Last fall I got an itch to make cinnamon rolls from scratch and I was lucky enough to stumble upon the best ever cinnamon roll recipe on my first try. These rolls actually have cream cheese rolled right into the dough! Now these cinnamon rolls are laden with sugar, butter and cream cheese and probably more calories than you should eat in one day but I that is usually they way it is with all delicious food. My grandma loves these cinnamon rolls, so I wanted to make them for her birthday this year but they are very large and very messy and I love making cupcakes so I figured I would combine the two. A quick check on google let me know it could be done. So that was that cinnamon roll cupcakes were ready to go!! I made the recipe the night before and let them rise in the fridge overnight so they would be fresh for the party. After they cooled I smeared them with cream cheese glaze and they were heaven! These are definitely not the prettiest cupcakes I have ever made, but you cant pipe glaze lol and everyone was too busy eating them to think about what they looked like These came out so well I cannot imagine making cinnamon rolls any other way now, they are perfectly sized and easier to eat as they are portable. Im positive cinnamon roll cupcakes will be on my Christmas breakfast table and Im sure you will love them too!
Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls(adapted from Brown Eyed Baker)
For the Dough:
- 1 package (2¼ teaspoons) instant yeast
- ½ teaspoons, plus ¼ cup sugar, divided
- ½ cup whole milk, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 2¾ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
- ¾ teaspoon
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
For the Filling:
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ dark brown sugar, packed
- ¼ cup finely chopped pecans (optional, I did not use)
- ¼ cup finely chopped walnuts (optional, I did not use)
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup (I used pancake syrup )
- 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
For the Icing:
- Block of cream cheese
- 1 stick butter room temperature
- 2 pounds of powdered sugar
- Splash of milk 1.
To Make the Dough:
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer combine yeast, 1/2 teaspoon sugar and 1/4 cup water heated to 115°F. Stir to combine and let sit until frothy and foamy, about 10 minutes.
2. Add the remaining sugar, milk, light brown sugar, vanilla, egg, and egg yolk. Beat with a wire whisk until well combined. Fit the bowl onto the mixer, fitting with the dough hook attachment. Add the flour and salt and mix on medium speed until the dough just begins to come together. Turn the machine on medium-high and knead the dough for 4 minutes.
3. Add the butter and continue to knead for about 6 minutes. The dough will be wet and sticky. Place the dough on a well floured work surface, and knead about 1/3 cup all-purpose flour into the dough. The dough still might be a little sticky, which is ok. Set the dough to rest in a large greased bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until doubled in size.
4. While the dough rises, make the filling. Combine the sugar, dark brown sugar, pecans, walnuts, or raisins if desired, cinnamon, salt in a large bowl. Stir to combine. Stir in the maple syrup. Set aside.
5. When the dough has doubled in size, dump it from the bowl onto a heavily floured work surface. Gently knead the dough until it is no longer sticky, adding more flour as needed. Work the dough for about 1 or 2 minutes. Once it’s no longer sticky, place a kitchen towel over the dough and let rest for 5 minutes before you roll it out.
6. Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a 10 x 10-inch square.
7. In a small bowl, mix the cream cheese with a knife until it’s smooth and spreadable.
8. Spread the cream cheese evenly over the dough square. Fold the square into thirds like you would fold a letter to fit into an envelope. Take the open ends of the rectangle and fold into thirds again, to make a smaller dough square.
9. Invert the dough so that the seam is face down and, using the rolling pin, gently roll it into a 10 x 20-inch rectangle. You may find that some cream cheese sneaks through. Be as gentle as possible with the dough, but continue to work it until you reach the size you need.
10. Turn the dough so that the short sides are parallel to you.
11. Pour all of the filling onto the dough. Spread evenly, leaving a 1-inch boarder at one of the short edges of the dough so the roll can be properly sealed. Lightly press the filling into the dough.
12. Using your hands, lift up the bottom edge of the dough and roll it forward into a tight cylinder. Place dough cylinder seam side down on a cutting board. Using a sharp, thin knife, trim off the uneven edges.
13. Cut the cylinder into 8 equal slices. Nestle the slices, cut side up in a muffin tin using foil muffin liners (I found them at Walmart). Cover the pan with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place to let rise for 2 hours. You may also refrigerate rolls overnight.
14. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Uncover the rolls. If you refrigerated the rolls, let them sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before baking. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes.
15. Let cool.
16. Make the icing: Blend the butter and cream cheese together, then add the powdered sugar and add in some milk to reach your desired consistency.
17. Use as much glaze as you want!!.