Molly Wizenberg's Cinnamon Rolls


The month of March really snuck up on me.  February certainly didn't feel short with its chilly, dark days and falling snow, but somehow the month flew by.   We took a much-needed trip to warmer weather for a wedding in Miami and spent a weekend with friends at a remote ski area in southwest Colorado called Wolf Creek.  We cozied up in a rustic cabin called the Lonesome Dove, wore ourselves out on the slopes during the day, and curled up with tea and a movie at night.

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One of my favorite things about getting away for the weekend is that the time is spent together - there are no chores to get in the way or other social engagements to keep.  You can really focus on whatever you are doing, whoever you are seeing, or wherever you are that weekend.  

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On the flip side, we've been away three weekends in a row and the laundry and mail are piled high and I haven't cooked in weeks.  I am looking forward to just being home this weekend. 


You know what would be perfect for our first weekend morning home in weeks?  Molly Wizenberg's Cinnamon Rolls.  You can't go wrong with cinnamon rolls and these are soft and sticky and the frosting is the perfect complement to the sweet dough and cinnamon sugar filling.  I've been meaning to make these since Molly's recipe appeared in Bon Appétit  and now that I know they are easy to make and SO good, I'm kicking myself for having waited so long.  


Molly Wizenberg's Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

Bon Appétit
March 2008

Notes:  Read this recipe through before beginning to allow yourself enough time to make the rolls.  The dough must rise twice so you have to allow appropriate time for that to occur.  I actually made the dough the night before (through step #2 below), let the dough rise in the fridge overnight, and then continued with the recipe in the morning.  Ali also blogged about this recipe and she made the rolls through step #5, refrigerated them overnight, and baked them in the morning.  Either way, just don't plan on starting these at 8 AM and having cinnamon rolls one hour later.



  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 1/2 cups (or more) unbleached all purpose flour, divided
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons rapid-rise yeast (from 2 envelopes yeast)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Non-stick vegetable oil spray


  • 3/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature


  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


For dough:

1.  Combine milk and butter in glass measuring cup. Microwave on high until butter melts and mixture is just warmed to 120°F to 130°F, 30 to 45 seconds. Pour into bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add 1 cup flour, sugar, egg, yeast, and salt. Beat on low speed 3 minutes, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl. Add 2 1/2 cups flour. Beat on low until flour is absorbed and dough is sticky, scraping down sides of bowl. If dough is very sticky, add more flour by tablespoonfuls until dough begins to form ball and pulls away from sides of bowl. Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, adding more flour if sticky, about 8 minutes. Form into ball.

2.  Lightly oil large bowl with non-stick spray. Transfer dough to bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, then kitchen towel. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.

For filling:

3.  Mix brown sugar and cinnamon in medium bowl.

4.  Punch down dough. Transfer to floured work surface. Roll out to 15x11-inch rectangle. Spread butter over dough, leaving 1/2-inch border. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar evenly over butter. Starting at 1 long side, roll dough into log, pinching gently to keep it rolled up. With seam side down, cut dough crosswise with thin sharp knife into 18 equal slices (each about 1/2 to 3/4 inch wide).

5.  Spray two 9-inch square glass baking dishes with non-stick spray. Divide rolls between baking dishes, arranging cut side up (there will be almost no space between rolls). Cover baking dishes with plastic wrap, then kitchen towel. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until almost doubled in volume, 40 to 45 minutes.

6.  Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F. Bake rolls until tops are golden, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and invert immediately onto rack. Cool 10 minutes. Turn rolls right side up.

For glaze:

7.  Combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat until smooth. Spread glaze on rolls. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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