Eating a cinnamon roll is like a romance, as the oozing icing courts the sweet cinnamon dough, creating a marriage of sweetness that leaves one swooning over the goodness of it all. Cinnamon rolls – or buns – are a staple of the quintessential American pastry shop. It seems as though you can walk into almost any bakery, any day of the week, and find the warm pastries oozing with icing. This extravagant pastry recipe is neither sugar free or low-carb but something that I hold dear as it brings back many fond memories of occasions spent with friends and family.
Cinnamon rolls have been a family favorite for many years. I love the yeasty sweet cinnamon smell that wafts through the house as they are baking. There is something about then that screams love,comfort, togetherness and home. Before I moved to Virginia, I baked all our bread. Once a month and around the holidays I would make an extra batch of dough for cinnamon rolls. If I wanted to make a special treat for my lady’s bible study group, I made cinnamon rolls. I would savor the solace of day break as I would sit down with my morning coffee and crossword puzzle and enjoy a homemade cinnamon roll.
As my children got older and moved away, I made them less and less as there was no one around to help consume all that sweet cinnamon swirl goodness, and Lord knows Vince and I didn’t need them. With our youngest daughter home from college for the summer and our youngest son preparing to venture off to his first year of college we have had a couple days when we were all at home at the same time. With summer break in full swing, I decided to spend some time in the kitchen baking treasured favorites for the family to enjoy. My son popped into the kitchen and said “Mom, I love it when you bake. You always make the house smell so good”. It makes my heart happy when my children get excited about my cooking.
When cinnamon, sugar and butter are mixed together, the result is something many people all over the world enjoy. Cinnamon rolls are a sweet pastry commonly eaten at breakfast time but may be consumed any time of the day. Dating back many years, cinnamon rolls have made a mark in history.
The cinnamon roll known as “Kanelbullar” originated in Sweden. Cinnamon came from Sri Lanka over 2,000 years ago, and the Romans became responsible for the spreading of the spice, using it to accent incense and wine.
Around the mid-1700’s, Northern European bakers began mastering super-rich, butter-infused yeast dough’s. The French shaped them into buns, followed by the Dutch frying them in oil. Around this time, the British invented the Chelsea bun, a type of currant bun; all while the Germans developed the schnecken, a bun rolled with sugar and currants. These buns laid the groundwork for the Swedish to add cinnamon creating the very first cinnamon rolls.
According to the Swedish Board of Agriculture and statistics, the average Swede eats the equivalent of 316 cinnamon buns a year! When totaled, that is 316,949,789 pounds of cinnamon buns consumed by Swedish Citizens. Of course, depending on the region the diameter of the roll varies. Cinnamon rolls are a popular breakfast food in the United States. Philadelphia-style cinnamon rolls date back to the 18th century. They contain honey, sugar, cinnamon and raisins. Although they are popular all over America, according to foodtimeline.org, they are often associated with Philadelphia and a coffee shop counter lined with sticky buns is still common in this city.
October 4 is known as International Cinnamon Roll Day. The holiday was invented in 1999 by the Swedish Home Baking Council to celebrate its 40th anniversary. Cinnamon rolls have spread throughout the world, changing in diameter depending on where you travel. One of the largest cinnamon rolls can be found in Haga, an area of Gothenburg, Sweden. Called hagabullar – meaning Queen of the Kitchen – they are usually 12 inches in diameter or more.
Cinnamon buns are often enjoyed during fika, a Swedish word for taking a pause in your day to sit down with people and share pastries and coffee. (I think we need to adopt this tradition!) The Swedes believe cinnamon rolls are social institutions that should not be missed, according to communityofsweden.com. Cinnamon rolls in Sweden are not as sweet and heavy as they are in the United States. In Sweden, the dough contains a hint of cardamom, a spice in the ginger family, and they are baked in muffin wrappers to make a more delicate treat.
Some of the ingredients making the rolls taste irresistible are bread, cinnamon, sugar and butter. Yeast bread dates back to around 1,000 B.C. in ancient Egypt. And cinnamon dates back to 2,000 B.C where it was imported from Egypt to China and was so highly prized that it was regarded as a gift fit for monarchs. Butter dates back to 2,000 B.C. and is written about in the Bible. Farmers’ wives gave way to machines when butter began being mass produced around 1860. Sugarcane originates from what is now called New Guinea. Sugarcane was first cultivated in the United States in the 18th century and the first refinery was built in New York in 1689.
There are a variety of cinnamon rolls found all over the world today. They vary from the sweet and sticky Philadelphia-style to the lighter Swedish favorite. They can also be found in dairy-free, keto and gluten-free varieties. Whether you crave one while walking around the mall, or touring a different country, there will likely be a place close by to purchase and enjoy a cinnamon roll.
A traditional cinnamon role in our house is oozing with butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, pecans and golden raisins, topped with glaze or cream cheese icing. What I have on hand will typically dictate how I finish them. Because these rolls are so special, I could care less about the calories and what they will do to my carb intake. What does matter to me is that they bring the family together during special times invoking cherished memories filled with love.
If you are used to working with bread and dough this recipe will be a snap. If you aren’t used to it, don’t be discouraged! Do your best. Just give it a try. If things don’t work like you’d hoped this time, try again.
That’s what makes a good cook!
NOTE: I use Vietnamese Cinnamon. I think its richer in flavor than regular cinnamon. When working my dough I like for the dough to stay super soft, so instead of constantly adding flour once I get my dough to the desired texture, I switch over from flour to oil. I oil my hands and my counter top. I then knead my dough for several minutes to work up the gluten. This keeps the dough from drying out which also makes it more difficult to knead. Remember, the softer the dough the softer the bread!
Keepin it fresh!
- August 3, 2019
- 5 hr
- 479 Cals/Serving
- Print this
- 2 package instant yeast
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 cups warm water
- 6 cups of flour
- 1 stick of butter, softened
- 1 tablespoon Vietnamese Cinnamon
- 1 ½ cups Brown Sugar
- 1 cup Raisins
- 1 cup chopped Pecans
- 2 cup powdered sugar
- 4 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Step 1
- Dissolve yeast in 2 cups warm water.
- Step 2
- Stir in sugar salt, eggs, oil and three cups of flour.
- Step 3
- Work until smooth.
- Step 4
- Gradually add remaining flour working the dough until dough is soft and easy to knead. (You want to make sure that your dough is not so sticky that it sticks to your hands but not so dry that it is falling apart. Adding too much flour will dry your dough out which impacts the texture in your finished rolls. I knead for about 5 to 7 minutes).
- Step 5
- Place dough in oiled bowl, cover and set aside until doubled. (approx 2 hours)
- Step 6
- Once dough has doubled in size, punch down on oiled counter. Roll dough into a large rectangle to approximate thickness of 1/2 inch.
- Step 7
- Spread softened butter over the surface of the dough.
- Step 8
- Add filling ingredients, spreading evenly.
- Step 9
- Roll dough into a log. Cut into slices. I shoot for two inch slices.
- Step 10
- Place Rolls into a jellyroll pan lined with parchment paper. (I also Butter my parchment paper).
- Step 11
- Cover and let rise a second time until rolls are touching each other.
- Step 12
- Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
- Step 13
- When cooled, top with glaze topping.