This recipe is adapted from one called Clone of a Cinnabon, but let me tell you - this is better than a Cinnabon. Your mind will be blown.
For those of you who, for some reason, don't like your cinnamon rolls topped with sweet, luscious cream cheese icing, there's a caramel-pecan roll option.
Mind-blowing, should-be-famous cinnamon rolls with two variations
You can substitute margarine or butter for the shortening, but it won't be as good. The shortening makes the dough very tender. Either all-purpose or bread flour will work. You will thank yourself if you use Penzey's Vietnamese extra-fancy cinnamon. Handy tip: Double the icing, using a whole brick of cream cheese and a whole stick of butter, and freeze half for later!
1 cup warm milk (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2 1/2 teaspoons yeast
2 eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup shortening, melted
4 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, softened
Variation #1 - Icing:
1 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Variation #2 - Caramel-pecan topping:
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup dark or light corn syrup
1 cup (or more!) pecan halves
- Add yeast to warm milk until bubbles form.
- Add remaining dough ingredients and mix or knead until smooth.
- Place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a towel in a warm place and allow it to double in size. When doubled, turn out the dough, cover, and allow it to rest for 10 minutes.
- In a small bowl, combine filling ingredients.
- Roll dough into a 16x21 inch rectangle and spread filling over entire surface. Roll up dough and cut into 12 rolls.
- If making iced rolls: Place rolls in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking pan. If making caramel-pecan rolls: Place topping ingredients, except for pecans in a saucepan and cook on low until combined. Spread pecan halves in the bottom of a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking pan. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes. Or, for the very best results, let the rolls rise overnight in the refrigerator. Let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.
- Bake rolls in preheated 400 degree oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes.
- For icing: Beat together icing ingredients until light and fluffy. Spread on warm rolls. For caramel-pecan rolls, turn warm rolls out onto a cookie sheet.
- Eat one. Then loosen pants and eat another.