It’s Christmas Eve and I just took homemade cinnamon rolls fresh out of the oven. Gooey, sweet and bursting with cinnamon flavor, these pastries are everything you could want, all rolled up into that perfect pinwheel shape. Topped with a thick layer of cream cheese frosting, they are so delectable… I bet Santa wouldn’t mind these instead of cookies. Actually, give him these and you’ll probably make the nice list from here on out.

I wasn’t planning on posting this recipe but it was SO popular on Instagram I decided to! Every Christmas morning my mother makes these giant, freshly baked cinnamon rolls and we sit back, relax and enjoy the holiday. This is a holiday tradition I highly suggest you adapt. I’ve always been a cinnamon roll fanatic, although I don’t make them that often. People tend to shy away from baking these sweet bites because they can be kind of complicated, and have a lot of steps. I’ve simplified the recipe and created one that the average baker can tackle, and boy are they fabulous!

 

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Ingredients

Dough:

1/4 ounce package yeast

1/2 cup warm water

1/2 cup scalded milk

1/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup butter

1 teaspoon salt

1 egg

4 cups flour

Filling:

1/4 cup melted butter

3/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

3/4 cup pecans

Frosting: 

4 oz. cream cheese

1/4 cup butter, softened

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup powdered sugar

 

Directions: 

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside. In a large bowl mix milk, sugar, melted butter, salt and egg. Add 2 cups of flour and mix until smooth. Add yeast mixture. Mix in remaining flour until dough is easy to handle. Knead dough on lightly floured surface for 5 to 10 minutes. Place in well-greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in size, usually 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

3. When doubled in size, punch down dough. Roll out on a floured surface into a 15 by 9-inch rectangle. Spread melted butter all over dough. Mix sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over buttered dough. Sprinkle with walnuts, pecans, or raisins if desired. Beginning at the 15-inch side, role up dough and pinch edge together to seal. Cut into 12 to 15 slices.

4. Coat the bottom of baking pan with butter and sprinkle with sugar. Place cinnamon roll slices close together in the pan and let rise until dough is doubled, about 45 minutes. Bake for about 30 minutes or until nicely browned.

5. Meanwhile, mix cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Spread over slightly cooled rolls.