Cinnamon swirl rolls


True comfort food. The aroma of this cinnamon swirl rolls will make everyone feel good.


1⁄2 c milk (plus some more for brushing)
4 T butter (unsalted, cut into 1/2 inch pieces, plus 1/4 cup melted butter for glaze)
1 pk yeast (dry active yeast)
1⁄2 c water (warm)
1 c sugar (1/2 cup for rolls, 1/2 cup for filling)
2 egg (large)
1 1⁄2 t salt
3 1⁄2 c flour (all purpose, unbleached)
2 T cinnamon (ground, plus 1 pinch for glaze)
1⁄2 c raisin (optional, for filling)
1⁄2 c walnut (chopped, optional, for filling)
2⁄3 c confectioner's sugar (confectioner's sugar, for glaze)
3 t lemon juice (freshly sqeezed, for glaze)
1 t vanilla extract (for glaze)
1⁄3 c milk (condensed milk, for glaze)


  1. Starting with the dough, heat milk and butter in a small saucepan over a medium heat, just until the butter melts. Remove from heat and allow to cool to a lukewarm. (110ºF)
  2. While that is cooling, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water in a bowl. (use a standing mixer bowl fit with a paddle if you have one) Beat in the sugar and the eggs, mixing at a low speed to blend. Add salt and the now lukewarm milk/butter, and 2 cups of flour. Thoroughly blend on a medium speed for 1 minute. Switch to a dough hook attachment. Add 1 1/4 cups flour, kneading at a medium-low speed. If the dough sticks to the side of the bowl, add more flour sparingly. Continue to knead until the dough is smooth and comes away from the sides, this takes about 10 minutes.
  3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Squeeze the dough with one of your clean dry hands, if too sticky add up to an additional 1/2 cup flour, kneed until the dough is silky and elastic. Place into a large, lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to double in size. 2-2 1/2 hours. Punch down the dough after the rise. Without misshaping the dough, turn out onto an unfloured work surface, allow to rest 10 minutes.
  4. Grease a 13x 9 inch baking pan. Mix the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl.
  5. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a 12x16 inch rectangle. Liberally brush with the milk, and sprinkle an even layer of the cinnamon/sugar, leaving 1/2 border at the top. If using raisins of nuts, sprinkle those over the cinnamon/sugar. Roll by starting with the edge closest to you. Use your fingers to pinch the dough as you go, sealing up the edges but not the ends.
  6. Cut the roll in half. Cut those half in half and so forth until you have 12 rolls. Space them out on your prepared baking pan, leaving space between rolls.
  7. Cover loosely with plastic or a light flour sack. Allow them to double in size for 1 hour. The rolls should touch after the rise. When they have doubled in size, adjust the rack in your oven to the middle position and heat to 350°F.
  8. Bake 25-30 minutes, until golden brown in color. Remove and invert rolls over a wire rack. Allow to cool for 20-30 minutes.
  9. Whisk together the glaze ingredients until smooth. Re-invert the rolls, and place rack over parchment paper. Once the rolls have reached room temp, drizzle the icing over top. Pull apart and serve.


If you don't have a thermometer available, use the inside of your wrist to test the temperature. If it feels wet but no difference in skin to liquid temperature, it is slightly too cool than 110. It should be a comfortable warm on your skin.

If you do not have a standing mixer, sprinkle the yeast into a large bowl of the water. Use a wooden spoon to mix in the other ingredients. When the dough comes together, turn out onto a lightly floured work surface, a knead 12-15 minutes by hand, until the dough is silky and elastic, add more flour if needed. Follow the directions for the rise.

For cutting the dough, try dental floss. Slide the floss underneath the dough, cross the ends and pull.

12 servings
Preparation time
Cooking time
Total time
50 minutes