James' Christmas Cinnamon Rolls

Adapted from 2 recipes: Paula Deen and Jo Cooks.

This recipe can be prepared the night before if desired.
  • 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. Add 2 cups of flour and mix until smooth. Add yeast mixture. Mix in remaining flour until dough is easy to handle.
  3. Knead dough on lightly floured surface for 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. Place in well-greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in size, usually 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  5. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray or butter.
  6. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface, until it is approximately 16 inches long by 12 inches wide. It should be approximately 1/4 inch in thickness.
  7. Spread the butter evenly over the dough, then sprinkle with the sugar evenly over the surface of the dough.
  8. Beginning at the 15-inch side, role up dough and pinch edge together to seal.
  9. Cut the dough into 12 to 15 slices (1.5 inch slices) and place in prepared baking dish.
  10. Cover with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let them rise for another 30 minutes, or until doubled in size.
  11. To refrigerate overnight: cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Remove rolls from the refrigerator and let rise in a warm place until they are puffy, about 1-2 hours.
  12. When ready to bake, place in preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until nicely browned.
  13. Remove from oven and allow to cool while making icing. I make both icings listed above as I like it extra gooey. I think the combination of both is perfect – one is thick and one is runny. First, I spread the cream cheese frosting all over the top of the buns and then I pour the sugar icing around the edges of the casserole and along the outer perimeter of each bun, so when I cut into each one to serve, some of the icing runs down the side.