Browned Butter Cinnamon Rolls

When I was a little girl, Christmas morning was the one day a year we weren't required to eat something healthy for breakfast. Whoever found the small green pickle ornament, hidden among the Christmas tree branches by my mother, would get the first cinnamon roll. Somehow I made it to age 30 without ever having baked a cinnamon roll myself, and now I'm pleased to report that I've officially mastered my friend Brittany's amazing browned butter cinnamon roll recipe. Y'all ready?

About the recipe: 

My friend Brittany Rasmussen wrote this recipe! You can easily double it, and if you do, triple the frosting. For a single batch, doubling the frosting is a little simpler than 1.5x-ing it, but you'll probably end up with extra frosting. Which is not a bad thing. :)
One other note: Brittany said if you want to make them in advance, she would recommend baking and then freezing the rolls, unfrosted. Freezing the sliced dough might work, but it also might kill the yeast. If you bake them and freeze them, she said to just warm them up in the oven and then frost.

Browned Butter Cinnamon Rolls
By Brittany Rasmussen
Time: active prep about 20 minutes, total about 2.5 hours
Makes 12 rolls


•1/2 cup butter
•1.5-2 cups powdered sugar
•2 tablespoons milk
•2 tsp vanilla

1. Cook butter in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, 6 to 8 minutes or until butter begins to turn golden brown. Remove pan immediately from heat. Pour butter into a bowl. Cover and chill 1 hour or until butter is cool and begins to solidify.

2. Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy; gradually add powdered sugar alternately with milk, beginning and ending with sugar. Beat at low speed until well blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla.


• 1 cup warm milk
• 1 tablespoon instant dry yeast
• 2 tablespoons white granulated sugar
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 3 tablespoons salted butter, softened
• 1 large egg
• 3 cups all-purpose flour


•½ cup salted butter, melted
•1 cup brown sugar
•2 tablespoons ground cinnamon


1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine warm milk, yeast, sugar, salt, butter, and eggs. Add in flour. Using a dough hook, turn the mixer on to a low speed.

2. Once the flour starts to incorporate into the dough, increase mixer to a medium speed. Add more flour as necessary so that the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. The dough mixture should be tacky, but not stick to your hands.

3. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased mixing bowl. Cover and let rise until double in size, about 1 hour.

4. Lightly grease a baking sheet or a clean countertop. Punch down the dough and roll out into a 12-inch by 18-inch rectangle (approx.) Dough should be about ¼ to ⅛ inch thick (not see-through, but quite thin).

5. Brush the dough with the melted butter. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle on top of the melted butter. Roll up tightly lengthwise into a log. Important: if doubling, the dough will need to be cut in half before rolling, and then formed into two separate logs. Use a sharp knife to cut the log into 12 one-inch slices.

6. Place the slices into a lightly greased 9x13 pan; the slices should not touch. (At this point, you may cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Fyi, they'll grow! If you choose to do that, let them come to room temp before baking, about 2-3 hours on the counter, or by warming in the oven at 170ºF for about 30 minutes).

7. Cover the rolls. Let rise 30 to 45 minutes.

8. Preheat oven to 325ºF. Bake the rolls for about 14-16 minutes, until just golden brown on top. Do not overbake.

9. Remove from oven. When rolls are warm to the touch, frost and serve.