This recipe is gold. 

Years ago I made these cinnamon rolls for a picnic at the Stern Grove Festival. A group of us brought food, sat on blankets and drank way too much champagne. It's a (fuzzy) memory that I hold close for a handful of reasons. The most potent being that I distinctly remember thinking: "This is why I love this city."

Best Homemade Cinnamon Rolls Ever

I've discovered during my time here in San Francisco that so much of urban entertaining comes in the form of bring-something-over to a house party. This recipe rocks in this regard because it can be carried in one pan. You can bring these babies over totally done. Or! You can bake them on location and frost. (Carry frosting in a ziplock. Cut the corner to frost. Instant pastry bag.) These cinnamon rolls are a rad way to start a day of day-drinking (Bay to Breakers pregame, anyone?). Most drunk people get pretty excited about homemade cinnamon rolls. This is definitely one of my favorite party tricks. It plays well for park days, Santa Con, Superbowl parties, Christmas morning and so on. Pairs well with champagne / beermosas...

Best Homemade Cinnamon Rolls Ever
Best Homemade Cinnamon Rolls Ever

Now, logistics. This recipe isn't hard to make, but there is a good amount of rise time.

I've subscribed to a new lifestyle theory: low stress actions, spread out over time, will lead to accomplishing big goals. This recipe is the ultimate example in this.

Best Homemade Cinnamon Rolls Ever
Best Homemade Cinnamon Rolls Ever

Make the dough one morning before work. Place a clean dish towel over the mixing bowl and let it have its own day, while having your own.

That night roll, cut and put the buns in the pan they bake in. Tuck them in and they go to bed when you do.

The next morning they bake. Spin up some icing and smear it on top. The end. 

It never feels hard. 

Baby steps. 

Best Homemade Cinnamon Rolls Ever

This baby steps theory is something I have grounded into with this blog project. It's translated to my work, work as well. It's also seeped into my personal relationships in the form of small acts of kindness and positivity. It's making me a better human and it doesn't feel hard. At all. It seems so simple as I type it out, but it's changed my life in some really impactful way. I have such black or white tendencies and these baby steps are moving the needle into the spectrum of grey - a place of progress. 

I like progress. 

Best Homemade Cinnamon Rolls Ever
Best Homemade Cinnamon Rolls Ever


Cinnamon Rolls:


I found this recipe on the internet in a time before Pinterest. I printed the recipe and I have it in a binder. That binder was a big factor in starting this blog. Unfortunately, I don't have the original source, but I am sure glad it exists. 



1 1/4 oz package active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (100 degrees)
1/2 teaspoon + 1/3 cup sugar, divided
1/2 cup warm milk
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour


1/2 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup sugar
 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon


4 oz cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla (can use lemon as well)















Mix yeast, warm water and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar in a small bowl. Let the yeast "puff." This takes five minutes, or so — If it doesn't puff the yeast is old or the water was too hot.

Melt butter in sauce pan. Add milk to warm as the butter is finishing the melt. Let sit until mixture is lukewarm. 

In a large mixing bowl combine 1/3 cup sugar, salt, egg and warm milk + melted butter mixture. Mix well.

Add the yeast mixture to the mixing bowl. Mix well. 

Once both bowls are combined, slowly add in the flour by sections. Mix until a smooth dough forms. The dough should be slightly stiff and very sticky.

Turn dough onto a workspace or kneed in bowl with a dough-hook for 5 minutes. Dough will turn very soft — dough will stick to your fingers. 

Place dough in a well buttered bowl and let it rise, covered, in a warm place until doubled — overnight, works well, but four hours will do.

Once the dough is doubled, punch it down and place on a well floured workspace. Form a ball and let it rise for five minutes. 

Mix together the cinnamon and sugar. 

Roll the dough into a rectangle. The dough is sticky and will need to be worked. Spread the dough with 1/4 cup melted butter. Sprinkle dough with the cinnamon sugar mixture, and roll up length wise. 

Butter a 13" x 9" pan with the remaining melted butter. 

Cut the dough into slices and place in the greased pan. Let rolls rise in a warm place until doubled (about an hour). 

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes until light golden. If they start to brown quickly, cover in foil and continue baking. 

Make icing by combining all ingredients in a mixing bowl until creamy. Add one teaspoon of water if icing is too thick. 

Spread icing over cooled rolls.  



Hey! I'm Blair.

This is my home for manifesting dreams & sourcing culture.

Thanks for stopping by.


San Francisco life + style blog. Sourcing culture. Celebrating community, honesty and growth. Feelings. Food. Events. SF.

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