Want to make a lot of friends? Tell them you make homemade cinnamon rolls for Christmas. I started making this cinnamon roll recipe from Paula Deen about four years ago (Click here for the original recipe), and now they are expected every Christmas morning.
I have modified the recipe slightly because some year they didn’t turn out. What I realized is the order you add the ingredients really matter. Why? Because salt will kill your yeast, and hot melted butter will scramble your egg. I found waiting until the end to add these ingredients has made this recipe foolproof.
These cinnamon rolls freeze really well! All you do is make the dough. Then spread the cinnamon filling all over it, and roll the dough up. Slice your rolls, and put them in an aluminum pan (I like the 8×8 pans because they fit easily into a freezer bag). Let them rise another 30 minutes, place the pan in a freezer bag, and freeze for up to 2 months. What!?!
When you are ready for cinnamon rolls Christmas morning, take the rolls out of the freezer. Then pop these babies into the oven at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes! Whip up the glaze while they bake and done!
I was jittery for about two hours after I ate this decadent rolls. Note to self, eat some protein with these sugar bombs…
You can also make these on Christmas Eve and skip the whole freezing process. Instead of putting the pans in the freezer, leave them in the fridge overnight. They will proof slowly and will be ready by morning.
Freezer Friendly Cinnamon Rolls
It’s very important to add the ingredients in the order listed!
- Prep Time: 2 hours
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
- Yield: 18–20 1x
- Category: Breakfast
- 1/4 ounce yeast packet (2 1/4 teaspoons)
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 3 1/2–4 cup all-purpose flour (start with 3 1/2 and add more if the dough is to sticky to handle)
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup butter, softened (softened butter is not a messy as melted butter when you roll it up!)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cup powdered sugar
- 5 Tablespoons warm water
- Activate the package of yeast in the 1/2 cup warm water in a large bowl (or mixing bowl if you have a standing mixer) and let the yeast bloom for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the milk, sugar, egg, and flour to the bowl and mix together until a tacky dough forms.
- Add the melted butter and salt and mix again until the dough comes together. Transfer to a floured cutting board to knead for 5 minutes (If you’re using a standing mixture, just add your dough hook attachment and knead on low for 5 minutes).
- Put the dough back into the bowl, cover with a kitchen towel, and let the dough rise for 1-1 1/2 hours (If you are using a standing mixer just leave the dough in the bowl to rise).
- Mix together the filling ingredients (butter, sugar, and cinnamon) and set aside.
- Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down, and place it on a flour surface.
- Roll the dough into a big rectangle about 1/4 ” thick.
- Spread the filling all over the dough in an even layer.
- Roll the long side of the rectangle into a long log. Using a serrated knife, slice the rolls into around 1 1/4″ rolls. You should get about 15-20 rolls.
- Place the rolls in a baking pan of your choice. (If you plan on freezing them I like using an 8×8 aluminum pan).
- Let the rolls rise another 30 minutes*.
- When you are ready to bake the rolls preheat the oven to 350 degrees (even if the rolls have been frozen)
- Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown on top.
- While the rolls bake make the glaze by mixing together the vanilla, powdered sugar, and water.
- Pour the glaze all over the hot rolls, and serve!
*If you want to make these rolls the night before you bake them, place them in the refrigerator at this step. They will rise slowly over night, and be ready to bake in the morning.
*If you are freezing the rolls, after you let them rise the 30 minutes place the rolls in a freezer bag/container and freeze for up to 2 months. When your ready to make them preheat your oven to 350 and bake for 30-35 minutes (don’t forget to make your glaze!)!