Mom Elms’ Cinnamon Rolls

Linda M. Elms

North Carolina Ladies President


Preparation: Grease two 9 x 13 pans


Ingredients: 2 ½ cups lukewarm water

2 packs dry yeast

4 tablespoons shortening or butter

2 teaspoons salt

4 teaspoons sugar

7 cups sifted flour


Method: Place the water in large warm glass bowl. Sprinkle yeast on top. Let stand five minutes.

Add only 3 cups of flour and the rest of the ingredients.

Beat with mixer four minutes at high speed. (This eliminates kneading.)

Mix in the rest of the flour with a large spoon. You can incorporate all the flour with the mixer if you have a large stand mixer.

Mix until fairly smooth.

Cover with a loose woven cloth. Set in a warm place to rise. When double in size, cut in half and roll each half like a rectangle pie crust on a floured surface until ½ inch, making sure all bubbles are out.

Sprinkle cinnamon mixture on top.


Cinnamon Mixture: (make this for each half)

1 cube of butter or margarine

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup white sugar (optional)


Method: Melt one cube of butter and cover surface of rolled out bread.

Mix sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle mixture evenly on top of first bread half.

Roll bread into a tube and cut rolls 1 inch thick, or thicker if you want bigger rolls.

Place in baking pan. Cover and place again in a warm place to rise. (About 1 hour)

(Repeat for second half of dough)

Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 15 minutes or until they are brown. Remove and cool for 20 minutes.

Top with icing.


Icing: 3 cups powdered sugar

1/3 cup half and half or milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix together and spread on baked rolls.


Linda’s note: I have tried as well as I can to “tell it like it is.” However, when Mom Elms made them, it was “a pinch of this” and “a dab of that.” I had to do it myself a few times to make it work out.


My husband David and his three brothers grew up around these special cinnamon rolls. When we went to Mom’s house, we would be so excited about it because we knew there would be cinnamon rolls waiting. As she grew older and was not able to make the cinnamon rolls, Mom taught me so that I could carry on this tradition for my own children. My family loves them. When they come home for visits, they always look for cinnamon rolls. Now my grandchildren are watching me make them, and my daughter-in-law is already picking it up. These cinnamon rolls make the house smell like “old times.” They are our Christmas morning breakfast before we open our gifts. This is a wonderful bit of Elms family nostalgia.

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