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Cinnamon Rolls with Malted Cream Cheese Frosting

Yeast doughs are definitely an experienced bakers arena, but they are worth trying because the results are absolutely worth it. These classic cinnamon rolls with malted cream cheese frosting are delicious straight out of the oven. They are fridge and freezer friendly too though!



Preparation Time: 

2-2.5 hours (+ 20-25 minutes baking time)



Cinnamon Rolls

  • 1 cup full cream milk

  • ¼ cup raw sugar

  • 55g butter, melted

  • 1 (7g) sachet dried active yeast

  • 1 egg, at room temperature

  • 3.5 cups plain flour, plus extra for dusting

  • ¾ teaspoon salt


  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoons ground cinnamon

  • 40g butter, softened


  • 200g cream cheese, softened

  • 40g  butter, softened

  • ½ cup icing sugar, sifted

  • 1 tbsp Saunders’ Malt Extract

  1. Prepare the milk. Warm milk to around 40°C – pour milk into a pyrex jug and heat in a microwave for 45 seconds – 1 minute if chilled from the fridge. If using UHT milk fresh from the pantry, heat for 20 seconds. It should be a similar temperature to warm bath water.

  2. Transfer warm milk to the bowl of an electric mixer. Add sugar, melted butter and sprinkle yeast on top. Leave for 10 minutes to activate the yeast and froth up. Add whisked egg, flour and salt. Mix with a wooden spoon until a dough begins to form.

  3. Place dough hook on stand mixer and knead dough on medium speed for 4 minutes. Dough should form into a nice ball and be slightly sticky. If you don’t want to use an electric mixer, you can use your hands to knead the dough for 5-6 minutes on a well-floured surface.

  4. Transfer dough ball to a well-oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a warm towel. Allow dough to rise for 1-1.5 hours* until doubled in size – see notes below. After the dough has doubled in size, transfer dough to a well-floured surface and roll out into a 40cm x 30cm rectangle, and to about 1cm thick. Spread softened butter over dough. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle mixture over the buttered dough, then press the brown sugar mixture into the butter.

  5. Roll dough up fairly tightly, starting from the long side and place seam side down. Using a serrated knife cut off one of the ends of the dough as the ends won’t be as full of cinnamon sugar and not as shapely – reserve them and bake with the other scrap in a smaller tin later.

  6. Cut the roll at 1.5cm intervals. You should get 12 equal rolls and some extra pieces including the scraps mentioned above.

  7. Line a large baking tray with baking paper and grease lightly with soft butter or oil. Place cinnamon rolls in the tin, 3 down and 4 across, leaving about a centimetre gap around the sides and the rolls. Cover with plastic wrap and a warm towel and let rise again for 30-45 minutes.

  8. Preheat oven to 175°C degrees. When risen, remove plastic wrap and towel. Bake cinnamon rolls for 20-25 minutes or until just slightly golden on the edges so that remain soft and fluffy in the middle. Transfer the tin to a wire rack and allow to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes before frosting.

  9. Meanwhile, prepare the frosting. Place cream cheese, butter and icing sugar in a bowl of an electric mixer and beat on high for 2 minutes. Stir in Saunders’ Malt Extract and fold gently to combine.

  10. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days, then gently reheat in a microwave for 15 seconds when serving from chilled.

Note: To rise, the dough needs a warm spot, around 30°-35°C. Higher humidity also helps this so in summer the process might only take 45 minutes. In winter, you can proof the dough in an oven set to 50°C. Instead of plastic wrap, cover the bowl with a wet kitchen towel and add a shallow cake tin with about 1cm of water in it on a rack under the dough bowl. This will help increase humidity in the oven and leave the door slightly ajar as you don’t want the temperature to reach 50°C.

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