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Cinnamon Rolls with Currants and Pecans

Scott Phillips

Yield: Makes 12 rolls

Servings: 12

Tiny dried currants and a sprinkle of crunchy pecans give these classic cinnamon rolls a little upgrade.


For the dough

  • 3 oz. (6 Tbs.) unsalted butter, softened; more for the bowl
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 13-1/2 oz. (3 cups) all-purpose flour; more as needed
  • 1/2 cup dried currants
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4-oz. packet rapid-rise or active dry yeast (2-1/4 tsp.)
  • 3/4 tsp. table salt
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

For the filling

  • 3 oz. (6 Tbs.) unsalted butter, softened; more for the baking dish
  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 Tbs. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. table salt
  • All-purpose flour, as needed

For baking, glazing, and topping

  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3 oz. (3/4 cup) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
  • 1 oz. (2 Tbs.) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract or paste
  • Heavy cream, as needed
  • 1/4 cup toasted chopped pecans

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 390
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 180
  • Fat (g): 20
  • Saturated Fat (g): 12
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 5
  • Cholesterol (mg): 100
  • Sodium (mg): 300
  • Carbohydrates (g): 48
  • Fiber (g): 2
  • Protein (g): 6


Make the dough

  • Lightly butter a large bowl and set aside.
  • In a small pot, bring the milk just to a boil over medium heat, watching closely to ensure it doesn’t boil over. Transfer to a small bowl and add the butter to melt. Let cool to 110°F to 115°F.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl, combine the flour, currants, sugar, yeast, and salt on medium speed. With the mixer on low speed or with a wooden spoon, add the milk mixture and eggs, mixing until just combined.
  • If using a mixer, switch to the dough hook, and knead on low speed until smooth and elastic, 6 to 8 minutes. Or, tip the dough onto a work surface and knead by hand for about 12 minutes.
  • Form the dough into a ball, set it in the prepared bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm spot until it has almost doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours.

Fill and shape the rolls

  • Butter a 9×13-inch baking dish. Combine the sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl.
  • Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a very lightly floured surface. With a lightly floured rolling pin, roll it into a 12×16-inch rectangle. Spread the butter evenly over the entire surface and then coat evenly with the cinnamon mixture.
  • Starting at a short end, tightly roll the dough into a log and pinch the long seam and ends closed. With a serrated knife, cut the roll crosswise into 12 equal pieces. Set the pieces in the prepared dish, cut side up. Cover with plastic wrap, and let sit at room temperature until the dough is pillowy and the rolls are touching, 1 to 2 hours.

Bake, glaze, and top the rolls

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F.
  • In a small bowl, prepare an egg wash by whisking the egg yolk with 2 tsp. water. Uncover the rolls and brush with the egg wash (you won’t need it all). Bake until golden brown, 18 to 24 minutes. Transfer the baking dish to a rack to cool until warm, about 20 minutes. Separate the rolls with a table knife, but don’t remove them from the baking dish unless you want to glaze them individually.
  • Meanwhile, beat the confectioners’ sugar, cream cheese, butter, and vanilla with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add enough heavy cream for your desired consistency (you may not need any, or you may need as much as 1/2 cup). Spread or drizzle your desired amount over the warm rolls (you may have glaze left over). Sprinkle the pecans over the rolls while the glaze is still sticky. Pull the rolls apart and serve warm.

Make Ahead Tips

The rolls may be shaped 1 day ahead. After arranging them in the baking dish, cover and refrigerate them before letting them rise. When ready to bake, let rise as described above; because they are cold, they will take an extra hour or so.


Rate or Review

Reviews (4 reviews)

  • Sarhill1 | 12/27/2020

    Wonderful cinnamon rolls. Prepared the day before and baked them for Christmas breakfast. Used regular rather than quick rise yeast.

  • Megann | 04/02/2019

    I attempted making these again and the initial rising took closer to 4 hours but they did rise. They were delicious! I will make them again for sure.

  • Megann | 02/02/2017

    My rolls did not rise as well but they were tasty anyways. I did some research and I think I will try it again but use rapid rise yeast instead of active dry, I think if you use active dry you need to activate it in water first instead of throwing it into the mix which I didn't do because the instructions didn't say to.

  • user-4515426 | 05/09/2016

    Should have been good, but my dough did not rise.

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