Elements of Food, Elements of Love

Cinnamon Rolls for my Sweetheart

Every Valentine’s Day, I wake my husband up with the sweet aroma of freshly baked cinnamon rolls in the oven. Nothing says love liked baked goods, right? This year, he had an early morning meeting at work, so I made them for him the morning before, and made another batch to bring into our hard working staff at work. There is absolutely nothing better than homemade cinnamon rolls and I make mine extra gooey. In other words, I double the butter, double the sugar and double the cinnamon which creates a pool of melted goodness at the bottom of the pan creating a perfect environment for the rolls to bake in. Every time I make these, they are a huge hit…and people don’t realize how simple they really are. They take some planning ahead because the dough has to rise twice.

I actually started writing this post last year, when I made the cinnamon rolls in the shape of hearts. But, I find that the filling stays in the roll better and the rolls stay softer in their traditional spiral form. After the rolls disappeared after 10 minutes in the office, the recipe was requested. So here it is! In the past I have used a homemade dough, but I find the frozen Rhodes white bread dough makes a wonderful cinnamon roll and makes the process much easier. Makes 12 large cinnamon rolls.

Heart Shaped Cinnamon Rolls


  • 2 loaves of Rhodes white bread dough, thawed and risen. I leave my dough on the kitchen counter on a plate, sprayed with PAM and covered in Saran Wrap for several hours until the loaves are thawed and almost doubled in size. This takes about 5-6 hours depending on the temperature of your kitchen. You can also thaw the dough overnight in the fridge.
  • 1 stick of butter, softened
  • Brown Sugar
  • White Sugar
  • Cinnamon


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
  2. Roll each loaf of dough out into a 12×10 rectangle on a floured surface. Spread half of the softened butter onto the dough making sure you cover the entire surface area.
  3. Now for the fun part…spread a layer of brown sugar almost 1/4 inch thick on top of the butter. Yes, it’s a lot of sugar but it’s what makes the rolls incredible by melting down creating that yummy buttery goodness on the bottom of the pan.
  4. On top of the brown sugar, sprinkle 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  5. On top of both sugars, sprinkle a layer of cinnamon.
  6. Starting from one end, roll the dough into a log and seal the seam by pinching the dough together.
  7. Using a serrated knife, cut the roll into 2.5 inch pieces. The thicker the better. Place the rolls into a rectangular baking dish, leaving room in between and on the sides of each roll, since they need room to rise.
  8. If you are making these right away, cover the pan with a dish towel and place in a warm area and let rise until doubled in size. If you are making these ahead of time, cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight.
  9. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
  10. Remove from the oven and frost immediately with cream cheese frosting, recipe below.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix ingredients together using a hand mixer until combined. Spread onto hot cinnamon rolls.

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