From an old family recipe, these mashed potato cinnamon rolls taste best the same day they are baked. We like to make a batch on school-cancelled snow days to eat and share with our neighbors.


Recipe Summary

10 mins
1 hr 45 mins
2 hrs 40 mins
45 mins
7 pie pans of rolls


Original recipe yields 40 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Mix warm milk, mashed potatoes, shortening, white sugar, eggs, and salt together using an electric mixer in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle yeast over mixture and stir gently until yeast is dissolved and well mixed.

  • Add flour 2 cups at a time to milk mixture using an electric mixer until dough becomes thick. Set aside mixer and add flour gradually, kneading dough on a work surface by hand until it is smooth and no longer wet and sticky. Place dough back into the mixing bowl and cover with a wet cloth. Set in a warm place until dough has doubled in size, about 1 hour.

  • Roll 1/2 of the dough out onto a floured surface into a rectangle shape, about 1/2-inch thick. Repeat with remaining dough. Mix brown sugar and enough milk to make a paste together in a small bowl. Smooth paste evenly across both dough rectangles and sprinkle generously with cinnamon. Sprinkle with raisins.

  • Roll dough rectangles up and slice into 1 1/2-inch sections. Place rolls into 7 greased pie pans, gently pressing down using your fingers to squish into pans. Set rolls in a warm place until puffy, 30 minutes to 1 hour.

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

  • Bake rolls in the preheated oven until light brown, 10 to 15 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, bring brown sugar and butter to a boil over low heat in a saucepan, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Stir in milk and return to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool to lukewarm temperature, about 5 minutes. Gradually add powdered sugar until thickened. Beat using an electric mixer until it reaches a spreading consistency, adding warm water or additional milk if frosting gets stiff.

  • Remove rolls from the oven and let cool, 10 to 15 minutes. Frost and serve.

Cook's Notes:

You can also add apple pieces or toasted walnuts to the filling, if you'd like.

Recipe history: When papa was a little boy, he attended a one-room school in rural Kansas. Every Friday, the Amish woman who cooked for the school would make cinnamon rolls for the children. Papa remembers that when he could bring a nickel with him to school, he would buy a carton of milk to wash down his cinnamon roll. He was able to get the recipe that was used for those memorable rolls and we still enjoy them today!

Freezing: After rolls have cooled from baking, place them in gallon-sized plastic bags. Squeeze out extra air, seal, and place in the freezer. Freeze frosting in a separate microwaveable container. To serve, take frozen rolls out of the bag, place on a plate, and defrost in a microwave. Top with thawed frosting and serve warm.

Nutrition Facts

282 calories; protein 3.7g; carbohydrates 47.8g; fat 8.9g; cholesterol 21.8mg; sodium 150.4mg. Full Nutrition