Cinnamon Rolls with Mascarpone Frosting
Updated: Feb 21
Let me warn you in advance. These are dangerously good! Soft and fluffy dough, with a rich cinnamon filling, and the smoothest vanilla mascarpone frosting on top. You will not want to go back to a normal sugar icing after you've had these...
These cinnamon rolls take around 3 hours to make from start to finish, but you could also proof these overnight in the fridge to spread the workload. If you have a standing mixer, these babies come together with unparalleled ease. The dough hook will do all the work for you, turning this wet and sticky dough into a smooth and round ball.
I adapted a recipe from Cupcake Jemma (Crumbs and Doilies in London). I created a different frosting for the top and also tweaked a few other things in the ingredients. Mainly, I like to use a stronger bread flour to help with the gluten, I use less egg, and a combination of light and brown sugar in the filling. The method I used is similar to the original recipe, so feel free to look at the video if you are a bit lost: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNStQcegUAo&t=254s&ab_channel=CupcakeJemma
Please enjoy this mildly inappropriate pouring shot... I hope you are as childish as me and it makes you laugh. The mascarpone frosting might be the best part about this recipe if I am honest. I am thinking of other ways in which I could use it!
Cinnamon Rolls with Mascarpone Frosting
This recipe makes 9 cinnamon rolls.
For the enriched dough:
350 grams strong white bread flour
60 grams caster sugar
1 tsp salt
7 grams instant yeast*
115 ml water
65 ml semi-skimmed or whole milk
1/2 egg (30 grams)
For the cinnamon filling:
65 grams very soft butter
1.5 tbsp ground cinnamon
30 grams soft dark brown muscovado sugar
30 grams soft light brown sugar
For the mascarpone frosting:
80 grams mascarpone
80 grams icing sugar, sieved
2-4 tbsp milk
1 tsp lemon juice
3/4 tsp vanilla bean paste
Combine the milk and water and warm up in the microwave to 30 degrees Celsius (lukewarm to the touch).
Combine all the ingredients for the enriched dough in a large mixing bowl. Keep mixing until incorporated, then knead the dough on your counter for 10 minutes until smooth (warning: sticky business). If you have a standing mixer, use it! Using the dough hook attachment, mix for 9 minutes on speed 2, and then for 3 minutes on speed 4. The dough should be a smooth ball. Leave to rest for 15 minutes whilst you prepare the cinnamon filling so the gluten can relax before rolling out the dough.
Combine all the ingredients for the cinnamon filling. The mixture should be very soft and spreadable. Put it in the microwave for 10 seconds and mix if it is not soft enough to spread onto the delicate dough easily. Repeat until the mixture is very soft, but never warm it up more than 10 seconds each time, because the butter will melt too much in that case.
Create space on your work surface and flour it lightly. Then roll the dough out to a 10 inch x 17 inch rectangle (25 cm x 43 cm). If the dough keeps springing back on you, and you cannot roll it out to the size, leave it alone for 15 minutes to relax the gluten and then resume.
Spread the cinnamon filling onto the dough using a palette knife or silicone spatula, covering everything including the edges.
Roll up the dough with the longer side facing towards you. Roll it up tight so there is no air, but also don't roll it up so tight you press the dough down.
Cut into 9 even cinnamon rolls. Discard the side ends if you need, in case they end up smaller than the rest (or bake them too for a little mini cinnamon roll).
Place the cinnamon rolls with the swirl facing up in a deep baking tray lined with parchment paper. Make sure to leave 1.5cm of space around each roll, because they will expand a lot. You can choose any tray you want, round or square, but I recommend a 10 inch x 10 inch tray at least so the cinnamon rolls have enough room.
Cover the tray with a damp towel and leave to rise in a warm spot for 1-1.5 hours until doubled in size. You can also put the tray in the fridge at this point and proof overnight and bake the next morning. You know the dough has risen enough when you lightly press the dough down with your finger and it slowly jumps back up halfway (the "poke test"). If the dough springs back up immediately, they need a bit longer. If the dimple just stays where it is, the dough is overproofed, but you can 100% still bake them and they will still be delicious!
Preheat your oven to 170 degrees Celsius (conventional) or 160 degrees Celsius (fan oven) with the wire rack placed in the lower middle of the oven.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, rotating halfway through so everything colours evenly, until a beautiful golden brown colour.
Place the tray on a wire rack to let everything cool whilst you make the mascarpone frosting.
Put the mascarpone in a medium bowl and whisk to loosen up. Then add all the other ingredients and mix for 1-2 minutes until smooth and the sugar is fully incorporated. You can adjust the amount of milk according to your preference. For a thick, spreadable icing, use 2 tbsp of milk. For a pourable icing (like in the photos), use 4 tbsp of milk. I recommend adding the milk 1 tbsp at a time, and just stop when you are happy with the consistency.
Top the cinnamon rolls with half of the frosting whilst they are still warm. Reserve the rest of the frosting as extra topping when serving.
* Instant yeast is the kind of yeast you simply mix in with the flour and you don't need to activate in advance. If you only have the type of dried yeast you need to activate in advance, use the instructions on the pack and activate it in the lukewarm milk and water mixture before adding to the dough.
I recommend storing the cinnamon rolls in an airtight container or in the tray covered with plastic wrap. I do not put these in the fridge because I find it dries them out. They are best eaten on the day of baking. or one day after. If you plan on eating them later than that, I suggest freezing them to preserve the soft moistness.
I hope you try these cinnamon rolls. You won't regret it! Do let me know on Instagram (@bakingstori) when you try these <3