These are truly the Best Cinnamon Rolls with a cream cheese frosting. A generous amount of filling rolled inside a soft, tender yeasted dough. Every bite is like the center of the roll! The perfect amount of cinnamon filling that stays in the roll with a generous amount of cream cheese icing on top!
In the bowl of a stand mixer add the warm milk then sprinkle the yeast over the surface. Whisk to break up any clumps. Allow to bloom (sit unperturbed) for 10 minutes or until bubbly.
Add the remaining ingredients for the dough to the bowl. All at once! Just dump it in there!
Fit the mixer with the paddle attachment and mix until incorporated and no lumps remain. Switch to the dough hook. Mix on medium for 3-4 minutes. The dough will pull away from the sides of the bowl and you will be able to pull a window pane. It is a stickier dough but don’t be dissuaded.
Turn out into a bowl sprayed with cooking spray. Give the dough one series of fold. Starting on one side, pull the dough up and fold it halfway towards the center. Rotate the bowl a quarter turn and repeat with each side until you have a little dough packet. Turn it seam-side down. The top should be smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and bulk proof in a warm spot for 30-45 minutes. My oven has a proof setting that I use at 85°F. When it has doubled it is done!
You can also proof the dough in the refrigerator. This is called “retarding” the dough. It will make it proof slower but the cold dough will be easier to work with.
Make the Filling:
While the dough proofs, make the filling. In a bowl, mix together butter, sugar and cinnamon. Mix until a paste forms. Set aside.
Assemble the Cinnamon Rolls:
Cover your counter generously with flour and turn out your dough onto the counter. A bowl scraper or rubber spatula helps here because the dough is sticky. Sprinkle a generous amount of flour on top of the dough and flour a rolling pin.
Roll the dough out into a rectangle 12 inches long by 10 inches high. (Try to keep those sharp corners! It’s harder than it looks but it’s good to have goals, right?) Once you have your rectangle, spread your filling with an offset spatula. Sometimes it is necessary to let your fingers join the party to help spread/hold the dough. I purposefully keep a border on the top and the bottom edge.
Starting at the bottom edge (12 inches across) start to roll away from you. Seal the top edge. Cut approximately 1 inch pieces with a knife (or your bench scraper). This makes 12 rolls. You can also cut the log into 8 equal pieces for larger rolls.
Spray a 9 “ x 11” baking dish with cooking spray and then place the cinnamon rolls about 2 inches apart. I offset them so I have a row with 2 and then one in the center followed by another row of 2 and so on. This gives them space to proof and grow without crowding.
Cover with plastic wrap and place back in your warm spot to proof an additional 20-40 minutes. I proofed 20 and then remove the dish to another spot and preheat my oven to 350°F convection. The smaller rolls will proof and bake faster than 8 larger ones.
Remove the plastic wrap and bake 350°F for approximately 15-20 minutes. Mine baked 18. They will be golden brown around the edges and a bit on top and the centers will no longer look or feel doughy. You can also test with a cake tester. It should come out clean.
Allow to cool before icing.
Make the Icing & Frost:
Mix all the ingredients for the icing together. I find a spatula easier than a whisk to incorporate the cream cheese. I kept mine a bit thicker so that I could spread it on the cinnamon rolls still warm from the oven. A little bit of heaven on earth to be sure!
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