These Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Syrup Glaze are made with soft, enriched dough that is swirled around delicious cinnamon and sugar. A maple syrup glaze finishes off the cinnamon rolls and adds a hint of caramel and butter flavor.
RECIPE AND POST UPDATED 4/28/2021
Cinnamon Rolls With Maple Syrup Glaze
I love cinnamon rolls! But, who doesn’t, right?! They usually appear on the breakfast menu around the holidays. Though, before I started baking, they were the cinnamon rolls that came in the popping tube. You know the ones.
These Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Syrup Glaze are better. And yes, I am biased. 🙂
- Homemade is always better
- Soft, enriched dough
- Cinnamon sugar filling (make it refined-sugar free by using coconut sugar)
- Maple syrup glaze
Are They Cinnamon Rolls or Cinnamon Buns
I have come across a couple of different names for these delightful breakfast treats. Until just recently, I thought they were just cinnamon rolls.
Now that I have become slightly addicted to British Baking Shows, I see British bakers refer to them as ‘buns‘. Regardless of what they are called, the preparation is the same. The dough always starts as an enriched dough that is soft and risen with yeast.
The only difference I have found in researching, and watching, different recipes – the filling flavors and glaze. Which, why not make it your own? Once you have the base dough recipe, the flavor varieties is somewhat endless!
What Is Enriched Dough
So, I said the words enriched dough and you may be wondering what the heck is an enriched dough? Unlike other yeast breads like a sandwich loaf, or French bread, an enriched dough has added ingredients that make is soft and tender. Perfect for sweeter bread recipes like cinnamon rolls.
Added ingredients in enriched dough
Challah and Brioche are other types of enriched dough. Cinnamon rolls are traditionally made with Brioche dough. The difference between this recipe and a Brioche recipe is that Brioche takes longer to knead, and it should be proofed overnight.
I have every intention of trying to make Brioche, but I have yet to get in the mental space for the time it takes to make it. Anyway, enough about Brioche …
Cinnamon Roll Filling
A traditional cinnamon roll has a cinnamon sugar filling. We are not deviating from that for this recipe. However, I have provided an option for a refined-sugar free version.
Coconut sugar instead of regular granulated sugar.
I find that coconut sugar does not taste like coconut. It has a more of a rich, almost cinnamon-spicy flavor. Which makes it a perfect replacement in a cinnamon sugar filling.
The filling for these Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Syrup Glaze is super easy:
- Coconut sugar
- Ground cinnamon
- Melted butter
And because these are your Cinnamon Rolls, you can add a variety of other flavors, spices, extras. How about trying a fruit flavored cinnamon roll like these Strawberry and Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls!?
Maple Syrup Cinnamon Roll Glaze
Staying on the refined sugar-free train, the glaze for these cinnamon rolls is sweetened with maple syrup. And why not? Maple syrup is an ideal breakfast accompaniment, and instead of pouring it over a stack of pancakes, you’re pouring it over a tray of cinnamon rolls. Seems logical.
To give the glaze structure, we use a bit of cream cheese to thicken it up and add another layer of flavor.
Tips For Making Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Syrup Glaze
- Warm water and warm milk – Using warm liquid helps the yeast work faster. Meaning it won’t take hours and hours for the dough to proof.
- A little sprinkle of sugar – Some bakers will sprinkle a little sugar over the yeast while it is proofing (becoming foamy and creamy). Some do not. I have tried both and have not experienced a noticeable difference. The sugar feeds the yeast, which speeds up its proof process. Feel free to experiment with this.
- Use a stand-mixer to mix the dough – If you have one, of course. Mixing the soft and sticky dough is easier with the help of a mixer. If you don’t have a mixer, you can certainly make the dough by hand. It will just require a little more elbow grease.
- Knead the dough by hand, or in the mixer – While I like to mix the dough in a mixer, I do prefer to knead the dough by hand. This is totally personal preference. I like to knead dough by hand because it is gratifying.
- Sugar – Feel free to swap in regular granulated white sugar for the coconut sugar. Either will still result in perfectly soft and delicious cinnamon rolls.
- Bake time – Different ovens, and altitudes, may require different bake times. Start checking the rolls at 25 minutes. If the centers still look doughy, you can cover the pan loosely with aluminum foil so the tops don’t overbake, and bake a few minutes longer.
- Shelf life – Much like any homemade bread, these cinnamon rolls are best enjoyed the day they are baked. If they sit much longer than a day, they can quickly become stale.
More Recipes For Breakfast Baked Goods
- Homemade Bagels
- Homemade Flaky Croissants
- Strawberry and Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls
- Orange and Almond Breakfast Scones
- Quick and Easy Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits
Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Syrup Glaze
- 2 and 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup water, warm
- 1 cup milk, warm (2% or whole milk)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature (plus 1 tablespoon, melted)
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 3 tablespoons coconut sugar (or granulated sugar)
- 4-5 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup coconut sugar (or granulated sugar)
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly (plus 2 tablespoons, softened)
Maple Syrup Glaze
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 ounce cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons milk, any kind
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- pinch salt
- Warm Water and Warm Milk – The temperature should be like warm bath water. If you have a thermometer, around 110F degrees.
- In the mixing bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Let the yeast sit for 5-10 minutes, or until it becomes foamy and creamy. Note – you can sprinkle a little granulated sugar over the yeast to get it to proof faster. Totally optional.
- Add the milk, butter, egg, sugar, 4 cups of flour, and salt. Beat on medium speed until the dough is smooth. If needed, add in the remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. The dough should be soft, but still sticky, and form a ball on the dough hook.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 6-8 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Brush all sides of a large bowl with the melted butter. Place the dough in the bowl, turning it to make sure all sides are covered with the melted butter. Cover with plastic wrap and a dry kitchen towel and place in a warm place to proof – for 60 – 90 minutes, or until the dough has doubled in size.
- While the dough is proofing – Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish. Set aside. Next, make the filling.
- In a small bowl, combine the coconut sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter for the filling.
- When the dough is done proofing, punch it down to release the air. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and roll into an 12×18-inch rectangle.
- Take the softened 2 tablespoons of butter and spread all over the rolled dough with your fingers. Then sprinkle on the cinnamon sugar filling evenly, leaving about 1/2 inch around the edges.
- Roll up the dough, starting with the long side at the top. Pinch the finished seam to seal the roll. Using a sharp knife, cut the ends off, then cut the remaining roll into 12 rolls.
- Place the rolls in the prepared baking pan. Cover with a dry kitchen towel and let proof again until they have doubled in size – about 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350F degrees and adjust the oven rack to the middle position.
- When the rolls are done with their second rise, bake for 25 – 28 minutes, or until golden brown. Note – If cinnamon roll tops appear to be baking faster than the center of the rolls, cover the pan loosely with a piece of aluminum foil.
- While the rolls are baking, prepare the glaze. In a small bowl, add the maple syrup, cream cheese, milk, melted butter, and salt. Whisk until fully mixed and smooth. Cover and set in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
- Cool the rolls slightly in the pan on a wire rack, then drizzle the glaze over the top and serve warm. Enjoy!
about the author ...
I'm Erin and I'm all about desserts - and a little bit of butter!
I've tested, written, and photographed hundreds of recipes on my website. Here you'll find the tastiest small batch gluten free and traditional desserts - all homemade, all simple, and all for you!