Pavlovian Cinnamon Roll Recipe

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My sister in law is an amazing cook.  She has a great recipe for everything.  Really she does!  And if she doesn’t, she will invent one.  Her cooking skills leave me amazed.  But even better than her skill with cooking is her clever use of good food to clinch good memories with less than sparkling events.  She understands the power of creating good memories with what she valued and food could be that pavlovian bridge.  Hence she served cinnamon rolls semi-annually during  LDS General Conference and they became an infamous Cinnamon Roll Recipe.

Cinnamon Roll Recipe |

For those of you who don’t know anyone that is Mormon (member of the LDS church) let me quickly explain LDS General Conference.  This is a two-day weekend event where the general presidency and general authorities of the LDS church speak to all the memership.  So really it’s much like any other conference.  Except there are no swag bags and the tickets are free.   It is held semi-annually always the first weekend of April and October.  It’s broadcast to LDS members all over the world via the internet, satellite, tv and radio.  There are several sessions and in all there are approximately 10 hours of speakers.  As an adult, I find the speakers interesting and faith promoting.  As a kid, this is a bit more difficult to enjoy.  The speakers do just that, they speak.  And not in TEDTalk fashion with Prezi-improved messages.  It’s person and pulpit and you listen  (I think it is kept so simple so that it can 1. be translated into 43 languages, those who can only listen on the radio aren’t missing out).  Anyway you can see how kids don’t want to do this, but like all church-goers you gotta take the kids, I mean, this is important stuff.

Here in Utah, where I–and my genius sister-in-law– live, we have the advantage that LDS General Conference is broadcast on a local tv station (trust me this is a massive improvement on my childhood that required I get in my Sunday best and go to a church to watch a satellite broadcast–Thank you BYU-TV).  The kids can wear pajamas, but it doesn’t change the “this is less exciting than Avengers”  factor.  So my sister in law  makes cinnamon rolls every conference weekend and since they take a few hours to rise and then bake you can’t eat them until a session of conference is over.  You want cinnamon rolls, you gotta watch conference.  And you know what?  They watched the conference.

LDS Conference Cinnamon Rolls Recipe |

I was not bright enough to learn from her this lesson.  In fact she didn’t even share it with me until her kids were all grown, which meant mine were teens and  completely passed the stage that I could bribe them with cinnamon rolls.  But I like to laugh on the pavlovian conditioning that my niece and nephews have developed through their childhood.   Perhaps when they  hear octogenarians share about Jesus they crave a roll.  Or perhaps when they pass a Cinnabon they feel a need to pause in prayer.  It’s funny how we create strong links like this in our kids.  Keep them coming back to the homefires for our home-cooking.  And in my opinion, any thing that links my kids to the Almighty in gratitude and love is a connection I want to keep building on.  Even if means pavlovian cinnamon rolls.

Cinnamon Rolls

This is a classic cinnamon roll recipe and is delicious.  The smell of cinnamon can make your house smell better than any candle.


  • 2 cups warm water about what a baby bottle would be
  • ½ cup oil
  • 2 envelopes of RAPID RISE yeast
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1 tablespoon gluten or yeast enhancer
  • 5 + cups bread flour


  1. Combine water and oil.
  2. Stir in yeast and let dissolve.
  3. Add eggs, sugar and salt, stir to dissolve.
  4. Add Gluten mix in well.
  5. Add flour 1 cup at a time until dough is sticky.
  6. Turn dough out onto floured surface.
  7. Knead in enough dough until it is a nice and soft ball.
  8. Grease the bowl with Crisco or butter.
  9. Place the dough back in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a lid.
  10. Let rise until double about an hour.
  11. Roll out on floured surface in a rectangular shape, about ½ inch thick.
  12. Spread with ½ cup melted butter.
  13. Add desired ingredients, roll from short end for big rolls or shorter end for small rolls.
  14. Cut 1½ inches thick.
  15. Place about 1 inch apart on cookie sheet sprayed with nonstick spray.
  16. Let rise until double, place pan in middle of oven to assure even baking.
  17. Bake at 350 for 18 minutes until golden brown.




  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2-3 tablespoon milk


  1. Combine all ingredients, add milk one table spoon at time until it is a thin consistency. Not too thin. Spread on rolls 5 min after taking them out of the oven. Putting this on while still warm allows the glaze to seep into the crevices.
Annette Barney

Annette Barney

I live in the mountains of Utah. Yes, I am also a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints I love hot pink, XC skiing, running, hot chocolate, yoga, romance novels,traveling for fun, volunteering and, of course, origami. I am a woman, a mom, a wife and a daughter of God. I believe that everything tastes better with a little bacon or a little chocolate but not both.