Cinnabon Copycat – Our Christmas Morning Breakfast

I am sorry for my absence. I have been under the weather. I am better now and ready to cook! Christmas morning things are chaotic. So this is what I make for breakfast because these can be made the night before and then just thrown in the oven in the morning while you open presents. I always serve these cinnamon rolls with this yummy savory breakfast casserole which can also be prepared the night before. Yes, these rolls taste so much like the original that the first time I made them I was almost giddy that I actually made THE “Cinnabon” rolls!

Cinnabon Rolls
Cinnabon Copycat – Our Christmas Morning Breakfast

Ingredients

  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 4 1/2 cups bread flour or regular flour (bread flour makes for a lighter cinnamon roll)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 pkg yeast (1/4 ounce, not instant yeast)
  • Filling:
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • Icing:
  • 3 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Microwave milk for 45-60 seconds in the microwave. Dissolve yeast in warm milk in a large bowl. Add sugar, butter, salt, eggs, and flour. Mix well. Knead dough into a large ball, using your hands dusted lightly with flour. Put in a bowl sprayed with cooking spray and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place about 1 hour or until dough has doubled in size. *Our house is so cold I have a hard time getting things to rise. If I turn on the oven and then put the rolls on top of the stove, the oven generates enough heat for them to rise.
  2. In a small bowl, thoroughly combine brown sugar and cinnamon. Spray surface with cooking spray or sprinkle flour on it. Roll dough into a 16x21 inch rectangle about 1/4 inch thick. Spread dough with 1/3 cup softened butter and sprinkle evenly with sugar/cinnamon mixture. Roll up dough starting with the longer side and cut into 12 large rolls (or 18 smaller rolls). Place rolls in a lightly greased 9x13 inch glass baking dish. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes. *After this I would put them in the refrigerator for the next morning if you are doing them the night before.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake rolls in preheated oven until golden brown, about 18-20 minutes. While rolls are baking, beat together cream cheese, butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Spread frosting on while they are still warm so that the frosting melts into the roll. That's what the Cinnabon people do (I asked them). Makes 12-18 rolls.

Notes

Source: Allrecipes and my friend Amanda

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Comments

  1. I made this, and it was freaking awesome! My family loved it!

  2. Should the cinnamon rolls be refrigerated if they aren’t all eaten? (I know, I know, slim chance of that!)

  3. Aside from the icing, this recipe is almost exactly like the one I use for my copycat cinnabon recipe. In fact, I just made some yesterday. I love how much icing you put on yours. YUM!

  4. JUST found your blog today, and you READ my MIND with your Christmas breakfast menu!!! This is our first Christmas at home (both families live FAR away!) in our 5 years of marriage and with two little kiddos… I am just giddy with anticipation of Christmas morning! This just fuels the flame!! Thanks!

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. These look really good, and I have been wanting to make homemade cinnamon rolls. I have one question though:
    If I refrigerate them the night before do they need to sit at room temperature before putting in the oven?

    **I was the one who deleted the previous comment. I wanted to use my other account instead. Sorry! :)

  7. @Larissa,
    You do not have to let them sit at room temperature. I will let them sit out while I’m preheating the oven but I have stuck them in straight from the fridge before too and they may just take an extra minute. Good luck!
    Christy

  8. I made the casserole on Christmas Eve and froze it. Everyone loved it and it was so nice to have it ready to throw in the oven.
    Thanks for the recipe!s

  9. Lol, Christy- this just shows how long I’ve been reading your blog! I remembered you posting about a couple recipes for Christmas morning… didn’t realize how long ago that was! I’ve loved watching your blog grow over the years. Thanks for all the great recipes and entertaining stories! Congrats on the new little one and best of luck with your sweet family. ps, I emailed you LONG ago asking for a brownie recipe- kinda like the ones “grandma’s” make with frosting all fudgy. At the time you didn’t have one, but wanted to let you know “brownies for a crowd” was PERFECT and is a staple in our home :)

  10. Do you think I could make these two nights before? I want to take them to my in-laws for Christmas morning, but can only do it two nights in advance… what do you think?

  11. J Davis,
    Sorry. It’s probably too late but I think you could get away with making them 2 days in advance.

  12. Hilary,
    So you HAVE been around a while! it does se like I just posted about these. Glad the brownies turned out for you guys! Christy

  13. These were GREAT! I put a little twist and diced some apples and sauteed them with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and some maple syrup and loaded up the dough with them before I rolled… they were amazing, best cinnamon rolls I’ve made or had yet. My family and friends went crazy! Thanks!

  14. How many does the casserole serve and what size of casserole dish would you use?

  15. I made these today and they are amazing- identical to Cinnabon. Thanks!

  16. Made these for Easter Brunch – EXCELLENT. I hid two away so that Hubs & I could have them for tomorrow! The rest are totally wiped out, thank you for a great recipe!

  17. hi have one question…when you roll up the dough…the size is 16×12 oe 16×21…i tried but there was no way i can roll it up to the 16×21 size…..please help me…thank u so much

    • And when I mixed the brow sugar and the ground cinnamon together…there are lots of hard balls of the mix formed…is it ok to put those balls on the dough before rolling or I have throw those and add more sugar and ground cinnamon?

  18. @Anonymous,
    You should try to roll it out to 16X21 but these are very forgiving. As long as you have some shaped rectangle they will work.

  19. @Anonymous,
    Sometimes brown sugar gets balls in it but it will be fine and dissolve while baking.

  20. Inquisitive

    None of the recipe indicates servings. I’d like to know in order to prepare enough for football team, Sunday School class, etc. Thanks.

  21. @Anonymous,
    The servings were hidden in the directions so I added it at the end as well to make it more clear. This recipe makes 12 large cinnamon rolls or 18 smaller ones.

  22. God I Love cinnamon :)

  23. This was very good, but the icing was very sweet. I ended up changing the icing to only include 1 cup of powdered sugar and it was perfect.

  24. The recipe was so good that everybody in my family ate it.The icing was even terrific like the store it doesn’t need to be change.You know you said 1 c brown sugar and 2 1/2 T ground cinnamon that was too much and including the butter too.I like that the recipe needs less than what the recipe says.Good recipe!

  25. Hi, thank you for sharing this recipe. How long should I knead the dough for? Thank you!

  26. I’ve made this twice and it just doesn’t seem to be working for me. I’ve never made anything that requires dough to rise. Could that be my problem? Also, I just realized I was rolling it wrong, ughh. Maybe that’s why it didn’t work out for me, too thick. I’ll give them one more try.

  27. @Kalmo,
    I just knead it for a couple of minutes with my Kitchen Aid or by hand…

  28. @Pinky,
    Yeast can be tricky. To get it to rise make sure that your yeast is fresh and not expired. Make sure that your milk is warm enough to make the yeast rise but not too hot so that it kills the yeast. Make sure when you are letting the dough rise that it’s in a warm area. We keep my house cold so I’ve found a warm spot so my dough will rise.

    • I found that my house is always too cool also to get a good rise, so I always let things rise in the oven just with the oven light on, not the stove itself. It works great! I am going to try your recipe, as I love making any kind of buns. Would instant yeast work as well? Then there is no need to proof it.

  29. I am making these this morning for Thanksgiving breakfast :) they are in the oven & smell soooo yummy! Thanks for the recipe!

  30. I made this yesterday and had them for Sunday breakfast today – everyone LOVED them. It is also cold in my house, instead of turning on the stove to get the dough to rise, I put them on my dryer while I was doing laundry… It worked like a dream!

    We loved these so much and would like to do them again, but the recipe makes too much for me and my boyfriend to eat in one day. Do you think these would freeze well if I froze them before baking?

  31. Thanks so much for this recipe, my uber picky husband LOVED them . Thanks again and Merry Christmas from Visalia Ca.

  32. Made these for Christmas morning. they were delicious

  33. When I need dough to rise and it is cool in the house (never too cold in Houston), I just turn the light on in the oven and put the dough in there. Watch carefully as sometimes it will rise too quickly – just turn the light off and leave it in the oven.

  34. Glenn Brichacek says:

    These rolls were incredible! With my daughter’s first bite, she proclaimed: “Oh my!” My wife simply said, “Wow! Wow!” Thank you!

  35. Hi, just stumbled across this site. Want to ask a question: my problem is in the filling. I have experienced the cinnamon sugar mixture to melt out of the rolls during baking and then it bubbles in the bottom of the pan and burns. Is there a trick to making it stay?

  36. Hi,
    I really want to try this. I normally use my danish recipe, but this one seems fantastic. What is confectioner’s sugar…. Powered sugar?
    Thank you , and have a great day
    Jannie

  37. I must say that I have been searching the web for years to find a recipe like yours….the texture of the dough its just perfect, although I did had to add some more flour to it, still they are just as I remember. I must say my perfect cinnamon roll recipe search is finally over….I will try some other of your recipes :D

    Thank you for taking time to post your recipes I imagine its a bit of work but do not stop :D

  38. I was searching for an easy recipe to make my first ever batch of cinnamon rolls, and these were perfect! I followed your recipe for the dough and then used The Pioneer Woman’s icing… every last one was gone within an hour of coming out of the oven! You can bet I’ll be making these again in th future!

  39. I just came across your site a few weeks ago and wanted to let you know I LOVE IT!!!!! Your recipes are easy to follow and you have some delicious things, thanks for all the hard work!!!!

  40. Shelly Vera Cruz says:

    What kind of yeast do you use? I tried to make it ahead using rapid rise yeast & it didn’t rise the second time. It was ok but not as good as when I made it fresh. I would love to make this a day ahead and bake in the morning for breakfast but it didn’t taste as good that way and I’m wondering if it’s the yeast. If not, any other suggestions you have would be great!

    Thanks!!

    Shelly

    • Instant yeast will only rise one time. It should be added along with the other dry ingredients. If you proof the yeast in the milk that begins the action of the yeast and you must move fast to continue the rise of the flour. Try using Active Dry Yeast. You must proof Active Dry Yeast first, but the yeast will continue to be active well into the second rise cycle. Proofing the yeast also tells you if your yeast is still good. If it does not proof, then get some new yeast. Better to know your yeast is bad before you commit it to the other ingredients then after.

  41. These are wonderful! The only problem I had was the rolls not wanting to get done in the middle but were already turning brown. What am I doing wrong?

  42. Hi – I just had to let you know that I made these rolls for our Christmas morning breakfast and they were absolutely delicious! They looked so much like store brought rolls I had to photograph them! I live in New Zealand and just love your recipes. I have tried several and they have all been great. Thanks!

  43. Hello, I am made these and they came a bit dry. They rose the first time and a bit the second but they were dry. What did I do wrong?

  44. I always sift the flour and then measure it for my recipes. I do that to standardize my recipes. That technique did not work here. The dough was too wet, and I had to add extra flour. I’m assuming that you are not sifting the flour. Please confirm that you are not sifting the flour. I also add vital wheat gluten to the all purpose flour to make bread flour. All thing considered, the buns were great, the esthetics were not, but the taste was great. The esthetics failure was due to my technique not yours.

  45. Has anyone tried making these and freezing them? I wonder if they will taste okay if they have been frozen and then baked. I have made them several times and they are a hit! I would like to take them to a family gathering, but need several batches so freezing would help out a great deal!