Gooey Cinnamon Rolls

Is there anything more decadent in the morning than a warm, gooey cinnamon roll? With a soft, plushy crumb, spicy-sweet interior, and layer of cream cheese frosting slowly melting over it all, cinnamon rolls are the ultimate breakfast luxury. And let me just say that these are the best cinnamon rolls I’ve ever made. To be fair, I’ve only made cinnamon rolls a few times in general, but these were so good that I’m not only going to stop looking for other recipes, but I’m going to start making these more often. You can’t get a better endorsement than that!

I always start making these the night before, so that the next morning all I have to do is let them sit on the counter for a while before putting them in the oven to bake. They make the kitchen smell amazing, which is an added bonus. I will note that the thing that sets these apart from other cinnamon rolls is the extra heavy cream– you pour it over the risen rolls just before baking, and it mingles with the cinnamon and sugar to make this incredible gooey finish that takes the recipe over the top.

Gooey Cinnamon Rolls (adapted from Taste of Lizzy)

Makes 12

Dough

  • 1 cup warm milk (about 115 degrees F)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, just barely melted/softened
  • 4 1/2 cups flour (600g)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Measure out your milk, warm it (I used the microwave), then sprinkle your yeast on top. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs, sugar, and butter together until combined. Pour in milk/yeast mixture and gently mix.
  • Add flour and salt and mix to form a thick batter/soft dough. When fully combined, let rest for 5 minutes to give the flour a chance to absorb more liquid.
  • Switch to the dough hook and knead with the mixer for 7 minutes. The dough will still be extremely soft and sticky, but that’s all right.
  • Spray a new bowl with cooking spray and pour/scoop the soft dough into it. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until doubled.

Filling

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, very soft
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tbs (not a typo) ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • (for baking step: 1/2 cup heavy cream)
  • Combine all filling ingredients to form a paste.
  • Roll out dough on a well-floured board and spread filling all over– you may need to use your fingers to get it spread out completely.
  • Roll from the long side and cut into 12 pieces using thread or dental floss.
  • Spray a 9×13″ pan with cooking spray and arrange rolls in it.
  • At this point I cover my pan with foil and refrigerate it overnight, but you can proceed directly to the next step if you’re ready.
  • (if removing rolls from refrigerator) Let the rolls sit for about 20 minutes at room temperature.
  • Let rolls rise on the counter for about 20 minutes (a total of 40 if you’re working from the refrigerator), while you preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Just before baking, heat 1/2 cup of heavy cream until it feels warm to the touch, and pour over the pan of rolls.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until internal temperature reaches 190 degrees F. Let them cool for about 5-10 minutes before frosting.

Frosting

  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 2 oz. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Mix together frosting ingredients until smooth.
  • Slather over baked cinnamon rolls and eat right away (as if I could stop you!).
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