I have a feeling…I suspect this post may very well be my most popular. I think we all know why. Funny thing about caramel rolls – not many people in the US even know they exist. Just like I wasn’t aware there were sweet rolls until I was in high school. As far as I know, caramel rolls (we actually pronounce it “carmel”) are only rampant in North Dakota and perhaps the surrounding states. That may have been the only drawback of living in Cody, Wyoming – no caramel rolls. Unless they were made in my kitchen.
Once again, I have early memories about caramel rolls. I love how that works. My Grandma Heringer often had not one, but 2 pans of caramel rolls gracing her kitchen counter tops, along with kuchen, but that’s a different story. I don’t recall ever being around when she made them, but I do know she had a huge flour tin hiding in one of her cabinets. Just had to pull that handle and this huge metal lined bin emerged full of flour. I wonder how much flour it held…maybe that giant bag that hangs out on the bottom shelf of the grocery store…
I have a few different recipes for caramel rolls, but like many recipes, I keep adjusting one until it fits me. It finally fits and would love to share it with you, so that you too can have a couple of pans of caramel rolls resting on your counters for kids, grandkids, family, and friends.
Here’s how they’re made.
With your paddle attachment, mix together yeast, butter, and salt. //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=tf_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=peakstoprairi-20&marketplace=amazon®ion=US&placement=B0002Y5X9W&asins=B0002Y5X9W&linkId=b9b9a511879ea88ed06f2f4af32cca9c&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=false&price_color=333333&title_color=0066c0&bg_color=ffffff“>This is the mixer I have been using for years. Add in egg and a couple of shakes of cinnamon. Mix. While mixing, add in flour until dough is fairly firm and slightly sticky. Remove from mixer, form dough into a large ball, cover and let rise until doubled.
Now it’s time to roll it out. This is one of my favorite parts. The dough is softer than a baby’s bottom – silky stuff.
Roll out until roughly the size of a large baking sheet. You don’t have to be exact.
Brush on melted butter and sprinkle liberally with cinnamon. Cover with a layer of brown sugar. (optional – add pecans, walnuts, or dried fruit)
Roll dough from one side to the other, not up and down like the Pioneer Woman does it. That was a shocking TV moment for me. Haha. Then, turn dough so it’s on a horizontal.
Slice into 12 equal pieces.
Place rolls in a greased cake pan and cover with a tea towel for at least 1/2 hour. //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=tf_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=peakstoprairi-20&marketplace=amazon®ion=US&placement=B0006SGQFY&asins=B0006SGQFY&linkId=133270d98752c07c915ad590348d314a&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=false&price_color=333333&title_color=0066c0&bg_color=ffffff“>I use this pan.
When they look magnificent like this, it’s time to start your caramel. Just look at the specks of cinnamon in the dough. So pretty!
In a medium sauce pan, melt 3/4 c butter on low or medium low. Stir in 1 1/2 c of brown sugar – whisk until dissolved. Add 2 cups of cream, whisk until combined.
Pour over rolls. Bake rolls for 15 minutes at 350 degrees (preheated oven). Then cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake a final 12-15 minutes. They will appear dark.
Remove from oven and get ready to perform my most dangerous kitchen trick ( I have YET to experience a bad rick…which would result in hot caramel flying around the kitchen). Place a baking sheet upside down, on top of the cake pan. Firmly and carefully grab both pans together and flip them, so that the baking sheet is on the bottom with the rolls upside down. Everything will be hot, so allow the rolls to cool a BIT before taking a bite. Or licking caramel off the rolls. Or pan. Perfect for breakfast or brunch!
*Variation* – Instead of making the caramel separate, you can cover the bottom of the pan with brown sugar, put rolls in, and cover with the cream before baking. I have made them this way for years, but I prefer the creamier texture from heating it on the stove top with butter. Other people use ice cream instead of cream as well. Many variations can be made.
- 1 egg, room temp
- 3 tsp. yeast
- 1 tsp. salt
- 3/4 c. butter, room temp
- 3/4 c. sugar
- 1 1/4 c. hot water
- flour, at least 4 cups (I use an equal mix of bread flour and all purpose flour, or whatever I have on hand!)
- 3 Tbsp. melted butter
- brown sugar
- 3/4 c. butter
- 1 1/2 c. brown sugar
- 2 c. cream
- In a mixing bowl, add yeast, sugar, and hot water. Let proof for 5-10 minutes. Add butter, salt, and a couple of shakes of cinnamon. Mix with paddle attachment until butter is broken up. Mix in egg. Gradually add flour while mixing until dough is slightly sticky. Form into a large ball and cover. Let rise until doubled. Punch down and shape into a large ball again.
- On a floured surface, roll dough into a large rectangle about the size as a baking sheet. Brush or spoon on melted butter over the surface. Sprinkle cinnamon over the top. Do the same with brown sugar. I don’t like this layer very thick, just enough to cover the surface. If you want to add nuts or dried fruit, do that now in the same manner. Roll one side to the other. Cut into 12 equal(ish) pieces. Put into a greased cake pan. Cover and let rise for at least 30 minutes.
- Caramel – In a medium pot, melt 3/4 c. butter over low to medium heat, add brown sugar and stir until dissolved. I add a little more cinnamon to this – completely optional. Add cream, stir until completely combined. Pour over the rolls.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, then cover the pan with foil and bake 30 minutes, remove foil and bake for 12 minutes. The caramel could bubble over, so you many want to place a baking sheet under the cake pan while baking. Once rolls are done, remove from the oven. Cover cake pan with an inverted baking sheet (larger than the cake pan). CAREFULLY flip over, so that the caramel rolls will be upside down on the baking sheet.