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Best Cinnamon Rolls on the Planet

Cinnamon Rolls

rft-recommended-logoEd Note: I sampled these incredible cinnamon rolls on a recent to trip to Whidbey Island, Washington. While most cinnamon rolls tend to have big wads of dough with occasional bits of cinnamon-sugar/butter, baker Chris Tomayko of Mosquito Fleet Chili makes very thin layers of dough, each liberally slathered with butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar. They are, without a doubt, the best cinnamon rolls this food writer has ever tasted. At your first opportunity, make your way to Mosquito Fleet Chili and try them. If you can’t, you can make them yourself with Chris’ recipe.

Recipe Courtesy Chris Tomayko of Mosquito Fleet Chili, Coupeville, WA.

Dough for 12 rolls

The dough needs to rise overnight in the fridge.

1-1/2. C. whole milk

1/2 C butter

1/2 C water

4 1/2 C plus 2 C flour

4 1/2 tsp yeast

1/2 C sugar

1 tsp salt

2 eggs


Filling for Each Batch of 6 rolls

Wonderful Cinnamon Roll Recipe from Mosquito Fleet

It’s the thin layers of dough with plenty of butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar between the layers that earn RFT’s high praise.

1 1/2 C butter, softened-nearly melted

3 T cinnamon

2 C packed brown sugar


In a large stock pot, Scald the milk, add 1/2 cup of butter, add water, let sit until room temp.

In a separate bowl, combine 4 1/2 C flour, 4 1/2 tsp yeast, 1/2 C sugar, 1tsp salt. Mix well, add to the milk mixture – Don’t stir!

Make a hole in the middle of that flour mixture that is resting on top of the milk in the large stock pot, put 2 eggs in the hole. Slowly incorporate the eggs into the flour, eventually picking up all the milk until you have a wet mixture.

Add the remaining 2 C flour, 1/2 C at a time then turn out onto a flat surface. Kneed till smooth. Let rise covered overnight in the refrigerator.


Good morning! Divide your dough into two. Each half makes six rolls.

Roll one of those halves into a thin rectangle 18″ x 36″

Surround a large greased muffin tin with ample foil ( to catch the butter)

Whip together all filling ingredients until smooth.

Spread evenly over rolled dough.

Starting at the short side, roll into an 18″ log, cut 6-3″ rolls

Holding each roll, pinch one side closed, fit each roll into a large muffin tin- closed side down.


Rise 30 minutes in a warm place.

In a pre heated convection oven, Bake 25 min at 325 degrees. (If you are baking in a conventional oven, increase the temperature to 375).

[ RFT editor note: I tried this recipe out at home and if you want LARGE rolls that can be shared then use a LARGE muffin tin. For a “home-sized” roll, I divided the dough in half and cut the half into three 9 oz. pieces. Roll the dough thinner than you can imagine: for the 9 oz. dough, that means roll and cajole the dough into an 18″x12″ rectangle. Add one third of the filling and roll so your “log” is 12″ long. I cut the individual logs into six 2″ rolls, pinched them as noted above and baked them  in a regular muffin tin. Each 9 oz. log makes six rolls. The filling for the 6 “home-sized” rolls was 1/2 C butter; 2/3 C brown sugar; 1 T cinnamon. Whichever version you choose, this could easily become your favorite cinnamon roll.]

Pecan Rolls

Try making pecan rolls with the other half-

Grease a 12x9x2 baking pan and put down a layer of pecans

Roll with filling as above, don’t pinch the rolls but set them side by side over the pecans.

Rise and bake as above. Turn rolls out onto a serving platter so pecans are up.



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Bobbie Hasselbring, RFT Editor

RFT co-founder Bobbie Hasselbring has been a travel junkie her entire life. An award-winning writer and editor for more than 25 years and author of the regional food-travel bestsellers, The Chocolate Lover’s Guide to the Pacific Northwest and The Chocolate Lover’s Guide Cookbook, Bobbie is editor-in-chief at

11 thoughts on “Best Cinnamon Rolls on the Planet

  1. Patrice Pratt

    I have also had a cinnamon roll from Mosquito Fleet Chili and it IS the best I have ever tasted! Can’t wait to get back to Coupeville to have another one – made by Chris AND to have some of Rita’s mussel chowder or any other of the wonderful dishes that they serve!
    Patrice, Vancouver BC Canada

    1. Bobbie Hasselbring, RFT EditorBobbie Hasselbring, RFT Editor Post author

      If you make these delicious cinnamon rolls at home, you might want to check out RFT Editor Anne Weaver’s comments. The original recipe from Mosquito Fleet Chili makes giant cinnamon rolls that are very rich and packed with buttery cinnamon/sugar. For some, they may be too big. Anne, who worked for some time as a commercial baker, experimented with the recipe to make a smaller cinnamon roll (using a standard, not extra large, muffin tin) and they were wonderful. BH

  2. Sarah

    Without a doubt the most incredible cinnamon rolls ever. I don’t bake but have found that most rolls and sweetbuns are so doughy and sit heavy in your stomach so I avoid them. Until now – these are the best and the homey atmosphere of Mosquito Fleet is a great place to enjoy them with good coffee especially on a rainy day.

    1. Bobbie Hasselbring, RFT EditorBobbie Hasselbring, RFT Editor Post author

      Hi Sarah,
      Thanks for adding your vote of confidence about Mosquito Fleet Chili and their terrific cinnamon rolls. Like you, I’m a cinnamon roll fan, but find most way too doughy. Not those fabulous rolls at Mosquito Fleet. If you check out their recipe, you’ll find out why. This baker uses tons of butter and cinnamon/sugar between each thin layer of dough. Delicious! If any of our readers are heading up to Whidbey Island, Washington, I encourage you to experience these cinnamon rolls for yourselves. — Bobbie, RFT Editor

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