Swirls of heavenly goodness

Who doesn't love waking to the smell of cinnamon rolls baking?! Aside from bacon I'm not sure anything tops it for me. These rolls are easily the best I have ever had! Yes, you have to wake up a little early to make them but believe me, just grab an extra coffee I promise these are well worth the early morning. Light, fluffy and gigantic - there are no rolls better than these!

This recipe comes from Canadian chef Michael Smith. I do adapt the recipe but ever so slightly. In the icing I find a whole tbsp of vanilla to be too much so I drop it down to around 1 tsp or so. These rolls are definitely best when freshly cooled from the oven but they reheat nicely so if you don't eat them all the first day don't worry.

Adapted from Michael Smith Cinnamon Rolls


1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 package instant yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
4 eggs
For the cinnamon filling:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream (35%) 
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the sweet dough, gently warm the milk, butter, brown sugar, vanilla and salt in a small pot. Don’t bring to a simmer; warm just enough to melt the butter.

Meanwhile, measure one-half of the flour into the bowl of your stand mixer along with the yeast. Add the warm milk and melted butter mixture to the flour and beat with your paddle attachment until smooth. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating until smooth before proceeding. Switch to a dough hook and add the remaining flour.

Remove and knead until a soft dough forms that is no longer sticky to the touch, about 5 minutes. If the dough is super gloopy and sticky add some more flour, a little at a time kneading as you go, until it comes together a little better. *Warning that the dough is quick soft and loose. It won't feel as firm as many bread doughs can. Trust yourself!

Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and let rest in a warm place until dough doubles in size. This could take as long as 2 hours.

For the filling, cream together the softened butter with the brown sugar and the cinnamon in a mixing bowl.

Once the dough has risen, knock it down and let it rest for a few minutes.

Flour your work surface, the dough, your hands and a rolling pin. Roll out the dough into a long rectangle shape, about 18 x 12 inches (45 x 30 cm), with the long side facing you.

Evenly spread the cinnamon filling all over the top of the dough, leaving 1 or 2 inches (2.5 or 5 cm) uncovered along the top edge. Leaving a border helps the dough stick together when you form the roll.

Roll into a long, tight, cigar-shaped log from the covered long edge to the uncovered long edge. Pinch to seal. Brush the outside of the log with melted butter.

Slice the dough log into 12 (I always do 12 for nice big rolls, but do 16 if you prefer them smaller). Turn each on its side and place evenly in a lightly oiled 15- x 10-inch baking pan.

Rest, uncovered, until the dough doubles in size once again and the rolls swell into each other, filling the pan.

While rolls are rising preheat your oven to 350 °F (180 °C).

When the dough has risen a second time, bake for 40 to 45 minutes.

When the cinnamon rolls have cooled enough to handle, stir together the glaze ingredients (if glaze is too thick to drizzle add heavy cream 1 tsp at a time) and drizzle all over the rolls. Serve immediately!

Ooey gooey sticky goodness! Pure bliss! Add a cup of coffee, a good book and frankly that's all I need. Hope you're able to find a few hours to make these, you won't regret it.