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Bananas Foster Cinnamon Rolls make the perfect breakfast AND dessert. The cinnamon roll dough is whipped up in an hour and a half or less, and that's including letting it rise before baking. Spread inside is a butter and rum extract mixture, cinnamon, brown sugar, and sliced bananas. It bakes up into the perfect bananas foster-inspired cinnamon rolls.
I love being able to bake these Bananas Foster Cinnamon Rolls (or any rolls from scratch) because nothing tastes better than homemade. The mixing, measuring, and pouring – the joy it brings to my family always makes it worth it, especially when using Fleischmann's® RapidRise® Yeast, thanks to Fleischmann’s 150 years of experience!
How to work with Fleischmann's® RapidRise® Yeast
The first thing to do is to always check the expiration date. If the yeast is expired, it's likely that it's not active and your cinnamon roll dough won't rise. The next step is to read the directions and important tips on the package. It will let you know how to use it in your recipe such as proofing, what temperature your water should be before adding it to your yeast, etc. The last important step is to always, always pay attention to how hot your liquid is. In this recipe, we're using water. It will need to be 120˚F-130˚F. I recommend using a thermometer to check, but if you don't have one, make sure it's lukewarm and not hot to touch. If your water is too hot, it will kill your yeast and your dough won't rise.
What I love about using the RapidRise® Yeast is that it's the perfect yeast for beginner bakers as well as seasoned bakers. I say this because:
- You add it into the dry ingredients, which means it doesn't involve "proofing." Proofing is checking if the yeast is active, but as long as the yeast isn't expired, it will do its job. That's such a time saver in the cinnamon roll making process too.
- The dough only takes 10 minutes to rest before it's rolled out. 10 minutes! Other yeasts I've used always require to wait until the dough is doubled before rolling it out.
- The RapidRise® Yeast can be used in recipes that call for Active Dry Yeast and in a bread machine. It's basically pretty universal in the world of yeast.
How to make Bananas Foster Cinnamon Rolls
This is where the fun begins. I took some photos and also a video just to show you how simple this is! Plus, nothing tastes better than homemade especially when you're using a fool-proof yeast like Fleischmann's® RapidRise® Yeast. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl. This is 2 cups flour, sugar, Fleischmann's® RapidRise® Yeast, and salt. Stir to combine.
Next up, add the water and butter to a microwave-safe bowl. Heat the water and butter in 15-second increments until the water reaches 120˚F-130˚F. Use a thermometer to check it. If a thermometer isn't available, use your finger to test it. It should feel lukewarm. The butter doesn't need to be fully melted. Pour it into the bowl of dry ingredients.
Mix the ingredients with an electric hand mixer for 2 minutes. Add in another cup of flour and continue to mix for another 2 minutes. Add in the remaining flour and stir with a spatula until the dough forms a ball. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 6 to 8 minutes until the dough is smooth and when gently pressing 2 fingers into the dough it will spring back. Place into a bowl, cover, and let rest for 10 minutes.
While the dough is resting, mix the butter and rum extract together and set aside, the cinnamon and sugar together and set aside, and slice 2 and ½ bananas. Once the 10 minutes is up, roll the dough into a 15x10-inch rectangle. I like to use my hands to help keep the rectangle shape and press the dough out. Then I use a rolling pin to smooth out the finger marks. Spread the butter mixture onto the dough, the cinnamon and sugar mixture, and then the bananas.
Roll the dough up tightly beginning at the long end of the rectangle. Pinch the seams together to help seal the cinnamon roll dough. Mark out 12 lines on the cinnamon roll dough. You can also mark out 8 as I did for a thicker cinnamon roll, but be prepared to let them bake a little longer. Using unflavored dental floss, slide the floss under the dough and cross the floss to cut each cinnamon roll. Place into a lightly greased 9x13 pan.
If you need do, press the bananas back down into the cinnamon rolls. Then cover the pan and let rise for an hour until doubled. Place in a preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes if you made 12 cinnamon rolls or about 40 minutes if you made 8 cinnamon rolls until the dough is golden brown. Frost the cinnamon rolls while they're still warm to help the frosting melt a little and seep down inside the cinnamon rolls.
How to make the Cinnamon Roll Frosting
It's best to make the cinnamon roll frosting while the cinnamon rolls are still in the oven. That way, when the cinnamon rolls are pulled out of the oven, they can be frosted while they're still warm. To make the cinnamon roll frosting, add the powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, and milk into a medium bowl. Beat with a hand mixer until the frosting is smooth. If it's still stiff, add an additional tablespoon of milk and beat again until the milk is incorporated.
Can I make these Bananas Foster Cinnamon Rolls ahead of time?
Yes! You can make them a day ahead of time in two different ways. The first way to make the dough is instead of letting it rise for 10 minutes, loosely cover it and place it in the fridge overnight. The second way is to go through the entire process of making the Bananas Foster Cinnamon Rolls, and before you let them rise for an hour, loosely cover them and place in the fridge overnight. The next day, remove from the fridge and resume rising. It's that easy.
Can I substitute the rum extract for rum? Yes. You can use 1 tablespoon of rum instead of the ½ teaspoon of rum extract.
Can I mash the bananas instead of slicing them? Yes! Either way will work perfectly. I would recommend adding the mashed bananas before the cinnamon and brown sugar, though, since it would be easier to spread that way.
Bananas Foster Cinnamon Rolls
Bananas Foster Cinnamon Rolls
- 4-½ to 5 cups all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 2 packets (4-½ tsp.) Fleischmann's® RapidRise Yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1-½ cups water
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1 egg
- 2-½ cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter softened
- 2 to 3 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a large bowl, add 2 cups of flour, sugar, dry yeast, and salt. Stir with a rubber spatula until blended.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, add in the water and butter, Microwave on HIGH in 15-second increments until it reaches 120° to 130°. Use a thermometer or if a thermometer isn't available, stick your finger in the water. It should be lukewarm and not hot. The butter may not be melted completely.
- Pour the water/butter mixture in with the dry ingredients.
- Add an egg to the mixture. Beat with a hand mixer for 2 minutes on medium speed. Scrape down the bowl occasionally.
- Add in an additional 1 cup of flour. Beat with the hand mixer on high speed for another 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl occasionally.
- Stir in the remaining flour until the dough forms into a ball.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 6 to 8 minutes until it becomes smooth and when pressing 2 fingers into the dough it springs back.
- Place back into the mixing bowl and let rest for 10 minutes.
- While the dough is resting, work on the filling.
- In a small bowl, stir together the cinnamon and sugar until combined. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, stir together the butter and extract until combined. Set aside.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a 15x10-inch rectangle using a rolling pin.
- Spread the butter/extract mixture on top of the dough, being sure to stop at least ½-inch from the edges.
- Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture on top.
- Add the sliced bananas on top of the cinnamon sugar mixture. Make sure they don't overlap.
- Tightly roll the cinnamon rolls beginning at the long end of the rectangle. Press the steams together to seal them.
- Cut into 12 equal pieces or 8 equal pieces.
- Place the cinnamon rolls in a greased 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Bake in preheated 350ºF oven for 25 to 30 minutes for 12 cinnamon rolls or about 40 minutes for 8 cinnamon rolls, until the rolls are golden brown. Cool on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes.
- While the cinnamon rolls are baking, add in the powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, and milk in a large bowl. Beat until creamy. If the frosting feels too stiff, add an additional 1 tablespoon of milk and beat until smooth.
- Spread the frosting over hot rolls.
(Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.)