Christmas Morning Cinnamon Rolls

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 4 hr 10 min (includes rising time)
  • Active: 45 min
  • Yield: 12 servings
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1 cup warm whole milk

1/3 cup granulated sugar 

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted 

1 teaspoon kosher salt 

One .25-ounce package active dry yeast 

2 large eggs 

4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting 

Vegetable oil, for the bowl 


6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the baking dish

3/4 cup light brown sugar 

2 tablespoons ground cinnamon 

1 cup chopped toasted pecans, optional 

1/2 cup raisins, optional 


2 cups confectioners' sugar

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted 

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 

4 tablespoons milk, plus more as needed 


  1. For the dough: Combine the milk, granulated sugar, butter, salt and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment and stir to combine well. Add the eggs and stir until well mixed. Add the flour and mix on medium-high speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 4 minutes.
  2. Transfer the dough to a large, lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel. Let stand in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  3. Punch the dough down and lightly flour a work surface. Lay the dough out and pat or roll the dough out into an 18-by-12-inch rectangle.
  4. For the filling: Butter a 13-by-9-inch glass baking dish. Spread the softened butter evenly all over the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border, then sprinkle evenly with the brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle with the pecans and raisins if using. Starting with a short end, roll up the dough and press and crimp the edges to seal. Cut the dough into 12 slices and arrange them in the buttered baking dish. If you want to bake them the same day, cover with plastic wrap and let stand until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Otherwise, refrigerate overnight; take out of the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour before baking.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Bake the cinnamon rolls until puffed and golden brown all over, about 25 minutes.
  6. For the icing: Put the confectioners' sugar in a medium bowl. Whisk in the melted butter, vanilla and 4 tablespoons of milk; whisk until smooth. Add additional milk, about 1 teaspoon at a time, if needed to achieve a thick but spreadable consistency.
  7. Spread the icing over the warm cinnamon rolls. Serve warm.

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