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American Girl Café Mini Cinnamon Rolls

Recipes

Until now, this iconic, scrumptious classic recipe from the American Girl Café has been kept secret. Now, you and your girl can bake these irresistible treats at home! Kids will love handling the fluffy dough and squishy filling, and the delicious rolls will leave the whole family asking for more.

American Girl Café Mini Cinnamon Rolls

Makes 48 mini rolls

YOU WILL NEED:

EQUIPMENT

  • 24-cup mini cupcake pan
  • Rolling pin
  • Large bowl
  • Mixer with paddle attachment (optional)
  • Instant read thermometer (optional)
  • Bench scraper (optional)
  •  

DOUGH

  • 3/4 cup milk, any variety
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 lb unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened
  • 1 package (2 ½ tsp) quick-rise yeast
  •  

FILLING

  • 1 ½ cups firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 pound unsalted butter (2 sticks) 
  •  

PAN COATING

  • 1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 5 Tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1 ½ Tbsp honey
  •  

ICING

  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 ½ Tbsp milk or water
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  •  

Directions:

1. Make the dough. Warm milk in microwave or on stove until it reaches about 110°F. (Warm milk helps activate the yeast and make the dough fluffy.) Mix flour, sugar, salt, eggs, and butter in a bowl. If you have a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment. Add warmed milk to the bowl and sprinkle yeast on top. Mix by hand or on low speed until ingredients are fully combined and a thick, sticky, raggedy dough has formed.

2. Let the dough rise. Move dough to a clean, large bowl. The bowl should be big enough for the dough to double in size. Cover the bowl with a clean, damp towel and leave at room temperature for 4 hours.

3. Make the filling. Place all three filling ingredients in a large bowl and mix until completely combined. (For extra fun, kids can use freshly washed hands to mix!) Set aside at room temperature.

4. Prepare the pan coating. Beat the butter until it’s fluffy and light. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add brown sugar and blend together at high speed until fully incorporated. Add honey and blend until combined. Set aside at room temperature. 

5. Prepare the icing. Whisk together the three icing ingredients until smooth. Set aside at room temperature.

6. Roll the dough. After your dough has risen for four hours, it should be puffy, light, and larger than before. Lightly dust a clean surface with flour to keep the dough from sticking. Transfer the dough onto the surface and sprinkle some flour on top. Gently pat the dough to form a rectangle. Using a bench scraper or knife, divide the dough in half. Cover one piece with plastic wrap and set it aside. With the remaining dough, use a rolling pin to gently roll it into a rectangle about 1/8 inch thick, 12-14 inches long, and 6-8 inches wide.

7. Spread the filling. Divide the filling in half. Using your hands, plop the mixture onto your dough rectangle. Gently smear the mixture to cover the dough, edge to edge.

8. Create the rolls. With the long side of the dough rectangle closest to you, roll the dough away from you. Start from the center and work toward the edges to prevent tearing. You should only need to roll it two or three times until it becomes a log. If the dough tears, don’t worry! Patch it up and keep going. Then, use a sharp knife or bench scraper to cut the tube into about 24 sections.

9. Assemble the rolls in a muffin pan. Preheat oven to 325°F. Put about 2 tsp of pan coating in each mini-muffin cup. Make sure to coat the bottom and smear the sides of each cup. Place one cinnamon roll in each muffin cup. If a roll is too large, squish it into place.

10. Bake the rolls. Bake the cinnamon rolls for 20 minutes. In the meantime, repeat steps 6-9 to flatten your second section of dough, spread it with filling, roll it, and cut it into sections. You can bake these right away or freeze them for later. To save them for later, place the cut rolls on a parchment-lined sheet pan, cover, and freeze.

11. Finalize the rolls. Check the rolls in the oven after 20 minutes. They should be golden and bubbling. If not, bake for another 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Scoop them out with a small spatula, or turn the pan upside down over some parchment paper. Be sure to scoop out leftover gooey bits. Drizzle with icing and gobble them up with your family!

©2020 American Girl. All American Girl marks are trademarks of American Girl.

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