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 soft and pillowy. 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 and sweetness. Served best with a heap of 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 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
For the Dough
- ¾ cup warm water 110°-115°F
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 2.25 tsp dry active yeast
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 tbsp white vinegar
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 egg
- ¾ tsp kosher salt
- 3.5 cups all purpose flour you may need a little more depending on the dough
For the Filling
- ½ cup unsalted butter room temp
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 2.5 tsp ground cinnamon
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 oz cream cheese room temp
- ½ cup unsalted butter room temp
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup powdered sugar sifted
Making the Dough
- Whisk together the warm water and sugar until dissolved. Sprinkle the yeast over the top and let sit in a warm spot for 10-15 minutes until yeast is frothy
- Mix milk and vinegar together until thick. Add it to the yeast mixture along with the oil, egg and salt
- Mix about ¾ of the flour mixture into the yeast mixture just until it starts to come together. Add remaining flour and mix just until combined
- Make the dough into a ball, place it in a lightly sprayed bowl then cover it with a kitchen towel and place in a warm spot for 1 hour
- After proofing the dough for one hour turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough 3-4 times
- Roll the dough into a rectangle about ¼ inch thick
Filling the Cinnamon Rolls
- Spread the butter all over the rolled out dough
- Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together then sprinkle it evenly over the top of the dough
- Roll the dough tightly starting at the long end
- Cut the dough in half then cut each half into halves then cut them again to make 12 pieces
- Place the rolls into the sprayed pan you will bake them in and cover with a kitchen towel, place in a warm spot to rise for 1 more hour
Baking the Cinnamon Rolls
- Preheat the oven to 350°F
- Bake the cinnamon rolls for 20-25 minutes. Do not overbake
Making the Cream Cheese Frosting
- While the rolls are baking make the frosting
- With a hand held electric mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment beat the cream cheese and butter for 2 minutes on medium speed until light and fluffy
- Add the vanilla, salt and powdered sugar and beat on medium – high speed for another 2 minutes
- Top the hot cinnamon rolls with the cream cheese frosting and serve. Enjoy!