Grandmother's Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

Grandmother's Cinnamon Rolls

Makes 16

This recipe was developed by Jerilyn Brusseau and used with permission. Jerilyn is co-creator of the Cinnabon and a recipe writer for Cairnspring Mills.


  • 3 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 cups softened butter, divided use
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups packed dark brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons ground cinnamon


  1. Place 1 cup warm water (95°-105°F) in a large mixing bowl. Add yeast and sugar. Let stand 5 minutes.
  2. Scald milk in a small saucepan. Add 1/3 cup butter to cooling milk to allow it to soften. When cool, add milk mixture to yeast and stir well. Add eggs and stir well with wire whisk.
  3. Begin adding flour, mixing well with a wooden spoon or spatula until mixture resembles thick cake batter. Continue adding flour until dough is still slightly sticky. Mix well again until dough begins to leave the sides of bowl.
  4. Place 1/2 cup of the remaining flour on board. Turn dough out and knead about 10 minutes, until smooth and satiny, slowly adding more flour, if needed. Dough should be somewhat soft and resilient, almost sticky.*
  5. Shape dough into ball and place in a large, buttered bowl, turning to coat with butter. Cover with damp towel. Let rise in a warm place ,about 50 to 60 minutes, or until doubled in bulk. Punch down and let rise again, about 30 minutes.
  6. Turn dough onto large floured board. Roll out to 24 x 20-inch rectangle. Dough will be quite thin. Using a rubber spatula, spread entire rectangle with remaining 2 cups softened butter. Sprinkle evenly with dark brown sugar mixed with cinnamon. Roll rectangle tightly from long side (dough will be soft). Make sure seam-side is on bottom. Shape with hands to make roll uniform from end to end, 32 inches in length.
  7. With sharp knife, cut roll into 16, 2-inch portions. Place 8 rolls per pan in 2 parchment paper-lined 9 x 13-inch metal baking pans. (Glass pans tend to caramelize syrup too quickly.)
  8. Cover with warm, damp towels and let rise in a warm place, another 50 to 60 minutes, or until almost doubled in size. Place in preheated 350°F oven and bake 25 to 30 minutes or until nicely browned and filling is bubbly. Immediately invert onto parchment-lined cookie sheet, allowing syrup to drip from pan onto rolls (this is the secret).
  9. Chef's Note:
  10. At this stage, dough may be placed in an extra large plastic bag, tightly sealed, and stored in refrigerator overnight for cool rise. Three hours before serving, remove dough from refrigerator and roll/shape rolls as indicated above. Chilled dough is easier to roll. Proof until almost double in size. Then bake as above.
  11. Chilled dough is easier to roll. If desired, after step 6, dough may be placed in extra large plastic bag, tightly sealed, and stored in refrigerator overnight for cool rise. Three hours before serving, remove dough from refrigerator, and proceed from step 7.


Amount Per Serving (based on 16 servings)
Calories: 590
Fat: 29 g
Saturated Fat: 18 g
Trans Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 110 mg
Sodium: 410 mg
Carbohydrates: 77 g
Fiber: 4 g
Sugar: 41 g
Added Sugars: 40 g
Protein: 9 g
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