange zest, and 4 Tablespoons softened unsalted butter for the cream cheese glaze.

  • Category: Breakfast