James' Christmas Morning Cinnamon Rolls

Adapted from recipes by Paula Deen and Jo Cooks.
*This recipe can be prepared the night before.
  • 1/4-ounce package yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup scalded milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter or shortening
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
Cream Cheese Icing
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1.5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk


  1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl mix milk, sugar, melted butter, salt, and egg.
  3. Add 2 cups of flour and mix until smooth.
  4. Add yeast mixture.
  5. Mix in remaining flour until dough is easy to handle.
  6. Knead dough on lightly floured surface for 5 to 10 minutes.
  7. Place in well-greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in size, usually 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  8. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray or butter.
  9. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface, until it is approximately 16 inches long by 12 inches wide and about 1/4 inch thick.
  10. Spread the butter evenly over the surface of the dough, then sprinkle the sugar evenly over the top.
  11. Beginning at the 15-inch side, role up dough and pinch edge together to seal.
  12. Cut the dough into 12 to 15 slices (1.5 inch slices) and place in prepared baking dish.
  13. Cover with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and allow to rise for another 30 minutes, or until doubled in size. *If making the night before, cover dish tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, remove from refrigerator and allow to rise in a warm place until they are puffy, approximately 1-2 hours.
  14. When ready to bake, place in preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until nicely browned.
  15. Remove from oven and allow to cool while making icing.

GLAZE/ICING – I prepare two different types of topping: A thick cream cheese icing and a glaze, which is runny. I like the combination of the two textures, but either one is fine. First, I spread the cream cheese icing all over the top and then I pour the glaze all around the edge of the dish and around each individual bun so it oozes down the sides when served.

Directions for Glaze: Mix butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla.
Add hot water 1 tablespoon at a time until the glaze reaches desired consistency.
For the Cream Cheese Icing: Blend all the ingredients together until frothy.