Homemade Cinnamon Rolls (and a Mother’s Day recap)

The older I get, the more I realize that Mother’s Day can be bittersweet or even complicated. One one hand, I feel so blessed to be the mother of such amazing children. They have brought immeasurable amounts of joy to my life, and I am so proud of them.

On the other hand, this is my third Mother’s Day without my own mom. They just don’t get any easier. It is a strange and empty feeling to see and hear all the tributes to moms everywhere I look, and yet not be able purchase a gift, spend the day, or express the things I want to say to my own mother.

This year posed an additional challenge, because of Coronavirus chaos. We wanted to get together with as many of the kids as possible, and my mother-in-law, but we needed to find a way to do it in a safe way.

Americana Brunch

Ultimately, we decided on a “socially distanced” brunch. We set up a table, and chairs 6+ feet apart in our garage. When we planned it, I had been hoping it would be a nice day, and we could sit out in the sunshine in the driveway, but Mother Nature has been rude lately, and it was cool and windy. So instead, we sat in the garage with the doors open, but at least that gave us a wind block.

My husband ordered a pre-made brunch package from a local restaurant that is known for their big Mother’s Day brunches.

Everything was pre-made and packaged in foil containers, so all that needed to be done was pop them in the oven and heat ’em up.

Was it the same as going out for brunch on Mother’s Day? No. But I’m glad that restaurants are getting creative and offering options like this right now. It felt good to patronize a local restaurant, and for us to be able to enjoy family brunch without me having to do the cooking to pull it off!

We used these pretty pink disposable plates and napkins leftover from my daughter’s bridal shower last summer. I’m always surprised by how many options Amazon has for things like this.

Bloody Mary Kit

The restaurant also offered various add-ons for beverages, such as mimosa kits, mule kits and Bloody Mary kits, which we chose, and fully enjoyed.

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

The only thing I made for this brunch was a batch of homemade cinnamon rolls, and I was able to do most of that the evening before, and then put them in the fridge to be baked the next morning. Easy peasy.

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

Niky @ The House on Silverado
Homemade cinnamon rolls are easier to make than you think! These are soft, extra cinnamon-y and oh, so good.
Course Breakfast
Servings 12 rolls



  • tsp active dry yeast (1 pkg)
  • 1 cup milk lukewarm
  • ½ cup granulated white sugar
  • cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour


  • 1 cup brown sugar packed
  • 3 tbsp cinnamon
  • cup unsalted butter softened

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter softened
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese (2 oz) softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • tsp salt


  • Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk with a tsp of sugar (you can take a tsp out of the 1/2 cup of sugar) in a large bowl. Let it sit for about 5 minutes, until it starts to froth up.
  • To the bowl of your mixer add the sugar, butter, salt, eggs, and flour, and mix until well incorporated.
  • Pour the milk/yeast mixture over the flour mixture and using the dough hook, mix until well incorporated and the dough comes clean from the side of the bowl.
  • Place the dough into an oiled bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place about 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
  • Place the dough into an oiled bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place about 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
  • Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.
  • Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray or butter.
  • Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface, until it is approximately 16 inches long by 12 inches wide. It should be approximately 1/4 inch in thickness.
  • Spread the 1/3 cup of butter evenly over the dough, then sprinkle with the sugar evenly over the surface of the dough.
  • Working carefully, from the long edge, roll the dough down to the bottom edge.
  • Cut the dough into 1 1/2 inch slices, and place in a lightly greased baking pan. A serrated knife will make this easier. Place the cut rolls in the prepared pan. Cover with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let them rise for another 30 minutes, or until doubled in size.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the baking pan in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Watch closely, so they don't over-bake.
  • While the rolls are baking make the icing by mixing all the icing ingredients and beat well with the whip attachment of your electric mixer until fluffy and smooth.
    Cool rolls slightly, but spread generously with icing while still a bit warm.
Keyword Bread, pastry
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

A Relaxing Day

It was a good day. Yes, I didn’t set a pretty table inside the house, like I usually do. I can’t wait for those days to come again, but for now, keeping everyone safe, yet still being together is more important. Our garage party was a good compromise.

My husband surprised me with these beauties.

And my sweet and thoughtful mother-in-law showed up with this amazing succulent. The tall skinny ones in the back are called “Devil’s Spine”. 😳 I’ve never seen anything like it, but it’s so interesting! It is just starting to bloom little reddish pink flowers in some places!

My daughter and her husband sent this. Wine and coffee–two of my faves. These kids know me. 😂

Something else is still coming, according to my son, but apparently Amazon’s delayed shipping didn’t work out well in this situation. At least I still have a surprise to look forward to later!

After everyone left, we did a super easy cleanup, and then relaxed the rest of the afternoon, cuddling up with some Netflix.

We wrapped up the day with a virtual happy hour with some friends in Chicago. We don’t get to see them enough as it is, and I don’t know why it took a pandemic to make us think of catching up with them in a Google Meet. I think this is a new habit that should continue after lockdown is over. 💕

I hope you all had a wonderful day, too, even if it felt a bit different than years past.

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6 thoughts on “Homemade Cinnamon Rolls (and a Mother’s Day recap)

  1. 5 stars
    You’al had a great Mothers Day, the brunch was lovely and your Cinnamon Rolls were amazing! Hope you are having a great week. Thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday and come back to see us real soon!
    Miz Helen

  2. 5 stars
    The cinnamon buns look wonderful! Can’t wait to try them…did you use regular or quick rise yeast ? Looks like you had a wonderful Mother’s Day….good for you!

    1. Hi Ann,
      I used regular yeast, but quick rise would work fine too. I’d love to hear back from you if you try them!

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