There is nothing like Cinnamon and Caramel Rolls baking in the oven unless they are sitting on a plate in front of you with a slather of butter.
If I had the knowledge and life experiences when I was young and just starting out on my own as I have now, I would have gone to culinary school or better yet, studied to be a pastry chef at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. Oooh la la…. Cinnamon and Caramel Rolls would have been a regular in my kitchen school or no school.
I started as a very young child and never felt intimidated to try things in the kitchen. One of my earliest culinary masterpieces was to make cinnamon rolls from frozen bread dough. Oh, my gosh, who can resist the smell of cinnamon rolls baking in the oven? [Tweet “Homemade Cinnamon and Caramel rolls can’t be beat.”]
I’ve graduated my rolls by making my own sweet dough. They bake up soft and gooey. This dough is excellent for either cinnamon or caramel rolls. As you can see, these rolls are the caramel roll. You can even add chopped nuts to the caramel filling, topping or both! Go big or go home right? A great example of mixing up this recipe is Chocolate Malt Sweet Rolls!
Cinnamon and Caramel Rolls
- 4 cups whole milk
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- 1 cup shortening
- 8-9 cups bread flour total
- 2 tablespoons instant yeast
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 4 eggs
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 3 cups Dark Brown Sugar I used close to 3 cups. You may use more or less.
- 1/2 cup Cinnamon - Sprinkled 1/4 - 1/2 cup over rolled out dough. Coverage is your preference
- ICING For Cinnamon Rolls Only
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1 lb powdered sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- enough milk to make icing spreadable
CARAMEL (For Caramel Rolls Only)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons karo syrup
- In a sauce pan, heat milk to 180 degrees F. Add sugar and shortening and continue heating until shortening is melted. Allow to cool slightly. Over heating will kill the yeast and prevent your dough from rising.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine only 4 cups of the bread flour and remaining dough ingredients. Combine with warm milk mixture. Mix well. Add 4 eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add additional flour one cup at a time until dough is sticky but manageable (additional 4-5 cups). You don't want it dry and tough. Cover and allow dough to rise in a warm non-drafty area 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Punch down and allow to rise again.
- On a floured surface, roll dough out until 12 to 14 inches wide and 3 feet long and 1/2 inch thick. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle on brown sugar and cinnamon, cover dough completely. Roll dough evenly and slightly tight toward you. Cut into 1/2 inch rolls with a sharp knife or dental floss.
- Cinnamon rolls - grease baking pan. I used 3 9x13 pans, 12 rolls per pan. Allow rolls to rise another 30 minutes in the baking pans.
- Caramel rolls - Melt caramel ingredients together in a medium sized sauce pan. Pour caramel into the bottom of baking pans. Fill with 12 rolls per 9 x 13 pan. Allow rolls to rise another 30 minutes in the baking pans.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes. Remove pan from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Turn rolls out of their pan onto a piece of tin foil or serving platter. Spoon any remaining caramel over rolls or frost Cinnamon rolls once cool. Store in airtight container for up to a week, or place in the freezer for up to 3 months.
One word of caution about these rolls is that once you share, people aren’t shy about putting in their orders for future rolls. This recipe isn’t difficult, and it makes up to 40 good sized rolls. Enough to share or put in the freezer for another day.