Our favorite Christmas Morning Cinnamon Rolls / by charity buchika

Christmas Morning Cinnamon Rolls

Just picture a Christmas morning filled with laughter, a cozy fire in the fireplace, the unwrapping of gifts, and finally, the festive pouring of corn flakes for your Christmas morning breakfast.

No way! Christmas morning is way too special to default to an un-special breakfast. But, of course, there's always the problem of no one really feeling inclined to cook while everyone else is enjoying their new stuff.

 At our house, we go for these heavenly cinnamon rolls.

These things are seriously so yummy. Visions of them are already dancing in my family's heads!

 And they can be partially made ahead, then popped into the oven while the last of the wrapping paper scraps are being cleared away.

 If you tend to be intimidated by recipes that involve things like yeast and kneading and rising, don't shy away - this one is actually really do-able. And anyway, with butter, sugar, and cinnamon in the mix, they're going to be good pretty much no matter what, right?!


The recipe isn't my invention. It's third-hand from alexandracooks.com, who got it from Molly Wizenberg on Epicurious. But you don't mind a hand-me-down recipe, do you?

I didn't think so!

Yield: 18 cinnamon rolls

Christmas Morning Cinnamon Rolls

prep time: 4 hourcook time: 20 minstotal time: 4 hours and 20 mins


    • 1 cup whole milk
    • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 3½ cups (or more) unbleached all purpose flour, divided
    • ½ cup sugar
    • 1 large egg
    • 2¼ teaspoons rapid-rise yeast
    • 1 teaspoon table salt
    • Nonstick vegetable oil spray (I used butter)
    • ¾ cup (packed) golden brown sugar
    • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
    • ¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
    • 1 cup powdered sugar
    • ¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
    • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. You can approach making these one of two ways: 
  2. You could do the initial mixing at night and let the dough rise overnight in the fridge. This would require a little bit of work in the morning — punching down the dough (provided it has risen sufficiently), rolling it out, rolling it up, cutting, etc. Your rolls won’t be ready first thing in the morning, but they’ll be ready soon enough.
  3. Or you can follow the recipe until the rolls are cut and placed in their baking pans, then stick them in the fridge to rest overnight. As far as timing goes, allow yourself about four hours to mix the dough, let it rise, assemble the rolls, etc.
  4. Combine milk and butter in glass measuring cup. Microwave on high until butter melts and mixture is just warmed to 120°F to 130°F, 30 to 45 seconds. Pour into bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add 1 cup flour, sugar, egg, yeast, and salt. Beat on low speed 3 minutes, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl. Add 2½ cups flour. Beat on low until flour is absorbed and dough is sticky, scraping down sides of bowl. If dough is very sticky, add more flour by tablespoonfuls until dough begins to form ball and pulls away from sides of bowl. Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, adding more flour if sticky, about 8 minutes. (or just leave it the mixer, switch to the dough hook, and let it mix for 8 minutes.) Form into ball.
  5. Lightly oil a large bowl with nonstick spray (or with butter or oil). Transfer dough to bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.
  6. Meanwhile, mix brown sugar and cinnamon in medium bowl. Punch down dough. Transfer to floured work surface. Roll out to 15×11-inch rectangle. Spread butter over dough, leaving ½-inch border. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar evenly over butter. Starting at 1 long side, roll dough into log, pinching gently to keep it rolled up. With seam side down, cut dough crosswise with thin sharp knife into 18 equal slices (each about ½ to ¾ inch wide).
  7. Spray two 9-inch square or round glass baking dishes with nonstick spray. Divide rolls between baking dishes, arranging cut side up (there will be almost no space between rolls). Cover baking dishes with plastic wrap. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until almost doubled in volume, 40 to 45 minutes.
  8. Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F. Bake rolls until tops are golden, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and invert immediately onto rack. Cool 10 minutes. Turn rolls right side up.
  9. Make the icing: Combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat until smooth. (Note: if ingredients are at room temperature, you can whisk by hand.) Spread icing on rolls. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Created using The Recipes Generator

There you have it. Bet you can't wait until Christmas to make them!