Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Scrumptious Secret Ingredient Cinnamon Rolls

My family has always loved cinnamon rolls.  Cinnamon rolls are often our holiday breakfast treat.  I have tried many different recipes over the years. One recipe even claimed to be just as good as Cinnabon's cinnamon rolls.  :0)  They were good, but I wasn't completely satisfied.  So, I kept looking.  Then I came across this recipe where the secret ingredient was mashed potatoes!  To my surprise, the potatoes give the cinnamon rolls a moisture that make them simply irresistible!

I found the recipe several years ago published in a newspaper.  It turns out the cinnamon rolls were the blue ribbon winner of 2008 Tones contest at the Iowa State Fair.  Here is the recipe with my own directions...

Frosted Cinnamon Rolls
Makes at least 24 rolls

1 cup mashed potatoes from 2 med. sized potatoes
1 cup warm potato water
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup hot water
2 envelopes Fleischman's Active Dry Yeast
1/2 cup warm water
2 eggs
8 1/2 - 9 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar (I often substitute for brown sugar)
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

3 cups powdered sugar
6 tablespoons butter softened
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
5 - 6 tablespoons milk


Place mashed potatoes, potato water, butter, sugar, salt and hot water in a large bowl.  Mix until the butter melts.  Let this mixture sit a while until cooled.  In a separate bowl, dissolve the yeast in the 1/2 cup of warm water.  Add the yeast mixture to the first mixture.  Now add the eggs and 2 cups of flour to the blended mixture.  Add the flour 1 cup at a time until a soft dough is formed.  Knead the dough just until smooth and elastic.  Place in a greased bowl and let rise for about 1 hour or until doubled in size.  (At this point, you may place the dough in the refrigerator to keep for days.  More on this below.)

When the dough has risen, punch the dough down, divide it in half (if you are not storing half of it in the fridge) and roll it out into a 12 x 18 rectangle.  Spread with 1/2 the butter, then the sugar/cinnamon mixture.  Roll up the dough tightly, then cut into 12-18 slices and place in a 9 x 13 pan.  Do the same for the other half of the dough.  Let the rolls rise about 30 minutes.  Preheat your oven, then bake the rolls at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.


Just this past week I tried a new trick with my cinnamon rolls.  We all know that you can store your dough in the fridge overnight and bake them the next morning, right?  Well, my problem was that I needed fresh cinnamon rolls the next weekend too!  Was there a way I could store my dough in the fridge that long?  I did some research and found that, yes, you can.  For up to 7 days!  I decided to take the risk and try it.  Low and behold, IT WORKS!!  I was so excited.  No flavor was lost, they weren't flat, they didn't taste heavy, and they were just as good as the first batch.  {All of these pictures are taken of the second batch!} Now I could have fresh baked cinnamon rolls two weekends in a row.   The best part?  I only had to make the dough once and didn't have to freeze it.  Here are a few things to note:

- Place the dough in the fridge immediately after making it (do not let it rise) and allow it to rest up to 7 days.  Make sure the bowl is sealed tight with two layers of plastic wrap.  While it is in the fridge it will rise, but not very much.

- After the 7 days (or sooner) remove the dough from the fridge and roll it out.  Follow all the normal directions, just make sure to let the rolls rise for about 30 minutes before baking.

- Because I wanted to bake my rolls the next morning, I rolled them out and put them in the pan, then I put them back in the fridge.  The next morning before I baked them, I let them warm up about 30 minutes at room temperature.

They turned out great!  I am so glad I learned a new trick!


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  1. OMG I love that you put potatoes in there. Holy cow, I need these!

  2. I love potato bread, so these cinnamon rolls only make perfect sense. Really great tip too!!!

  3. Oh my, they sound scrumptious. My family lives cinnamon buns,I'll have to try these.

  4. Oh my, they sound scrumptious. My family lives cinnamon buns,I'll have to try these.

  5. Ooh! I love this! Anything cinnamon is a yes for me, and your photos are gorgeous! (:

  6. {Melinda} Who knew?? My family loves cinnamon rolls ... would love to try this recipe on them!

  7. I shall bookmark this recipe. I love to make homemade cinnamon rolls - does adding the mashed potatoes make them healthier?? =)

  8. Wow! I never would have thought to put mashed potatoes in my cinnamon rolls! I will need to try this!


  9. Those look awesome! Cinnamon rolls are my fave! They looks so fluffy and yummy! Pinning!

  10. OMG! These look amazing! We love Cinnamon Rolls so much in our family that my daughters wedding "cake" was a huge cinnamon roll (I made). All the guests had cake but my daughter and her new husband had Cinnamon Roll.

    Hopping over from 36th Avenue and a new email follower!



  11. Wow! They look so good. I never would have guessed they had mashed potatoes in them!

  12. Those look amazing!!! I never would have guessed to put mashed potatoes in them!!! Thanks so much for sharing at Clean and Scentsible. I'll be featuring these tomorrow. Have a wonderful Sunday!
    Jenn xo

  13. try dehydrated potato flakes. you get the same result with a lot less work. thanks for the tip abt refrigerating dough!

    1. You bet! And great tip about the potato flakes. :)

  14. Dehydrated potato flakes- so make the instant mashed potatoes or just use the flakes and mix with the rest of the ingredients?

  15. the recipe I use just calls for the flakes.

  16. I can't email you for some reason so I will ask you here Is it OK if I post your recipes on my Facebook group? I will attach a link back to your blog with every recipe.LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog!!
    Just wanted to ask before I did it.

    1. oops my group is https://www.facebook.com/groups/CheriezRecipesAndHealthyLiving/
      Cherie Zimmerschied

  17. Did you add anything to your mashed potatoes or just boil, mash and add with the other ingredients?

  18. Since I found these on Pinterest I have made them several times - sadly we can't get enough of them - they are wonderfully soft and gooey whether it's the first batch or the one saved in the fridge and baked a week later. I LOVE this recipe, thanks so much for sharing. Liz @ attagirlarts

  19. Three words The Best Ever!!!!!!!

  20. Since I've never heard of it- what is potato water? Do I need to buy it or make it (and if so, how)? Thank you!!

  21. It is the water you use to cook your potatoes in.

  22. Could I just roll both pans into cinnamon rolls, but place one in fridge right away for the next weekend? That way, I would only have to roll once?

  23. Thanks I am going to cut the dough in thirds so I can make Christmas wreaths to hand out for Christmas friends and neighbors gifts. The outside edge of wreath will be the size holiday plates I find with red cellophane wrap maybe.

  24. I want to use the potatoe flakes,do I go by the directions for making mashed potatoes and then add water to the receipe?

  25. When you make the dough in advance and refirgerate it, do you let it rise for an hour after taking it out of the refrigerator?

  26. Doughnuts with potatoes, Spudnuts, used to be sold in Spudnut stores 50 years ago. They were so much better and more filling than traditional doughnuts. I do not hear of Spudnut stores any longer.

  27. Take care of your yeast. Keep the milk at 110 to 115 degrees Fahrenheit. If it gets any colder, the yeast might not work correctly. If you heat it up too much, the yeast could not survive to let the dough rise. Learn more about the proper method for yeast proofing. Using eggs and butter that are at room temperature will maintain the dough at the ideal temperature for the best yeast activity since yeast prefers a warm environment. Additionally, butter at room temperature will incorporate into the dough more easily and uniformly. It's okay to leave butter out on the counter, so don't worry. You don't want a weak dough for your cinnamon rolls. Of course, a rough cinnamon bun is not what you want either!