One Stunningly Simple Tip for Better Cinnamon Rolls

updated Apr 30, 2019
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(Image credit: Faith Durand)

It is hard to imagine there is anythingbetter than a tender, softly sweet cinnamon roll — especially when it’s slightly warmed and covered with decadent frosting. Still, I recently discovered the tiniest technique that makes cinnamon rolls better, whether you bake them from scratch or make them from a store-bought shortcut. This tip doesn’t involve any extra special ingredients — but it will make even your make-ahead cinnamon rolls better.

(Image credit: Christine Han)

Frost Your Cinnamon Rolls Twice

The only thing you need to do for better cinnamon rolls at home is to frost the rolls twice. I originally stumbled onto this tip in Sarah Kieffer’s Vanilla Bean Baking Book (you may know Sarah for her viral pan-banging chocolate chip cookie recipe), but I’ve been putting this tip to the test on every batch of cinnamon rolls I’ve baked in the last six months.

Here’s what you do: Using whatever frosting or icing your rolls call for (cream cheese, all butter, even the sleeve of icing from the canned variety), coat the rolls once when they are hot from the oven. The icing will melt into all the nooks and crannies. softening hard edges and moistening the enriched dough even more. About a quarter of your frosting should go on while hot, then cool the cinnamon rolls and ice them again with the remaining topping once cooled.

This tip is especially helpful for cinnamon rolls you bake ahead of time and reheat or frost later, because the first layer of icing creates a protective layer that prevents drying and staling of the cinnamon rolls before serving.

Our Favorite Ways to Make Cinnamon Rolls