I decided to make Pioneer Woman's homemade cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning and am incredibly glad I did them ahead of time. It was such a fun treat for our family and I even gave some pans away as gifts to friends and coworkers. I am not going to post the actual recipe because Ree does a great job posting step by step directions and pictures here, but I wanted to share my experience and tips.
- Definitely make ahead of time! I knew they were going to be time consuming but didn't realize the intensity. I recommend making them on a day you plan on spending at home with other things to do because you complete a few steps, let sit for an hour, do a few more steps, let rise a few hours. Be patient (I am proud of myself because I am NOT patient).
- The recipe makes a LOT. Ree made 8 circular pans but mine made 6...plan on giving some away as gifts or feeding a big crowd. I've seen people post about halving this recipe, so if you want less, google.
- Buy disposable circular pans to make it easier. I bought mine 3 for a $1 at the Dollar Tree. The tops are white so you can decorate/write on them too.
- It gets VERY messy...just be aware that you will most likely use an entire roll of paper towels cleaning up
- I am not a fan of coffee flavoring so I substituted more milk instead of brewed coffee in the frosting
- I could NOT find maple flavoring anywhere so I used half the amount suggested of vanilla flavoring (since it is stronger, you don't need as much).
- My cinnamon rolls were all different sizes and yours will probably be too. Some of the pans held just a few huge rolls and some had tons of little ones. They were still delicious!
- I used a lot less butter than suggested when making the cinnamon filling before rolling the dough up. Butter was literally oozing out the sides onto my counter and I hadn't even used 75% of the butter suggested so there was no way I was going to use more. Just use your best judgement.
- I baked all my 6 pans at the same time in my double ovens and immediately frosted them upon cooking so the frosting oozed over the hot rolls. I let them sit a bit and actually put them in the freezer. I have read of people freezing them uncooked, cooked without frosting and cooked with frosting and they all turn out great. I am so glad I finished them before freezing because it made Christmas morning so easy! I thawed the night before and popped them in the oven to warm them up.
- I know it sounds like a lot of work, and it is, but I have been wanting to make these forever and I am so glad I did! It was such a yummy treat (and I will be bringing more to the lake with us this weekend).
- Ree actually did a whole post with notes on the cinnamon rolls and you can find that here.