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Ultimate Fluffy Cinnamon Rolls Recipe with Tangzhong Secret!

Ultimate Fluffy Cinnamon Rolls Recipe with Tangzhong Secret!

I'm thrilled to share my secret for the fluffiest cinnamon rolls ever, a recipe that's close to my heart and a hit in my kitchen! My special touch? The Tangzhong method, a simple step that significantly boosts the rolls' fluffiness and longevity, making them a game-changer in the world of baked goods. Originating from Japanese Milk Bread, I’ve taken this ancient technique to create one of a kind rolls. With high quality bread flour for its magical effect on the texture, these rolls are not just fluffy but also beautifully golden and irresistibly moist. And with my favorite thing off all time, CREAM CHEESE, in the frosting these cinnamon rolls are the thing of my dream. Not only that, these cinnamon rolls are versatile and forgiving, letting you customize them to your preference. These molasses and cinnamon flavored treats stay fresh for days, thanks to the Tangzhong. Follow my recipe to elevate your baking game with cinnamon rolls that are guaranteed to impress.

Tangzhong Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup water (76 g)
  • 1/3 cup whole milk (76 g)
  • 1/4 cup bread flour (30 g)

Cooking Tangzhong:

  1. In a medium-sized pot, combine the water, whole milk, and bread flour. 
  2. Whisk the mixture constantly over medium heat. Keep whisking until it thickens to a frosting-like consistency within about 3-4 minutes, or once it reaches 175°F. 
  3. After reaching the desired thickness, transfer the Tangzhong to a stand mixer bowl.


Dough Ingredients:

  • 4 cups bread flour (480g)
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter (85g)
  • 1/4 cup white sugar (60g)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup whole milk (164g)
  • 1 tbsp instant yeast (10g)
  • 1.5 tsp table salt (9g)

Dough Preparation Steps:

  1. Begin by melting the butter in a small bowl.
  2. Attach a dough hook to your stand mixer.
  3. In the stand mixer bowl, whisk together the whole milk, melted butter, and Tangzhong mixture.
  4. In a separate medium-sized bowl, whisk together the bread flour, white sugar, instant yeast, and table salt.
  5. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in the stand mixer. Start the mixer on low to combine the ingredients without causing a floury mess.
  6. Once the dough starts to come together, increase the speed to medium. Let the mixer knead the dough for about 2 minutes, then continue mixing for an additional 6 minutes. The dough should be smooth and elastic by the end of this process.
  7. Cover dough in a bowl and let it rise in a warm, draft-free spot for 90-120 minutes, or until it has doubled in size.

Cinnamon Filling Ingredients:

  • 1 stick softened salted butter
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar (100g)
  • 1 tbsp potato starch (14g)
  • 2 tbsp ground cinnamon (15g)
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Filling Preparation:

  1. In a medium bowl, start by combining the softened salted butter with the packed dark brown sugar.
  2. Stir in the potato starch, ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and vanilla extract


Forming the Rolls:

  1. On a cleaned work surface, roll the risen dough into a 12 x 20-inch rectangle. The long side should be facing you.
  2. Evenly spread the Cinnamon Filling across the dough, reaching all corners to ensure every roll is packed with flavor.
  3. Carefully roll the dough towards you, starting from the long edge, to form a tight log.
  4. Prepare a 13 x 15-inch baking dish or pan with a light coating of butter or non-stick spray.
  5. With a knife moistened with water (to prevent sticking), slice the log into 22 equal rolls, about 1 inches each.
  6. Arrange the rolls in the prepared baking dish, leaving some space between them for expansion. 
  7. Cover and let them rise for an additional 45-90 minutes, or place them in the refrigerator overnight and rise the next day. 

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 1/2 block of 1/3 fat cream cheese (112g)
  • 1.66 cups powdered sugar (200g)
  • 4 tbsp salted butter (56g)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (4g)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt (3g)

Frosting Steps:

  1. Begin by attaching a whip attachment to your stand mixer. If you don't have a stand mixer, a large bowl with a hand mixer will work just as well.
  2. Into the mixer's bowl, add the softened salted butter, powdered sugar, cream cheese, vanilla extract, and kosher salt. 
  3. Start whipping the ingredients together. Begin on a low speed to incorporate the powdered sugar without creating a cloud and then gradually increase the speed. 
  4. Whip until the mixture becomes smooth and creamy, free of any lumps.
  5. Check the frosting's consistency. If it appears too thick, gently mix in 1 tbsp of whole milk to achieve a smoother, more spreadable texture.


Baking and Finishing Touches:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Bake the cinnamon rolls for 20-25 minutes, or until they're golden brown on top and reach an internal temperature of 190°F (88°C).
  3. Once out of the oven, slather the warm rolls with the creamy frosting, letting it melt into all the nooks and crannies.


  • Frosting Variations: Cream cheese frosting is my favorite for these rolls, but don't hesitate to explore other options. Buttermilk frosting or other flavors can add a different twist to your rolls, so feel free to experiment.
  • The Tangzhong Method: Don't skip the Tangzhong! It's crucial for achieving the ultimate fluffiness and extending the shelf life of your cinnamon rolls. This step is a real game-changer in enhancing the texture and keeping the rolls moist longer.
  • Flour Choices: I highly recommend using bread flour for its higher protein content, which contributes to the rolls' fluffiness and golden color. While all-purpose flour can be used in a pinch, the results won't be quite as impressive.
  • Next-Day Baking: If you opt to refrigerate the rolls overnight, allow them to rise at room temperature for 40-90 minutes before baking. This extra step ensures they bake up just as fluffy and delicious as they would if baked the same day.
  • Sugar Options: I prefer the rich flavor of dark brown sugar in the filling for its molasses notes, but regular brown sugar will work fine too. It's all about using what you have on hand or suiting your taste preferences.
  • Storage Tips: Store the baked cinnamon rolls at room temperature, covered, away from heat. Thanks to the Tangzhong, they'll stay fresh and delicious for up to a week, much longer than traditional cinnamon rolls.

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