grannie geek, gooey cinnamon raisin rolls

My husband loves cinnamon rolls.  I mean, he’s got it bad.  And after a look at what I turned out, who could blame him?

A while back, I went through some of my magazines, and the Food Network Magazine, May 2013, was left on the top of the pile.  “That’s what I want!,” Richard exclaimed.  “And I want lots of cinnamon and raisins!”  OK, OK – I got the message.

In this particular issue of FNM was a recipe for Basic Sweet Roll Dough.  It’s simple to make and so versatile.  From Mexican Chocolate Loaf to Poppy Seed Lemon Twists to Raspberry Danish Wreath, there’s lots and lots you can do.  So easy to work with, too.  Check out the website, if you don’t already have this issue in the stacks of magazines next to your bed or next to your family room chair, like me.  Did I mention I am moving?  The reason I was going through my stacks – I can’t get rid of them.  I have ten years worth of Martha Stewart Living magazines – I have no idea what to do.  Anyway, I digress . . .

grannie geek, gooey cinnamon raisin rolls dough

Off I went.  And when the dough finished mixing and rising and rising again, this is what I ended up with.  Not a perfect rectangle, and I probably rolled it somewhat thinner than recommended, but I wanted lots of layers to hold all those raisins, cinnamon and sugar.  It’s supposed to be a 10″ x 18″ rectangle.  I didn’t need a lot of flour for the counter – another reason I love this dough.

grannie geek, gooey raisin cinnamon rolls, sugar and raisins

I softened two sticks of butter in the microwave, just until they were spreadable.  I don’t completely melt the butter, because it’s messy.  This way none of the buttery goodness ends up on the counter.  The golden goodness encases all of the other goodies inside – just what it is meant to do.  Brown sugar and white sugar are mixed with cinnamon, a pinch of nutmeg, and sprinkled on top of the butter, followed by raisins.  Now, I used golden raisins, because I didn’t have regular raisins in my cupboard.  I actually think the rolls turned out better – golden raisins are sweeter.  Leave about an inch of space at the end of the roll, so you can pinch the seam.

grannie geek, gooey cinnamon raisin rolls, half roll

Halfway done!  Roll, baby, roll.  Gently, so the filling doesn’t squeeze out the ends.

grannie geek, goes cinnamon raisin rolls, finished roll

Beautiful!  Pinch the seam closed, and tuck in the ends.  You’re all set to slice into lovely little rolls.

grannie geek, gooey cinnamon raisin rolls, cut

Put the roll seam side down on the cutting surface.I don’t like to measure stuff like this, but I made an exception in this case to make sure the rolls are a nice uniform size, 1 1/2″ thick. Place each roll cut side down in the prepared baking pan.  FNM suggests you use dental floss to cut the rolls. But, if there’s one way my husband demonstrates his love for me (and there are many), he keeps my knives sharp, very sharp.  I was able to gently make the cuts without mashing down and smearing the filling.  Remember that other 1/2 stick of butter?  I slathered it all over the inside of the pan.  Hopefully, any sugar oozing out during baking will caramelize.

grannie geek, gooey cinnamon raisin rolls, last rise

This is rather a horrific photo.  I’m showing off my Air Bake 9″x13″ pan that has a high domed lid.  For the last rise, the rolls are nestled in their well-buttered vessel, covered with plastic wrap and the plastic lid.  No drafty places here, no ma’am.

grannie geek, gooey cinnamon raisin rolls, baked

One hour more to puff up, into the oven, and 25 minutes later, this is the finished result.  Let the rolls cool.  Then generously drizzle a simple glaze made of more butter, powdered sugar, milk and vanilla.  Richard is well loved – a glass of milk or a hot cup of coffee or tea. Out of this world good!

For the final rise, I imagine you could cover the rolls, put them in the refrigerator overnight, and bake the rolls in the morning.  Just be sure to bring the pan and rolls up to room temperature before baking.  Also, I used more sugar and added raisins to the FNM recipe.

Gooey Cinnamon Raisin Rolls
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Soft and gooey cinnamon rolls sweetened with sugar and golden raisins. Great for a breakfast treat or snack.
Recipe type: Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: American
Serves: 12
  • 1 recipe Basic Sweet Roll Dough
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened but not melted
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, ground or grated
  • ½ - 1 cup golden raisins
  • For The Vanilla Glaze
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons milk
  • ½ - 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  1. Butter a 9" x 13" pan with ½ stick of softened butter. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the sugars, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.
  3. Spread the soft butter over the top of the dough, leaving ½" space on the sides, and 1" space at one end of the dough.
  4. Sprinkle the sugar/cinnamon mixture evenly over the top of the butter.
  5. Sprinkle with raisins.
  6. Begin to roll the dough into a tube, gently so you don't stretch the dough and the filling doesn't spill out the sides. When done, pinch the long side of the dough tube to seal, and pinch and fold over the ends.
  7. Using a sharp knife or a string of dental floss, cut the rolls into 1½" pieces. Put the cut side of the roll into the buttered baking pan.
  8. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Allow to rise in a warm place, until the rolls are puffy, fill the baking pan, and just come to the top of the pan. (About one hour)
  9. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  10. Bake for 25 minutes, until the tops are golden brown.
  11. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool for 10 minutes. When cool, drizzle with vanilla glaze.
  12. Serve
Gooey Cinnamon Raisin Rolls are excellent reheated in the microwave for 20-25 seconds.

Unfrosted, baked rolls may be stored in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.

(Slightly adapted from Classic Cinnamon Rolls, Food Network Magazine, May, 2013)
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 12

Basic Sweet Roll Dough
Prep time
Total time
A simple and easy to work with sweet roll dough that can be transformed into a variety of baked products. Basic Sweet Roll Dough
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ½ cup water
  • 3 teaspoons active dry yeast, or one packet
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, slightly melted
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, grated or ground
  1. Warn the water and milk in a saucepan over low heat or in the microwave until the temperature reaches 100 to 110 degrees F. Remove from heat source, and sprinkle in a pinch of sugar. Stir to dissolve and add the yeast. Stir to dissolve. Let rest for 5-10 minutes, until the mixture has risen and is foamy.
  2. Whisk the melted butter, egg yolk, and vanilla into the yeast mixture until combined.
  3. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, add the flour, remaining sugar, salt and nutmeg. Stir the dry ingredients until combined.
  4. Add the yeast mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon, until a thick and slightly sticky dough is formed.
  5. You can either turn the dough out onto a floured board, and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. Or you can use your stand mixer and dough hook to knead the dough (I used the later method and added more flour by Tablespoons until the dough was smooth and elastic. Not much more flour, though, maybe 2-3 Tablespoonful. Total machine kneading time is 6 minutes or so.)
  6. Form the dough into a ball. Butter a large bowl, and place the dough inside, making sure the entire surface of the dough is coated lightly with butter.
  7. Cover the dough with plastic wrap. Put in a warm place to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour 15 minutes.
  8. Turn the dough out, and briefly knead again to release air bubbles. Reform into a ball, and return to the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap.
  9. Note: At this point according to FNM, you can put the dough in the refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight, then use it to make any roll or danish you wish. This is a better way, if you want to delay baking until the morning.
  10. I left the dough at room temperature for a second rise (about an hour), and used it immediately.
You can roll out the finished dough or form it into balls to make a variety of sweet rolls. I turned it into Gooey Cinnamon Raisin Rolls. The recipe can be found here.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 12