Perfect Holiday Cinnamon Rolls

christmas rolls


My husband asks for cinnamon rolls all the time.  Homemade cinnamon rolls.  The ones I made him our first year of marriage to show off my baking skills….my Mama’s recipe.

Her recipe really is amazing — light, soft and that amazing roll texture.  Cinnamon.  Butter.  Oh, holy yum.

And, they are REALLY good with homemade caramel sauce instead of the traditional powdered sugar glaze.  Just in case you were wondering.

But … I haven’t made THOSE cinnamon rolls in a couple of years.  Some little things called “Kidlets” have gotten in the way of time-intensive baking.  Poor Hubby feels so unloved because of this.  The poor man just wants some cinnamon rolls.

As I prepared for our Holiday Breakfast earlier this month, I took pity on the guy …. and told him I would include cinnamon rolls on our menu.  If he made them while I did everything else.

He went for it — the draw of his favorite breakfast treat was too strong.

All of this “story?”  Just trying to explain the pictures … so no one thinks I have “man-hands.”  ‘Cause I don’t.  Promise.

Orange-Cranberry Cinnamon Rolls

This year, I made a small change to my mom’s standard recipe by adding fresh cranberries and orange zest.  I love the brightness of those flavors and, as I had hoped, they work beautifully with the cinnamon.

Really, you can’t go wrong with cranberries at Christmas … at least not in my world.

Orange-Cranberry Cinnamon Rolls



  1. 2 packages of yeast
  2. 1/2 cup warm milk
  3. 1/2 cup sugar
  4. 1/4 teaspoon of ginger
  5. 1 cup mashed potatoes
  6. 1 cup potato water
  7. 3/4 cup sugar
  8. 2 teaspoons salt
  9. 3 eggs, beaten
  10. 3 cups of flour
  11. 1/2 cup of shortening
  12. 5 cups of flour


  1. 1 stick of butter, room temperature
  2. 1/2 cup of cinnamon
  3. 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  4. Zest of one large orange
  5. 1 cup of fresh, whole cranberries, roughly chopped


  1. Dissolve yeast, 1/2 cup of sugar and ginger in the warm milk. Let it set for about 15 minutes.
  2. Then, beat in the mashed potatoes, potato water, 3/4 cup of sugar, salt, eggs, and the 3 cups of flour. Let it stand till light and full of bubbles, 15-20 minutes.
  3. Next, mix in the shortening and then the remaining flour, working it in to make a soft dough.
  4. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled. Punch it down and roll the dough out to 1/4″ – 1/2″ thickness.
  5. Spread the warm, softened butter over the dough and then sprinkle the cinnamon/brown sugar/orange zest/cranberries.
  6. Roll the dough up and then cut the individual roll servings (using a sharp knife or the string method).
  7. Place rolls in a baking dish and let rise.
  8. Bake in a 425 degree oven for 15-20 minute, until lightly browned.
  9. May be topped with powder sugar glaze if desired.


  1. says

    Drool! YUMMO! Those look beyond good. I want. I will never have though since I don’t make the time to do fun stuff like that. Your family is blessed to have you!!

  2. MelindaK says

    I so have to try this recipe out this weekend. I mean who does not love a good cinnamon roll :) Those pictures have me drooling right Thanks for the recipe.

  3. judith says

    Thanks a lot for sharing the recipe..I like cinnamon bread.. I love the brightness of those flavors and, as I had hoped, they work beautifully with the cinnamon.