Tender, gooey overnight cinnamon rolls filled with the flavor of cake batter are a sinfully delicious treat for the weekend or to celebrate a birthday. Plus they are just fun to eat doused with colorful sprinkles! This is unicorn food for sure.
Don’t these just make you happy to look at like my blood orange donuts? Breakfast food is always better with a healthy helping of frosting and sprinkles! Who wants to start their day out with boring stuff like eggs anyway? I’m joking of course because we love eggs and wouldn’t dare eat these on a weekday, but these sure do give you one more reason to look forward to Saturday!
I’ve been on a cake batter / birthday cake binger lately. I want to cake batter everything! It’s a difficult concept though – how do you maintain cake batter flavor in something baked?
You add cake mix throughout the recipe – in this case, in the dough, in the filling and in the frosting – and hope for the best. I used boxed yellow cake mix in this case because I honestly think it has the best cake batter type flavor for things like these rolls. Any brand should work!
Drowning these in a swimming pool of icing really helps too.
I’ve got to be honest and say these are some of the best cinnamon rolls I’ve ever made. Yes, they are sweet, but they aren’t so sugary sweet that you can’t stomach it. They are just the right amount of sweet. The dough is the perfect tender and gooey texture where the center of the roll is the best part that gets saved for last!
- 4 large egg yolks, room temperature
- 1 large whole egg, room temperature
- 2 ounces sugar, approximately 1/4 cup
- 3 ounces unsalted butter, melted, approximately 6 tablespoons
- 6 ounces buttermilk, room temperature
- 4 cups AP flour, plus additional for dusting
- 2/3 cup yellow cake mix
- 1 package instant dry yeast
- 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
- Vegetable oil or cooking spray
- 2 ounces softened butter
- 3/4 cup yellow cake mix
- 1 Tbsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup sprinkles
- 2 1/2 ounces cream cheese, softened, approximately 1/4 cup
- 1/2 cup yellow cake mix
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 1/4 cup cream or milk
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- More sprinkles for topping
For the dough: in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg yolks, whole egg, sugar, butter, and buttermilk. Add approximately 2 cups of the flour along with the cake mix, yeast and salt; whisk until moistened and combined. Remove the whisk attachment and replace with a dough hook. Add all but 3/4 cup of the remaining flour and knead on low speed for 5 minutes. Check the consistency of the dough, add more flour if necessary; the dough should feel soft and moist but not sticky. Knead on low speed 5 minutes more or until the dough clears the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface; knead by hand about 30 seconds. Lightly oil a large bowl. Transfer the dough to the bowl, lightly oil the top of the dough, cover and let double in volume, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
Make the filling - Combine the cake mix and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Mix until well incorporated. Set aside until ready to use.
Butter a 9 by 13-inch glass baking dish. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently shape the dough into a rectangle with the long side nearest you. Roll into an 18 by 12-inch rectangle. Brush the dough with the 2 ounces of softened butter, leaving 1/2-inch border along the top edge. Sprinkle the filling mixture over the dough and then top with sprinkles, leaving a 3/4-inch border along the top edge; gently press the filling and sprinkles into the dough. Beginning with the long edge nearest you, roll the dough into a tight cylinder. Firmly pinch the seam to seal and roll the cylinder seam side down. Very gently squeeze the cylinder to create even thickness. Using a serrated knife, slice the cylinder into 1 1/2-inch rolls; yielding 12 rolls. Arrange rolls cut side down in the baking dish; cover tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight or up to 16 hours.
Remove the rolls from the refrigerator and place in an oven that is turned off. Fill a shallow pan 2/3-full of boiling water and set on the rack below the rolls. Close the oven door and let the rolls rise until they look slightly puffy; approximately 30 minutes. Remove the rolls and the shallow pan of water from the oven.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
When the oven is ready, place the rolls on the middle rack and bake until golden brown, approximately 30 minutes.
While the rolls are cooling slightly, make the icing by whisking the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer until creamy. Add the cake mix, almond extract, and cream or milk and whisk until combined. Sift in the powdered sugar, and whisk until smooth. Spread over the rolls, top with sprinkles and serve immediately.
Enjoy! <3 K&R