Mother’s Caramel Roll Recipe


This is half of what my sister prepares for all of us at the lake. I decided to make it smaller so you could use a dough hook if you wanted. So here are the

Ingredients for the bread:

2 cups milk

1 package yeast (2 ¼ tsp or 7 gm)

1 tsp sugar

2 eggs, beaten

½ cup sugar

½ cup butter

1 tsp salt

5 ½ cups flour


Donna Rae starts this about 9 pm after dinner is cleared and the kitchen is ready for action. (This means a lull in the snacking.)

She proofs the yeast using the water and teaspoon of sugar. Warm water from the tap works but if you like to measure, the ideal temperature for proofing yeast is 105-110 degrees F. I love to check temperatures since I have my Thermopop. It works quickly and reliably and it’s cute! Get one! You will love it.

Donna Rae warms the milk on the stovetop until the milk is warm to the touch. (She is very good at clean hands.) She melts the butter in the microwave, warming from solid to liquid part way and stirring until it is completely melted.

She places the warm milk in a large mixing bowl and adds the yeast mixture, kosher salt, beaten eggs, flour, and sugar. (This is where you could use a dough hook.) When dough is smooth add the butter. The mixing and kneading should take no less than 10 minutes. This is where my sister, Susan, plays an important part. Keep in mind, Donna Rae is working with 11 cups of flour in a large enamelware kettle and leaning over and reaching her arm into the mixture and kneading by hand! This gets a bit strenuous and Susan makes sure Donna Rae does not stop until the dough is elastic and bounces back with a finger press.

She butters the mixing bowl and places the dough into the bowl and covers it with a towel. (This is what is always advised by the real cooks, but I prefer to butter or oil the bread and cover with plastic wrap. The towels always stick for me.)

She places it in a warm spot and she lets it go all night. She and Susan start in the morning at 6 am by rolling out the dough into a rectangle about 15 X 18 inches. She spreads the caramel syrup border to border and rolls it into a long cylinder shape. She cuts cross-section pieces 1 ½ inch wide and places them into a well buttered baking pan. She uses a steaming table pan from the restaurant supply store but a 9 X 13 inch cake pan works. She allows them to rise until doubled, about an hour, then bakes at 375 degrees for 45 minutes until golden brown and looking delicious! And she is always right!

Ingredients for the caramel syrup:

2 cups brown sugar

1 tbsp white distilled vinegar

¼ cup water

¼ cup light Karo syrup

½ cup butter

1 tsp vanilla

I remember Mother measuring all these ingredients into a Mason jar and taking it to the lake to make the rolls.


Heat all the ingredients in a saucepan to melt but do not boil! Set aside to cool.

If you are ok with a considerable amount of work, this has a delicious reward. You won’t be sorry! Let me know what you think. Thank you so much for reading this.