I have been making these cinnamon rolls for decades now. I’ll admit that after the boys left home, I went several years without making them. But now that we are all in the same city again, having family meals, with grandkids in the picture, I’ve gone back to this recipe.
To me, it’s like coming home to a dear friend. There are plenty of cinnamon roll recipes out there. But this classic version is very special to me. This recipe not only makes big, delicious, rustic, fluffy decadent rolls, but it is also the only cinnamon roll recipe I have ever made. And the recipe came from a cookbook I received as a shower gift for my wedding.
To be honest, I’m not completely sure who gifted me the Betty Crocker’s Cookbook: New and Revised Edition. I believe it was Steve’s grandma, Ruby. And I was grateful for it MANY TIMES in the early years our marriage. See, I couldn’t really cook when we first got married. And this cookbook often saved me from seeing my then 29-inch waist of a husband get even slimmer. I think he is probably grateful to this cookbook too!
I made these cinnamon rolls again for the first time in ages on Christmas morning. Truth be told, I was making them for my daughter-in-law, Shania. She loves yeast breads, and she does have a sweet tooth. Although I expected that my 4-year-old granddaughter Bella would like them (show me a kid who DOESN’T like cinnamon rolls), I was taken aback by how much she LOVED them.
We had a family lunch with my brother and his family last weekend. Sam was working, but Shania and the girls came, as well as Matt. I had decided to serve breakfast for lunch, so I called my bestie and college roomie for her breakfast casserole recipe (which I will be posting soon), made a double batch of sausage kolaches, and added some fresh fruit. But remembering how much both Bella and Shania enjoyed the cinnamon rolls, I made a batch of those as well.
Sam told me that Bella has been asking for Grandma Lori’s cinnamon roll all week. That is when it occurred to me that this recipe is worth sharing. Not only because it is a GREAT recipe, but also because when I searched for it online, it took me a bit to find this version, it is that old. I thought it might be time to polish up an old gem.
Betty Crocker, thanks for an oldie but goodie! I hope this becomes a go-to for another young cook out there somewhere!
Let’s make betty crocker’s cinnamon rolls
This is what you need for the sweet roll dough. And here are a couple of notes.
The milk should be lukewarm AFTER scalding. Scalded milk makes the cinnamon roll lighter, fluffier, and enhances the cinnamon flavor. I just pop it in the microwave for a few seconds and turn it off right after it starts to boil. Then I let it cool a bit.
The original recipe called for 1 package of dry active yeast. My research indicates that 1 package in older recipes usually equaled 2 tablespoons of yeast. But today’s dry active yeast is more efficient. You can use a package of today’s dry active yeast, but if you use jarred yeast, just know that it represents 2 1/4 teaspoons.
This is what you need for the filling.
And this is what you need for the glaze.
The original recipe calls for dissolving the yeast in the warm water, adding the other ingredients in order, and then mixing it by hand.
Yeah, I prefer my bread machine on the dough setting. It LIKES to knead dough, so I let it do all the work. You can always use an upright mixer with the dough hook.
I dump everything in together and it comes out beautifully every time.
This is what the dough should look like after kneading, but before rising.
And this is what it looks like after 1 1/2 hours in the bread machine.
Roll it out into a rectangular shape on a floured surface and spread the room temperature butter evenly over the top, going very close to the edges.
Next, sprinkle the sugar.
Then sprinkle the cinnamon.
Roll the dough evenly into a tube, gently folding in about 1/2 inch of the sides as you go to form a natural seal on the ends.
Pinch the seam firmly to the body of the roll. Use your hands to stretch and roll any bulging sections so the tube is evenly round.
Cut the tube into 12 equally sized rounds. I like to use a long pizza cutter like the one pictured above. If you use a knife, use a sharp one and cut in a single downward motion. Do not saw back and forth or you will unravel your little rolls.
Place the cut rounds into a prepared baking dish to rise. I like to cover them with plastic wrap so that it is directly touching the dough. That helps keep the dough from developing dry rough spots, which is especially important in our desert climate.
You can see that I don’t worry about being too careful with how I place the rolls. They are not nearly as pretty as they were when cut. Because they are not perfect, they will bake to different heights. I must confess that I am one of those people who like the rustic cinnamon rolls that puff up unevenly here and there. To me they look more “homemade” and therefore more appealing.
Allow them to double in size. That should take about 40 minutes.
Then bake them at 375° F for 25 to 30 minutes. I use the convection setting, which helps me avoid making the bottoms too crusty. Using the convection setting at 375°, they only took 20 minutes to bake.
Don’t let the color fool you into thinking those are dry spots, that’s just caramelization. The dough is quite pillowy and fluffy.
Allow them to cool for about 15 minutes before glazing. Otherwise your glaze will melt right off the top and pool on the bottom of the baking dish. And we don’t want that to happen.
I like lots of gooey glaze plainly visible over my cinnamon rolls.
And they are now ready to serve!
Enjoy them with a cold glass of milk, which is how my guys like them. Or maybe with a delicious cup of hot coffee. Or just gobble up two or three cinnamon rolls in a row before deciding you need to wash them down with anything. That sometimes happens too.
Bottom line, you can’t go wrong with a Betty Crocker classic like this one.
- SWEET ROLL DOUGH
- 1 package dry active yeast (2¼ teaspoons)
- ½ cup warm water (105° F to 115° F)
- ½ cup lukewarm milk (scalded then cooled)
- ⅓ cup sugar
- ⅓ cup shortening or margarine, softened
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 3½ to 4 cups flour
- CINNAMON ROLLS
- 1 sweet roll dough
- 2 tablespoons margarine or butter, softened
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2-3 teaspoons ground cinnamon, to taste
- Butter or margarine to grease a 8 x 11 baking pan
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons, approximately, milk
- Place all the sweet roll dough ingredients in a bread machine pan set to dough only setting. The bread machine will mix, knead and signal the end of the dough rising. Usually about 1½ hours. You can also use an upright mixer with the dough hook. Once the dough ball is fully shaped and the texture is smooth, allow it to rise in the mixer bowl covered with plastic wrap to prevent drying. Allow the dough to double in size. Again, about 1½ hours.
- After rising, place the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out into a rectangle, about 15 x 9 inches.
- Next, spread the softened margarine or butter evenly over the surface, just short of the edges.
- Then sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon evenly over the butter, again, just shy of the edges.
- Roll dough up tightly starting on the 9-inch side, folding the outer sides in about ½-inch as you go to form a natural seal on the ends.
- Firmly pinch the end seam against the body of the roll to seal. Stretch roll to make even.
- Cut into 12 equally sized rolls.
- Place equally spaced in the prepared baking pan, then cover with plastic wrap to prevent drying. Allow the rolls to double in size, about 40 minutes
- Place into an oven preheated to 375° F and bake until golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes.
- Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes.
- For the glaze, whisk the powdered sugar, melted butter, vanilla extract, and half the milk until smooth, adding more milk as necessary after whisking without allowing the glaze to become too runny. The glaze should pour thickly onto the cinnamon rolls.
- Glaze and serve.