Guys, I truly believe this! My dad’s birthday is today. In all the world I couldn’t have asked for a better daddy! I know a lot of people say that, but gosh it’s true. I’m sitting here writing this while watching last night’s Dancing with the Stars which was a turning point in all their lives. I don’t know if the tears streaming down my face are because of my daddy or those stories… Truthfully it could be both. My daddy is the absolute best daddy a girl could have. I’ve always been a daddy’s girl. And I just want to wish my daddy the absolute best day he could possibly have.
So as most of you know… or maybe you don’t so I’ll tell you now… I’ve spent this year falling back in love with making cakes. Beautiful cakes. Cakes for every occasion I can. So of course, my dad’s birthday would be no different. I went through a lot of different recipes trying to find the absolute BEST recipe for my dad. That’s when I stumbled across a recipe for a Birthday Cinnamon Roll Cake. WHAT? I should inform you now that my dad loves cinnamon rolls so it’s perfect, right?
Cinnamon Roll Birthday Cake
It only seems fitting to make my dad a cinnamon roll birthday cake, right? Tbug was here this weekend so she said she’d help me… but then Abug told her she couldn’t. It was quite the comical moment around the house Saturday morning. Listening to the two of them argue about if Tbug would get to help or not. Now, here’s where I mention that they both helped! I didn’t have to do it all by myself.
When it comes to my absolute favorite Cinnamon roll recipe, that would be Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls… but I have to say, this was pretty darn close. This recipe did something that I like to do when it comes to Pioneer Woman’s recipe… it used very softened butter as opposed to melted butter. Melted butter never works out well for me, but this was perfect. It was also another thing that hubby and I do when we make PW’s cinnamon rolls, it used a combination of sugar and brown sugar in the filling. Something he and I have done for a while now. It almost felt like home.
Now… finding a space in the kitchen where I could roll the dough to a 20×14 inch rectangle was a bit difficult. As you can see, this is tiled counter so I put down parchment paper to help try and keep some of those cracks/crevices out and it didn’t work like I really hoped, but it was okay. The parchment paper kept getting crinkled under the dough when it would spring back to the center. I was getting a little frustrated. But I made it work. My other problem is getting a perfect rectangle. I’ve seen people do it, but not me usually, sadly!
Because I didn’t have a perfect rectangle, it made the cinnamon roll cake dome bad! It was almost comical. Now, like any cinnamon roll dough, it had to rise before I rolled it out. I put it in the oven just to avoid a breeze. That was all fine and dandy until I needed the oven, so I moved it up to the microwave. Then I needed the microwave but I didn’t want to pull the dough back out so I used the stove for warming up what I needed for another recipe.
When it came to the next rising process, I put cling wrap over it and then placed a towel over that. I figured that would help with any draft that might hit it. Yes, it’s still warm outside, but with the AC on… I didn’t want to take chances. That’s what you get when you do breads that rise. Finally, I never did make the icing for it. I wanted to, but finding the time just didn’t seem to work. Plus, when it baked, it looked like this. Sad, right? It doesn’t matter, it still tasted awesome! And I would definitely bake it in a springform pan! I didn’t have a 9″ so I used an 8″ since I needed my 10″ for the other recipe I was doing Saturday (mentioned because of the microwave/oven debacle).
- Don’t forget the butter. I did that and worked it in after the dough had risen. It was perfectly fine.
- An 8″ Springform pan works, it just raises a little over the sides. No problem.
- My Parchment paper was 15″ wide and about 24″ long so it helped in gauging how far to roll the dough.
- Use flour on the parchment paper and it helps it from scrunching up as bad.
- It’s always more fun to have help in the kitchen.
- The icing will make it better, but don’t worry if you forget it… it’s not the end of the world.
- ½ cup warm water, 110˚F
- 2¼ tsp active dry yeast
- 1 tsp + ¼ cup sugar
- ½ cup whole milk, room temp
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 4 cups AP flour
- 5 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- Cinnamon Sugar Filling:
- ⅓ cup salted butter, softened
- ⅓ cup sugar
- ⅓ cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- Cream cheese icing (optional ;)):
- 4 oz cream cheese, cold
- ¼ cup butter, softened
- 1½ cup powdered sugar
- pinch of sea salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- confetti sprinkles, optional
- Dough: Sprinkle yeast over warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add 1 tsp sugar, mix together and allow to sit for about 5-7 minutes.
- Add remaining ¼ cup sugar, milk, egg, egg yolk, and salt. Whisk until the eggs are thoroughly combined. Then add 2 cups of the flour to the bowl. Using a hook attachment, mix the dough together. On low speed add another cup of flour.
- Continue with the mixer on low speed, adding softened butter a tablespoon at a time. Add the remaining cup of flour and knead until the dough is smooth and no longer sticks to the side of the bowl. If the dough is still too sticky, add additional flour a tablespoon at a time. Pull the dough out of the bowl and knead a few times by hand.
- In a bowl, add a little oil, then place dough in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a towel and allow to rise for 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in volume.
- Punch the dough down. Move to a lightly floured surface and roll dough into a 14x20 inch rectangle.
- Cinnamon Sugar Filling: Spread the softened butter all over the surface of the dough. In a bowl, mix together the sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. Sprinkle filling over the buttered dough surface.
- Using a ruler and a sharp knife or pizza wheel, cut into 2¼ inch x 20-inch horizontal strips. Roll one strip up as you would do with a cinnamon roll. With the end, place the next strip and roll up the next roll. Do this with remaining strips until all strips are rolled up into one giant roll.
- Place the giant cinnamon roll in an 8" or 9" springform pan. Cover with plastic or a kitchen towel and allow the dough to rest 45 minutes or until the dough has risen and expanded.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove plastic wrap and/or towel. Bake for 20 minutes, then rotate the pan. At this time, the dough will have started to brown on the top, place a piece of aluminum foil over the top and rotate the cinnamon roll. Continue to bake 20 more minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 185˚F. Allow cooling for 10 minutes before unmolding Springform Pan.
- For the Icing: Beat together the cream cheese and the butter until smooth. Add powdered sugar, salt, and vanilla. Continue to beat until smooth and thickened. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. Spread icing over warm cinnamon roll cake. Top with confetti sprinkles.