December 20, 2016

Holiday Tradition | Sunshine Rings

Sunshine Rings: cinnamon rolls made into a Christmas wreath.

Holiday Sunshine Ring by A Teaspoon of Home

How the sunshine ring got it’s name.

This is the ultimate Christmas meal for my family! The tradition started with my grandma, as a young newlywed with very little means to give gifts to her friends and family. She loved baking cinnamon rolls, but wanted to make them a little fancier. So she cut almost all the way through and connected the ends making a ring. She called them sunshine rings because who doesn’t feel happy when they see one!

Holiday Sunshine Ring by A Teaspoon of Home

Sunshine Rings

Rating: 51

Total Time: 3 hours


  • ½ cup warm water
  • 2 T. yeast
  • ½ cup oil
  • 2 cups milk, scalded
  • 1 cup mashed potatoes
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 8 cups flour


  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water (add 1T. sugar).
  2. In a separate bowl, mix liquid ingredients.
  3. Add yeast once it’s doubled in size and mix in dry ingredients (add flour slowly).
  4. Let dough double in size (about 45 minutes).
  5. Use ¼ of dough and roll into large circle, about ½” thick.
  6. Spread butter over the dough, then brown sugar and cinnamon.
  7. Grandma likes to add nuts and raisons but we just like them plain.
  8. Next, roll the dough into a long strip and bring the two ends together into a circle and pinch the seam together.
  9. Take a knife and cut slices about an inch apart and all but an inch through.
  10. Now comes the fun part- twist the rolls so they make a ring.
  11. Cover; let rise until doubled in size (30-60 minutes).
  12. Bake at 375 degrees for 13-15 minutes.
  13. Frost- if you frost them warm the icing melts a little or wait until they are cool and the frosting will be fluffy.

How to make a sweet family tradition.

Ever since, sunshine rings have been a family tradition. We make them throughout the year but every home that has expanded from my grandma’s roots makes them for friends and family at Christmas time. I remember growing up and my mom making batches and batches of them for all of our neighbors. Our mouths would water as the smell of cinnamon and sugar filled our home but we were never allowed to eat them until Christmas morning.

Holiday Sunshine Rings by A Teaspoon of Home

Ever since I’ve had a home of my own I do the same thing! I make as many as I can for as many friends that I can share with. But I make sure to share a little with my family even if it means making another batch. Sunshine rings have become a family symbol of Christmas as we share the joy of food and family with those we love.

Give them a try this year! Even if it is just for your family, they will feel the joy that comes from sharing a sunshine ring.

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Holiday Sunshine Ring by A Teaspoon of Home

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