Last week was my dad’s 73rd birthday and to celebrate I made him one of my all time favourites: Carrot and Pineapple Cake with Cream Cheese Icing. I just cannot get enough of cream cheese icing. It is incredibly addictive for me – we are talking in the same realm as Chicago Mix Popcorn… I used to always go to Grounds for Coffee and order cinnamon rolls (of course) but also one of their muffins because they slather them in cream cheese icing. Obviously I am obsessed with cream cheese icing and I think that any recipe that calls for cream cheese icing is absolutely divine. This entire story was a long way to let you know that in order to make the cake last week I bought cream cheese at Costco. This left me with a dilemma (or blessing): leftover cream cheese.
I have spent every moment since then trying to decide what to do with the leftover cream cheese. Cheesecake? Marbled brownies? Grasshoppers? The possibilities were endless. Then I remembered that it had been a while since I made a batch of cinnamon rolls. Normally I wouldn’t risk making cinnamon rolls because I would eat the entire pan myself. Luckily, my work husbands have been more than happy to eat up my baked goods, so I decided it was a safe option. I mean, how many could I eat if I only had them in the house for less than 12 hours and I was sleeping for 8 of those?…. (the answer to this would be more than I imagined)
And so began my search for a cinnamon roll recipe. I didn’t want anything too difficult since it was a weekday and I didn’t want to be up for hours waiting for the dough to rise at several stages. Then just like that I came across the perfect recipe and with a few tweaks I made it my own.
But here is where things get interesting. TP doesn’t like cinnamon (gasp! I know), and since I always aim to please I wondered how I could adapt the recipe to make everyone happy. The answer was (and normally is): Nutella. I mean if cream cheese icing is the best thing ever and Nutella is the best thing ever then it would just be stupid not to combine them. And thus the Nutella-Bon was born. I even considered adding banana but TP seemed overwhelmed when I mentioned it so that will have to wait until next time.
Since I myself love cinnamon I did one batch of dough but filled half with traditional cinnamon sugar and the other half with Nutella. I don’t think I even need to convince you of how good these were.
This recipe fills half the dough with Nutella and the other half with traditional cinnamon-sugar. If you want only Nutella cut out the cinnamon sugar and butter and double the Nutella. If you want only cinnamon-sugar cut out the Nutella and double the cinnamon-sugar and butter. I still think if you do both you have the best of both worlds!
- 1 package dry yeast
- 1 cup warm milk
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup Nutella
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
Cream Cheese Icing:
- 8 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
1. Warm the milk in a small pot. It should feel warm to the touch but not so hot that it hurts your finger.
2. Poor the warm milk into a heat proof bowl and add the packet of dry yeast. Wait about 30 seconds and then stir the mixture with a wooden spoon. If the milk is warm enough the yeast should quickly and easily dissolve.
3. Add the sugar, butter, salt, eggs and flour to the milk. Mix everything until it is fully combined and the dough forms a ball. Using your hands, knead the dough into a large ball. If the dough is too sticky coat your hands in flour before forming into a ball.
4. Spray a clean bowl with non stick spray and place the ball of dough inside the bowl. Cover the bowel in plastic wrap.
5. Place the dough somewhere warm (near a fire or heater, for example). Allow the dough to sit for about an hour or until it has approximately doubled in size.
6. Prepare the filling: combine the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl.
7. Prepare the icing: with an electric mixer combine the butter and cream cheese. Once it is light and fluffy add the icing sugar and mix until fully combined. Lastly, add the vanilla extract and salt and mix until you have a smooth spreadable icing.
8. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
9. Once the dough has doubled in size remove it from the bowl and split it in half. (Note: if you are only using one filling you can skip this step). Roll each half of the dough out on a floured board until it is rectangular and 1/4 inch thick.
10. Spread the first piece of rolled out dough with Nutella. From the long edge roll the dough. Once it is rolled up pinch the edges to make sure it is sealed. Cut the dough into 6 even pieces.
11. On the other half of rolled out dough spread the butter and sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar mixture you prepared. Again, roll the dough from the long edge and seal it once it is all rolled up. Cut this roll into 6 even pieces.
12. Place all 12 pieces into one 9×13 inch pan. (Note: if you want to keep track of cinnamon versus Nutella you can place them into two 8×8 inch pans instead). Don’t worry if it doesn’t seem like enough space, these cinnamon rolls do not spread out very much.
13. Bake for 15 minutes.
14. After you have removed the rolls from the oven spread the icing on while they are still hot.