Thursday, February 25, 2010

World's Best Cinnamon Rolls

(sorry this post is up late; my week has felt topsy-turvy and I lost track of the day)

My Dad has long laid claim to the best cinnamon roll recipe I've ever come across. His cinnamon rolls beat any I've tasted, including the exceptionally popular but somewhat overrated Cinnabon. The secret? Potato. It may seem strange to include mashed potatoes in cinnamon roll dough, but I promise you the finished product bears no resemblance to potato bread. It is light, fluffy, and moist.

Greg Burton's Cinnamon Rolls

Scald 2 cups milk.

Combine in bowl:

1/2 cup shortening (I've never tried this with butter although I don't really like using shortening.)
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. salt
1 cup cold mashed potatoes (you may use instant potatoes; although they don't taste as good on their own, it doesn't make a difference in this recipe.)

Pour scalded milk over potato mixture and beat with mixer.

In another bowl combine:

2 Tbsp dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water

When milk/potato mixture has cooled and yeast is foamy, beat together with mixer. Beat in:

2 eggs
4 cups flour.

Stir in about 3 additional cups of flour, adding 1/2 cup at a time. When dough is still very sticky (keeping it sticky is important) but workable, dump into a greased bowl and turn over once. Cover and let raise in warm area until doubled. Dust counter with flour and divide dough in half. Roll out each half into a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick. Spread with butter (my Dad does not skimp. If you're going to indulge, you might as well indulge). Sprinkle with plenty of brown sugar and/or white sugar and cinnamon. If you put enough sugar in that it will caramelize at the bottom of the pan while baking, it's all the better.

Roll dough into a tube and cut 1 inch slices with dental floss or thread. Place on greased jellyroll pan and let raise again until doubled. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or more. Spread glaze on immediately after removing from oven.


(we like the simplicity of this glaze because the roll itself is so rich, but you may substitute any frosting you like.)

6 Tbsp butter
3 to 4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Beat with mixer until smooth.


  1. I'm going to try these. They sound very, very yummy. Maybe this weekend or next. We will see.
    How long to they take to make-- total time?

  2. I'm not surprised about the potato, my favorite doughnut recipe is made with potatoes (aka spudnuts). I will have to try these, I've gotten the worst sweet tooth post partum.

  3. I tend to be too lazy to cook cinnamon rolls, but if these top cinnabon, how can I resist? I'm trying these the next time I have mashed potatoes on hand.

  4. I made these this morning- a birthday gift for a friend from the States. They are very, very yummy. They do take about 3 hours from start to finish, but very, very good. Thanks for sharing Elise.
    My friends enjoy them as well. One guy ate THREE of them. He was in a sugar comma for the rest of the day, but loved it. I'm all in for American treats in Switzerland.