I only visited Cinnabon for the first time this past year with my friend Ana-Maria. We didn’t go for the classic original roll, but the Caramel Pecan Center of the Roll. It was super soft, bursting with cinnamon flavor, and topped with perfectly toasted pecans. I saw these cute paper cups at the grocery store and I knew it was time for us to recreate our first Cinnabon experience.
I know homemade cinnamon rolls seem like a big undertaking, plus there are quite a few steps. But it’s quite simple and straightforward. The end result is totally worth it, you will not be disappointed. Someone even commented, “This must be what heaven tastes like.” I’ve already been asked to make more….everyone will love them.
Here’s My Notes:
1)If you don’t want to put the cinnamon rolls in the paper cups, you can just drizzle the caramel frosting and sprinkle the pecans over the rolls in the pan they were baked in.
2)The cream cheese icing….I wanted it to be thin. I put 1/4 cup of milk in the recipe, but just add enough of milk to your liking. Anywhere from 2 Tablespoons – 1/4 cup milk should be good.
3)I made the dough by hand. The dough was super soft. I think it was from lightly mixing, I highly recommend just mixing it up by hand.
5)I think the paper cups are super cute and perfect for Valentines. I found mine at Walmart in the Valentine’s Day section. You could put a cinnamon roll cup in a little box and hand out to friends and co-workers…they will love you for it 💕. Or just keep them in the pan and have your own Valentine’s Day treat that morning for breakfast…a good way to start the day.
Caramel Pecan Cinnamon Roll Cups
Yields: 12 cinnamon rolls or 8 cups
1 cup milk
1 Tablespoon yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons butter, melted
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 cup dark brown sugar
Pinch of salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
Cream Cheese Icing
4oz. (1/2 package) cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
Chopped pecans, toasted
In a two cup measuring cup. Warm the milk up in the microwave for about one minute (I like my milk to be about 108-112 degrees F.) In a large mixing bowl whisk together the warm milk, yeast, sugar, and salt. Then whisk in the egg and melted butter. Add in the flour and with a wooden spoon stir to form a dough. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface kneading for about a minute. Spray the bowl you mixed the dough in with non-stick cooking spray and place the dough back in. Cover with a clean tea towel and let the dough rise in a warm place for 45 minutes – a hour or until the dough as doubled in size.
While the dough is rising prepare the filling: In a medium-sized bowl combine together the melted butter, dark brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon.
Once the dough has doubled in size, place it on a lightly floured surface and roll the dough out to 1/2-inches thick. Spread all of the filling mixture over the top. Starting with the end closest to you, roll the dough up tightly. Cut 12 equals slices. Brush a 9×13 baking dish with butter and equally space the rolls in the buttered pan. Cover the dish with the same tea towel and place back in a warm place to rise again for 30 minutes or until the rolls have doubled in size.
While the rolls rise, prepare the cream cheese icing: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or a large mixing bowl using a hand mixer, beat the cream until creamy. Slowly add in the sifted powdered sugar. Then after the cream cheese and powdered sugar are fully combined add in the milk and vanilla, beat for about a minute.
Next prepare the caramel frosting: In a medium-sized saucepan melt the butter and brown sugar together over medium heat, bring to a boil, and while stirring boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add in the heavy cream and vanilla, stir well to combine. Let cool.
Now that the rolls have doubled in size, preheat to 325 degrees F.
Bake rolls in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until barely lightly brown, do not over bake these rolls or your experience will be ruined. Remove the rolls from the oven and immediately pour the cream cheese icing over the top. Use an offset spatula to evenly spread the glaze over every roll, making sure each one is
saturated covered with icing.
Add the powdered sugar to the cooled brown sugar mixture. Place the frosting in a 12-inch piping disposable piping bag, cut the tip of the bag.
Cut cinnamon rolls into quarters, place the pieces in a paper cup (we put about 1 1/2 rolls in each of our cups). Generously drizzle each cup with caramel frosting. Finally, and definitely not least, sprinkle with toasted chopped pecans. Enjoy ! 💘
Caramel Icing was adapted from HERE
Dough was adapted from HERE