Thursday, February 28, 2013

Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls

Sometimes we all need to eat something so decadent that you gain weight by just looking at it. Cinnamon rolls are my first choice of instantaneous weight gain food. There is something so comforting about those warm, fluffy rolls drenched in icing. You can clearly see that I do not delicately drizzle the icing.

After making this recipe, I'll never use another! There are so many cinnamon roll recipes out there with cream cheese icing but this recipe actually incorporates cream cheese into the dough. The tart cream cheese icing clearly comes out in this dough. Furthermore, this dough is brioche-like which means that it is fluffier and not so bready like so many cinnamon rolls.

This is not the easiest recipe, but every minute is worth it! One of the best things about this recipe is that it allows you to refrigerate the dough overnight and bake it in the morning.

Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls
adapated from Saveur
I don't have a Kitchen Aid mixer, so I adapted this recipe to not use one. The original does however make life easier with the use of a Kitchen Aid mixer.
makes 8 rolls

1/4 cup of water
1 (1/4-oz.) package active dry yeast
1/2 tsp. plus 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk, at room temperature
2 tbsp. light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 3/4 cups flour, sifted, plus more for kneading
3/4 tsp. fine salt
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. fine salt
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
2 tbsp. maple syrup
4 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
2 cups confectioners' sugar
¼ cup buttermilk

In a large bowl, combine yeast, 1/2 tsp. of the sugar, and 1/4 cup water heated to 115°F. Stir to combine and let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add remaining sugar, milk, light brown sugar, vanilla, egg, and egg yolk. Whisk together until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute. Add the flour and salt. Stir together until the dough just comes together. Knead dough with your hands for 5 minutes. Add the butter gradually and continue kneading until dough is smooth and no longer sticks to your hands, about 10 minutes. Don't worry, the dough does come back together with the kneading. Cover with plastic wrap, and set aside in a warm place. Let the dough rise for 1 ½–2 hours, until it has doubled in size.

Meanwhile, make the filling: Combine the sugar, dark brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and cloves in a large bowl; stir to combine. Set filling aside.

Punch the dough down and turn it out onto a heavily floured surface. Gently knead the dough until it's no longer sticky, adding more flour as necessary, about 1 minute. Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a 10" x 10" square. In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese with a rubber spatula until it's smooth and spreadable. Spread the cream cheese evenly over the dough square; then fold square into thirds as you would fold a letter to fit it into an envelope. Take the open ends of the resulting rectangle and fold into thirds again, to make a smaller dough square. Invert the dough so that the seam is face down and, using the rolling pin, gently roll into a 10" x 20" rectangle.

Turn the dough so that the short sides are parallel to you. Brush the top of the dough with the 2 tbsp. of melted butter. Then brush the maple syrup onto the dough. Sprinkle the reserved filling over the dough, leaving a 1" border at the edge farthest away from you. Using your hands, lift up the bottom edge of the dough and roll it forward into a tight cylinder. Place dough cylinder, seam side down, on a cutting board and, using a thin, sharp knife, trim off the ends; cut cylinder crosswise into 8 equal-size slices. Nestle the slices, cut sides up and evenly spaced from one another, into a buttered 9" x 13" light-colored metal baking pan. Cover pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Heat oven to 375°. Uncover the rolls and let them sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. The rolls will have not risen; they will rise in the oven. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the rolls comes out clean, about 30 minutes. 

Make the icing: While the rolls are baking, whisk together the sugar and buttermilk in a small bowl until smooth.

Transfer the pan of cinnamon rolls to a cooling rack; brush with 2 tbsp. of melted butter. Let cool for 5 minutes. Drizzle or drench the rolls in the icing. Enjoy!

Shared: here, herehere, here, and here. Thank you!


  1. Mmm! Cream cheese makes everything better! These look great! Thanks for sharing at Sweet & Savory Saturdays!
    ~Amber @ Dessert Now, Dinner Later!


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