These Maple Cinnamon Rolls are a fusion of the comforting aroma of homemade bread and the sweet allure of cinnamon, all crowned with a decadent maple frosting. Each roll is a testament of the joy of baking and is sure to enchant anyone who gets a taste.

This is a unique twist to the classic cinnamon roll, infusing it with rich, nuanced flavors of maple. This recipe is combining traditional baking techniques with a creative flair. These maple cinnamon rolls are more than just a dessert; they are a celebration of cozy, sweet moments and culinary artistry.

In my home, cinnamon rolls are the ‘special’ breakfast my kids beg for at every holiday, long weekend and special occasion. The whole family loves to wake up to freshly baked rolls and then live off of the leftovers for the rest of the week. The only bad part is when you wake up a few days later and realize the last roll was already eaten up by one of your kids.

Freshly baked maple cinnamon rolls

The Chemistry of Cinnamon Rolls

The secret behind these scrumptious cinnamon rolls lies in the yeast. Yeast, a microorganism, feeds on the sugars in the dough, producing carbon dioxide and alcohol as by-products. The interaction between the sugars and heat during baking creates a delightful caramelization on the crust, while the gluten developed in the dough provides a satisfying chewiness.

How does yeast work in cinnamon rolls?

Yeast ferments the sugars in the dough, producing gases that makes the dough rise, resulting in fluffy, soft rolls. Like all rising agents in baking, the yeast is incorporating tiny air pockets into the dough.

Why rest the dough twice in this recipe?

The first rest allows the dough to double in size and develop flavor. The second rest after shaping lets the rolls rise for optimal texture. You definitely want to be patient and allow the rolls to rise both times. This can be a pain on colder days, but you can find warm spaces inside your kitchen for the dough to rise. My two favorite warm spots are in the oven, turned OFF but the light turned on. It warms up in there quick. Another warm spot is in your OFF microwave with the door shut. The dough will not rise as quickly if its in a cold environment.

unbaked cinnamon rolls

Can you substitute any ingredients in the frosting?

I can only think of two ingredients that would be okay to substitute in the frosting and that is the extract & syrup. If maple extract isn’t available, you can use vanilla extract for a different but equally delicious frosting. If you cannot find pure maple syrup, you are okay to use maple pancake syrup, but the flavor is not as strong as it is in pure maple syrup.

Best way to store these cinnamon rolls?

Store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. If you do not have a container big enough, you can also wrap a cookie sheet with tinfoil to store. In fact, I always cover the cookie sheets in tinfoil because the rolls are already on a pan & it is easier than getting another dish dirty.

Freshly baked maple cinnamon rolls

What is in Maple Cinnamon Rolls?

Yeast

Provides flavor and carbon dioxide, making your dough rise. It must be mixed with a warm liquid and sugar in order to activate.

Heavy Whipping Cream

Adds richness to the dough

Granulated Sugar

Adds sweetness, provides a caramelized flavor and crisp texture. Sugar assists with rising when creamed with butter. It helps add moisture to your treat and helps it evenly spread as it melts into a liquid in the heat of the oven. Sugar also helps with naturally preserving your baked treat.

Unsalted Butter

It is always important to use unsalted butter when baking. If you use salted butter, you have no way of knowing how much salt you are adding to your dough or batter and it will result in an overly salted treat.

Butter adds fats to your dough or batter which helps with moistness, flavor and texture. Butter melts at body temperature, which creates a ‘melt in your mouth’ sensation.

When baking with butter the temperature is important. If the butter is too warm your treat will melt down too fast and overspread in the oven, leaving you with a greasy, flat mess. If your butter is too cold it will have the opposite problem and not melt down enough, leaving your treat too thick.

Eggs

Adds both a protein (egg whites) and fat (egg yolks). The egg whites help with rising because, when foamed, little air pockets get trapped inside the egg white mixture. The water content in egg whites encourages steam while baking, which helps with gluten formation, resulting in nice and thick treats. Egg yolks have emulsifying properties that bring batters and doughs together and help them from collapsing. Unless otherwise specified, always use large eggs.

Fine Sea Salt

Enhances flavor, adds balance, masks any bitter flavors. Salt is the most powerful and oldest preservative. Always make sure to use fine sea salt so it melts down at the right speed in the heat of the oven. If you use larger granule salt, it will not melt down fully when baked and will leave salt crystals throughout your treat, making it crunch like you dropped it into sand.

All-purpose Flour

Builds structure as it absorbs liquids and expands. All-purpose flour falls in the middle of bread flour (high in gluten) and cake flour (low in gluten). It’s exactly what it is named, all-purpose, the most universal flour that can be used in most baked goods.

Brown Sugar

Is granulated sugar with a little molasses mixed in. Molasses is a somewhat smoky flavored natural sweetener, which makes brown sugar a bit sweeter than granulated sugar. Brown sugar draws more moisture into your treat, keeping it softer for longer. It’s also more acidic, which means it will help activate your baking soda.

Cinnamon

A seasoning that adds a nice spice to your treat.

Cornstarch

Helps create a crumbly tender texture to toppings. Softens cookies, brownies and cakes. And it can also thicken sauces and fillings.

Powdered Sugar

Is just finely ground granulated sugar. It will absorb moisture in your batter or dough. It dissolves easily, ensuring a smooth texture without grittiness. Because it is so fine, it can melt quickly in the oven and spread cookies out more. Powdered sugar also stabilizes and thickens the frosting, thanks to the small amount of cornstarch it contains.

Maple Extract

Adds a distinctive, aromatic flavor and sweetness.

Maple Syrup

Do not use imitation, the real thing is better. Adds a distinct flavor and sweetness to your treat, while also softening it.

Freshly baked maple cinnamon rolls

Can you freeze cinnamon rolls?

Yes, you can freeze them for up to 2 months, just make sure to store them in an airtight container so that the cinnamon rolls do not absorb other flavors or scents from the freezer. Thaw and reheat the cinnamon roll before enjoying.

Making Ahead

If you want cinnamon rolls early in the morning but don’t want to wake up hours before to make them, don’t fear, you can make them ahead of time! You can prepare the dough a day in advance. Let the rolls do their first rise on the counter, shape the rolls and then cover them in plastic wrap and store in the fridge overnight. In the morning, remove the cold unbaked cinnamon rolls from the fridge and set them on the counter for 30 minutes to come back to room temperature. Then bake & frost as directed in the recipe.

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Why Make Maple Cinnamon Rolls?

These rolls are perfect for a weekend brunch, as a special treat for family gatherings, or during the holiday season for a festive and comforting dessert. I love to prepare cinnamon rolls the night before a birthday in our house. We have started a tradition of a ‘special’ breakfast for each birthday in the family. The kids always love waking up to some balloons and fresh cinnamon rolls on their special day!

Freshly baked maple cinnamon rolls

Recipes You May Love

Maple Cinnamon Rolls

Author: Madison Reid
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 24 minutes
Rising Time: 4 hours
Servings: 24 rolls
These delicious maple cinnamon rolls will fill your home with the sweet scent of homemade bread along with sugary cinnamon goodness. Topped with maple frosting, it is sure to be a crowd pleaser!

Ingredients 

Rolls

  • 2 tbsp yeast
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup +1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 cup unsalted butter **melted
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp fine sea salt
  • 7 cups all-purpose flour

Filling

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter

Frosting

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp maple extract
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup

Instructions

Rolls

  • Add warm water& cream together. Make sure the mixture is warm but not hot, if too hot the yeast will die. Add 1 tablespoon of sugar & yeast. Mix and let it sit for5-10 minutes until it bubbles up. If mixture doesn’t bubble, your yeast is dead and you must start over with new yeast.
  • In a standing mixer add 1 cup sugar, butter, eggs & salt. Stir until combined
  • Add yeast mixture to standing mixer, stir until combined
  • Add flour & knead in mixer until it is 1 ball of dough
  • Cover bowl and let sit for 2-3 hours or until doubled in size

Filling

  • Once dough has doubled, mix sugars, cinnamon & cornstarch together

Assemble

  • Roll out your dough on a lightly floured surface into a large rectangle. I like my dough about ¼ inch thick
  • Spread the melted butter all over your dough
  • Sprinkle sugar mixture and spread until evenly distributed on the dough
  • Roll the dough
  • Place the rolls on 2 light metal, greased cookie sheets, I put 12 on each pan.
  • Cover lightly with plastic wrap and let sit for another 2 hours
  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, bake for 22-24 minutes until golden

Frosting

  • While baking mix all the frosting ingredients in a standing mixer, whip for 2 minutes until fluffy
  • Frost while still warm

Nutrition

Calories: 494kcal Carbohydrates: 71g Protein: 5g Fat: 22g Saturated Fat: 14g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 6g Trans Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 77mg Sodium: 308mg Potassium: 94mg Fiber: 2g Sugar: 39g Vitamin A: 701IU Vitamin C: 0.1mg Calcium: 54mg Iron: 2mg

Have you tried this recipe?

I’d love to see it! Follow @_mrs.madi_ on Instagram and tag your photos with #mrsmadi.

Maple Cinnamon Rolls titled