buns 2 682x1024 Cinnamon Rolls with Pecans and Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
I thought long and hard about posting something gooey, buttery, sweet, and out of this world… NOT! I thought about when to post it, not if I was going to post it.

I think this is the perfect time for this recipe. As of next week you are going to start eating rice cakes and carrots because that is your New Year’s resolution, the one that will last for like a minute… okay a week… and before you go and do that to yourself, you will want to dive into something sinful. Something like a homemade cinnamon roll.

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These are Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls. I don’t know if I can find the correct adjective(s) to describe them… Enticing. Luscious. Rich. Delightful. Scrumptious.

Look, they’re freakin’ amazing!

Yes, there’s some work involved. And yes, you will hate all the waiting-time in between, but in the end it is always worth it.

I made these together with my Mom. She loves cinnamon rolls, and when I told her that I had Pioneer Woman’s rolls in mind, she was game! She rolled up her sleeves, took out the butter, and got to work. She and I made these together a couple of times before and we could not stop stuffing our faces. I ate four rolls before I realized that my thighs were beginning to rub together.

Whateeya gonna do? Not eat cinnamon rolls because of a jiggle?!? Yeah, okay.

cinnamon buns 2 1024x682 Cinnamon Rolls with Pecans and Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
I didn’t use the Maple Frosting that Ree uses in her recipe. I used this Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting because it also is freakin’ amazing. I also added some chopped pecans to the filling. And on top. I like a little crunch in my rolls. And I added some cinnamon-sugar on top of each roll. Hey, you gotta make it your own, you know? Pecans and more cinnamon work for me. icon smile Cinnamon Rolls with Pecans and Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Just as Ree, I am not going to add an amount of cinnamon in the recipe because that is all up to you; some people like a lot of it, some don’t. I, obviously, like plenty.

buns 684x1024 Cinnamon Rolls with Pecans and Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Cinnamon Rolls with Pecans and Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: About 50 rolls
Cinnamon Rolls
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 packets (0.25 oz. packets) active dry yeast
  • 8 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 sticks butter, melted
  • 3 cups sugar
  • Ground Cinnamon
  • 2 to 3 cups finely chopped pecans (divided)
Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 8 ounces cream cheese (1 package), room temperature
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon lemon extract
For the Cinnamon Rolls
  1. In a large saucepan combine the milk, vegetable oil, and sugar.
  2. Heat the milk mixture over medium heat, but do not boil; set aside and let cool.
  3. Sprinkle the yeast over the milk mixture and let sit for a minute.
  4. Add 8 cups of flour to the yeast mixture; stir to combine.
  5. Cover with towel and let sit in a warm place for one hour.
  6. Add in the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 1 cup flour; stir to combine.
  7. Chill dough for one hour in the refrigerator.
  8. Preheat oven to 375.
  9. Lightly flour your working surface.
  10. Take half of the dough from the bowl or pan and transfer to your working area.
  11. Roll out the dough to a ¼-inch thickness and shape into a rectangle.
  12. Pour about 1 cup of the melted butter over the shaped dough; spread it evenly.
  13. Sprinkle 1 cup of the sugar over the butter
  14. Sprinkle a generous amount of cinnamon.
  15. Add 1 cup of the chopped pecans on top of the cinnamon mixture.
  16. Beginning at the end farthest from you, roll the rectangle tightly towards you; work slowly, and keep the roll tight.
  17. At the end, pinch the seam together and flip the roll so that the seam is face down.
  18. Pour a little bit of the melted butter into 5 baking pans and swirl.
  19. Take the log and cut ½-inch slices.
  20. Arrange the rolls in the prepared baking pans, about 6 or 7 slices per pan.
  21. Brush each roll with a bit of butter, and add sugar and cinnamon on top of each roll.
  22. Cover with towels and let sit for 20 minutes.
  23. Take the other half of the dough and repeat the above steps.
  24. Remove the towels and bake the rolls for 15 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown.
  25. Remove pans from oven and immediately brush each roll with frosting and sprinkle with remaining chopped pecans.
For the Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
  1. Place the cream cheese and the butter in a mixing bowl.
  2. Beat until creamy.
  3. Gradually add in the powdered sugar; beat until smooth, about 4 minutes.
  4. Pour in the vanilla extract and lemon extract; continue to mix until well incorporated.
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

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30 Comments on this article. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Jessica @ Jessiker Bakes January 11, 2013 at 5:13 PM - Reply

    Katerina these look sooooo good! You combine three of my favourite things – cinnamon, pecans and lemon!

    • Kate@Diethood January 11, 2013 at 5:37 PM - Reply

      Thanks, Jessica! Those are also my favorite things!! :)

  2. cookingrookie December 29, 2012 at 11:49 PM - Reply

    I just saw these on Pinterest, they look amazing. You have a beautiful blog! Happy New Year!

  3. Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet December 29, 2012 at 11:44 AM - Reply

    I love PW’s recipe for cinnamon rolls! Your lemon cream cheese frosting sounds so good! Gorgeous pics!

  4. Kim Bee December 29, 2012 at 10:46 AM - Reply

    Can I just dive head first into the pan please? These are amazing. Just love the photos.

  5. Helene Dsouza I Masala Herb December 29, 2012 at 10:45 AM - Reply

    Tempting and perfect looking Cinnamon rolls Kate. You can make those for my every morning if you want and send them over! =P

  6. jenbeans December 29, 2012 at 9:03 AM - Reply

    this would be so good with a nice cuppa joe!

  7. Jaime December 29, 2012 at 7:01 AM - Reply

    Hi Kate, I’m fairly new to your blog but enjoying every bit! These are perfect little rolls xx

  8. Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen December 29, 2012 at 2:59 AM - Reply

    There’s just nothing quite like the smell of cinnamon rolls coming out of the oven!

  9. Valerie December 28, 2012 at 11:33 PM - Reply

    All good things come from 4 sticks of butter. (thighs are good hand warmers!).

    Amazing photos- I want to eat them.

  10. Averie @ Averie Cooks December 28, 2012 at 10:24 PM - Reply

    Ive always wanted to make the PW rolls and it’s my project to make them in 2013! Yours are beautiful!

  11. Laura (Tutti Dolci) December 28, 2012 at 6:43 PM - Reply

    Wow, I’m speechless – these rolls look absolutely divine!

  12. Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious December 28, 2012 at 3:16 PM - Reply

    Oh my god – this is epic man. I think I’ll have to make this for New Year’s Day. I need to start the year off with this amazingness here.

  13. Meagan @ A Zesty Bite December 28, 2012 at 1:07 PM - Reply

    I love Ree’s cinnamon rolls and I love the changes that you made to the recipe.

  14. Elizabeth December 28, 2012 at 11:51 AM - Reply

    Ree’s cinnamon rolls are sooo delicious! Yours look amazing. They never get old!

  15. Sandra's Easy Cooking December 28, 2012 at 11:38 AM - Reply

    Kate I want this now…look so amazing!!! I wish you and your family wonderful New Year and Merry Christmas! xo

  16. Kristy December 28, 2012 at 10:48 AM - Reply

    Lemon frosting makes cinnamon rolls sound like heaven to me! Wow! I should sneak these in before the New Year diet plan. ;)

  17. Paula @ Vintage Kitchen December 28, 2012 at 9:44 AM - Reply

    I was thinking about these a few days ago. I want to make orange rolls and decided to finally try out this recipe. They look fantastic!

  18. Jennie @themessybakerblog December 28, 2012 at 9:28 AM - Reply

    Wow, these look amazing! Your photos are utterly stunning!

  19. Orchidea December 28, 2012 at 9:19 AM - Reply

    Hi, I like your cinnamon rolls. Never tried with lemon cheese cream frosting though. I will try.

  20. Ramona December 28, 2012 at 8:34 AM - Reply

    It’s morning here… you have me wide awake now…. and I’m hungry for these :) I bet these smelled like heaven while baking. :)

    • Kate@Diethood December 28, 2012 at 9:30 AM - Reply

      Yes! The house smelled so good for two days straight! :)

  21. Nancy R December 28, 2012 at 6:14 AM - Reply

    Katerina these look so delicious. I feel my thighs are already rubbing together…..but hey, I’ll give these a try. I love cinnamon so I guess there will be heaps in mine.

    • Kate@Diethood December 28, 2012 at 9:31 AM - Reply

      Thanks, Nancy! :) I’ll let the thighs rub so long as it’s due to these delicious rolls! ;-)

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