Glazed Cinnamon Rolls from The Breakfast Book

Glazed cinnamon rolls are so very tasty. Welcome to the first installment of my very first Cook the Book. The idea here is that I will cook a recipe every other week from Marion Cunnigham's The Breakfast Book. I'll give you a flavor of what the book is like and will inspire you to cook up some of the tasty breakfast treats yourself.

Up first is a very good glazed cinnamon roll recipe. I'm not much of a baker. I fully acknowledge my shortcomings in this area. The requirement to follow an actual recipe with precise measurements is next to impossible for me. I've been at this recipe since 7:30am this morning. The rolls went into the oven at 5:15pm. To be fair, the dough rested for six hours in the refrigerator.

I chose to do the cinnamon rolls because I have the fondest of memories of Gran Fran whipping these up for us on weekends. I now have an even greater respect for the process she went through to give us fresh baked pastries. Gran Fran was known for being up at all hours of the day and night cooking and baking. I'd come home well after midnight to be greeted with the smell of beef stew or foccacia bread with garlic and rosemary. Gran Fran was to be found somewhat asleep, sitting up on the couch with the TV on. She'd awake with a start saying "Oh, I was just resting my eyes. Let me make you a plate." It was never asked as a question. It was a given that when you came in she'd feed you.

Why'd I wander off on that tangent? Because I just figured out that she must've been up making the dough so it could rest in the fridge overnight to be ready for baking soon after we got up. I wasn't that smart. Isabella will be having cinnamon rolls as her dessert tonight (with many more leftover for breakfast). Regardless of when we eat them, they are amazing, and I am proud to say that I made my first successful batch of glazed cinnamon rolls (it only took me 42 years!).

As per Isabella's instructions, I made one dozen with the glaze and dusted one dozen with cinnamon-sugar.

I'm doing this project along with five other wonderful food bloggers: Rachel of Ode to Goodness, Sammy of Rêve du Jour, Emily of The Bon Appetit Diaries, Aimee of Homemade Trade and Claudie of The Bohemian Kitchen.Click on through to their sites to see which recipes from the Yeast Breads chapter they made.

Glazed Cinnamon Rolls

from Marion Cunningham's The Breakfast Book, copyright 1987, Alfred A. Knopf


  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 package dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon plus 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, chilled [I used unsalted, recipe didn't specify]
  • 3 eggs yolks
  • 1 cup milk

Filling Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted [I used unsalted, recipe didn't specify]
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Glaze Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature [I used unsalted, recipe didn't specify]
  • 1 tablespoon water (a trifle more mat be needed to make a manageable glaze)


  1. Put the warm water in a small bowl and sprinkle the yeast over. Add 1 teaspoon sugar, stir, and let dissolve for 5 minutes.
  2. In a large mixing bowl stir together the flour, 1/4 cup sugar, and salt with a fork to mix them well.
  3. Cut the butter into pieces the size of small grapes and add to the flour mixture.
  4. Using either you hands or a pastry blender, rub or cut the butter into the flour mixture until it is distributed and there are coarse little lumps of butter throughout.
  5. Stir in the yeast mixture, the egg yolks, and the milk. Beat until blended [I used my Kitchen-Aid stand mixer with a dough hook].
  6. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator at least 6 hours (this dough can be refrigerated for 12 to 14 hours).
  7. Divide the dough in half. On a lightly floured board, roll out half the dough into a rectangle about 10 by 12 inches.
  8. Spread 2 tablespoons of the melted butter over the rectangle.
  9. Mix the remaining 6 tablespoons sugar and the 1 teaspoon cinnamon together in a small bowl. Sprinkle half the sugar mixture evenly over the rectangle.
  10. Starting with the wide side, roll up the rectangle like a jelly roll. Divide the roll into 12 pieces by first cutting the roll into 4 equal portions, the cutting each portion into 3.
  11. Put the rolls cut side down in a greased muffin tin. Repeat these steps with the other half of the dough.
  12. Cover loosely and let rise for 1 hour.
  13. Bake in a preheated 400 degree F oven for 20 to 25 minutes
  14. Remove the rolls and out them on a rack set over a piece of waxed paper.
  15. To make the glaze, sift the confectioners' sugar into a small bowl, then beat in the butter and water until smooth.
  16. Spoon a little of the glaze one reach roll while still hot.