Homemade Cinnamon Rolls & Frosting

Cinnamon rolls

Homemade, hand-rolled Cinnamon Rolls. What a breakfast treat! When you need a good recipe for homemade cinnamon rolls and want to try something new, you call your sister in Nebraska.  But if you don’t have a sister in Nebraska, you can ask me and I can give you the recipe. My sister Loretta had several choices, but she gave me her favorite recipe. I thought I had heard wrong when she listed cornmeal as one of the dough ingredients. You’ll never know when you taste these cinnamon rolls, I guarantee.

Cinnamon and brown sugar
On the far right, you’ll see the butter; the middle has brown sugar on top of the butter; the far left has all 3 layers: butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon.

So I mixed them up and let the dough rise.  Then I turned the dough out onto my countertop and added real butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Rolling them up and pinching the edges brought back so many memories of watching my mama doing her cinnamon rolls, back in the day when she sold them in packs of eight in mom-and-pop stores. Our job was to cut them – each one pound dough neatly rolled up and pinched to keep brown sugar from escaping. One quick slice in the center, then a slice on each half right down center; then another slice for each section. We could practically do it without looking because we started at a young age and learned the tricks of the trade.

So today I’m standing in my kitchen, alone, slicing across the rolled up cinnamon bun to make practically even rolls. I put the rolls into a large pan – large enough to hold an even 48, and let them rise for about an hour. One of the keys to making cinnamon rolls is to not over-bake them. If the center pops up in any of the rolls, just reach in and smush it back down where it belongs.

Cinnamon rolls with frosting

Then, when the rolls are out of the oven and still warm, drizzle the brown sugar frosting on top.

One of the secrets of this frosting is that, if you let it bubble long enough, it will begin to thicken on its own, and you won’t need to add nearly as much confectioners sugar. With this recipe, I only added 1/2 cup confectioners sugar for over 50 rolls.

The frosting mixture thickens as it bubbles.

Take your time and allow the mixture to simmer so it thickens on its own. They will be sweet enough and have less calories – but then, who’s counting?

For a variationyou can us this Caramel Topping recipe. This makes one pan of topping. Mix together 1 cup brown sugar, 3/4 cup butter, 1 Tbsp. water, 1 Tbsp. corn syrup and bring to a boil. Add pecans if desired. Put mixture in the bottom of the pan and put the cinnamon rolls on top.  bake at 375 for 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven and turn the pan over; the caramel topping will be on the top of the rolls.

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

My Windowsill
It doesn't take that long to make these rolls. Put some in the freezer for later, and serve the rest today.
Prep Time 2 hrs
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 20 mins
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 2 (9 by 13-inch) pans

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup cornmeal
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup ice water
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 rounded Tablespoons yeast
  • 2 eggs
  • Enough flour to make a soft dough 4-6 cups
  • Butter brown sugar, and cinnamon for the inside of the rolls
  • TOPPING: 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 scant cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • confectioner's sugar - 1/2 cup or more

Instructions
 

  • Combine the first 5 ingredients in microwaveable bowl and heat until dissolved
  • Add ice water and allow mixture to cool to lukewarm
  • Add yeast
  • Add eggs and 3 cups flour
  • Mix well, then add enough flour to make a soft dough
  • Let rise until double
  • Roll out and brush with butter, then sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon on top
  • Roll up tightly, pinch edge, then slice and put into pans
  • Let rise until double
  • Bake at 350 for 20 minutes

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