Easy, Fluffy, Yummy Cinnamon Rolls Recipe For Amateur Bakers : Secret Ingredient ===> Mashed Potatoes!

Fluffy cinnamon rolls fresh out of the oven, drizzled with some butter cream cheese frosting

Fluffy cinnamon rolls that I made fresh out of the oven, drizzled with some butter cream cheese frosting

Hi there, dear friends 😀

I am not very good at baking at all – heheh, please have a look  my ugly but yummy first Sourdough Bread that I had made a few weeks ago and you will get the idea 😳  !

Most of my recipes here are for savoury  foods! My past baking attempts had usually resulted in some hard buns  and dense breads and as a result, I am not very confident at all in following any baking recipes. 

So, if I can make these super fluffy and yummy cinnamon rolls with my secret ingredient, you can definitely do so, too, and you will be able to impress your family and friends with your new found “baking skills” LOL  !

There are a few reasons why we can sometimes fail at following other people’s successful bread recipes  💡   ===>

1) type and brand of flours used – the flours that we have in Malaysia are very different from those in the US, Europe and Australia. My friend baked really good oatmeal cookies when she was staying in Canada, but when she used the same recipe here in Malaysia, her oatmeal cookies were not as tasty and were smaller in size. 

2) measuring cups’ sizes – I like the convenient US method of using cups to measure ingredients in baking, instead of using measuring scales. However, I had just learned from my daughter that my set of measuring cups are according to Australian standards.

But that is okay…  I will let you know below how to look at your dough to adjust the amount of flour to get the right consistency 💡 ! 

3) weather – our Malaysian weather is really hot and humid, causing yeasts to act wildly, unlike the cool, temperate, and drier weather in some countries.  So, if an American recipe requires the bread dough to proof for 12 hours to double in size for a sourdough bread recipe – in Malaysia, that dough can double in just 2 hours! Our high humidity weather can also require more flour to be used. 

Hence, this cinnamon roll recipe here is suitable for use in areas that have hot and humid climates!  

Another problem I had was whilst my breads were soft (but not fully) on the day that I had baked them, they were hard on the following day. I had tried the Chinese (Japanese?) “Tangzhong Method” of adding a roux of flour and water to the bread dough but I didn’t like the tedious step of having to calculate the flour/water ratios. 

So, while reading all over the Internet for ways to make fluffy bread naturally (without using wheat gluten), I stumbled onto the use of adding dried potato flakes to create fluffy, soft breads that lasts for days. I believed the potato ingredient was Amish in origin? 

Anyway, I had some steamed potatoes leftover from last night’s homemade Swedish Meatballs & Potatoes (I will post the recipe shortly ) and so,  I adjusted some cinnamon rolls recipes to incorporate mashed potato and yes, the potato worked in creating a super fluffy and soft cinnamon roll! 😀 

I had used a bread machine to knead the dough for me, but you can use a stand mixer with dough hooks, or food processor, or knead the dough by hands (this will take about 10 to 15 minutes for a non-professional baker like me.) 

Here’s the recipe ===> 

Fluffy Potato Cinnamon Rolls

(makes 14 to 15 rolls)

Ingredients for Dough  :

3 teaspoons Instant Active Dry Yeast (I use Mauripan brand)

1/4 cup warm filtered or bottled water

1 cup warm full cream milk (250 ml) (I used Australian Farmhouse)

2 large eggs, beaten lightly

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I made some earlier by soaking some vanilla beans in vodka for 1 month)

1/2 teaspoon sea salt (I used pink Himalaya salt)

1/2 cup brown sugar (you can use white sugar, too…I just prefer brown)

1/2 cup mashed cooked potato 

5 cups  high protein or bread flour  (I used organic, unbleached type – available at Jaya Grocer, Village Grocer, Cold Storage supermarkets)

Method :-

1) mix yeast with warm water in the bread pan or mixing/food processor bowl

2) add the rest of the ingredients in the order as shown above

3) if using bread machine, set menu to “Dough” function

4) if using stand mixer or food processor, mix until dough comes together and becomes almost like a ball. I said “almost” because the dough consistency may be very moist..

*** Note –  if dough is like a thick batter, then add 1 tablespoon of extra flour at a time, until an almost “ball shape” is obtained.  

*** Test the dough by touching it with your finger, it should be just a little sticky and the ball collapses a little at the bottom.

5) leave aside to proof in a covered bowl for 2 hours – dough will more than doubled in size. 

6) meanwhile……  get your cinnamon roll filling ingredients ready. You will need :-

  1. 1/2 cup softened butter (I used Danish butter.  SCS is good, too)
  2. 5 tablespoons of cinnamon powder (I used McCormick’s brand)
  3. 1 cup brown sugar (you can use white, too)
  4. 1 tablespoon cornstarch

…… and grease your baking tins, with butter. 

…… and preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celcius

7) Amply flour your working counter top adequately – larger than the size of 24 inches by 15 inches that the dough will be rolled out into

8) drop the dough gently onto the work surface. It should be pliable and elastic by now.

9) dust your hand with flour and gently press the dough into a rectangle shape. 

10) with a rolling pin, gently roll dough into a rectangle size of  24 inches by 15 inches..with the longer side nearest to you.

11) leaving a 1/2 inch margin from the 4 edges of the dough, brush dough with softened butter

12) mix cinnamon powder, sugar and cornstarch thoroughly in a bowl – the cornstarch is to prevent the filling from becoming runny during baking

13) it is easier to use your hand to sprinkle the cinnamon powder sugar evenly over the buttered area of the dough

14) starting from your end, roll the dough gently away from you with both hands into a log shape.

15) trim off the right uneven end of the dough log  (if you are right-handed).

16) start from the right side of the rolled dough – using a ruler or measuring tape as a guide, use a sharp knife to make a little cut to mark each cinnamon roll into  1 1/2 inches apart. 

17) use a serrated bread knife (they said a piece of mouth floss or thick thread will do a better job, but I just stuck with the bread knife ) to cut the dough at the marked points and place them in the prepared baking pans or trays. 

*** It is okay, DON’T WORRY  if your cut out cinnamon rolls do not look perfect or the cinnamon filling does not siwrl as pretty as you want it – just use your fingers to gently pinch the dough into nicer circles or shapes. The dough will expand further and your frosting is going to cover the imperfections ! 😎   

You can have the cinnamon rolls touch each other after baking, i.e. you pull apart the rolls before eating – in this case, place the rolls about 1 inch apart.  

*** If you prefer individual rolls, then place them 2 to 3  inches apart

*** Or, you can make a combination of both like I did – the individual rolls have a more chewy texture, due to more “skin” areas 😉 

18) put aside trays and pans to proof dough for another1 hour – the rolls will likely double in just 1/2 an hour, but I left mine for 1 hour and the rolls just kept getting larger and fluffier! 

19) meanwhile…..prepare the frosting for the cinnamon rolls. You will need ===>

  1. 2 ounces cream cheese
  2. 1/4 cup softened butter
  3. 1 cup confectioner’s or icing sugar

Combined all those ingredients until a frosting consistency is obtained. If you like a more runny frosting, add 1 tablespoon of milk. If you find the frosting is too thick, you can add more butter and/or milk. 

*** Note – you can double the amount of frosting if you love lots of frosting on your cinnamon rolls! 😀  

20) bake your cinnamon rolls until golden brown on top for  ===>

  • 15 minutes, if your rolls are individual stand alone rolls
  • 20 minutes, if your rolls are touching each other but in a small pan, e.g. like my 8 X 8 inch pan in picture above
  • 25 minutes, if you are using a 13 X 9 inch pan, and the pull-apart rolls are touching each other

21) put the frosting right away when the cinnamon rolls are done baking and are still hot

Enjoy your cinnamon rolls while they are still hot from the oven! Use your fingers to tear apart the rolls and feel the fluffy texture of the rolls. They are so yummy! I had difficulty stopping at eating just one roll…in fact, as I was typing this post, I have sneaked back into the kitchen and helped myself to more bites of cinnamon roll 😆  !

Hope you will have fun making and eating your homemade cinnamon rolls, like I did !

With best wishes,

choesf 😀 

*** Added on 21 October, 2013 – I had 3 cinnamon rolls leftover from yesterday. I ate one for breakfast and found it to be still as moist, fluffy, soft and yummy like the day before! So, this recipe works! 😀 


14 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    li said,

    I used to make hard breads until I attended baking classes. Some tips:
    *the bread dough had to be kneaded into window pane stage to develop the gluten. I used a heavy duty mixer (e.g Spar or kitchen aid)
    takes about 10 mins to knead. Hand kneading will take a little longer to develop the gluten.
    * Use a digital measuring scale to get more accurate measurement.
    *Know the consistency of the dough usually soft and slightly tacky & moist. Do not add too much flour while kneading or it will be tough.
    *Prove the dough till about double in size but do not overproof or it will colapse.

    This blogger has many good soft bread recipes that I’ve tried and were successful

    Windowpane test


    Don’t give up on your baking adventures, after several attempts you’ll discover how to bake successfully.


    • 2

      Hi there, dear li 😀

      Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful baking tips here with me – I am so encouraged to go further in my baking adventure already! 😀

      Yesterday, I made my very first really soft and fluffy and yummy Fruit & Nut Wholemeal Sourdough Bread – using the same POTATO method as above. It was the first time that I kneaded bread in my life as before, I had relied on the bread machine.

      I was experimenting with the addition of potato into my sourdough bread recipe and had to adjust the flour, trying my best to “feel the dough” as I went along …Phew! Am I glad I finally a loaf of super soft wholemeal sourdough bread! Heheh, I have 2 loaves of really dense sourdough breads sitting in the freezer right now, hoping to turn them into some bread pudding shortly 😳 .

      After yesterday’s achievements, I can now venture further into baking those goodies that I have always wanted to try making at home! Probably pretzels and bagels… 😆

      Do have a lovely week ahead!

      With best wishes,

      choesf 😀


  2. 3

    […] Added on 21 October, 2013 ===> Easy, Fluffy, Yummy Cinnamon Rolls Recipe For Beginners – Se… […]


  3. 4

    sweetrosie said,

    Brilliant! Too good not to share so I’m reblogging right now.


  4. 5

    sweetrosie said,

    Reblogged this on sweetrosie and commented:
    I just love this lovely bloggers extra special, secret ingredient! I HAVE to make these 🙂


    • 6

      Hi there, dear sweetrosie 😀

      Thank you for reblogging this recipe! I intentionally kept one cinnamon roll for trying out after dinner yesterday (22 October) – whilst the outer part of the roll was a bit dry…the inner portion of the roll was quite moist. Microwaving the roll for 20 seconds help to make it deliciously soft and warm again! 😉

      With best wishes,

      choesf 😀


  5. 7

    Joyce said,

    Hi, thx for the wonderful recipe, I half the above quantity cos I’m baking this bread for the very first time. The baked cinnamon rolls were one of the best my 4 children and hubby have ever eaten. They are begging for more. Yummy…thx you so much for sharing:)


    • 8

      Hi there, dear Joyce 😀

      Thank you for posting your feedback here – I am very glad that your first homemade cinnamon rolls were a success! 😀

      It is a surprise that our homemade cinnamon rolls can taste so good, yes? I made a second batch for my husband to bring to office for his colleagues to have for breakfast. Some of his colleagues are from Europe and they said my cinnamon rolls were the best they had in their whole life! 😆

      I froze some extra cinnamon rolls (immediately after cutting the dough into slices and before second proofing) for some quick night-time cravings for desserts – I brought them to room temperature and let them raise a bit more (altogether about an hour). Because I didn’t have any more cream cheese, I used some peanut butter and mixed that with icing sugar – a little water was added (by teaspoons) to make the frosting easier to spread onto the baked rolls. The peanut icing/frosting was very delicious, too! Next time, I intend to add walnuts and raisins together with the cinnamon sugar filling.

      Oh, for the second time I made the cinnamon rolls – I made a double batch of the cream cheese frosting so that everyone has a more than satisfied amount of frosting on their roll. 😆

      Do have a wonderful weekend!

      With best wishes,

      choesf 😀


  6. 9

    Lily Chua said,

    Hi what is softened powder you used for the frosting? I am from Singapore


    • 10

      Hi there, dear Lily 😀

      I used icing sugar mixed with cream cheese (and a little water if you want a more runny frosting)…and a different one not shown in picture ===> icing sugar, peanut butter and a little water. 💡

      Happy Holidays & Merry Christmas!

      With best wishes,

      choesf 😀


  7. 11

    Cynthia said,

    Hi this recipe looks awesome. I have some ingredients and can’t wait to try baking this. Just one question, what is softened powder? Thanks


    • 12

      Hi there, dear Cynthia 😀

      Thank you for pointing out the “softened powder” – it was a typo 😳 and it should be softened “butter”. I had edited it already. 😉

      Hope you enjoy the cinnamon rolls!

      With best wishes,

      choesf 😀


  8. 13

    Cyan said,

    Hi, juz wanna clarify something about this recipe…

    1. What do u meant by warm water? Is it in room tempt or do I have to heat up water to certain tempt?

    Kinda paranoid on bread making as I have heaps of experiences that my bread simply turn out as hard as rocks.


    • 14

      Hi there, dear Cyan 😀

      Yes, I can understand your worries over breadmaking…I am not good at baking at all and if I can make these cinnamon buns…so can you! 😉

      Warm water is water that is warm to your touch…you can microwave the water until it is warm to touch…just a few seconds. I have found out from my last few bread making experiences – for the second rise of the dough right before baking, if you leave them longer than the time mentioned in the recipe, the dough will rise super high and fluffy. I usually increase the dough proofing time by 50% of the duration. 💡

      Have fun making and eating these cinnamon rolls!

      With best wishes,

      choesf 😀

      P.S. The second time I made these rolls, I didn’t use the potato ingredient and the rolls, although they were soft and fluffy still, they were not as good as these here 😀


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