"Kusina" = Kitchen; "Manang" = older sister

A Filipina's unabashed chronicle of her adaptations in the American kitchen. Includes step-by-step photos on how to make pan de sal, ensaymada, pan de coco, siopao, hopia, pandelimon, pianono, atsara, crema de fruta,etc., and if you are lucky, you will find videos too!

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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Cinnamon Rolls

I once made cinnamon rolls that was supposedly "grandma's best" but I was disapointed with them as there was nothing special about them and they were tough. Hubby is such a fan of cinnamon, whether cinnamon rolls or fried dough with cinnamon sugar. He likes getting the Hannaford brand cinnamon rolls, and it is quite good ONLY WHEN FRESHLY BAKED.

After having very good success with the supersoft ensaymada that I made earlier into coco-cinni rolls, I recently made cinnamon rolls using this dough, and everyone loved it! Hubby was very very pleased with it, even like the frosting I made to go with it. And these were soft even the next day! Next time I make this dough, I will freeze some of them as cinnamon rolls ready to slice and bake.


Dough of supersoft ensaymada

Cinnamon Filling (Follow this proportion; you might want to make extra. Or you can use ready made.)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Milk to brush dough with before sprinkling cinnamon-sugar mix.

Melted butter to dip rolls in (about 1/2 stick)

3 tbsp butter, softened
3 cups confectioner's sugar
3 tbsp plus some more of half n half


Prepare dough as instructed. divide into 3. Flatten each and shape into rectangles about 1 foot long (Please see slideshow of supersoft ensaymada dough).

Brush surface with milk. Sprinkle cinnamon-sugar generously all over except 1/2 inch from edge of the outer side (will create seam); roll from the long end into log. Place seam side down.[You may want to freeze at this point by wrapping tightly in cling wrap then placing on a pan.]

Using dough cutter, cut in smooth strokes into 8-9 pieces (1 to 1-1/2 inch wide). Dip in or brush with melted butter. Place in a pan (8-inch or 9-inch round, or 8x8 square). If frozen, let it thaw on the countertop for 15-20 minutes before cutting into 8-9 pieces (not including the ends of the log).

Let rise in warm, moist, draft-free environment (like the inside of the oven heated for 1 minute, with a bowl of hot water inside). If dough is not frozen, rising time may be only about 30 minutes. If frozen, it may take 1 hr or more to rise (longer if on the countertop covered with cling wrap).

When doubled in size, sprinkle some more cinnamon-sugar on top.

Bake at 375 F for 15 minutes (or 350 F for 15 minutes if you want it lighter-colored. It won't matter; this will be covered by the cinnamon and frosting.)

Cool for 5 minutes before applying frosting. Meanwhile, make the frosting.

Cream butter and confectioner's sugar with hand mixer. Add 3 tbsp half and half and beat well. Add a little bit at a time while beating until you achieve spreading consistency.

Apply atop cinnamon rolls with spatula.

Serve with a glass of milk (for them) or a cup of coffee (for me).

Cover leftovers, if any, tightly with cling wrap and place in the fridge. To re-warm, zap in microwave for 10 secs so as not to melt the frosting. Or, let sit on countertop for 30 minutes.


  1. hi manang, i am going to make this tomorrow but i am wondering what is half and half? thanks... looks really yummy...my hubby would love this cause he likes cinnamon buns...

  2. hi ellen,
    half and half is half of cream and half of milk (you can find it near milk in grocery stores).
    If you don't have it at home, you can just use milk.
    We also use half and half in mashed potatoes.

  3. These look delicious but first I must make ensaymada - my husband fell in love with them during our trip to the Philippines this past Christmas.

  4. Hi Manang,

    Which dough recipe do you mostly use or would prefer between your supersoft and buttery dough? kailangan isa lang ha? LOL! There should atleast be a favorite. And, how is your medical transcription job? Kase i've been thinking about getting into it pero i would like to get a feedback since you are well experienced in this field. Do you work from home or at an office? And did you go to school for the class or yung mga online classes? Would you you mind sharing your experience. I am really confused whether to take this up (MT) or med coding and billing or LVN? i'm thinking about the money to put in. Sorry for this long comment. Thanks in advance!

  5. Hi Dutchess,
    My favorite now is supersoft dough. Very versatile for sweet type of rolls. I bet it will be good for sticky buns too.

    Re med trans, I am now working as an RN, so totally stopped med trans. Working as an RN is way way way much better than MT (in my opinion), unless siguro if you can get your own clients sa med trans. I used to work at home nun, but I did not go to any class for that job because my medical background as a doctor gave me a headstart. I only had to learn using the software (which was actually the only exciting part for me).
    I think coding and billing are better, but then you might want to consider being a CNA then apply for hospital-sponsored Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) which takes two years. If you become CNA first in a hospital, you are sure of work for at least two years (usual contract nila for their sponsored students), and you do not have to spend a dime getting your degree. Exposure to the work while you are a CNA (also paid training yun) will help you decide if you really would like the job.
    Goodluck in whatever decision you come up with. I just want to emphasize that medical transcription will not be my choice. I only did it then pangtawid while I was preparing for NCLEX. If you become a nurse, every year you get increase. Every department is additional experience (you will never be seen as fickle-minded if you spend only 1 yr in any department then changes again). So many choices to subspecialize and to advance your degree.

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  8. Thanks a lot for the insights.....keep cookin' and rockin'! why don't you start (if you haven't) putting up a cooking vlog on youtube? you will find me there, nga lang i do not opt for a culinary genre, though i really love to be my own little chef in my kusina. i do music pag trip ko(sillyangel1122, if you wish to drop by).

  9. Manang haaay I go crazy over your recipes!!! Your site was the first thing I visited when my son requested me to bake Kalihim which is his favorite bread back in the Philippines. I have my own recipe for cinnamon rolls but I will try this one too! Mukhang masarap like your other recipes which I have tried already. Continue sharing your recipes with us! :)

  10. HI Enid, Thanks! I will try my best to search for fave recipes that we Filipinos miss the most!

  11. Hi Manang,
    Firstly, thank u so much for sharing this wonderful recipe. I always get rave reviews when I bake it.
    My question is, how long will this dough keep in the freezer? I am planning on making a double batch of cinnamon buns and freezing half of the dough. Will the unbaked dough keep in the freezer for about a week before I bake it?
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Marie, thanks for your comment. It definitely will last in the freezer for a week. Thaw for a few hours (maybe 2?) before baking. I find it easier to thaw a little until soft enough to cut with a knife, that way, they don't flatten on the sides and pinch then hide the filling.


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