I need you to do me a favor.
Go ahead and imagine that I’ve written a pithy, humorous little anecdote about my week, my kids, my friends, and these cinnamon rolls. Got it? Thanks.
In an effort to get this recipe shared before a certain approaching holiday, I can’t really take the time to rack my brain for something witty to say. These days, the brain fog and confusion and memory loss are real problems.
But, since tomorrow is Mother’s Day, and since the culprits for my mental degeneration are the same little blessings that have given me such a special role, I’m just going to give myself a pass on writer’s block.
I love any and every reason to cook for friends and family and so I’m taking advantage of the occasion and making a big batch of cinnamon rolls to share with some of our favorite family members tomorrow (our church!).
Getting three kids and
the pastor my husband and myself (and our books, snacks, often a meal to share, and all our other random paraphernalia) out the door on Sundays isn’t a task for the fainthearted. Which is why I’ve been all but banned from doing much baking or cooking on the morning of.
Lucky for me (and our church) these cinnamon rolls can easily be made a day or two ahead. I made them this morning while also baking a couple loaves of this delicious bread.
The recipe is easy to follow and takes about 2 hours total, including rising times. The dough is the same dough I use for our sandwich loaves, and the link under ingredients (below) will take you to that recipe for steps on making the dough. I’ve also made these cinnamon rolls with raisins and without, both times so delicious.
(Make-Ahead) Cinnamon Rolls for a Crowd
- whole wheat bread dough (same dough as used for sandwich bread)
- 8 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 C brown sugar
- 1/2 C granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
- (optional) raisins
- 1 C powdered sugar
- 4 Tbsp cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- milk as needed
*This makes enough to drizzle on top. If you are more of a fan of coating the rolls, just double this recipe.
1. Follow the recipe and instructions on this recipe to make the dough. Once the dough is kneaded and smooth, place it in a lightly greased bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and let it rise 30 minutes.
2. Melt the butter in a heat safe bowl, and set aside to cool. In another small bowl, combine the sugars and the cinnamon, mixing together with a fork until well incorporated. Set aside.
3. When the dough has risen so that it has doubled in size, punch it down, and dump onto a lightly floured countertop. Divide the dough in half. Return one half to the bowl.
4. Lightly flour the countertop more if necessary, and roll the second half of the dough into a 12″x15″ rectangle.
5. Spread 3 tablespoons of the melted butter across the surface of the dough. Spread half of the sugar mixture evenly across the butter, press down slightly to adhere. If using raisins, spread them out on top of the sugar, pressing down slightly again.
6. Starting from one long side, roll the dough into a tight log. Press together the seam with your fingers to seal. If the log is thicker in the center, you can gently stretch it out to make it a uniform width.
7. Cut the log into 1-inch pieces, and place tightly together on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
8. Repeat steps 4-7 for the second half of the dough, placing the rolls on the remaining half of the baking sheet.
9. Cover the baking sheet loosely with a kitchen towel and set aside to rest for 20 minutes.
10. Drizzle the remaining two tablespoons melted butter across the cinnamon rolls. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes, or until the rolls are lightly browned and cooked through. If you are making these ahead, let the rolls cool and cover them until you are ready to frost and serve them. Just before frosting and serving them, warm the rolls in the oven for 10-15 minutes.
11. Whisk together the cream cheese and powdered sugar until well-blended and smooth. If the icing is too thick, use a tablespoon of milk to thin it out. Drizzle evenly across the tops of the warm cinnamon rolls.