My Oldest Boy is Nine – Recipe: The Best Cinnamon Rolls


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My oldest little turned 9 yesterday.


If you follow me on Instagram, then you know that I had been planning and crafting all week.


We had a book-themed party because books are what my oldest boy loves right now.  Of course, he loves other things like games, soccer, family, food, and movies.  But, he has a true love of books and can literally read for hours each day.

After doing some Pinterest research, I found some ideas, and I went to work.

On Friday, Gabriel handed out little cookie treat bags to his friends at school.  I put a Peanut Butter Cookie Cup in them and tied them up with a ribbon and a reading quote.


My awesome dad helped me to create this beautiful ceiling decoration in the sun room.



I made a banner that had a picture of each of Gabriel’s birthdays.


My amazingly talented mom made book totes/party favor bags with one of the Dr. Seuss quotes that we used as the theme for the party.


Gabriel wanted Peanut Butter Cookie Cups and Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups for his dessert.  So, I made book jacket cupcake toppers to stick in them for decoration.


For lunch, we had hamburger sliders, hotdogs, chips, dips, cucumber bites, veggie shooters, and stuffed strawberries.  I will add the recipes later this week.


Unfortunately, all of the shopping and planning in the world cannot always make things go off without a hitch.  Summer woke up sick at 12:30 am, Ethan woke up sick at 1:30 am, and Gabriel woke up sick at 8 am.  He was so sick that he opened presents propped up with a pillow and a blanket on the couch.


And, he slept through lunch.

PhotobucketThere were times throughout the day when it was hard to see the unicorns and rainbows.  But, you know what?  They were there.  They almost always are.  Here are a few times that they definitely appeared.

1.  I started decorating the day before.  When Gabriel saw everything he smiled and said, “Thank you, Momma!”  I had wondered if I should decorate early or wait.  I am so glad that I decorated a day early so that Gabriel was able to enjoy the decorations.

2.  My alarm went off when Gabriel was opening presents.  The alarm told me that Gabriel was born at that exact time 9 years ago.  I got tears in my eyes as I told him that it was his actual birth time, and we all said, “Happy Birthday!”


3.  I held him and babied him throughout the day almost as much as I did 9 years ago.  He truly needed his momma yesterday.  And, when a momma hears that call, she answers it.  Yes, birthday parties are fun, but being needed is priceless.

4.  We had grandparents, cousins, an aunt, an uncle, a brother, a sister, a papa, and a momma all gathered around him.  Family makes everything better.


5.  Ethan was probably the sickest one of all and spent the whole morning sleeping.  We had not even told him that Gabriel was sick.  When he walked out and saw Gabriel, he immediately said, “Oh, no, Bubba!” and ran over to feel his forehead.


6.  When Gabriel was opening presents, he said, “Summer, Ethan, do you want to come help me open my presents?”  Of course, they both eagerly ran to help.


7.  Summer was so excited for Gabriel when he opened the present that he really wanted but thought that he requested too late to actually receive.  Baby sister used up all of her energy being festive and excited.  She slept for over 2 hours after present opening and lunch.


It was just another eye opening day for me as a mom.  I always say that memories cannot be forced.  They are just created, sometimes in the big events and sometimes in the small ones.  No, this birthday did not go exactly as I had planned.  But, I do know that we will not forget it.  And, I will certainly not forget how hard my brave little guy fought to put on a brave face while he opened his presents, said thank you to everyone, and then escaped to the bedroom for a 1 1/2 hour nap.

Luckily, even though I certainly could not have predicted that half the house would wake up sick, I still knew that it would be a crazy morning.  So, I made cinnamon rolls the night before.  I wanted the day to be perfect for Gabriel, and I had planned out the meals around his favorite things.  He loves cinnamon rolls.  When I saw these Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls over at Lauren’s Latest, I knew that I wanted to make them for Gabriel’s birthday breakfast.  If you have not visited Lauren’s blog, you must run over there right now.  She is amazing.  So amazing that she created this recipe herself. And, let me tell you.  It is good…and perfect…in every way.  Just like my sweet Gabriel.


I barely adapted the recipe, and I am listing it below. However, if you make these cinnamon rolls, I highly recommend that you visit Lauren’s blog for the full tutorial and step-by-step pictures.

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The Best Cinnamon Rolls

The Best Cinnamon Rolls


For the Dough

3/4 cup warm water

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast {use the fast acting kind!}

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature (I made my own using 1/4 cup milk and 1 teaspoon vinegar.)

1 egg

1/3 cup canola oil

4 1/4-5 cups all purpose unbleached flour (I used 4 1/4 cups flour)

For the Filling

for the filling-

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar

2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons cornstarch

For the Frosting

for the frosting-

2 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature

1/4 cup butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 1/4 cups powdered sugar


    Preparing the Dough
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, pour in water, yeast and 1 tablespoon of the granulated sugar.
  2. Mix and then proof for 5 minutes.
  3. Once mixture looks bubbly and frothy, pour in remaining sugar and salt, and mix on low for 15-20 seconds.
  4. In a separate bowl, measure buttermilk, oil and egg. Whisk ingredients together until egg is incorporated to other two ingredients.
  5. Pour contents into the water and yeast mixture, and mix another 20.
  6. Pour 2 cups of flour into mixer and stir on low until incorporated. Sprinkle flour in by 1/4 cup increments until dough cleans the sides and bottom of the bowl. *Note - This step is very important. Make sure that you just add 1/4 cup at a time, after the initial 2 cups. If the dough gets too stiff, it will not yield soft cinnamon rolls.
  7. Dough should be sticky but not sticky enough to stick to your hands when touched. Once it has reached this stage, turn mixer on and knead for 5 minutes.
  8. Grease a large bowl, and add the dough to it.
  9. Cover with a dish towel, and move it to a warm place (I put mine in the microwave) and leave it for 1-2 hours or until dough has doubled in size.
  10. Preparing Filling
  11. In a medium size bowl, stir brown sugar, cinnamon and cornstarch together until combined. Set aside.
  12. Preparing the Cinnamon Rolls
  13. Punch down dough.
  14. Flour a large clean table liberally with flour, and lightly flour dough as well.
  15. Roll dough out to be a 20×30 rectangle {or as close to that as possible} while moving dough around to ensure it’s not sticking to your work surface.
  16. Spread softened butter over dough. Be sure to go right to the edges leaving a 1-inch strip untouched on one of the longer sides of dough.
  17. Dump brown sugar mixture onto the middle of the dough and spread with your hands, creating an even layer over top of the butter.
  18. Roll the dough up into a tight log, finishing with the plain dough on the bottom to seal the entire thing together.
  19. Cut off the uneven ends to even out the log. Score log every 2 inches and then slice your rolls using those marks.
  20. Spray cooking spray into a 9x13 inch pan.
  21. Place the cinnamon rolls into the pan. I had 12. If you have extra, you can use an additional loaf pan. Cover pans with plastic wrap and dish towels.
  22. Let rolls rise another 1-2 hours or until they are touching and have risen almost double. Or, refrigerate until the next morning. If you refrigerate them, make sure to set them out very early the next morning. They will need at least 3 hours to properly rise.
  23. Bake in a preheated 350 degree for 17-19 minutes, or until tops start to brown. Make sure that you do not overcook them because you want them to be soft and fluffy.
  24. Preparing the Frosting
  25. Add cream cheese and butter to a mixing bowl, and mix until smooth.
  26. Pour in vanilla and fresh lemon juice.
  27. Scrape sides and mix again.
  28. Pour in powdered sugar and mix slowly until it starts to incorporate. Then mix on high for 5 minutes or until frosting starts to lighten in color.
  29. Scrape sides and mix again briefly.
  30. Finishing Touches
  31. Once rolls have been removed from the oven, frost using half the amount made.
  32. After they have cooled a few more minutes, frost again with remaining frosting.
  33. Serve warm with a glass of milk. Sit back and watch the smiles of pure delight start to appear around the table.

Have a great week!  And…make these cinnamon rolls today, tomorrow, or definitely this weekend.  They are amazingly delicious.

I shared this recipe at Crazy for Crust, Nap Time Creations, Chef in Training, 33 Shades of Green, Permanent Posies, Two Maids, Tasty Tuesday, Blessed with Grace, Mandy’s Recipe Box, The Sweet Spot, Skip to My Lou, Jam Hands, 11th Heaven’s Homemaking Haven, Make Ahead Meals, Delightfully Dowling, I Should Be Mopping the Floor, A Southern Fairytale and Add a Pinch.

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23 Responses to My Oldest Boy is Nine – Recipe: The Best Cinnamon Rolls

  1. Alli says:

    What a special day despite the illness. What a lucky 9 year old. So much love. Those cinnamon rolls look insane.

    • Thank you so much! Yes, it was a special day. I just now read through the posts, looked at the pictures, and had a smile on my face, remembering all of the good, happy moments.

  2. sandy says:

    It was a special day despite the set backs. The cinnamon rolls were truly out of this world. Thanks for letting us be part of the wonderful day.

    • Thank you for being here. I can honestly say that I could not have done it all without you and Daddy. Wow…last night I looked at Sean and said, “I cannot believe that we were able to have the house ready for company by 10:30 am, given everything that we lived through before the party ever started.” What a weekend. Talk about some memories. 🙂

  3. Yummy! I would love for you to Link up at my Linky Party via:

    Mrs. Delightful

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  7. Audrey says:

    These look so good! I can’t wait to make them! Happy 9th birthday also!
    Audrey recently posted..Chocolate Chip Caramel Cookie BarsMy Profile

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  18. Linda says:

    How did you make the book covers? I need to make children books cupcake toppers for my daughters baby shower. Please help!

    • Hi, Linda. I found book jackets that I liked by googling images for them. Then, I copied and pasted them into a Word document. Once they were pasted, I could make them the size that I wanted them. I printed them and glued them onto card stock paper. If you use them as cupcake toppers, you can glue a toothpick in the center and fold the book jacket over the toothpick. I hope that helps. If you have more questions, let me know.

      Congrats to your daughter…and to you, Grandma!

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