Will you rate the different types of cinnamon roll frosting from one to ten (ten being the best) and why they deserve that number?
Most Beautiful Goldie,
OF COURSE I WILL. For the sake of my own brain, I've sort of reversed what you asked for and done a list of 10 cinnamon roll icings/frostings I've had, where #1 is the best. Some of them are generic, some very specific. Let's get rolling (*wink*):
#10: Ted's Bakery Cinnamon Roll "Frosting." This was disgusting. Nearly everything at Ted's is delicious, so I was VERY disappointed. I'm pretty sure it was just plain cream cheese, not even sweetened. That is NOT FROSTING, TED'S. Don't call it a frosted cinnamon roll when a) there isn't any cinnamon in the roll, and b) you just gobbed on a chunk of whipped cream cheese.
#9: Simple syrup glaze. WHO DOES THIS???? It's better than nothing but still, if you're going to ice your buns you should be a little more exciting than this. Plus, it can make the roll soggy and that is just sad.
#8: Vanilla glaze/icing. This is what I see most often from homemade bakers, and it's also what you get if you buy the cans of Pillsbury cinnamon rolls too. It's basically a white, sticky, vanilla flavored goop. It's quick and easy to make, and it tastes fine, but it's messy. It melts all over and into the crevices of the cinnamon roll so when you pick it up you end up with trails of sugar dripping down your arms.
#7: Cinnabon Vanilla Icing. It's one step up from homemade or Pillsbury because it has a *bit* more structure. The problem here is that their icing is just too sickly sweet. Also, it has the same problem as other types of icings because it's super sticky and drippy and honestly doesn't do much to enhance the bun. Cinnabon KNOWS what they're doing with their cinnamon roll game, but they've never scored high in terms of frostings in my book.
#6: Caramel Pecan Glaze (Cinnabon or otherwise.) Okay, so I know I said I didn't like glazes, and that's true. But I have to admit that a caramel drizzle with some chopped nuts is a good way to eat a cinnamon roll *if* the cinnamon roll is good enough to warrant it. It sweetens and moistens the dough, and as long as you don't overdo it (thus making the roll soggy and far too sticky), it is a perfect complement to the cinnamon flavor while bringing a good crunch. Also, you win points for inventiveness with the flavors.
#5: Basic Vanilla Buttercream. I know people will disagree with me on this one, but I think that a simple, light layer of whipped buttercream is a perfect accent to a perfect roll. In case you haven't figured it out, I like frosting on my rolls way more than icing (consistency makes a difference!) I think you should be able to hold your cinnamon bun and tear off pieces without getting absurdly messy and there's a good, even amount of frosting on each segment of the roll. Basic buttercream (when done correctly) isn't overly sweet, and brings a smooth finish to a well-made cinnamon roll.
#4: Homemade whipped cream cheese frosting. I'm a sucker, obviously, for the cinnamon rolls I was raised on. I have two favorites: My momma's and my young women's leader's rolls. Both of them do a good job of whipping the cream cheese until it's smooth and fluffed, adding a bit of butter, and enough sugar to make it a frosting, but not so much you're overwhelmed and go into a sugar coma. I love the density of cream cheese frosting over buttercream, its robustness, and the slight tang in the flavor as opposed to a basic buttercream. It's hard to top that.
#3: Dulce De Leche buttercream. I have had this on a cinnamon roll precisely ONE TIME. I remember it so distinctly... the caramelly goodness, the light whipped frosting, the way it balanced with the cinnamon-pepper (possibly cayenne?) mixture in the roll, the structure, the color... it was so beautiful just thinking about it brings tears to my eyes. I will make this again someday. Until then, I must rely on the two consistent winners:
#2: Shirley's Bakery Vanilla Frosting. Obviously only to be beat out by cream cheese frosting, there is something magical going on at Shirley's bakery. Their frosting recipes are secret and sacred. The vanilla is what I like when I have more of a sweet tooth going, but it is sooooooo good.
#1: Shirley's Bakery Cream Cheese Frosting. If you have this recipe, I need you to contact me immediately. I don't know how they do what they do, but it is perfect. It's not overly sweet, it's got vanilla, but not too cheesy, whipped to perfection, ah. I don't understand what angelic intervention was involved with creating this recipe. I don't even care what is in it, it's just the best.
Ask me later about my cinnamon rolls that I'm making today because I'm craaaaving them. Or about my Cinnamon Roll Lovers cookbook. Or anything related to cinnamon rolls.