I took these dreamy cinnamon rolls to our school's Dessert Auction last year and the unassuming rolls received topped compliments from the family that purchased them. The son of the family reported to my son that the whole family agreed that they were the best they'd ever had. That is what I thought the first time I tried them as well. The secret is in the vanilla pudding and the divine cream cheese frosting.
Vanilla Pudding Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting
originally from Mel's Kitchen Cafe
½ cup warm water
2 tablespoons active dry yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
3 ½ ounce package instant vanilla pudding
½ cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
6+ cups flour
1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
2 cups brown sugar
4 teaspoons cinnamon
8 ounces cream cheese
½ cup butter, softened to room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups confectioner’s sugar
2-3 tablespoons milk
1. Combine water, yeast and sugar. Stir until dissolved. Set aside.
2. In large bowl, take pudding mix and prepare according to package directions. Add butter, eggs and salt. Mix well. Then add yeast mixture. Blend.
3. Gradually add flour; knead until smooth. It should be very soft but not sticky. Place in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled.
4. Roll out on floured board to 34 X 21 inches in size. Take 1 cup soft butter and spread over surface. In bowl, mix 2 cups brown sugar and 4 teaspoons cinnamon. Sprinkle over the top. Roll up very tightly. With knife put a notch every 1 1/2 inches. Cut with thread or serrated knife.
5. Place on lightly greased cookie sheet 1 inch apart. Cover and let rise until double again.
6. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Remove when they start to turn golden (don’t overbake).
7. Frost warm rolls with cream cheese frosting (combine butter and cream cheese and mix well, then add vanilla and sugar and mix again, then add milk for desired consistency).
Makes about 24 very large rolls.