Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing


Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Let's Do Brunch

Let's Do Brunch

By Brigit Binns

Published 2013

  • About


For the Yeast Dough

  • 1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) whole milk
  • ½ cup (4 oz/125 g) granulated sugar
  • 5 Tbsp ( oz/75 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 package ( tsp) quick-rise yeast
  • 5 cups (25 oz/780 g) all-purpose flour
  • tsp salt

For the Filling

  • ½ cup ( oz/105 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 6 Tbsp (3 oz/90 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon

For the Icing

  • cups (6 oz/185 g) Confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 oz (60 g) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  • About 4 Tbsp whole milk


To make the dough, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the milk, sugar, butter, eggs, and yeast. Add cups (22½ oz/705 g) of the flour and the salt. Mix on medium-low speed, adding as much of the remaining flour as needed to make a soft dough that does not stick to the bowl. Remove the paddle attachment and fit the mixer with the dough hook. Knead the dough on medium-low speed, adding more flour if needed, until the dough is smooth but still soft, 6–7 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball. Butter a large bowl. Add the dough and turn to coat with the butter. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm spot until it doubles in bulk, 1½–2 hours. (Alternatively, punch down the dough, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for up to 12 hours. Punch down and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour before using.)

To make the filling, in a bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together the brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon until combined, about 30 seconds.

Punch down the dough and turn out onto a floured work surface. Dust the top with flour. Roll out into a 16-by-14-inch (40-by-35-cm) rectangle, with a long side facing you. Spread the filling evenly over the dough, leaving a 1-inch (2.5-cm) border at the top and bottom. Starting at the long side of the rectangle farthest from you, roll up the rectangle into a log. Pinch the seams to seal. Cut the log crosswise into 8 equal slices.

Butter a 9-by-13-inch (23-by-33-cm) baking pan or a large, heavy ovenproof frying pan. Arrange the slices, cut side up, in the pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm spot until doubled in bulk, 1¼–1½ hours. (Alternatively, refrigerate overnight until doubled, 8–12 hours. Remove from the refrigerator 1 hour before baking.)

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Bake until the rolls are golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let the buns cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes.

To make the icing, sift the confectioners’ sugar into a bowl and add the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and orange zest. Using an electric mixer, beat the mixture on low speed until crumbly. Gradually beat in enough of the milk to make a thick but pourable icing. Pour the icing over the warm rolls and spread using a metal icing spatula. Let cool for 15 minutes. Serve the buns warm or at room temperature.

Serve with

These heavenly buns will transport most people back to a simpler time. Embrace nostalgia and serve Easy Eggs Benedict and Spiced Iced Coffee. Today—and all its worldly cares—doesn’t officially start until after you have enjoyed brunch.


Sprinkle ½ cup (3 oz/90 g) raisins, dried cranberries, dried cherries, or chopped toasted pecans over the cinnamon butter before rolling up the dough.

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