Sunday, October 21, 2012

Homemade Classic-Cinnabons / Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

When I saw this recipe posted on Shine-Yahoo, my mouth started watering and my tummy started growling!  Isn't it amazing the signals sent to our brains by images of yummy food?

When I pass by Cinnabons in our local shopping mall, the aroma of the fresh baked cinnamon rolls beckon me to the counter.  They're almost irresistible.  I say "almost" because the price tag of close to $4 for one roll makes it a little easier to pass it by.

I haven't tried the recipe yet, but when I saw 442 calories per serving versus Cinnabon's 880 calories and 6 grams of fat versus Cinnabon's 36, I'm all for giving it a try. Devin Alexander, author of Fast Food Fix and the Biggest Loser series of cookbooks developed this recipe. She says:

"My version of the Cinnabon has also become the recipe in the book [Fast Food Fix] that I've used to prove to skeptics that, in fact, these [fast- food] recipes can be duplicated to satisfy cravings with a fraction of the fat and calories of their original counterparts. Though I believe many of the [other] recipes [in the book] truly duel the originals, this one happens to travel much better than many since it doesn't need to be hot. The rolls are just fine if they sit at room temperature for several hours."

Here's the recipe for those of you who may want to indulge in a lower calorie version of the Cinnabon.

Cinnabon Classic Cinnamon Roll Recipe
- Devin Alexander, Fast Food Fix

For the frosting:

1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons reduced-fat Neufchâtel
3 tablespoons light butter from a stick, softened
1/2 tablespoon fat-free milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the buns:
Butter-flavored cooking spray
2 tablespoons light butter from a stick
1 cup fat-free milk
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup artificially sweetened fat-free vanilla yogurt
1 egg
1 egg white
One 1/4-ounce packet active dry yeast
4 cups unbleached flour, plus more as needed
1 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons corn syrup
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the frosting:

In a mixing bowl, combine the sugar, Neufchâtel, butter, milk, and vanilla extract. Mix on low speed with an electric mixer fitted with beaters or stir with a spoon until combined, about 1 minute. If using a mixer, increase the speed to high.

Beat or stir vigorously until smooth, about 30 seconds. Allow the frosting to set for at least 10 minutes. Place in an airtight plastic container. Refrigerate for up to 3 days. Just before using, stir well with a spoon.

For the buns:
Lightly mist a large bowl with cooking spray. Set aside 1 tablespoon of the butter to soften.

In a large microwavable measuring cup or a medium-sized microwavable bowl, combine the milk, granulated sugar, and the remaining butter. Microwave on high power until the milk is hot (130 degrees), 2 minutes.

Add the yogurt. Whisk until the sugar dissolves (some small lumps of yogurt may be visible). Add the egg and egg white. Whisk to beat well. Add the yeast. Whisk until dissolved.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the dough hook or in a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups of the flour, 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon, and the salt.

Mix or stir by hand with a wooden spoon to blend. Add the milk mixture. Mix on medium power or stir vigorously to blend. (The mixture will be very sticky.) Add the remaining flour, mixing or stirring until absorbed.

Lightly flour a work surface. Turn the dough onto the work surface. (A plastic dough scraper or brittle plastic spatula is helpful for getting out all of the dough and starting the kneading.)

Knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Add scant amounts of flour as needed. (The dough should be soft but not sticky.) Place in the reserved bowl. Lightly mist with cooking spray. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Allow to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the corn syrup, brown sugar, the remaining cinnamon, and the vanilla extract. Stir to blend well. Set aside.

When the dough has doubled in size, gently punch it down and place it on the lightly floured surface. Knead for about 1 minute. Dust lightly with flour. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.

Lightly mist an 11-by-7-inch nonstick baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside. Using your hands or a floured rolling pin, press or roll the dough into an 18-by-12-inch rectangle.

With a butter knife, evenly spread the softened butter over the dough. Drizzle on the filling. With a knife or spatula, spread it evenly to the edges. Starting at one shorter side, roll the dough, jelly-roll fashion, into a tube, ending seam side down. Cut into 8 equal pieces. Place, spiral side up, in the reserved dish.

Cover the dish with a damp kitchen towel and place in a warm spot. Let the rolls rise for another 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Bake until very lightly browned but slightly doughy in the center, 22-28 minutes. With a spatula, transfer 1 roll to a plate. Using a butter knife, spread 1 ½ tablespoons of frosting over the top and ½ tablespoon down the sides. Repeat with the other 7 rolls.

Makes 8 cinnamon buns


  1. Breakfast time for us and I love this recipe.

  2. Love the smell of cinammon, and these buns really do look scrumptious! I can almost taste them. Drat, now I'm peckish - thanks for sharing with us today.

  3. I haven't heard of these buns before - although they look like our 'Chelsea' buns (sub the cinammon and chocolate with raisins)

    It's years since I made sweet buns and this recipe looks very good!

  4. Hi Glenda,

    Mmmmmmm, I'm drooling over here..I just LOVE cinnamon rolls. I been thinking lately, about making some.

    Love the smell of them.

    Thanks for the recipe. Take care, Janet W


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