You had me at cinnamon rolls.

jen's splash

RECIPE: Buttermilk cinnamon rolls with rhubarb, topped with lemon cream cheese frosting.

I know, right? The description is enough to woo me. You had me at cinnamon rolls. I love them. But never eat them.

There was a guy sitting in front of me on the bus the other day and he opened a container with a cinnamon roll inside. The entire bus community inhaled—and looked on wistfully.

For Father’s Day we had a brunch. (Hooray!) And it was the perfect opportunity to pull out a fancy new recipe I’ve been eying for overnight cinnamon rolls.

Granted, this is probably NOT the time of night to start such a venture when the dough has to rise for 2+ hours before assembly:

But we power through—in the name of good food. And good people to celebrate.

Two confessions. 1) I just couldn’t bring myself to use all the brown sugar that was required for the filling. I tried. I measured it out and mixed it with cinnamon. But it was just too much. I only used half. So it’s not as gooey as it could be. 2) Rhubarb! I added it just for fun.

And tip: Floss is your friend. For more than just oral hygiene.

The recipe said to cut these into rolls using a serrated knife. I prefer floss so it doesn’t smash the dough. I only found mint floss. Mmm minty flavor.

Ok ok. Another confession. The glaze recipe called for a lot of sugar. Instead, I used a lot of (low fat) cream cheese, some vanilla, and lemon zest.

According to my dad? These buttermilk cinnamon rolls were great. Sure, it could be those mimosas talking. But as long as he’s happy? I’ll take it.

RECIPE RATING: 5 of 5 glasses of mimosas. Seriously. So good. Yay dad.

I looked through old photos of my dad and me. And this one, at our sixth grade sock hop, is awesome. Happy Father's Day dad!

Buttermilk cinnamon rolls with rhubarb, topped with lemon cream cheese frosting
Prep time: 4 hours
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 4 hours 30 mins
Serves: 8-12
Adapted from the Food Network’s recipe:
  • Dough:
  • 2 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 2 large whole egg, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 6 TBSP unsalted butter, melted
  • 6 ounces buttermilk, room temperature
  • 3 1/4 C all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 package instant dry yeast, approximately 2 1/4 teaspoons
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Vegetable oil or cooking spray
  • Filling:
  • 1/2 C brown sugar, packed (original recipe called for a cup)
  • 1 TBSP ground cinnamon
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 1/2 TBSP unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 C diced rhubarb
  • Icing:
  • 1 package low fat cream cheese (8oz)
  • 3 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 3/4 C powdered sugar (originally 1 1/2 C)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Lemon zest, for garnish
  1. I tend not to use a mixer. So forgive the “with a wooden spoon” version and adjust if need be. Also, you need assembly and dough-rising time BEFORE you can put this in the refrigerator and go to sleep. That’s about 3+ hours. So, unlike me, schedule accordingly.
  2. THE NIGHT BEFORE: For the dough: in the bowl whisk the egg yolks, whole egg, sugar, butter, and buttermilk. Add approximately 2 cups of the flour along with the yeast and salt; whisk until moistened and combined. Add remaining flour and knead for 5 minutes. At this point, I used my hands. Check the consistency of the dough, add more flour if necessary; the dough should feel soft and moist but not sticky. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface; knead by hand about 30 seconds. Lightly oil a large bowl. Transfer the dough to the bowl, lightly oil the top of the dough, cover and let double in volume, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
  3. Meanwhile, for the filling, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Mix until well incorporated. And chop your rhubarb. Set aside until ready to use.
  4. Butter a 9 by 13-inch glass baking dish and set aside. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Gently shape the dough into a 18 by 12-inch rectangle. Brush the dough with the melted butter, leaving 1/2-inch border along the top edge. Sprinkle the filling mixture over the dough, leaving a 3/4-inch border along the top edge; finish with sprinkling the rhubarb. Gently press the filling into the dough. Beginning with the long edge nearest you, roll the dough into a tight cylinder. Firmly pinch the seam to seal and roll the cylinder seam side down. Very gently squeeze the cylinder to create even thickness. Using a piece of dental floss (or serrated knife), slice the roll into 1 1/2-inch rolls; yielding 12 rolls. Arrange rolls cut side down in the baking dish; cover tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight or up to 16 hours.
  5. IN THE MORNING: Remove the rolls from the refrigerator and place in an oven that is turned off. Fill a shallow pan 2/3-full of boiling water and set on the rack below the rolls. Close the oven door and let the rolls rise until they look slightly puffy; approximately 30 minutes. Remove the rolls and pan of water from the oven.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350.
  7. When the oven is ready, place the rolls on the middle rack and bake until golden brown, approximately 30-35 minutes. (Mine was 32.)
  8. ICING: Make the icing by whisking the cream cheese, buttermilk, lemon juice and vanilla. Slowly sift in the powdered sugar. Whisk until smooth. Spread over the rolls. Top with grated lemon zest.
  9. And serve immediately.


This entry was posted in 5 Wine Glasses, Appetizer, Breakfast, Dessert, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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