- 1 cup buttermilk, warmed to 110-115 degrees Fahrenheit
- 2 – 1/4 oz packets active-dry yeast
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1 egg + 1 egg yolk, room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 cups all purpose flour, spoon and leveled
- avocado oil or avocado oil non-stick spray
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar, plus more to taste
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Warm the buttermilk to 110-115 degrees Farenheit and then transfer to a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle the yeast on top of the warm milk and then sprinkle the granulated sugar over the yeast. The yeast should begin to foam and become frothy. If after 5 minutes the yeast does still not start to foam or become frothy, throw out the milk mixture and start again with new yeast. Next, add the melted butter, egg, and egg yolk to the mixture and whisk together until well combined.
- Add the all purpose flour and salt to the wet ingredients and use a wooden spoon to stir in the flour until it is well combined a dough forms, being sure to incorporate all of the flour from the sides of the bowl. You’ll know it’s time to move on to the next step once it becomes hard to stir. The dough will be thick, shaggy dough that’s still quite a bit sticky and that’s ok!
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and then use your hands to knead the dough for 8-10 minutes until it becomes elastic and can easily form into a smooth ball. The dough should feel slightly tacky but it should not stick to your hands or the kneading surface. If the dough is still too sticky, add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time and continue to knead the dough until it becomes a smooth, elastic ball.
- Grease a clean, large bowl with one teaspoon of avocado oil and then transfer the ball of dough to the greased bowl. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and let the dough rise in a warm area (like the top of your oven/stovetop) for 1 – 1 1/2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size.
- While the dough is rising, make the filling by combining the dark brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and orange zest in a small bowl.
- Once the dough has risen, punch it down to release the extra air and then transfer to a lightly floured surface. Shape the dough into the shape of a rough rectangle and then use a rolling pin to roll the dough out into a 20×16 rectangle that is roughly 1/4 inch thick.
- Use a spatula or knife to spread the softened butter evenly over the dough and then sprinkle the filling mixture over the butter being sure to cover all of the edges of the dough. Use your fingers to press the cinnamon sugar mixture into the butter a bit.
- Tightly roll up the dough, on the long side, and place seam side down. Pinch the seal a bit so the rolls don’t unravel. Use a sharp serrated knife or unflavored dental floss to cut the roll into 12 equally sized pieces. Place the cinnamon rolls in a 9×13 casserole dish, lined with parchment paper, evenly spaced a part. You should have 3 rows with 4 rolls per row.
- Cover the casserole dish with a tea towel and let the cinnamon rolls rise for another 30-45 minutes until they have almost doubled in size.
- Bake the cinnamon rolls on the center rack at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until the rolls are a light golden brown. Be sure to check the middle rolls to ensure they’re fully baked. You can lightly tent the rolls with foil if they begin to become too brown. Remove the cinnamon rolls from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before icing.
- Make the Cream Cheese Icing: Add the cream cheese, butter, and confectioner’s sugar to a mixing bowl. Use a hand mixer to mix the frosting until it is fluffy and the confectioners sugar is well incorporated without any lumps. Next, add in the orange juice and vanilla extract and mix on high again until well combined. Set aside.
To make overnight: Roll, cut, and place the cinnamon rolls in a parchment lined baking dish after they have finished their 1st rise. Then, cover the rolls tightly with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight. The next morning, remove the baking dish from the fridge and let the rolls finish their second rise in a warm area for about 45 minutes to 1 hour before baking.
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