These Ooey Gooey Cinnamon Rolls are the perfect weekend breakfast or brunch item for you and your family! The ooey gooey part of a cinnamon roll is a MUST for me. No dried out rolls around here! These cinnamon rolls have a warm, gooey center and the outer layers of dough are not far from that same texture. If that’s how you love your cinnamon rolls too then this is the recipe for you!
This Ooey Gooey Cinnamon Roll recipe will make you throw your other cinnamon roll recipes out the window! It’s perfectly light and fluffy and has just the right amount of cinnamon, sweetness and ohhhh the gooeyness! Served best with a heap of some amazing cream cheese frosting right on top!
Don’t be scared, it’s so easy
This recipe is actually very simple. I was always scared to try cinnamon roll recipes because I thought they would be really difficult. That’s not the case at all! It’s a little time consuming but only because of the resting time. Don’t be intimidated, give it a shot!
Do you like convenience?
These Ooey Gooey Cinnamon Rolls are also extremely convenient because if you don’t want to wake up at the crack of dawn (who does?), you can prepare them the day before. You just need to take them out of the refrigerator a couple hours ahead of baking time the next day to come to room temp for about an hour and then proof for another hour.
However if you do make them and refrigerate a day ahead, letting them come to temp for the full amount of time and proofing for the full amount of time is SUPER important. If you don’t let the dough warm back up and then rise properly you will be stuck with dense, flat, less flavorful rolls. And what a bummer that would be!
Tips for the best Ooey Gooey Cinnamon Rolls?
- Use a thermometer to check the temp of your water before adding the yeast. I aim for 115 degrees Fahrenheit, mix my sugar in and add the yeast immediately.
- If your yeast does not foam up after the 10-15 minutes it is dead or the water was not the correct temp. This means it did not and will not activate therefore will not work.
- Make cream cheese frosting a day or two ahead to save time.
- Make cinnamon roll dough a day ahead to save time.
- Turn your oven on 275 degrees Fahrenheit and set your covered bowl on the front burners of your stove to help with the rising. The heat coming out of the oven will help your dough rise nicely.
- Do not overbake! Overbaking will leave you with a drier, less gooey cinnamon roll.
Making the ooey gooey cinnamon roll dough
Making the dough is very simple and really quick! You’ll just want to make sure your water is at the proper temperature for the yeast to grow (110-115 degrees Fahrenheit), whisk in the sugar and add the yeast. Let that hang out for about 15 min.
After that you will add your homemade buttermilk, oil, egg and salt. You could certainly just use 1/4 cup of buttermilk but I usually just make my own because I always have milk and white vinegar on hand. That way it’s one less ingredient I have to worry about picking up at the store!
Next just mix in the flour using your hand! About 3/4 of it until you get it almost fully mixed then go ahead and add the rest. It should come together and start pulling away from the sides. The dough should be soft but it should not be too sticky. If it’s sticking to your hands and kind of messy then add more flour in. A couple tablespoons at a time until the stickiness goes away. Be gentle with the dough, you don’t want to over mix it.
After that you can just add some olive oil to your bowl and wipe it around on the bottom and sides or give your bowl a quick spray with a non stick cooking spray. Set the dough back in, cover it with a large dish towel or plastic wrap and let it rest in a warm spot for an hour.
I’m a big fan of having my oven on a low temp, about 275 degrees Fahrenheit and just setting my covered dough at the front of my stove so that way I’m sure its getting a little bit of warmth. You definitely don’t want to set the bowl near the back of the oven because that would be too much heat.
Rolling out and filling your cinnamon roll dough
After the dough proofs for an hour you can take it out of the bowl and place it on a lightly floured surface. Knead it a couple times and then roll it out into a rectangle. You’ll want the dough to be about 1/4 inch thick or slightly thinner.
Spread on all that butter! The easiest way is to just use your hand. Smear the butter all over the dough. Mix up your brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle it all over the dough.
Roll your dough tightly to ensure it stays together while baking. If it’s too loose it will just unroll while baking and you’ll have a bit of a mess. Start with one of the long ends of the cinnamon roll dough and roll to the other side. You can slightly pinch the dough together at the seems if you like as a little extra help for the dough to stay tight while baking.
The easiest way to get even rolls is to cut the dough in half. Then take both of those pieces and cut each of them in half. You should then have 4 pieces. You will cut each of those into thirds.
I don’t always roll it perfectly so sometimes I’m left with a little bit shorter dough. And that’s okay because you can just cut it into a few less rolls. 9-10 rolls instead of 12 works just fine too. Typically I aim for each roll to be about 2 inches in height. So if that’s easier for you to go off of then stick with that!
Second proofing and baking
Now it’s time to place them in a baking dish and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Now you have 2 options. You can either place them in the refrigerator for up to 36 hours or if you want to bake them right away you will proof for another hour before placing them into the oven. If you choose to refrigerate them, you will simply take them out 2 hours ahead of time to warm up and then proof before baking.
Who loves cream cheese frosting?
Let’s talk about the cream cheese frosting. Personally I like a less sweet, little more tangy cream cheese frosting for my cinnamon rolls. The roll is sweet enough so making the frosting a little less sweet provides a nice flavor balance. You can always add more powdered sugar to the frosting if you don’t feel the same way.
This cream cheese frosting comes together quickly and can be stored for up to 4 days tightly covered in your refrigerator. You simply cream together the cream cheese and butter using either your hand mixer or a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. Add the vanilla. Then add in the powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Ta da! That’s it!
Time to bake your ooey gooey cinnamon rolls
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. After the cinnamon rolls have proofed for the second time, put them in the oven. Bake for about 20 minutes. Depending on your oven this could possibly take an additional 5 minutes. You don’t want to overbake because you will burn or dry out your rolls. Take them out, top them with delicious cream cheese frosting and enjoy your ooey gooey cinnamon rolls!
Who’s ready to give these cinnamon rolls a shot?! You won’t be sorry!
Looking for more sweets?! Have a look at some Desserts!
Ooey Gooey Cinnamon Rolls
- 3/4 cup warm water 115 degrees Fahrenheit
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2.25 tsp dry active yeast 1 small packet
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1 tbsp white vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 egg
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- 3.5 cups all purpose flour you could need slightly more if dough is too sticky
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp 1 stick
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 2.5 tsp ground cinnamon
- 8 oz cream cheese, room temp
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp 1 stick
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- For the ooey gooey cinnamon roll dough Measure out your warm water and use a thermometer to take the temperature of the water. When it reads 115 degrees Fahrenheit pour your water into a bowl. Add the sugar and whisk until dissolved. Sprinkle the yeast over the top and let sit 10-15 minutes until frothy.2. Add vinegar into a 1/4 cup measuring cup. Fill the measuring cup the rest of the way up with the whole milk. Milk will become thick, almost curdled looking. Stir it around with a spoon and add it to the yeast mixture along with your olive oil, egg and salt. Whisk until combined.3. Add about 3/4 of the amount of flour into the same bowl. I just use my hand to mix the ingredients together and mix just until its almost fully combined. Add the rest of the flour and continue mixing with your hand until it is just fully incorporated and pulling away from the sides of the bowl. Form the dough into a loose ball and set aside.4. Rub your bowl with oil or give it a quick spray with some non stick cooking spray. Set the dough ball back into the bowl, cover and let the dough rise in a warm non drafty spot. Personally I cover the bowl with a large dish towel and I have my oven set to 275 degrees Fahrenheit and leave the bowl on the front burner of my stove. That way it gets some nice heat from the top of the oven to help with the proofing process.5. After your cinnamon roll dough rises, remove it from the bowl and place it onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough 3-4 times and then roll out into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick or slightly thinner. For the cream cheese frosting Using either a hand mixer or stand mixer with a whisk attachment beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth. About 1 minute. 2. Add the vanilla and beat until incorporated. 3. Add the powdered sugar a little at a time until fully incorporated, scraping down the sides after each addition. Once fully incorporated mix on high for about 4 minutes until light and fluffy.Fill and roll the cinnamon rolls Rub the butter all over your rolled out dough. Again, I just use my hand for this. 2. Mix your brown sugar and cinnamon together and then sprinkle evenly over the top of the dough.3. Roll your dough tightly, starting on one of the long ends of the dough. 4. Cut the dough in half and then cut each half into halves. Then cut each piece into 3 sections to make 12 rolls. If my dough seems a little too short to make 12 rolls sometimes I only cut into 9-10. Your rolls should be about 2 inches thick. Place your rolls into a greased baking dish.5. Cover your cinnamon rolls with plastic wrap. At this point you can either let them rise for 1 hour and continue to the baking ingredients or you can place them in your refrigerator for up to 36 hours. 6. If you choose to put them in the refrigerator, you must take them out 2 hours prior to baking them. 1 hour to come to room temp and 1 additional hour to proof again. Again, I turn my oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit and place the cinnamon rolls at the front burner of my stove still covered to help with the proofing process.7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.8. Remove your plastic wrap and bake the cinnamon rolls for 20 minutes. Each oven is a little different so you may need an additional 5 minutes. DO NOT OVER BAKE. Remove from the oven, spread on your cream cheese frosting and enjoy your ooey gooey cinnamon rolls!