Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Browned Butter Cinnamon Rolls and Vanilla Browned Butter Frosting

Saturday morning I woke up bright and early (7:30 on a Saturday!) so that I could make cinnamon rolls.

I wouldn't usually endeavor this so early in the morning but there was a BYU basketball game that day at 1:30pm and if you've heard anything about BYU basketball, you know it's kind of a big deal. Students camped out for days leading up to the game in order to get good seats.

Well, I love basketball and I love getting good seats but I hate camping out on cold, slanted concrete all night. So a compromise was made. My dear friends Maddie and Tyler  would camp out all night (don't be alarmed! they're married!) and then, in exchange for breakfast, I would come join them in line at 8 am.

Wait 5 hours instead of 18 and get to bake something yummy? Deal.

So I made browned butter cinnamon rolls and yummy frosting. They were so good. The browned butter adds a kind of warm, nutty, deep taste and it is the perfect addition.

I know the recipe seems a little daunting and there is a lot of rising that has to happen, but I promise that if you make this recipe, you will never be satisfied with another cinnamon roll ever.  

Never ever.

Need more convincing? Here's 9 reasons to try it:

Browned Butter Cinnamon Rolls

·  1 cup Whole Milk
·  1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
·  1/4 cup Sugar
·  1 TBS vanilla
·  1/2 TBS Active Dry Yeast
·  2 cups (Plus 1/2 Cup Extra, Separated) All-purpose Flour
·  1/4 teaspoon (heaping) Baking Powder
·  1/4 teaspoon (scant) Baking Soda
·  1/4 Tablespoon (heaping) Salt
·  1/2 cup Browned Butter (please, please use browned butter. It adds a nuttier, richer, more delicious taste. If you absolutely refuse, you can just use melted butter)
·  1/4 cups Sugar
·  Lots and lots of cinnamon

1.     Constantly mix the milk, vegetable oil, vanilla and sugar in a pan.  Heat until just before it begins boiling (aka scald it). Turn off heat and leave to cool 20 minutes to 1/2 hour. Brown the butter while you wait.
2.     Now, browning butter. It is the best thing ever. I looked up three different “how to’s” because I was intimidated but it was a cinch. It takes about 15 minutes so be patient. It is crucial to keep the heat on medium. You do not want to burn the butter. That would be bad. Here is a step-by-step tutorial on how to make browned butter.
3.     When the mixture is warm, sprinkle in vanilla and yeast. Make sure it is warm because that activates the yeast, but if it’s too hot, it kills the yeast. Let this sit for a minute or so. Then add 2 cups of all-purpose flour. Stir mixture together. Cover and let rise for at least half an hour.
4.     After rising, add the other 1/2 cup of flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir mixture together. (At this point, I put my dough in the fridge overnight because I wanted to use it the next morning. You can store this for up to two days as long as you punch it down every now and then.
5.     Sprinkle rolling surface with flour. Form dough into a rectangle and roll it thin. Drizzle 1/2 cup melted butter over the dough. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of sugar over the butter followed by a generous sprinkling of cinnamon.
6.     Tightly roll the dough into a cylinder.  Pinch the seam of the roll to seal it.
7.     Coat round cake pan with butter. Cut the roll into 1 inch segments and place the rolls in the pan.
8.     Let rise for 20 to 30 minutes, then bake at 400 degrees until light golden brown, about 15 to 18 minutes.

Vanilla Browned Butter Frosting
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup browned butter, softened
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla
  • About 1 Tbs milk
 Mix powdered sugar and margarine.  Stir in vanilla and milk; beat until frosting is smooth, and is spreading consistency.



  1. Jocelyn, I love your blog! I actually made cinnamon rolls today for the first time and they taste good but turned out flat. Yours look picture perfect, and sound really good so I think I will have to try this next time!

  2. hey I know your friends... though camping out is dumb

  3. Thanks Kirsten! I highly recommend them. And how is Portland!?

    And Kenz, if you were here, you'd understand the necessity of camping out. Though I hate it too.

  4. Portland is good, but I am excited for some warmer weather. And sadly I kind of really miss Provo! I will definitely try these and let you know how they turn out!

  5. I made this and loved them! The browned butter was a excellent addition.