Best Ever Ooey Gooey Cinnamon Rolls

When I was younger, my mom and I used to take a lot of weekend trips to New York City. Sometimes we’d bring a group of friends. Other times it would be just me and my mom.  I have some amazing, stand out memories from those trips…our favorite restaurant on 57th Street (that’s now a Starbucks), walking 50 blocks to see an exhibit of First Lady dresses at the Met, the little counter in Macy’s basement that sold cinnamon rolls.  Oh, those cinnamon rolls…huge, gooey, covered with cream cheese frosting. To. Die. For.

Good times…good times.

Today was a good old-fashioned snow day, with a pretty big snowfall predicted. So my kids had a bunch of friends over for a “snow sleepover”, and I decided that it was the perfect morning to bake something yummy for breakfast.

It seemed like a cinnamon roll kind of morning.

Up until a few years ago, baking yeasted things like cinnamon rolls really intimidated me. Memories like those amazing rolls from Macy’s basement seemed like they came from some one with skills far above mine. But after I tried to make them the first time, I realized that just because it takes time doesn’t mean it is hard. 

This recipe pays homage to those New York memories. Here’s hoping these have created some memories for my family.


  • You can knead dough using a stand mixer and dough hook. When kneading yeast doughs with a dough hook, use speed 2 and knead for about 2 minutes to initially mix ingredients. At this point you may need to turn off the machine to scrape down the sides, and then proceed to continue mixing for another 3-5 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. 
  • You can also prepare the dough in a bread machine. Combine the dough ingredients in the order specified by your bread machine. Set on dough cycle. Let dough rest for 10 minutes once completed and continue with recipe. 
  • Don’t worry if your rolled dough isn’t perfectly rectangular (who can really do that anyway!!). After the dough is rolled, you can trim edges on both ends so that the rolls will be equal and filled.
  • If you buy yeast in a jar rather than packages, 2 1/4 tsp. is equal to one package.
  • Make sure your butter is at room temperature before step one. You don’t want to heat the milk/sugar/butter mixture too high. It will kill the yeast.

Here’s the recipe. If you give these a try, please let me know how they came out. I’d love to hear from you. Follow me on InstagramPinterest and Facebook for more stories and recipes from my family table to yours. 


Ooey Gooey Cinnamon Rolls

Prep Time: 1 hour 30 min     Cook Time: 15 min     Total Time: 1 hour 45 min
Serves: 12


  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs (room temperature)
  • 1/3 cup butter (room temperature)
  • 4 – 4 ¼ cups bread flour (plus extra for rolling)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup butter (softened)
  • 4 oz. cream cheese (softened)
  • ¼ cup butter (softened)
  • 1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. milk (optional)


  1. Combine 2 cups of the flour and yeast in a large mixing bowl. In a saucepan, combine milk, butter, sugar and salt over medium heat until temperature reaches 120 to 130°F (butter will be almost melted).
  2. Add milk mixture to flour mixture along with eggs and mix with an electric mixer on low for 30 seconds. Stir in as much of the flour as you can. 
  3. Place dough on a floured surface and knead in as much of the remaining flour as possible. Continue to knead the dough until it is very smooth and elastic, about 5 to 10 minutes. (see note below for using a stand mixer for kneading).
  4. Cover dough with oil or cooking spray and plastic wrap. Let rest covered for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon and set aside.
  5. Roll the dough into a 18 x 21 inch rectangle. Spread 1/3 cup butter onto the dough and top with the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture. 
  6. Starting with the long side, roll up the dough so you have an 18” log.
  7. Cut into 12 even rolls
  8. Line a 9” x 13” pan with parchment paper. Make sure to grease parts of the pan not covered with parchment. Place rolls in pan.
  9. Cover with plastic wrap and a tea towel and let rise until nearly doubled, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°F.
  10. Bake rolls on center rack for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned.
  11. While the rolls are baking, combine cream cheese, ¼ cup butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract and salt with a mixer until fluffy.
  12. Allow rolls to cool for about 10-15 minutes and spread frosting on warm rolls.

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