Cinnamon Raisin Rolls

Making this treat from scratch is worth the effort.

[quicklook-recipe prep_time=”25 min” cook_time=”45 min” serves=”” details=”” ]

[ingredients-list title=”Ingredients” serving_size=””]

  • 1/2 ounce dried yeast (2 envelopes)
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons milk
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • 4 to 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup raisins (optional)
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


[step-list-wrapper title=”How to make it” time=”1 hour, 10 minutes”]
[step-item number=”1″ image_url=”” title=”” ]Combine the yeast and warm water and set aside for 10 minutes. [/step-item]

[step-item number=”2″ image_url=”” title=”” ]Warm 3/4 cup of the milk in the microwave. In a large bowl, combine 4 tablespoons of the melted butter and the warm milk. Using an electric mixer with a dough hook at low speed, or a wooden spoon, slowly stir the dissolved yeast into the butter and milk. Add 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar, the egg and the salt, and mix until combined. Add 4 cups of the flour, 1/2 cup at a time; mix until smooth. If the dough is sticky, add up to 1/2 cup of flour. [/step-item]

[step-item number=”3″ image_url=”” title=”” ]Knead the dough on a floured surface for 5 minutes, place in a medium bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour. [/step-item]

[step-item number=”4″ image_url=”” title=”” ]Stir together the brown sugar, the remaining 1/4 cup of granulated sugar and the cinnamon. On a floured surface, roll out the dough to form a 12 x 24-inch rectangle. Brush the remaining 3 tablespoons of melted butter over the dough, and sprinkle the brown sugar mixture on top. Scatter the raisins, if using, over the dough.

[step-item number=”5″ image_url=”” title=”” ]Starting with a long side, roll the dough up into a log, jelly-roll style, then cut with dental floss or a sharp knife into generous 1-inch slices. Place in 3 greased 9-inch round cake pans (about 7 rolls per pan). Let the rolls rise for 45 minutes.

[step-item number=”6″ image_url=”” title=”” ]Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the rolls, uncovered, until crusty and golden on top, about 25 minutes.

[step-item number=”7″ image_url=”” title=”” ]Stir together the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and the remaining 3 tablespoons of milk until smooth. Drizzle over the rolls and serve. Yield: 21 rolls.[/step-list-wrapper]

Tip: You can make these rolls the day before. Just cover the uncooked rolls in the pan, let them rise in the refrigerator and bake the next day.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest