Pillowy Cinnamon Rolls

Pillowy Cinnamon Rolls
A great cinnamon roll is gooey and fluffy with just the right balance of cinnamon and sugar. In our quest for perfection, we discovered a magical ingredient to deliver that soft, chewy texture: instant potato flakes! Baker beware: once you've had a taste of these pillowy cinnamon rolls, the cravings set in.

What You'll Need

1-1/4 teaspoons instant dry yeast

1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar

2/3 cup (55 g) instant potato flakes

3-1/3 cups (535 g) Pastry Flour (or All Purpose Flour)

1-1/2 cups (350 ml) whole milk, warm

4 tablespoons (60 ml) melted unsalted butter

1-1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt

2 eggs

Cinnamon Filling

4 tablespoons (60 g) unsalted butter

1 cup (215 g) brown sugar

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 cup (115 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

4 oz (115 g) cream cheese, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

pinch of fine sea salt

1 cup (115 g) powdered sugar


  1. Lightly grease a large mixing bowl with butter or oil, ready for proofing the dough. Set aside.

  2. Combine the yeast, granulated sugar and 1/4 cup warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer and stir to moisten the yeast and sugar. Add the potato flakes and flour and stir to combine. Add the warm milk, melted butter and salt. Place the bowl on the mixer stand, fit the dough hook and mix on low speed. Add the eggs, one at a time, then continue mixing for 10 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides. If the dough is very sticky and not coming away from the sides of the bowl, add an additional 1-2 tablespoons flour. Continue mixing for another 7-10 minutes until the dough comes together in a smooth ball.

  3. Turn out the dough onto a generously floured work surface and knead for 5 minutes. Place the dough in the prepared proofing bowl, cover tightly with airtight wrap and place in a warm area of the kitchen for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, or until doubled in size.

  4. Grease a 13" x 9" x 2" glass or metal baking dish with butter.

  5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and roll it out to a 14" x 12" rectangle.

  6. For the cinnamon filling, melt the butter, and combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Brush the surface of the dough with the melted butter, then sprinkle evenly with the cinnamon sugar. Starting at a short end, firmly roll up the dough, pinching the seam to keep the roll tightly sealed. With the seam side down, use a piece of butcher’s twine or unflavored dental floss to cut the roll into 12 equal slices by slipping the twine or floss under the roll and crossing the two ends over the top to create a clean slice. Place the slices, spiral-side up, in the prepared baking dish. Cover tightly and proof in a warm area of the kitchen for 30-45 minutes, or until doubled in volume.

  7. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 F.

  8. Place the dish in the oven and bake until the tops of the rolls are golden brown, about 30-35 minutes. Remove and allow to cool completely.

  9. To make the frosting, whisk together the butter and cream cheese in a large bowl until thick and smooth. Mix in the vanilla and salt. Add half the powdered sugar and whisk for about 30 seconds until smooth, then repeat with the remaining sugar.

  10. Spread the frosting over the cooled cinnamon rolls and serve.


If you want to make a start the night before, prepare the rolls and leave them to proof (covered) in the fridge overnight. In the morning, take the dish out of the fridge and bring the rolls to room temperature while the oven preheats, then remove cover and bake according to instructions above (step 8).

This recipe has been reprinted with permission from The Miller's Daughter by Emma Zimmerman (Hardie Grant North America). Photo credit: David Alvarado

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