Cinnamon Rolls: tested tips for softer rolls

Cinnamon rolls are a source of endless experimentation for me.

I don’t mean just consuming them: slice vs. pull apart, bite vs. unravel, etc. I’m actually talking about how cinnamon rolls are made.

A fresh-baked cinnamon roll is delicious – but oh, how fleeting its taste and texture! Like the ingénue who wins the leading role at age 16 and is washed up by age 20, most cinnamon rolls hit their peak of perfection 5 minutes out of the oven. Once cooled, they become plebeian – just a semi-tough white roll covered in too much bland white icing.

My goal: make a cinnamon roll that’s soft, moist, and delicious not only hot from the oven, but for several days thereafter.

I’ve been thinking a lot about cinnamon rolls over the past few weeks – what traits the perfect roll possesses, which need to be avoided.

I’ve even dreamed about cinnamon rolls – including a nightmarish scenario where the rolled-up dough kept unrolling itself faster than I could re-roll it. Totally Sisyphean, if you’re into Greek mythology.

And after thinking, reading, and consulting with my fellow EAT members (that would be King Arthur Flour’s Education Advisory Team), I’ve come up with a recipe that fills the bill: Soft Cinnamon Rolls.

Cinnamon Rolls via @kingarthurflour

These high-rising rolls are soft as a baby’s smile. One taste-tester described their interior as “pillowy.” Two others simply rolled their eyes and gave me the thumbs-up.

Let me show you how to make cinnamon rolls that are wonderful right out of the oven, and only slightly less good later in the day – or even a couple of days afterwards. Try our Soft Cinnamon Rolls recipe, which incorporates all of these strategies. Or use these tips to tweak your own favorite recipe, giving your rolls added softness and shelf life.

Cinnamon Buns via @kingarthurflourPre-cook flour for moister buns.

Tangzhong is an Asian method for producing soft, light-textured white bread and rolls. It involves taking between 5% and 10% of the flour in your recipe, combining it with some of the recipe’s liquid, and cooking it into a thick, pudding-like substance—think thick roux.

What’s the deal? Cooking flour with liquid gelatinizes the flour’s starch. That starch is then able to hold onto water better, both during baking (less evaporation) and afterwards (longer shelf life). Use it in your yeast dough, and bread and rolls will stay soft and fresh longer. See the recipe for complete tangzhong instructions.

Cinnamon Rolls via @kingarthurflour

Use bread flour for its increased absorption capability.

Bread flour can absorb more liquid than all-purpose flour—i.e., it has a higher hydration capacity. More liquid in the dough = added moistness/softness in the finished roll.

The tangzhong method uses bread flour—probably because most typical Asian flour is fairly low in protein, and bread flour provides the necessary higher protein for a good rise. So if you’re using a traditional tangzhong process, make sure you have bread flour on hand.

Cinnamon Rolls via @kingarthurflour

Make a higher-fat dough.

Cinnamon rolls including eggs, whole milk, and butter will be softer and stay fresher longer than those made from a “lean” dough: one made with just flour, water, salt, and yeast.

Fat provides a rich mouth-feel that we perceive as moistness; it also creates a barrier that helps prevent moisture from escaping. In addition, fat coats gluten and keeps it from bonding too strongly, producing a delicate crumb.

Cinnamon Rolls via @kingarthurflour

Start with sticky dough.

Adding more liquid to your dough right up front means there’s more remaining in the finished roll—which translates to moist texture.

Dough kneaded in a mixer bowl should stick to the bottom and sides of the bowl slightly, as well as to the dough hook.

And here’s a handy tip: For easiest kneading of wet, sticky dough, mix it up, then let it rest for 20 minutes before kneading. This gives the flour a chance to absorb the liquid, making it less sticky and easier to work with.

Cinnamon Rolls via @kingarthurflour

Choose the right pan.

Cinnamon rolls from the center of the pan are always softer than those around the edge, right? So choose a pan that can hold a higher percentage of interior rolls. Rather than two 9″ round pans, use a 9″ x 13″ pan.

How about a 12″ round pan – wouldn’t that offer the same capacity with even more interior?

Well, if you do the math (circumference vs. volume), yes. But practically speaking, it’s difficult to get the rolls in the very center fully baked before those at the edge become over-baked. A 9″ x 13″ pan is a good compromise.

Cinnamon Rolls via @kingarthurflour

Shape tall rolls, and crowd them in the pan.

Cut your log of cinnamon-filled dough into 1 1/2″ rather than 1″ slices. This will create cinnamon rolls with more interior/less surface area.

And place them close together in the pan so that they’re really crowding one another once they’re fully risen. Again, this will create more soft sides, fewer browned edges.

Cinnamon Rolls via @kingarthurflour

Underbake cinnamon rolls just slightly.

Don’t worry if they’re not golden brown across the entire surface. So long as they’re fully set, they can be pretty darned pale.

I like to bake my rolls to just under the 190°F mark that’s typical of fully baked soft yeast bread. Didn’t know about that 190°F thing? Hello, digital thermometer!

Cinnamon Rolls via @kingarthurflour

Use thick, rich icing.

Confectioners’ sugar, whole milk or cream, and butter make a rich icing that will contribute to cinnamon rolls’ interior texture.

How?

Cinnamon Rolls via @kingarthurflour

Frost rolls while warm.

The thick icing will partially melt, seeping down into the crevices between the rolls, as well as into the cinnamon swirl.

Cinnamon Rolls via @kingarthurflour

This “icing bath” will help keep cinnamon rolls moist as they age.

Cinnamon Rolls via @kingarthurflour

Though really, how long are these going to “age?”

Cinnamon Rolls via @kingarthurflour

Pull apart. Unravel (or not). Enjoy!

And if there are any left after the initial onslaught, re-create the ultimate FRESH-baked experience by reheating briefly in a microwave (and consuming quickly); or tenting with foil and reheating in a 350°F oven until toasty warm.

Do you have your own personal tip for bringing cinnamon rolls to the next level? Please share in comments, below.

And if you like the tangzhong method, try it in our wonderfully light, moist Japanese Milk Bread Rolls

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!

comments

  1. tami

    i just made another recipe, they came out ok. always a little tough around the edge but the middle/inside is perfect. still delicious and there are none left. i’ll try these tips next time.

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Definitely give these tips a try, Tami, especially the 9″ x 13″ pan using a 4-cup+ flour recipe so the rolls are really crowded in there, plus tangzhong. I think you’ll be pleased – PJH

  2. deb in sc

    OMgosh!!! Like you I am obsessed with cinnamon rolls and pecan sticky buns. THANK YOU SO MUCH for all of the tips…I can’t wait to incorporate them into my favorite recipes, but also to try your solft cinnamon roll recipe. PJ/KAF – YOU ROCK!!!

    Reply
  3. Bridgid

    Hi PJ,

    Thank you for introducing a new concept to me, I can’t wait to try this! One thing I do with my cinnamon rolls that wasn’t suggested here is I take softened butter (about 2 tablespoons) and schmear it all over the dough before adding my filling. And I have to say, i’ve made the filing with your Vietnamese cinnamon & white sugar, Vietnamese cinnamon & brown sugar, but the best hands down is your baker’s cinnamon filling. I don’t know what it is that makes it so good, but I can’t get enough of it.

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Bridgid, I agree about the Baker’s Cinnamon Filling. I think it’s just that tiny bit extra fat and moisture in the filling that makes it so addictive. And smearing butter on the dough before adding the filling would create another layer of richness. Thanks for sharing! PJH

  4. Amber

    My absolute favorite addition I came up with when my sister requested ‘ooey gooey cinnamon rolls’. You can only put so much butter and sugar in the middle so to make them extra gooey I mixed the butter/brown sugar/cinnamon filling with 1/2cup of apple butter. It was a big mess to roll out but soooooo tasty!

    Reply
  5. Laura

    Hi PJ,

    What about potato flour? I haven’t tried this idea, but doesn’t it help to give a softer texture to bread and keep it that way?

    Best,
    Laura

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Laura, it does! The starch in potatoes attracts and holds water, and helps to increase the moisture content in baked goods, also extending shelf-life. Seems worth a shot to us! Mollie@KAF

    2. S. Moss

      My grammas receipe book from the 1800’s used potato water. Used this method soft gooey wondeful

  6. Judie

    I use a recipe that adds instant vanilla pudding to the wet ingredients and I’ve never had a dryness issue. Soft, yummy dough!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Norene, our recipes that call for vanilla instant pudding almost always use the whole box (3.4 oz). But perhaps Judie will share her recipe with you–our Facebook page is another great place for our fans to share recipe inspiration. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  7. Brett

    I know there are few ingredients for the thick icing, but do you have a specific recipe? Also, I used to work at a bakery where we made tons of cinnamon rolls and one thing that set them apart from others was what we added to the pans before the rolls were added…smear! Before we would leave for the day we would prep the pans for the morning by smearing the smear mixture. This mixture was made up of powdered sugar, brown sugar, butter, corn syrup and hot water. It dries in the pans but once it is baked in the oven, hello cinnamon rolls!! We also used to make salt rising bread that was to die for…

    Reply
    1. Brett

      I found the recipe for the icing…I should have just checked the cinnamon roll recipe first!!

    2. The Baker's Hotline

      Mmmmm… we could get on board with smear! Sounds delicious. For the full recipe (including the thick frosting), click on the recipe link for Soft Cinnamon Rolls underneath the very first photo. This is where all our featured recipes will be linked in our blogs. Or just click here for your convenience. Happy roll baking! Kye@KAF

  8. Beth

    I guess I am a cinnamon roll rebel. I bake mine on a sheet so they have independent shape and I only drizzle icing over them so the sweetness doesn’t overpower. I use a sourdough recipe with AP unbleached flour and they are large, soft and flavorful — sounds like they stay softer too. My favorites are to include orange zest or to add chopped pecans and dried cranberries to the filling. I freeze leftovers and use the parchment squares to separate them and for reheating in the micro. I haven’t tried tangzhong bread yet — have you ever combined it with sourdough (obviously not heating the starter).

    Reply
    1. PAdams2359

      Try adding a couple of tbls of room temp cream cheese to the frosting. It takes some of the bite out of all that sugar.

    2. Alex

      Did anyone have any idea about this? I want ed to combine the tangzhong technique in an enriched dough like this one and sourdough starter.. Also was thinking of swapping the milk for buttermilk for extra acidity and using a sourdough starter thats fed with 20 percent rye, 20 percent white whole wheat flour, and 60 percent bread flour. !!

    3. The Baker's Hotline

      Alex, if you want to add some sourdough into a recipe that also uses the tangzhong method, start by preparing the tangzhong starter and then add sourdough starter to the dough. In this case for Soft Cinnamon Rolls, make the tangzhong starter and then add all the other ingredients to the dough, using only 1/4 cup of milk and about 3 cups + 2 tablespoons of flour. Add 1 cup of recently fed, healthy starter to the dough, and adjust the consistency by adding more flour or water until the dough is just slightly tacky to the touch. Good luck and happy baking! Kye@KAF

  9. Linda Stewart

    Can I substitute bread flour in recipes that call for All Purpose flour without making any other changes such as liquid amounts? I’ve looked at KAF roll recipes and I don’t find many that call for bread flour. I’ve always preferred to use bread flour.
    Thanks –
    Linda S.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      You ask a great question, Linda! There will actually be a blog published in just a few days that dives into the answer in detail. But here’s your short preview: yes, you can use bread flour in recipes that call for all-purpose flour without adjusting the recipe significantly. Sometimes due to bread flour’s higher absorption rate, you’ll need to add a touch more liquid during the kneading stage, but initially you can just go ahead and make the swap. You’ll get a baked good with a bit more chew and a stronger rise. Bread flour also tends to hold its shape better, so it’s great for things like rolls. For recipes that specifically call for bread flour, check out our full selection here. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      You sure can, Lisa. We love using this method to ensure we have fresh cinnamon rolls in the morning (without having to wait forever). Follow the recipe up through the second rising and instead put the shaped buns in the pan, covered with greased plastic wrap, in the fridge overnight. They can rest for about 12-16 hours max. The next morning, let the buns sit at room temperature while the oven pre-heats and then bake them as you normally would. Slather with icing and then bam, you’ll be the star of breakfast! Kye@KAF

    2. Dorothy Wheat

      I mix up this topping and pour it over the rolls and put them in the frig all night. The next morning set them out while the oven heats and then bake.
      1 cup sugar
      1 tbsp cinnamon (mixed with sugar)
      ½ stick melted butter
      ½ cup heavy cream

    3. Yoann

      Could you clarify if you mean let the second rise happen and *then* put them in the fridge? Or, instead of the second rise, put them in the fridge?

    4. The Baker's Hotline

      Yoann, you’ll want to shape the rolls as recommended in the recipe and then allow the second rise to occur slowly overnight in the refrigerator. Be sure to cover the rolls well with sprayed plastic wrap, so they don’t dry out in the refrigerator. Barb@KAF

    5. Evan

      I often do this when making cinnamon rolls and other yeast breads. May I ask, why is it so important to let them come to room temperature before baking? I always do it because of instruction but never really understood why.

    6. The Baker's Hotline

      This gives the rolls a chance to come to their fullest height, and giving the dough time to “hang out” lets the gluten relax, making for more tender rolls.
      Bryanna@KAF

  10. Carol

    I too have struggled to find the “perfect” cinnamon roll recipe. My greatest lucky find has been coconut oil. I don’t know why, but rolls made with this are definitely softer and stay fresh longer.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Carol, we also like the subtly sweet, earthy flavor that comes from using coconut oil in baked goods. If you use a virgin coconut oil, we find you can just barely get a hint of that yummy flavor. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

    2. Random Dent

      Butter can be up to 15% water, some of which evaporates during baking; using an oil, shortening, or even clarified butter/ghee would increase the fat content, and fat makes everything better! 😀

    3. TropiCarla

      Hey Carol, for what ingredient do you substitute coconut oil? I’m sort of obsessed with coconut oil and would love to start using it in baked goods.

    4. The Baker's Hotline

      Carol may be able to answer more definitively, but we’d assume she’s using the coconut oil in place of melted butter. Mollie@KAF

    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Carol, you can leave it out; your rolls will simply be a bit less rich. PJH

  11. Dorothy Wheat

    Loved this post and felt like I learned a thing or two from it. Now I want to make rolls but it’ll have to wait until tomorrow.

    Reply
  12. Jocelyn

    Due to my two daughter’s allergies I can’t use any dairy product or eggs. I make my cinnamon buns with olive oil as the fat and rice milk for the liquid component of the dough. I paint melted dairy free margarine (Nuttelex, Earth Balance) on the rolled out dough before sprinkling the cinnamon sugar over it. For the icing I use one made to pouring consistency that has freshly made coffee, vanilla and rice milk in it. I pour it over the buns once they’re out of the oven. Even with all of those adaptations I’ve never had a problem with them lasting a few days in a sealed container.

    Reply
  13. Kim

    I cannot use whole milk (or any milk actually) unless powdered. Would reconstiting your bakers milk, or better yet, using soy milk or creamer function as a “whole” milk substitute? I’ve used soy creamer and a bit of butter to make “half and half” that works. So wondering. These sound wonderful and would love to try them. Thank you!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Kim,
      Kim, you can use 5 tablespoons of your favorite non-dairy milk in the starter, and simply replace the 3/4 cup of milk in the dough with non-dairy milk as well. You’re welcome to take the extra step and make it richer by using soy creamer and butter, but our Baker’s Special Dry milk in non-fat and you’d be adding more fat than what’s necessary with the creamer. You’ll likely get great results just using a non-dairy milk like coconut or cashew, which has lots of richness on its own. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Kathy, sprinkle chopped pecans on the rolled-out dough, at the same time as the sugar; or sprinkle them in the bottom of the greased pan, before adding the shaped rolls to the pan. Good luck! PJH

  14. Karen

    Any chance you have an easy way to make this gluten free? I’m so missing cinnamon rolls and these look just fabulous!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Karen, unfortunately, yeast bread and roll recipes are very difficult to convert to gluten-free because so much of the structure and rising depends on the gluten that wheat flour provides. However, we do have a GF cinnamon roll recipe that should satisfy your desire for this warm and welcoming treat. Barb@KAF

    2. Jan

      Karen, I too would love to have a GF recipe for these rolls, but hold on if you can because there are more and more GF recipes coming out and hopefully these rolls will be included. But I can’t wait either, sure miss them! But I may make this recipe just for the rest of the family, they sound so good!

  15. Peggy

    Thinking about making these to take to the beach………..my question: How would they do, if I made and panned the rolls, and froze them………..to be baked AT the beach one morning???? Or should I make them, bake them, THEN freeze them, and ice them after they’ve thawed?????????

    Reply
  16. Megan N

    I’ve tried to make gluten free cinnamon rolls a half a dozen times with as many recipes, and it’s always a struggle to make dough that isn’t too sticky to work with, and if it’s not, they are always an inch tall when they bake. One of the things I miss before my wheat allergy is white fluffy cinnamon rolls. I’ve tried KA regular AP flour, but maybe a better bet is a recipe with KA bread flour? I’m desperate! 🙂

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Megan, if you’re looking for a wheat-free cinnamon roll recipe, I wouldn’t recommend using our AP flour or bread flour, as both of these come from wheat. Have you tried our Gf cinnamon roll recipe? Maybe this will be the winner! Barb@KAF

    2. Megan N

      Oh yes, of course…I didn’t mean wheat AP flour, but the gluten free one. To me gluten free flour is AP flour ☺️
      I’ll give this one a shot. Thanks!

  17. Fran Urquhart

    How about using ricotta cheese in the dough, or even cream cheese? The cheeses will add to the softness of the dough and also keep longer.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Fran, this would be a pretty dramatic addition to this dough and you would likely need to adjust the recipe to accommodate the added cheese. I would reccomend sticking to the recipe as is, or looking for a sweet dough recipe that already calls for cream cheese. Barb@KAF

  18. Karen Campbell

    Would you recommend the tzangzong method for a bread machine?? We love cinnamon rolls but the body(s) can only afford them for special occasions so I’m not a regular bread baker…need the machine’s expertise! 😉

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We don’t see why the tzangzong method wouldn’t work in a bread machine too. You’ll still experience the benefits of a light, moist bread regardless of how it’s mixed and baked. Just be sure to heat some of the flour and liquid beforehand and have all the other ingredients ready to go into the bucket of your machine shortly thereafter. Feel free to share your results with us once you give it a try! Kye@KAF

  19. Ann

    Thank you for doing this! Can’t wait to try the Tangzhang method. I put a drop of the King Arthur’s Fiori di Sicilia in the cinnamon roll icing last time, and we all went crazy over it. Big hit!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Fiori is our secret weapon for elevating everyday recipes and making them absolutely superb. In this case, you’re starting with an already special recipe and making it simply divine with the addition of the fiori! Love the idea. Thanks for sharing. Kye@KAF

  20. Marie Lehman

    My cinnamon roll recipe uses potato water (to dissolve the yeast) and has mashed potatoes in the dough. I am a total cinnamon roll snob- never find ones better than I make, they are soft and don’t ever last long!

    Reply
  21. Mme Hawk

    Re; Cinnamon rolls- Our Auntie Carmella’s were different than ANY others. They weren’t bread w/ holes but moist!! paper-thin “leaves”- kind of like filo/phyllo.We haven’t been able to duplicate even w/ “booking” the dough. Each of the hundreds of leaves were so thin you could almost see through them and each could be peeled off separately. We have the recipe her son says she used but we can’t get those leaves of see-through dough. Hers had no extraneous nuts, raisins or frosting and we all swooned over them. She baked fresh bread EVERY DAY for 54 years. Please help us to discover her technique and carry on in her honor. Hope you can help. Thanks.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Wow, that does sound like a delicious treat that would be worth jumping out of bed for in the morning. It also sounds like your Auntie made something similar to a strudel dough. It’s known for it’s delicious layered texture and buttery flavor. While we don’t currently have a recipe for strudel posted on our website, we did have a short story and recipe featured in a past issue of the Baking Sheet. If you send us an email or give our Baker’s Hotline a call at 855-371-BAKE(2253), we’d be happy to send a copy your way. Kye@KAF

  22. Random Dent

    If preventing over-browning of the outer rolls is desirable, would any of these steps help?
    1) Line the inner wall (not bottom) with a strip of parchment paper (perhaps multiple layers), or use “cake pan strips” on the outside
    2) Lower the oven temp about 25 degrees
    3) Use a glass pan instead of metal

    I haven’t done a lot of baking lately, because I have little counterspace for rolling out dough and have only a small countertop oven, so I might be wrong. But I used to bake quite a bit, both professionally and at home. I love to experiment and improve on recipes!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      They’d certainly be worth a shot, Leelannee. If you do choose to use a glass pan, we would definitely recommend turning the oven temp down, otherwise you’e likely to see even more burning around the edges by the time the center bakes through. Mollie@KAF

  23. Lois Gochoel

    I immediately signed into my account to save this recipe after reading this blog. I make cinnamon rolls at Christmas and have even been known to give them to the neighbors as gifts. I read a few posts and have a couple of comments. I also spread soft butter on them prior to the cinnamon and brown sugar, then a very fine drizzle of corn syrup (so it looks like a glistening spider web). For my icing, I add a dash of salt to cut the sweetness as well as using almond AND vanilla extracts. I use the extract mixture in icing my Christmas cookies. My sweet neighbor’s remark was, “these are just like crack!” to which his daughter asked, “How would you know, Dad?” I can’t wait to make this recipe. My first experience with a flour roux was with a supposed Waldorf Astoria Red Velvet cake. It did make a wonderful cake!!

    Reply
  24. JCP

    Line your pan with parchment paper and spray with nonstick spray. Once the rolls are done baking, immediately (carefully) flip the pan upside down onto a serving tray or baking sheet. The hot cinnamon “caramel” drips down to the top of the roll keeping them moister throughout. Works like a charm!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      These are two very different flours, Sue. Bread flour is a white flour that is slightly higher in protein content than All-Purpose Flour and, like All-Purpose Flour, is milled from only the endosperm of the wheat berry. Our White Whole Wheat Flour, on the other hand, is a 100% whole wheat, milled from the endosperm, germ, and bran of the wheat berry. It comes from a lighter variety than traditional whole wheat, which accounts for the lighter color and milder flavor, and its performance falls somewhere between that of all-purpose and traditional whole wheat. You can read more about both of these types of flour, and all our others, on the “Our Products” page of our website: http://bit.ly/2bvtUvt Our bakers are also here seven days a week and would be happy to explain more: 855-371-BAKE. Mollie@KAF

  25. Toni Smith

    My favorite recipe for Cinnamon Rolls calls for 1 small pkg of Jello Vanilla pudding, (Cook and Serve type). 1/4 cup sugar and 2 cups of milk cooked together. Then I add 1 stick of butter and 2 tsp. salt and let cool until lukewarm. I also proof 2 pkgs. active dry yeast in 1/2 cup warm water with a pinch of sugar. When pudding mixture is just warm, I add 2 beaten eggs, the yeast mixture and enough bread flour to make a soft dough. After kneading, I roll out and spread with melted butter and spread with brown sugar and lots of cinnamon and roll and cut. This makes two pans of rolls or 24 large rolls. I have found that if I bake them at 375 degrees in air bake pans with 1 inch sides, that they don’t over brown. I’m anxious to try the Tangzhang method to make them even better.

    Reply
  26. Maureen Donovan-McLaughlin

    Now don’t yell at me because I am going to tell you that I use something besides KA flour to make biscuits but… to the Bisquick called for in their recipe, I warm the milk and add about three Tbs. of butter to the milk whilst warming. Then I go ahead and make drop biscuits. These are soft, moist and totally different than their ‘by the book’ sister biscuits. Is that the same principle that you are talking about here? I do have some self rising KA and will try it for biscuits soon but want to use up my Bisquick first. It is just me here and I hate to waste food.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We certainly understand that it’s easy to stock your pantry with lots of different ingredients, and we appreciate home baking no matter what brand you’re using. (Although we are excited to hear how you like our self-rising biscuits. They’re so light and flaky!) In order for the tangzhong method to make a difference in your baking, about 5-10% of the flour in your recipe needs to be cooked until thickened. It sounds like you’re using a different technique, but by all means keep at it if you like the results you’re getting. Happy biscuit baking! Kye@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Leslie, make sure the filling is no overly wet or it will sneak out, and make sure they are rolled more on the tight side versus the loose side. But even so, the filling tends to leak out a bit no matter what, not a big deal.
      Bryanna@KAF

  27. Karen

    My favorite King Arthur Flour cinnamon roll recipe was from years ago, called “Soft Cinnamon Buns.” I still have the page from the catalog that has a photo of Matt Allen, warehouse replenishment leader, with a pan of the rolls. The recipe included cake doughnut flavor (which you don’t sell anymore), baker’s special dry milk, granular lecithin, potato flour, and then the standard ingredients. There was no icing recipe included. I miss making these rolls, as I can’t find the cake doughnut flavor anywhere!

    Reply
  28. ReNay M.

    I enjoy these rolls with a small amount (about a handful) chopped pecans and a mix of currents and chopped dried apricots rolled inside!

    Reply
  29. Cathy B

    I want to make these rolls and freeze them to take to our lake house. Would you freeze them unbaked or baked? Frosted or not?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We’ve got you covered there, Cathy! We have a full blog post called Freeze: Cinnamon Buns in 20 Minutes. It’s the key to cinnamon bun success! Check it out and let us know if you have any questions. (For those who want a short synopsis, freeze baked and unfrosted!) Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  30. Toni Gelineau

    Made these yesterday and wow are they yummy and soft. I will try holding them overnight next time for baking in the morning. Will try the dinner roll recipe next. I think they will be like the “snowflake” rollsmy family likes so much from local bakery. I can always count on you for terrific recipes, advice and ingredients. Thanks!!

    Reply
  31. Raquel

    I noticed you used a mixer to make your dough. Would you recommend using the mixer as opposed to doing it by hand? I’m always a little nervous about doing it in the mixer because I don’t want to overwork the yeast/dough. Thank you

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Raquel, we sometimes find slightly stickier doughs like this easier to knead in a mixer or bread machine, but it can certainly be done by hand as well. Whichever technique you use, just make sure to allow the dough to rest for 20 minutes after mixing, before kneading, as this will make the dough easier to handle. Mollie@KAF

  32. Jackie

    My frosting turned out a light tan color – not white at all. Was it the melted butter? It really wasn’t appealing in looks so I think I’ll just leave the butter out and make a powdered sugar/milk/vanilla drizzle next time. I would also roll them out bigger so more layers to the rolls, but love the softness for sure.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Jackie, it was the vanilla that turned your frosting tan, not the butter. Next time you can use 1/4 teaspoon of almond extract (if you like that flavor), which is clear and still very yummy. You’ll have a more white icing as a result. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Judy, we’d be happy to help you adjust this recipe to meet your needs, but we’ll need to know the measurement and material of the dish. Please consider giving our Baker’s Hotline a call at 855-371-BAKE(2253) so we can talk cinnamon rolls! Kye@KAF

  33. VJB

    These are totally awesome!! My best attempt yet in baking cinnamon rolls. (My husband loves cinnamon rolls and they are the one thing I could never bake well.). I used my dough hook/stand mixer to knead the dough. Wasn’t sure how long I should knead it so just guessed. They are wonderfully soft. Thank you so much for all the wonderful directions and helpful hints :0)

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Huzzah for superior cinnamon rolls! Glad you’ve mastered them, and I hope your husband is suitably appreciative… 🙂 PJH

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We haven’t tried that, Katherine, but we’d be curious to hear what your results are. If you’re someone who loves soft, doughy, moist rolls, then you might want to consider sticking with a larger pan, like a 9″ by 13″. There will be less rolls that end up along the edges than in two round pans, which results in more soft-sided rolls. Have fun experimenting! Kye@KAF

  34. sandy

    PJ – Thanks so much for drawing attention to the tangzhong technique. I was never really aware of it until you posted it here. I have become very interested in making Asian buns and breads which are often steamed and filled with wonderful spicy things (bao) and was surprised to see that many of the recipes use the tangzhong technique as you describe above. Seeing the photos in your post and reading your explanation of the process helped me make sense of it. Thanks!

    Reply
  35. Carol A Montgomery

    I have been in search of a recipe that replicates the Cinnamon Bun of my childhood in NEPA in the 1960’s. The bakery responsible for these heavenly bundles has long since closed.

    I made these yesterday, my first experience with the tangzhong method. Oh my — as close to Old River Road Bakery’s cinnamon buns as I have come. Soft, moist, not too sweet. I added a few raisins to the filling (not too many). These are perfection. Today is my birthday and I have already eaten three of them!

    Now I need to find out how to duplicate their Coconut Stollen.

    Thanks, KAF!

    Reply
  36. Hannah J

    Yum. I am devoted to cinnamon rolls. And must agree- eggs, bread flour and potato water join hands and make a wonderfully soft dough! One idea I had that seems to work well is to roll the dough to length and then stretch it width-wise until it threatens to tear, (this often requires a few “rest stops” for the dough to relax) then I spread my filling on the newly increased surface area. More surface to fill=more filling= happier me! It also equals more twists to unravel! 😉 Every Friday before Shabbat, I double my family’s challah recipe and turn the extra dough into cinnamon rolls. The young man I give them to is now moving across the country and as a final send off I want to make sure he has moist cinnamon rolls as an incentive to safely make it to each state . I am counting on your tips to save the day!

    Reply
  37. Kaime

    Question: if I don’t want to turn the rolls out of the pan, should I pull them when they’re a little shy of 188 degrees?

    Secondly, am I messing up by not turning them out of the pan? Does it make a big difference in terms of texture?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Kaime, you’ll still want to remove the rolls from the oven when they reach 188°F. 190°F is usually the temperature we recommend to ensure they’re fully baked, so you’ll already be pulling them early at 188°F for a slightly underdone texture (which is moist and delicious). The reason why we recommend removing the rolls from the pan to cool is to allow the steam to escape. Otherwise, the bottom and sides of the bun can stay moist and eventually harden into a not-so-pleasant crust. If possible, it’s best to remove the buns from the pan to cool, at least slightly, before returning them to to pan to frost. We hope this helps! Kye@KAF

  38. Jennifer Jorgensen

    PJ I know this about a year after this blog was posted, but I have a serious enquiry. I’ve been volunteered to do the cinnamon rolls for my husband’s family reunion in a month. Because it’s an entire weekend affair, I am needing to make these early and reheat them for the Sunday brunch. I remembered this post and decided to revisit. Any suggestions for doing them caramel-style? I was just planning to prebake in 9×13 pans, wrap and freeze, and reheat the morning of. Hoping very much that they don’t dry out and/or get soggy in the interim. Thx thx, Jen j from Madison, Wi. And…btw… I have been a dedicated fan of your clever baking and lovely articles for years. Could be the Wisconsin thing? 😊

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Thanks for asking, Jennifer, and what a fun undertaking! If you’re looking to put a caramel-spin on cinnamon rolls, we recommend using a recipe like our Caramel-Nut Cinnamon Buns. Or you could always take the sticky bun route and make our Honey Caramel Sticky Buns. If you’re in love with the dough shown in this blog post, feel free to make the caramel and filling from the other recipe and use the tangzhong method to make the dough. Feel free to give our Baker’s Hotline a call if you want to walk through prep and freezing tips! Kye@KAF

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