After a week and a few days off, I’m back! We should be proceeding through most of the rest of the summer without interruption.
“Unicorn” anything seems to be super popular now. Anything with rainbows and a magical, mystical aura about it is trendy – you see unicorn pool floats, unicorn frappucinos, unicorn hair. So something with that rainbow magic – especially if it’s edible and sugary – is bound to be a hit. And I can tell you for a fact that these funfetti cinnamon rolls met those requirements!
Part of H’s birthday party was having a few friends sleep over. And since we were hosting, I wanted to do something fun for breakfast. Pancakes are traditional, but when you’re a tween and unicorns are everywhere right now – why not do something rainbow and fun? At least, that’s my thought. And birthdays should involve special breakfasts. Last year I made the Elvis Overnight Oats which didn’t go over so well (at least with the little ones – I loved them!), so I figured something sweeter and more traditional would be a bigger hit.
And they were. These cinnamon rolls were gobbled up by our little crowd of sleepover attendees. They were also appropriately oohed and aahed over. But as a note – they’re very sweet. Like, so sweet that one of the girls couldn’t finish hers. So very, very sweet. If you like sweet things, awesome. But sometimes even those with a sweet tooth like mine can get a toothache from all the sugar.
So definitely a fun thing to have made. I’m glad I used this opportunity to make my own yeasted cinnamon rolls, though the yeast I used was a little on the old side. I also wish I had begun prepping a little earlier, but sleepovers mean late nights for parents too, so it wasn’t that big a problem. Thank goodness I figured out I could prepare these mostly the night before so I wasn’t up until all hours of the night. Just long enough to get the rolls formed and set into their pan in the fridge until morning. I’ll include advance prep information below with the recipe.
Funfetti Cinnamon Rolls
Yield: 12 rolls
1/2 cup warm water, about 110 degrees F
1/2 cup whole milk, room temperature
2 1/4 tsp dry active yeast
1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 large yolk
1 tsp fine sea salt
4 cups all-purpose flour
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup confetti sprinkles
Cinnamon Sugar Filling
1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
pinch fine sea salt
Cream Cheese Frosting
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
pinch of fine sea salt
additional sprinkles, to garnish
Sprinkle yeast over water and milk. Add 1 Tbsp sugar and stir to combine. Let sit for 5-7 minutes to allow mixture to bubble and active.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together yeast mixture, remaining sugar, egg, and egg yolk. Whisk salt into flour. Add 2 cups of flour to mixing bowl. Use the dough hook attachment to mix together. Add another 1 cup of flour. Continue to knead on low speed, add softened butter 1 Tbsp at a time. Add remaining cup of flour and knead until the dough is smooth and cleans the sides of the bowl. Add confetti sprinkles and mix until evenly distributed in the dough.
Transfer dough to a lightly greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let dough rest at room temperature for about an hour until double has doubled in volume.
Punch down risen dough. Transfer to a lightly floured working surface. Roll dough into a 20 x 14-inch rectangle. Spread 1/3 cup softened butter over dough.
Cinnamon Sugar Filling
In a bowl, mix together sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Distribute cinnamon sugar filling and gently press into dough. Sprinkle sea salt.
Roll dough into a log, starting at the longer side. Slice the log into 12 equal parts. Place rolls in a greased 9 x 12-inch baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rolls rest for 30-45 minutes at room temperature to allow rolls to rise.
[If preparing in advance let chill in the fridge overnight after placing the rolls in the baking pan. The following morning, allow rolls to come to room temperature (30 minutes or so) and then bake as directed.]
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove plastic wrap and bake rolls for 30-35 minutes until golden brown on top and the internal temperature of the rolls hit 185 degrees F. Allow rolls to rest for 5 minutes to slightly cool.
Cream Cheese Frosting
Beat together cream and butter until smooth. Add sifted powdered sugar and beat until smooth and thickened. Spread over warm cinnamon rolls. Top rolls with additional confetti sprinkles, if desired.