When my guy and I started dating, I gave him the name BG. Initially, it stood for “Big Guy” on account of his towering stature; but, the longer we dated the more I learned about him and the more I liked him, the initials stayed the same but their meaning changed.
The closer we became, the more secrets he revealed, the insight into his quirks and hidden habits made him endlessly endearing in my eyes.
Maybe it’s strange; but, one thing I liked best in those early days of dating was his confessed and demonstrated love of cinnamon buns with extra frosting. As if those mall-made sugar-bomb buns weren’t sweet enough, my normally health conscious guy would throw caution to the wind and treat himself to double glaze.
I wasn’t even aware you could get extra icing without signing a waiver and acknowledging the risk of sugar overload.
Soon “Big Guy” became “Best Guy,” so for his birthday I had to do something special and make his favorite – a cinnamon roll cake with plenty of cream cheese frosting to go around.
The cinnamon roll is light and fluffy and too easy to make. I add cloves to the filling for a little extra something. And, the frosting is my classic decadent cream cheese made melty when slathered on a still-warm mega-bun.
It’s perfect and sweet and easy to love, just like my BG. I’m not blushing – you are!
Homemade cinnamon roll dough might seem intimidating but it isn’t! All you need is some flour (separated), sugar, yeast, salt, milk, butter, an egg and a can-do attitude!
To make the dough-
- Place 2 1/4 cups of the flour in a bowl with the salt, sugar, and yeast. Mix together.
- In a small saucepan, heat the butter and the milk until the butter is melted and the milk is 115°F – no higher! Add the milk to the flour and mix to combine.
- Add the egg.
- Add the the reserved flour a little at a time until the dough comes together and starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
Place the dough on a heavily floured surface and knead a few times until the dough is smooth and elastic. Place in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place in a warm spot to rise for 30 minutes.
Once the dough has risen, get ready to assemble. Make the filling by mixing 1/4 cup of sugar, 2 tablespoons of cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves. Grease a 9-in pie plate. Soften some butter.
Roll the dough out into something that looks vaguely like a rectangle and is close to 12×15-in. Just do your best. Smear with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar. Cut into 2-ish inch strips.
Start coiling the strips in the greased pie pan, starting in the center and working your way out. Sprinkle with any additional cinnamon-sugar that might have lost its way.
Cover the dough with plastic and set aside for 90 minutes to rise.
Bake in a 350°F oven for 30 – 35 minutes until browned.
While the cake is baking, make the cream cheese smear. Place butter and cream cheese together in a large bowl. Cream until smooth. Slowly add the powdered sugar. Add the milk and vanilla.
Let the roll cool slightly before slathering with cream cheese frosting.
My guy always likes extra frosting, so I made a double batch – you could too.
Cut that roll like a cake and eat it warm or at room temp.
Eat once slice and then eat another. For good measure, eat one more.
BG's Cinnamon Roll Cake
2 3/4 cups of all purpose flour
3 tablespoons of granulated sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
1 package of active dry yeast (2 and 1/4 teaspoons)
3/4 cup of milk
3 tablespoons of butter
1 large egg
3 tablespoons of unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup of sugar
2 tablespoons of sugar
1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves
8 ounces of cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick of butter
2 cups of powdered sugar
2 teaspoons of vanilla
2 – 3 tablespoons of milk
To make the dough, mix together 2 1/4 cups of the flour, the sugar, salt, and yeast in a large bowl.
In a small saucepan, heat the milk and butter over low flame until the butter is melted and the milk is 115°F – no higher.
Pour the milk mixture over the dry ingredients and mix to incorporate.
Mix in the egg.
Take the remaining 1/2 cup of flour and add it slowly, a tablespoon at a time, working it in until the dough comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. You may not need it all, I used about 1/3 of the reserved flour.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 2 – 3 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Place it in a lightly greased bowl and set aside to rise for 30 minutes.
While the dough is rising make the filling by combining the sugar, cinnamon, and cloves.
Once the dough has rested for 30 minutes, roll it out to a 12×15 inch rectangle. Smear with 3 tablespoons of softened butter and sprinkle with the sugar and spice mix.
Cut the dough into 2 inch wide strips.
Roll the first strip up into a little cylinder and place it in the center of a 9 inch pie place that has been greased. Working from the inside out, wrap the rest of the strips around the initial cylinder until you reach the edge of the pie plate.
Cover the dough in plastic wrap and set aside to rise for 90 minutes.
After 90 minutes the dough should have doubled in size. Place in a 350°F oven and bake for 30 – 35 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly.
While the cake is baking, you can make the frosting.
Beat the cream cheese and butter together in a large bowl until combined. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk and mix until smooth.
Cover the cake with the frosting (even if the cake is still a little warm) and serve immediately!