I really love this buttermilk cinnamon roll recipe! Seriously. They may be the best cinnamon rolls that I have ever had. The rolls are tender and soft with a gooey filling and thick cream cheese glaze. Mmm. These are totally happening for Christmas brunch. So delicious! I can’t wait!
There are a lot of factors that affect how much flour you need in a yeast dough – humidity, temperature, altitude and more. Rather than follow a yeast dough recipe exactly, it is best to observe the texture, look and feel of the dough to know if you need to add more flour or not. (The dough pictured above is ready to go! Soft, smooth, and slightly sticky.)
This dough is soft and smooth, but still a bit sticky. So you want to add just enough flour that the dough is slightly sticky or tacky and it begins to pull away from the sides of the mixing bowl.
Spread the butter on there – love my offset/angled spatula for this! Sprinkle on all of that cinnamon and sugar and press gently with your palm to adhere it to the dough. Start rolling that baby up before it begins to rise again!
My favorite way to cut this type of roll is with dental floss. The rolls don’t get squished and it works great!
I usually end up with some smaller sized rolls, so I put them in the center of the pan and keep the biggest rolls along the edges to help them all cook more evenly. You can try tucking the tail of each roll under the roll or kind of pin it in place with the side of the pan.
Here are my rolls after the second rise and ready to go in the oven (photo above). I probably let them get a little too big this time because in the photo below you can see how the rolls kind of exploded up while baking. 😉 Still super yummy though!
I like to make sure my cinnamon rolls are not overcooked and that they have a soft gooey center, so I take them out of the oven when the tops of the rolls are just a very light golden brown. (See photo above.)
If you double the recipe: You will want to split the dough in half and work with one batch at a time. Place all of the rolls on a large rimmed baking sheet (half sheet size) for baking.
Interested a quicker cinnamon roll dough recipe? You can try this recipe with the cinnamon roll filling. The dough is still really yummy, just a little less tender and flavorful than this buttermilk one.
For the dough, warm the buttermilk in a large glass measuring cup in the microwave on half power for about 1 minute. Add the buttermilk and butter to a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. With the mixer running, add the eggs, sugar, yeast, salt and 1 cup of the flour.
Continue adding flour until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. The dough should be very soft and slightly sticky, but not so sticky that it gets stuck to your fingers. Let it knead for about 1-2 minutes, until it forms a soft, tacky ball.
Place the dough in a large, lightly greased bowl and cover the top tightly with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled, around 2 to 2 ½ hours. (You can speed up the rising by placing the covered bowl of dough in a very lightly warmed oven.)
Meanwhile, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl until well mixed. Lightly grease a 9X13-inch baking dish. Set aside.
When the dough is ready, turn it out onto a lightly greased counter and press it into a 16 by 12-inch rectangle. Using an offset spatula, spread the softened butter evenly over the dough. Top with the cinnamon sugar mixture (leave a 1/2-inch border along top and bottom). Lightly press the cinnamon/sugar into the butter.
Lift the longest edge closest to you and begin rolling the dough into a tight log. Pinch the seam closed and roll the log so it is seam side down. Gently stretch the log to be about 15 inches long with an even diameter all throughout. Pat the ends to even them up.
Slide a piece of floss under the dough, cross the ends of the floss over the dough, then pull to cut. (Or use a serrated knife, if you prefer.) Cut the dough equally into 12 rolls. Arrange the rolls cut side down on the prepared baking pan and cover with lightly greased plastic wrap. Let the rolls rise in a warm place until doubled, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Bake at 350 degrees for 22-25 minutes, until the rolls are very lightly golden on top.
While the rolls are baking, mix the softened cream cheese and buttermilk together until smooth. Add the vanilla and mix. Whisk in the confectioner’s sugar. Add additional milk or buttermilk one teaspoon at a time until desired glaze consistency is reached. It should be thick yet pourable. Drizzle the warm rolls with the glaze. Serve.
To make these rolls ahead of time, once the rolls are formed and placed on the baking sheet, immediately cover them with lightly greased plastic wrap and refrigerate them; do not let them rise. Refrigerate overnight, up to 16 hours. Let the rolls sit at room temperature, covered, until they have doubled in size about 3-4 hours and then uncover and bake as directed. The rolls can also be frozen at the same point as mentioned above (cover with a layer of greased plastic wrap and a top layer of foil). They will need to sit at room temperature for 9-11 hours to defrost and rise before baking.
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