Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Frosting

I heart cinnamon rolls.

For years, I’ve believed that the only acceptable frosting for a big, fat, ooey, gooey cinnamon roll is cream cheese frosting. I believe that cream cheese frosting should be given its own food group.

It is with that paradigm that I approached this recipe. I couldn’t believe that anything could even come close to my beloved cream cheese frosting. I was willing to be open minded (somewhat) and give it a go, though.

This maple frosting is something special! And while it certainly hasn’t unseated my cream cheese frosting from top billing, it is a very yummy alternative and a scrumptious runner up.

I love the roll dough–it has an incredible texture and must be tried to believe.

The recipe makes so many cinnamon rolls that I was able to give some of my extra tins away as Christmas gifts. They looked so pretty, wrapped in cellophane and sealed with a festive ribbon.

For those of you, like me, who don’t own a coffee maker, you can either buy a cup of coffee from a nearby coffee shop or you can place some of the coffee grounds into a tea infuser. Boil some water and place the tea infuser into the hot water for several minutes. My Grandma M endorses Folger’s Classic Roast, so that’s what I used for this. Worked great!

In the end, I ended up making three recipes of the frosting. Apparently, I like lots of frosting!

Also, I wasn’t able to figure out how to accommodate the amount of butter Pioneer Woman demanded be used inside the cinnamon roll filling. Even when I halved the amount of butter, I still had trouble keeping the butter from escaping when I tried to roll up the dough. They were still yummy–even without the extra butter.

Tip: A roommate in college from my Freshman year taught me to use dental floss to slice cinnamon rolls (as opposed to using a knife). I still use this technique and believe it works better than anything else. To use dental floss, use about 18 inches of floss. Slide the mid-point of the floss under the ready-to-slice, rolled-up dough. Lift the two opposite ends, and bring the ends together. Have the ends move past each other in opposite directions until the string slices through the dough. Repeat until all the rolls have been sliced.

I hope that makes sense.

For any goop that escapes while you’re rolling or slicing, just scoop it up with your sliced, uncooked rolls before placing them in the baking dish.


Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Frosting
Modified from The Pioneer Woman Cooks

Yield: 7 disposable, round cake or pie tins full of cinnamon rolls (about 6-8 rolls per pan)

Roll Ingredients & Instructions
1 quart whole milk
1 c vegetable oil
1 c sugar
2 pkgs or 2 T active dry yeast
8 + 1 c all-purpose flour
1 heaping tsp baking powder
1 scant tsp baking soda
1 heaping T salt
1 1/2 – 2 c butter, melted
2 c sugar
generous sprinkling of cinnamon

Mix the milk, vegetable oil, and sugar in a pan. “Scald” the mixture (heat until just before the boiling point). Turn off heat and leave to cool 45 minutes to 1 hour. When the mixture is lukewarm to warm, but NOT hot, add yeast. Let this sit for a minute. Then add 8 cups of flour. Stir mixture together. Cover and let rise for at least an hour. Punch down.

Add 1 more cup of flour, the baking powder, baking soda, and the salt. Stir mixture together. (At this point, you could cover the dough and put it in the fridge until you need it–overnight or even a day or two, if necessary. Just keep your eye on it, and if it starts to splurge out of the pan, just punch it down).

Melt 7 T of butter, and distribute 1 T into each of the seven round tins.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Sprinkle counter or table surface generously with flour. Take half the dough and knead into a rough rectangle. Roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thickness, maintaining a general rectangular shape. Drizzle 3/4 c – 1 c melted butter over the dough. Next, sprinkle 1 c of sugar over the butter followed by a generous sprinkling of cinnamon.

Starting at the edge furthest from you, begin rolling the dough in a neat line toward you. Keep the roll relatively tight as you go–being careful to prevent any escape of the butter/sugar/cinnamon mix. After the rolling is complete, pinch the seam to the roll to seal it.

Cut the rolls approximately 3/4 to 1 inch thick and lay them in the buttered pans. Repeat the process with the other half of the dough.

Let the rolls rise for 20-30 minutes, then bake at 400 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until lightly golden brown.

Maple Frosting Ingredients & Instructions
4 c powdered sugar
2 tsp maple flavoring (Note: I used Mapeline flavoring instead)
1/2 c milk
1/4 c butter, melted
1/4 c brewed coffee (Note: Per my grandma’s recommendation, I used Folger’s Classic Roast)
1/8 tsp salt

Mix together all ingredients and stir well until smooth. Frosting should be thick but pourable. Taste and adjust as needed. Generously drizzle over the warm rolls. Go crazy, and don’t skimp on the frosting!


2 Responses

  1. ummmm…coffee. I’ve had coffee and I hate the taste, could you taste it in the cinnamon rolls? And how did you brew it?

  2. Ange, I don’t usually like coffee-flavored things, but I liked this. The amount is pretty small, so it’s not too overpowering.

    To brew it, I put the coffee grounds in a tea infuser that I got at a Natural Foods store a couple years ago. I then boiled some water (6-8 oz) and placed the tea infuser into the hot water for several minutes. Easy!

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