If you’re looking for something to enjoy on Christmas morning that’s easy to prep ahead of time, this recipe is for you. Create the recipe up until the point where you have the dough in a log. Wrap it up tightly and freeze it, and then all you’ll need to do on Christmas morning is let it thaw, slice, and bake!
- Makes: 9 cinnamon rolls
- Prep Time: 50 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- ½ cup warm water (120ºF)
- 2¼ teaspoons quick-rise yeast
- 2½ tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for the work surface
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup whole milk
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 large egg
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon espresso powder
- 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 2 tablespoons whole milk
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- For the rolls: Line a 9 x 9-inch baking pan with parchment paper and lightly coat with cooking spray.
- In a small bowl, combine the warm water, yeast, and 1 teaspoon sugar.
- Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the flour, salt, and remaining sugar briefly to combine.
- In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine the milk and butter and microwave for 30 seconds. With the mixer on low, add the milk mixture and the egg. Add the yeast mixture. Switch to the dough hook and knead on low for 4 minutes, until smooth.
- For the filling: Preheat the oven to 200ºF. In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine the butter, sugar, cinnamon, and espresso powder and microwave for 20 seconds on high, then stir into a smooth paste.
- Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface and use a rolling pin to make a 9 x 15-inch rectangle. Spread evenly with the filling. Roll tightly from the narrow end into a log; cut into nine slices.
- Fit the 9 rolls into the baking dish. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, turn off the oven, and set the rolls in the warm oven for 20 minutes to rise.
- Remove the baking dish and remove the plastic wrap. Turn the oven on to 375ºF and immediately place the rolls in the oven. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Let cool.
- For the glaze: While the rolls are cooling, stir the powdered sugar, milk, espresso powder, and vanilla in a small bowl until completely smooth. Drizzle over the rolls and serve.