These cinnamon rolls are so good it’s scary. With Halloween approaching I thought I would whip up a sweet treat to get in the spirit. Everyone loves a good cinnamon roll, but monster cinnamon rolls are even better! This recipe is also a hit for themed birthday parties, sleepovers, or anytime you want to give your own little monsters the sweetest of treats.
Perfecting a Recipe
I’m just going to start by saying that I am not a baker. I enjoy cooking, most of the time, and playing around with recipes, but my baking skills are, well, lacking. Also, perfecting a recipe can be a process. I think it’s because I like to cut corners and do not usually take the time to measure precisely, which is probably the number one prerequisite in baking. With that being said I did take an entire afternoon and the following morning to tweak a cinnamon roll recipe until I was happy with the results, and if I can make it, so can you.
I’ll be honest, it took me twice to get the dough just right, using the easiest methods I could, because that’s what I do here 😉 And the first time through the entire process I forgot an ingredient in the frosting, oops, my bad. However, I discovered that the third time really is the charm, and mmmmm, they turned out so yummy. My kids all gave them two thumbs up and thought the monster theme was pretty cool.
Family Fun and Holiday Spirit
This is a great recipe to make with your kids as well. It’s included as one of the Halloween Family Activities I recommend on my to-do checklist for the month of October. Pop on over and see what other family time activities you can find.
These monster cinnamon rolls are also a surprise alternative to a regular boo basket during the Halloween season. Check out my Ultimate List of Boo Basket Ideas to find out what its all about or save for future use if your reading this in the off-season.
Monster Cinnamon Rolls Step-by-Step
I started with 1 cup of warm water in a large mixing bowl. I added in 2 tsp of yeast, and 1/4 cup sugar. Be sure to use regular yeast, not instant. You’ll get a better rise out of your dough with the standard variety. Let the mixture sit until the yeast starts to activate and gets bubbly, about 10 minutes.
Next heat up 1 cup of milk in the microwave for 1 minute 30 seconds. Add it to your mixture. Then rinse the milk bowl and use it too soften and slightly melt your butter in the microwave for 20-30 seconds. It’s one of those corners I like to cut. Add in the other 1/4 cup sugar, tsp salt, and 2 eggs. Mix til combined.
Gradually add in the flour until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl. Knead for 2-3 minutes, then light grease the bowl, cover with a kitchen towel or a lightly greased piece of plastic wrap and allow to rise for approximately 1 hour, until doubled.
Once your dough has doubled, turn in out onto a lightly floured surface. Using your rolling pin, roll it out to a rectangle, about 18 x 12 inches in size and 1/4-1/2 in. thick.
Spread the softened butter onto your dough and sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture. Give it a slight pat down.
Next, gently roll your dough lengthwise and seal the side by pinching the dough together. Leave the ends open. Then, with a sharp flat edge knife cut the dough in the middle. Cut each half in the middle. Then, each fourth into thirds. An extra tip that my husband taught me is to spray a paper towel with cooking oil and wipe the knife before each cut. It will prevent your dough from sticking sticking to your knife. You should end up with 12 rolls.
Carefully transfer each roll to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a 9 x 13 baking pan (I prefer the baking sheet). Cover and let them rise again about 1 hour, or until doubled.
Preheat your oven to 350 degress F and bake your rolls 18-22 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Then remove them from the oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes before frosting.
For the frosting, in a large bowl mix the softened cream cheese and butter. Add in the vanilla, maple syrup, salt, and green food coloring. Mix until combined.
Gradually add in the powdered sugar until the frosting is a thick and creamy consistency. Mix in your milk a little at a time until your frosting is smooth and spreadable.
Monster Cinnamon Rolls
- 1 c. Water
- 1 c. Milk
- 1/2 c. Butter, softened
- 1/2 c. Sugar, divided
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp yeast (not instant rise)
- 2 eggs
- 5 1/2-6 cups
For the filling.
- 1/2 c. Butter, very soft
- 1 c. packed brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp ground Cinnamon
For the frosting
- 4 oz. cream cheese
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
- pinch of salt
- 2-4 drops of green gel food coloring
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1 Tbsp of milk, or as needed for consistency.
Begin by adding 1 cup of warm water to a large mixing bowl. Add in 1/4 cup sugar and the yeast. Allow to sit until frothy, about 10 minutes.
Next warm your milk in the microwave for 1 minute 30 seconds, then add it to the yeast mixture. Rinse the same bowl and microwave the room temperature butter for about 30 seconds so that it is partially melted, then pour it into the yeast mixture. Add in the salt, eggs, and the rest of the sugar . Mix until blended. Once combined, gradually add in the four until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Knead for 2-3 minutes, then cover with a kitchen towel or lightly greased plastic wrap and allow to rise for 1 hour, until doubled in size.
Turn your dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to a 18 x 12 rectangle, approximately 1/4-1/2 inches thick. Take 1/2 cup of softened butter and spread it on your dough. Combined the brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle it evenly over the butter, then lightly pat it down. Next roll the dough up lengthwise and pinch the sides to seal it. Leave the ends open. Make a cut in the middle. Make another cut in the middle of each half, then cut your fourths into thirds. See cutting tip in the step by step process. You should end up with 12 rolls.
Carefully transfer them on to a baking sheet lined with parchment. Cover and allow to rise for another hour or until doubled in size.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and bake for 18-22 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes before frosting.
To make the frosting begin by mixing the cream cheese and butter. add in the maple syrup, salt, vanilla, and green food coloring. Next, gradually add in the powdered sugar and mix until the frosting is thick and creamy. Add the milk a little at a time until it is spreadable.
Frost the cinnamon rolls with your green cream cheese frosting. Top them off with the candy eyeballs and sprinkles. Serve right away or store in the refrigerator and reheat the next morning for breakfast.