The secret to making your stickiest cinnamon rolls ever might already be in your kitchen: a slow cooker. Because it traps in the moisture as it “bakes,” slow cooking your cinnamon rolls makes for extra ooey-gooey results—and it doesn’t take much more time than it would in an oven. The trick here is to wrap the lid with a clean kitchen towel, which absorbs excess moisture so your cinnamon rolls will bake, not braise. It’s the perfect technique to try when your oven is already full or cooking at a different temperature.
The recipe comes from Martha Stewart’s Slow Cooker, one of our favorite new cookbooks this year. The 272-page resource from the editors of Martha Stewart Living helps you to make the best of a slow cooker’s assets, like hands-off cooking and low, slow heat. As you’ll discover in the book, this doesn’t just mean simmering soups and braising tough cuts of meat; the appliance is always fabulous for cooking unexpected dishes like poached fish, scalloped potatoes and even a perfect cheesecake.
Keep reading to get the recipe for slow cooker cinnamon buns.
The scent of fresh cinnamon buns is a joy to wake up to. These are made with a very easy quick-rise yeasted dough rolled around a sugary, sweet-spicy filling, and finished with a drizzly glaze.
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for brushing
- 1 1/3 cups warm water (about 110°F)
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
1. Make buns: Brush the insert of a 5-to 6-quart slow cooker with butter. Line bottom with parchment paper and brush paper with butter.
2. Combine the warm water, yeast, and honey in a bowl; let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add flour and salt. With an electric mixer on low, mix until just combined. Increase speed to medium and mix for 5 minutes; let stand 10 minutes. Combine butter, both sugars, and cinnamon in a bowl; mix until smooth.
3. Preheat the slow cooker. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and roll into a rectangle, about 9 by 15 inches. Sprinkle dough evenly with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Starting from one long side, roll into a log, pinching seams to seal in filling. Slice log into 10 to 12 rounds, each about 1½ inches thick.
4. Arrange rolls, cut side down, in the cooker. Wrap lid tightly with a clean kitchen towel, gathering ends at top (to absorb condensation). Cover and cook on high until cooked through, 1½ hours (we prefer to bake these on high). After 1 hour, rotate cooker insert 180 degrees to prevent scorching. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool before serving.
5. Make glaze: With an electric mixer, whisk confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla until smooth. Slowly add ¼ cup milk and beat on medium. Add more milk, a drop at a time up to 2 tablespoons, to reach desired consistency. Drizzle rolls with glaze just before serving. Serves 10 to 12.
Reprinted from Martha Stewart’s Slow Cooker: 110 Recipes for Flavorful, Foolproof Dishes (Including Desserts!), Plus Test-Kitchen Tips and Strategies by the Editors of Martha Stewart Living. Copyright © 2017 by Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. Photographs by Stephen Kent Johnson. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.