What Was Your Most Baked Food of 2016?

If you could narrow down what was your number one food you baked in 2016 what would it be? Your favorite tried-and-true chocolate chip cookie recipe? Your favorite overnight French toast? Mine would probably be a tie between 2 things: banana bread and the Pioneer Woman maple cinnamon rolls recipe. Just thinking about either of these two makes my mouth water!

The greatest part for us in our family is that these are both egg free for my daughter who is allergic. I’m not gonna lie some of my go-to egg free recipes just are not comparable to regular recipes of the same thing. Take chocolate chip cookies for example. The only egg free chocolate chip cookie recipes I have found turn out like little shortbread hockey pucks with chocolate chips. They could never pass for regular chocolate chip cookies and some people would probably rather pass completely than eat them at all. But to my daughter—they are heaven so we make them anyway!

However, these two things, specifically the cinnamon rolls (I mean—Pioneer Woman—hello! Of course her go-to cinnamon roll recipe is divine!) So I can’t wait to share that recipe with you if you haven’t already heard of them—it has been long overdue.

When I think about making these two things with my daughter it warms my heart and makes me think about eating so many cinnamon rolls until our stomachs hurt. And always buying oodles and oodles of bananas that I know secretly we could never eat them before they are brown and have to be used for something---oooooh how about yet another batch of banana bread?? Wahoo!

Let’s talk about these cinnamon rolls again for another minute. I’ve got to sell you on them. I believe this is one of the Pioneer Woman’s most popular recipes and for good reason. She posted it because it’s the recipe her mom used to make around Christmas time and deliver to all their neighbors. It is a really big batch that makes 7 little pans of rolls, but the great thing about Cook’n is the ease of saying exactly how many you want to make and it will adjust it all for you so you can make a small batch for just your family.

It is a soft, fabulous dough and has plenty of butter on the bottom and a lot of the cinnamon and sugar seeps down so it makes the bottom of the cinnamon rolls really delicious. The icing is butter and powdered sugar and some maple extract so it is really unique but is the kind of thing you wonder how you have never had it before and why didn’t you think about it yourself! Anyway, if you have time to squeeze these in and make a batch before your New Year’s Resolutions kick in full swing I would urge you to make these and end off the best way possible!

Maple Cinnamon Rolls

1 quart whole milk

1 cup vegetable oil

1 cup sugar

2 packages active dry yeast (0.25 ounce packets)

8 cups (plus 1 cup extra, reserved) all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon (heaping) baking powder

1 teaspoon (scant) baking soda

1 tablespoon (heaping) salt

Plenty of melted butter

2 cups sugar

Generous sprinkling of cinnamon


1 bag powdered sugar

2 teaspoons maple flavoring

½ cup milk

¼ cup melted butter

¼ cup brewed coffee

1/8 teaspoon salt


For the dough, heat the milk, vegetable oil, and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat to just below a boil. Set aside and cool to warm. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let it sit on the milk for 1 minute.

Add 8 cups of the flour. Stir until just combined, then cover with a clean kitchen towel, and set aside in a relatively warm place for 1 hour. After 1 hour, remove the towel and add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and the remaining 1 cup flour. Stir thoroughly to combine. Use the dough right away, or place in a mixing bowl and refrigerate for up to 3 days, punching down the dough if it rises to the top of the bowl. (Note: dough is easier to work with if it’s been chilled for at least an hour or so beforehand.)

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

To assemble the rolls, remove half the dough from the pan/bowl. On a floured baking surface, roll the dough into a large rectangle, about 30 x 10 inches. The dough should be rolled very thin.

To make the filling, pour 3/4 cup to 1 cup of the melted butter over the surface of the dough. Use your fingers to spread the butter evenly. Generously sprinkle half of the ground cinnamon and 1 cup of the sugar over the butter. Don’t be afraid to drizzle on more butter or more sugar! Gooey is the goal.

Now, beginning at the end farthest from you, roll the rectangle tightly towards you. Use both hands and work slowly, being careful to keep the roll tight. Don’t worry if the filling oozes as you work; that just means the rolls are going to be divine. When you reach the end, pinch the seam together and flip the roll so that the seam is face down. When you’re finished, you’ll wind up with one long buttery, cinnamony, sugary, gooey log.

Slip a cutting board underneath the roll and with a sharp knife, make 1/2-inch slices. One “log “will produce 20 to 25 rolls. Pour a couple of teaspoons of melted butter into disposable foil cake pans and swirl to coat. Place the sliced rolls in the pans, being careful not to overcrowd. (Each pan will hold 7 to 9 rolls.)

Repeat the rolling/sugar/butter process with the other half of the dough and more pans. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cover all the pans with a kitchen towel and set aside to rise on the countertop for at least 20 minutes before baking. Remove the towel and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden brown. Don’t allow the rolls to become overly brown.

While the rolls are baking, make the maple icing: In a large bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, butter, coffee, and salt. Splash in the maple flavoring. Whisk until very smooth. Taste and add in more maple, sugar, butter, or other ingredients as needed until the icing reaches the desired consistency. The icing should be somewhat thick but still very pourable.

Remove pans from the oven. Immediately drizzle icing over the top. Be sure to get it all around the edges and over the top. As they sit, the rolls will absorb some of the icing’s moisture and flavor. They only get better with time… not that they last for more than a few seconds. Make them for a friend today! It’ll seal the relationship for life. I promise.

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    Mary Richardson
    Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2014
    Email the author! mary@dvo.com

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