Makes 12 rolls
For the Dough:
1 cup warm whole milk (about 115°F)
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast (1 packet)
2 large eggs
1/3 cup unsalted butter, lightly melted
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
For the Filling:
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
3 tablespoons cinnamon
1/2 cup whole milk (to pour over proofed rolls)
For the Frosting:
1 package (8 ounces cream cheese), softened
1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Pinch of fine salt
Pour the warm milk in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast overtop. Add the eggs, butter, salt and sugar. Add the flour and mix using the beater blade just until the ingredients are barely combined. Allow the mixture to rest for 5 minutes so the flour has time to soak up the liquids. Scrape the dough off the beater blade and switch to the dough hook and knead the dough on medium speed. Knead for 5-7 minutes or until the dough is elastic and smooth. (The dough should be tacky and will still be sticking to the sides of the bowl).
Spray a large bowl with cooking spray (or use the butter wrapping). Using a rubber spatula remove the dough from the mixer bowl and place it in the greased bowl. Cover the bowl with a towel or plastic wrap. Set the bowl in a warm place and allow the dough to rise until double(I like to turn on the oven to the lowest setting for 1-2 minutes. Then turn off the oven and place the dough to rise in there). It normally takes about 30-60 minutes for the dough to rise. Do not allow the dough to rise too much or your cinnamon rolls will be too airy.
While the dough is rising, prepare the cinnamon filling. In a medium bowl, mix the melted butter, brown sugar and cinnamon, with a fork until well combined. Set aside. Sprinkle a pastry mat generously with flour. Turn out the proofed dough onto the pastry mat and sprinkle the top of the with additional flour.
Flour a large rolling pin and roll the dough evenly to about a 24×15" rectangle. (the size of the rectangle can vary… it does not have to be exact!) Using an offset spatula smooth the cinnamon filling evenly over the dough. Starting on the long end, roll the dough up tightly like a jelly roll. Using a piece of kitchen twine wrap around the dough and pull to cut (this keeps the slices from smashing)
Cut 12 2” slices and place in a greased 9×13 baking pan. Cover the pan with a towel or plastic wrap and allow the rolls to rise for 20-40 minutes or until nearly double.
Preheat the oven to 375°. Warm the milk until it's a bit warmer than room temperature. Once the rolls have risen, pour the milk over the top of the rolls, allowing it to soak down and around.
Bake at 375° on the bottom rack for 20-22 minutes, until the rolls are lightly golden brown and the center rolls are cooked through. Check the rolls at 15 minutes. If they are getting too browned, cover loosely with foil for the remaining baking time.
While the rolls are cooling in the pan, prepare the cream cheese frosting. In a large bowl, combine the softened cream cheese and butter using a hand (or stand)mixer. Blend well. Add the vanilla extract and the powdered sugar. Beat until combined. Spread the frosting over the cooled rolls. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container.