Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Banana Cinnamon Rolls

These were very good cinnamon rolls.  But I was very conflicted about them.  You see, I smelled the wonderful yeast smell of baking bread, and then I smelled banana bread.  My nose was confused as to what I was making.  I was also confused with taste.  Same deal.  But they were very good.  I think for me though, I would prefer to let my cinnamon roll be a cinnamon roll and my banana bread to be banana bread. 
These rolls were dense, sticky and came out beautifully.  I can't imagine anyone turning one of these down or wrinkling their nose.  They have all the makings of a great bun. I guess I just wasn't ready for the fusion of flavors.  But I still ate a whole one by myself, so really, how can I complain? 

Adapted from
Makes 12 

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup milk, heated to 105 to 115°F
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar (or honey)
  • 2 cups bread or all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large overripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled slightly
some chocolate chips in this one!

For the filling:
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 TBSP ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
For the frosting:
  • 1/4 cup softened butter 
  • about 3 oz. softened cream cheese
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp milk
  • about 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar 


In a small bowl, stir 1 tablespoon of the sugar into the warm milk. Sprinkle the yeast over the milk and let rest for 10 minutes.

While the yeast is coming to life, in a separate bowl, stir together the flours, cinnamon, remaining tablespoons of sugar and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, place the mashed bananas, melted margarine and the yeast/milk mixture after it has bloomed. Using the paddle attachment, mix the ingredients on medium low until well combined, about 2 minutes. Add half of the flour mixture to the mixing bowl and stir to combine. Slowly mix in the rest of the flour and mix.

Switch the attachment to the dough hook. At this point, your dough may still feel quite wet and soft. Add some flour, a tablespoon at a time, while the machine is running on medium low until the dough starts to come away from the bowl. (I added 7 TBSP.)  Knead for about 10 minutes. The dough will be ready when it has formed a nice ball, but is still very soft and slightly tacky to the touch, but comes away cleanly from the bowl. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover, and allow to rise in a warm place for an hour or more (I did about 2 hours), or until it has doubled in size.

Punch the dough down; cover and let rest for 5 minutes. While the dough is resting, mix the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.

Roll the dough into a 12 x 16ish-inch rectangle on a floured surface. Smear the dough with the softened butter and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar mixture, spreading it around the whole surface of the dough with your hand  So fun to play with my food). Roll up the rectangle tightly, from the long side, and pinch the seam to seal. Cut the roll into 12 even slices. (This will be a messy process, as the sugar/butter mixture will start oozing out. Don’t be afraid of it. Just go at it.) Place the slices, cut sides down, in a greased 9x13 baking pan. Give them a little bit of space in between as they will rise. Cover with plastic wrap and pop them in the fridge to rise overnight.

In the morning, pull the cinnamon buns from the fridge a half hour (or an hour or so) before baking and place them on top of the stove while the oven preheats to 375°F (if using a glass or dark-coloured pan like I was, reduce the temperature by 25°F). Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until light golden brown.

Remove the cinnamon buns from the oven and set on top of the stove to let cool a bit. In a bowl, whisk the softened cream cheese and softened butter.  Dump in the vanilla, whisk, then add the powdered sugar.  Add the splash of milk and whisk. Frost and eat while warm.

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