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The Great Cinnamon Roll Project

It all started when I offered to make a baked treat to send to Patrick's early Sunday meetings this week. I make a lot of delicious breakfast-type things, but one thing I've never tackled is the cinnamon roll.

What am I looking for in a cinnamon roll? One that is bakery soft, but lacking the chemical taste of many commercial products. One that is gooey, sweet, and spicy, with a thick coating of frosting on top. And ideally, one that wouldn't require me to get up at o'dark-thirty in order to have them fresh and warm on the breakfast table. 

A search of recipe sites I trust yielded the following options:

Our Best Bites Everyday Cinnamon Rolls

Our Best Bites Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls 101

The Picky Cook's Cinnamon Rolls with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

Martha Stewart's Truck Stop Cinnamon Rolls

Paula Deen's Cinnamon Rolls

Tyler Perry's Vanilla Pudding Cinnamon Rolls

Cook's Illustrated Cinnamon Swirl Rolls

King Arthur Flour's Gooey Cinnamon Rolls

Bon Appetit's Yukon Gold Cinnamon Rolls

Sweetapolita's Cinnabon-Style Gourmet Cinnamon Rolls

Then I put the word out on Facebook and got suggestions for Fannie Farmer's recipe, Mel's Kitchen Cafe's Vanilla Pudding Cinnamon Rolls, and an offer from Patrick's Aunt Karen to dig up Grandma Ida's special recipe. 

Which one to make? Well, in the name of science, over the next several weeks, I plan to try them ALL. I am just that self-sacrificing. And if you have a recipe you feel is superior to any of those listed above, send it along!

I must tell you that I am skeptical of the versions requiring instant pudding. In fact, if it hadn't been Jenna who recommended the Mel's Kitchen Cafe recipe, I might have ignored it. I also must tell you that I will follow the recipes exactly EXCEPT for the fact that I refuse to bake with vegetable oil or shortening. I will substitute butter. 

Which will be the winner? Or, once I've tried them all (almost) as written, will I end up cobbling and monkeying until I come up with my own version? (I've already contemplated substituting The Magnolia Bakery's Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting on some batch at some point in the future.) I'll post about each recipe as I go, so stay tuned to find out!

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    Fantastic Site, Carry on the good job. Thanks a lot.

Reader Comments (10)

I can't wait to hear your final recipe! I've had far more lousy cinnamon rolls in my life than great ones, so I'm looking forward to your version. Based on the other recipes of yours I have little doubt it will be amazing! Have fun!

March 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJosi

You've already done a public service, here—nice selection of recipe sites, most I'd never heard of. Thanks--can't wait for the ultimate recipe!

March 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLee Ann

Oh, to be a taster at your house for the next few weeks! I've made a LOT of cinnamon rolls. A LOT. I told you my favorite. By Pioneer Woman's is good (although, minus the coffee), and I love everything from Our Best Bites. I don't make instant pudding just to eat, but I'll tell ya, it sure is tasty in a lot of recipes!

March 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJenna Consolo

Sounds yummers! I can't wait to see what you come up with because you're a fabulous cook!

March 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterL.T. Elliot

I will be interested to hear the results of your Great Cinnamon Roll Project. I make cinnamon rolls that we are quite fond of, but they are not fancy in any way. They would be difficult to pull off as a warm, fresh breakfast item. I am not willing to rise in the middle of the night to make that happen. When we eat them it is usually for Family Home Evening or a special, after-school treat.

March 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth

We use that vanilla pudding one to make our Christmas Cinnamon Rolls every year. We love them!

March 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHeffalump

Sweet days ahead at the Perkins'. Greatest challenge? A deliciously browned top that is still lusciously soft inside and above all, totally cooked through to the middle--no raw dough surprise center! I anxiously await your perfect solution.

March 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFairTina

Believe it or not, I've used this recipe from The Friend Magazine when I was in a pinch. I don't use the raisins, blech, I substitute brown sugar for white, and I use a cream cheese frosting. But other than that....:)


March 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKaren Sasine

I would like the Magnolia recipe for frosting. That sounds good. I am anxious to hear or see the outcome of all those recipies. I make them for the cadets and anything that tastes good they love.

March 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDedie

This is making my mouth water. I can't wait to see the final result!!!

March 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEowyn

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