Just Like Grandma’s

While we were at the grocery store on Saturday Jeff grabbed a package of cinnamon rolls and said, “Let’s get these!”.  But I am a mean old witchyperson, so I said no and smacked his hand and made him put them away.

Then on Sunday morning I woke up early, and made some the right way.  Because I’m a mean old loving witchyperson.

Grandma’s recipe – it’s never failed me before, and I swear it’s pure magic.  Love these things.

Speaking of magic – before the second rise:

(and here I go, posting my dirty stove for all the Internet to see…)

And after the second rise:


But a bunch of raw cinnamon rolls don’t do ya much good, will they?  So then you bake them, and ice them…

And eat them.

I ate this one:

It was every bit as delicious as it looks.

This one, too:

(is there anything better than a Sunday morning with fresh baked cinnamon rolls and a whole Internets’ worth of entertainment?)

And then I died.  Again.


The end.

…oh, all right.  If you’re just gonna whine at me, I’ll give you the recipe.  But remember – this is Grandma‘s recipe.  My grandma.  So don’t mess with it! 😛

Grandma’s Cinnamon Rolls

1c warm water

1 packet (2 1/2 tsp) yeast

2T sugar

1t salt

1/2c dry milk

1/4c shortening (just no getting around it.  Gotta use shortening.)

~3c flour (varies)

2T melted butter

cinnamon-sugar mixture


2t vanilla

2T melted butter

powdered sugar (~1c, maybe?)

milk (~1/3c? maybe?)

Combine water, yeast, and sugar in mixer bowl; let sit until yeast activates.  Add salt, dry milk and shortening; beat well.  Gradually beat in flour, until a soft dough is formed.  (At this point, I take the dough out of my KitchenAid and knead by hand).  Knead ~6-8 minutes, or until you’ve got nice pretty happy glutenstrands.  Let rise for 1 hour, using your preferred method*.

Turn dough onto lightly floured board; punch down and roll to about 12″ x 20″ rectangle.  Spread butter evenly on top, then sprinkle generously with cinnamon-sugar.  Roll from long end to long end (so you have a tube ~20″ long), pinching the seam closed when you’re done.  Transfer roll to a cutting board** then cut into 12 discs of even width.  Place in a greased 9 x 13 pan*** and let rise a second time.  Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 20 minutes or until rolls are golden brown.

Icing:  combine all ingredients in small bowl; whisk together until smooth.  Icing should be runny but not liquidy (adjust amount of powdered sugar and/or milk as needed – amounts above are just guesstimates.)

Pour icing on warm rolls.  Consume with great abandon.

*I learned about this rising method a few months ago, and haven’t done it any other way since:  When you first get started, heat oven to 200 degrees, then turn it off.  When dough is ready to rise, just pop it into the warm-but-not-hot oven in its bowl or on its bread board (whichever), and cover with a cotton cloth.  The oven will cool so slowly that it’ll create a perfect, cozy environment for the dough without causing it to lose humidity.  And I guess the cotton cloth is optional if you don’t live in cat- or dog-friendly house.

**Because I don’t like to get icky stuff – butter or cinnamon – on my bread board (it can make the board unsanitary, and you shouldn’t be washing a bread board frequently anyway).  So I’m extra careful  when I brush on the melted butter, then transfer to a bamboo cutting board when its time to slice the roll.

***After much research, I’ve determined that the best pan for this is a cheap-o aluminum one like you can pick up at Dollar General (which is where I got the one above).  Darker colored pans (ChefMate, Wilton, etc. – and everything at Target)make the rolls get too brown and cook unevenly.

Enjoy! 🙂 I’d love to hear if anybody tries the recipe. Just think – it’ll be just like standing in my Grandma’s kitchen.

PS>Bonus points if you have a Currier and Ives plate to eat off of.



EDIT 2/2/11:  I have since tweaked this recipe a bit.  I now use a 2:1 ratio of white sugar to brown sugar and sprinkle it liberally on the flat dough.  I also use a TON of cinnamon (more than you would think is humanly possible or necessary).  Then I roll them long-ways rather than short-ways, to increase the number of layers in each roll.  This makes them more tender and delicate and flavorful.  Highly recommended!

12 responses to “Just Like Grandma’s

  1. OMFG. My fingers are wet because I just drooled all over my keyboard.

  2. thank you for sharing! I’m trying to get over my fear of baking…and this looks easy enough! We shall see

  3. oh holy deliciousness! this looks SOOO good, i’m drooling over my keyboard. =) i shall definitely try it sometime!

  4. I made cinnamon rolls this weekend too! But I packed them in too tight and their insides rose right out. But they were still delicious. All 18 of them. Yep. And I made mine in a glass pyrex dish and it worked quite well. AND. That’s the way i raise my dough too – in a warm oven. in the summer i’ll turn on my clothes drier before I need to raise the dough and then put it in there. But it gets cold too fast in the winter. This saves energy if i’m already doing laundry. But it’s not good if ones’ husband goes and turns the drier back on. This has never happened to me. But i figure it’d be a bad thing. I also decided that I cannot make cinnamon rolls every weekend. I will continue to eat them all and that. isn’t a good thing. But maybe I will make this recipe next weekend. Because I can and want to. The end.

  5. I’m packing now to go home now to my mom. I can be there in a couple of hours and will be sucking how cinnamon rolls in the morning for breakfast. Too bad you can’t be go, but there wouldn’t be enough for you, anyway. Sorry.

  6. This is torture because cinammon rolls are one of the best things ever. Plus, you are eating one off of my grandparent’s plates (well, the same design, anyway). Yum!

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