Milk Bar Cinnamon Rolls

This recipe comes from Christina Tosi’s Milk Bar Life cookbook which is loaded with childhood-esque comfort food favorites. While you definitely need to plan in advance for these cinnamon rolls since they are yeast rolls that require rise time, why not double the recipe and freeze some while you’re at it? The rolls and the frosting (or “bunz and goo” as Christina calls them) freeze very well unbaked. Simply pull the rolls you want to bake out of the freezer the night before, place in a buttered pan, and bake in the morning. Place the frozen frosting in the fridge the night before and it will be ready to spread in the morning. Here’s how to make the rolls.

Milk Bar Cinnamon Rolls


  • 2½ teaspoon dry active yeast

  • ¾ cup warm water

  • 1½ cups warm milk

  • 6 cups bread flour

  • 2 tablespoons salt

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature


  • 1 cup butter, room temperature

  • 1½ cups light brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon

  • 2 teaspoons salt


  • ½ cup butter

  • 8 oz cream cheese

  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2 cups powdered sugar

  • 2 teaspoons salt


  1. 1Warm the milk in a microwave-safe container for 20-30 seconds, being careful not to scald, add warm water and dissolve the yeast.

  2. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl, add in the yeast mixture and knead. Add the butter and knead a little more forming a ball. Let rise for 45 minutes.

  3. Make the filling by combining the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt.

  4. Roll out dough into a 16” x 16” square. Spread the filling mixture generously over the surface of the dough.

  5. Roll up the square into a long cylinder. Cut every inch to create 16 rolls and place them in a buttered 9” x 13” pan or two 9” square or pie pans. Cover with plastic. Let rise for 45 minutes before baking 15-20 minutes at 375° F.

  6. While the rolls bake, make the frosting. With a hand mixer in a medium bowl, combine butter, cream cheese, vanilla, powdered sugar, and salt.

  7. Allow the rolls to cool slightly out of the oven, but while still warm, spread generously with frosting and serve.

Milk Bar Cinnamon Rolls | @beesandbubbles
Milk Bar Cinnamon Rolls | @beesandbubbles
Milk Bar Cinnamon Rolls | @beesandbubbles
Milk Bar Cinnamon Rolls | @beesandbubbles

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