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Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls with maple frosting
Tender, flaky, buttery and sweet, and loaded with cinnamon.
Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls are some of the best sweet rolls I’ve ever had. I first made these cinnamon rolls in January, 2011. Ree’s original recipe was developed with the idea that you’ll share entire pans of these cinnamon rolls with friends, family, neighbors, coworkers, etc.
As developed, the original recipe makes 7 or 8 disposable foil pans filled with sweet cinnamon rolls, depending on how thick you cut each roll. Needless to say, there are plenty to share, and enjoy!
Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls are one of the easiest yeast roll recipes I’ve ever made.
Have you ever tried making cinnamon rolls only to have them not rise properly, over-proof due to vague instructions or turn out to be a total disaster, waste of time and money? If you said yes to any part of that question, I encourage you to try this recipe.
The recipe seems completely foolproof and very forgiving, and each and every roll comes out of the oven filled with deliciousness.
I’ve made a few changes to the original recipe.
What makes Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls so good?
Our resized cinnamon roll recipe makes three 9-inch pans with 10 rolls each.
Another reason Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls are so good is the unique maple frosting recipe.
In addition to the fantastic cinnamon filling, another stand-out feature of this recipe is the maple frosting. Made with powdered sugar, maple extract, milk, butter and a little brewed coffee, this frosting is generously drizzled over warm rolls.
Just one tablespoon of strong brewed coffee gives the frosting a unique flavor that blends perfectly with the cinnamon. I never would’ve thought to combine coffee and maple extract, but it really works.
The addition of baking powder and baking soda is unique in a yeasted dough.
To achieve a soft sweet-bread texture and yeasty flavor you’ll find in a true cinnamon roll, this recipes uses yeast, baking powder and baking soda. It’s very unusual for a recipe to call for three leavening agents, but it really works for these rolls! This bold combination of leaveners means the rolls only need 30 minutes of rise time after shaping into spirals.
Also, a lower oven temperature ensures they have enough time to rise high before the tops set. The end result is soft, puffy, flaky rolls that are not at all chewy. They practically melt in your mouth!
Can you freeze Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls?
I have not tried freezing these rolls before baking. However, I have frozen multiple pans of these rolls after they were baked but before they were frosted, with great results.
Can these cinnamon rolls be made ahead?
This cinnamon roll dough can be made up to 3 days ahead. Keep the dough well covered in the refrigerator and check it at least once a day. Punch the dough down if needed to keep the size under control. With a very short rise time of 30-minutes for the finished rolls, this a great recipe to make ahead and bake when needed.
Can you double this recipe for cinnamon rolls?
Yes, this recipe can easily be doubled so you have plenty of rolls to share. If you double the recipe, place the dough in a large pot or Dutch oven to rise in the refrigerator overnight. The sweet dough grows a good bit, and needs room to expand.
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Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls
- instant read thermometer
- rolling pin
- 3 (9-inch) cake pans
For the cinnamon rolls:
- 2 cups whole milk
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 (.25 ounce) package Active Dry Yeast
- 4 ½ cups all-purpose flour, separated
- ½ teaspoon (heaping) baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
For the filling:
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted for greasing pans
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- ⅔ cups granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
For the maple frosting:
- 4 ounces powdered sugar, sifted (1 cup)
- ½ teaspoon maple flavoring
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon strong brewed coffee
- pinch of salt
To make the dough:
- Mix the milk, vegetable oil and sugar in a small sauce pan. Warm over medium heat just until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture reaches 95-100°F (lukewarm) on an instant read thermometer. Remove from the heat and pour into a large mixing bowl. Cool, if needed, until the milk reaches 95° to 100° F on an instant read thermometer.
- Sprinkle the yeast over the lukewarm milk mixture and set aside for 5-10 minutes. Add 4 cups of the flour and stir until combined (you can do this by hand with a wooden spoon or use the dough hook of a stand mixer). Cover and let rise for one hour in a warm location. The mixture should be bubbly and puffed.
- In a small bowl or 1 cup measure, combine the remaining ½ cup of flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir together until blended. Add the flour mixture to the dough and mix until all flour is incorporated. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight, or for a day or two, if desired. If rising for more than a day, watch the dough and punch down if needed to prevent overflowing.
To make the cinnamon rolls:
- Grease 3 (9-inch) cake pans with melted butter, set aside.
- Heavily flour a large, clean work surface. Lightly punch down the dough and scrape out onto the countertop. Using floured hands, and a floured rolling pin, press and roll the dough into a rectangle at least 30-inches wide and about 18 to 20-inches deep. The dough will be very thin.
- Brush 12 tablespoons of melted butter over the surface of the dough, leaving a 1-inch border along the 30-inch side farthest away from you.
- Sprinkle ⅔ cup of sugar over the butter layer, followed by the ground cinnamon.
- Roll the dough into a log starting at the 30-inch side closest to you. Gently pull the dough toward you, then tuck and roll, and repeat, keeping it pretty tight as you go. Next, pinch the seams to seal.
- Using a ruler as a guide, cut the rolls into (30) 1-inch slices. You can use a large, thin, sharp knife to cut the rolls, or a long piece of dental floss works very well, too. Place the rolls, cut side down, into the prepared pans.
- Preheat oven to 375° F.
- Let the rolls rise in a warm location for 30 to 40 minutes. Once risen, the unbaked rolls should be puffed and smooth. To ensure the rolls have risen properly, gently press the edge of a roll with a knuckle. If the dough does not quickly and completely fill back into the depression, the rolls are ready. Bake at 375° F until light golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Transfer the pans to a rack to cool while preparing the frosting.
To make the frosting:
- Using an electric mixer or whisk, combine the frosting ingredients and blend until smooth. The frosting should be thick, but pourable. Generously drizzle over the warm rolls. Feel free to go little crazy and don’t skimp on the frosting. Serve immediately.
- Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. For best results bring the chilled rolls to room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.
- Unfrosted rolls may be kept at room temperature.
Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls were originally published on Saving Room for Dessert in January 2011, and updated December 2019
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