Monday, December 26, 2011

Quick Cinnamon Rolls

EDITED: I added pictures this year, but the pictures are of a double batch!  Doubled, the rectangle measured 9" x 26" when rolled out.  Merry Christmas! 

Happy Holidays everyone!  Growing up, my family always had Pillsbury cinnamon rolls for breakfast on Christmas morning.  They’re a treat, they’re fast, and we could eat them in the living room while we played with our new toys.  A few years ago, I got sick of how gross they were, even if they were tradition, so I decided to make them from scratch.  The first year I made the recipe from New Best Recipe, which is my all time favorite cookbook, but I didn’t care for how many ingredients there were, and they had cloves in the filling, which in my mouth didn't jive.  So I went about putting together my own version, and this is what eventually formed.  I will warn you, these are SWEET, but since we only have them once a year, they are an awesome treat, and still a great thing to eat in the living room while the next generation plays with their new toys.

You will need

For the dough-

2 cups flour ($3.29 per 5 lb, $3.29/80 oz = $.04 x 11oz = $.45)
2 ½ tsp baking powder ($1.59 per 10 oz, $1.59 per 10oz, $1.59/ 59.06 tsp = $.03 x 2.5tsp = $.07)
2 tablespoons sugar ($3.67 per 5 lb, $3.67/ 80 oz = $.05 x .94oz = $.05(ish))
5 to 6 Tbsp organic butter plus 1 to 1 ½ for brushing ($4.99 per box, $4.99/32 Tbsp = $.16 x 7.5 Tbsp = $1.17)
¾ cups organic milk ($6.35 per gallon, $6.35/128 oz = $.05 x 6oz = $.29)

For the filling-

¾ cup unpacked dark brown sugar ($.99 per 16oz, $.99/ 2.35 cups = $.42 x .75 cup = $.32)
¼ cup granulated sugar ($3.67 per 5lb, $3.67/80 oz = $.05 x 1.88oz = $.09)
2 teaspoons cinnamon ($1.97 per 2.37oz, $1.97 x .067 oz = $.13 x 2 tsp = $.26)
1 tablespoon melted organic butter ($4.99 per box, $4.99/32 Tbsp = $.16)

For the icing-

2 tablespoons organic butter, melted ($4.99 per box, $4.99/32 Tbsp = $.16 x 2 = $.32)
1 cup sifted powdered sugar ($1.77 per 32 oz, $1.77/7.5 cups = $.24)
3 tablespoons organic milk ($6.35 per gallon, $6.35/128 oz = $.05 x 1.5oz = $.08)
½ teaspoon homemade vanilla ($.01 per ml, $.01 x 2.46 ml = $.02)
Spencer uses the pastry blender to mix it up.
Heat the oven to 450.  Combine the flour, sugar, and baking powder in a bowl.  Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.  Add the milk and mix it in with a rubber spatula.  Add a bit more milk if the dough isn't cohesive (Side note- this is essentially a biscuit, so mess with the dough as little as possible or it’ll get tough).  Dust a rolling surface with flour, and pat the dough into a rectangle.  Brush the dough with 1 to 1 ½ tablespoons melted butter.

In a small bowl combine the brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and butter.  Spread this evenly over the dough, leaving a bit of room around the edge.  Press the sugar into the dough.  Roll the dough longwise into a log.  Cut the log into eight pieces by cutting in half, the cutting the halves in half to keep them uniform.  Fit the rolls into a greased 9" round cake pan.  Bake on the middle rack for about 23 minutes or until the tops are dark golden brown. 

Meanwhile, combine in a small bowl melted butter, powdered sugar (if you don’t  sift it, it looks terrible but will taste just fine), and vanilla for the icing.  Add enough milk to make the icing slightly runny.

Always a hit, there won’t be any left! Hence the lack of pictures....
Try It:

$3.59 for 8 buns

Buy It:

$2.00 for 8 buns


Worth the extra $1.59 and time, I promise.  Try It.


  1. My christmas did not involve cinnamon buns, which was very sad... mainly because I still can't find any brown sugar or molasses down here. what should I do to replace it? or do you think i can just make it with a little extra regular sugar?

  2. The first cinnamon buns I ever made were in 7th grade home ec., and we used white sugar. You can do it, but they're not as flavorful. Make a cinnamon mix like you would for cinnamon toast, and sprinkle it liberally over the dough. Good luck!