Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting


I got the recipe for these Cinnamon Rolls from a crime novel. In Diane Mott Davidson´s crime novel series, the heroine Goldy runs a catering business in Colorado. In between preparing buffets for wedding receptions, parties and school lunches, she solves all kinds of complicated small town murder cases. I enjoyed the novels very much, not only because of the witty writing style, but also because of the interesting recipes which Goldy provides every now and then.

Diane Mott Davidson

In “The Last Suppers”, Goldy makes “Monster Cinnamon Rolls”, as she calls them. They sounded so good that I had to bake them. When I made them the first time, I followed the directions in the book to the letter. At the end of this experiment, I knew how the rolls had gotten their name. They were delicious, but enormous, way too big for one person to eat. If you want to know what I mean: I will give you the original amounts of ingredients at the end of the recipe. Trust me – you won´t believe how much sugar there is in the original recipe!

Zimtschnecken 2

Anyway, the rolls, were delicious, but too much. I have been adapting the recipe numerous times until I was finally satisfied with the result. There´s definitely something about this combination of soft yeast dough, the cinnamon and brown sugar filling, the luscious cinnamon-caramel which accumulates at the bottom of the pan during the baking process, and the delightful cream cheese frosting.


Zimtschnecken 3

Zimtschnecken 3 (2)

Zimtschnecken 4


¾ stick (90 g) butter
½ cup (120 ml) milk, lactose-free
¼ cup (60 ml) water
⅜ cup (80 g) sugar
½ tsp. salt
2 ¼-ounce envelopes  (14 g) active dry yeast
2 large eggs
4 ¼ to 4 ¾ cups (500g – 630 g) all-purpose flour

2 cups (350 g) brown sugar
1 stick (125 g) butter, softened
2 tbsp. ground cinnamon

6.5 oz. (200 g) cream cheese, lactose-free
¼ cup (60 ml) whipping cream, lactose-free
2 tbsp. vanilla sugar
1 ½ to 2 cups (130 g to 200 g) powdered sugar, sifted (I prefer 1 ½ cups)

For the dough, heat butter, milk, sugar, water and salt in a small saucepan over low heat until the butter is melted. Set aside to cool. The mixture should be lukewarm when added to the yeast-flour mixture.

Put 4 ¼ cups flour, yeast, and eggs into a large mixing bowl. Add the lukewarm milk mixture. Beat until well combined, using a kitchen machine and a dough hook. Keep beating; add flour until you get a stiff dough. Knead for about five minutes until you get a smooth dough.

Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel. Let the dough rise in a warm place until it is about twice as big; about 1 hour.

Prepare the baking pan while the dough is rising: butter a baking pan of about 9 x 13 inches. Alternatively, adjust a baking frame to this size and put it onto a baking sheet which is covered with baking parchment.

Punch the dough down. With a rolling pin, roll the dough out to a rectangle of about 20 inches by 30 inches (about 50 cm by 75 cm).

For the filling, beat butter, brown sugar and ground cinnamon with a hand mixer until well combined. Spread the mixture on the dough evenly. Roll the dough up, starting from the small side. Cut the log of dough into 12 pieces of about 1 ½ inches. Place the rolls into the buttered pan or the baking frame. Cover them with a kitchen towel and let them rise until they are twice as big, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 F (175° C). Bake the rolls for about 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let them cool.

For the frosting, beat cream cheese, whipping cream and vanilla sugar with a hand mixer until well combined. Add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth. The mixture should remain smooth and not become stiff.

Frost the cinnamon rolls once they have cooled down.

You want to give the original recipe a try? Well, here is what you need:

You have to double the ingredients, with one exception: you need 5 eggs. Roll the dough to a rectangle of 24 inches by 36 inches, and make the rolls 2 inches high. You get 12 rolls again, but those are twice as big as mine.

Since you have the double amount of dough, you need two baking pans of the size stated above. Put 6 rolls into each baking pan. The rolls will be very big, almost like small cakes!

You need 5 cups brown sugar (Yes! 5 cups! This is not a typing mistake!!!), 2 ½ sticks butter, and 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon. The butter and the sugar will melt while baking and accumulate at the bottom of the pan, where they will be soaked up by the rolls. Delicious, and extremely sweet.

You need ½ pound cream cheese, ¼ cup whipping cream, 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar or 1 tsp. vanilla extract, and 3-4 cups powdered sugar, depending on how sweet you want the rolls.

I like sugar, but this version is a bit too sweet for me. I find my version very sweet already!


Brownie Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Topping

Cupcakes, Recipes

Last Thursday I wanted to make chocolate cupcakes with orange topping for Halloween. I thought the combination of dark sponge, orange topping, and dark chocolate sprinkles would look nice.

It did not work out as planned. I mixed yellow and red food coloring in order to get orange, but got some kind of salmon-pink color. It looked a bit like thousand island dressing – not appetizing. I preferred not to add the color to the topping. The cupcakes still look nice with dark sponge, cream-colored topping, and dark chocolate sprinkles, don´t they?

Brownie Cupcakes 2

For the topping I made a cream cheese topping by Linda Lomelino, from She uses it for her Hazelnut Chocolate Minicupcakes, but says that the topping goes with “almost everything”. She´s right. The topping is light, not too sweet, and simple and quick to prepare. I´ll definitely make this topping more often!

Brownie Cupcakes 4


6,7 oz. (190 g) dark chocolate, lactose-free (Lindt 70%, Merci 72 %)

¾ cups (170 g) butter

2 cups (200 g) ground hazelnuts

½ cup (50 g) ground almonds

½ cup (50 g) flour
1 tsp. baking powder
4 eggs, room temperature
1 pinch of salt
¾ cup (70 g) powdered sugar

10.7 oz. (300 g) cream cheese
1¼ cup (300 ml) whipping cream
1 tbsp. Vanilla sugar (no vanillin)
¾ cup (85 g) powdered sugar, sieved

Preheat the oven to 180° C.

Put cupcake-liners into a muffin baking tray. I have an average Austrian muffin baking tray and get 18 muffins with this amount of batter. I therefore prepare two muffin baking trays (one for twelve muffins, one for six muffins ) and bake one tray after the other.

Break the chocolate into small pieces. Cut the butter into small cubes. Put chocolate and butter into a small pot. Melt in a double boiler, or on the oven over very low heat (which is what I usually do).

In a bowl, combine hazelnuts, almonds, flour and baking powder.

In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs, powdered sugar and salt with a hand mixer or a kitchen machine at high speed until the mixture is fluffy and light yellow.

Turn the hand mixer or the kitchen machine down to low speed. Slowly pour the chocolate-butter-mixture into the egg-mixture. Keep beating while doing this. The mixtures have to combine well. (I prefer to do this with a whisk and not a mixer. The chocolate-mixture is heavier than the egg-mixture and will sink to the bottom of the bowl. With a whisk, I can reach the sunken chocolate-mixture better than with a mixer.)

Carefully fold in the hazelnut-mixture.

Pour the batter into the cupcake liners, each ⅔ full.

Bake for about 20 minutes. They will be done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the muffins cool.

Beat the whipping cream in a bowl.

In a second bowl, mix cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla sugar.

Add the whipped cream to the cream cheese mixture. Whip until the mixture is smooth and firm. If the topping is runny, put it in the fridge for a while.

Fill the topping into an icing bag and decorate the cupcakes with the topping. If you do not have an icing bag, spoon the topping onto the cupcakes and spread it with a butter knife. Decorate with chocolate sprinkles.

The topping will last for 12 cupcakes.

 Brownie Cupcakes 3

Sponge adapted from: Gruber, R. (2013, 2. Aufl.), 130g Liebe. Wien: Christian Brandstätter Verlag.

Topping adapted from:

Chocolate Cupcake with Chocolate Topping

Cupcakes, Recipes

What can I say about this recipe? This is the most delicious cupcake I have ever had. Honestly.

Schokocupcakes 1

Unfortunately, this cupcake has two downsides. Downside number 1 are the calories. As you will see when looking at the ingredients, the topping contains an unbelievable amount of chocolate. This makes sure that the cupcakes taste incredible, but unfortunately it also makes them contain a lot of calories. Since I do not eat such super-rich cupcakes every day, though, this is okay for me.

The sponge makes up for all the chocolate a little bit. It contains cocoa powder and even whole-grain spelt flour. That means it is almost healthy, isn´t it?

The second downside is the fact that such a lot of high quality lactose-free chocolate is very expensive. I therefore use a mixture of cheaper lactose-free chocolate, e.g. Bensdorp Kochschokolade 42% or Manner Schokolade 70%, and more expensive lactose-free chocolate as e.g. Lindt or Merci. This time I used about 150 g Bensdorp Kochschokolade and about 300 g Merci chocolate.

Schokocupcakes 5

40 ml sunflower oil
1 ¼ sticks (140 g) butter, softened
1 ½ cup (180 g) powdered sugar
2 eggs
⅓ cup (40 g) cocoa powder
90 ml boiling water
1 ½ cup (150 g) wholemeal spelt flour
2 TL baking powder
1 pinch salt

1 ¼ cup (285 ml) whipping cream
2 tbsp. butter
16.4 oz. (465 g) dark chocolate, lactose-free
7 oz. (200 g) mascarpone, lactose-free

Prepare the ganache for the topping the day before you make the cupcakes:
Chop the chocolate into really small pieces.

In a small pot, bring the whipping cream to a boil. Immediately remove the pot from the oven.

Stir the chopped chocolate and the 2 tbsp. butter into the whipping cream until smooth.

Mix this ganache with an immersion blender for 3 minutes.

Chill the ganache in a cool place overnight. Not in the fridge – it will be too cold! If you do not have a cool place, keep the pot with the ganache in the kitchen and put it into the fridge one hour before you finish making the topping.

The next day, prepare the sponge:
Preheat the oven to 355° F (180° C).

Put 12 cupcake liners into a muffin baking tray. I have a standard muffin baking tray of the sort you can buy in Austrian stores. As far as I know, professional muffin baking trays are a bit deeper. With my tray, the batter made 15 cupcakes. Depending on your muffin baking tray, it might be a good idea to prepare an additional one, just in case.

In a small bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt.

Melt sunflower oil, butter and powdered sugar in a double boiler and stir well.

Beat the eggs with a hand mixer at maximum speed for about 40 seconds until fluffy.

Stir the eggs into the butter-mixture.

Dissolve the cocoa powder in the boiling water. You will get a kind of cocoa paste. Stir it into the eggs-butter-mixture immediately.

Add the flour mixture and stir until the ingredients have combined. The batter will be very soft, almost liquid.

Pour the batter into the cupcake liners, each ¾ full.

Bake for 30-35 minutes. They will be done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Take the muffin baking tray out of the oven and let the cupcakes cool.

Schokocupcakes 3

Beat the ganache with the hand mixer for 30 seconds at maximum speed. If the ganache is rather soft, put it into the fridge for about 15 minutes.

Add the mascarpone to the ganache. Beat for 10 seconds at high speed.

Fill the topping into an icing bag and decorate the cupcakes with the topping. If you do not have an icing bag, spoon the topping onto the cupcakes and spread it with a butter knife. Decorate any way you wish.

 Schokocupcakes 4

Adapted from: Gruber, R. (2013, 2. Aufl.), 130 g Liebe. Wien: Christian Brandstätter Verlag.