Sunday, August 29, 2010

Maida Heatter's Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Rolls

Just like brownies, I've never met a cinnamon roll I didn't like. I keep trying new recipes and I can't decide which one I like the best. This recipe comes from Maida Heatter's Great American Desserts Cookbook. The dough is easy, doesn't contain an exorbitant amount of butter (like brioche dough seems to). This recipe call for 2 sticks of butter for 12 rolls, and the one today has only 1/2 stick. And this recipe has mashed potatoes in it which keeps the dough moist - even for the next two days.

This mangled bun was the one I couldn't resist trying right out of the oven... the center of the bun is the best part!

Cinnamon Rolls

I made these rolls exactly as written, except I used a 9x13 pan instead of a 10 1/2 X 15 jelly roll pan and I omitted the raisins (forgot them actually). I thought the almond extract in the icing was unusual and I'm glad I tried it, although I'd most likely stick with plain vanilla next time, or maybe substitute orange or maple flavoring. I will definitely make these again, but next time I will add more cinnamon filling, omit the nutmeg, and use a thinned cream cheese icing like the one I used here.

Cinnamon Buns
from Book of Great American Desserts by Maida Heatter

Note: Maida goes into great detail when writing out her recipes with helpful tips and hints. I have shortened the instructions to include just the basics...

1 cup mashed potatoes, instant or real, from about 3/4 lb potatoes
1 cup milk
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 ounces (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut up
1/4 cup warm water or potato cooking water, 105-115 degrees F
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
about 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Heat the mashed potatoes and milk in a small saucepan. Stir in the 1/2 cup sugar, the salt, and the butter. Heat and stir until the mixture is 105-115 degrees F. The butter does not need to melt completely.
In a 1-cup glass liquid measuring cup, stir the warm water with the remaining 1 T sugar, sprinkle on the yeast and stir briefly with a knife. Set aside for about 10 minutes or until the mixture rises to the 3/4 cup line.
In a small bowl, beat the egg and vanilla.
Transfer the potato mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the yeast mixture and the egg. On low speed, gradually add 3 cups of flour. Beat on low speed for a minute or two. Remove the paddle attachment and replace with the dough hook. Add and additional 1 1/4 cups flour. Continue to knead on low speed for about 5 minutes, adding up to 3/4 cup additional flour to make a dough that is not too dry and not too sticky. The dough should stick to the bottom of the bowl, but not to the sides of the bowl while kneading.
Place the dough in a bowl sprayed with Pam and then lightly spray the top of the dough as well. Cover with plastic wrap and place it in a warm place to rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until the dough has doubled in volume.
Punch the dough down and transfer to a floured board. Cover it loosely with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray.
Roll the dough to an 18-inch square with floured rolling pin. Spread the dough with butter and sprinkle on the cinnamon sugar and the raisins, if using. Roll the dough like a jelly roll and pinch the seam to close. Shape the log with your hands to obtain an evenly thick log. With a sharp knife (floured if sticking), cut the dough into 12 even pieces. Place the rounds into the 9x13 pan with 3 rows of 4 buns. Cover loosely and allow to rise for one hour. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Bake the buns for 20 minutes until the buns are nicely but lightly browned. Let stand for 5 minutes. Drizzle with glaze.

note: this is the original recipe, and next time I will double the cinnamon and sugar and omit the nutmeg.

2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 ounce butter, melted
5 ounces dark raisins, steamed

Melt the butter in a bowl. In another bowl, combine the cinnamon, sugar, and nutmeg.

1 tablespoon unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup confectioners sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
a few drops almond extract
about 2 tablespoons cream

Beat or whisk all ingredients together until smooth. Add more cream or confectioners sugar to adjust the consistency. It should be thick but pourable.


  1. Amazing looking cinnamon rolls. I have yet to fnid a recipe that I like. I am definitely going to give yours a try. They look so moist and fluffy.

  2. I would never even imagine putting mashed potatoes in cinnamon rolls...they look delisious!

  3. This blog is great. Isn't the title those almond flavored German treats?

  4. They look marvelous. I've never attempted to make cinnamon rolls. I might have to try this.

  5. Looks great. I've not made these...going on my to do list!


    p.s. Bobby Flay's Banana Cream Pie can be done in 2 days.

  6. Can you taste the potato?

    Looks wise they are perfectly delicious, I'd love to try one.

  7. You can't taste the potato in these at all! And apparently yeast loves the starch in the potatoes too. My only complaint about these rolls was that they did need a bit more flavor from more cinnamon and sugar. Otherwise, so delicious!

  8. There was a lady at our small grade school 45+ years ago, Audra Comer, who made cinnamon rolls from scratch every Thursday. Believe me no one stayed home from school on Thursday. These remind me of those.

    Also, I used to have Maida Heatter's Cake cookbook and loved it. It had a recipe for fudge sauce that I used to make for ice cream and even gave it for Christmas one year. I was trying to remember her name so I could search for a used copy on line. Thanks!!

  9. Charlene - thanks for sharing that story! Cinnamon rolls every week - my kids would think they'd died and gone to heaven!

  10. These are my favorite cinnamon rolls. I too prefer them baked in an 9x13-inch pan. I probably double the amount of the filling - at least double. I don't really measure the amount of butter and cinnamon/sugar in the filling. I also brush or dab extra melted butter on top of the rolls once I put them in the pan and sprinkle with additional cinnamon/sugar (Can you tell, I like cinnamon). I make smaller rolls by diving the dough in half before making the jelly rolls.



Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin