The Staff of Life: Aunt Ruby's Cinnamon Rolls

Yeasty, sweet, and buttery

The Staff of Life: Aunt Ruby's Cinnamon Rolls

If I was really lucky when staying up at my grandparents' house, Aunt Ruby would drop by with some of her yeasty, sweet, and buttery cinnamon rolls, which were a modification of her dinner rolls. Any event of the House family today must be accompanied by a large tray of Ruby Keeling's heavenly cinnamon rolls. Like most of the recipes from way back then, Ruby's recipe isn't quite as detailed as we expect a recipe to be today. – Mick Vann

Dinner Roll Dough Recipe:

2 cups lukewarm water

1 cup sugar

2 packages Fleischmann's Dry Yeast

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs, slightly beaten

Flour: "enough to make the dough stiff enough to handle. Do not knead as much as when making bread. It should be stiffer than a biscuit dough."

Combine the water, sugar, and yeast, and mix well. Cover the bowl with a dishcloth, and let it sit until it activates. In a large bowl, mix together the yeast starter, oil, salt, eggs, and flour. Work the dough into a big ball, and place it into a greased bowl (a 1½-gallon milk crock is good). Lightly oil the top of the dough, cover, and put in a warm place to rise twice its size. Punch down with your hands (it's okay if it flops over), and let rise a second time. Pinch off the amount of dough you want for one meal's worth of dinner rolls, work it down a little, and then pinch off rolls. Place in a greased pan, let rise in a warm place, and bake at 350 degrees.

Note: The rolls will have a better flavor if the dough is made two or three days in advance; the dough will keep in the refrigerator for at least a week.

Cinnamon Roll Recipe:

1 batch dinner roll dough, refrigerated 2-3 days

Butter, melted



Powdered sugar

Melted butter



Divide dough into four balls. Roll each ball into a rectangle on a floured surface. Brush the surface liberally with butter, sprinkle on sugar and cinnamon, and roll up like a jelly roll and slice into rolls about ½- to ¾-inch thick. Pinch or roll the edges (so that they don't stick), and place into a greased pan. Bake at 350 degrees. While still warm, ice them with an icing made of powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, and enough milk to make an icing.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More by Mick Vann
Guantanamera Cuban Cuisine
Guantanamera Cuban Cuisine
Good things come in small packages

May 8, 2015

On the Cheap: Taquito Aviles
Taquito Aviles
Getting our goat on Braker

Feb. 20, 2015



One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle