Aunt Annie’s Awesome Sweet Rolls

When my aunt was here (haha, not funny anymore?  Ok, I’ll try for this to be the last time!) all the girls in the family wanted her to show us how she makes her fabulous sweet rolls.  She makes the best sweet rolls on this side of the Mississippi.  No wait….she doesn’t live on this side of the Mississippi.  Well, they’re just darn good (really, they’re way better than darn good, but we’re trying to be humble on Auntie’s behalf) and worth every bit of the work involved in making them.

So, here’s how you make them (with a few pictures thrown in for good measure):

Put 3 pkgs of rapid rise yeast into 1 cup of lukewarm water and let the yeast rise a bit — for about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt 1/2 c. shortening and let it cool a bit.

Sweet Rolls

Mix 2 cups very warm water, 2 tsp. salt, 1/2 c. sugar, 4 eggs and 3 1/2 cups of sifted flour in a mixing bowl with a dough hook.  (If you don’t have a mixer with a dough hook, you can mix and knead the ingredients by hand.)

Mix in the melted shortening and 1 cup of sifted flour, scrape sides and continue to mix.

Add yeast/water mixture and mix for a few minutes more.

Add 1 cup of sifted flour, mix; add another 1 cup of sifted flour and continue to mix and scrape sides of bowl.  (For those of you keeping count, we’re now up to 6 1/2 cups of sifted flour.)  Total mixing/kneading time should be 10 to 15 minutes.

Sweet Rolls

The dough will be REALLY sticky so you might want to add another cup of flour (maybe even two if needed, but I think we only added one.)

Sweet Rolls

Put (or pour LOL) the dough into a large greased bowl and cover with a piece of saran wrap sprayed with a cooking spray.  Put in a relatively warm place and allow the dough to rise until it’s at least double.  (We let ours rise a bit too long — I should have taken a picture — it was oozing out over the edges of the bowl.)

Sweet Rolls

Divide the dough in half and roll the first half out until it’s about 1/2″ thick.  Spread some melted butter all over the top, almost up to the edges of the dough.  Then sprinkle a mixture of cinnamon and sugar (try 2 tsp. cinnamon + 1/2 c. sugar to start — you can make it as cinnamon-y as you like) on the melted butter.

Sweet Rolls

Now sprinkle raisins on the cinnamon sugar mixture.  We have several non-raisin lovers, so we left the raisins out of the other half of the dough.

Sweet Rolls

Starting on the long edge, roll the dough up and pinch the edges together to seal.

Sweet Rolls

Slice the cinnamon roll into fairly thick slices using either a very sharp knife or a string (in this case we used dental floss, just to insure that there will be no cavities resulting from these rolls LOL.)  Repeat all the rolling steps for the second half of the dough.

Sweet Rolls

Place the sweet rolls on cookie sheets and let them rise in a warm place until they’re all squished together — 30 minutes to an hour.  And see that parchment paper on those cookie sheets?  Don’t do that.  We tried it, but it made the roll bottoms just a tad bit soggy and there’s nothing worse than having a soggy bottom, if you know what I mean.  Just grease your cookie sheet instead.

Bake the sweet rolls at 375 degrees for approximately 12 minutes.

While they’re baking, make some frosting.  None of us goofballs wrote down the frosting recipe!  I’d try 1/2 cup soft butter, 2 cups powdered sugar,1 tsp vanilla and a bit of milk until you get it to a little runnier than spreading consistency.  (Aunt Annie didn’t make that much frosting but she goes light on the frosting — I go heavy — the more the better!)  And throw in 1/2 to 3/4 cup walnuts if you have nut lovers in your family.  (When we were growing up, Aunt Annie always rolled the nuts up in the dough with the raisins, but we all like them better in the frosting now.)

Sweet Rolls

After you remove the rolls from the oven, you can let them cool for just a minute or two, but frost them while they’re still warm.  (There are missing rolls in the picture above because they were grabbed as fast as she was frosting them!)

Sweet Rolls

If everyone didn’t scarf them up immediately, place the extras in a cake plate where they’ll look pretty!

Usually, homemade sweet rolls aren’t that great after the day they’re made — they’re at they’re very best fresh out of the oven.  If you must eat them after the first day (or, rather, if there are any left) they’re best heated in the microwave.  Two days after my aunt made these rolls, I had this conversation with a good friend of my sons’:

McDonald’s Boy:  Mrs. Thimbleanna, is your aunt still here?

Me:  Yes, why do you ask?

McDonald’s Boy:  Well, this morning I came over and I couldn’t get TheSecondChild to wake up so I turned the hose on his window…

At which point my ears started ringing….

Me:  You WHAT???  I just cleaned those windows!!!!

McDonald’s Boy:  Oops.

Pregnant Pause.


McDonald’s Boy:  After he let me in, I ate that last half of a sweet roll that was in your cake plate and really, they’re the best sweet rolls I’ve EVER had!!!  I was wondering if she could make any more?

Which goes to show that a) he’s had a deprived childhood if a two day old sweet roll is the best one he’s ever had, and b) these are really great sweet rolls!!!  I’d love to know if you try these.  They do take a bit of time, but after you get the hang of it, you can just whip them out while you’re doing other things LOL!

Have a great weekend!


41 Thoughts on “Aunt Annie’s Awesome Sweet Rolls

  1. if you keep this up i’m going to have to put saran wrap on my keyboard.
    those sweet rolls look divine!

  2. Those sound fabulous. I’d love some! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Oh my lord – I think I’ve just gained 5 pounds. Maybe someday I will give these a whirl when I can have help in eating them, LOL. Thanks sweetie for sharing a sweet :)

    Hugs – Karen

  4. I am drooling over these – wish I could have one with my coffee right now!

  5. I am making you chocolate croissants and rhubarb custard pie (no pressure, but you can try it if you like), and you’re getting Melly’s Banana Creme Pie… and those gooey chocolate/peanut butter bars from Emma’s Bakery… I just thought you should be warned to wear stretchy pants.

    I will be trying out your Auntie’s sweet rolls first chance I get. They sound sooo yum! C

  6. This was a fun read, almost like being right there in your kitchen with you all. I would love to give this a try.

  7. Holy cow those look to die for- wow!!! Wish I could just lick my keyboard!! No wonder the kid thought they were so good, even 2 days old.
    Also – 2 days after I cleaned my windows the boys had a water gun fight. Brilliant. Altho I didn’t have to climb a ladder like yours!!

  8. Namm, this makes me want to make some! It is a long time since I made them myself! Thank you for sharing!

  9. I will save this delicious and fun recipe for when I have a houseful to feed, Barry and I would eat the lot which would be a bad thing! You are so bad showing us these but I am so glad you di….I could just bite into one right now!

  10. OMG my keyboard will probably short out this morning…I’m drooling all over the place. Those look awesome.

  11. Those look yummy, yummy. And not just because I’m a big pregnant person to whom everything looks yummy! Too bad I still don’t have all my stuff here or I’d get busy baking!

  12. Really, those look way too good for words. I am thinking they will be my Sunday afternoon baking project!

    Sorry about your window, by the way…eek, how do kids think of these things?

  13. YUM!!! Thanks for sharing your aunt’s wonderful recipe. Cinnamon rolls are my husbands favorite so I’m just going to have to give this a go.

  14. They do look delicious Anna, very similar to some buns that you can buy here in the bakers. I love cinnamon and sugar together. Just goes to show that fun can be had without mashing a potato

  15. I used to make cinnamon rolls when my son was little. The recipe is similar, but i will definitely try this one! They look yummy!
    Oh, and I am not tired of hearing about your Aunt! Tell me more!!

  16. Wow…those look so good. Thanks for sharing the recipe. And I love your commentary!

  17. thanks for the recipe Anna, they look absolutely delicious!! Is your sons water-spraying friend still alive?

  18. Oh – yummy – nice recipe – thanks!

  19. I laughed at that McDonald’s story. FUNNY. I was afraid the window had been open and he had sprayed your aunt instead of your son. That would not have been funny. Nor is the fact you just washed your windows, but it did get a chuckle.

  20. Yummy, yum, yum!!!

    Back in the day…when we were so poor that we didn’t have two dimes to rub together, I perfected a sweet roll recipe and I made them for birthdays, Father’s Day, and every other special occasion. Kinda sad that now I find it easier to run out and buy a gift. The sweet rolls were always SO appreciated, especially when I filled them with butter, sugar and orange zest and topped them with an orange glaze. Boy, it’s been a long time. Now I’m motivated to give them another whirl!!!

  21. Oh!!!!
    Nothin’ says lovin’ like fresh cinnamon rolls hot-outta-the oven!

    Sounds very similar to the recipe I use. Yum-O/1′


  22. If I wasn’t so tired I’d go whip up a batch to have in the morning but….. Maybe next weekend. Homemade cinnamon rolls are the best. Thanks for sharing your AUNT’S recipe. LOL!!! Love ya Anna.

  23. first of all, where does mcdonald’s boy live and how should he meet his early demise? i can’t believe he sprayed water on your window!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    i’m thinkin’ i have to make cinnamon rolls in the morning!!!!
    :blows kisses to your auntie (you too!)

  24. YUM! You both have the same smile(check the first picture) :). What a beautiful family cooking together time you all obviously had! How nice and special is that! I want an Aunt Annie!!!!!!

  25. Mmmmm, mmmmmm, can you hear my mouth watering? I’m double deprived, does that count for a whole sweet roll? Even if its two days old. :-)

    And thank you for your comments, Anna. I just managed to get on the computer now.

  26. Oh my they look good.

  27. Oh wow, those look yummy! Thanks for posting the recipe, I will have to try it soon :)

  28. Mrs. Thimbleanna: Is your aunt still there? Do you think she could make me a dozen or three of the cinnamon rolls and send them to me UPS? I’ll have a glass of milk waiting!


  29. Oooh they look seriously yummy – thanks for the recipe :)


  30. Of course, I happen upon your website on the day I’ve decided that I really, really need to start losing some weight instead of just talking about it. Mmmmm, maybe I could just make one batch of your cinnamon rolls. My sixteen-year-old daughter did just say yesterday that her friends say I have a good shape for an OLD person.

    Did I detect an M.A. Hadley bowl in your photos of the preparation process?

  31. First Alton Brown makes cinnamon rolls on Good Eats and then Favorite Aunt makes them on your blog – sporting a lovely apron, I might add. Shoot! I’m gonna have to make some, aren’t I?

  32. Yum…those look delicious. Ever try them using whole wheat? Now I really want to try your recipe. I think that appetite suppressant from Bath and Body Works isn’t working. LOL

  33. You have to stop trying to fatten us up—they sound delicious! Loved the bit about the dental floss. My M-I-L makes the most divine dumplings and uses string to slice them………You showed great restraint in not killing McDonalds’ boy on the spot! Cute that he was so intent on getting more buns that he put his life in danger…..

  34. These look and sound delicious, I love anythig with cinnamon. I have American cup measures but am wondering how much a package of dried yeast holds? Would love to have a go at making the rolls.

  35. Anna – sorry that I’ve been such a loser lately and not responding! YIKES! I’ve been terribly busy…but these rolls look lovely. I have an incredible recipe for Orange Rolls from my Aunt, but I’m one of those persons who has to see something being made in order to make it. You know what I mean? Anyway – thanks for the photos…it helped a lot! You are wonderful and I love reading all about everything you do!


  36. They have to be my all time favourite sweet thing to eat. I can’t wait to have a go at making them and I’m sure we can demolish them in one day – easily!!! Oh yummy, yummy, yummy!!!

  37. Oh Yum. I can’t wait for my new oven to be connected, I miss baking. Those sweet rolls sound droolsome!

  38. I’ll never get tired of you referring to your Aunt. She seems like such a lovely lady. Thanks for the recipe and tutorial, I’m definately making these!

  39. i have patisserie dome envy.
    my eyes have turned green.

  40. yummy, we just love cinnamon rolls….a few rolls might even make it into the next day in our house. hubby is the cin bun maker tho…and his dad before him.

  41. mmm. those look soooooooo good. my mouth is watering.

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