Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls

My laptop is back!  While it’s not better, I do have all my pictures and a real keyboard again which is making me sublimely happy.  

It’s been raining for a couple days.  YAY!!  I love the rain.  It makes we want to get all snugly and bake -which in turn makes Mike happy because I take requests.  So here is Mike’s request this week.  He didn’t have a recipe in mind, he was just craving.  Now the last time I made cinnamon rolls it didn’t go so well.  Okay, that’s an understatement.  This went so so wrong.  Check it.  

Our friend Scott had come over the week before for dinner.  He made BBQ ribs and used one of my cookie sheets to bake the dry rub onto the ribs for an hour.  After dinner Mike scrubbed the cookie sheet to death, so I figured things were cool.  I found a Cinnabon copycat recipe to try (it was meh), and went to work.  I ended up with 3 cookie sheets of cinnamon rolls.  Two sheets worth were sub-par, and the third sheet?  Well the third set of rolls tasted like BBQ sauce.  They were horrible.  It took me 20 minutes to figure out what happened to make the rolls taste all funny.  I haven’t made cinnamon rolls since.

Last year I saw the Pioneer Woman‘s cinnamon rolls on her Christmas Food Network episode.  I tucked the recipe away and promised myself I would try it.  Now, here we are.  Four pans of cinnamon rolls, some happy tummies, and a restored ego later.  Thanks Ree!

Pinoeer Woman Cinnamon Rolls

One Year Ago: Pleated Apron with Built-In Hot Pads

Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 30 rolls
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 packet active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided, plus more for dusting
  • 1/2 heaping teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 scant teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 pound powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk, plus extra if needed
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • Pinch of salt
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine 2 cups milk, vegetable oil, and 1/2 cup sugar. Heat until just simmering. Stir until sugar is dissolved and liquid reaches 100 to 110 degrees F. Top mixture with yeast and allow to sit for 1 minute.
  2. Put 4 cups flour in a large mixing bowl. {I used my stand mixer with the dough hook attachment.} add milk mixture to flour and combine until all ingredients are combined. Cover bowl with a clean kitchen towel and set aside to let dough rise, for 1 hour.
  3. Mix remaining 1/2 cup flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt to dough. Mix to combine. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Place dough, uncovered in the fridge for an hour.
  4. Lightly dust your work surface with flour. Take half the dough and roll unto a 10? x 15? rectangle – dough will be pretty darn thin. Pour 1/2 cup melted butter over dough sheet. Use your hands to spread butter. Mix together 1 tablespoon cinnamon and 1/2 cup sugar. Sprinkle all the sugar mixture evenly over the butter. Use hands to rub cinnamon goo all over the dough, and combine all the filling ingredients.
  5. Roll the dough up starting on the short side. Some filling might ooze out the end, you’ll live. Pinch the seam that forms at the end of the rolling to seal the dough.
  6. Repeat process with remaining half of the dough and remaining filling ingredients.
  7. Using a serrated knife, cut 1/2? slices from each roll. Place slices in four 9? non-stick cake pans/pie plates, if not using non-stick light grease the pans. Arrange 8 rolls per pan with one roll in the center of the rest.
  8. Cover rolls with a kitchen towel (or two). Allow to rest for 20 minutes.
  9. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake cinnamon rolls for 15 to 18 minutes, do not let rolls over brown.
  10. While rolls bake, combine icing ingredients in a large bowl until smooth – the icing will thin as it melts over the rolls. Pour icing over warm cinnamon rolls, 1/4 of the icing per pan. If needed, use the back of a spoon the distribute icing around the pans.
  11. Allow cinnamon rolls to rest for a few minutes, then serve warm.
This is a half recipe of the original.


If you’re making a full recipe for gifting giving like Ree, you may want to take her suggestion and use disposable pie tins for baking and gift giving.  


  1. says

    Be strong! And share with your friends. I made half (of the half batch above) on Friday and I made the other half this morning. I'm probably going to take most of them to work so we don't eat them all.

  2. Yvonne says

    I was so excited to try these and have a friend coming to visit so I started real quick and never read the entire recipe step by step right through first:( I was combining the flour and milk mixture and when I read mix till all ingredients are combined I jumped ahead and added the salt, baking powder and soda. 🙁 ugh!!!! Is there anything I can do to save my mixture??? It is currently in a bowl with the towel on it rising!!
    I learned the valuable lesson of reading all steps before starting!!!!

    • says

      Honestly, I don’t think it’ll be the end of the world. Let the dough rise once, and then punch it down and allow it to rise a second time. Then continue on. 🙂

  3. Chelsi says

    Your pictures and instructions are great! I love EVERYTHING the Pioneer Woman creates. One confusion I came across is the timing at the beginning of the recipe. You have to let the milk mixture cool down (about an hour), and then let the dough rise for an hour, then let the dough rest in the fridge for an hour, and then you must let the rolls rest for 20 minutes. THEN you bake then for 15-18 minutes. So really, this is about a 4 hour job after all the measuring and mixing is factored in as well. I would update that for people like me who wait till the last minute to make these delicious treats 😉 Thanks for posting this!

  4. Ashley says

    Can these be made the night before, put in fridge, and just bake in the morning? Or will it mess up the rising process? Thanks!

    • says

      Yes. I’ve actually done this myself. Just make sure you cover the dough with plastic wrap (touching the dough). The cold temperature helps slow the rising, but doesn’t stop it so the dough is still ready to go in the morning. 🙂

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