I was watching TV the other day and saw and episode of Top Secret Recipe featuring cinnamon rolls.  They looked delicious, so I had to make some for myself.  I checked the Top Secret Recipe website, but the recipe was not included on it.  So I looked around and found a couple of recipes floating on the internet. None of them looked like what I saw on the show, so I experimented and combined a couple of them to form the perfect recipe.  Then I used a couple of tricks that I saw in the show to spice up the other recipes. One trick was to chill the dough and let it rise, the second was to use xantham gum in the filling and finally the third was to use Makara cinnamon for a nice cinnamon punch. Makara cinnamon is a fancy label for Indonesian Korintje cinnamon.  I picked up some on Amazon.com and I was off and running.

Cinnamon Roll Dough

  • 2.5-3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 5 tbs sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon rapid rise yeast
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup water (100-102 degrees)
  • 5 tbs margarine (room temp)
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten
  • 1 9×13 pan or 1 9 in round

Cinnamon Roll Filling

Awesome Frosting

  • 6 oz unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar (10x confectioner’s sugar)
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp lemon extract

The Dough

In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the 2.5 cups flour, sugar, salt and yeast.

The dry ingredients

Add the 2 eggs and water, stir to combine. Add the cold margarine and beat it into the dough. If the dough is a little loose add a tad bit more flour, it could take up to another 1/2 cup.  Add flour 1/2 tbs at a time.  The amount will vary based on the size of eggs and humidity.   Once combined, knead using a dough hook for 10-12 minutes.  Below is a pic of the perfect dough.  It is soft and pulls cleanly from the sides of the bowl.

The dough

Once the dough has been kneaded, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator over night, or until it doubles.  Make sure to leave a little room in the plastic wrap for the dough to expand.

Wrap it up

After the dough has risen, remove it from the plastic wrap and place on a floured surface.  Roll the dough out so that it is roughly the size of a sheet pan.  About 18×22.  I just rolled it into a rectangle that was about 1/8-1/4 inch thick.

The Filling

In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and xantham gum.  Mix to combine.

The Filling

Be careful with the xantham gum.  I broke the bag open and it formed a dust cloud in my kitchen.  Then every speck of the powder that touched water turned into slime.  It was quite the cleanup.  Dana thought I had a runny nose, but nope, I inhaled a bit of xantham gum and it looked like I had been slimed.  I know what you are thinking, do I need the xantham gum. However, xantham gum is necessary since it keeps the filling inside of the rolls instead of running out the bottom.

Making the Rolls

Once the dough is rolled out, spread the margarine over the top of the dough.  Keep a little edge butter free.  This will allow you to make a seal and keep the dough from unwinding once you make the roll.  I found that a cake icing spatula worked great for applying the margarine.

The Margarine Layer

Once the butter is spread out, add the cinnamon sugar mixture to the dough.

The Filling

Starting at the end away from the butter free end, roll the dough as tightly as possible.  The tighter the roll, the more layers the cinnamon roll will have.  When you reach the butter free end, brush a little egg yolk on it to form a seal.

The roll

Then divide the dough into 6 large rolls in a rectangular pan or you can do 8 smaller rolls and use a round pan.  The ends of mine were not uniform so I cut them off before measuring out my rolls.

The perfect roll

Spray the pan with vegetable spray and then place a piece of parchment into the pan.  Then spray the parchment with vegetable spray.  I would not attempt to make these without parchment.  The filling is quite sticky.  Evenly space the dough out on the pan and then allow the dough to rise in a warm place for an hour or two. Until the rolls plump up in size.

Preheat the oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit and bake for 18-22 minutes or until the rolls are golden brown.  Depending on your oven you might have to rotate the pan to make them brown evenly.

The Perfect Rolls

Remove from the oven to let cool. While the rolls are hot add the frosting so that the heat allows the frosting to ooze all over the rolls.

Oozy Cinnamon Roll

The Frosting

In the bowl of a stand mixer add the butter, cream cheese, salt, vanilla and lemon extracts.  Beat on high until the mixture is light and fluffy.  Take approximately 5 minutes.  Then slowly add the powdered sugar in small increments. Beat the mixture to fully incorporate each little increment of powdered sugar.  Once all of the sugar has been added beat on high for a minute to make the frosting light and fluffy.

The Frosting

The Result

These were mighty fine rolls.

The Cinnamon Roll

I made 6 huge rolls but you could roll the dough the short way instead of the long way and make 12 smaller rolls.  1 roll was way too much for Dana.  However, I managed to eat the whole thing.

Solo Cinnamon Roll

I would definitely make these again.

Rex is an avid griller, barbecuer and bacon enthusiast. He is the Pitmaster for the Rex BBQ competition team. Rex was also featured on the TV show American Grilled. If you have any questions or wish to have Rex decode your favorite dish, click on the ASK REX link in the menu above.


  1. I was wondering through the whole post, "How BIG are those things going to be?" and they are huge. That creamy frosting looks like it's addicting.

    • They are really huge. I wanted to make them as big as possible. The frosting is awesome. The hint of lemon really puts it over the top.

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