Cinnamon Rolls

It’s a crazy thing that I’m about to admit to. For Christmas, I got a new stove. No, it wasn’t a Garland or one of those hot little Bertazzoni numbers, just four burners and a functional oven. Finally.

It’s embarrassingly amazing how used to baking in a toaster sized convection oven I’d become. In fact many of these photographed recipes were made from that bitty thing. The last stove worked, however the oven did not and the burners needed a little Laura Ingles styled lovin’ with a match and some rapid waving. It’s taken me a few days to stop reaching for a match and just turn a knob to light it.
This technology continues to amaze me.

It’s pretty natural for me to be quite in love with such a new toy. Any good kitchen gal loves a new oven, right? I’d been yearning for large loaves of fresh bread and batches of cookies baked more than six at a time. …And the thought of waking up in the morning with the smell of fresh cinnamon rolls all puffed and ready, just waiting to be baked in a real sized oven? Heaven.
Ahhhh. My house has never smelled better.
Needless to say, you might have to look forward to more baked items from me this winter.


1 Ripe Banana, finely mashed
1/4 Cup Sugar
6 Tablespoons Margarine, melted or vegetable oil
3/4 Cup Soy Milk, warmed slightly
3 1/2 Cups All-Purpose Unbleached Flour, plus additional for dusting
1/2 Cup Soft Whole Wheat Flour
2 teaspoons Instant Dry Yeast, 1 Package
1 1/4 teaspoons Salt
Cooking spray or vegetable oil


1/2 Cup Dark Brown Sugar, packed
1 1/2 Tablespoons Ground Cinnamon
Pinch salt
1 1/2 Tablespoons Margarine, melted
(For a more “grown-up” version, try adding 1/4 cup of raisins, currants, or dried cranberries soaked in 1/4 cup of brandy.)


1/4 Cup Tofuti Brand Cream Cheese
2 Tablespoons Soy Milk
1 Cup Confectioners Sugar

Warm the soy milk, making sure it’s not hot. To it add the sugar and yeast and allow it to set for about 5 minutes until it bubbles.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the mashed banana and oil until well combined then add the soy milk and yeast mixture.
Remove the whisk attachment and replace with a dough hook.
Add approximately 2 cups of the flour along with the salt; mixing until moistened and combined.
Add all but 3/4 cup of the remaining flour and knead on low speed for about 5 minutes.
Check the consistency of the dough adding more flour if necessary; the dough should feel soft and moist but not sticky. Knead on low speed 5 minutes more or until the dough cleaned the sides of the bowl and has come together.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface; knead by hand about 30 seconds.
Lightly oil a large bowl. Transfer the dough to the bowl, lightly oil the top of the dough, cover and let it double in volume, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl.
Mix until well incorporated.
Set aside until ready to use.

Grease a 9 by 13-inch glass baking dish.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface.
Shape the dough into a rectangle with the long side nearest you.
Roll into an 18 by 12-inch rectangle.
Brush the dough with the 1 1/2 tablespoons of melted margarine, leaving 1/2-inch border along the top edge.
Sprinkle the filling mixture over the dough, leaving a 3/4-inch border along the top edge; gently press the filling into the dough. Beginning with the long edge nearest you, roll the dough into a tight cylinder.
Firmly pinch the seam to seal and roll the cylinder seam side down.
Gently squeeze the cylinder to create even thickness. Using a serrated knife, slice the cylinder into 1 1/2-inch rolls; yielding 12 rolls.
Arrange rolls cut side down in the baking dish; cover tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight or up to 16 hours to rest.
Remove the rolls from the refrigerator and place in an oven that is turned off.
Fill a shallow baking dish 2/3-full of boiling water and set on the rack below the rolls.
Close the oven door and let the rolls rise from the steam until they look slightly puffy; approximately 30 minutes.
Remove the rolls and the shallow pan of water from the oven.
Preheat the oven to 350º F.
When the oven is ready, place the rolls on the middle rack and bake until golden brown, approximately 30 minutes.
While the rolls are cooling slightly, make the icing by whisking the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer until creamy.
Add the soy milk and whisk until combined.
Sift in the powdered sugar, and continue whisk until smooth.
Spread over the rolls and serve warm.

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I'm a chef, food stylist, cancer survivor, recipe developer, art director and photographer. My obsession for food, how it looks and makes me healthier has driven my passion for chronicling my journey through photos. Find more about me on: or my portfolio at:

13 thoughts on “Cinnamon Rolls”

  1. The picture is beautiful and the recipe looks/sounds so yummy. :) Thank you, I do believe you just help me feed several hungry men breakfast this coming weekend (it is NFL playoff season, which equals prime baking time. :) )

    Enjoy your new oven. ~ Virginia

  2. …kidding. Got a bunch of napping babes…

    I made a carrot cake the other day and posted the photo on my blog. Maybe I’ll bring a piece over for you to sample!


  3. I have been craving cinnamon rolls for awhile now and I think I may just have to get to it! My recipe makes an enormous amount, so I always wait until we have overnight guests! I like the idea of a banana in the recipe…I would wondering if you can taste the banana? Yours look so good!

  4. Used as the binder to replace the eggs typically found in the rolls, the banana flavour is quite subtle. I think it adds a nice balance to the sweetness.

  5. Wow, do I understand how nice it is to have an actual oven. I’m in Korea, and for a while I was just using a toaster oven. When I finally got an actual real-sized oven, the skies opened up and the angels sang.

    What a nice Christmas present!

  6. I tried this recipe last weekend and it was absolutely amazing. Time consuming, but not difficult, these rolls were fluffy, sweet, moist and delicious. I could only slightly detect the banana flavor, but I don’t think it detracted from their merit. Really, really top notch. Thanks for that.

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