I had two friends combine Cinnabon, Betty Crocker, and a few others until they felt their recipe was perfected. This was once a secret, but I begged, and alas, now the world has the greatest cinnamon roll recipe!
2.5 teaspoons yeast (1 pkg.)
1 cup milk
3/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons wheat gluten
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon vanilla (double if "imitation")
1. Mix 1 cup flour with yeast and wheat gluten in a mixing bowl and set aside.
2. Melt butter in a saucepan and then add milk. Add sugar and salt until just dissolved. Heat through until warm and add to mixing bowl (the flour mixture).
3. Mix on high for 3 minutes. Add eggs and mix until blended. Add vanilla. Add flour gradually until dough is pliable and can be kneaded (you may need to add another cup or so of flour).
4. Knead dough on lightly floured surface for 6-8 minutes, or until dough is elastic. Put into a large, greased plastic bowl and let rise until double, about 1 1/2-2 hours. Once dough has risen, roll out to the size (about) of a cookie sheet and about 1/8-1/4 inch thick (aim for 1/8 inch thickness).
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 Tablespoons cinnamon
1. Mix cinnamon and sugar together in a bowl and set aside. Spread butter evenly on dough and then sprinkle with sugar mixture. (You can leave one end plain--about 1/2 inch edge--to make the log stick together.) Roll dough into a log and cut every 2-3 inches. You can use a serrated knife or dental floss to avoid smashing the log.
2. Place on cookie sheets 1-2 inches apart (they will grow a lot in the oven!) Let rise on cookie sheets for about 1 hour. Bake at 335 degrees for about 20 minutes. Remove when tops begin to brown (to avoid dryness).
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon lemon flavor
1. Cream butter and cream cheese together at low speed for 6 minutes. Switch to whisk attachment and whisk on high for 10 minutes. Add 1 cup sugar on low speed, and then go back to high speed for another 3 minutes. Add vanilla, lemon, and remaining sugar on low and then return to high speed for another 3 minutes, or until creamy.
2. Keep leftover frosting in fridge. Store extra rolls at room temperature, covered. Don't ice the rolls until just before serving.
(*note: when I made these, I kept my oven at a low temperature (around 150 degrees) while the dough was rising. Then I put the bowls (when the dough ball was rising) and the cookie sheets (when the rolls were rising) on top of the oven to make sure they were warm enough to rise properly. It worked like a charm!)