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Like Grandma's Cinnamon Rolls

Updated: Sep 21, 2019

I wasn't as lucky as most of my cousins, I didn't live down the street from Grandma, but I did get to visit each summer and at Christmas time.  Grandma White did her fair share of flipping flour and at Christmas time cinnamon rolls were one of her favorites.  I've looked for a while for a recipe that measured up to hers, and I think I have finally found it!  This comes from *The Pioneer Woman collection of bread and sweets. I am happy to have found it, because it only took one bake for our whole clan of kiddos and friends to thumbs up it!  There are several steps, but it's really not a hard recipe.  So, go ahead, start flipping out this recipe, and you will be so scrumptiously happy!


Yield: 12-16 large rolls

Dough Ingredients:  

  • 2 c whole milk  

  • 1/2 c vegetable oil

  • 1/2 c sugar

  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast

  • 41/2 c all purpose flour

  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

  • 1/2 tsp salt

Filling Ingredients:

  • 1 c melted real butter (give or take a little)

  • 2 T ground cinnamon (or to your liking)

  • 1 c sugar

Frosting Ingredients:

  • About half a one pound box powdered sugar

  • 1 tsp maple flavoring

  • 1/4 c whole milk

  • 2 T melted butter

  • 2 T strong coffee

  • pinch of salt

Directions: Mix milk, vegetable oil, and ½ cup sugar in a pan.

Scald this mixture, then remove from heat and let it cool for about an hour. (I usually go ahead and pour the mix into my large glass mixing bowl since this is where the rest of the dough is going to end up.)

Once the scalded milk mixture is cooled down sprinkle the yeast on top and let sit for about 5 minutes or until the mixture gets nice and bubbly.

Once you notice nice big bubbles from the yeast, start adding flour by stirring in 1 cup at a time until you reach 4 cups.

  • Cover this mixture and let rise for at least an hour in a warm draft free place.  If I have time, and my house is cold,  I let rise closer to two hours.

  • In a different bowl add together: Remainder ½ c flour, ½ tsp baking powder, ½ tsp baking soda, ½ tsp salt

  • Mix this into the first mixture. I usually just use my hands for this. It's therapeutic!

  • After you add the other ½ cup flour and other ingredients to your dough it will be a bit rough but still soft.

  • Now, you can put this in the fridge and make rolls later, but watch it closely.  If it starts rising out of the bowl punch it down. No biggie. But you probably should make the rolls within a day or two.

To Make The Rolls:

Turn the dough out onto the floured board, and allow the dough to sit there and rest for a bit.  (Dough is always better if you give it plenty of rest. I'm not sure why, think it has something to do with gluten, but probably mostly because it's lazy like those of us that consume mass quantities of fattening ole cinnamon rolls.)

This dough is going to roll out loud and proud, so make sure you have a large and well floured surface area to work on.

  • Gently begin rolling out dough to a rectangular shape of about ¼" thick.

Build the Filling:

Notice I said "build" the filling? That's because I have noticed that if you are careful with your butter, sugar and cinnamon by layering it carefully so that it doesn't actually become just a fat mixture on the dough that the end result is better.  If the sugar is laid on thick enough atop the butter it becomes a bit crunchy in the baking process and crunchy sugar is so yummy! OH! And notice the butter mixture does not go all the way to the edges. (except for that one spot, wuups.)  This keeps the edges dry so the roll will adhere to itself when rolled.

Roll Your Roll:  

Begin on the long side that is furthest away from you. Carefully roll dough toward you as tightly as you can without pushing butter mixture out of roll. After completely rolled, seal edges by gently pushing raw edges into the roll.

Cut Your Buns:

Starting on one end of the roll and using a very sharp knife, slice into 1" sections and place in baking dishes. I usually bake them in cast iron skillets, but a 9x13 cake pan also works great.


Let rolls rise in pans for about an hour or until they are about double in bulk or a little less.


375 degrees for about 13-17 minutes or until golden brown to your liking.


Frost your cinnamon rolls while they are hot out of the oven, or you can wait, but there's not much better than a hot sticky cinnamon roll with frosting and a hot cup of coffee on a winter's day like today! So frost those babies up simply by whisking all frosting ingredients in a bowl and swirl atop your warm buns. die for, Y'all!





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