Cinnamon Rolls with Vanilla Bean-Cream Cheese Icing

Cinnamon Rolls | The Blonde Buckeye

Do you know what you’re having for breakfast on Christmas morning? Now you do (whether you celebrate Christmas or not…). I have never actually made Cinnamon Rolls from scratch. I know, it’s kind of crazy. I guess there are several reasons that I haven’t… Like the fact that there’s only 2 of us, there’s not a huge need for a giant batch of cinnamon rolls. As much as I’d like to eat them everyday, it’s just not a good idea. Second, this may come as a shock, but my husband isn’t that into sweets. He likes a good chocolate chip cookie or some ice cream every now and then, but items like ‘pastries’ are definitely not at the top of his list. For some reason though I just wanted some, so I made a half batch. It was the perfect amount; it made about 10 smallish rolls (or you could make 4-5 large ones too). If you’re making them for more people, just double the recipe and use a larger pan.

Cinnamon Rolls | The Blonde Buckeye

They are also known to be pretty time-comsuming. Make the dough, letting it rise, rolling the dough, letting it rise again… This just seems like a lot of waiting! Macarons, I can deal with. But this seems excessive. The answer? Rapid rise yeast. Make these babies in just about an hour. And let me tell you, sooo worth it! So fluffy, and buttery, and cinnamon-y, and cream cheese-y, and vanilla-y. Seriously.

Cinnamon Rolls | The Blonde BuckeyeCinnamon Rolls | The Blonde BuckeyeCinnamon Rolls | The Blonde Buckeye

Cinnamon Rolls with Vanilla Bean-Cream Cheese Icing
Makes 10 small rolls, or 5 large, using an 8" x 8" dish
  • 1¾ cups All-purpose Flour
  • 2 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
  • 1½ teaspoon 'Rapid Rise' Yeast (or instant)
  • ¼ teaspoon Salt
  • ½ cup Milk (I used 2%)
  • 2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 1 Egg Yoke
  • ¼ cup Granulated Sugar
  • ¼ cup Brown Sugar, packed
  • 4 teaspoons Cinnamon
  • ¼ Unsalted Butter, completely softened
  • ¼ cup Unsalted Butter, completely softened
  • 2 ounces Cream Cheese, softened
  • ½ teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste (or seeds from a Vanilla Bean)
  • ¾ cup Powdered Sugar
  • Splash of Milk
  2. In the bowl of an electric stand mixture, combine the flour, sugar, yeast and salt, mix until combined. Set aside.
  3. Combine the butter and milk in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat on high for about 45 seconds, then remove the bowl and stir. If the butter is not completely melted, microwave for an additional 20 seconds. The milk/ butter mixture should be warm, but not hot (between 115-120 degrees F).
  4. Stir the milk mixture and the egg yoke into the flour mixture by hand until just combined. Place the bowl on the stand mixture, fitted with the dough hook, and mix on medium-low (about a 4) for about 5 minutes (the dough should be formed in a ball at this point). Remove bowl from mixture sand cover the bowl with a damp towel. Let it rest for 10 minutes.
  5. While dough is resting, prepare an 8" x 8" (square or round) baking dish with nonstick cooking spray or greasing the sides and bottom with butter. Also make the filling at this time by adding the granulated sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon into a bowl and mix until combined.
  6. When the dough is ready, place it on a floured work surface. Roll it out into about an 9" x 5" rectangle. Spread the softened butter on top of the dough, then sprinkle the cinnamon mixture out evenly on the top (leaving about 1¼" edge without the filling). Roll up the dough tightly and pinch the seam the best you can (start with the shorter side if making large rolls and the longer side if making smaller rolls). Using a piece of dental floss, place it under the dough in the place you want to cut it, and pull each end the opposite way to 'cut' the dough into 10 (or 5) even pieces. Place the rolls into the prepared baking dish, evenly spaced, leaving some space in between each one for spreading. Turn the oven to 200 degrees F - then turn it off, cover dish with the damp towel and place it in the oven to rise for about 25 minutes (crack the door open with the handle of a wooden spoon).
  7. While dough is rising, make the icing. In a medium bowl, whisk together the butter, cream cheese and vanilla bean paste or beans until smooth. Add in about half of the powdered sugar, mixing until combined. Then add the rest, along with the milk, mixing until a smooth consistency (but not too liquidy). Add more milk if needed.
  8. Once the rolls have risen, remove the pan from oven and remove towel. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Once the oven is ready, bake the rolls for about 16-18 minutes, or until they are cooked through and edges start to turn golden. Allow to cool for about 5 minus before adding the icing.
* Leftovers can be keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days and re-heated in the microwave
* Adapted from Gimme Some Oven



  1. Whoa. These look so legit. Can’t wait to try this rapid-rise yeast thing! My impatience always gets the better of me.

  2. Good info. Lucky me I discovered your site by accident (stumbleupon).
    I’ve saved as a favorite for later!

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