Flannels & Pearls

Caramel Rolls

have a feeling…I suspect this post may very well be my most popular. I think we all know why. Funny thing about caramel rolls – not many people in the US even know they exist. Just like, I wasn’t aware there were sweet rolls until I was in high school. As far as I know, caramel rolls (we pronounce them “carmel” rolls here in ND) are only “a thing” in North Dakota and perhaps the surrounding states. That may have been the only drawback of living in Cody, Wyoming – no caramel rolls! Unless they were made in my kitchen.

Once again, I have early memories of caramel rolls. I love how that works. My Grandma Heringer often had not one, but 2 pans of caramel rolls gracing her kitchen counter tops, along with kuchen, but that’s a different story.

I have a few different recipes for caramel rolls, but like many recipes, I keep adjusting one until it fits me. Well, it finally fits and I would love to share this with you, so that you too can have a couple of pans of caramel rolls on your counter top for kids, grandchildren, family, and friends.

Here how they’re made. Disclaimer: As an Amazon Affiliate, I get a small kick-back if you buy from my links. That helps support this blog, at no extra cost to you.

To your mixing bowl, add yeast, sugar, and hot water (remember, not too hot, don’t kill the yeast). Let proof for 5 to 10 minutes. This is the KitchenAid mixer I use.

With your paddle attachment, mix together yeast, butter, and salt. Add in egg and a couple of shakes of cinnamon. Mix. While mixing, add in flour until dough is fairly firm and slightly sticky. Remove from mixer, form dough into a large ball, cover and let rise until doubled.

Now it’s time to roll it out. This is one of my favorite parts. The dough is softer than a baby’s bottom – silky stuff.

Roll out until roughly the size of a large baking sheet. You don’t have to be exact.

Brush on melted butter and sprinkle liberally with cinnamon. Cover with a layer of brown sugar. Optional – you can add pecans, walnuts, or dried fruit at this point.

Roll dough from one side to the other (I prefer not to roll mine up from the bottom up or vise versa. This way creates more rolls, but not thick rolls).

Slice into 12 equal (ish) parts.

Place rolls in a buttered cake pan and cover with a tea towel for at least 1/2 hour.

When they look magnificent like this, it’s time to start your caramel. Just look at those specks of cinnamon in the dough. So pretty!

I purchased this set of sauce pans for my own Christmas gift a couple of years ago. I use them daily. In the medium sauce pan, melt 3/4 c. butter on low or medium-low. Stir in 1 1/2 c. brown sugar – whisk until dissolved. Add 2 cups of cream, whisk until combined.

Pour over rolls. Bake rolls for 15 minutes at 350 degrees (preheated oven). Then cover with foil and bake for an additional 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for a final 12-15 minutes. They will appear dark.

Remove from oven and get ready to perform one of the most dangerous kitchen tricks (I have YET to experience a bad trick…which would result in hot caramel flying around the room). Place a baking sheet, like this one, upside down, on top of the cake pan.

Firmly and carefully, grab both pans together and flip them, so that the baking sheet is on the bottom with the rolls upside down. Everything will be hot, so allow the rolls to cool a BIT before taking a bite. Or licking caramel off the rolls. Or pan. Perfect for breakfast, brunch, or just because.

Caramel Rolls

Cook Time 1 hour
Servings 12


  • 1 egg room temp.
  • 3 tsp. yeast
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 c. butter room temp.
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1 1/4 c. warm water
  • at least 4 c. flour mix of bread flour and all purpose flour or whatever you have on hand
  • 3 Tbsp. butter melted
  • brown sugar
  • cinnamon
  • 3/4 c. butter
  • 1 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 2 c. cream
  • cinnamon


  • In a mixing bowl, add yeast, sugar, and warm water. Let proof for 5-10 minutes. Add butter, salt, and a couple of shakes of cinnamon. Mix with paddle attachment until butter is broken up. Mix in egg. Gradually add flour while mixing until dough is just slightly sticky. Form into a large ball and cover. Let rise until doubled. Punch down and shape into a large ball again.
  • On a floured surface, roll dough into a large rectangle about the size of a baking sheet. Brush melted butter over the surface. Sprinkle cinnamon over the top. Do the same with brown sugar, just enough to cover the surface. If you want to add nuts or dried fruit, do that now in the same manner. Roll one side to the other. Cut into 12 equal pieces. Place each roll into a greased cake pan. Cover and let rise for at least 30 minutes.
  • Caramel Sauce – In a medium pot, melt 3/4 c. butter over low to medium heat, add brown sugar and stir until dissolved. Optional – add a little cinnamon. Add cream, stir until completely combined. Pour over the rolls. Another option is covering the bottom of the cake pan with brown sugar, placing cut rolls over the top, and adding a pint of cream over the top. I make the recipe both ways and they are scrumptious every time.
  • Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees for 12 minutes, then cover the pan with foil and bake 30 minutes, remove foil and bake for an additional 12 minutes. The caramel could bubble over, so it’s a good idea to place a baking sheet under the cake pan while baking. Once rolls are done, remove from the oven. Cover the cake pan with an inverted baking sheet (larger than the cake pan). Carefully flip over, so that the caramel rolls will be upside down on the baking sheet.

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