I am pleased to share with you a recipe that started with Gub-Grandma, and then GubMa, and now it carries on through me. What makes this recipe different than its predecessors is the ROLLS are derived from my mom’s version, and the cream cheese FROSTING from my grandma’s! GubMa used to make a different glaze for her cinnamon rolls, but at some point, we switched it out with Gub-Grandma’s cream cheese frosting and never looked back!
Have you ever caught the whiff of something familiar and then found yourself standing in the shoes of a long forgotten memory?
What particular food or baked good was it?
Some believe the sense of smell elicits a memory response: the track of olfactory nerves plays an active role in conjuring memories. These nerves wind through a part of our brain that links smell with memory.
As a science nerd growing up, I always found this idea fascinating—not to mention applicable in my own life! The smell of cinnamon rolls reminds me of a sunny Saturday morning. My mom would be up early, baking in her kitchen upstairs, and as the timer neared its destination, the entire house filled with cinnamon goodness. When the buzzer erupted, my brother and I literally RACED up the stairs (often on all fours) pushing each other and laughing, trying our best to arrive in the kitchen first.
The WINNER got the sought after “center cinnamon roll” (the softest), and being the youngest and smallest, I hardly ever got there first. Maybe that’s why I prefer the outer cinnamon rolls now!
I’ve baked these rolls a handful of times, and I’m here now to confirm they are delicious and will disappear FAST! Seriously, there is nothing quite like homemade cinnamon rolls. The craft of baking with love makes these rolls taste all the sweeter!
The cinnamon roll process may seem tedious, but I promise you that any beginner can bake these! Heck, I was a beginner when I first made them. Even after moving out and away from safety of GubMa’s kitchen, I still manage to craft beautiful, perfect-to-the-taste cinnamon rolls. YOU CAN DO IT TOO!
Gub Grandmas Cinnamon Rolls
- 3 cups flour (all-purpose)
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 1/3 tsp. instant yeast (1 packet)
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 1/2 tbsp. butter (salted or unsalted)
- 1 egg (room temperature)
- 1/2 cup butter (softened)
- 1 1.2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp. salt
Cream Cheese Frasting:
- 8 oz. cream cheese
- 1/2 stick margarine (softened)
- 2 tbsp. milk
- 3 cups confectioner's sugar (powdered)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. Whisk them all together until equally dispersed. Set aside the bowl once mixed.
- In another microwave-safe bowl, combine the milk, water, and butter. Heat the mixture in the microwave until the butter is melted and the mixture is warm to the touch.
- Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients, add the room temperature egg, and stir together until a dough forms. The dough should be soft and uniform. If it is too dry, add water, 1 tsp. at a time, to the dough and mix it in until it has a smooth consistency. If the dough is too wet (hardly ever the case) then add in flour 1 tsp. at a time and combine until you reach a smooth consistency.
- Flour a clean working surface where you can knead the dough for about 3-4 minutes. Once kneaded, place the dough in a bowl lightly greased with butter and let it rest for about 10-15 minutes.
- After the dough has rested, roll the dough out on a clean, floured surface into a 14×8 rectangle. Smooth the softened butter used for the filling over the surface of the dough. In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon, sugar, and salt together. Sprinkle this all over the top of the dough.
- Tightly roll up the dough from bottom to top. Use a serrated knife or a buttered sharp knife to slice the dough into 10-12 even rolls. (Serrated knife or buttered sharp knife so the cutting process doesn’t pinch or squish the rolls on the sides).
- Place the rolls into a greased-with-butter, 9-inch glass pie dish.
- Cover the rolls with aluminum foil and allow to rise for 60-90 minutes until they have doubled in size. I generally turn on the oven to 250F and all the oven to warm up then TURN IT OFF, leave the door open and allow the rolls to rise inside the pre-heated oven with the door open.
- Check on the rolls after 60 minutes and see if they have doubled, if not, allow them to keep growing. Once the rolls have doubled, preheat the oven to 375F.
- Bake the rolls for 25-30 minutes until golden brown on the surface.
- While the rolls are baking, make the cream cheese frosting by combining all of the ingredients together in the bowl. Adjust the frosting to taste and consistency to how you like.
- Once the rolls have finished baking, allow them to cool; then spread the frosting over them!