A Must-Have on Your Table This Christmas

Abyssinia Haile, Features Editor

A fluffy, delicious, and classic treat that, in my eyes, has become a commodity with the year we’ve been presented with: Cinnamon Rolls. 

This recipe, derived from Cinnabon’s famous one, is designed to satisfy even the pickiest eaters at your table this Christmas. 

A Brief History of Cinnamon Rolls

The earliest stories of this sweet pastry derive from Scandinavian roots, tracing back to 2,000 B.C. where it was imported from Egypt to China as being so grand it was a “gift fit for a monarch.” 

However, Philadelphia-style cinnamon rolls, the more common kind you may see on TV or at the grocery store, dates back to the 18th century.

Although many nations have their own variations, they all share the same ingredients of flour, cinnamon, and leavening yeast with an optional cream cheese frosting if eaten for breakfast. 

A Word of Advice from Chef to Chef

Most people tend to resort to baking pre-made cinnamon rolls (Pillsbury, I’m looking at you) and calling them their own innovation, others skipping the oven and purchasing them from a bakery instead. 

Both options are totally understandable – the whole process of baking can be extremely stressful for those who lack precision or patience. 

There’s still hope, though. This recipe has been “dummy-proofed”, as I like to say, countless times that even the worst of chefs can’t screw it up. Here’s how to do it:

1. Be Patient

Something not enough people realize is key in baking (and probably is the reason why so many suck at it) is you NEED to have patience. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. 

Especially with cinnamon rolls, there are so many things that need to rest for ABC hours or need to cool for XYZ minutes.

Let’s take yeast, for example. Most yeast mixtures need an average of 10 minutes in order to activate, more or less.

Now imagine if you’re on a time crunch and cut that rest period in half. Not only have you ruined the “fluffy aspect” of your rolls, but you’ve also just added another hour or so in waiting for your dough to rise before you can even roll it. Nice job, genius.

Moral of the story: if you have limited time to bake, just start earlier – or matter of fact don’t do it at all. Don’t rush the process.

2. Precision is a Must

I know perfection is unattainable in life, but no one said that about precision. You cannot be lenient when it comes to measurements, temperatures, or ingredients with this recipe.

Again, let’s use yeast as an example. Yeast activates at a certain temperature, specifically around 100 degrees or so. 

Didn’t warm your milk enough? The yeast is never going to activate and your buns are going to be flatter than a pancake. 

Warmed your milk too much? Now your yeast is dead and your buns will still be flat.

Don’t be that guy who screws up the whole recipe. Follow it to a T, for the sake of everyone, please.

3. Serve it Right


If you follow the recipe right, you should have golden swirls of sweet cinnamon sugar that are ready to be topped.

I am a firm believer that toppings are everything to a recipe. Sure, you made it right – congrats by the way. However, the only way to truly make your dish stand out is to top it with the best ingredients out there.

Serving it for breakfast? Cream cheese all the way. Dessert? Try walnuts or pecans. Do something remarkable and leave a standing taste in the mouths of your guests.

Making things from scratch doesn’t have to be a burden anymore – you don’t have to be Martha freaking Stewart. Because look at you! You just made (or are about to make) cinnamon rolls that weren’t a heathen to prepare.

Get the Recipe Here: