How to make the Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls

If you like making something once and not having to make it again for a long time, then this recipe is for you. Today, I’m sharing how to make the Pioneer Woman’s cinnamon rolls.

gooey cinnamon roll on vintage plate with fork and dish towel

Different people have different feelings about cinnamon rolls.

Some like them more cinnamony with less icing. Others like them to be as gooey as possible.

This recipe meets us all in the middle and it makes so many that you only have to dirty your kitchen once a year, unless you’re sharing them with neighbors, of course.

I first made this recipe many moons ago when I was looking for a tried and true cinnamon roll recipe that turned out every time.

Some recipes are finicky, but this one is a staple recipe that creates a cinnamon roll that is golden brown, soft in the middle, and the perfect amount of gooey to accompany the bready-yeast flavor.

gooey cinnamon roll on vintage plate with fork and dish towel

Why you’ll love the Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls

I make these every year before Thanksgiving and freeze them in 9 x 13 pans.

We eat one pan for Thanksgiving morning and another on Christmas Eve morning. That leaves a bonus pan of rolls for another time. 😊

This would be a great recipe to whip up to Christmas morning when things can be rushed. Breakfast will already be done!

You will love these cinnamon rolls for so many reasons. A few being:

  • They can be made ahead of time
  • These rolls are adaptable to your taste
  • It makes enough so you can eat some and share with others, too
  • Cinnamon rolls are the perfect breakfast comfort food
  • This recipe is great for first time bakers
  • They taste and smell like the holidays
  • No special equipment is required- no kneading or using of a mixer needed
flour sprinkled on dough in a stock pot

Ingredients for Pioneer Woman cinnamon rolls

  • Flour- I use all purpose flour for this recipe. It creates a soft dough that is easy to work with
  • Milk- Anything will work, but I prefer whole milk as it adds a richness to the dough
  • Vegetable oil- You can use coconut oil or avocado oil, too
  • Sugar- I used both white sugar and brown sugar for this recipe. Ree Drummond doesn’t do this in the original recipe, but I like the extra depth it adds to the recipe.
  • Yeast- You will need 2 packages of Active Dry Yeast so your dough rises well. If you don’t, the process will take quite a bit longer. You will need
  • Baking Powder and Baking Soda- These act as leavening agents and help the rise of the dough
  • Salt- Everything sweet needs some salt to bring out the sweetness
  • Butter- Lots of butter is needed for the filling
  • Cinnamon- Because cinnamon rolls need cinnamon.
stock pot on a stove with a towel over top

How to make Pioneer Woman Cinnamon Rolls

Make the dough: Warm the milk, vegetable oil, and 1 cup sugar in a medium saucepan or stock pot. When it is almost simmering, remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool until it is warm (not hot). Try not to let it get to the boiling point. Stir mixture until the sugar dissolves.

Sprinkle yeast on top of the mixture. Let it rest for a minute so the yeast can activate and get foamy. Add 8 cups of flour to the stock pot and stir until it is just combined with the milk mixture.

Cover and allow it to rise in a warm place for an hour. This is where the yeast works its magic. After an hour, add in 1 more cup of flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

dough in a stock pot on a stove

Allow dough to rise: Cover and allow it to rise in a warm place for an hour. This is where the yeast works its magic. After an hour, add in 1 more cup of flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

You can either use the dough right away, dumping it out (one half of the dough at a time) on a floured surface.

Or, you can put it in the refrigerator until later. I prefer to go ahead and get my rolls made.

dough on a stainless counter with a rolling pin

Make the Cinnamon Rolls: Roll the dough out one half at a time. It is too much to roll it all out at once.

spices and a candle and a rolling pin and dough

Split the dough in half and roll each half to be a rectangle about 30 x 10 inches. Spread 1/2 to 1 cup of melted butter onto the rectangle.

dough with melted butter in the middle of the dough

You can decide how gooey you want your rolls to be. If you like a lot of goo, then use 1 cup of butter. If you want them less gooey use 1/2 cup of butter.

dough with brown sugar on top

Sprinkle on your sugar mixture and cinnamon. Roll up into a log, lengthwise. Slice the log using dental floss or a sharp knife in 2-inch slices.

cinnamon rolls about to get sliced with flour on counter

Place the sliced rolls into a greased 9 x 13 pan.

sliced cinnamon rolls in a pan

Rise: Let the shaped rolls rise for 30 minutes while the oven heats.

Bake: Bake until golden brown and the cinnamon mixture is bubbly.

baked cinnamon rolls in a baking dish on a white counter

Tips and Tricks for Pioneer Woman’s Easy Cinnamon Rolls

  • Use a fast rising, dependable yeast. Make sure it is fresh before using it so you don’t waste ingredients.
  • Turn your oven on 200° F while you make the dough. This will warm the stovetop and give you a nice place to allow your dough to rise.
  • If you want to have less dishes, put the rolls in disposable foil cake pans so you don’t have to use your pans and wash them. Circular pie pans are perfect for freezing smaller portions.
  • If you want to mix up the final cinnamon rolls, try different frostings or icings
  • Chill the dough for an hour before halving it and shaping it into cinnamon rolls if it is too sticky to handle.
  • Fill the rolls from edge to edge with the butter and sugar mixture.
  • If the filling oozes too much, use softened butter in place of melted butter
  • After you have rolled the cinnamon rolls into a log, pinch the seam of the roll to keep it from unraveling
  • Slice rolls easily by using dental floss.

sliced cinnamon rolls on a counter with a candle

The best icing for easy Cinnamon rolls

There are several different methods you can use for frosting your rolls.

I prefer the powdered sugar method, but many people like to add maple flavoring or even brewed coffee to create a different flavor.

  • Powdered Sugar icing– Mix 1 cup confectioners sugar and 2 tablespoons of milk together. Add milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you get the desired consistency you want.
  • Maple icing– Combine 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, and 2 tablespoons milk. Mix until combined well. You may also use 1/2 teaspoon maple extract if you prefer that over maple syrup.
  • Maple Frosting– Mix 1 bag of powdered sugar, 2 teaspoons maple flavoring, 1/2 cup whipping cream, 1/4 cup melted butter, 1/4 cup brewed coffee, and a pinch of salt.
  • Cream Cheese Frosting– 4 ounces softened cream cheese, 1/2 cup softened butter, 2 cups powdered sugar, and 2-3 tablespoons milk.
rolled dough with sugar on it

Can you refrigerate cinnamon rolls?

Yes, you can put your cinnamon roll dough in the refrigerator after the first rise and before rolling the dough out.

Put the dough in a large bowl that has been drizzled with oil. Cover the bowl in plastic wrap and pop it in the refrigerator.

You might have to punch the dough down as it could still rise in the refrigerator.

When you are ready to use it, pull it out, divide it in half and proceed with the rolling, buttering, sprinkling, and baking of the rolls.

gooey cinnamon roll on vintage plate with fork and dish towel

How do you freeze cinnamon rolls?

Complete the entire baking process, but don’t frost your cinnamon rolls.

Allow the rolls to cool completely and place a layer of plastic wrap over the rolls. Follow that with a layer of tin foil.

Cinnamon rolls may be kept in the freezer for 2-3 months.

When you are ready to use them, pull them out the night before.

The morning you are ready to eat them, remove the plastic wrap, tap the top of the rolls with damp hands to keep them from drying out, cover in foil, and warm up for 30 minutes at 300° F.

Pour the icing of your choice over the warmed rolls.

gooey cinnamon roll on vintage plate with fork

Other Cinnamon Roll Variations

Maple Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

If you’re looking for a nutty roll covered in maple and caramel, then these are for you.

This cinnamon roll recipe is a labor of love and something your entire family will look forward to!

Butter Cream Cinnamon Rolls

These Butter Cream Cinnamon Rolls are a decadent cinnamon roll topped with a light and fluffy Butter Cream frosting. 

close up of cinnamon rolls after being baked

What to serve with cinnamon rolls

Pioneer Woman Cinnamon Roll Recipe Card

cinnamon roll with frosting on a vintage plate

Pioneer Woman Cinnamon Rolls

Liz Quick
If you like making something once and not having to make it again for a long time, then this recipe is for you. Today, I’m sharing how to make the Pioneer Woman’s cinnamon rolls. You can halve this recipe or keep it as is and only make them once a year!
Prep Time 2 hrs
Cook Time 30 mins
0 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 3 dozen
Calories 100 kcal

Equipment

  • saucepan

Ingredients
  

Cinnamon Roll Dough

  • 1 quart whole milk
  • 1 cup coconut oil, or vegetable oil
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 packages Active dry yeast
  • 9 cups flour, (8 cups for first rise; 1 cup for after first rise)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Cinnamon-Sugar Mixture

  • 2 cups melted butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • cinnamon

Powdered Sugar Icing

  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons whole milk or heavy cream

Instructions
 

Cinnamon Roll Dough

  • Warm the milk, vegetable oil, and 1 cup sugar in a medium saucepan or stock pot. When it is almost simmering, remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool until it is warm (not hot). Try not to let it get to the boiling point. Stir mixture until the sugar dissolves.
  • Sprinkle yeast on top of the mixture. Let it rest for a minute so the yeast can activate and get foamy. Add 8 cups of flour to the stock pot and stir until it is just combined with the milk mixture.
  • Cover and allow it to rise in a warm place for an hour. This is where the yeast works its magic. After an hour, add in 1 more cup of flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Roll the dough out one half at a time. It is too much to roll it all out at once.
  • Spread 1/2 to 1 cup of melted butter onto the rectangle.
  • Sprinkle on your sugar mixture and cinnamon. 
  • Roll up into a log, lengthwise.  Pinch the seam to keep it closed.
  • Slice the log using dental floss or a sharp knife in 2-inch slices.
  • Place the sliced rolls into a greased 9 x 13 pan.
  • Let the shaped rolls rise for 30 minutes while the oven heats.
  • Bake until golden brown and the cinnamon mixture is bubbly- about 18-20 minutes.
  • Allow to cool completely before covering in icing.

Powdered Sugar Icing

  • Whisk powdered sugar and milk together until you get the desired consistency you're wanting.
  • Pour over the cinnamon rolls after they have cooled.

Notes

  • Chill the dough for an hour before halving it and shaping it into cinnamon rolls if it is too sticky to handle.
  • Fill the rolls from edge to edge with the butter and sugar mixture.
  • If the filling oozes too much, use softened butter in place of melted butter
Keyword easy cinnamon rolls, pioneer woman cinnamon rolls

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2 Comments

  1. I use to use the pioneer woman recipe years ago and forgot about it. Thanks for the reminder and great tip to make ahead and freeze! Christmas morning will be much more relaxed this year.

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