Better than Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls


Well good morning my fellow foodies! Today began on a wonderful note, why you ask? I will tell you. My amazingly talented and awesome daughter (can you tell I kinda love her?) brought me an oven fresh cinnamon roll and hot cup of coffee in bed this morning. What an amazing way to start the day right? She also, being the good blogger daughter she is, wrote up a post to share with you all. So here you go……

Well, hello there, fellow foodies! I’ve got another delicious guilty pleasure breakfast for you! 
Two words: Cinnamon Rolls. 
I wasn’t able to sleep last night, and around 3:30 am, I decided that I wanted to make breakfast to surprise my family. So off to google I went, and about ten or so minutes later, I knew I had to make cinnamon rolls. It’s one of the things our household shares a love for, so what better way to start the day?
There’s actually a pretty interesting story behind me making cinnamon rolls. I’ve only made them one other time, while my mom and I were living in Poway, CA. I was in my first semester of my sophomore year of high school, and I needed a “make-up” dish for my cooking class since I had missed a kitchen day. After hours of searching online, I decided to make cinnamon rolls. I read the recipe and thought it sounded like fun. It was one that you made from scratch with yeast and water. My mom was going to be at a friend’s house that weekend, so I figured I’d make them then since our apartment was tiny and I didn’t want her to stress out from seeing a messy kitchen (and if you’ve ever baked, you know that it can get ridiculous).
 Now, if you’re from beautiful Southern California, you know that there are wildfires almost every year. Well, it just so happened that the morning I was to make my rolls, a wildfire started a few miles away. However, I did not know this until I had gotten the dough all ready and turned on the television while I was waiting for it to rise. At first, I was a bit stressed, but, being only sixteen at the time, I thought “No way in hell is it gonna reach here.” 

Wrongoooo!! Not long after I put the rolls in the oven (and they looked absolutely perfect, I was so excited), the news anchor announced that Poway was to evacuate immediately. 
Many profanities ran through my head, and I quickly picked up the phone and called my friend to ask if her and her mother could come get me because I was alone. I packed a weekend bag, and just as I was headed out the door, the timer for the rolls went off. I took them out of the oven and was devastated because they looked amazing, but they were much too hot to take with me. I covered them in tin foil, heaved a sigh, and headed out the door. By the time they got the fire under control and my mom and I were able to safely return to our apartment, the rolls were stale…but we ate them anyway, and guess what? THEY WERE DELICIOUS!! My mom told me then, and has told me several times since, that my rolls were better than Cinnabon, but for some reason, I never made them again.

It took me a little while to find the perfect recipe, and when I did, it was one that you would make in a bread machine. However, I have no clue how to use a bread machine, and my mom was still asleep, so I decided to pull from my memory and make the dough without one. After I made them and let them cool down a little (5 minutes TOPS! You want these bad boys to be hot, just not hot enough to scorch your mouth!), I took one in to my mom and upstairs to my brother, who had been up when I had the brilliant plan. Seth scarfed it down, taking a breath every now and then to say “Oh my God”, which was no surprise. Out of all of us, I think he’s the one who loves cinnamon rolls the most. My mom had still been sleeping, so she set it on her bedside table until she woke up a little more. When she got around to eating it, she loved it, making me a very happy little baker!

Cinnamon Rolls

1 cup warm milk
2 eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup margarine, melted
4 ½ cups all purpose flour, sifted
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup white sugar
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 ½ tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, softened
3 ounces of cream cheese, softened
¼ cup butter, softened
1 ½ cups confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt

1.       Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk in a large bowl. Mix in the sugar, margarine, salt, and eggs. Add the flour in quarters and mix well. It will get a little tough, but keep at it until it’s well mixed! If it starts to get way too hard to mix anymore, dust your hands with some flour and finish mixing it by hand.
2.       Knead the dough into a large ball and put it back into the bowl. Cover it with a dish cloth and let it rise in a warm place for about an hour, or until doubled in size.
3.       Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
4.       Roll dough into a large rectangle (Make sure not to roll it too thin, or it will rip when you roll it up). Spread dough with the softened butter and sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture evenly over it. Roll the dough up and cut into 10 rolls, discarding the two end bits. This will leave you with 8 good sized rolls.
5.       Place rolls in a lightly greased 9×13 inch baking pan. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about thirty minutes.
6.       Bake rolls in preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes. While rolls are baking, beat together the ingredients for the frosting. Spread or drizzle it on warm rolls before serving.
I hope you enjoy this recipe!!
Inspired by a recipe from

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About Bobbi Burleson

Mom to 2 kiddos and one little Westhighland Terrier. A So Cal girl at heart, I now live with my boyfriend/sous chef in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. I am a writer, recipe developer, photographer, and lover of wildlife, the out of doors, and scrapbooking. My philosophy is to hold those you love close and enjoy each and every moment you can. Oh, and eat mac and cheese, you can never have too much mac and cheese!

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