cinnamon rolls

How do you like your cinnamon rolls? I like mine a bit toasted and crisp on the outside, not so sweet and with a strong cinnamon taste. Call me weird but I am not really into Cinnabon’s nor Cinnzeo’s cinnamon rolls…I just find them too sweet….can’t recall the texture of Cinnzeo’s cinnamon rolls anymore but I can still remember how mushy Cinnabon’s are.

When we were still living in Queenstown, I had no problem satisfying my cinnamon roll cravings. Our flat was a few steps away from Ikea (Alexandra) and they have swedish cinnamon rolls paired with coffee for only $1.00. I would often bring Cloud there after his afternoon nap and it’s a win-win place for us both. I get to have my cinnamon roll fix and he could play with the wardrobe’s sliding doors. My son was so into trains and elevators then that his play would only be about doors opening and closing.

I tried the Pioneer Woman’s no-knead cinnamon rolls a few years ago and although it tastes equally good, the dough is too soft and sticky that I had a hard time rolling it. The waiting time between steps were also too long. I find myself thinking about them for a long time which is not good for someone who cannot multitask like me.

The recipe I will share with you is a family favorite. It’s from my Maya Kitchen cookbook, a gift from my mom and given to all girls in our family. The recipe includes a glaze but I never tried doing it with a glaze yet. I find it perfect the way it is and I’m not really into extra sweetness and calories so I choose to omit this…all the time! Since we are only a family of four, 2 adults and 2 kids…I also divide them into two pans. I refrigerate and bake the other half 1-2 days after so I’ll have fresh cinnamon rolls on those days.

Cinnamon Rolls with Caramel Glaze (slightly adapted from The Complete Guide to Baking by The Maya Kitchen)

  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 5 tsp yeast or 1 sachet
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 5 1/2 to 6 cups all-purpose flour, unsifted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 cup sugar (I only use 1/2 cup)
  • 3 tbsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup raisin (I omit and replace with chopped walnuts or cashew nuts)

Caramel Glaze

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup water


  • In a saucepan, scald milk together with sugar, salt and butter. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water (I put additional 1/2 tsp of sugar here to make sure that yeast will have something to feed on; make sure that water is not too hot so it won’t kill the yeast). Set aside for a few minutes and wait for bubbles to appear.
  • Add in milk mixture (make sure milk mixture is not too hot).
  • Gradually mix in 3 cups of flour.
  • Beat in 1 whole egg and 1 egg yolk.
  • Add more flour to form a dough that is easy to handle. Knead dough on a floured surface until smooth and elastic (if it’s your first time to make bread, please watch some youtube videos on how to knead…it will help a lot!:)
  • Transfer to a greased bowl then cover with a damp cloth or cling wrap and let it rise until double in bulk.

————around  1 hour waiting time——————

  • Punch down dough and knead briefly to expel air.
  • Roll out dough into a rectangle.
  • Brush with butter. Combine sugar, and cinnamon. Sprinkle over dough.
  • Sprinkle nuts and/or raisins.
  • Roll up dough from the narrow side (if you want giant cinnamon rolls) or wide side (for regular sized cinnamon rolls).
  • Pinch edges to seal. Cover with cling wrap and let rest for 15-20 minutes.
  • Cut roll into equal parts (number of parts would depend on how big you want them to be…6 equal parts if you want a giant one).
  • Arrange rolls on a well-greased rectangular pan. Cover and let rise until doubled.
  • For egg wash: combine egg white and 1 teaspoon water. Brush over rolls and bake in a preheated 350F oven for 30-35 minutes or until brown.
  • Remove from pan and cool.
  • Prepare Caramel Glaze: Caramelize sugar in a saucepan. Add butter and water then let boil until thick.Drizzle over baked cinnamon rolls.

Edited: 7Jul2018 : added resting stage after rolling to produce softer rolls.