Saturday, April 27, 2013

Mesa Mission Cinnamon Rolls

(*Photoshop has moved all my stuff to Adobe Revel, and I've no idea how to use it yet. Trust me. I tried for hours, and have nothing to show for it. It doesn't help that I am technologically-challenged. You'll just have to bear with me and the un-touched up photos until I get "Adobe Revel" smart. Since I don't want to spend even MORE time on this post (my kiddos are home and it's a rainy-stay-indoors kinda day), the cost breakdown won't be happening. I hope you can forgive me this week!)

Heaven on a plate.

Ooey, gooey, beautiful, warm,  finger-licking good, cinnamon rolls... doesn't get better than that.

These are no ordinary cinnamon rolls. They are near and dear to my heart for a special reason:

My parents are nearing the end of a 3-year LDS (Mormon) church-service mission in the Mesa, Arizona area. This cinnamon roll recipe came to them courtesy of another wonderful missionary named Lorraine Alldredge... and my goodness can that woman cook! My parents were the beneficiaries of many amazing meals and treats by her hand... as were the other 250 or so missionaries in the area.

These cinnamon rolls were a definite favorite... so much so, that my younger sister who lives with my folks took to making them often... and I'm pretty sure my dad ate his weight-worth.

I can't blame him. They are divine.

The first time I had one... well, if I'm being honest,... it wasn't just one. It was more like 3... and a half... that I snuck off of my own sweet child's plate... I couldn't stay away from them that day, and the health-conscious part of my brain had zero say in the matter.

So, now I share this beloved recipe from the Mesa Mission with you. It is a treasure!

Let's take a look:

The filling consists of softened butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Mmmmmm..... buddy!

You're going to combine all that yumminess with a fork to make the perfect cinnamon roll filling.

And here's the dough. As you can see, you're going to need a LOT of space. If you don't have this much space, you can cut the recipe in half.

Spread that cinnamon-sugar goodness all over the place... well... all over the dough, anyway.

Roll it all up tight. You're going to have a reeeeaaaaaallly long roll on your hands...

But then, you'll take some string, and "cut" the dough into 1" thick pieces. 

Look.... aren't they so perrty... and spread apart...

You'll let the rolls raise until their sides are touching... about 45 minutes.

Don't forget the icing!

Viola!.... Don't you wish the screen was scratch 'n sniff... or edible for that matter. 

Mesa Mission Cinnamon Rolls
Printable Version

*Makes 30 giant cinnamon rolls (2 large jelly-roll pans)


2 1/2 cups luke-warm water
2 Tbsp dry active yeast
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup shortening
1 Tbsp salt
7 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup salted butter or margarine (softened, not melted)
2 Tbsp. cinnamon
3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 pkg (2 lb) powdered sugar
1 heaping Tbsp shortening
2 tsp. vanilla
dash of salt
8 Tbsp. milk (or enough to reach desired consistency)

In a large bowl, or standing mixer, combine the warm water, yeast, and sugar. Let set 10 minutes. Mix in the beaten eggs, shortening, flour, and salt. Knead until the dough is soft, smooth, and elastic (6-8 minutes). Cover, and let rise 10 minutes. Punch down. Repeat rising and punching 3 times.

While the dough is rising, make the cinnamon-sugar filling. In a medium bowl, use a fork to combine the cinnamon, brown sugar, and softened butter. Set aside.

Grease two large cookie sheets (jelly-roll pans). Set aside.

Coat a clean surface with non-stick cooking spray. Roll out the dough into a rectangle approx. 32"x18".  Using a spoon or your hand, spread the cinnamon-sugar mixture to cover the dough completely. Starting at one of the 32" sides of the dough rectangle, tightly roll the dough to form a 32" long cylinder. Slide a piece of thread underneath the rolled up dough, 1 inch. Crossing the ends of the thread over the dough, pull both sides of the thread as you would when tightening a knot. The string will cut cleanly through the dough. Place the cut roll onto the greased pan, pinching the end seam into the side of the roll, so that it won't come apart as it rises. Continue the process, evenly spacing 15 rolls on each pan (3X5 per pan). There will be lots of space between each roll. Cover and let rise 45 minutes, or until the sides of the rolls touch each other.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

While the oven is heating, and the rolls are rising, make the icing by mixing together the powdered sugar, shortening, salt, and milk with a hand mixer for 2 minutes. When smooth, add the vanilla, and mix for 30 seconds.

When rolls have finished rising, bake for 12 minutes. Remove from oven, and allow to cool 10 minutes. Spread icing over warm rolls that will be eaten immediately. Store extra rolls and icing in airtight containers on the counter for 5 days, in the fridge for 10 days or in the freezer for 3 months. Reheat in the microwave.



  1. That recipe looks wonderful...I think I just changed my agenda for today to include some baking time! Can't wait to try these rolls. Thanks for sharing! :)

    1. Hi Ladonna! You're going to love 'em. :) Good luck baking! I'd love to hear what you think when you've sampled one.

  2. Wow Andrea! These look really great. Maybe this will be the recipe that I can say I tamed the yeast ;)

    1. Ha! You are too funny. :) I'll keep my fingers crossed for you. Good luck!

  3. I want to try these. I've made a lot of cinnamon rolls but never did a filing like this one, thank you for sharing.m

  4. Yes, I wish my screen was edible. My hubby adores cinnamon rolls but I have yet to make any that were this pretty. Some didn't taste too bad but for some reason I can't get them to look nice. I'm tempted to rearrange my day and surprise him with these tonight. I know if the recipe is from you, it's gotta be good!

    I thought your pictures looked fine but saw your note about Adobe. You might want to check out Picmonkey. I use it and love it and several of my other blogger friends use it too. It's a free online program and I think it is very easy to navigate.

  5. These look awesome! Do you know if this recipe would work alright with wheat flour?

    1. Hi Sara. I'm sure it would work great. You'll likely use less flour... 1/2 to 1 cup less is you use all whole wheat. I'd recommend going half and half with the whole wheat and all-purpose for the first attempt. Good luck!

  6. Just wanted to let you know that I made these and they were really good. As usual though, I kind of flopped them. The dough was so sticky I could hardly work with it and I didn't add more flour against my better judgement. I made one pan of rolls and then just gave up and spread the rest of the rolled dough into the other pan. They turned out tasting awesome even if they looked horrible. :) I finally figured out that I think I forgot to add one cup of flour- not a good idea obviously!

    Only other thing I did was used butter instead of shortening...which really shouldn't affect the dough that much.

    I can't wait to try these again and add all the flour so that they look nice. Definitely makes some yummy rolls!

  7. Andrea, thanks so much for the "sweet" tribute to the Mesa Mission! They are a tradition here and never disappoint. Your blog is a bright spot for many! Keep up your wonderful work. Mom

  8. I agree...I don't like it when the computer or program mess with my files! Hope you'll finger out how to fix the issue soon. :) And your cinnamon rolls look awesome. Now, You've got me craving for some. What a wonderful trick and tips to use a thread to cut the dough. They all came out to neat! I love it.

  9. New to the blog but had to make this right away!! I used 5 c bread flour 2 1/2 c regular. Soft and delishhhhhhh. Thank you so much, this is my new go to recipe, and I froze half the dough rolls for later!!

  10. This makes A LOT of rolls, SO, at what point would you freeze these to bake later? After the first rise? THanks for great recipes!

    1. I've actually never frozen the dough for these before, but I suppose I would probably roll them into a looooong roll, cut out as many as I wanted to use to rise on a pan, then freeze the rest of the dough in portions. When I haven't wanted 30 giant rolls (2 jelly roll pans) in the past, I've cut the recipe in half, and frozen the baked rolls to thaw and reheat in the microwave as desired. Hope this helps! Good luck!

  11. The cinnamon rolls are awesome! But the icing is way too sweet for us. Any tips on making the icing less sweet?

    1. Hi Amber! I apologize for taking so long to get back to you... we just moved to a new state, and had difficulty getting our internet hooked up. Today it was restored! :) The icing is very sweet by nature. I'd recommend trying a good cream cheese frosting, or a butter cream (I've got a great one on this site). OR, you could always eat them without the icing.

  12. Thanks for the recipe! I made them this morning and my family loved them!I also love your blog, and another blog:

  13. Try these too! Both recipes are amazing but different so it depends on your taste and time available which one you make. I make both recipes P&P when I have enough time to and In Mama's Kitchen when I want something faster. Andrea I love your site.

  14. I made these cinnamon rolls yesterday and they were awesome. My only issue was that 12 minutes was too long, so I knocked the time down to 10 minutes and it was perfect. I didn't get 30, but I did get 24. They were awesome!!! Next time I will attempt to make them with a cream cheese frosting. Thanks for sharing. My missionaries loved them too.

  15. These were the first recipe of yours I tried...also my first time baking anything. Came out pretty good. I would like them a little softer next time. I also used canned cream cheese icing. The store bought clashed with the rolls. You appreciate something more when you make it yourself.


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