Unexplained cravings for a cinnamon roll

Ask my husband and he'll tell you that a couple of months ago, I had this unexplained craving for a cinnamon roll.  That might not sound all that unusual in itself but coming from me, it is.
Orange-dark chocolate cinnamon rolls with orange glaze (recipe makes small-batch of 4)
I'm usually not a particular fan of them and I've never craved one before.  While a fresh batch sure smells enticing, I'm not really one for sweet rolls or sugary icing (as hard to believe as that may be). And as we're talking about cinnamon rolls, I'm not altogether a big fan of the spice itself.  Don't get me wrong - I like a little cinnamon tucked into a banana muffin or blended into some knockout spiced cookies but I'm not a fan of it in abundance (I really dislike it when a cappuccino arrives at the table dusted with cinnamon).  That said, I was craving cinnamon rolls!  I tried to ignore, then resist, the urge but a couple of months passed and I was still craving one so you know how this story had to end.
Before baking...
I still can't figure out exactly why I started craving a cinnamon roll but I think I can place some of the "blame" (or I should say, "credit") on all the good-looking cinnamon rolls I saw on many of the food blogs I like to visit.  Because right around the time I noticed this craving, I seemed to see them pop up here and there on my screen.  Coincidence?  I think not...
Warm cinnamon rolls topped with a simple orange glaze
So I had to get baking!  There are 3 of us at my house so I really needed a small batch recipe because I'm thinking that having a dozen or so cinnamon rolls around might not be a wise idea. Luckily, I found a small-batch recipe (that makes 4) from Oh, Ladycakes.  I used that as the basis for my first batch of cinnamon rolls but made a few changes along the way.  

The recipe, like the focus of the blog itself, is vegan and since I'm not, I used the conventional counterparts (i.e., butter and milk).  From there, I took a little inspiration from this Joy the Baker-Pioneer Woman cinnamon roll mashup (love that video of them making the rolls together) and filled mine with a combination of sugar, orange zest, and dark chocolate.  Of course, there's cinnamon since it is a cinnamon roll after all, but I used a light hand.  Once baked, I topped the rolls with a simple orange glaze of confectioners' sugar and fresh orange juice.
Even a cinnamon roll novice like me knows you have to eat them fresh and warm from the oven.  I prepped the rolls the night before, stopping and refrigerating them at the point where the rolls were sliced and placed into the pan.  The next morning, I removed the pan from the fridge, placed it in a warm spot for a little over an hour for a final rise before baking.  With that, we had warm cinnamon rolls for our Saturday morning breakfast!  I sat down, sank my teeth into it, and finally satisfied my craving for a cinnamon roll.

I'm starting to really enjoy working with yeast because the results are little bit like magic.  These rolls turned out so soft - amazingly soft and pillowy. They were just squishy and squidgy in the best possible way!  How did that happen?  I'm not really sure but I'm happy for it.
My husband, the unintentional hand model, digs into his super soft cinnamon roll
I had fun making these; every time I think about it, it puts a smile on my face for some reason.  And eating the rolls was a fun weekend breakfast treat. The super soft, tender texture of the cinnamon rolls really stood out.  Once we sunk into that soft doughy bun, we tasted sweetness, chocolate, and a big pop of orange flavor.  These make a great occasional treat and I say if you're going to eat cinnamon rolls, you're far better off making them at home and determining/knowing exactly what you put into it.  

What an awesome craving this turned out to be!  And while it's satisfied for now, I wouldn't be at all surprised if I'm hit with another craving for one of these cinnamon rolls one day soon.




Recipe:

Small-Batch Orange-Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls
Adapted mainly from Oh, Ladycakes (see original recipe for vegan option), as well as Joy the Baker

- Makes a small-batch of 4 cinnamon rolls - 

For dough:
1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water, between 105-108 degrees Fahrenheit
1 tablespoon butter, melted (and warm)
2 tablespoons milk
4 teaspoon sugar
Scant 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup all-purpose flour

For filling:
4 teaspoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons orange zest (combined with sugar above)
1 ounce dark chocolate, finely chopped
Ground cinnamon, to taste (I used about 1/4 teaspoon)

For glaze:
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1-2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

Lightly oil a medium size mixing bowl and butter a 6-inch cake pan; set aside.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, lightly stir yeast into the warm water.  Add a pinch of sugar, cover, and set aside until foamy, about 10-15 minutes.  If the mixture does not foam after that time, you will need to start over.

In another small bowl, stir the warm melted butter together with the sugar until sugar dissolves, about 1 minute.  Mix in milk and set aside.  

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt.  Make a well in the center and add both the yeast and butter mixtures.  Stir with a wood spoon until dough comes together, then remove from the bowl and knead with your hands for 4-5 minutes.  Transfer the kneaded dough to the prepared mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place in a warm spot until doubled, about 45 minutes (or more).

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll or pat/press the dough into a 5x10 inch rectangle (I rolled the soft, pliable dough out between parchment paper and plastic wrap).  Spread the softened butter over the dough, top with mixture of sugar-orange zest, dark chocolate, and cinnamon.  Starting at the short end, tightly roll the dough, trim off the ends, and slice into 4 even pieces.  Place rolls into the prepared cake pan and place in a warm spot to rise again until doubled in size, about 30-60 minutes (60 minutes being optimal).  [Do ahead: Once the rolls have been sliced and placed in the pan, cover and refrigerate overnight.  In the morning, remove the pan from the refrigerator, set it in a warm place to rise again - this may take a bit more than an hour - and bake.] Bake in a 375 degree oven for 12-14 minutes until rolls are lightly browned on top. 

Let rolls cool for 10 minutes in the pan.  In the meantime, whisk 1 tablespoon of the orange juice and the vanilla extract into the confectioners' sugar.  Add additional juice, as needed, to reach a thick yet spreadable consistency.  Top glaze over the rolls and serve immediately, while it's still warm.





61 comments:

  1. well great: now I have a unexplained craving for cinnamon rolls! :) although i am more of a cinnamon fan, it seems, than you, but i don't like it when it shows up in places it shouldn't be (if it dusted my coffee, i'd be mad also). these look gorgeous! and also look pretty tame in terms of cinnamon, and i like that: sometimes people go overboard with the filling in sweet rolls and it's almost too much? and i'm a sucker for orange glaze and cinnamon, so i can only imagine how wonderful these are to indulge in.

    i like how you and i both are starting to like yeast things more: it is really magic a little bit, isn't it? i'd say out of all the yeast things i make, this type of dough (sweet dough) is probably my favorite in terms of working with it and ease of use: it always seems so silky and pliable, and i love that. so pretty,monica!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. and the chocolate! i forgot to mention the loveliness of chocolate in here, too. always a lovely combo, chocolate and orange. *how could i forget to mention the chocolate?* :)

      Delete
    2. Sorry for bringing on any unwanted/unneeded cravings! I like making this kind of thing at home for the very reason of being able to control the filling and how much icing to put on, etc. And you know me...gotta stuff some chocolate in there if there's a way. I don't know how the rolls got so soft and tender but it was very pleasant. :)

      Delete
  2. Love this post! I saw that recipe on Oh Ladycakes but haven't tried it... and I love the way you adapted it! I was just telling my husband yesterday that I wanted to make cinnamon rolls soon, so I may have to give these a try!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad you like it, Marie! That small-batch recipe is just the thing! It's perfect for small families and really not too outrageous to have one once in a while (or every Sunday). ; )

      Delete
  3. These look so good, I have just started working with yeast myself and I am just amazed at what is accomplishes. Beautiful rolls, love, love the filling, great combination.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I totally know what you mean....I avoided yeast for ages but now that I've used it a few times, it's not so scary after all! Glad you like it.

      Delete
  4. Oh my gosh, I kinda wish I hadn't seen this post : ) haha I have a big weakness for cinnamon rolls but rarely make them since I don't need an entire pan in the house. And then you posted a small batch version.... this could be dangerous! And I love the orange, chocolate, cinnamon filling you used! That combination sounds perfect!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha - I know what you mean. I think 4 is a manageable quantity...any more is just way too dangerous because you know you just *have*to finish the warm, fresh cinnamon rolls! : )

      Delete
  5. There is something so HEAVENLY about cinnamon buns! YUM-O!
    www.prettybitchescancooktoo.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They felt and tasted pretty heavenly...better than I expected. Thanks

      Delete
  6. I didn't know you didn't like cinnamon rolls, Monica! But I'm impressed that you were able to suppress/ignore the urge for more than a month before making these. The cinnamon rolls look beautiful and delicious! (:

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Monica - honestly, there's just so much to eat and cinnamon rolls never really called out to me...so the craving was a little weird. Glad it happened though! I loved these.

      Delete
  7. For a minute there I thought you were going to tell us you were expecting!! I found your aversion to cinnamon quite interesting! As a baker, you're supposed to adore cinnamon! But I understand, I have many food aversions myself. These rolls look delicious! I am a sucker for a cinnamon rolls but for all the recipes I've tried, all have been lacking. They don't have that depth of flavour I'm looking for. Yours look good though, so maybe I'll give yours a turn.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha! Good thing I'm no professional "baker" by any means because I have quite a list of things I don't like all that much and I have to be honest. It comes from being a picky-eater as a child and a person who enjoys the predictable. That said, I've expanded my palate a lot (I never even used to like fruit desserts) but I still love what I love and I find it much more satisfying to *generally* stick with what I know my family and I will enjoy.

      I am no expert on cinnamon rolls - I really enjoyed these but not sure it will pass your muster because I have an inking you might have a somewhat higher standard than I do when it comes to this. ; )

      Delete
  8. We too love cinnamon rolls! Have to bake a batch ASAP!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it was in the last MS Living magazine...there was a spread on whole grain baking and I think a recipe for spelt or another whole grain flour cinnamon roll. I'm sure you'd do a great healthier version!

      Delete
  9. Oh boy! The inside of that cinnamon roll looks absolutely fabulous!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like that fuzzy shot, too, Christin! I took it on my phone and liked it so much, I used it here. I try to get the pics taken and out of the way quick so we can just enjoy the food!

      Delete
  10. Every time when I walked near the Cinnabon store in a mall, I just couldn't resist. Cinnamon rolls smell absolutely fantastic! But since they are pretty fatty, I haven't had it for a while. I love that your recipe only makes 4 rolls. Good portion control. Orange and chocolate sound like a great addition! Love to try them!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It does have a great aroma - that sweetness! Since they are not light by any means, I've never thought to cultivate a love for them...in other words, I try to steer clear, too! This is good portion control for sure! : )

      Delete
  11. These look phenomenal! I always have cinnamon cravings whenever the weather outside is dreary, especially for such gorgeous rolls!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cinnamon has grown on me but I still prefer it in moderation. I can totally see how it warms things up and a little spice is nice in the winter. I love a great spice cookie in winter, too!

      Delete
  12. Monica, these cinnamon rolls look delightful!! So soft and light but oh so flavoursome! What a lovely filling of chocolate and orange zest - perfect for breakfast! I am going to have to try these ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Jo! They were surprisingly really light and fluffy for sure! That sweetness and chocolate in the center sure didn't hurt either. I hope you give it a go one day!

      Delete
  13. These cinnamon rolls have me craving more! I love cinnamon rolls and I TOTALLY understand cravings! I love the orange glaze!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is it just us ladies who always have different cravings for different foods!? haha. Thank you, Jessica!

      Delete
  14. These cinnamon rolls look amazingly delicious - no wonder you craved them! :) I want one for breakfast! Every day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha - thank you, Julia. This craving worked out well for us.

      Delete
  15. I am ALWAYS craving cinnamon rolls. These look divine :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad it passes the muster of serious cinnamon roll fans. Thanks, Cathleen.

      Delete
  16. I'm yet to try cinnamon rolls! Yours look just perfect! Thanks :) ela

    ReplyDelete
  17. These cinnamon rolls have got me craving for some myself - they look incredible Monica! We LOVE cinnamon rolls but they are so dangerous since we tend to eat the entire batch in one sitting hehe - not a good thing. This smaller batch is perfect and I love how soft and light yours looks :) The orange and dark chocolate combo sounds amazing - man I wish I had some for breakfast now haha. Happy Friday and hope you have a wonderful weekend :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Kelly! I don't know how you really "save" leftover cinnamon rolls. They are definitely the type of thing you need to eat fresh and warm so I imagine a big batch is just too dangerous unless you have a big crowd. You have a great weekend now!

      Delete
  18. I inevitably find the things that I crave to be really amusing...and totally random. So I get it. Though, I probably crave cinnamon rolls at least once a day and it is definitely food-blog-induced! Yours look fabulous...might have to make them as a weekend treat!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha - a weekend treat is exactly how I treated this. It was a good decision. And you're right - the cravings are random and kind of constant. I find that I usually need to address those cravings asap - they don't go away!

      Delete
  19. What about those cravings Monica? Anything you want to share - ha ha. These look amazing and I love working with yeast too because it always makes me happy when they work their magic. These were a terrific treat indeed and love the little recipe. Have a great weekend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is definitely no hidden message in this post, I assure you, Tricia!
      I didn't realize working with yeast would be this interesting but I'm glad I started...it's fun.

      Delete
  20. I am sssooo with you. I typically don't crave cinnamon rolls (and like you, I don't like an abundance of cinnamon!), but when I do - I have to have one! These look fantastic! And I have to tell you - that shot with the spoon dripping icing - oh YUM!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. See - I'm not odd after all..there are sane people like you who feel just like I do! : ) I'm glad you get what I'm saying, Kristi! : ) Thank you!

      Delete
  21. NIce... craving for something and that will appear at the table! In my household, the kids crave for cinnamon rolls (not often, but other baked goods, yes) but their mommy is too lazy to learn to make.... xD This is amazing! Let's hope that I can make it happen! These look amazing. I drooled! =P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha...many cravings don't make it to the table and many times, I'll just buy what I'm craving since I oftentimes crave processed foods of childhood. Your kids are beyond lucky with all the bentos and amazing meals and treats you create, Nami. You and "lazy" do not belong together, I'm sure. : )

      Delete
  22. We should be bff's because that way I'd get to eat all the rolls and all the cinnamon things hehe ;--) These look scrumptious, and now I'm craving them so badly! xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But would you be willing to let me have all the chocolate stuff? If so, we'd be a perfect fit! ; )

      Delete
  23. I rarely crave cinnamon rolls too, but after seeing these (with chocolate and orange, one of my favorite flavor combos!) now I want some, too :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tuck a little chocolate in there, Bianca, and the cinnamon roll becomes a thing for us to crave. :)

      Delete
  24. You are killing me with happiness with these cinnamon rolls. I love them, I can't get enough of them, I dream of them, I would eat them every single day if I could (I can't, but I want to) . These are amazing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love your sweet tooth and I'm happy these make you happy, Pamela. : )

      Delete
  25. Replies
    1. haha - hope you enjoy one soon. : )

      Delete
  26. I have unexplained cravings all the time. Cinnamon rolls seems to be at the top of the list. My cravings always seem to revolve around breads. I'll make entrees just for the bread. Haha. These looks delicious! Now I really want cinnamon rolls!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carbs are something I could never give up so I understand the cravings for breads! : )

      Delete
  27. I always am in the mood for a cinnamon roll! There is something about the pillowy-chewy texture and cinnamony flavor (I LOVE cinnamon) that I find irresistible. Just the smell makes my stomach gurgle. :) Your chocolate orange rolls look wonderful, Monica! A small batch recipe is wise portion control. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I suspect if you love cinnamon, then cinnamon rolls are going to be appealing! : ) The smell is really nice, I agree. And I must not know much at all about cinnamon rolls, as we've established, because I didn't realize they were so pillowy-chewy til I made them.

      Delete
  28. I think I'm the only person in the whole world who isn't big on the whole orange-chocolate thing BUT, since I live in a house of 2, I am SUPER into this whole "recipe only makes 4 rolls" thing - GENIUS!! Plus it's another excuse to use that 6-inch cake ring I got for those momofuku cakes!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nothing wrong with not liking that combination! Great thing about making things at home is fixing it to your own liking. : ) I am always interested in small batch recipes and dividing recipes up, even if it means using half an egg. Thanks, Natalie...and hope you make lots of great use of your cake ring!

      Delete
  29. I love fresh cinnamon rolls, but my biggest problem is they take a bit of time and forethought. Oh well. :) Still fun to make for those times you aren't satisfied with anything else!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely true. It's probably easier to make without thinking about pics for the blog too. I'm looking forward to making it again without needing to think about photographs and whatnot.

      Delete
  30. Thanks Monica, Now *I* have cinnamon roll cravings! Except, at least I have an explanation (although, I don't think you ever really need an explanation for this craving) I love working with yeast too. I'm going on a bread making course next month which I can't wait for :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A year ago, I never would've thought I'd want to go on a bread making class but now it is intriguing since I can see it's do-able. Have fun with your course. I'm sure it will be amazing.

      Delete

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...