I'm the kind of person who skips to the conversation when reading a book.

Cinnamon Rolls (Absolutely the World’s Best Recipe)

I added the “Absolutely the World’s Best” past because that’s how I search recipes on the internet —  “World’s Best” chocolate chip cookie or chocolate cake or whatever.  I also added it because this is a fantastic recipe.  Really.

Since this a conversation blog, here is the conversation we had last night while I was making the cinnamon rolls.

Dierdre asked, “How do you make them so perfect?  Mine didn’t turn out like that.”  She had made them over Christmas and they were delicious, but she’s always her own worst critic.

I gave her my standard answer, “Years of practice.”

I actually should have said, “Years of failures.”  I have had my fair number of flops, and still do.  Sometimes I kill the yeast by heating the milk too much.  Sometimes I try substitutions that don’t work.  Sometimes I try substitutions that improve it.  The recipe I use is kind of a conglomeration of recipes.

To give credit where credit is due.  I got the main part of this recipe from one of those fundraiser cookbooks.  Peter Johnson submitted it with the comment that “This was a blue ribbon winner in the 1986 North Dakota State Fair.”  The filling is one I may have gotten at a Pampered Chef party, but I’m not really sure.  And the icing is anybody’s guess;  I scribbled it at the bottom and have used it ever since.

Without further ado, here is the recipe.

Mom’s Sweet Rolls


  • 2 pkgs dry yeast
  • 2 C flour and 4 C flour
  • 2 Tbsp salt (I use a little less)
  • 1/2 C water
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1 C shortening (thank you, Crisco, for putting shortening in sticks)
  • 1 1/2 C milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Mix together yeast, 2 C flour and salt;  set aside.  In saucepan, heat together water, sugar, shortening and milk to 120° on a candy thermometer, stirring constantly.  Pour over dry ingredients.  Add eggs, vanilla and beat rapidly until blended.  Add up to 4 C of the flour to make a stiff dough.  Knead 6 – 8 minutes on a floured board.  Place in a greased bowl;  cover and let rise until double in size, approximately 1 hour.  Stand back in amazement at the miracle of risen dough.  Divide dough in half.  Roll out each half into an approximate 8 x 12 rectangle.

Filling for one dozen cinnamon rolls (which means you have to make this twice):

  • 1/4 C brown sugar
  • 1/4 C white sugar
  • 1/4 C butter
  • 2 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp corn syrup

Spread filling evenly over the rectangle.  Roll up jellyroll fashion and slice into twelve pieces.  Repeat with remaining dough.  Lay cinnamon rolls on greased cookie sheet (I actually use a jellyroll pan).  Cover and let rise again, about 30 minutes.  Bake for 18 -20 minutes at 350°.  Put glaze on while still warm from the oven.

Glaze recipe:

  • 2 oz cream cheese
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 1/2 C confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp milk

I can never remember if I need to double to glaze recipe, so sometimes I do, and sometimes I don’t.  No matter what I do, it always seems to disappear.

And a few pictures.  Andrew always says, “Pics or it didn’t happen.”

I made them the night before, and this is how they looked when I took them out of the refrigerator.

I made them the night before, and this is how they looked when I took them out of the refrigerator.


This is after they have risen, about 1/2 hour after I took them out of the refrigerator.

This is after they have risen, about 1/2 hour after I took them out of the refrigerator.

And after baking...

And after baking…

and frosting.

and frosting.

I've been told if you cut them in half that the calories fall out.

I’ve been told if you cut them in half that the calories fall out.



9 comments on “Cinnamon Rolls (Absolutely the World’s Best Recipe)

  1. These looks great!

  2. catterel
    March 1, 2013

    These look and sound delicious – and I’ll have to try them, but here come the usual problems I have with American recipes! How much in a packet of yeast? Plain white flour or self-raising? No shortening over here – can I use lard or margarine or butter? Ditto for corn syrup – can I use golden syrup, maple syrup or treacle? Cream cheese – is that Philadelphia cheese or crème fraîche? By vanilla, do you mean vanilla essence or fresh vanilla? Is confectioner’s sugar the same as caster sugar (ground very fine)? And finally, I think a jelly roll must be what we call a Swiss roll. I’ll let you know how my interpretation of your recipe turns out!

    • sarahlangdon
      March 1, 2013

      It’s funny. I actually thought about the fact that you would see the recipe, but I figured all the conversions would just involve changing measurements to metric. A packet of yeast is 2 1/4 tsp. I use white flour (King Arthur All Purpose, to be exact). I’ve used butter before but it doesn’t turn out as good. Corn syrup? Hmm… I don’t know of a substitution; you could probably just leave it out. I use Neufchatel cheese most of the time instead of cream cheese. Does that help? And the vanilla is vanilla extract. Confectioner’s sugar is also called 10x sugar because it’s 10x finer than regular sugar. Swiss roll? Jellyroll? I would imagine they are the same.

      Hope this helps and they turn out okay.

  3. catterel
    March 2, 2013

    Thank you – very helpful. Still a bit puzzled about Neufchatel cheese – living in Switzerland, as I normally do, I ought to know what you mean, but I think it must be an American version. I’ll have to ask an American living in Europe for clarification, I think! I know several such “experts”!

  4. catterel
    March 12, 2013

    Finally managed to find the time to bake these! An adventure deserving a post to itself, but they have turned out very yummy if a little messy! Thanks for the recipe and the support :-D.

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  8. kaperio
    July 1, 2014

    Reblogged this on kaperio's Blog and commented:
    Need to try this asap!

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