Thursday, October 2, 2008

Mmmm Cinnabon...

...Well not actually.

Hands up if you love Cinnabon. It was love of at first bite for me. I fell in love with the delicate bun, the sweet spicy cinnamon filling and the decadent cream cheese that enrobes every delicious cinnabon.

After having tasted every single variant I asked the sales lady at our local (the one and only) Cinnabon store if she could add chocolate sauce to the Caramel Pecanbon which I had just purchased. She politely replied, "sorry we don't do that".

Either way I was determined to have my cinnamon roll with chocolate sauce, caramel sauce and roasted pecans...just the way I normally like my desserts. The next day I searched for cinnamon roll recipes and found a cinnabon clone recipe. I gave it a try and was quite impressed with the results. I wouldn't call it a cinnabon but the roll had all the sweet cinnamon goodness that I love about Cinnabon cinnamon rolls.

For those of you who haven't been to cinnabon. You need to go, you won't be disappointed...and they keep their promises too. You will always find them fresh out of the oven.

Pure Cinnabon decadence...

Classic Cinnabon and Caramel Pecanbon

The recipe is easy and the results are great. If you're intimidated by working with yeasted doughs, don't be. I found the dough easy to work with and quite forgiving. I made a few mistakes with it (that's what happens when you trying to fit baking into a busy schedule) and it still turned out good.

Here goes....

First I poured added the warm milk and yeast into a large bowl and gave it a quick stir.

Next I added the sugar, margarine, salt and eggs and gave that a quick stir to combine.

I then added the flour one cup at a time and mixed with my hand mixer using the dough attachment until all the ingredients were well combined.

The dough turned out a bit too sticky so I added about half a cup flour to the dough. It was still slightly sticky and elastic but I didn't want to add anymore flour.

I left the dough in the oven, which I had warmed slightly, to rise until double. The dough was still too soft and a tad bit sticky for me to roll so I kneaded it gently on a well floured surface until it formed a soft dough.

I rolled the dough into a large rectangle - I didn't measure and spread the soft butter evenly over the dough leaving...... I left about 1 inch from the bottom edge (this should be the longer side of your rectangle) clean so that the rolls can seal nicely.

Next I sprinkled the sugar/cinnamon mixture evenly over the surface of the dough leaving a 1 inch space at the bottom edge of the dough clean.

Starting at the far edge of the dough, I began to roll it up tightly towards me. I then trimmed the left and right edges of the dough and cut it into 1 1/2 inches (3.8 cm) pieces.

I placed the rolls in a rectangular pan. I didn't use parchment/greaseproof paper. Instead I used my silicon baking mat.

I baked the rolls for about 17 minutes until golden brown and then spread a generous amount of cream cheese icing over the rolls while they were still warm. I also drizzled caramel and sprinkled them with roughly chopped roasted pecans.

Cinnabon Clone Recipe

  • Don't be afraid to use margarine in this recipe. I made these twice, first using butter (I tend to snub margarine in recipes like this) and a second time using margarine. Both turned out great. Cinnabon actually uses margarine in their rolls.
  • In South Africa our instant dry yeast comes in 10g packages. I used all of it in my rolls.
  • Add a teaspoon of vanilla when adding the wet ingredient for the dough. It tastes better for me.
  • For those of you who have ever been confused about "packed brown sugar", it's not a type of sugar. The "packed" refers to the way in which you measure the sugar - you need to pack it tightly into the cup when measuring. Use soft brown sugar.
  • Line and grease the pans with parchment/greaseproof paper. Use an 8'' (20cm) square baking pan or 9"x13" (23cm x 33cm) rectangular baking pan. I try to steer clear from dark pans since they tend to burn or brown whatever's been baked in them too quickly. Leave a 1 inch space between each roll.
  • Leave the rolls to stand for about 30 minutes in a warm place before baking. I warmed the oven slightly, turned it off and placed the rolls in there for about 30 to 40 minutes. I removed the rolls, pre-heated the oven and then put them back in to back.
  • I baked the rolls at 350 degrees F / 180 degrees C until light golden brown. They took a little more than 15 minutes to bake. I actually didn't time then, I just gauged.

1 (1/4 ounce / 7 g) package dry yeast
1 cup warm milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup margarine
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
4 cups flour

1 cup packed brown sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
1/3 cup margarine, softened

8 tablespoons margarine
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt


First step - Rolls:
  1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk in a large bowl.

  2. Add sugar, margarine salt, eggs, and flour, mix well.

  3. Knead the dough into a large ball, using your hands dusted lightly with flour.

  4. Put in a bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place about 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.

  5. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface, until it is approx 21 inches long by 16 inches wide.

  6. It should be approx 1/4 thick.
  7. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Second step - Filling:
  1. Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.

  2. Spread the softened margarine over the surface of the dough, then sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon evenly over the surface.

  3. Working carefully, from the long edge, roll the dough down to the bottom edge.

  4. Cut the dough into 1 3/4 inch slices, and place in a lightly greased baking pan.

  5. Bake for 10 minutes or until light golden brown.
Third step Icing:
Make the icing while the rolls are baking.

  1. Mix the margarine and cream cheese with an electric mixer until fluffy
  2. Add vanilla and mix to combine.
  3. Add the icing sugar and continue beating for about 5 minutes
  4. Spread the rolls generously with icing whilst still warm from the oven.


Haley said...

Mmm.. I love Cinnabon! Everything on your blog look so tasty! Your cinnamon rolls turned out great, and the photo is making my mouth water!

I would love to write about your cinnamon rolls on our blog! If you are interested send me an email at

Haley, KI Blogger

Diane said...

Thanks Haley. Your blog is great and it would be a pleasure.

Fabiana Di Polo said...

Hi, thanks for the incredible and amazing recipe and explanation. I made the rolls yesterday and it was a success, really fantastic!!! Greetings from Venezuela

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noora said...

you r wonderful!!!
thanks for ur recipes...

Kandice Howard said...

These are so yummy! I would love to feature them on my blog