When I was younger I used to love these prepackaged cinnamon roll muffin things. They might have even come in a low-fat version…. I can’t remember the brand name (maybe it’s Hostess?), but man did I love those little devils. I can even recall coming across them in a vending machine and feeling like I had won the lottery. Nowadays, I prefer my sweet treats to have ingredients that I can pronounce, but I can still appreciate the idea behind my old favorites.
A few weekends ago I lazily rolled out of bed well after 9 with a very strong craving for cinnamon rolls. Not wanting to wait hours for the whole process, I had to go on an internet search for something else to have with our eggs.Then I remembered something from my friend Josie’s blog. Sure enough, easy cinnamon roll muffins sounded perfect, and totally reminded me of the treats I used to eat.
What I really like about these is how quickly they come together, you don’t even have to preheat the oven! I also like how they still have light yeasty taste to go along with the cinnamon sweetness. No, they are not a perfect replacement for real cinnamon rolls. But they are a still a great, quick, easy, sweet treat.
Easy Cinnamon Roll Muffins
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
4 teaspoons instant yeast*
2/3 cup warm milk (100-110 degrees F)
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 Tablespoons butter, room temperature
2/3 cup brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of ground cardamom
1 cup powdered sugar
3-4 Tablespoons half and half or milk
*Some have felt that the yeast flavor was very strong. If you are worried about that, you can try reducing the amount to 3 tsp (1 Tbsp). I haven’t tried it personally, so I can’t stand behind it 100%, but I don’t think it would affect the rise too much.
Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin tin.
In a glass measuring cup, stir together the yeast and milk. While the yeast is dissolving, sift together the flour, sugar, and salt in to a large bowl. Pour the milk/yeast, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, and egg in to the bowl. Stir until smooth.
Divide the batter evenly among the 12 cups. Set aside and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
While you are waiting, add the ingredients for the filling to a small bowl and combine with a fork, until crumbly. Divide the filling evenly among the 12 cups and gently swirl into the dough with the fork.
Place the muffin tin in a cold oven, then set the temperature for 350 degrees. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean and centers spring back if lightly touched.
While allowing the muffins to slightly cool, stir together the powdered sugar and milk until smooth. Drizzle over warm muffins and serve.
These muffins taste best warm, so serve them immediately or reheat in the microwave for a few seconds.