Classic Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting (regular or heart shaped)

Classic Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing

Happy Valentine’s Day! I have to say, holidays have become so much more fun now that my kids are old enough to get excited about them. Valentine’s Day for us usually means a stay at home date with a special meal made after the kids go to bed. But this year, my crazy parents are keeping all 12 of their grandchildren for an overnight Valentine’s Day sleepover, while us parents get to go childless for a night. Max is over-the-moon excited and has not stopped talking about it. He’s been making valentines for his cousins all week and has been counting down the days. I have to admit, this year I have been too! Who knew Valentine’s Day could be so much fun? ;)

I’d been planning on making our go-to cinnamon rolls this week and since love and hearts seemed to be taking over the house, I thought it might be fun to make them into heart shapes. You know, for the kids. ;) They helped me with the assembly and were so excited to see the hearts come together.

Classic Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing

Aren’t they freakin’ adorable? They’re no harder to make then regular cinnamon rolls and are a great way to dress them up for a special occasion. But really, who needs an excuse to make heart shaped cinnamon rolls?

We made half of our cinnamon rolls regular and half into hearts. I’ve included pictures of both for comparison. Here’s how you do.

Classic Cinnamon Rolls - Regular or Heart Shaped

Rather then roll up the dough into one log, like you normally would, you roll it up from both ends until they meet in the middle, like a scroll.

Classic Cinnamon Rolls - Regular or Heart Shaped

Cut them into slices. Lay them on their sides and pinch the bottom into an exaggerated heart shape. Place it on a baking sheet and you’re good to go!

Classic Cinnamon Rolls - Regular or Heart Shaped

The heart shaped cinnamon rolls won’t be as gooey as the regular ones, as they have more room to breathe, which may be preferable to some. You can also bake the spiral ones separately like this too, just follow the assembly instructions of the regular ones and the baking times of the hearts. We like them gooey (read: cooked through but melt in your mouth), so if we’re not making them into shapes we like to stuff them into a pan for the least amount of crust possible.

I found this recipe in my first few years of baking and have never felt the need to find another. It makes a perfect, classic, cinnamon roll. The dough is soft, the filling is sweet and sticky and full of cinnamon flavour, and the frosting, oh the frosting! It is cream cheese frosting at it’s best, and when spread on a warm cinnamon roll, it melts and seeps into all the crevices, contributing to the gooey factor – perfection! If you’re still on the lookout for the perfect cinnamon roll give this recipe a try, and let me know what you think!

Classic Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing

First time working with dough? Head here.

Classic Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting (regular or heart shaped)
 
Makes: 12-18 rolls
Ingredients
Dough
  • 1 cup warm milk (110ºF)
  • ⅓ cup butter, melted
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2.5 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 3.5-4.5 cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Filling
  • ⅓ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2.5 tablespoons ground cinnamon
Frosting
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • 1.5 cups icing (confectioners) sugar
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
Instructions
Dough
  1. Stir together milk, butter, sugar and instant yeast. Let sit for 5 minutes until creamy. Beat in eggs. Add 3.5 cups bread flour, along with salt. Knead until smooth; adding additional flour as necessary to achieve a smooth, pliable and slightly sticky dough (it should be sticky to the touch but not cling to your finger when you pull it away). Place in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place (I like to put it in the oven with the light on) for 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk.
Filling and Assembly
  1. Combine brown sugar, cinnamon and butter in a small bowl.
  2. Roll out dough to a 16x21 inch rectangle. Spread dough evenly with sugar/butter mixture. Roll up, starting from the long side. Cut into 12 rolls if baking in a 9x13 pan, cut into 18 rolls if baking in 2, 9x9 inch pans. Place 12 rolls into a greased 9x13 pan or place 9 rolls into each of two, greased, 9x9 inch baking pans (we like to do two pans so we can freeze one for later). Cover and let rise for 30 minutes, until nearly double.
  3. Bake at 400ºF for 15 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Spread with frosting while warm but not hot.
  4. These are best fresh, if enjoying them the next day, warm them in the microwave for 20 seconds or so to bring them back to life.
Frosting
  1. Beat together cream cheese and butter, until smooth. Add icing sugar, vanilla, and salt. Beat until smooth.
For Heart Shape
  1. Roll out dough to a 16x21 inch rectangle. Spread dough evenly with butter/sugar mixture. Roll up, starting from both of the long sides, until they meet in the middle, like a scroll. Cut into 18 rolls. Shape the bottom centre of the roll into a V shape. Place 9 rolls onto each of two parchment lined (or greased) baking sheets. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes, until nearly double.
  2. Bake at 400ºF for 10 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Allow to cool. To drizzle frosting, pop the prepared frosting into the microwave for 20 seconds until a pourable consistency. Drizzle over hearts with a spoon.

Adapted from allrecipes.

  • Courtney Glantz

    I love these! What a sweet idea <3 Happy Valentines!

    • http://kitchensimplicity.com/ Cheri | Kitchen Simplicity

      Happy Valentine’s Day to you and your sweet family, Courtney!

  • Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe

    These are beyond adorable! Enjoy your date night with your hubby – your parents sound like fantastic grandparents! Happy Valentine’s Day!

    • http://kitchensimplicity.com/ Cheri | Kitchen Simplicity

      They sure are! My kids are spoiled to have them. And, so am I. ;) Happy Valentine’s, Amanda!

  • http://wee-eats.com/ natalie @ wee eats

    I’m always a sucker for another cinnamon roll recipe – and this one looks amazing. I love the idea of making them into hearts! so cute!

    • http://kitchensimplicity.com/ Cheri | Kitchen Simplicity

      Thanks Natalie! Cinnamon rolls are definitely a weakness around here!

  • Laura

    At what point do you usually freeze them? Before they rise for the last time or after they’re cooked?

    • http://kitchensimplicity.com/ Cheri | Kitchen Simplicity

      I have done both. But I generally like to freeze them before the second rise. As soon as they are in the pan, I pop them in the freezer. Then when I want to bake, I take them out and let them thaw/rise for a couple of hours before baking.

      • Laura

        Thanks for your quick response, I am in the middle of making them right now! I have an amazing recipe for cinnamon rolls, but they use margarine and corn syrup, so I definitely thought I needed to try this one out.

        • http://kitchensimplicity.com/ Cheri | Kitchen Simplicity

          I hope you enjoy them!

  • Eman

    Yummy I’m about to make them!!!

    • Eman

      Well I made these and omg they were amazing!!! The best ones I’ve ever had!!