After trying so many different recipes for cinnamon rolls, I finally found one that I liked! Okay, I take that back, I love! This recipe makes for the most moist and soft dough that I had been searching for.
I actually found this recipe because I needed to make something with the apples. I found a recipe for apple cinnamon rolls and adapted to fit my needs and preferences.
Cinnamon Apple: Peel and slice up 4 gala apples. Toss into a mixture of 1 cup brown sugar, 4 TBSP melted butter, 1 tsp cinnamon, and a splash of lemon juice. Arrange on the bottom of baking pan then place cinnamon rolls on top. Once baked, using oven mits, flip pan to reveal apples on top. OR you can chop up the apples and place on the dough before you roll it up so the apples are on the inside of the cinnamon roll.
Sticky buns: Make toffee sauce (will link recipe) and put on the bottom of the pan (no parchment) before rolls. Add nuts (pecans or walnuts) if desired. Flip right after baking, using oven mits of course!
Orange: Use orange juice in icing and zest for a great citrusy taste! You can even add zest to the dough to amplify the flavor.
Chai: Instead of using just cinnamon, you can use chai spices. Some stores sell a shaker with a premade chai spice mix, otherwise you can make your own! RATIO: 2 1/2 tsp ginger, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp clove, 1/2 tsp allspice, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp cardamon. This is a general ratio, you can add or subtract depending on your preferences to these spices. Use this mix in the dough filling and icing for max flavor.
Giant cinnamon roll: You can make the recipe into a giant cinnamon roll. Instead of rolling up into a log and cutting individual rolls, cut strips and roll up into one giant roll then place in round pan. Baking time may take longer. If the edges start to get dark before center is cooked through, then place strips of foil over edges to prevent from burning.
TIPS & TRICKS
Proofing time will vary depending on the temperature in your house. Warmer= faster. Also, depending on if you cover the dough with plastic wrap or just a towel. Plastic wrap will keep in the heat from the water and naturally heat the activated yeast, which helps proof the dough. A towel has the ability to allow in your cool AC air. Also, if you dampen your towel, the AC is likely to cool it.
Icing: Like I wrote below, you can use water, milk, citrus juice, or even extract to moisten the powered sugar. The more liquid you add, the thinner the icing will be. So it's up to you and your taste buds! I do not recommend pouring on rolls right when they come out of the oven, let them cool at least 5 minutes or the icing will run all over! Also, depending on how much icing you prefer, you can add more but keep the same ratio of powered sugar to liquid.
Cinnamon Rolls Recipe
Warm water 3/4 cup
Yeast 2 1/4 tsp
Sugar 1//2 cup
Salt 1 tsp
Buttermilk 1/4 cup
Egg- whisked 1
Vegetable oil 1/3 cup
Flour 4 1/2-5 cups
Butter 1/4 cup
Brown sugar 1 cup
Cinnamon 2 tsp
Cornstarch 2 TBSP
Powered Sugar 1 cup
Water, milk, or citrus juice 1 TBSP
Salt pinch (optional)
Pour water, yeast, and 1 TBSP sugar into mixer. Let yeast activate for 5 minutes.
Add the remaining sugar and stir.
Mix in the buttermilk, oil, and egg.
Add 2 cups of flour and the salt. Mix until incorporated.
Sprinkle in flour until the dough comes together and does not stick to the sides and bottom while mixing. Let mix/knead for 5 minutes.
Grease a bowl and place the dough in. Cover and let rise for 1-2 hours or until double in size. *See notes
While dough is rising, make filling. Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and corn starch. Let butter come to room temperature/soften if you haven't already.
One dough has doubled in size, punch down dough to release air pockets. Flour your surface and roll out the dough in a rectangle shape up to 20x30 inches.
Spread the softened butter on the dough and sprinkle the filling.
Roll dough into a tight log and seal (long side, not the swirled ends).
Score every 2 inches. For best results cut with string or floss. *See note above.
Place rolls into a parchment-lined pan. *See note above.
Cover again and let rise 1-2 hours. *See note above.
Bake at 350F for 17-20 minutes.
Let cool for about 10 minutes while you make the icing.
Whisk together powered sugar and liquid. Spread on warm rolls for a thin icing or wait until it is cool for a thicker icing. *See note above.