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Cinnamon Raisin Rolls

Everyone needs these Homemade Cinnamon Raisin Rolls in their lives. I was once a break-and-bake slash store-bought cinnamon roll kinda girl. Then these homemade cinnamon rolls filled with juicy raisins roll (*ahem* pun intended) into my life, turned it upside down, and showed me the real magic of cinnamon rolls…and I was enlightened.

cinnamon rolls with raisins in a large casserole

Baking with Yeast

Are you afraid of yeast? Is yeast the thing that is stopping you from taking a plunge at homemade Cinnamon Raisin Rolls?

There is no fear in yeast, my friend! I am in the business of helping you LET GO of your fear of yeast! Trust me, it is a freeing experience. One that will lead you to bread-bake your heart out and never look at store-bought rolls the same way again, because OMG there is nothing like freshly made bread.

First thing first though. Let’s take a second and pay tribute to this warm and soft rolls stuffed with cinnamon, raisin, brown sugar and buttery loveliness. It is a gorgeous and beautiful and life-giving. Then we drizzle that sticky sweet glaze onto it like we mean business.

DON’T WAKE ME UP FROM THIS DREAM.

Hand grabbing a cinnamon roll topped with sweet icing

I did not start making my own yeast bread until almost a year ago. I started making all different types of bread, sometimes baking with a recipe, sometimes creating my own recipes, in the efforts to teach myself the ins and outs of breading making.

I knew I want to incorporate bread recipes into this blog (simply because I have a deep, profound love for bread), but I want to be so familiar with it and can tackle different types of yeast breads before sharing a bread recipe with you.

Yeast was intimidating, but only at the mention of it. When I started working with it, I realize it truly was pretty straightforward.

How to make Cinnamon Raisin Rolls

Yeast comes in a few forms, and for this recipe we are using instant yeast. When using instant yeast, you just add it into the dough mixture. Then, when combining the other ingredients to make the dough, make sure the wet ingredients are warm.

Bring the egg out to room temperature for an hour or so prior to baking, warm the milk and melt butter so it is 90-100 degrees F. Keeping the liquid warm will help activate the yeast.

The dry ingredients should not be cold either, but they are typically not cold (since we don’t refrigerate flour, sugar etc).

You can make the dough with a standing mixer (use a dough hook) or knead the dough by hand. The former is definitely easier, but the latter is totally doable. Make the dough and then let it sit for an hour with a towel over it. It should rise to about double its original size.

Dough in a large bowl
Dough after sitting for an hour

When it comes to how we navigate yeast, this is really it. Just throw yeast into dough and provide the perfect setting (warm liquids) to let it do the rising.

Once the dough is risen, use a rolling pin and roll the dough into a ~15″ x 12″ rectangle, then spread the cinnamon brown sugar topping evenly on the dough.

When doing this, use soften butter, but not melted (liquid-y) butter when creating the cinnamon brown sugar topping. This will make rolling the dough into a tube a lot easier and less messy!

Rolled out dough and topped with cinnamon sugar mixture
Butter, brown sugar and cinnamon mixture spread on to dough

Roll the dough from the long side until it becomes a long tube, then use a serrated knife to cut out 12 pieces of cinnamon rolls.

Bring all 12 rolls onto a 9″ x 13″ casserole dish lined with parchment paper. If you are not using parchment paper, grease the pan with butter or vegetable oil.

Unbaked Cinnamon Raisin Rolls in a large rectangular casserole dish

Then cover the casserole dish with a cloth, and let it rise again for 30-40 minutes.

Bake that baby (not literal, of course) in the oven, and when it is done, your kitchen will smell like warm bread and your soul is comforted.

Remember let the rolls for cool for 10-15 minutes, and drizzle that heavenly icing onto the rolls.

Cinnamon Raisin Rolls topped with sweet icing

Oh my my my. I can taste it on my tongue. Warm, sweet, cinnamon bread, with a few raisin suprises in every bite, topped with this creamy glaze that is sweet enough but not so crazy sweet you don’t taste the cinnamon.

How to make this ahead of time

To make this the night before, make to the point where you cut out the dough and put the 12 rolls into the casserole. Instead of letting it rise again, bring them to the refridgerator.

In the morning, bring the casserole out from the fridge and let it cool to room temperature before popping them into the oven.

Close up of a Cinnamon Raisin Roll topped with icing

YUM YUM YUM!

Happiness in the morning (or any time of the day!) is what these Cinnamon Raisin Rolls bring. Enjoy!

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Cinnamon Raisin Rolls

Cinnamon Raisin Rolls

Warm and soft pull-apart bread filled with raisins, brown sugar and of course, lots of cinnamon. Topped with sticky sweet glaze. These rolls are divine and perfect for breakfast, dessert, or any time of the day!
4.97 from 33 votes
Print Pin
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Resting time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 12 cinnamon raisin rolls
Calories: 561kcal
Author: MinShien

Ingredients

Dough

  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 3 3/4 – 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp instant yeast
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • butter for greasing bowl

Cinnamon Filling

  • 1/2 cup salted butter softened, NOT melted
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon powder

Icing/glaze

  • 2 oz cream cheese softened
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup 2% milk
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract

Instructions

To make the dough

  • Warm milk to 90-100 degree F. Melt butter to 90-100 degree F. Crack and beat up a room temperature egg. Combine all ingredients into a bowl or a standing mixer.
  • Add dry ingredients to mixture: flour, sugar, salt, yeast and raisins. Use a dough hook to mix the dough if using a standing mixer. Or knead the dough with hand.
  • Dough should not be sticky. When touch with fingers, a large clump of dough should not stick to fingers. Add more flour to dough if dough is sticky. A lot of factors (humidity, temperature, size of egg etc) can make the dough more or less wet, so the amount of flour needed may differ.
  • Lightly butter large bowl (bowl must be twice or three times larger than dough) and bring dough to bowl. Cover with cloth, and let it rise for an hour, preferably in a warm spot.
    Dough for Cinnamon Raisin Rolls
  • Dough should rise to ~2-3 times its original size.
  • When dough has risen, use a rolling pin to flatten out dough into a 15″x12″ rectangle. 

To make cinnamon filling

  • In a bowl combine softened (not melted) salted butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Mix well.

To make the cinnamon raisin rolls

  • Spread cinnamon filling evenly onto the flattened dough. 
  • Gently roll dough from the long side into a long tube.
  • Using a serrated knife, cut tube into 12 cinnamon rolls. Each roll will be a little over an inch thick.
  • Place rolls onto a 9″x13″ casserole dish lined with parchment paper, or greased with butter.
  • Cover casserole dish with a towel and let rolls rise again for 30-45 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Remove towel. Cinnamon raisin rolls should be slightly bigger in size. Bake in oven for 22-25 minutes.
  • While rolls are baking, make the glaze by combining all the ingredients under “Icing/glaze” using a hand mixture or a whisk. Add more cream cheese to make thicken the glaze and add more milk to thin out the glaze based on your preference.
  • When rolls are done, let it cool for 10-15 minutes. Drizzle glaze onto the rolls.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 561kcal | Carbohydrates: 91g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 59mg | Sodium: 213mg | Potassium: 233mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 553IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 76mg | Iron: 4mg
Did you make this recipe?Take a pic and tag me at @joyous.apron, or hashtag #joyousapron on Instagram!

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Recipe Rating




6 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    These were the easiest and best tasting cinnamon raisin rolls I have ever eaten. Getting ready to make them for the fourth time. Everyone loves them

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      Yay! I LOVE hearing that! Glad you all enjoyed it! 🙂

  2. Elaine Johnson says:

    5 stars
    Made these for Christmas breakfast, substituting dried cranberries for raisins for a seasonal flair. Fantastic!! They are a new family favorite! Thank you!

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      Yum! Dried cranberries sounds so delicious and festive! Thank you for making it and sharing! Happy to hear you all enjoyed it.

  3. 5 stars
    I’ll be honest, not usually a cinnamon raisin kinda girl, but my boyfriend loves them so I tried making this for him. It was a hit – not just with him but I loved them too! Will be making these again!!

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      Yay! Love hearing that!