The Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls are so light and fluffy, a decadent buttery treat. A make ahead yeast dough with no kneading required. Perfect for brunch or breakfast.
Everyone loves The Pioneer Woman and I am no exception, she seems like such a genuine person. Everything I’ve tried from her cookbooks or website have all been great recipes. Sometimes she uses more butter or sugar than I would, but otherwise I’m a big fan.
Pioneer woman cinnamon rolls are very similar to the ones that I’ve been making for years except her technique yields a lighter and fluffier roll, so I have converted. I’ve made substantial changes to her recipe but I do love her technique of adding baking powder and baking soda after the first rise. I think you’ll love my version and you can easily cut it in half but really, just freeze the extras, they are just as good.
How do you make pioneer woman cinnamon rolls
- Almost all cinnamon roll recipes are similar in that you let the yeast activate in warm milk.
- Then add flour, sugar and oil and let the dough rise for an hour.
- Punch down the dough, but before you form the dough into rolls, add baking powder, baking soda and salt. This gives them a lighter texture when baked.
- Roll out the dough and fill it with the gooey center. Then just cut into equal slices to help them cook evenly.
What should you put inside homemade cinnamon rolls
Always start with a layer of butter, you can be as generous as your dough will allow, just pour the melted, slightly cooled, butter over the rolled out dough. The butter will not only make them taste fabulous, but it helps hold the sugar and fillings in place. I like to add a mixture of brown and white sugar. I normally don’t measure but just cover the butter with the two sugars and then add a generous amount of cinnamon to the top.
If you are a nut and raisin lover, then add a handful of these to the mixture and press them into the dough a bit so they don’t ooze out while you’re rolling. Now you are ready to roll the dough into a tight roll.
What’s the best way to CUT cinnamon rolls
Believe it or not, dental floss will help you get a nice smooth cut. This won’t work as well if you have added nuts or raisins. I normally use a serrated knife.
Truly, these are so soft and fluffy, nothing like the dried out ones you see in so many bakeries. I generally make them in 10 inch pie pans, and freeze the extras, but they will work in any container with sides. Frozen are just as good as fresh.
Can you refrigerate the yeast dough for cinnamon rolls
Most yeast doughs can be refrigerated after the first rise. These are no exception. After you have made them into rolls, just cover them tightly with plastic wrap so that no air can get in and refrigerate overnight. They will rise some in the refrigerator. Remove them and let them double in size before baking.
Can you freeze cinnamon rolls
After the cinnamon rolls have cooled, wrap them in plastic wrap and place them in a ziplock and then freeze. When you are ready to eat them, let them thaw and reheat in the oven at 250º for about about fifteen minutes. You can hardly tell the difference between freshly baked and frozen cinnamon rolls as long as you keep them air tight in the freezer.
Do you need FROSTING on cinnamon rolls
I say no, just eat them with some added butter on top, the dough is too good to cover up with frosting. However, I realize I’m in the minority and everyone else loves frosting. This frosting just has the basics, butter, milk, powdered sugar and vanilla. But try leaving a few without frosting and give them a try, you might find you’re like me and enjoy the buttery rich goodness of a perfect cinnamon roll.
Preparing these this week was bittersweet as Natalie wanted to take something in for her last advising breakfast of high school. Throughout the year they rotate who will bring something in and normally I don’t even know when it’s her turn, she just stops and gets bagels on the way to school. But when she mentioned it, I wanted to send something special. We were home on a snow day so we got to sample them before she took them the following day. I don’t think these would survive a care package to college, but I could make a batch and bring them for parent’s weekend.
More cinnamon roll recipes
- Add pineapple juice for a sweeter dough
- Peaches make a great cinnamon roll
- In the mood for apples, check out cinnamon rolls made in a muffin tin.
All would be good on a lazy weekend morning or for brunch. We always have a batch while opening presents on Christmas Morning.
What should you eat with cinnamon rolls
Cinnamon rolls are so sweet that it’s nice to pair them with a savory breakfast recipe.
- My favorite is sausage balls either traditional or with almond flour
- Try a crustless quiche
- Egg cups are easy to adapt
- Try some pesto eggs in pastry cups
Don’t have time for cinnamon rolls, try some of these sweet breakfast recipes
- Streusel muffins with blueberries
- Pastry braid with berries
- Banana bread with vanilla butter
- Apple Dutch baby
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks
The Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls
- 4 cups whole milk
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 packages active dry yeast 4 ½ teaspoons
- 9 plus cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1½ cups butter
- ¼ cup cinnamon
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 lb powdered sugar
- ½ cup milk
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- pinch salt
- Heat the milk, vegetable oil and sugar in the microwave for about 2 minutes just until the sugar has melted. Do not let it come to a boil. Let it cool to lukewarm and then sprinkle the yeast on top and let it sit for 1 minute. Add 8 cups of flour, stir until just combined. Cover with a towel and set aside in a warm place for an hour.
- Remove and add the baking powder, soda, salt and remaining flour. Stir thoroughly to combine.
- To assemble the rolls, punch down the dough and divide in half. Place one half on a floured baking surface. Roll into a large rectangle about 24 X 10 inches. Cover with ½ of the melted butter using your fingers to spread it out. Generously sprinkle cinnamon and ½ cup of brown sugar and ½ cup of white sugar over the butter. If you are adding raisins or nuts, sprinkle them over now.
- Roll the rectangle tightly toward you, using both hands to keep the roll tight. Pinch the seam together when you have finished rolling. Cut into 11/2 inch slices and place in pie pans or a rimmed baking sheet that has been greased with butter. Do not overcrowd the rolls. Repeat with remaining dough.
- Preheat the oven to 375º and let rolls rise while the oven is preheating, about 20 minutes. Bake for 13-17 minutes, until golden brown.
- Icing: In a large bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, melted butter, milk and salt, then add the vanilla. Whisk until very smooth. It should be thin but pourable. If it is too thick, add additional milk. When the rolls come out of the oven, drizzle the icing over the top.
Barbara's Tips + Notes
- Let the dough rise in a warm humid place - heat a bowl of water in the microwave. then put the dough in the microwave and shut the door. It will create a warm humid draft free place for the dough to rise.
- You can refrigerate the dough after you have formed them into rolls. Remove when ready to serve and let warm to room temperature while the oven pre-heats.
- To freeze, allow to cool and then place in a resealable bag.
- If you choose to freeze them after they have baked, warm them in a 250º oven for 15 minutes.
If you make my version of The Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to also tag me on Instagram! I would love to see your creation.