Senior Gardening

One of the Joys of Maturity


Cinnamon Rolls
November 26, 2008

This recipe is really a continuation of Grandma Wood's Yeast Rolls. So if you haven't read that one, you may want to look at it before starting here.

I made a double recipe of dough for Grandma's yeast rolls for Thanksgiving. When I'd made all the rolls we'd need for our holiday dinner and a few more, I still had a good bit of dough left. (That was secretly my plan. I'm on a diet and need an excuse to make these cinnamon rolls!)

Extra dough

The dough left needs no changes for making cinnamon rolls. The first step is to roll out the dough to about 1/8" to 1/4" thick on a floured surface.

Roll out dough

In the Grandma's Yeast Roll recipe, we used a melted Crisco and butter mixture to cover the rolls before letting them raise. I used the remaining Crisco-butter mix, but also added a good bit more butter. Think maybe half and half on it.

Spread the Crisco-butter mixture over the rolled out dough's surface. (Do make sure the mix isn't too hot. I'm not sure, but if really hot, it might damage or kill the yeast in the dough!)

Crisco-butter mixture

Then spread a layer of brown sugar over the entire dough surface.

Brown sugar

Sprinkle ground cinnamon over the sugary surface. You may also want to add some kind of nuts at this point. I didn't here, although I have in the past.


Nordicware 9 iconLightly grease a cake pan or whatever you want to raise and bake your rolls in. I use a Nordic Ware 9" round cake panicon that I got to make pineapple upsidedown cake in. I found mine at a local Wal-mart, but it's also available from Amazon. I like the heavy aluminum and the high sides.

Anyway, lightly grease the pan.

Then cut your dough into strips 1-1 1/2" wide. Which way you cut, if you've rolled out your dough as I have in a rectangle, will determine the circumference of your cinnamon rolls. Either way should work, though. I've done both big and small. This time I cut by the smaller dimension. Then roll the dough tightly and dip both ends in your Crisco-butter mix.

Cut & roll dough

Space the rolls in your pan leaving sufficient room for them to raise.

rolls in pan

Cover the pan with a dish towel and let raise. Here, my cinnamon rolls are sharing the warm space on my oven with some of Grandma's Yeast Rolls that are raising for Thanksgiving dinner. Let them raise about 2 hours or so.


Baking temperature for both the cinnamon rolls and Grandma's Yeast Rolls is 350o F. I think I let this batch raise a bit too much the first time, so they didn't get quite double in size.

done rising

Pop the rolls into the oven for about 15 minutes. While letting the rolls bake, you might want to get some vanilla icing made or set out to warm. I just use a mixture of white powdered sugar, a bit of milk, and about a teaspoon (or less) of vanilla.

When the rolls are lightly browned on top, they should be done.


Cinnamon rollsI like to dribble vanilla icing over the rolls while they're still hot. It melts and makes a nice glaze across them. The rolls are good, however, with or without the icing. The last batch I made with leftover dough got gobbled up with no icing added.

Glazed cinnamon rolls

True Story: A "Variation" I Don't Recommend (12/8/2012)

Spice cabinetRed spice jarsThe disorganization of our spice cabinet would drive a neat freak over the edge. The seemingly random arrangement works for us only because we keep most commonly used items on the bottom shelf, and generally stick stuff back in the front of the same shelf, shoving everything else back to make room. We surprisingly, generally, have a fairly good idea where items are, other than the occasional full cabinet search.

Along with the randomness of our spice storage, manufacturers tend to use very similar labels for very different spices. Note the gang of four shown at right.

When making cinnamon rolls a year or so ago, I grabbed the wrong red spice jar. Not until my son-in-law and I had eagerly bit into the finished rolls did we discover an unusual flavor. I don't recommend making red pepper rolls, but we did end up eating the whole batch. It's amazing what things you can save with enough icing!

From the at Senior Gardening


updated 12/8/2012