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The BEST soft and fluffy Cinnamon Rolls with an easy Maple frosting. A small-batch cinnamon roll recipe with cream cheese glaze and filling.
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Maple Cinnamon Rolls {BEST EVER}

Incredibly soft and fluffy butter-rich Maple Cinnamon Rolls. A maple frosted cinnamon bun recipe that's perfect for special occasions like Christmas and family breakfast. Plus, I answer your questions about the entire process from the yeast, dough, baking, frosting, freezing, and making in advance.
Course Breakfast, Breakfast & Dessert, Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Cinnamon Rolls, Maple Cinnamon Rolls, Maple Frosting, Small-batch Cinnamon Rolls, Soft Cinnamon Rolls, Yeast
Prep Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 3 hours
Servings 12
Calories 478kcal

Ingredients

Dough

  • 1/4 cup warm water thermometer should read between 105°F-115°F
  • 3/4 tbsp active dry yeast see notes for instant dry yeast
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 cup warm whole milk
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (½ stick)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 3-4 cups all-purpose flour

Cinnamon Filling

  • 6-7 tbsp softened unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup + 2 tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp + ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp all-purpose flour

Maple Frosting

  • 3 oz cream cheese
  • 9 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 ¼ cups + 2 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp whole milk
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 3 tsp maple flavoring extract

Instructions

  • USING ACTIVE DRY YEAST: Heat 1/4 cup water to 105°F-115°F in microwave at 15-second intervals. Use a kitchen themometer to ensure the correct temperature.
    Stir and dissolve active yeast in the water. Stir in 1 tsp granulated sugar. Allow yeast to activate; about 5 minutes. Yeast should foam/froth and double in size, if not see notes below.
  • USING INSTANT YEAST: Skip above step and continue below.
  • Heat whole milk in microwave for 30-45 seconds. Add butter, ¼ cup granulated sugar, and ½ tsp salt. Stir to dissolve. Cool until warm to touch.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook (or by hand) pour in milk mixture.
  • Turn mixer on medium-low. Add egg and yeast (actively proofed or instant) and mix until combined.
  • Add ½ cup flour at a time to bowl. Slowly add flour until dough forms and starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl. If the dough is incredibly sticky, add a little more flour. Dough should only lightly stick to fingers.
    NOTE: Active dry yeast usually uses closer to 4 cups flour due to extra proofing liquid while instant yeast will use closer to 3.5 cups flour.
    Turn off mixer and lift dough hook. Use a closed fist to knead the dough a few times.
  • Lightly grease a large bowl with oil. Place dough in bowl, move it around then flip it over to ensure it's lightly covered in oil. Cover tightly with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel.
    Place in a warm, draft-free location with a house temperature of 80°F-90°F. See notes for easy solutions to a cold house.
    Allow dough to double in size; about 1 hour.
  • Mix together brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour; set aside.
  • Lightly dust work surface with flour. Take dough out of bowl and knead a few times into a ball. Place in center of work surface.
  • Using a rolling pin or your hands, roll/pat the dough into a 14X10-inch rectangle. It's okay to roll the dough past this size. Use hands to reshape by patting the outer dough inward into a 14X10-inch rectangle.
  • Smear soft butter over dough. Evenly spread then pat cinnamon sugar filling into butter.
  • Roll the dough up tightly without pulling it. Start at one long end and roll the dough to the other side. Pinch together at the seam.
  • Use a serrated knife to cut dough roll into 12 equal rolls. Make first cut in the center. Then cut those to halves in half again. Then, cut those halves into 3rds.
  • Place individual rolls in a buttered 9X13-inch casserole dish. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm location until dough is double in size; about 1-1.5 hours.
  • To make the maple frosting, cube cold butter, and cream cheese. Beat on high with mixer until combined. Beat in maple flavoring, salt, milk, and powdered sugar and mix until fully combined and smooth.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake rolls for 18-28 minutes. At the 18-minute mark, check rolls. Watch carefully and bake until only a few very very light golden spots appear on crust super. Do NOT bake until fully golden.
  • Allow rolls to cool; 15 minutes. Spread maple icing evenly over rolls.

Notes

For more cinnamon roll questions about the yeast, dough, frosting, baking, freezing and making in advance, read post.
My dough is not rising well. How can I get yeast dough to rise in a cold house? Yeast dough rises in 80°F-90°F. I'll need a draft-free location, too. If your house is cold, use these tips.
  • If your laundry dryer is nearby, simply turn it on and place it nearby or ontop.
  • Turn oven to the lowest temperature for a few minutes then turn off. Place in an oiled and oven-safe dish for both rises until the dough has doubled in size.
  • Set oven temperature to 350°F. Dampen a large kitchen towl with warm water. Cover the bowl with the towel and set near the oven until double in size.
Can I make Cinnamon Rolls in advance, like for Christmas? Yes. I recommend using active dry yeast if you know in advance they will be refrigerated overnight. Follow the recipe through cutting into individual buns. Place them on a parchment lined baking sheet lightly greased with butter. Cover the pan with lightly greased plastic wrap. Refrigerate the unbaked cinnamon rolls (or any yeast dough!) overnight or up to 24 hours.
When ready to bake, take the rolls out and allow them to warm and rise at room temperature for 2-3 hours. Place rolls in a lightly greased 9x13 casserole dish and bake them according to directions.
Do I need to let refrigerated dough rise? I don't want to get up at 5AM to take the dough out to rise, can I just bake them? Short on time, place them in a cold oven. Turn on the oven to preheat to 350°F. Allow the dough to quickly rise while the oven is preheating. No time adjustments needed.

Nutrition

Calories: 478kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 76mg | Sodium: 192mg | Potassium: 103mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 40g | Vitamin A: 715IU | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 2mg