These small batch cinnamon rolls are incredibly delicious! These cinnamon rolls are filled with a cinnamon sugar filling and topped with a cream cheese frosting! They are made mixing two different methods. The brioche and the tangzhong method (method used in milk bread). Thagzhong is a slurry that gets add to the dough, making them incredibly soft and fluffy. It might be small extra step, but it makes them extra good!
These super fluffy and soft small batch cinnamon rolls are a new weekend stable. These cinnamon rolls are so incredible. They have a soft dough, using both the brioche and the tangzhong method. Tangzhong is a slurry made of milk and flour that gets added to the dough. The rolls are filled with cinnamon sugar filling and topped with a cream cheese glaze.
If you haven't tired the tangzhong method (the method used in milk bread), you'll never want to go back after you try it. It might sound new and like an extra step, but it a simple and quick extra step that will make them extra good!
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS
- Brioche and tangzhong dough: The dough for these rolls is so soft and incredibly delicious! You'll never want to make another dough than this one!
- Cinnamon Sugar: Spread out over the dough is a delicious cinnamon sugar butter spread.
- Cream cheese frosting: A simple cream cheese frosting is spread over the cinnamon rolls while they are still warm.
These are some of the key ingredients for this recipe. For a full list of ingredients, check out the recipe card below.
- Yeast: I use fresh yeast but you can also use active dry yeast
- Butter: Take it out of the fridge 1-2 hours before baking.
- Whole milk: Heat the milk up to 37ºC, make sure it's not warmer as it can kills the yeast if it's too hot.
- All-purpose flour: I use all-purpose flour. It is used both in the tangzhong and with the rest of the dough.
- Brown sugar: Brown sugar gives lot's off caramel flavor notes.
STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS - DOUGH
The full recipe is down below in the recipe card.
Here is how make and bake these small batch cinnamon rolls. This recipe needs a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment and a 25x18 cm baking tray lined with baking paper.
STEP 1: Start by making the tangzhong. Add the milk and flour to a small saucepan. Stir it together with a whisk until the flour has mixed together with milk. Place it on the stove over medium-high heat. Keep constantly stirring until it becomes a thick paste. Place it in the fridge to cool down so it becomes cold.
STEP 2: Heat up the milk until it’s lukewarm (37ºC). Crumble the fresh yeast into your mixing bowl and pour in the heated milk. Stir it together until the yeast has melted. (If you are use dry yeast, let it bloom in the warm milk per instruction of the pack)
STEP 3: Add granulated sugar, all-purpose flour, tangzhong, egg, cardamon, salt and using the dough hook, mix until it is all hydrated and there is no dry flour left. Then mix further for 4 minutes on medium speed.
STEP 4: Add the butter in two parts and continue on medium speed. Keep mixing the dough for 8-10 minutes.
STEP 5: Add the dough to a clean bowl, with a bit of vegetable oil, and cover the bowl with cling film and a tea towel. Let it rise for 1 hour.
FILLING AND ASSEMBLING
STEP 1: Mix together all of the ingredients for the filling together until one paste, and set it aside.
STEP 2: After the first rise roll out your dough into a big rectangular shape, spread out the cinnamon sugar and roll it into a log. Cut 6 rolls
STEP 3: Place them in you baking tray and let them rise for a second time for 45 minutes under cling film and a tea towel.
Meanwhile preheat the oven to 190ºC/ 375ºF conventional oven.
STEP 4: After the second rise, bake them for 23-25 minutes on the second lowest rack. For the last 5-10 minutes of the baking time, cover the cinnamon rolls with aluminium foil, to prevent too much browning.
STEP 1: Make the cream cheese frosting by creaming the butter and cream cheese together with a hand mixer. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Mix it all together until smooth and combined.
STEP 2: Spread the frosting over the cinnamon rolls while they are still warm.
EXPERT BAKING TIPS
- Use a kitchen scale: My default setting for my recipes is grams. It is the most precise way of measuring out your ingredients, I therefore highly recommend using a kitchen scale.
- Light vs. dark baking pans: For the best result, use an aluminum baking pan, greased with butter and lined with baking paper in the bottom. Aluminum pans are light in color and therefore attract less heat. That means it bakes more gently which results in a softer cake. If you use a black baking pan it'll attract a lot more heat. That will then give a darker crust, which can result in a dryer cake.
Yes, if you're oven is not busy, then pre-heat the oven at 30ºC. Then turn off the oven, keeping the oven door closed, right before making the dough. This way you can rise your dough in the turned off oven giving it the optimal temperature of between 23-25ºC.
Yes, let the dough rise its 1st rise in the fridge overnight, proofing for no more than 16 hours. Then follow the recipe as and let the dough do its 2nd rise at room temperature.
Yes, prepare each of the element, the day before, so you only need to assemble the cinnamon rolls the next morning. Make the dough as described in the FAQ above. Prepare the cream cheese frosting and store it in an airtight container in the fridge. Prepare the cinnamon sugar filling and store it in an airtight container at room temperature.
Yes I recommend using a 20 cm (8”) or 22 cm (9”) round baking pans.
They they have a golden color they are done.
WHAT IS TANGZHONG?
Tangzhong origins from Japan’s yokone (or yudane). Tangzhong is a method used in yeasted bread and was popularized around Asia by Taiwanese cookbook author Yvonne Chen. It is a slurry that is made of flour and a liquid before adding it together with the rest of the ingredients. By precooking the flour and milk, it makes your bread incredibly soft and fluffy, more tender and extends the shelf life.
Source: King Arthur Baking
Store the small batch cinnamon rolls in the fridge covered tightly with cling film. Best enjoyed within a 3-5 days. They taste the the best when reheated in the microwave for 1-2 minutes.
Other Cinnamon Roll Recipes To Try
Small Batch Cinnamon Rolls
- 25x18 cm baking tray see FAQ for other options
- 15 g all-purpose flour
- 75 g whole milk
- 100 g whole milk
- 15 g fresh yeast 5 g dry yeast
- 30 g granulated sugar
- 280 g all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cardamom
- 1 large eggs
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 50 g butter room temperature
- 50 g butter room temperature
- 50 g brown sugar
- 2 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- 35 g butter room temperature
- 70 g cream cheese
- 70 g powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Start by making the tangzhong. Add the milk and flour to a small saucepan. Stir it together with a whisk until the flour has mixed together with milk. Then place it on the stove over medium-high heat. Keep constantly stirring until it becomes a thick paste, similarly to smooth mashed potatoes. Take it off the heat and add it to a flat surfaced bowl so it can cool down faster. Place it in the fridge to cool down so it becomes cold. Give it a stir here and there. It’ll take about 20-30 minutes.15 g all-purpose flour, 75 g whole milk
- Heat up the milk until it’s lukewarm (37ºC). Crumble the fresh yeast into your mixing bowl and pour in the heated milk. With a spatula stir it together until the yeast has melted. (If you are use dry yeast, let it bloom in the warm milk per instruction of the pack)100 g whole milk, 15 g fresh yeast
- Add the granulated sugar, all-purpose flour, tangzhong, egg, cardamon, salt and using the dough hook, mix the dough on low-medium speed until it is all hydrated and there is no dry flour left. Then mix further for 4 minutes on medium speed.30 g granulated sugar, 280 g all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon cardamom, 1 large eggs, ½ teaspoon salt
- Continue on medium speed and add the butter in two parts. Add the second part of the butter, once the first part has mixed into the dough.This part looks messy but don’t worry. Once the second part has incorporated, scape down the sides of the bowl and keep mixing the dough for 8-10 minutes. It should end looking smooth and glossy. This dough is very nice and soft so it’ll therefore be tacky when touching it.50 g butter
- Add the dough to a clean bowl, with a bit of vegetable oil, and cover the bowl with cling film and a tea towel. Place it in a warm room temperature area in your house. Let it rise for 1 hour. See FAQ above for overnight rising.
- While the dough rises, mix together all of the ingredients until one paste and set it aside.50 g butter, 50 g brown sugar, 2 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- After the first rise, it should now be double in size. Punch the air out of the dough and roll it out your dough on a lightly floured surface into a rectangular shape so it’s about 5 mm thick. Spread out the cinnamon sugar in an even layer. Roll it into a log from the short side.
- Using a piece of thread or unflavored dental floss cut 6 rolls. You can also use a serrated bread knife instead.
- Place them in a 25 x 18 cm baking tray lined with parchment paper and let them rise for a second time on the kitchen counter for 45 minutes under some cling film and a tea towel.
- Meanwhile preheat the oven to 190ºC/ 375ºF conventional oven.
- After the second rise, bake them for 22-24 minutes on the second lowest rack. For the last 5-10 minutes of the baking time, or when they start to become golden in colour, cover the cinnamon rolls with aluminium foil, to prevent too much browning.
- Let them cool down while making the frosting.
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- In a mixing bowl, start by creaming the butter and cream cheese together for 1 minute with a hand mixer. Add the powdered sugar to the bowl with the vanilla extract. Mix it together with the butter and cream cheese until smooth and combined.35 g butter room temperature, 70 g cream cheese, 70 g powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Spread the frosting over the cinnamon rolls while they are still warm. They are ready to be enjoyed.