Almond Fans–A Sweet Yeast Roll

fans on rack

Cinnamon rolls are my Achilles heel. I have no self-discipline when they are in the house. I knew I shouldn’t make these last weekend because they are just fancy cinnamon rolls with almonds on top, but I couldn’t help myself. They were even better than I expected. I’m not admitting how many I ate.

I adapted the recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, Grant Corner Inn Breakfast and Brunch Cookbook by Louise Stewart. I have yet to find a bad recipe in this little book.  In fact, I think I will make it one of my goals in life to try every one of Ms. Stewart’s yeast bread recipes.  Surely this would qualify me for a Nobel Peace Prize or something similarly lofty.  In reality, it would probably land me a spot on The Biggest Loser.

almond fan post

Although they look complicated, they aren’t hard at all. Like most of my bread recipes, I make it in a bread machine. But I have included the author’s original instructions in case you find kneading bread by hand therapeutic.

almond claws


Alternate method for a smaller roll:  Cut flattened log into 10-11 pieces instead of 6.  Instead of 3 cuts make one.  The final product won’t be quite as impressive as the large one but the calories will be much more reasonable. See the picture below for illustration of roll with 3 cuts (top) and roll with 1 cut (bottom).

almond claws big and small

Almond Fans--A Sweet Yeast Roll
Recipe type: Bread
  • ½ cup warm water
  • ½ cup lowfat sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar + ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 4½ - 5 cups all-purpose, unbleached flour
  • 2 packages or 4 teaspoons bread machine yeast
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ¼ cup softened butter
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon cream cheese
  • 1½ tablespoon coffee or milk
  • 1½ cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup toasted sliced almonds
  1. Add ingredients to bread machine in order listed. Set to dough cycle. When finished, remove dough from bread machine pan.
  2. (To make by hand: In large mixing bowl combine [active dry] yeast, water and 2 tablespoons sugar. Let stand 10 minutes, or until slightly bubbly. Mix in sour cream, salt and remaining sugar. Stir in eggs and butter. Gradually add enough flour to make soft dough. Turn out onto floured surface and knead until smooth and satiny, about 8 minutes. Put into greased bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes. Punch down and let rise again until almost doubled, about 35 minutes.)
  3. On a lightly floured board, divide dough into two portions. Roll each half to 12 x 12 inch rectangle.
  4. Spread half of melted butter (2 tablespoons) on one rectangle. Sprinkle cinnamon-sugar mixture evenly over buttered area. Begin rolling from long side and roll up tightly as possible. Flatten log slightly with palms and slice log into 6 pieces. Then using kitchen shears or pizza cutter, make 3 cuts into each slice cutting to within ½ inch to the other side. Twist each slice slightly to make it lay somewhat flatter. Place on a greased baking sheet or one covered with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Cover and let rise until almost double.
  5. Alternate method for a smaller roll: Cut flattened log into 10-11 pieces instead of 6. Instead of 3 cuts make one. The final product won't be quite as impressive as the large one but the calories will be much more reasonable. See the picture below for illustration of roll with 3 cuts (top) and roll with 1 cut (bottom).
  6. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
  7. Frosting: Soften or allow butter and cream cheese to come to room temperature. Combine butter, cream cheese and coffee or milk together and beat until perfectly smooth. Dip over rolls with a spoon or pour into small plastic zippered bag. Cut off small corner of bag and use to drizzle frosting back and forth over rolls. Sprinkle toasted almonds over frosted rolls immediately before frosting dries. Or pick up frosted roll and turn upside down pressing icing into plate of almonds. This insures the almonds will stick to icing.



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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah January 3, 2013 at 9:49 am

Can you suggest a good bread maker? I really want one, but my last one died after less than a year of light use, and I can normally fix broken appliances, my kitchen is filled with great vintage stuff that just needed a little love. But not that thing, it was ridiculous! Any ideas on a stronger model?


Paula January 5, 2013 at 10:03 am

Hi Sarah, I cannot remember if I ever answered your question. Please forgive. I have thought about it though. I love my Zojirushi, but of course, it is one of the most expensive. I like the way it has two blades and kneads the dough extremely well. That is, efficiently, without leaving flour in the corners. I’m sure there are many others that would be suitable. I would check places like Ebay and Craig’s List for like-new or never-used machines. So many people buy them and don’t like them because of the way they BAKE bread–something I never do. Have you seen this post?


Laurie September 28, 2012 at 1:53 pm

The recipe only mentions 2 Tbls sugar. but in the directions it states that after the yeast , water and 2 Tbls sugar to add the rest of the sugar? how much more?


Paula September 28, 2012 at 10:36 pm

I am completely embarrassed to find I left out such an important ingredient. Add 1/2 cup more sugar. I revised the post to show this correction. I am so sorry. Thank-you from the bottom of my heart for writing.


Lisa July 6, 2012 at 2:37 pm

I can see why these are so deadly!!!! The frosting made with the coffee was incredible, and I don’t even Like coffee!!! Add that to cinnamon rolls and lets just say we are DONE!!! I used maple sugar instead of white and added a sprinkle of nutmeg. Haven’t eaten one yet, seriously afraid to start! Thank for the recipe!!!!


Paula July 11, 2012 at 6:12 am

Hi Lisa,
Guess they are all gone by now but hope you liked the almond fans. They are one of my favorites. I can imagine the maple sugar was wonderful.


Zahra June 11, 2010 at 10:21 am

These look delicious! I’m going to give it a try today 🙂

My mom and her dieting arent going to thank you for this though 😉


Tonya June 1, 2010 at 11:37 am

These look amazing, I’ve got the dough in the breadmaker now! One question, about how much confectioner’s sugar did you add to the icing? Thanks!


M. May 23, 2010 at 7:58 pm

these are absolutely beautiful….no wonder you couldn’t help your self…
nice process photos 🙂


Kathleen May 23, 2010 at 1:52 pm

Romaine, this is fabulous!! Although you’ve been told that already! 😉
I can’t wait to try. Thanks for the recipe and tips for Ms. Stewart’s book.


Stefanie May 23, 2010 at 12:07 pm

Beautiful! It is stunning how easy this beauties are made. I love cinnamon rolls, so I have to try them!


Piggy April 29, 2010 at 12:38 pm

These cinnamon rolls look so yummy!!! Thanks for the recipe, I’m gonna try it out soon!


Kamagra April 27, 2010 at 1:57 pm

nice post


Joan April 26, 2010 at 8:07 pm

You make it look so easy. I am going to have to try it.


Margaret April 25, 2010 at 10:50 pm

UUMMMM!!! These look fantastic.


Dr Advice Online April 25, 2010 at 11:21 am

Those almond rolls look beautiful. I really enjoyed how you provided the photos and recipe. I will make these next week for my kids.


Susan April 24, 2010 at 9:38 pm

Oooo, I have so bookmarked this page to make these in the near future. 🙂


Debbie April 23, 2010 at 10:02 am

As usual, these breads look too delicious. I don’t know how you cook all this and stay in shape. I would gain so much weight. They look so good though that it makes me want to try to cook them.


Karen April 23, 2010 at 9:22 am

These look delicious. I don’t have much success with bread, but for some reason I can make cinnamon rolls that turn out fairly decent. I bet I could make these!


sheba April 23, 2010 at 6:47 am

I can almost smell them here…lovely!


Lynne April 23, 2010 at 5:50 am

Fabulous photos! I use my bread machine for most all the bread I make, too. Although, I love to knead the dough-time is of the essence most of the time. I love how your blog is set up-the little jars for categories are very cool.


mike April 22, 2010 at 11:31 pm

Congrats to Gina! (I’m jealous, but I’ll get over it). 🙂 This is SO odd… I’ve got sticky bun dough rising, and cinnamon roll dough rising. I’m making 2 versions to take to work tomorrow. We must be symbiotic (or whatever that is…) but I LOVE almonds!!! I am making these…. for sure …. for sure…. and I love the addition of sour cream in the dough. They look stunning!!!


Jill April 22, 2010 at 6:07 pm

Beautiful! I’m sure I could eat quite a few of these. I don’t have a bread machine, but I use my stand mixer to knead – it’s therapeutic to watch it do the work!


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Ann April 22, 2010 at 12:57 pm

These look amazing… I guess I really do need a bread machine!


Crystal April 22, 2010 at 8:13 am

WOW! These look amazing. After looking at the pics they don’t look as intimidating either. I will definantly be trying these.


Gina April 22, 2010 at 8:08 am

Yum – these look great! Thanks for the gift card – it’s so exciting to win something!


Kayte April 22, 2010 at 8:00 am

These look delicious. I was so struck by the photo and how you acheived that look…thank you for sharing the technique, I am going to give this a try as these look so impressive. You are such a fun read!


ldh April 22, 2010 at 7:43 am

umm… heavenly delicious! I just love sweet, yeasty rolls!


Cristine April 22, 2010 at 7:25 am

Those look amazing! YUM!


Staci April 22, 2010 at 6:45 am

Thanks for sharing these with Dad & Mom! Barrett and I got to eat one and Barrett couldn’t stop saying “Yummmmmm!”


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