Special Cinnamon Rolls

Special Cinnamon Rolls

I have this Christmas tradition where I make these really delicious cinnamon rolls for Christmas Day breakfast. I don’t really make them any time other than Christmas because, to be honest, I thought I was making them just because I had a particular love for them! Haha I knew my family enjoyed them enough to eat them, but never have they really raved about them, so I never put in much effort to make them any other time of the year.

Special Cinnamon Rolls

Well, thanks to a small deck of conversation cards from a Chick-fil-a kids meal, I found out that these cinnamon rolls are something my older two look forward to all year long! I truly had no idea! I was so thrilled to learn that this is something I could surprise them with to show them a little extra love, so these bad boys made an appearance for breakfast on the first day of school, and they are a HIT!! 🙂

Special Cinnamon Rolls

Here is the link to the recipe I use. The girl whose site this recipe is on shares lots of great tips there, which I found especially helpful my first time making them, so I recommend checking out her post!

For simplicity, I’ll share just the recipe here! 🙂

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  • 5 cups of Self-Rising flour (or 5 cups AP+2½ tbsp of Baking powder + ¼ tsp salt whisked together**)
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 4 tbsp or ½ stick of butter melted


  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp of ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cups maple syrup
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans plus a little extra for topping the rolls after the glaze
  • 4 tbsp melted butter divided (2 for the filling and 2 to brush on before baking)


  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream, plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tbsp of maple syrup (you can also use coffee, Baileys or keep them plain by using more cream)
  • a pinch of salt 


  1. Pre heat the oven to 350°F. Coat a 9×13-inch baking dish or oven proof skillet with cooking spray or butter; set aside.
  2. Mix the brown sugar and granulated sugar and the cinnamon together in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Mix the chopped nuts and maple syrup in a small bowl and set aside
  4. Place the flour and remaining ¼ cup sugar in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Mix the milk and 4 tablespoons of the melted butter together in a medium bowl. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and stir with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until a soft dough forms and no dry bits of flour remain. It may be a little shaggy and that is fine.
  5. Transfer the dough onto a generously floured and large work surface. Sprinkle with more flour, then knead until the dough is fairly smooth, sprinkling with more flour as needed to prevent sticking. Do not overknead or the cinnamon rolls will be tough. This will only take a minute or two to do.
  6. Flour a rolling pin and roll the dough into approx a 24- by 10-inch-long rectangle about ¼-inch thick, with the longer side facing you.
  7. Brush 2 tablespoons of the melted butter onto the surface of the dough, using it all. Sprinkle it evenly with the cinnamon-sugar mixture, leaving a ½-inch border.
  8. Sprinkle the nut and maple syrup mixture over the sugar cinnamon layer
  9. Start rolling by starting at the long end closest to you, roll the dough up tightly into a log, using a bench scraper as needed to help release the dough from the work surface. Pinch the seam together at the top.
  10. Position the log seam-side down. Cut the dough crosswise into 15 pieces with a very sharp knife or dough cutter/scraper. I prefer to use a thin piece of floss or thread because you get a cleaner cut. Slide floss under the roll, pull it up gently cross over the pieces and pull tight and evenly and you will get a perfect slice with the dough in tact and not smushed.
  11. Place the cut rolls cut-side up in the baking dish. Fit them in snuggley but not too tight.
  12. Brush the tops of the cinnamon rolls with the remaining 2 tablespoons of melted butter.
  13. Bake until puffed, golden-brown, and a toothpick or skewer inserted in several spots comes out clean, about 35 minutes.
  14. Meanwhile, make the glaze. Place the powdered sugar, cream, vanilla, maple syrup (or ponche de creme – boozy eggnog or even baileys if you would like) and salt in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth; set aside.
  15. When the cinnamon rolls are ready, place the baking dish on a wire cooling rack. Cool for 5 minutes and then drizzle evenly with the glaze, then let cool 15 minutes before serving. 

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Rewarm in a 300°F oven until warmed through, about 10 minutes. 

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After learning about how much the kids secretly loved this recipe, I asked them to start sharing more of what they love out loud with me, since I’m not a mind-reader!! 😉 They, like all of us I’m sure, are quick to point out something they don’t really like, so let’s all make a better effort to point out things we DO like!! Like special cinnamon rolls on other days besides Christmas Day! 🙂

I hope your school year is off to a great start! Thank you so much for stopping in today! And I hope you enjoy this recipe if you get to make it!!

You’re a GEM 🙂 XO!

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