Soft and fluffy cinnamon rolls with tons of buttery-cinnamon filling and a just-sweet-enough cream cheese glaze on top. Perfect company breakfast!
I absolutely adore cinnamon rolls, but they’re one of those treats that I hardly ever make at home. So sad, right?! They’re SO delicious, but to have an entire dozen of cinnamon rolls just sitting around waiting to be eaten would be catastrophic here – they would be devoured in no time! So while I’ve made a plain version and a cream cheese version, I usually settle for a one-and-done cinnamon roll treat while out and about.
However, a few weeks ago, I saw this recipe for cinnamon rolls from Food52 pop up in my Facebook feed and I immediately saved it. Now that we have a house full of people over on Sundays, I figured I could make the cinnamon rolls on Saturday and would have more than enough people eager to finish them off for us… I was absolutely right :)
This is an overnight recipe, so you’ll prep the dough the day before you plan on baking the cinnamon rolls. It’s a wonderfully rich dough, full of eggs and milk, which make the cinnamon rolls incredibly soft and sweet. Perfection! I opted for a cream cheese glaze on these versus the traditional powdered sugar glaze that the recipe called for because, truthfully, there are very few times when cream cheese anything is a bad idea.
A note on the baking setup and time – my rolls were kind of squished into the 9×13-inch pan that I used, I baked them for 30 minutes, and the center rolls were slightly underdone. Now, unless we’re talking about chocolate chip cookies or brownies, I err on the side of something being overdone, however everyone else that had them agreed that they were way better a little bit underdone.
SO… that being said, if you’re like me and would like your cinnamon rolls to err on the side of more done versus less done, I would recommend either increasing the bake time, or dividing the rolls between two pans so they have more space to rise and bake in the oven.
This is a perfect recipe if you’re having overnight guests or are hosting a brunch, or maybe just want to indulge a little on the weekends. The rolls are soft and buttery, the filling is full of buttery cinnamon goodness, and the cream cheese glaze is the perfect topping.
Make the Dough: Combine the bread flour, sugar, yeast, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook. Add the eggs and milk and mix on low speed until the mixture forms a ball around the hook, about 4 minutes. Increase the speed to medium and mix until the dough is very smooth, 5 more minutes. Continue mixing the dough on medium speed and add the butter 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing well to incorporate after each addition. All of the butter should be added over 3 minutes of mixing.
Transfer the dough to a large, oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1½ hours. (The dough is very enriched, so it may not expand much.) Transfer the dough to a parchment-lined baking sheet and pat out into a 1-inch-thick rectangle about 8 inches by 11 inches. Cover directly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Make the Filling: In a medium bowl, stir together the melted butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Let the mixture firm up to a spreadable consistency at room temperature. Reserve at room temperature.
Assemble the Cinnamon Rolls: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Generously grease a 9x13-inch baking dish with softened butter.
Lightly flour your work surface, then turn the dough out onto it. Remove the parchment from the dough, and flour the top surface of the dough. Roll the dough out into a ½-inch-thick rectangle, about 12x20 inches. Dollop the prepared filling all over the dough, then use an offset spatula to spread the filling into an even layer, spreading it the whole way to the edges. Starting with the long side closest to you, begin to roll the dough into a tight spiral. Using a serrated knife, slice the finished roll into 12 equal pieces. Arrange the rolls inside of the prepared baking dish, leaving about ¼-inch of space between each one. Cover the rolls loosely with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.
Make the Egg Wash: In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and milk to combine.
Brush the top of the rolls with the egg wash and bake until they are golden on the surface and the filling is bubbly, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 15 minutes.
For the Cream Cheese Glaze: While the rolls cool, whisk together the cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Spread evenly over the cinnamon rolls. Serve warm or at room temperature.