Cinnamon Rolls

November 23rd, 2005 by Potato

Yield: 2 dozen; Oven temp: 350°F


4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
½ cup shortening
8 tsp baking powder
¼ cup white sugar
2 cups milk
1 egg
4 tsp cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup melted butter


    1. Blend flour, salt, baking powder and sugar. Cut in shortening. Mix egg and milk together, then add to dry ingredients.

    2. Knead dough with extra flour, roll out to ¼” thick.

    3. Spread melted butter over dough. Cover with cinnamon and brown sugar.

    4. Roll up tightly, cut into ½” thick slices

    5. Place on a greased pan and bake on second highest shelf in a preheated 350 F oven for 20-25 minutes.

Here’s a picture of what they look like in the oven a little over halfway done (they’ve risen about as much as they’re going to, but they have a lot of browning left to do):

Cinnamon rolls in the oven halfway done

I love cinnamon rolls. They’re a staple in my family, passed down from my paternal grandmother (though details may have changed over the years, such as replacing yeast with baking powder). I first cracked them out for the world at large in middle school in home ec, where they went over fairly well. By the way, does anyone remember what home ec was actually called? I got so used to calling it that that I totally can’t remember what the North York school board called it.

Anyhow, this basic recipe tastes really good, especially with a tiny bit of margarine to flavour up that outside layer that only has sugar on one side. They last for about 3 days in tupperware, up to a week in the fridge. Microwaving for a few seconds on low power will soften them up.

A few notes on method:
When rolled out, the dough is roughly 30 cm by 50 cm (your dimensions will vary depending on how you perfer to use your rolling pin). You can either roll it up along the long side for about 15 really large rolls, or along the short side for about 24 smaller rolls. Personally, I prefer a few large rolls since you get proportionately more inside bits. Yum!

You need to watch your placement in the oven: if you use the bottom shelf then you’ll overbrown the bottoms, and even melt the sugar and caramalize them. That’s not desireable, but unfortunately it can still happen if the sugar falls down between the rolls. This often happens when you don’t use enough butter/margarine for the amount of sugar filling, which causes it to fall to the bottom during baking and caramalize. It can happen for other reasons, and I’m still trying to figure them all out so that I can prevent it from happening. While it seems to be random and unfortunate, it is pretty rare for me… but when it does happen, it hits the whole batch. One thing that can help prevent it is ensuring that you roll the dough up really tightly after spreading the filling.

When placing them on the pan, give them some space as they will expand by about a centimetre on all sides. I give them at least that much room so that they come out perfectly round. My mom, however, crowds them a little, spacing them by only about half a centimeter, so that she can fit the whole batch on one pan. They come out a little square that way from touching, and you’ll have to cut them apart at the end, but they do taste just as good.

One Response to “Cinnamon Rolls”

  1. Potato Says:

    I was passing by Cinnabon in the mall recently, and while the smell coming out of that place is absolutely intoxicating, I really don’t like their cinnamon rolls very much. Then tonight it hit me: they’re different foods. A lot of people call my cinnamon rolls “sticky buns”, but they’re not sticky and gooey and disgusting, and they’re also not stretchy and yeasty. These are flaky and delicate. Thinking back, I can’t really think of any commercial bakeries where cinnamon rolls like this were sold except on PEI, so I wonder if it’s a regional thing (what made me wonder that is another page, lost now to the vagarities of the firefox cache, that said cinnamon rolls, or sticky buns, are sometimes called “Philadelphia sticky buns” — definitely suggesting some sort of regional difference to me).