Cinnamon Rolls

A delicious treat for the holiday season.

By Jess O’Toole

There’s nothing quite like freshly baked cinnamon rolls. The heady aroma of cinnamon fills the house as the rolls bake, turning puffed and golden. These soft, doughy and buttery pastries are perfect for Christmas morning or an afternoon treat with visiting family. Don’t be put off by all the steps, this simple method is perfect for beginning bakers. As long as you read the recipe through and organize the ingredients before getting started, the recipe is pretty much foolproof. These rolls can be baked start to finish in about three hours, or get them started the night before and store them in the fridge until you’re ready to bake in the morning.

  1. Heat the milk and water in a small saucepan over medium low heat until warm. (The liquid should be no warmer than a baby’s bottle.) If it gets too hot, pour it into another container and stir until just warm.
  2. Pour 2 1/2 cups flour, yeast, sugar and nutmeg into a large bowl and whisk to combine evenly.
  3. Break the butter into small pieces and use a spatula to stir it into the flour mixture until the texture is crumbly and the butter is well combined with the flour. Pour over the warm milk and water, stirring until combined, then beat in the vanilla and egg for a few seconds until the mixture is smooth.
  4. Add more of the flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until the dough is no longer sticky. It should be soft and easy to handle. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes until the dough is elastic and smooth. Shape into a ball. Grease a large bowl with oil and add the dough, turning to grease all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  5. Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with butter. Gently punch down the dough, then roll it out on an oiled surface to an 18 x 10 inch rectangle. Spread the softened butter over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border on the long side farthest from you. Stir together sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the butter, and then the raisins.
  6. Starting at the long side of the rectangle closest to you, roll the dough tightly into a log, toward the 1-inch clean border on the other side. Using a knife, cut the log into 12 pieces, each 1 1/4 inches wide. Place the cinnamon rolls in the greased baking dish and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 30 minutes to 1 hour. Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. (Go on to step 7 and bake the cinnamon rolls or put them in the fridge, covered with plastic wrap, overnight. Remove the rolls from the fridge while you preheat the oven the next morning.)
  7. Whisk together 1 egg and 1 teaspoon milk and brush lightly over the top of cinnamon rolls. Bake the cinnamon rolls on the center rack for 20–30 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly. Whisk together the glaze ingredients and drizzle over the warm cinnamon rolls. Serve immediately.



  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tsp. whole milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 2 tsp. (or a 1/4 oz. pack) active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg or ground nutmeg
  • 4 tbsp. butter, room temperature (soft)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Vegetable oil for greasing


  • 8 tbsp. butter, room temperature (soft and spreadable)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup raisins


  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp. melted butter
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2–3 tbsp. whole milk

Nutrition Facts Per Serving

  • Serving size: One cinnamon roll
  • Calories: 353
  • Total Fat: 15g
  • Saturated Fat: 9g
  • Cholesterol: 56mg
  • Sodium: 15mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 50g
  • Dietary Fiber: 1g
  • Sugars: 20g
  • Protein: 5g