Holiday Tradition Cinnamon Rolls

I always look forward to traditions. Not just during the holidays but any time of year. I feel it’s nice to have something to look forward to no matter how big or small the tradition is. My fiance’s mom makes cinnamon rolls for the holidays, and I already can’t wait to have one on Christmas morning. Its the little things!

Cinnamon Rolls in 2 foil circular tins freshly baked and out of the oven

Although this isn’t my fiance’s moms cinnamon roll recipe (I still need to ask her for it), I decided to make Ree Drummond’s recipe from the Pioneer Women. I was actually making Ree’s Parker House Rolls and saw in her recipe I could save half the dough for cinnamon rolls. I didn’t think twice. Of course I was going to save half the dough to make cinnamon rolls! I’m so glad I did. These are amazing especially with lots of icing drizzled on top. My favorite!

Cinnamon Rolls in 2 foil circular tins freshly baked and out of the oven

With the holidays coming up, I know people attend cookie swap parties or bring treats to their friends, family or neighbors. I for one wouldn’t mind getting some of these delivered to me for the holiday!

Yield: 20-25 Cinnamon Rolls
Prep Time: 2 Hours 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 15-18 Minutes
Total Time: 2 Hours 45 Minutes +

Dough Ingredients

2 cups whole milk
1 stick (1/2 Cup) butter
1/2 cup sugar
2-1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon (heaping) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (scant) baking soda
1/2  tablespoon (heaping) salt
1/2 cup (additional) all-purpose flour
1 stick melted butter (additional)


To start making the dough, combine 2 cups milk, 1 stick of butter and sugar in a large sauce pan. Place sauce pan on the stove and bring to a simmer. When the mixture is hot (but not boiling) turn off the heat and allow to cool to warmer than lukewarm, about 30-45 minutes. 

Then, add the yeast and 4 cups of flour to the mixture. Stir to combine. Then cover and allow to rise for 1 hour. 

After 1 hour, add baking powder, baking soda, salt and 1/2 additional cup of flour and combine. Divide the dough in half.

*Note: I only used one of the halves for the cinnamon roll recipe. I used the other half to make Parker House Rolls.

Sprinkle surface generously with flour. Place half the dough on the surface and form a rough rectangle with you hands. Then take a rolling pin and roll the dough thin, but keep a general rectangular shape increasing in both width and length.
Drizzle 1/2 cup of melted butter over the dough. Then sprinkle 1/2 cup of sugar over the butter and give a generous sprinkling of cinnamon on top.
Beginning at the opposite end, start rolling dough towards you. Keep dough relatively tight as you roll. Then pinch both ends of the dough to seal. Spread a little melted butter on the bottom of your pans (can be foil or cake pans). Cut rolls with sharp knife about 3/4 to 1 inch think laying them flat in buttered pan. 
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Cover rolls and let sit for 20-30 minutes while oven is pre-heating. Bake for 15-18 minutes. 
While the rolls are in the oven,  this is the perfect time to make the icing. I made this icing below. 

Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time: 10 Minutes

Icing Ingredients

3 tablespoons butter
3 cups powdered sugar
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
3/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-5 tablespoons milk, as needed

Melt butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Once butter has melted, continue to whisk over medium heat until butter turns from yellow to a golden color. Remove from heat. 
In a medium bowl whisk together butter and cream cheese for 2-3 minutes until very fluffy and creamy. (I used my KitchenAid mixer.)
Mix in powdered sugar, one cup at a time, alternating with 1-2 tablespoons of milk after each addition of powdered sugar. Once all the powdered sugar is incorporated, mix in vanilla and more milk (1 tablespoon at a time) until icing is a smooth spreadable consistency. 
Drizzle over cinnamon rolls, or store chilled in airtight container up to five days. 


  • *Ree Drummond’s Parker House Roll recipe is also the start of her cinnamon roll recipe. In her Parker House Roll receipe Ree links her cinnamon roll recipe once you need to switch to finalizing the cinnamon rolls. The ingredients above reflect half the recipe. 
  • I halved the icing recipe as well, however, make original recipe if you desire or need more icing for your cinnamon rolls.

Cinnamon Roll Recipe source*:


2 thoughts on “Holiday Tradition Cinnamon Rolls

  1. Thank you! I'm so glad you got some inspiration for your holiday gifts. Have fun making these cinnamon rolls. I hope your neighbors enjoy and don't forget to make yourself a batch. They are delicious!


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