These Perfectly Pillowy Cinnamon Rolls are soft, tender cinnamon rolls loaded with bold cinnamon flavor and topped witch delicious buttercream. Absolutely delicious!
It’s a well-known fact that chocolate chip cookies are a weakness of mine. Well, cinnamon rolls are too. There is nothing better than a warm, gooey cinnamon roll slathered in buttercream frosting. So, so good and definitely a HUGE weakness of mine.
I know I have several cinnamon rolls recipes on my site, but there is always room in my heart for more cinnamon roll recipes, and these Perfectly Pillowy Cinnamon Rolls are a welcome addition to my collection.
These cinnamon rolls were names King Arthur’s 2021 Recipe of the Year. So naturally I had to try them, right. I mean the words cinnamon rolls and recipe of the year in the same sentence . . . it’s a no brainer.
King Arthur website describes these as “cinnamon sugar swirl wrapped in a perfectly pillow package.” That pretty much sums these rolls up in a nutshell.
Thanks to the use of the tangzhong method, this isn’t your typical run-of-the-mill cinnamon roll. This method involves cooking milk and bread flour together until it forms a paste, which helps lock in water and yield a cinnamon roll or bread that will stay moist for days.
These cinnamon rolls really are incredibly soft, and they stay soft for several days. The texture kind of like brioche, with a super-airy, almost sponge like inside.
WHAT IS THE TANGZHONG TECHNIQUE?
It’s an Asian technique that was popularized across Asia by Chinese cookbook author Yvonne Chen. It’s basically a special starter made from cooked flour and milk that makes these rolls stay soft even if you serve them a few days after baking. I won’t go into all the details of how it works, but if you if you’re dying to know, here is a link that will explain it.
CAN I USE ALL PURPOSE FLOUR INSTEAD OF BREAD FLOUR?
Here is the answer straight from the King Arthur website : Sure, but the recipe won’t be the same, both in terms of how you execute it (the dough will be stickier and harder to work with), and of the finished result (the rolls tend to collapse more out of the oven, making them denser). Hopefully that answers that question.
The beauty of these cinnamon rolls is that they are delicious hot of the oven and even three or four days later, they still retain their soft, pillowy texture, and taste delicious.
The King Arthur website does suggest that if you’re planning to serve the rolls later, then wait to frost them until just before serving. Store the frosting room temperature, tightly covered, until you’re ready to use it, or wait and make it when you’re ready to frost them. What I do, is frost all of them and then wrap the uneaten rolls really well in foil. Then when someone wants to eat one a day or two later, we warm them in the microwave for about 20 seconds. . . cinnamon roll perfection!
A FEW TIPS FOR MAKING THESE CINNAMON ROLLS:
- Don’t add too much flour. The first time I made these I could tell from the dough that I added a little too much flour, which caused my first batch to be not quite as soft and tender. I’m not usually one to weigh flour, but I did the second and third time I made these and it made a difference in how the rolls don’t out.
- Use dental floss or thread the cinnamon rolls. I ALWAYS use this method to cut my cinnamon rolls. So I loved when I saw that King Arthur recommends using floss to cut these. Using floss or thread gives you a much cleaner cut and doesn’t small the rolls.
- Be careful not to overbake them. I usually watch for the outside of the rolls to become light golden brown. King Arthur recommends using an instant-read thermometer to check the internal temperature of a roll. Once the center registers 190°F, they are done. I have personally never used a thermometer to check cinnamon rolls, but I may have to give it a try.
- Feel free to frost these with cream cheese frosting instead of buttercream. I personally don’t love cream cheese frosting on cinnamon rolls and always use buttercream, but that’s just me.
- The filling calls for 3 to 4 teaspoons of cinnamon. If you don’t love a strong cinnamon flavor, then start with less and add more, I buy the Saigon cinnamon from Costco which is a stronger cinnamon, so I use about 3 teaspoons. Adjust it according to your tastes.
- If you want smaller rolls, go ahead and cut them smaller. I loved the size these were cutting the dough into 8 pieces and didn’t think they were too large, but I LOVE cinnamon rolls and thing the bigger, the better (lol!).
Recipe Source: Adapted just slightly from King Arthur (they have some short video tutorials and pictures for the steps if you want to watch.)