Cinnamon rolls are a treat anytime of year and are nearly as easy to make as they are to eat. To save time, prepare them a day or two before and freeze them without the glaze. When you are ready to enjoy, just warm them up and glaze before serving. You can also assemble them, cover the dish with plastic wrap, and let the rolls rise overnight in the refrigerator to be baked fresh and served hot in the morning.
Either way, your whole house is going to smell amazing!
Smoky Bacon Cinnamon Rolls
Yield: 16 large cinnamon rolls
Sweet and savory cinnamon rolls with the smoky flavor of bacon are a welcomed addition to any brunch! To make classic cinnamon rolls, just leave out the bacon and substitute butter for any bacon fat.
Cinnamon Roll Dough
- 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
- ¼ cup water, 110°F⅔ cup sugar, divided use
- Pinch of ground ginger
- 2 cups milk
- 6 ⅔ cups flour, bread flour or all-purpose, may take a little more
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup butter, melted
- 4 eggs, room temperature, beaten
- 12 ounces bacon
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons cinnamon
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons bacon grease
- 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 1 tablespoon milk, more as needed
- 12 ounces bacon
- Cut the bacon into 1-inch squares.
- Slowly cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is crisp and the fat is rendered off the meat.
- Drain bacon on paper towels and reserve the fat separately. Let cool until ready to use as directed in recipe.
NOTE: half the bacon will be used in the filling and half in the topping.
- Place the yeast, warm water, ginger, and 1 tablespoon of the sugar in a bowl.
- Stir and set aside for a couple of minutes.
- Add a cup of the flour and the yeast mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Mix well.
- Add the salt, butter, eggs, and the remaining sugar. Beat with the paddle until well mixed.
- Add flour gradually, beating on low with the paddle attachment, until a soft dough forms. Switch to dough hooks and continue to beat on low until the flour is incorporated and the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
- Knead for 5 minutes or according to manufacturer’s instructions. Place the dough in a greased
- bowl. Grease the top of the dough, cover, and place in a warm spot until doubled. This should take about an hour.
- Punch down and roll the dough into 16 x 20-inch rectangle.
- Brush with the reserved bacon fat or some melted butter.
- For the filling, crumble the bacon and set it aside. Mix together the sugars and cinnamon.
- Sprinkle the rolled and buttered dough with the sugar mixture then the 12 ounces of cooked bacon pieces.
- Starting with the shorter side, roll into a tight cylinder.
- Slice the dough into 16 slices.
- Lay cut side down in the prepared pan.
- Let rise about 45 minutes to an hour.
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until done. Remove from pan.
- For the glaze, mix the melted butter, vanilla, and bacon grease together in a bowl.
- Add the confectioner’s sugar slowly, mixing constantly.
- Add milk until you achieve a smooth, thick, pourable consistency.
- Spread warm cinnamon rolls with the icing and sprinkle the tops with the remaining bacon.
Apple Butter Cinnamon Rolls
Yield: 12 large cinnamon rolls
Hearty, country flavors make these cinnamon rolls extra special. Steel cut oats add nutty sweetness to a rich dough filled with spicy apple butter and topped with creamy maple butter glaze.
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 cup steel cut oats
- ½ cup honey
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoons active dry yeast
- ¼ cup 110°F water
- 3 ½ to 4 ½ cups bread flour
- ⅓ cup vital wheat gluten
- 1 cup raisins, optional
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 ½ tablespoons cinnamon
- ½ cup apple butter
- 3 cups confectioner’s sugar
- ½ cup melted butter
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- 1 cup chopped pecans, optional
- Reserve one teaspoon of the honey and set aside. Then, in a large mixing bowl, combine boiling water, oats, the rest of the honey, butter, and salt.
- Let stand for 1 hour.
- In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water with the reserved teaspoon of honey added.
- Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
- Pour the yeast mixture into the oat mixture.
- Add the combination to the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hooks attached.
- Add 1 cup of flour and the vital wheat gluten.
- Mix well on low.
- Stir in the remaining flour, ½ cup at a time, continuing to beat on low.
- Add in the raisins if using.
- When the dough has pulled together, turn the mixer to the manufacturer’s recommended speed for kneading and knead 8 minutes (20 minutes by hand).
- The dough will be smooth and elastic but still slightly sticky.
- Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat with oil.
- Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled, approximately 1 hour 30 minutes.
- Gently deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface.
- Divide the dough into two equal pieces.
- To prepare the filling, mix together the sugar and cinnamon and set aside.
- Roll one piece of dough out to a rectangle about ½ inch thick.
- Cover with ½ the apple butter, spread evenly across the dough.
- Sprinkle with ½ the sugar and cinnamon mixture.
- Roll up tightly and cut into 6 rolls, laying each roll on the baking sheet cut side down.
- Repeat with the other half of dough and ingredients.
- Cover with a towel and let rise until doubled, about 40 minutes. If you are making these ahead, cover them with plastic wrap and let rise in the refrigerator overnight.
- Preheat an oven to 350°F.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven.
- Mix the powdered sugar, butter, maple syrup, vanilla, and sea salt in a bowl until smooth.
- Spoon on warm rolls.
- Sprinkle with pecans if desired.