There’s nothing that lifts the spirits like a sweet and special treat. Lucky for us, Michelle Lopez of Hummingbird High has just the thing. A blogger, baker, and all-around quality human, Michelle is also the author of Weeknight Baking, a cookbook with timesaving yet tasty recipes that can easily be executed on any day of the week. Delicious and delightful, her creations are the perfect cure for midweek fatigue. Below, she shares a simple and scrumptious cinnamon roll recipe that feels oh-so-right for these upcoming months.
Confetti Cinnamon Rolls
For the Dough:
Makes 12 large rolls
7 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon instant yeast
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons salt
2 1/3 cup buttermilk, warmed to between 120° and 130°F (to activate instant yeast)
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1⁄2 cup canola or vegetable oil
For the Filling:
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
For the Cream Cheese Glaze:
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons whole milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted if lumpy
sprinkles, for garnish
If mixing the dough by hand, follow step one and two, but knead on a lightly floured surface until the dough becomes smooth and stretchy (about 10 minutes).
If you don't have buttermilk on hand, you can easily make it by mixing whole milk and lemon juice or white vinegar (ratio: 1 cup of milk to 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice).
We recommend letting the dough proof in the fridge overnight, but when in a pinch, you can also cover your dough and store it in a warm place (oven with the oven light on) for 1 1/2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size.
Day 1 - Make the Dough:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour, sugar, instant yeast, baking soda, and salt. Knead on low to combine, about 30 seconds. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients using the bottom of your measuring cup.
In a large liquid measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk, egg, and oil. Pour the mixture into the well in the dry ingredients and knead on medium-low for 10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic, using a rubber spatula to scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl as necessary.
Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured counter. Dust your hands with flour and knead the dough once or twice into a rough ball. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl to remove any excess dough. Spray the bowl with cooking spray and place the dough back in the bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Uncover the dough and tip it onto a lightly floured counter. Line your baking dish with parchment paper.
Make the filling: Melt the butter in the microwave (or in a small, heavy- bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat). In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar and cinnamon.
Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a large rectangle about 16 inches wide and 24 inches long. Press a bench scraper against the sides of the dough to create straight edges. Pour the melted butter into the center of the dough and use an offset spatula to spread it evenly to the edges. Sprinkle the sugar-cinnamon mixture evenly over the butter.
Starting from one of the short ends, roll the dough into a tight log. Use a serrated knife to cut the log crosswise into 12 rolls, each about 2 inches wide. Place the rolls cut-side up and at least 3 inches apart on the prepared pan. Cover and let sit in a warm spot for 1 to 2 hours, or until doubled in size.
About 30 minutes into the second rise, position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F.
Meanwhile, make the glaze: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese, milk, and vanilla and beat on low until just combined. Gradually add the confectioner's sugar and mix until smooth and fluffy.
Bake the buns for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and a skewer inserted into the center of a roll comes out clean.
Immediately use an offset spatula to spread a generous amount of the glaze over the top of each cinnamon roll—the residual heat will help melt and spread the glaze. Garnish with sprinkles. Serve warm or at room temperature. The cinnamon rolls can be stored at room temperature, under a cake dome or a large bowl turned upside down, for up to 1 day. After that, transfer the cinnamon rolls to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 days more.