Truck Stop Cinnamon Rolls!

Fresh baked truck stop cinnamon rolls

Making cinnamon rolls is hands down one of the most popular ways that folks use our brioche dough. Not only is this an easy dough to prepare, but since it can be used for up to five days after being made, there is the potential to eat cinnamon rolls every day of the week. Of course, we stand by the phrase “all things in moderation,” but it’s still nice to know that there’s a way to make every Monday morning more enjoyable.

Truck stop cinnamon rolls are not much different than our regular buns, they are just significantly bigger (each one can serve two. Or more?). They are perfect for brunch or company; a special indulgence.

Cinnamon rolls before going into the oven

Truck Stop Cinnamon Rolls (For A Crowd)

2 1/2 pounds Brioche dough (page 65 of Holiday and Celebration Bread or recipe here on the website) OR (page 300 of The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, or the recipe here on the website)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon orange zest
6 tablespoons butter, melted

Cream Cheese Icing:

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
6 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
4 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon orange zest

Here is the secret to getting the right texture for the buns. You need to fold the dough over a few times and get that gluten all linked up and excited. This happens naturally with the master recipe, but all the butter in the brioche can stand in the way, so we need to give it a little help. Just 3 or 4 turns will do the trick, an extra 30 seconds of work will make all the difference. Now that we have the gluten all excited and bunched up we need to give it a rest or it will be impossible to roll out. This may take 15-20 minutes. If your kitchen is warmer, it may go faster.

Once the dough is ready, roll it to 1/4-inch thick rectangle. Brush the entire surface with the melted butter. In a small bowl mix together the sugars, cinnamon and zest. Spread the mixture over the butter topped dough. Use your hands to make sure you have an even coat of the sugar. Then roll the dough up, starting at the short end.

Just sliced cinnamon rolls

Use a Bread Knife, Kitchen Scissors or floss to cut the log into 8,10, or 12 equal pieces. (The 8-pieces here made large buns, cutting less pieces will make larger buns, more pieces smaller buns.)

Cinnamon rolls ready for the oven

Set the buns on a parchment lined Sheet Pan or in a buttered baking dish. Give them about 1 1/2 to 2-inches between them. It is okay if they rise together in the oven.

Loosely cover the buns and let them rest between 1 1/2 to 2 hours. The long rest will insure that you have a fluffy bun. (You can set these up the night before and let them rest overnight in the refrigerator. In the morning take them out and let them sit on the counter for about 45 minutes to an hour.) You may get away with slightly shorter rise, but the buns will not be quite as soft.

Preheat the oven to 350°F and place the rack in the middle of the oven.

Unfrosted truck stop cinnamon rolls

Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, just until the centers are set when poked with your finger (they should be caramel colored). Let them cool for about 10 minutes.

Truck stop cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing

Mix together the ingredients for the icing and spread over the warm buns. Enjoy!

Truck stop cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting

Red Star Yeast (Lesaffre Yeast Corp.) provided samples of Red Star PLATINUM Yeast for recipe testing, and sponsors BreadIn5’s website and other promotional activities. 

40 thoughts to “Truck Stop Cinnamon Rolls!”

    1. Hi Colleen,

      When you take a piece of dough out of the bucket place it on a floured surface, pat it into a disk and then fold the dough over itself a few times. Does that make more sense?

      Thanks, Zoë

      1. Am I unfolding the dough and folding it a few times or am I folding the disk in half, than quarters? I am confused….

  1. I make cinnamon rolls by spreading softened, but not melted butter over the rolled-out dough. I find it is neater and simplifies the process. And one less pot to clean!

  2. For what it’s worth, I’ve been really happy making cinnamon rolls with the buttermilk bread dough in the book. There’s a recipe after it for raisin/cinnamon bread. I roll the buttermilk dough out into a rectangle, sprinkle on the filling for the bread, roll it up, and then cut it into “buns.” I love them plain, or I add a simple frosting of confectioners sugar and milk. Love these!

    1. Sounds great Penny,

      I like the idea of keeping the raisins, but adding all the butter and icing! I’ll have to give that a try.

      Cheers, Zoë

  3. Hi, I got 2 of your books and have just started baking bread your way, I wonder if with the super moist nature of the dough I could use a proving basket?

  4. Hi- Just wantd to say I made these with the olive oil dough from NABin5- added 1/2 C sugar (thank you Jeff for the suggestion- for a “vegan brioche adaptation” )
    and they were fantastic.
    I have been making cinamon rolls in the pans for a long time with great success but my family went wild for the truck stop style rolls- a new favorite!
    I use a simple glaze of 10x sugar, water and vanilla or almond flavoring.

  5. I regret that I cannot find the post that I used to post my own question about incorporating almond meal into the artisan bread. I will check here again tomorrow. Thank you.

    1. Hi Nina, here is the response the question you left on FAQs:

      You can add up to a 1/2 cup with very little change to the batch of bread. Any more than that and you will need to add more vital wheat gluten and perhaps more water. It will take some experimenting, so start with a small batch.

      Thanks, Zoë

      1. Hi Zoe!
        I just discovered your Instagram and absolutely fell in love with you and your baking!
        Making these for the family tonight and they’re rising beautifully!
        I though have to follow a gluten free diet. I was wondering how these can be made gluten free. Especially if I’m adding psyllium husk instead of xanthan gum. Would you have any clue at all?

      2. Yes, here are the ways to find the recipes for that, based on brioche dough recipes you’ll find in…

        …our books:

        1. Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day (, which calls for alternatives with either psyllium husk or xanthan gum.
        2. The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day: same
        3. The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: the recipe are written for Xanthan, but you can probably experiment with substitution.

        Or type Gluten-Free Brioche into our Search Bar above, it’s limited but it’s a brioche dough, and it lets you swap psyllium.

  6. Hi! I always make caramel rolls with the brioche but a friend , whose husband can only eat margarine, wants to learn how. So I’m going to use the master recipe but can I use margarine for the topping and filling?

    1. Hi Claudia,

      I’ve never tried it with margarine, but I have used other butter substitutes for making the brioche dough and the caramel rolls, so I am sure it will work.

      Enjoy! Zoë

  7. Hi! I am so interested in your books but am vegan with a wheat allergy. I can eat spelt with no digestive upsets. I was wondering if I can substitute spelt for the wheat in your formulas? THANKYOU so much for your input.

    1. It all depends on the particular spelt you use. The one I get at my coop is whole-grain, but believe it or not, it measures into the recipes in place of white all-purpose. It doesn’t need extra water, even though it’s whole grain (usually whole grain means more water or other liquid needed). Depending on your particular grind and moisture content, you may need more.

      It’s not going to hold a shape as nicely as white flour of course, and the flavor will be different. But still great.

  8. I have always loved fresh baked bread. there are very few things in this world that are as fantastic. I’ve always been intimidated by the whole “Traditional” bread making process, so my Rustic loaves have always come from the Farmers market at $8 each. Not any more!! I always have a batch of the basic in my fridge. This morning we are excitedly waiting for my 1st try at The Truck Stop cinnamon rolls. In the Two months since I discovered your recipes my confidence as a baker has grown exponentially. I’ve always loved Baking, but now I feel like I can bake anything!! Love love love you guys!!!!

  9. I have your book and my first batch of the master dough in the frige right now! Can it be used to make cinnamon rolls? Also, is there any use for diastatic malt powder or potato glour in your recipes? I’ve got them both, along with baker’s dry milk and am unsure how to incorporate any of these ingredients.
    Thanks for the input!

    1. Hi Christi,

      You can use the master recipe for the cinnamon rolls, but the brioche or challah are richer and more commonly used for the sweet recipes.

      diastatic malt powder is often callled for in bagel recipes. We only use potato flour in some of our gluten-free recipes and haven’t relly played with the dry milk.

      Thanks, Zoë

  10. We’re snowed in today, and I thought the ball of brioche in my fridge would make perfect cinnamon rolls to accompany a big pot of chili (a classic Midwest duo). I added a little orange zest to the filing and juice to the icing. So yummy! Thanks for the recipe.

  11. When I roll and cut the rolls, could I put them in a disposable pan in the freezer and then pull them out and defrost them overnight and then bake in the morning? I would love to do these for special occasions (Christmas, birthdays and such) but absolutely want to remain lazy and in my pajamas for the morning and not doing much of anything. Thoughts?

    1. Hi Jessica,

      Yes, you absolutely can! You don’t want to freeze the dough for more than a couple of weeks or they start to lose their rising power.

      Shape, put in pan, freeze, defrost the night before wanting to bake, let sit to rise and bake.

      Enjoy! Zoë

  12. Help!! why are my rolls burning at the bottom? the sugar seems to be going right to the bottom as they bake and then it burns.

    1. Hi Farah,

      Your oven may run a bit hot. You can drop the temperature by 20 degrees. You can also double up the baking sheets, so they have a bit of insulation on the bottom. You can also make sure you are baking in the middle of the oven and not toward the bottom, which tends to be hotter.

      Thank you, Zoë

  13. Can I divide these between two round nine-inch pans to be refrigerated overnight, or will they be too smooshed together to bake properly? I’m thinking about dividing a batch to send home with dinner guests for the next morning. If so, should I advise them to turn them out and then frost them, or better to just frost and serve out of the pan? Thanks!

    1. Hi Jess,

      Yes, that will work just great. If you have our books you can follow he directions for baking from the caramel rolls, but you don’t have to use the caramel. You can frost them in the pan or out, either way will work just great. Be sure to grease your pan very well.

      Thanks, Zoë

  14. Hi,
    We’ve been baking no-knead bread for a couple of years now and have settled into a comfortable loaf that, in our southern Arizona weather, is ready for the table in about four hours from start to finish. Hadn’t really applied the principle to desserts yet. Just discovered you guys. Thanks so much for sharing your brioche dough recipe!! We’ve used it three times already over just a few days (<puffs cheeks out into a chubby-face to indicate having gone just a bit overboard 🙂 Man, the trials of searching for the right cinnamon roll recipe! the closest we came was a careful variant of our own invention on a Hokkaido milk bread dough with the cooked flour roux, etc., but your recipe has it beat hands down and the orange rind in the icing was a nice touch too! Much, much appreciated.

    All the best, Karl

    1. Fantastic! We’re coming out with a book in Fall of 2018 that’ll be just sweets, brioches, challahs, dessert and morning breads.

    1. Hi Tania,

      If you are just talking about 24 hours, I leave them out on the counter. Beyond that, you can store them in the refrigerator and heat the buns up again, either in the oven or microwave.

      Thanks, Zoe

      1. Thanks so much Zoe!
        Now I know I can make them the night before and have them ready to go the following morning!

  15. The two brioche recipes linked above are different – one has 8 eggs and 7.5 cups of flour, one has 6 eggs and 7 cups of flour. Which should I use?

    1. In the Holiday and Celebration book (on Amazon at we made the dough less hydrated–tighter dough to hold a shape for the fancy loaves in that book. It’s a matter of preference–they’re both great.

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