christmas recipe #4 : cinnamon rolls with mocha maple icing

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Do these really need any explanation beyond their title? Yeah, they are amazing.

Eventually, I want to try making these walk more on the healthier side. But for now, enjoy the full white flour, butter-filled recipe.

This not a quick recipe. So don’t plan on waking up tomorrow morning and making these for a weekday breakfast. But they do freeze excellently. I froze mine fully baked and iced and when I was ready to serve, brought them to room temperature and then reheated in a 350° oven for 10-15 minutes. Gooey, warm, delicious and quick.

First step is to scald milk. Scalding milk breaks down the proteins which lends to a fluffier dough. I’m hoping the scalding will help combat the whole wheat flour when I revisit this recipe later.

4 cups of milk (I used skim) in a large dutch oven or soup pot (you’ll be mixing all of your dough in this). Plus 1/2 cup of lightly flavored oil. I used Safflower. Bonus points for rainbows.

Plus one cup of sugar.

Heat over low heat until the milk just begins to foam. You don’t want to boil it, but you want it to get very, very hot.

Turn off. Cover and step away. You want to let it cool for 30-45 minutes, or until the milk is lukewarm. Too hot and you’ll kill the yeast. Too cool and the yeast won’t get their party on.

Add in 8 cups flour.

4 1/2 teaspoons yeast (2 packages)

Stir well and cover. Let rise in a warm place for about an hour. Or until it goes from this:

To this:

Then, stir in one more cup of flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1 tablespoon salt.

Clear off your largest counter. Or in my case, my kitchen table. Flour and turn out half of the dough.

Form the dough into a rough rectangle.

And roll out, keeping a long rectangle shape until the dough is about 1/4″ thick.

Then comes the butter. I used 1 full cup of melted butter for the first batch. And then down to 1/2 cup for the second. The full cup was definitely gooey-er, but not enough so to warrant that much butter.

Pour over the dough, spreading with a pastry brush if needed.

Next, sprinkle the surface with 1 cup sugar and a nice dusting of cinnamon. I didn’t measure.

Go ahead and resign yourself to the fact that there will be runoff.

Now is where you can add mix-ins. I used chopped pecans, but dried fruit, chocolate chips, etc. would also be amazing.

Is it shiny? No. You don’t have enough butter, then. 😛

Start to roll (tight!) from the opposite ended all the way down the length of the rectangle.

Yes, it will squeegee out, but once you have 1-2 inches left, just bring the end up and pinch it closed, encasing all that extra buttery-goodness in the roll.

Using dental floss (unflavored, please) slide under the roll and cut every inch or so.

Place in greased baking pans, cover and let rise in a warm place for 20-30 minutes.

Bake at 375° for about 15 minutes. You want them to be gooey on the inside, so the tops should just be slightly browned.

While they are baking, you can mix up the super speedy mocha maple frosting.

1 bag powdered sugar + 1 heaping tablespoon instant coffee powder

+ 2 teaspoons maple flavoring + 1/2 stick melted butter + 1/2 cup milk + 1/8 teaspoon salt + whisk

Totally drown your warm cinnamon rolls. Go ahead, do it.

This recipe made 54 good-sized rolls. You could easily half or even quarter it.

But why would you want to do that? These are goooooood.

Cinnamon Rolls with Mocha Maple Icing

(copied almost exactly from the Pioneer Woman)

4 cups skim milk
1/2 cup mild oil (safflower, sunflower, vegetable)
1 cup sugar
4 1/2 tsp. yeast (2 packages)
8 cups flour
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon salt
Plenty of melted butter
Plenty of sugar
Plenty of cinnamon

Frosting:
1 bag powdered sugar
1 heaping tablespoon instant coffee
2 teaspoons maple flavoring
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup melted butter
1/8 teaspoon salt

Mix the milk, oil and sugar in a pan. Scald the mixture (heat until just before the boiling point). Turn off heat and leave to cool 45 minutes to 1 hour. When the mixture is lukewarm to warm, but NOT hot, sprinkle in both packages of Active Dry Yeast. Let this sit for a minute. Then add 8 cups of all-purpose flour. Stir mixture together. Cover and let rise for at least an hour.

After rising for at least an hour, add 1 more cup of flour, the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir mixture together.

To prepare rolls: sprinkle rolling surface generously with flour. Take half the dough and form a rough rectangle. Then roll the dough thin, maintaining a general rectangular shape. Drizzle 1/2 to 1 cup melted butter over the dough. Now sprinkle 1 cup of sugar over the butter followed by a generous sprinkling of cinnamon.
Now, starting at the opposite end, begin rolling the dough in a neat line toward you. Keep the roll relatively tight as you go. Next, pinch the seam of the roll to seal it.

Cut the rolls approximately ¾ to 1 inch thick and laying them in the greased pans.

Repeat this process with the other half of the dough. Let the rolls rise for 20 to 30 minutes, then bake at 375 degrees until light golden brown, about 15 to 18 minutes.

For the frosting, mix together all ingredients listed and stir well until smooth. It should be thick but pourable. Taste and adjust as needed. Generously drizzle over the warm rolls. Go crazy and don’t skimp on the frosting.

Cassie is the founder and CEO of Wholefully. She's a home cook and wellness junkie with a love of all things healthy living. She lives on a small hobby farm in Southern Indiana with her husband, daughter, two dogs, two cats, and 15 chickens.

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3 Responses
  1. I love making cinnamon rolls so I need to make these sometime. The icing looks great, do you think I could use regular maple syrup instead of flavoring?

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