Harrison’s $1500 cinnamon rolls {Fredericksburg, Va newborn photographer/personal}


Many of my clients know that adoption is near and dear to our hearts. While we are currently foster parents, we began our journey by pursuing adoption from Ethiopia, and after many twists and turns and stalls… we decided that we could better serve by focusing on family preservation, both in Ethiopia and here in our own backyard.

Along the way, we met so many families that were also on the wild roller coaster of adoption, and we started to learn that not all adoptions are created equal. Yes, there are HUGE ethical issues with some and sadly, they sometimes spoil the need for homes for children who have been forgotten. It’s a difficult balancing act and so, so hard to discern.

My friend adopted a little one from Latvia a year or so ago, and has decided to add a brother for him to their already busy household. She is a rock star momma of (now) six and I just adore her. Adoption is super duper expensive… and it can be an overwhelming. First you say “yes” and then a million times over you want to say “no” because you just don’t see how the ends will meet…. but there is a little child depending on you. So, you carry on.

L and her family are SO close to being fully funded, and this time next week, their son will officially and legally be THEIR SON. I was praying over her family earlier this week and felt God leading me to offer to bake my “famous” (in my own mind) cinnamon rolls as a fundraiser. I thought it was the most absurd idea ever… she needed thousands, not tens, but I really felt led and heard the number $1500 clear as a bell… alright, God. Challenge accepted. I texted her and said literally this: “I feel like God is telling me to do this, but I bet it will be a total flop… but do you want to try anyway?”

What happened next is MIND BLOWING. I shared, and she shared and friends shared and we sold $1500 worth of cinnamon rolls. Fifteen. Hundred. Dollars. Cash. Money. Then, an organization offered her a matching grant, so that $1500 becomes $3000. THREE THOUSAND.

Those who love the bible would call it a sugary version of loaves and fish. Those who love memes will call it God’s version of “hold my beer”… but either way, from this point forward… we will call these rolls “Harrison’s $1500 cinnamon rolls.”

Here is the recipe! It makes 6-8 8″ round pans, so it’s perfect to get together with a friend, some wine, and crank out for the holidays.


Cinnamon rolls {Adapted from Pioneer woman’s Cinnamon rolls 101}

In a large pot (I use my pasta pot), heat:

4 c milk

1 c vegetable oil

1 c sugar

until just below a boil. Allow to cool slightly and add:

2 packets yeast

8 c flour

and mix until incorporated. Cover with a towel and allow to rest for an hour. Then add:

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tbsp salt

1 c flour

and mix well. Dump onto floured surface and divide into half. Preheat oven to 375.

Roll the dough half… approx 10″ wide and 30″ long (but don’t push it… you don’t want it to rip)

melt a few sticks of butter and pour some into each pan, then pour some along the dough rectangle. Be heavy handed. Yum. Now, sprinkle:

1-1.5 c sugar and a bunch of cinnamon on the rectangle. Tightly roll the dough long ways, tuck the seam, and slice into 1.5″ thick slices. Arrange in the pans. Repeat with the other half.

Let pans rise in a warm place (I left them around the preheating oven) for 20ish minutes and then bake for 18-20 minutes until a light golden.

Now, dump into a large mixing bowl:

1 bag powdered sugar

1/2 milk

1/4 c brewed coffee

1 tsp salt

2 tsp vanilla and mix well.

When rolls come out of the oven, immediately pour the glaze over the top so it gets in all the nooks and crannies. Perfect. They are now married and it’s a beautiful union. YUM.


Now eat them all, OR freeze and take out the night before you plan to enjoy them. We make these once a month and then enjoy them once a week! YUMMMMY.

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