I've been creating these Cinnabon replicas for over 15 years now. I distinctly remember going to the mall with my family as a teenager and stopping at the Cinnabon counter with my mother on the way out almost every time. We would take one order home, heat it up in the oven, and then split it right down the middle, enjoying the soft, fluffy, creamy goodness on our dining room table.
When I really started getting into baking, this dish was one of the first challenges I set for myself, and I haven't looked back since. Not only is this dish so fun to make, it also doesn't require any fancy machines. All you really need is your hands and a rolling pin, and if you're like me - the manual labor that goes behind this dish is therapeutic and infinitely rewarding.
The first steps to producing the perfect Cinnabon replicas is combining all of the ingredients for the base together with the dry active yeast and letting the dough double in size over an hour. Once it has risen, you roll out the dough into a large rectangle (about 16 in. by 20 in. but I've really never counted, and the fun really begins.
As you can see in this picture, by no means is this a perfectly shaped rectangle - or even a regular rectangle, for any matter. But it doesn't matter cause every part gets eaten. Once you roll out the dough, you spread melted butter across the surface and then sprinkle GENEROUSLY with a cinnamon and brown sugar mixture. This is the part that turns into a nice syrup-like texture, melting into the bread just perfectly when it is baked off. It is my favorite part of the whole dish.
I decided to place the rolled out dough over saran (plastic) wrap, making it easy to roll the whole mixture into a large, dense log.
When you roll the flat sheet into the log, continue to fold in the center so that it all holds together well. From here, cut the cinnamon rolls into 12 even-sized shapes and place them into a pan. Keep them side by side, and then let them rise once again!
After giving them some time to rise, bake them off in your oven and you have these sticky, beautiful buns! While the Cinnabons are still warm, smother them with some cream cheese and then feel free to jump in right away - you've waited long enough!