Cinnamon Roll Cake
One. Giant. Cinnamon. Roll. Dreams really do come true.
A normal serving size would be one cinnamon roll. And since this cinnamon roll recipe makes just one cinnamon roll, you're allowed to eat the whole thing by yourself.
But seriously, how genius is this idea? Instead of making individual cinnamon rolls, here you simply make a cinnamon roll cake. And when I say cinnamon roll cake, I don't mean a regular cake that happens to have cinnamon in it and therefore thinks it has the right to be called a cinnamon roll cake.
No, I mean a real cinnamon roll cake. With a dough that has yeast and needs to rise and is then rolled out and spread with generous slathers of butter and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar and is finally rolled up and baked. Only this time it's rolled up a little differently than usual.
Instead of rolling the dough into a log and then slicing the log into individual cinnamon rolls, here the dough is cut into strips which are then coiled around each other in a round pan. And then the pan is placed into the oven. And when the cake is golden brown but still gooey and doughy and soft and fluffy, it's removed from the oven. And drizzled with a vanilla glaze.
And here's the part where you gotta make a very important decision: slice or pull?
If you choose to slice, that means you cut the cinnamon roll like you would cut a regular round cake or pie. Into wedge slices. To be eaten on a plate with a fork. Proper. Pretty. Dessert-worthy. Delicious.
If you choose to pull, that means you leave knives out of this cinnamon roll business and go to town on it with your hands. You simply pull at the long strips of cinnamon roll coiled around each other and place those strips directly from your hands into your mouth. No fork or plate is called upon to act as the middle-man. Quick. Fun. Slightly messy. Oh-so-enjoyable. Delicious.
If you can tell, I used the slice method for these photos. Which was a logical decision I made based upon the fact that I wanted you to be able to see what the inside of this cinnamon roll cake looks like when sliced. So practical and sensible, I am.
But if I wasn't taking photos of this beauty, I'd probably opt to pull. Peel and pull. And uncoil. Every last cinnamon roll strand. Who has time to search for a knife and a plate and a fork when this cinnamon roll cake is sitting right there on the table? Not me. NOT ME.
What makes this cinnamon roll cake even more amazing is the fact that it has a quicker rising time than your average cinnamon roll recipe. Half the amount of time, actually.
Most cinnamon roll doughs take at least an hour to rise. This one takes just 30 minutes. Not counting the second rising in the pan, of course. But let's pretend that that second rising time doesn't exist for a second. And focus on the 30 minutes less of initial rising time. Thanks.
I posted my favorite cinnamon roll recipe on the blog a while back, which I was so bold as to label with the title "the best cinnamon rolls." Bold, but honest. Because they are the best cinnamon rolls.
But this is a different cinnamon roll recipe. Because it's a cinnamon roll cake. I haven't tried the other cinnamon roll recipe as a cake, so I couldn't tell you if it would work as well as this one. That's why I'm using this recipe instead. Again, so practical of me.
But trust me, this cinnamon roll cake is still so, so good. Soft, fluffy, buttery dough with layers of generous cinnamon and sugar and butter. And a vanilla glaze drizzled over it all that seeps into every nook and cranny.
I chose a simple vanilla glaze for this cake as opposed to a cream cheese frosting. Because while a cream cheese frosting, when slathered on top of cinnamon rolls, certainly tastes incredible, it hides the top of the cinnamon roll. Which is fine. For a regular cinnamon roll.
But this cinnamon roll cake is a beauty. It's another bonus feature you get here. Cinnamon roll cakes are more attractive than regular cinnamon rolls. So instead of concealing its natural beauty with a cream cheese frosting, I chose to simply enhance it with (generous) drizzles of a delicious vanilla glaze.
Just a tip: if you make this cinnamon roll cake, reserve the very center of the cake for yourself. The gooiest, softest part. The best part, in my opinion. You can thank me later.
cinnamon roll cake
Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction
Yield: 9-inch cake
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons butter
2 1/3 cups flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 package instant yeast
3 tablespoons butter, very soft
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup confectioner's sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Place the milk, water, and butter in the microwave and heat until butter is melted and mixture is hot. Pour into bowl of stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.
Pour the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast into butter mixture and mix. Add egg and mix for a few minutes. If dough is very sticky, add a drop more flour.
Shape dough into ball and place into an oiled bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm spot, 30 + minutes. Meanwhile, combine the filling ingredients (excluding the butter).
Grease a 9-inch round pan. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a rectangle about a 1/4-inch thick.
Spread softened butter evenly all over dough, including edges. You can put the butter in the microwave for a few seconds till it gets to an almost melted stage to make the spreading easier. Sprinkle filling evenly on top of dough.
Using a pizza cutter, slice dough (vertically - the long way) into 6 even strips. Loosely roll up the first strip and place it into the center of the greased pan. Wrap/coil the next strip around the roll in the center (don't roll it into itself like you did the first strip), starting at the spot where the previous coil ended so you achieve the look of one continuous spiral. Repeat with the rest of the strips. The spiral should fill up almost the whole pan at this point.
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Cover and let rise again in a warm spot for 1+ hours, till the dough puffs up nicely and spreads to fill the whole pan.
Bake 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool, then drizzle glaze over cake.
Glaze: Whisk together all the ingredients and drizzle over cake with fork.
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