How many times have you tried (and failed) to make a gooey soft homemade cinnamon roll? Too many to count, probably. And instead of trying again you went for a can or something frozen and that works, sure. But if you want to try again, I’ve got just the thing you need here–secret ingredient included.
Freezer Friendly, Make Ahead, Big Batch
I love these things. They are truly soft homemade cinnamon rolls–in fact, they are so soft that I left the pan sitting out on the stove all night without any plastic wrap on them–I know–I am such a rebel.
And they were still soft in the morning. I’m a rebel or a genius, I’m not sure which. You can decide.
And speaking of genius, let’s talk about what makes this recipe so good.
Don’t pass out.
They have mashed potatoes in them, and a cup of the water you cooked them in.
Now before you start up a protest, let me tell you why this works: it’s the starch in the potatoes that helps keep things moist, not to mention that this is a very wet dough. The wetter you can keep it without adding too much flour, the better off your soft cinnamon rolls will be.
You can use leftover potatoes from dinner the night before as long as they aren’t loaded down in odd stuff like chicken broth, cheese or pepper. I have used leftover ones that had just butter and salt in them and I’ve made them plain-oh-plain just mashed straight from the pot. I couldn’t tell a difference. Try to puree your potatoes very smooth with a mixer. Cook them all the way through and avoid any big lumps. That wouldn’t be too good.
If for some reason you forget to save the water from your potatoes it’s perfectly fine. I’ve done that too, and you can just add a cup of regular water, they will be fine.
This recipe makes two 9×13 pans of rolls. It’s a HUGE recipe. If you don’t want to make that many, just cut this recipe in half or freeze the other half before their second rise and you can make them later.
For the icing, you can make something from scratch, but WHY? I use a can of cream cheese cake icing and it’s still awesome. Shortcuts where you can people.
If you’re gonna spend 3 hours making cinnamon rolls, I say make SOMETHING easy. I mean–what do you think I am? A workaholic bread-baking, farming mom and writer?
Let’s make rolls.
Soft Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
For the dough:
- 1 cup lump free mashed potatoes
- 1 cup reserved potato water or plain water is fine
- 3/4 cup butter or margarine melted, 1 1/2 sticks
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup hot tap water
- 2 envelopes yeast
- 1/2 cup WARM water
- 2 eggs
- 8 1/2 cups all purpose flour
For the filling:
- 1/2 cup butter or margarine softened
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice optional
Combine the potatoes, potato water, butter, sugar, salt and hot water in a very large bowl.
Mix well and set aside to cool to lukewarm.
Combine the yeast and 1/2 cup warm water in a small bowl. Let rest 5 minutes.
Add eggs, yeast, and 2 cups of the flour to the potato mixture.
Using a dough hook and stand mixer (or mix by hand) blend well.
Add flour, 1 cup at a time until a soft dough forms. This usually takes almost all 8 cups.
Knead on a floured surface or with your dough hook until it's smooth and elastic about 4 to 6 minutes.
Place in an oiled bowl and turn to coat all sides.
Cover and rest one hour until doubled in size.
Divide dough in half and roll one into a 12x18 inch rectangle.
Mix the sugars, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice in a bowl.
Spread half the butter on the dough and sprinkle on half the sugar mixture.
Roll from the long side and cut slices about 2 inches thick.
Place in a greased 9x13 pan.
Repeat with other half of dough. (You can freeze rolls at this point if you want to)
Cover and rise in a warm place 30-45 minutes until doubled
Bake in 350 degree oven 25 to 35 minutes. Tent with foil if they get too dark.
Cool 15 minutes and the drizzle with icing.