Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls

We’re one day away from the end of the 12 Days of Oscars feature, and today’s recipe is inspired by the 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany’s.  The film won two Academy Awards, for Best Music (Original Song), and Best Music (Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture).  It was also nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role, Best Art-Direction/ Set Decoration, and Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium.

Based loosely on the 1958 novella of the same name by Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany’s features Audrey Hepburn in the role of New York “socialite” Holly Golightly.  Holly Golightly has a pet cat she refuses to name, despises those she deems phony, and strikes up a friendship with a struggling writer, Paul Varjack (George Peppard), who moves into her apartment building.  Throughout the course of the film, Holly strives to marry wealth and Paul strives for financial independence, and their relationship has its ups and downs.  The film opens with Holly Golightly, standing in front of Tiffany’s on Fifth Avenue, dressed to the nines complete with elbow-length gloves and a tiara, sipping on coffee and munching on a pastry during the early hours of the morning.

It’s undetermined what the pastry is, exactly.  Some guess a croissant, others guess a danish, and still others say a cinnamon bun.  I decided that if I were having breakfast at Tiffany’s in my tiara, a cinnamon bun would be the way I would go.  Cinnamon buns are a great way to cure the “mean reds,” or the “mean blues,” or pretty much whatever meanness ails you.

These cinnamon buns were the answer to the “mean reds” I’ve been having lately.  They smelled heavenly while they were baking. With very little effort required compared to other cinnamon rolls I’ve made, this might just be my new go-to cinnamon roll recipe.  The Pioneer Woman has never let me down and this was no exception.  I did halve her recipe, and ended up with two 9″ pans full of deliciousness.  See her page for the full recipe, if you’ve got a ranch full of people to feed.  Make sure when you sprinkle on the cinnamon, you sprinkle it on liberally.  I was shy on the first round, and I’m glad I used more on the second.  I didn’t use Pioneer Woman’s glaze recipe and instead just mixed some vanilla, water, and powdered sugar together.

Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls


for the rolls:

  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp. (1 envelope) active dry yeast
  • 4 1/2 cups flour, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted butter, plus 2 Tbs. more for greasing the pans
  • cinnamon

for the glaze:

  • 1/2 bag of confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/4- 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp. vanilla


In a large pot, mix the milk, oil, and sugar and heat until scalded (just before the boiling point).

Remove from heat and let cool for 1 hour.

Sprinkle the yeast over the milk mixture and let it sit for one minute.

Stir in 4 cups of the flour and stir.

Cover and let rise for 1 hour, until doubled.

Add the remaining 1/2 cup of flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Stir together to combine (you may need to knead the dough at this point to get it all in).

Divide the dough in half and roll the dough out into a rectangle on a well-floured surface.

Drizzle half of the melted butter over the dough, then sprinkle with half of the sugar.  Sprinkle liberally with cinnamon.

Roll the dough tightly and pinch to seal the seam.

Repeat with remaining half of the dough.

Cut into 1- 1 1/2 inch slices.

Brush 2 9″ round cake pans with butter and place the rolls cut side down into the pan.

Let them rise for 20-30 minutes.

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Bake the rolls for 18-20 minutes until light golden brown.

To make the glaze, whisk all ingredients together and spoon over the rolls while they’re still slightly warm.  You can either do this individually, or while they’re still in the pan.

Makes 18 rolls.

Source: The Pioneer Woman


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