Sticky Cinnamon Rolls

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Jo Pratt’s flexible recipe for warming and sticky cinnamon rolls is simple enough for baking novices. Eat your heart out Ole and Steen!

Photo: Malou Burger

This might seem like a lengthy recipe but it’s surprisingly straightforward to make and great to get stuck into with children. To get ahead, you can prepare the cinnamon rolls up to the point of placing them in the tin and keep the tin covered in the fridge overnight. Return to room temperature for about 30 minutes and bake as per the recipe, giving you soft, freshly baked cinnamon rolls on the day you’re wanting to eat them.

For the rolls

175ml milk

7g fast-action dried yeast

50g caster sugar

1 egg and 1 egg yolk, beaten

40g butter, melted, plus extra for greasing

450g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting

½ tsp fine sea salt

For the filling

125g butter, softened

100g cup soft dark brown sugar

1½ tbsp ground cinnamon

For the syrup

50g caster sugar

½ tsp ground cinnamon

For the glaze

50g icing sugar

Prep 20 minutes, plus 2 hours rising / Cooking 25 minutes / Makes 9

Gently heat the milk until it’s lukewarm, around 40°C. Transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix in the yeast, sugar, eggs and melted butter, then add the flour and salt. Mix until you have a sticky dough, then knead for around 5 minutes in the mixer until you have a smooth elastic dough.

Transfer to a large lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp tea towel or oiled cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for 1–1½ hours or until doubled in size.

Lightly grease a square baking tin, roughly 20 x 30cm, with butter and line the base with baking parchment. Turn the dough out onto a floured worktop. Roll out into a 20 x 27cm rectangle, with the longer edges being at the top and bottom, shorter edges at the sides.

Combine the filling ingredients, then spread over the dough leaving 1cm at the top edge. Tightly roll the dough away from you, making a long sausage with the seam underneath. Cut into 9 slices and place cut side up in the tin, leaving space between them to rise. Cover loosely with oiled cling film and leave in a warm place to rise for 30 minutes.

Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan. Bake for about 20–25 minutes, until lightly golden.

To make the syrup, add the sugar, cinnamon and 3 tablespoons water to a small saucepan and gently heat until it starts to simmer. To make the glaze, mix 2 tablespoons water into the icing sugar until smooth. Liberally brush the hot cinnamon rolls with the hot syrup. Cool in the tin then remove and drizzle over the glaze.


For festive buns, scatter 25g melted butter, 75g soft brown sugar, 2 teaspoons ground mixed spice, 100g dried cranberries and 100g finely chopped dried apricots over the dough in place of the cinnamon mix. Roll and bake as above. Glaze with 100g icing sugar mixed with 1 tablespoon orange juice and finely grated zest of ½ orange.

You can find this recipe and more in Jo Pratt’s The Flexible Baker.

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