Amish Buns (Grandma’s Cinnamon Rolls)

RuthAnn & Elvin Zimmerman, Live in North east Iowa on 21 acres with our 7 children. They have lived on their acreage for 20 years now.

They have a couple different breeds of cows for milk and beef, Mangalitsa hogs, chickens and 2 Donkeys.


RuthAnns husband works full time but finds time to to the ‘heavy lifting’ of the homestead while her and the children do the day to day chores of the animals and in the summer in their 8000 sq feet garden planting, weeding and harvesting.


Their oldest child, Kristina, is married and lives near by, and their other children still live at home, ages 18,13,11,8,5,4.


I can remember sitting at the table watching my mom make a large batch of Amish Buns. She would have her very largest bowl over flowing with the best yeast dough ever!


If you’ve ever worked along side Amish or Mennonite women in their kitchen you know that they are the owners of some of the largest stainless steel bowls you’ve ever seen!!


The Amish and mennonite women can whip up 12 dozen cinnamon rolls or a dozen pies with little to no heads up. They can make gallons of soup and hundreds of dinner rolls for funerals or a barn raising all without running to the grocery store! Because their Larders are stocked with all the supplies they need! 

These women are one of the greatest examples of Proverbs 31 women I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing!  


These women, my grandmas, my mom, my aunts and great aunts, they passed these skills on down the line to their daughters and grand daughters and although my husband and I have left the mennonite faith I treasure and value the homemaking skills that I have because of my mennonite heritage! 


Im sharing with you one of my all time favorite recipes that has been passed down through the generations. 

Before you have a chance to be startled about the mashed potatoes in the ingredient list, let me explain a bit. 


Potatoes are rich in potassium, causing the yeast to rise quickly.


Potatoes also help retain water which helps the rolls stay moist.


We are German/ Pa Dutch, we find a way to use potatoes in every dish. 

Amish Buns (Cinnamon Rolls)


2 T yeast in

2 Cups warm water

let set until foaming


1 T sugar

4 Cups flour

Let rise until double


2 cups mashed potatoes 

(I use instant potatoes prepared according to box directions) 

1 T salt

1 cup melted butter


5 beaten eggs


1 cup sugar


6-8 cups flour ( until dough is no longer sticking to your fingers)


Let rise until double 


Divide dough into 4-5 sections, roll out one section at a time, roll into a rectangle, as thin as possible, spread your dough generously with additional softened butter, cover butter with nice thick layer of brown sugar and sprinkle with cinnamon.


Roll your rectangle starting with the long side and cut into 3/4 to 1 inch thick slices using a thread to cut. See photo. 

Space your cinnamon rolls into a baking dish, with about 1/4 inch space between each roll.


Let the rolls rise another time until double and then bake at 350 until they are just starting to turn a bit tan over top. 


Im sorry I never time my baked goods, just watch them for doneness. 


This recipe makes about 4 dozen cinnamon rolls.


I put these into the freezer, unfrosted. When I want to serve them I’ll put them into a 200 degree oven for about 30 min and then frost them.


For frosting I whip together equal parts butter and cream cheese, then add powdered sugar to taste along with a pinch of salt and a dash of vanilla. 




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