Easy Bread Machine Cinnamon Rolls with a Secret Ingredient

Sneak Preview: These easy bread machine cinnamon rolls are traditional cinnamon rolls frosted with cream cheese icing. The secret ingredient (optional) is a pinch of cloves in the filling. It will remind you of pecan twirls.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Do you remember the pecan twirls we used to eat for breakfast as kids? They came in a foil pan with round molded cups for each roll. As you slowly unrolled them, the pecans would fall out everywhere. What fun–unless you were the person who got to sweep the floor.

I think I figured out the flavor that made those twirls extra delicious. 

It’s ground cloves.

Add a tiny bit of ground cloves to the brown sugar filling. The cloves enhance and magnify the cinnamon flavor the same way espresso powder intensifies chocolate flavors. The flavor of these cinnamon rolls reminds me of those old-fashioned pecan twirls.

To people who live in Ft. Worth, TX: I’m guessing cloves are the secret ingredient in the fabulous bread pudding at Ellerbe’s in Ft Worth. Have you tried it?

This recipe for homemade cinnamon rolls is a variation of my classic dinner rolls. I always mix and knead the dough in my bread machine, shape them by hand and bake them in a conventional oven. If you don’t have an oven, see the FAQ below for alternate instructions for using your bread machine.

This recipe is designed for mixing and kneading in a bread machine. However, you can also use a stand mixer or do it by hand. See the recipe notes.