These homemade brown butter cinnamon rolls are rich, soft and gooey, the best and easy sweet rolls you will make at home this holiday season. The nutty and toasted flavor of brown butter enhances the taste of these baked rolls.
Cinnamon rolls or buns are one of the best sweet treats or desserts to start the morning on a happy festive note during this holiday season or any weekend morning.
Cinnamon rolls are also known as cinnamon bun, cinnamon swirl, cinnamon Danish and cinnamon snail. These rolls are sweet and served for breakfast or as a dessert commonly in Northern Europe (mainly in Scandinavia) and North America. In Sweden, it is called kanelbulle, in Denmark it is known as kanelsnegl, in Norway it is known as Kanelbolle, Skillingsboller and Kanelsnurr, and in Finland it is known as korvapuusti. Source for these names : Wikipedia.
What are Cinnamon rolls?
Cinnamon rolls are traditionally yeast-leavened dough over which a cinnamon sugar mixture is sprinkled along with butter. This dough is then rolled and cut into individual portions and fried or baked. Main ingredients used in cinnamon rolls are flour, butter, sugar and cinnamon powder.
I was first introduced to Cinnamon rolls at Cinnabon in the United States. I totally fell in love with it. People who have already tasted it definitely know what I am talking about. My love for baking, made me give these rolls a try at home. I have tried these rolls both with regular butter and brown butter. Both taste fantastic but my love towards brown butter from childhood makes me bake the rolls using brown butter frequently.
If you love brown butter and are planning to make this recipe, I would recommend making brown butter in advance.
HOW TO MAKE BROWN BUTTER?
- Cut the butter into cubes, add it to pan and melt it over medium-low heat.
- Once the butter has melted, increase the heat a little above medium.
- Keep scraping and swirling the pan using with spatula or spoon during the process.
- The butter will foam and sizzle around the edges. Slowly the bubble or foam dissolves and light brown specs will start forming at the bottom.
- Be attentive throughout as there is very few seconds between brown butter and burnt butter. Once you smell the nutty aroma of brown butter, switch off the flame. Transfer it to a heat-proof bowl immediately.
- Let it cool down completely before using it in any baking recipe.
How to make Best & Easy Cinnamon rolls or Buns or Cinnabon copycat rolls from scratch using brown butter?
In a bowl, add yeast and lukewarm milk and allow the yeast to activate. Next, add eggs, brown butter, salt, sugar, and mix. Finally, add the flour and knead to get a soft and smooth dough.
Add flour in increments. Do not add too much flour. The dough can be sticky or tacky but not too dry. This is the key to getting soft cinnamon rolls.
Best Cinnamon Rolls Filling
Filling for cinnamon rolls just uses three basic ingredients. Melted brown butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon powder.
My family loves brown butter or ghee since childhood. The nutty aroma of melted brown butter or ghee makes these cinnamon rolls and the filling incredibly delicious.
If you are out of time or want to keep the recipe simple, simply use regular salted butter.
How to roll cinnamon rolls or buns?
Once the dough has doubled in size, transfer the dough to a well-floured surface to avoid it from sticking.
Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a rectangle. Now spread the cinnamon roll filling. Fold it into a log, starting with the long side. Cut the log into 12 or 15 or as many rolls as you want depending on the desired size and the size of the baking pan you are going to use.
Leave it for a second rise just until doubled in size.
How to make cinnamon rolls or buns or cinnabons rich and gooey.
After the second rise, you will have to pour the heavy cream on risen rolls so that the cinnamon rolls are soaked in heavy cream. This will give you rich and gooey rolls or buns like the one you buy from Cinnabon.
How do you pour the heavy cream on the rolls?
First, slightly warm the heavy cream to remove the chill.
Why should I warm the heavy cream before pouring it?
Your dough generally rises in warmth and you want to continue the rise even during the baking process. So just warm the cream enough so that you can touch it. Not hot or cold. Even room-temperature heavy cream is fine.
How to make icing or cream cheese frosting for cinnamon rolls or buns?
Cream cheese frosting is my favorite when it comes to cinnamon rolls. The ingredients are pretty simple - cream cheese, butter, sugar, and vanilla extract.
You can even add brown butter and a teaspoon of cinnamon powder to enhance the taste. This is a fail-proof recipe, and I have prepared this several times.
When should I add icing or frosting to Cinnamon rolls?
I generally add it when the rolls are still warm so that it gets soaked in and makes it better.
But if you want to make it look prettier for holidays or any special occasions, simply add the frosting to the cinnamon rolls when it comes to room temperature.
Why are my cinnamon rolls or buns dry?
Too much flour in the dough will make your rolls dry and tough. Adding little flour will make it soggy and dense. The best practice is to add flour at the end in increments of a tablespoon and check the texture of the dough.
Overnight Cinnamon Rolls or Make-ahead Cinnamon Rolls or Buns
When the cinnamon rolls are ready for a second rise in the baking pan, cover and refrigerate it overnight. Next morning when you are ready to bake, pull them out of the refrigerator.
At this point, they should have doubled in size in the refrigerator. In this case, just keep it out of the refrigerator for 30 minutes to get the chill off and bake.
If for some reason, the rolls did not rise during the second rise in the refrigerator, keep them out at room temperature. Plan at least one hour of additional rise at room temperature in this case.
Then pour the heavy cream on the rolls and bake.
Frozen Cinnamon Rolls
You can freeze the cinnamon rolls dough before baking. Once the dough comes to the point of the second rise, roll the dough, spread the filling, cut them into rolls, and place it in the baking pan. Then, keep it in the freezer for one hour. Then place it in a freezer-proof Ziploc bag.
When you are ready to bake the rolls, remove from the freezer and defrost them.
To defrost, place the rolls in the refrigerator overnight. Next morning, when you want to bake it, arrange it in the baking pan and allow it around one hour at room temperature for a second rise. Then follow the same steps and bake them.
How to store cinnamon rolls?
Baked cinnamon rolls :
Baked cinnamon rolls remain fresh for a few days, say up to 3 days, at room temperature in an airtight container. This will even keep them moist and prevent them from drying out. If you keep them in the pan, cover them tightly with aluminum foil.
Uncooked cinnamon rolls :
The best way to store them is to keep the cinnamon rolls dough before the second rise in the refrigerator if you need it the next day. Freeze the rolls if you are planning to store them for a long time. Thaw, allow to rise at room temperature, and bake as needed.
What goes well with cinnamon rolls?
Cinnamon rolls are served with a cup of coffee for breakfast or as a mid-day snack or after-meal dessert. But surprisingly, I have also seen it paired with chili, and it's one of the most interesting combination.
Can you make cinnamon rolls without yeast?
Yes, cinnamon rolls can be done even without yeast. You can substitute it with an equal amount of baking powder. The amount of dough rise will be less compared to traditional rolls. Plus the rolls or buns will have a slightly denser texture and will be chewier.
Can cinnamon rolls be made eggless?
Yes. If you want a vegetarian version of cinnamon rolls - then skip the eggs mentioned in the recipe. The texture of baked cinnamon rolls will vary slightly.
Egg is mainly added to make yeast bread richer and finer, bind the ingredients, and also provide the volume.
Vegan cinnamon rolls
Cinnamon rolls can be made vegan with proper substitutes. The taste and texture will vary slightly. Substitute milk with any dairy-free milk, butter with vegan butter or coconut oil, and cream cheese with vegan (cashew) cream cheese.
Air fryer cinnamon rolls
After the cinnamon rolls are done with the second rise, preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees F. Transfer around 4 to 5 rolls depending on the size, and air fry for 5 minutes. Turn the rolls over and fry again for another 4 minutes. Repeat the steps for the remaining cinnamon rolls.
If You Are Looking For Last-Minute Holiday Season Breakfast or Dinner Menu Recipe Ideas, Check This Out
Detailed recipe for Homemade Best & Easy Cinnamon Rolls with Brown Butter and Cream Cheese Frosting (Cinnamon Danish, Cinnamon Swirl, Cinnamon Snail, Cinnamon Buns)
Best & Easy Homemade Brown Butter Cinnamon Rolls With Cream Cheese Frosting
For the dough
- 1 cup Warm milk
- 2 ¼ teaspoon Active dry yeast or Instant yeast
- 2 Eggs , room temperature
- ½ cup Salted brown butter , in melted form (check tips)
- 4 ¼ cups All purpose flour , more if needed
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- ½ cup Sugar
For the filling
- ½ cup Salted brown butter , melted
- 1 cup Brown sugar
- 2 tablespoon Cinnamon
For pouring on unbaked rolls
- ½ cup Heavy cream (optional)
For the frosting
- 8 oz Cream cheese , softened
- ½ cup Salted butter , softened
- 2 cups Confectioner's Sugar (powdered sugar)
- ½ tablespoon Vanilla extract
- In a bowl, add lukewarm milk and sprinkle yeast. Let the yeast activate. Add egg, brown butter (check tips), salt and sugar.1 cup Warm milk, 2 ¼ teaspoon Active dry yeast, 2 Eggs, ½ cup Salted brown butter, 1 teaspoon Salt, ½ cup Sugar
- Add flour in increments and knead till smooth and elastic dough is formed. You may add up to another additional ½ cup flour if needed depending on weather conditions and brand of flour you are using. You may feel the dough is sticky during the kneading process but that's ok. Don't add too much flour. This is what makes your rolls or buns softer.4 ¼ cups All purpose flour
- Transfer the dough to a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
- Let it rise in a warm place or just until doubled in size.
Step II (Prepare cinnamon filling)
- In bowl, combine brown butter, sugar and cinnamon powder. Keep this aside.½ cup Salted brown butter, 1 cup Brown sugar, 2 tablespoon Cinnamon
- Once the dough has risen, transfer it to a well-floured surface. Roll the dough into a rectangle approx. 24 inch by 15 inch dimensions.
- Using spatula, spread the cinnamon sugar mixture prepared above over the whole rectangular rolled dough.
- Starting on long end, tightly roll the dough.
- Now cut the rolls into 12 slices and place them in a 9-inch by 13-inch baking pan.
- Cover the baking pan and allow the rolls to double in size approx 20 to 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Warm the heavy cream just until you can touch it. Don't make it hot or don't use chill heavy cream.½ cup Heavy cream
- Pour this over the top of risen rolls so that the rolls soak down.
- Bake the rolls for about 20 to 25 minutes till they are light golden in color and cooked through at the center completely. The baking time may vary depending on the pan, size of rolls, type of oven, and various other factors. Have a close look at 20 minutes mark. they may take up to 27 to 30 minutes. If you feel the rolls are getting browned, cover them with aluminum foil and bake.
- While the rolls are cooling down, prepare the cream cheese frosting.
- In a bowl, add cream cheese and butter. Blend it using hand held mixer.8 oz Cream cheese, ½ cup Salted butter
- Add vanilla extract and powdered sugar and beat until just combined .2 cups Confectioner's Sugar, ½ tablespoon Vanilla extract
- Spread the frosting over the rolls when its warm if you want the frosting to soak. Alternately, spread the cream cheese frosting when the cinnamon rolls come to room temperature to make it look more prettier.
- Brown Butter Cinnamon rolls are now ready. Serve and enjoy. You can also store them in an airtight container for up to 3 to 4 days. Warm and serve as required.
- Cut the butter into cubes, add it to the pan and melt it over medium-low heat.
- Once the butter has melted, increase the heat a little above medium.
- Keep scraping and swirling the pan using the spatula or spoon during the process.
- The butter will foam and sizzle around the edges. Slowly the bubble or foam disappears, and light brown specs will start forming at the bottom
- Be attentive throughout, as there are very few seconds between brown butter and burnt butter. Once you smell the nutty aroma of the butter, switch off the flame. Transfer it to a heat-proof bowl immediately.
- Let it cool down before using it in any baking recipes.
- You can also use regular butter or salted butter instead of brown butter and prepare traditional cinnamon rolls. It tastes fantastic.
- Heavy cream can be substituted with coffee cream, evaporated milk, or even dairy-free milk.
- You can reduce the butter in the dough up to ⅓ cup if you want to cut down on fat.
- The rolls will still be soft and good without the addition of heavy cream. But adding it will make your rolls or buns rich and gooey.
If you like this best & easy cinnamon rolls recipe,
Don't miss to check out some of my delicious Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas desserts, Fall and Winter desserts, or best, easy desserts for entertaining your family or a large crowd this Holiday season.
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Mama Maggie's Kitchen
I am sooo craving right now! I wanna have these cinnamon rolls in my mouth right at this moment! It looks sooo delish.
Oh, my goodness these are gorgeous, and so decadent with the brown butter and creamy topping. I can't wait to make them.
These cinnamon rolls were so good and easy to make. Fuss-free, I usually don't bake very well and these came out fantastic. Thanks so much for your tips, I could have made them without your guidance. I will make them again, they were terrific.
These cinnamon rolls look absolutely delicious! They are so comforting, going to make them for Christmas morning!
WOW, I've been waiting to make these cinnamon rolls forever and now that it is the holidays, I can't wait to try them out. They look so perfectly puffy and simply delicious. Thank you for sharing!