Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

My mom is not a morning person. We had a rule in the house growing up that we were not allowed to make noise until she stirred. Particularly on the weekends. Especially on the weekends. That was Mom’s time to sleep in, no need to get up and get us to school or herself to work.

Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing | via Midwest Nice Blog

Obviously, my sisters and I being small children, we failed. Miserably. All the time. Mom would be forced to wake up early, unhappily dealing with the three of us. And our empty stomachs.

In addition to Mom’s rule about weekend morning silence, she also had a rule about weekend breakfasts. Well, not entirely relegated to weekends. School delays, bank holidays, birthdays, it applied to them all.

Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting | via Midwest Nice Blog

The rule? Make a cup of Café Vienna instant coffee and a fresh pan of cinnamon rolls. Eat them warm, then cold, then the next day. Spread a little extra canned cream cheese frosting on them. Repeat until gone.

Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting | via Midwest Nice Blog

This rule was easy to follow because my mom has kept a tube (or 3) of cinnamon roll dough in the veggie crisper of our fridge for as long as I can remember. The good kind too, with the icing in the jar, not the squeeze pack.

Unfortunately, living on my own means those rules no longer apply. I can get up as early as I want and make as much noise as I want (though making a cup of coffee is generally low volume). I can keep veggies in the veggie crisper and make my own cinnamon roll dough from scratch, with a little help from the newest issue of Bake From Scratch.

Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting | via Midwest Nice Blog

Some rules were just made to be broken.

Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing

(lightly adapted from Bake From Scratch Jan/Feb 2017)

1 cup whole milk (warmed to 105°F – 110°F), divided

1 package active dry yeast

⅓ cup unsalted butter, melted

⅓ cup sugar

¼ cup sour cream

1 large egg

4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. kosher salt

For the dough:

In a medium bowl, sprinkle yeast of ¾ cup of the warm milk. Let stand until foamy.

Whisk together the flour and salt, set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together butter, sugar, sour cream, egg, and the rest of milk.

Add half of the flour mixture into butter mixture. Stir in yeast mixture until just combined. Add in remaining flour mixture and stir to combine. Switch to the dough hook and beat at medium speed until smooth and dough pulls away from sides. Add more flour, 1 TBSP at a time, if necessary.

Turn dough out into a greased bowl and roll to coat in oil. Cover lightly and let rise for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

For the rolls:

4 TBSP (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 cup brown sugar

2 TBSP cinnamon

1 tsp. vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with baking spray, set aside.

Whisk together the brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. Set aside.

Once the dough has risen, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a large rectangle.

Spread butter over dough, leaving a small border along the edges. Sprinkle sugar mixture over the butter.

On one side of the dough, brush with a bit of egg wash, then, on the other side of the dough, start to roll into a tight log, then move back the other way. Continue until all the dough is rolled, ending seam side down, press gently.

Cut off uneven end pieces, then into 12 pieces and place in prepared pan. Cover and allow to rise for another 30 to 40 minutes.

Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through.

Remove to cool slightly before topping with cream cheese frosting, recipe follows.

Melba’s Cream Cheese Frosting

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

4-oz. cream cheese, at room temperature

1 pound bag of powdered sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

2 TBSP milk

Cream together butter and cream cheese until smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down bowl and add almost all of the powdered sugar (reserve about 1 cup), vanilla, and salt, and slowly begin to combine. Add milk, one tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached. (I like my frosting to be thick enough that if I swipe a spoon or spatula through it, it stays put.) If necessary, add reserved powdered sugar or more milk until you’re happy!

Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting | via Midwest Nice Blog

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