Vanilla Pudding Cinnamon Rolls

Friday, January 20, 2012

When I started this blog I had one thing in mind that I would always stay true to: never post anything that wasn't 100% fantastic.  Believe me, I have recipes and pictures upon pictures sitting in my camera of dishes or desserts that were just "meh."  I will never post a just meh recipe, you are all faaar too good for that.  

But this recipe, ooooh this recipe is beyond good.  As you may know, I am not much of a baker and until this year I never made anything that needed yeast.  These cinnamon rolls are worth every minute of kneading, rising and waiting.  I'm posting them today so you can prep the dough tonight and make them in the morning.  Trust me kids, these are keepers.  

But, before I start, make sure to CLICK HERE to enter the Stella and Dot giveaway!  It just takes a minute and you could win a clutch and broach worth over $180!!! The giveaway ends Monday January 23rd so check it out! 

Musical Selection: Momma's Song by: Carrie Underwood.  Every time I listen to this song I cry. But, I thought it was pretty appropriate since Mr. Schwartz pulled out the big guns (literally) to help with this recipe. 
As I mentioned, I made the dough the night before. It worked out perfectly just placing it in the fridge over night, taking it out to rise a little more and whipping up the rolls.  I hear you can make the dough even a few more days in advance and have it turn out just great.

So, lets get started.  Toss the yeast, water
And sugar into a large bowl.
Give it a little mix and set it aside to bloom.
Next, make the vanilla pudding.  I used the full flavor (not sugar free) but, I'm assuming you probably could.
Give it a whisk.  It will thicken as you work on other things and that is okay.
Next, take some melted butter (mine cooled slightly and it was okay), and pour it into the pudding mixture.
Give that a stir.
Crack two eggs into the pudding/butter mixture. Yes, I need a manicure. Don't judge.
Add salt.
And the bloomed foamy yeast.
Next, slowly incorporate the flour.
Ha, blurry high speed picture.  I used my stand mixer for this and it was fantastic.  The original recipe said just to kneed it until it was smooth.  You can do it either way.
There is the dough.  Okay, and really it has a whole package of vanilla pudding in it so it smells amazing!  I just placed it into a bowl I sprayed with cooking spray and covered it tightly.  Tossed it into the fridge over night.
And the next morning it looked like this.  I took it out and placed it on top of the stove with a dish towel over the top while the oven preheated and I prepped the filling.
Speaking of, it couldn't be easier.  Combine brown sugar and cinnamon.
Stir together and set aside until you are ready to use it.
Plop the dough onto a large surface.  As you can see here, I thought it would be a good idea to use parchment paper so it wouldn't stick and so I could cut the rolls without really harming our counter.  Don't do this. It didn't work at all.
Mr. Schwartz came to the rescue and took the granite top off of our coffee table so I could roll everything out and cut on it as well.  I wasn't complaining seeing my stud hubs just man handle a piece of heavy granite. Oww owww!   Although, I couldn't stop laughing that our coffee table top was in the kitchen.  But really, it worked perfectly.
Spread the butter over the rolled out dough.  As you can see, it doesn't have to be perfect.
Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the top of the butter and dough.
Roll it up by going back and forth trying to keep the roll as tight as you can.
There it is.
Smarty pants, Mr. Schwartz, also assisted with the measuring and cutting of the rolls.   He found a measuring cup that was about 1 1/2 inches and we used it as a guide.  He is so handy to have around.
Look at those beauties!
I let them sit on the oven for about an hour covered with a kitchen towel so they could rise.
They didn't rise as much as I expected but that was just fine.  I popped them in a 350 degree preheated oven for about 15 minutes and checked them.  They were not all the way done (I checked by pressing down in the middle of a few, super scientific I know).  I put them in for about another 5 minutes or until the tops were golden.
While the rolls cooked, I worked on the frosting.  Combining cream cheese and butter.
Adding some vanilla.
Powdered sugar.
And a dash of half and half.  You could use milk as well.
Nice and thick!
There they are in their golden, gooey, glory.
Frost them up.
I didn't wait all but 3 minutes to frost them and it was just fine.  The frosting is thick enough and I needed them in my belly stat.
Oh man. These were amazing.  That is the only way to really describe them.
Stop it.
I want to burrow myself into that cinnamon crevasse.  
I'm not kidding.
Oh, and this recipe made a ton!  As you can see we only made 6 rolls that we devoured over the last few days.  The remaining rolls I put on a cookie sheet lined with the parchment paper I didn't need and froze them.  I hear that you can put them in a baking dish over night in the fridge, take them out to rise in the am and have fantastic rolls in no time!  I also froze the remaining frosting so we shall see if it all works out.  I'll keep you posted.  

Happy weekend! 

Vanilla Pudding Cinnamon Rolls

½ cup warm water
2 tablespoons active dry yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
3 ½ ounce package instant vanilla pudding
½ cup butter, melted
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
6+ cups flour
1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
2 cups brown sugar
4 teaspoons cinnamon
8 ounces cream cheese
½ cup butter, softened to room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups confectioner’s sugar
2-3 tablespoons milk or half and half 
In a small bowl combine water, yeast and sugar. Stir until dissolved. Set aside. In large bowl, take pudding mix and prepare according to package directions. Add butter, eggs and salt. Mix well. Then add yeast mixture. Blend. Gradually add flour; knead until smooth (you can use a stand mixer for the kneading if you wish). Do not overflour the dough! It should be very soft but not sticky. Place in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled. Then roll out on floured board to 34 X 21 inches in size (Mine was about 30x16 and it was just fine). Take 1 cup soft butter and spread over surface. In bowl, mix 2 cups brown sugar and 4 teaspoons cinnamon. Sprinkle over the top. Roll up very tightly. With knife put a notch every 1 1/2 inches. Cut with thread or serrated knife. Place on lightly greased cookie sheet 1 inch apart. Cover and let rise until double again. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Remove when they start to turn golden (don’t overbake). Frost warm rolls with cream cheese frosting (combine butter and cream cheese and mix well, then add vanilla and sugar and mix again, then add milk for desired consistency). Makes about 24 very large rolls.
*Freezable Recipe: After shaping the rolls and placing them on the baking sheet, cover with lightly greased saran wrap and a layer of tin foil. Store in the freezer. The night before you want to serve them take out the rolls and put them in the refrigerator. Let them thaw in the refrigerator. Take them out about 8-9 hours after being in the refrigerator and let them rise until doubled. Bake according to the recipe. (If you have less time, you can take the rolls out of the freezer and let them come to room temperature on the counter – about 4 hours, then let rise until doubled).
Recipe directly from: here


  1. This looks delicious, I will try it out. Thanks for the recipe.

  2. Found this recipe on pinterest thanks for sharing!! I made these for breakfast this morning and boy are they good. It was time consuming but well worth it. I was worried I didn't roll the dough right because I got 18 rolls out of it but they were perfectly yummy!! This was my first time making cinnamon rolls and I couldn't be happier with the results.

  3. Is it 3, 1/2 ounce packages of pudding mix or a 3 1/2 ounce package which would make over 6 cups of pudding?

  4. I made this recipe and it turned out perfect. I added nutmeg and raisins to mine. Everything els from the recipe. My family and friends loved the rolls. Will be making again!!

  5. They were absolutely WONDERFUL! My Mother in law asked for the recipe and said that she would never cook GRANDS again!

  6. I have made these a few times, and they are AMAZING! They are also ginormous, so I was wondering if I could divide the dough in half before I roll it out. Would that produce a slightly smaller roll? Thanks for the recipe. They are seriously the best I have ever had!


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