You won’t believe the magic secret ingredient in these Cinnamon Rolls! Extra fluffy, light and gooey, the extra ingredient contributes to this roll’s heavenly texture. You won’t go back to regular cinnamon rolls after you try these!
Okay, okay – in my defense, I was skeptical about these cinnamon rolls. When I read the recipe for them, I was perplexed and maybe a little iffy on even tasting them. But once I sunk my teeth into their light and airy texture and tasted all of that aromatic cinnamon and the incredible browned butter icing, I fell in love.
I am converted, y’all, and it’s a glorious thing.
I know you’re dying to know the secret ingredient, and that would be mashed potatoes.
Yup, like the ones you serve with gravy on Thanksgiving day.
Regular ol’ mashed spuds are the magical ingredient to these extra fluffy cinnamon rolls, and your life will forever change when you take a bite just like mine did.
Now, because I am impatient and because baked potatoes and I have a long-standing rivalry, I confess: I bought prepared mashed potatoes at the grocery store. They’re usually in the prepared refrigerated foods section, often found lurking around rotisserie chickens and such in the deli. If you go this route: just make sure your potatoes aren’t seasoned! No one wants garlicky cinnamon rolls.
Otherwise, you can get all Suzy Homemaker and bake your own potato or two and mash it yourself. I know baked potatoes are actually very easy to make, but we’re old enemies and I just don’t even bother with them anymore. It’s a long story, and next time I’m drunk, I’ll tell you about it.
ANYWAY, I digress. But from this point forward, I am so making these rolls because the mashed potatoes seriously make the rolls extra tender. They taste just like regular cinnamon rolls, yes – but the texture is where it’s at.
So if you’re bored this weekend, grab the leftover potatoes from the fridge and get baking! You won’t be sorry.
*adapted from an old Better Homes & Gardens magazine
Secret Ingredient Cinnamon Rolls
- 4¼-4¾ cups all-purpose flour divided
- 1 package active dry yeast make sure it isn't expired!
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup unseasoned cooked & peeled mashed potatoes
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter cut into cubes
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 large eggs
- FOR THE FILLING:
- 1/4 cup butter softened
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
- FOR THE BROWNED BUTTER ICING:
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter
- 3 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2-3 Tbsp whole milk
- In a large bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together 1 & 1/2 cups of the flour and the yeast; set aside briefly. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat and stir the milk, mashed potatoes, 1/3 cup butter, sugar, and salt until warmed and butter is just barely melted, about 120 degrees F. Pour the melted butter mixture into the bowl with the flour and add in the eggs.
- Beat with the dough hook attachment on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Once combined, beat on high speed for 3 minutes, stopping the mixer to add in as much of the remaining flour as you can, saving some for kneading. NOTE: to avoid tough cinnamon rolls, use the flour conservatively, starting with the smaller amount and slowly adding where needed.
- Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead in the remaining flour until dough is soft and elastic, about 3-5 minutes of kneading time. Shape the dough into a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease the whole surface of dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in size, roughly 45-60 minutes.
- Punch the dough down and turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Cover the dough and let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, lightly grease a 13x9" rectangular baking pan with cooking spray. In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar and cinnamon for the filling.
- Roll out the dough into a large rectangle, about 18x12". Spread the softened butter over the surface of the dough and sprinkle liberally with the brown sugar & cinnamon mixture. Starting from the long side of the dough, begin tightly rolling the dough into a roll. Pinch seams closed. Cut dough spiral into 12 equal pieces using either a sharp serrated knife or dental floss. Place the cut rolls into the prepared pan. Cover with another clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled (about 30 minutes).
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and they appear done in the center. Let set for 10 minutes before topping with the icing.
- For the icing: In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once butter has melted, pay close attention as the mixture is prone to burning quickly. Watch the butter bubble, foam and fizz, stirring and swirling the pan often, until browned bits appear on the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat when the butter is amber in color and nutty in fragrance. Pour the browned butter into a medium bowl with the remaining icing ingredients and whisk to combine. Spread on top of still-warm rolls.
I promise, you’ll flip for the nutty brown butter vanilla icing atop of these perfectly spiced and ultra fluffy cinnamon rolls!
Have a super sweet day!
Jan Elmore says
You hooked me on the whole mashed potato affair. I am hoping you’ll be drinking soon and relate the rest of that story!
Debby Small says
These look so good can’t wait to make them.
Melissa Roberts says
These cinnamon rolls are sooooo good. Moist, and tasty. Worth the extra time making the mashed potatoes.
Melissa, so happy you loved them! They’re so good!
Don’t have any fresh milk and wanna make them so can I use buttermilk or milk powder??which one do you recommend and if you recommend using buttermilk,,do i need to dilute it with some water??
Hi Nada, the buttermilk should work fine! Do not dilute.
Ginger McKenzie says
So happy to find this recipe! I had a recipe using potato but haven’t been able to find it. My daughter & her family are in for a real treat on Mother’s Day.
Greg Jones says
I do like hamburger and hotdog potato rolls so this recipe was a must try. It is worth every point of a 5 star rating. I had leftover cream cheese from red velvet cupcakes we made so we used this. Looking forward to trying the recipe as written. I did proof the yeast first and added it as a part of the wet ingredients instead.
Eating one of these as I type and they’re delicious!!
The addition of the potato is a game changer and this will be a recipe I’ll use again.
I did sub in Lactose-Free Milk and added about 3/4 tsp of instant coffee to the cinnamon sugar filling mix. Sooo good!