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Sticky Gooey Cinnamon Rolls

If there is anything better than waking up to freshly baked cinnamon rolls, it’s eating them. 😉 The smell alone will get you in a good mood but these sticky gooey cinnamon rolls are life changing.

The rolls are soft and fluffy and the sticky caramel sauce is rich and indulgent. Some of the sauce soaks into the dough while the rolls bake and the rest of the caramel sauce drenches the top of the rolls when they come out of the oven.

sticky cinnamon rolls

We aren’t messing around here. There is a LOT of caramel sauce. These are called sticky gooey cinnamon rolls for a reason. You’re going to need a fork for these but I suspect that if you have come for this recipe, you won’t mind.

sticky cinnamon rolls

Oh, these rolls are good! There is a bounty of sticky caramel sauce that oozes into the tender, buttery rolls. .

These are so much better that you will never want to buy a store-bought cinnamon roll again. The brown sugar, caramel sauce is both sinfully rich and HEAVENLY at the same time.

The rolls are rich, tender, light, fluffy, and melt in your mouth.  The dough is very similar to my brioche dough but adapted to work well in a stand mixer or in a bread machine. That’s why you will see the butter gets added all at once with the milk.

The butter doesn’t blend completely into the milk but it all comes together after you add the flour. It’s the order that I toss everything into the bread machine if I am using that contraption. The video shows you how I make it with the stand mixer.

Ingredients needed for the rolls

Ingredients needed for the dough for gooey cinnamon rolls.

Here are the ingredients you need to make the rolls.

  • Milk. Warm the milk up to about 110°F to 120°F.
  • Eggs. Let them come to room temperature.
  • Butter. Make sure it is softened.
  • Sugar.
  • Salt
  • Instant dry yeast. Instant yeast doesn’t need to be dissolved first. If you want to use active dry yeast, that will work too but make sure you dissolve the yeast before adding it to the mix.
  • Bread flour.
  • All-purpose flour.

Ingredients for the cinnamon roll filling

There is a generous amount of filling in these rolls. They aren’t just dusted with a bit of cinnamon. They are smeared with a heavy coat of buttery, gooey, creamy, cinnamon roll filling. So good!

  • Brown sugar
  • White sugar
  • Butter. Softened
  • Cinnamon
Ingredients needed for cinnamon roll filling and for gooey caramel sauce.

Ingredients for the gooey caramel sauce

The sauce is what makes these cinnamon rolls so sticky, gooey, and finger-liking-good. It gets cooked only partially on the stove top then finishes in the oven until it is thick and perfectly gooey.

  • Butter
  • Brown Sugar
  • White sugar
  • Corn syrup
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Cream
  • Vanilla extract

How to make gooey cinnamon rolls

Process photos showing how to make gooey cinnamon rolls.
  1. Combine the milk, eggs, butter, sugar, salt, and yeast in a mixing bowl and blend. The butter will look clumpy but that is fine. As long as it is soft, it will blend right in when you knead the dough.
  2. Add all of the bread flour and most of the all purpose flour and mix. At this point, you can assess if you need to add more flour. Knead it until it is soft and smooth.
  3. Place the dough in an oiled bowl and let it rise.
  4. While the dough is rising, mix up the ingredients for the cinnamon roll filling.
  5. Now make mix the ingredients for the caramel sauce. Cook it for a few minutes then pour it into a 13 x 9 inch pan. Set the pan aside so the sauce cools down.
Process photos showing how to make gooey cinnamon rolls with cinnamon roll filling.
  1. Roll the dough into a rectangular shape and smear the cinnamon roll filling all over the surface.
  2. Start at one of the long ends and roll it up into a log.
  3. Slice the log into 1-1/2 inch to 2 inch sections. You can use a sharp knife or a string (like dental floss).
  4. Place the slices into the cooled caramel sauce and let the rolls rise until they are almost double in size.
  5. Bake the rolls.
  6. Let the pan sit at room temperature for 10 minutes then slide a knife around the edge to loosen them from the pan. Place a platter on top of the pan and invert the cinnamon rolls. Lift the baking pan off and serve warm.
sticky cinnamon rolls

There will be some extra caramel sauce in the baking pan. Scoop that out before the pan cools down.

sticky cinnamon rolls
sticky cinnamon rolls

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sticky cinnamon rolls

Sticky Gooey Cinnamon Rolls

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

These cinnamon rolls bake in a bath of caramel sauce that oozes all over them. The caramel sauce makes them sticky, gooey, and oh, so delicious. You're going to need a fork to eat these gooey cinnamon rolls. You can mix the dough by hand, with a mixer, or with a bread maker.

Ingredients

Tender Buns

  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • ½ cup (4 oz or 113 g) butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar (50 grams)
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons instant dry yeast
  • 3 1/2 cups (420 grams) bread flour
  • 1-1/4 to 2-1/4 cups (228 grams) all-purpose flour

Cinnamon Roll Filling

  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed (110 grams)
  • 1/4 cup sugar (100 grams)
  • ½ cup (4 oz or 113g) butter, softened
  • 1-2 tablespoons cinnamon

Sticky Gooey Caramel Sauce

  • ½ cup(4 oz or 113 g) butter
  • 1 cup (220 g) light brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ cup (50 g) sugar
  • 1/3 cup corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup cream
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

Make the Tender Dough:

  1. You can mix the dough by hand, with a stand mixer, or in a bread machine: Combine the milk, eggs, butter, sugar, salt, and instant yeast. The butter will look clumpy.
  2. Add the bread flour and 1-1/4 cups of the all-purpose flour. Mix by hand or with the stand mixer or bread machine. If you are using a bread machine turn the machine to dough setting. You may need to help the ingredients blend together in the first minute of mixing by stirring the edges with a spatula.
  3. If the dough is too sticky, gradually add the rest of the all-purpose flour. Continue to knead until the dough is soft and smooth. (See the video to see the texture of the dough).
  4. Place the dough in an oiled boil. Cover and let rise for 1 to 2 hours. It will get puffy and almost double in size.
  5. While the dough is mixing and proofing, make the cinnamon filling and sticky caramel sauce below. Set them aside until ready to use. 

Cinnamon Filling

  1. Mix the brown sugar, sugar, butter, and cinnamon together until they form a paste. Set aside at room temperature until the dough is ready to roll out.

Sticky Caramel Sauce

  1. In a large saucepan, combine the butter, brown sugar, sugar, corn syrup, water, salt, and cream. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and simmer for 3 minutes..
  2. Remove from heat, stir in the vanilla extract and pour into a 13 by 9-inch baking pan. Set aside until the cinnamon rolls are ready to be placed on the sauce. The sauce will thicken as it cools down.

Make the Rolls and Bake them:

  1. Place the dough on a clean, floured work surface. Roll the dough out to a 16 by 24-inch rectangle.
  2. Spread the cinnamon roll filling over the dough.
  3. Starting at the long end, roll the dough into a 24-inch long log.
  4. Using a sharp knife, slice the log into 12 slices. If you do not have a very sharp knife then you can use dental floss or thread to wrap around the log then pull the ends to cut the roll without squishing it.
  5. Place the rolls on top of the caramel sauce in the pan then cover loosely with a dish towel and let sit in a warm place for an hour until almost doubled in size.
  6. Pre-heat the oven to 350°. Uncover the rolls and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown.
  7. Allow the rolls to cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes then run a knife around the inside edge of the pan to loosen the rolls from the edge. Invert the pan onto a platter so the sticky gooey sauce is on top, be certain the pan is not too hot when you do this or the caramel sauce will burn you.
  8. Serve warm.

Notes

The baking time will vary depending on how packed the rolls are when you put them in the baking pan. If the rolls are packed in tight, it will take longer for the centers to bake.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 493Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 65mgSodium: 221mgCarbohydrates: 95gFiber: 3gSugar: 33gProtein: 11g

Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third-party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.

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Gwen

Sunday 21st of June 2020

There wasn’t enough liquid in the dough for it to kneed properly in my bread machine :(

Dahn Boquist

Sunday 21st of June 2020

You can add some milk, a little at a time, until you have the consistency you need. If you use a scale to measure your flour then your flour measurements will be more accurate. If you don't have a scale then just lightly spoon the flour into the measuring cups

Trina

Monday 28th of October 2019

Do u have to use a bread machine?

Dahn Boquist

Tuesday 29th of October 2019

No, you can mix this by hand and let it proof in a bowl. Thanks for your question

Duncan

Thursday 22nd of February 2018

4 Tablespoons of cinnamon? Is that right? It seems like a lot..the rest of the recipe looks spot on though. I made the caramel sauce tonight and will do the buns/filling in the morning.

Also 1/3C of corn syrup is 100g....easier to weigh that stuff out that dirty up extra measuring devices.

Dahn

Friday 23rd of February 2018

Hi Duncan, Yep 4 tablespoons is what I used. There is no denying that these cinnamon rolls are loaded with cinnamon. Most recipes this size use between 1 to 3 tablespoons of cinnamon. 1 to 2 tablespoons just isn't enough in my opinion but 3 or 4 tablespoons works well. You can add 1 tablespoon at a time and taste-test to your own liking. Your right about the corn syrup, it is much easier to weigh it. Thanks for the comment

Maureen | Orgasmic Chef

Sunday 29th of December 2013

Holy cow these look good! I'm so glad we met because if this is what you produce in your kitchen, we need to be best friends. :)

Dahn

Sunday 29th of December 2013

Yes Maureen, a fusion of our kitchens would be incredible! These have your name written all over them, they are orgasmic :)

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