Spiced Cinnamon Rolls
I've never met a soul who didn't drool over the middle of a cinnamon roll, and this recipe is my favorite after many test runs. The gooey, sticky, aromatic chunk of buttery dough makes all of the prep + rising time worth it. There are so many ways to go about a cinnamon roll, or any yeasted doughs. These sorts of recipes can seem overwhelming, with rising and proofing and science and temperature to worry about--fear not, you can make the dough work to YOUR schedule. I was not in a rush, so I gave an extra day to let flavors really develop. I have included three timeline options in the graph below. What really matters is one rise as a whole dough, and one rise as shaped rolls. I'd love to see yours on Instagram with #SKORDOFlavors!
Makes 10 large cinnamon rolls
For the dough:
- 1 ½ tablespoons instant dry yeast
- 1 ½ cups milk
- 2 eggs
- 1 stick of butter, softened
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 5 ½ cups flour
- 1 tablespoon orange zest, fresh or dried
- 1 vanilla bean pod, split (we will reserve seeds for frosting)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 5 cloves
- 5 allspice berries
- 4-6 green cardamom pods
For the filling:
- 1 cup unsalted butter, soft
- ½ cup dark brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons Ceylon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon ground cardamom
For the frosting:
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 1 stick of butter
- ½ cup confectioners sugar
- 3-4 tablespoons orange juice, or heavy cream if preferred.S
- Seeds from 1 vanilla bean, (external pod used for milk infusion used in our dough)
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- With a pairing knife, split your vanilla bean and scrape the beans. Reserve the seeds for your frosting, and use the pod to infuse the milk for your dough.
- In a medium pot, dry toast your spices until fragrant, add milk and simmer for 5-10 minutes. This can be done in advance for a deeper flavor, simply chill + reheat when ready to use.
- After cooling slightly, strain into the bowl of a standing mixer. Milk should be just warmer than body temp, no hotter than 115 degrees. Sprinkle sugar and yeast into the bowl, let sit for 5 minutes or until beginning to bubble.
- Add in the remainder of your dough ingredients except the butter.
- Mix on low speed for 2-3 minutes or until combined.
- Increase mixer to high speed, and while running add your softened butter 1 tablespoon at a time, waiting for the previous portion to be incorporated before adding another.
- Mix for an additional 8-10 minutes, remove from mixer and work into a ball.
- Lightly grease a bowl that will fit in your fridge but also hold all of your dough, add the ball of dough, tossing in bowl until coated. Cover, with room to grow. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour or until doubled.
- Punch dough down to knock air out, re-work into a ball and return to greased bowl. Chill overnight.
- After 8-12 hours, or up to 24 hours, bring your dough to room temp (or just until it’s manageable for you to roll out).
- Mix all of your filling ingredients until evenly combined, set aside.
- Punch dough down again to knock air out, and roll into a level rectangle. If you want more bigger rolls with more swirls, roll longer away from you vertically (15" wide by 24") If you prefer a larger quantity of smaller rolls, roll your dough wider horizontally (24" wide by 15").
- Leaving a 1 inch border on the top edge of your dough, spread your filling evenly across the dough.
- Starting on the horizontal side closest to you (“bottom of your dough”), begin rolling your dough, being sure to tuck tightly as you go.
- When you reach the clean border on the top edge of your roll, pinch and seal.
- With a sharp knife, portion your roll into smaller rolls. To keep them even, I make one cut in the center at half, and then continue cutting each portion into halves until I have even 2-3” cuts.
- Butter a 9x13 baking tray liberally. Place each roll cut-side down into the tray, then brush with milk or heavy cream. Cover gently, then let rise at room temperature for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
18.Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake cinnamon rolls in a mi ddle rack for 35-50 minutes or until golden brown.
19. I like a shine on my cinnamon rolls, so I boil the optional simple syrup and brush it across while theyre warm. I used to just brush butter, but these are plenttttyyyy buttery.
20. Mix your frosting by creaming your butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add your sugar and the seeds from the vanilla you scraped for dough. Finish with orange juice or heavy cream until desired consistency. Spoon onto rolls once cooled.
21. If you’re making them in advance, bake the rolls and store at room temp, saving frosting in fridge until ready to go. If you need to reheat the rolls, the frosting will melt off so I reserve it for later use.