Grandma’s Cinnamon Roles

Grandma quote

My Mom Patsy has been making these pecan cinnamon rolls for the last 20 years at least. Every family gathering I’ve ever been to she’s prepped at least two hot pans of these babies: one with pecans and another without. We all know whats inside those silver pans before grandma lifts the lids. A hot cup of coffee and a gooey cinnamon roll is my favorite way to wind down a long day of family and food.

A few years ago and she passed down her wisdom. I now bequeath it unto thee.


Traditional Roll Dough

This dough recipe will make two pans worth of cinnamon rolls.

  • ¼ cup warm water (105º to 115º F)
  • 2 ¼ teaspoon (1 pack) active dry baker’s yeast
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup lukewarm milk (scalded then cooled)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup shortening, butter, or margarine, softened
  • 3 ¾ to 4 cups all purpose flour (if using self rising flour, omit salt)
Activate Yeast

Dissolve yeast in warm water; wait 5-10 minutes. Sprinkle the sugar in warm water yeast mixture. If bubbles appear, the yeast is good.

Stir in milk, salt, egg, shortening and 2 cups of the flour. Beat until smooth.  Mix in enough of the remaining flour to make dough easy to handle.

Turn dough onto lightly floured board; knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place in greased bowl and cover it with a towel. Allow the dough to rise in a warm place until it doubles in size, about 1 ½ to 2 hours. The dough is ready if impressions remain.

Divide the dough in half.


Pecan Cinnamon Roll Topping

Prep the pans with this pecan topping while waiting for the dough to rise. Note the topping recipe below is good for one pan. Repeat this step for pan number two.

  • ½ cup pecan halves
  • ¼ cup (2 oz) unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • ½ cup of brown sugar (packed)

Spread pecans over bottom of baking pan. Melt butter or margarine; stir in brown sugar and light corn syrup. Pour mixture over pecans.

Plain Roles (Sans Topping)

The pecan topping can be skipped to make plain cinnamon roles. Spray the pan down with Pam or another cooking spray and you’re good to go.


Cinnamon Rolls

We’re ready to make the actual rolls once the dough has finished rising and the pecan toppings are prepped. Again, this step is sufficient for one pan of cinnamon rolls; rinse, wash, repeat for the second batch.

  • ½ recipe Traditional Roll Dough (see above)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine, softened
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon sugar (1 part cinnamon to 12 parts white sugar)

Sprinkle flour onto a cutting board to prevent sticking. Roll dough into a 9×22 inch rectangle. Spread it with warm butter, and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Roll up the rectangle, beginning with the wide side. Pinch edge of dough into roll to seal well. Roll the sealed roll over the board to pick up excess sugar. Stretch roll to make even.

Cut roll into 12 slices (~1 inch in length). Place slightly apart in pan (grease the pan first if not using the pecan topping), 13x19x2 inches, or in greased muffin cups. Let rise until double. To help the rolls rise in the pan, place in oven and either add a coffee warmer or set the oven to 100ºF.

The Second Rise

Let the rolls rise 20 minutes before baking.

Heat oven to 375ºF; bake 25 to 30 minutes (check until brown). If making pecan rolls, flip pans over immediately after removing from the oven to allow the syrup to drizzle down the rolls.




Leave a Reply