maple-glazed cinnamon rolls


Baking with my grandmother is one of life’s great joys – with more than 60 years of expertise, she is a constant source of inspiration to me. When cinnamon rolls come to mind, I’m instantly transported to her warm kitchen, filled with the aromas of yeasty dough and cinnamon-sugar. Cinnamon rolls are one of her defining recipes, and we baked a batch together at Thanksgiving. These maple-glazed cinnamon rolls are my twist on her original “sticky buns.” The fluffy spirals encase ribbons of cinnamon-sugar, and the heavenly browned butter-maple glaze is positively mouth-watering.

As with any yeast dough, this recipe has little hands-on time; much of the total commitment is hands-off as the dough requires two rises. I used a stand mixer to combine and knead the dough, but you can certainly make the dough by hand. If you decide to take a morning or afternoon to make these rolls, I highly suggest making two batches – one to enjoy now and one for a future breakfast. To freeze a batch, wrap cooled rolls in foil and pop into a freezer bag. When ready to eat, unwrap frozen rolls and place on a baking sheet; heat through in a 325°F oven before serving.

Maple-Glazed Cinnamon Rolls
Adapted from “Auntie”
1/4 cup warm water
1 package dry yeast
3/4 cup lukewarm low-fat milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 1/2 cups flour (approximate)

1 Tbsp butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp low-fat milk

Combine warm water and yeast in a small bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Combine lukewarm milk, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a flat beater. Stir in egg and butter on low speed until combined, then stir in yeast mixture. Mix in 2 cups of flour until incorporated; gradually add remaining flour 1/4 cup at a time until dough feels tacky but doesn’t stick to your fingers. Switch out the flat beater for a dough hook, and knead dough for 5 minutes until smooth and elastic (you may need to add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time – I added an additional 3 tablespoons). The dough is ready when it pulls away from the bottom of the mixer bowl.

Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray and cover with plastic. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size (about 1 hour). To check if dough has doubled, lightly flour two fingers and press them down into center of dough. If indentations remain, gently press down dough; cover and let rest 5 minutes. Turn dough out on a lightly floured board and roll into an 18 x 12-inch rectangle. Brush dough with melted butter, leaving a 1/4-inch border. Combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle mixture over dough. Roll dough up into a tight log and pinch edges to seal. Trim off uneven ends, then score log every inch and use a sharp knife to slice crosswise into 18 equal slices. Place rolls cut side up into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Cover with plastic and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake rolls for 18-20 minutes, until tops are golden. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. To make glaze, place butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until it foams, turns clear, and then turns a deep brown, about 6 minutes. Cool slightly. Sift powdered sugar into a small bowl; whisk in browned butter, maple syrup, and milk until smooth. Pour glaze over warm rolls; glaze will set as rolls cool. Wrap leftover rolls well and store at room temperature up to 2 days; warm in a 300°F oven before serving.

Yield – 18 rolls (serving size: 1 roll)
Calories – 196
Carbs – 33

  1. These rolls look wonderful and so sweet that you make them with your Grandma! I’m thinking that with the maple syrup they will be perfect for my Canadian Thanksgiving this year 🙂

  2. Sweet! The rolls look delicious (maybe I’ll make them for Easter! 😉 ), the info. about your grandma is adorable, and the pictures are beautiful!

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