Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls

Published on Dec 25, 2018
Updated on Jan 21, 2019

Close up shot of cinnamon rolls with maple icing
*This recipe was originally published 01/21/2011. Most recent update 12/25/18.
This buttery soft and pillowy cinnamon roll recipe from The Pioneer Woman is covered in the most delicious maple icing that will absolutely melt in your mouth. These cinnamon rolls are a labor of love and are 100% worth it!

Close up shot of cinnamon rolls with maple icing

You know if it’s a recipe of Ree’s then it’s going to be a good recipe. The first time I made these Cinnamon Rolls was Christmas morning several years ago for my family. They were such a hit. Just as mouth-watering, ooey gooey sticky finger licking, wonderful as I knew they would be.

The switch up from traditional cream cheese or buttercream frosting to the maple icing on these was such a nice change. If you’re not a fan of maple or don’t happen to have any on hand when making these it’s not a problem to sub for vanilla extract instead.

How to Make Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls (step-by-step)

1. Gather your cinnamon roll dough ingredients. You’ll need: flour, milk, vegetable oil, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, active dry yeast & salt.

Ingredients used to make cinnamon rolls: flour, sugar, oil, salt, etc. 2. Whisk together the milk, vegetable oil and sugar in a pan. Over medium-high heat scald the mixture (heat to where it’s just about to reach the boiling point. At this point, small bubbles will start to appear around the edges.). Turn off heat (keeping pan on burner) and leave to cool 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Milk, sugar & oil in a cast iron pot3. After an hour or so when the mixture is no longer hot, instead lukewarm, sprinkle in both packages of yeast (if measuring from a jar instead of packets you’ll need 4 1/2 tsp).

4. Let sit for a moment to absorb in the milk mixture.

5. Transfer milk mixture to a stand mixer bowl and add 8 of the 9 cups (reserving the last cup for later) of flour.

6. Using the hook attachment of your stand mixer incorporate flour together. If you’d rather mix by hand, depending on how much room you have you can keep everything in the same pot and mix in flour with a wooden spoon until well incorporated. Cover and let rise for at least an hour.

7. Dough should be nearly doubled in size after rising for at least an hour. Punch down to release the air.  

8. Mix in remaining cup of flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

9. Stir mixture together.

Collage of step-by-step photos showing how to make cinnamon rolls10. Sprinkle rolling surface generously with flour.

Silicone baking mat sprinkled with flour11. Divide dough in half. Using one half of the dough form a rectangle. Roll thin, maintaining a general rectangular shape (as best you can).

12. Drizzle 1/2 to 1 cup melted butter over the dough.

13. Sprinkle 1 cup of sugar over the butter (the other cup that has been measured will be for the other half of the dough)

14. Generously sprinkle cinnamon.

15. Starting with the longest side roll dough tightly. Pinch the seam of the roll to seal it.

16. Cut the rolls approximately ¾ to 1 inch thick. This can be done with a serrated knife if you find that easier but I prefer dental floss.

17. Spread around 1 tbsp. of melted butter (could be slightly more) in the baking dish of your choice.

18. If using a 9×13 you will be able to arrange 12-15 rolls depending on the size of your rolls Lay them in the buttered pans. Let the rolls rise for 20 to 30 minutes.

Collage of step-by-step photos showing how to make cinnamon rolls19. Repeat this process with the other half of the dough. Again spread approx 1 tbsp. of melted butter in your pan. You could use a disposable round foil pie pan or square foil cake pan.

Disposable pie plate with melted butter covering the bottom19. Repeat this process with the other half of the dough. Again spread approx 1 tbsp. of melted butter in your pan. You could use a disposable round foil pie pan or square foil cake pan.

20. If using a disposable round foil pie pan you should be able to get seven rolls to a pan.

21. If using a disposable square foil cake pan you should be able to get 9 rolls to a pan.

22. Once the rolls have risen slightly (be careful not to over-rise your rolls) they are ready to bake.

23. If you’re giving the rolls as gifts you can at this point refrigerate to bake later, or remove plastic wrap and bake to give fresh hot rolls. Preheat oven to 375F.

24. Bake about 15 to 18 minutes until golden brown.

25. Gather your maple icing ingredients: powdered sugar, butter, maple flavoring, milk, and salt.

26. Whisk everything together until smooth.

27. The consistency you’re looking for is thick but pourable.

Collage of step-by-step photos showing how to make cinnamon rolls

28. Generously drizzle over the warm rolls to serve immediately.

29. Or if you’ve baked the rolls to give…

30. Generously drizzle over the warm rolls to set & then cover.

31. Serve warm with a tall glass of milk or cup of coffee.

32. Once gifted rolls have slightly cooled, cover with foil or plastic wrap to give.

33. Enjoy!

Collage of step-by-step photos showing how to make cinnamon rolls

Important Tips for Making The Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls

  • Make sure you gather all of your ingredients needed for the recipe beforehand. There’s nothing worse than getting started on a recipe only to realize halfway through that you’re missing something.
  • Don’t walk away from your milk mixture while you’re heating it up. To scald the mixture you’re wanting it to get where it’s just about to reach the boiling point. If you walk away, it will be easy to forget & then come back to find a rolling boil (which is not what you want)
    • A sign of scalding is that small bubbles will start to appear around the edges
  • Use fresh yeast! If you’re needing to reach into the deep dark depths of your pantry for your yeast then I’d recommend buying new for this recipe. It’s a fair amount of work to make these and you don’t want all of your time to be in vain.
    • I like to store my yeast in the freezer to ensure freshness for longer than pantry shelf life.
  • Do not over mix your dough. You only want to mix until your flour is incorporated. Otherwise if you create a tough overworked dough you won’t have fluffy and soft rolls.
  • If you want to make your dough ahead of time after the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt have been mixed in you could cover the dough and put it in the fridge until you are ready to finish.
    • This includes overnight and even a day or two.
    • If it starts to overflow simply punch it down to release the extra air.
  • One of my favorite kitchen tools is a silicone mat to roll my dough onto. It makes for easy handling of your dough and really easy cleanup as well.
  • My most favorite way to slice the cinnamon rolls is with dental floss. It’s SO easy and makes for such a clean cut. If you don’t have floss handy a serrated knife will do the trick just as well.
  • If you don’ have maple flavoring or just don’t prefer it, you can substitute equal amounts of vanilla instead.

Three separate plates each with one cinnamon roll and a fork on a counter

For more cinnamon roll recipes check out these favorites:

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Close up shot of cinnamon rolls being drizzled with maple icing

Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cinnamon Rolls, holiday breakfast, maple cinnamon rolls, pioneer woman
Prep Time: 12 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 43
Calories: 375 kcal
Author: Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

These buttery soft and pillowy cinnamon rolls covered in maple icing will absolutely melt in your mouth. They are a labor of love that is 100% worth it!

Print

Ingredients

  • 4 c. whole milk
  • 1 c. vegetable oil
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 pkgs. Active Dry Yeast
  • 9 c. all-purpose flour divided
  • 1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 c. unsalted butter melted

Cinnamon Sugar Topping

  • 2 c. sugar
  • cinnamon

Maple Icing

  • 1 2 lb. bag powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp. maple flavoring
  • 1/2 c. whole milk
  • 1/4 c. unsalted butter melted
  • 1/8 tsp. salt

Instructions

  1. Whisk together the milk, vegetable oil and sugar in a pan. Over medium-high heat scald the mixture (heat to where it's just about to reach the boiling point. At this point, small bubbles will start to appear around the edges.). Turn off heat (keeping pan on burner) and leave to cool 45 minutes to 1 hour.

  2. After an hour or so when the mixture is no longer hot, instead lukewarm, sprinkle in both packages of yeast (if measuring from a jar instead of packets you’ll need 4 1/2 tsp). Let sit for a moment to absorb in the milk mixture. 

  3. Transfer milk mixture to a stand mixer bowl and add 8 of the 9 cups (reserving the last cup for later) of flour. Using the hook attachment of your stand mixer incorporate flour together. If you’d rather mix by hand, depending on how much room you have you can keep everything in the same pot and mix in flour with a wooden spoon until well incorporated. Cover and let rise for at least an hour.  

  4. Dough should be nearly doubled in size after rising for at least an hour. Punch down to release the air. Mix in remaining cup of flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir mixture together.

  5. Sprinkle rolling surface generously with flour.

  6. Divide dough in half. Using one half of the dough form a rectangle. Roll thin, maintaining a general rectangular shape (as best you can).

  7. Drizzle 1/2 to 1 cup melted butter over the dough. 

  8. Sprinkle 1 cup of sugar over the butter (the other cup that has been measured will be for the other half of the dough). Generously sprinkle cinnamon.

  9. Starting with the longest side roll dough tightly. Pinch the seam of the roll to seal it. Cut the rolls approximately ¾ to 1 inch thick. This can be done with a serrated knife if you find that easier but I prefer dental floss.

  10. Spread around 1 tbsp. of melted butter (could be slightly more) in the baking dish of your choice. If using a 9x13 you will be able to arrange 12-15 rolls depending on the size of your rolls. If using a disposable round foil pie pan you should be able to get seven rolls to a pan. If using a disposable square foil cake pan you should be able to get 9 rolls to a pan. Lay them in the buttered pans.

  11. Let the rolls rise for 20 to 30 minutes. Repeat this process with the other half of the dough. Once the rolls have risen slightly (be careful not to over-rise your rolls) they are ready to bake. 

  12. If you’re giving the rolls as gifts you can at this point refrigerate to bake later, or remove plastic wrap and bake to give fresh hot rolls. Preheat oven to 375F. Bake about 15 to 18 minutes until golden brown.

For the Maple Icing

  1. Whisk everything together until smooth. The consistency you’re looking for is thick but pourable. Generously drizzle over the warm rolls to serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

  • Make sure you gather all of your ingredients needed for the recipe beforehand. There's nothing worse than getting started on a recipe only to realize halfway through that you're missing something.
  • Don't walk away from your milk mixture while you're heating it up. To scald the mixture you're wanting it to get where it's just about to reach the boiling point. If you walk away, it will be easy to forget & then come back to find a rolling boil (which is not what you want)
    • A sign of scalding is that small bubbles will start to appear around the edges
  • Use fresh yeast! If you're needing to reach into the deep dark depths of your pantry for your yeast then I'd recommend buying new for this recipe. It's a fair amount of work to make these and you don't want all of your time to be in vain.
    • I like to store my yeast in the freezer to ensure freshness for longer than pantry shelf life.
  • Do not over mix your dough. You only want to mix until your flour is incorporated. Otherwise if you create a tough overworked dough you won't have fluffy and soft rolls.
  • If you want to make your dough ahead of time after the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt have been mixed in you could cover the dough and put it in the fridge until you are ready to finish.
    • This includes overnight and even a day or two.
    • If it starts to overflow simply punch it down to release the extra air.
  • One of my favorite kitchen tools is a silicone mat to roll my dough onto. It makes for easy handling of your dough and really easy cleanup as well.
  • My most favorite way to slice the cinnamon rolls is with dental floss. It's SO easy and makes for such a clean cut. If you don't have floss handy a serrated knife will do the trick just as well. 
  • If you don' have maple flavoring or just don't prefer it, you can substitute equal amounts of vanilla instead. 

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

Nutrition Facts
Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls
Amount Per Serving
Calories 375 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 22%
Saturated Fat 9g 45%
Cholesterol 23mg 8%
Sodium 175mg 7%
Potassium 102mg 3%
Total Carbohydrates 55g 18%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 17g
Protein 5g 10%
Vitamin A 5.6%
Calcium 4.4%
Iron 12.9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Update notes: This recipe was originally posted in 2011 but was published again in 2018 to include step by step photos & directions, nutritional information & expert tips.
Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls // These buttery soft and pillowy cinnamon rolls covered in maple icing will absolutely melt in your mouth. They are a labor of love that is 100% worth it! | Tried and Tasty #thepioneerwoman #cinnamonrolls #holidaybreakfast
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23 comments about “Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls

  1. Lilia Eurich

    Could these be completely and refrigerated over night, and baked fresh in the A.M.?. Thank you, they sound GREAT !!!

  2. Joanna

    Lol! Was just wondering if I could do that (prev comment…roll and have ready to go in the am…)too tired to stay up any longer, but I’d love to know if it works!

  3. oosterbaby

    I’ve got the dough made & in the fridge. I’m wondering if I can roll it out & get the rolls ready & in the pan then put back in the fridge overnight? Take them out in the morning, let them rise & bake?

  4. Dori paschal,

    Hi there
    I remember when one of my neighbors gave me a similar recipe and it was soooo good but since about 1973 I lost this recipe with the maple frosting. I was so sad til I came across yours. Now u have really made my day ! Because this new generation doesn’t appreciate the hard work and loving care these rolls represent. I know you can’t afford to eat them all the time but on Sundsys it is a special day to endulge in these ! Enjoy and keep up the good work. Dori

    1. Yvonne

      So awesome – man, these cinnamon rolls are to die for! So happy you found your way back to your favorite maple frosting recipe! Enjoy!

  5. Floreng miano

    thank you so much for sharing your recipe. your cinnamon rolls recipe is what i am looking for. so good, love it! tnx sooo much! God bless

    1. Yvonne

      I’m not a huge orange roll fan but if it’s from P Dubb, I’m sure I would love it! Thanks for the comment :)

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