Prairie's most famous recipe lives on.

By Rachel Shuster | 12 Days of Giving, all school

Carol Malik worked in Prairie’s Dining Room as part of the Food Service team for nearly 40 years. She officially retired in 2015, but every now and then you’ll still spot her face in the kitchen.

She has many memories of her time at Prairie — sights, tastes, sounds, & smells that endure to this day. No Carol specialty was — or is — as loved as the Prairie Cinnamon Roll.

But, she says, the recipe isn’t a ‘Carol original.’

Dorothy Dykstra, Carol’s predecessor in the Prairie School kitchen, served TPS for 24 years. Dorothy created the original recipe for the famous “Prairie Cinnamon Rolls.” Her work was lovingly continued onward by Carol Malik, and continues to this day with the help of Missy Gallert, JT Fiers, and their fearless crew.

“We used to get dry milk and plenty of other ingredients in rations from the government, and we had to prove how we were using them,” Malik explains, giving credit for the creation to her predecessor, Dorothy Dykstra. “She figured out that cinnamon rolls were an easy, tasty way to use the last bit of those ingredients up!”

When Carol and her fellow Dining Room staff made cinnamon rolls, the batch called for 550 rolls total. From start to finish, the whole process took about 4-5 hours. They used to always pair cinnamon rolls on the lunch menu with Ham and Ravioli; “That was something I didn’t have to make on the menu, because I was busy making the rolls!” Malik laughs.

Luckily, the recipe lives on. Click here to watch the premiere episode of “Cooking with Carol,” and follow along with the recipe below to make your own batch of Prairie’s most famous treat.

Click here to view our virtual community collection of recipes

Cinnamon Rolls



  • 2 Tablespoons yeast
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 Tablespoons dry milk
  • 4 cups flour
  • 10 oz butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons cinnamon

Water icing:

  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/2 cup boiling water

Makes about 28 rolls.


  1. Dissolve yeast in water. Mix in salt, sugar, vegetable oil, and dry milk. Add about 3 cups of flour to make a soft dough.
  2. Knead with a bread hook and add remaining flour until ‘smooth and soft as a baby’s bottom!’ Let rise in warm place until double in size (about 30 minutes).
  3. Roll out dough into rectangles, and smear generously with softened butter. Sprinkle entire surface with cinnamon and sugar. Roll up lengthwise and cut into slices with pastry cutter. Place on paper-lined cookie sheet (18″ x 26″). Let rise until double in size.
  4. Bake at 325 degrees in a convection oven for 12-15 minutes. Cool.
  5. Make water icing: Combine sugar, vanilla, salt, and butter. Add boiling water and slowly mix until smooth. Drizzle over rolls.



During this year’s 12 Days of Giving, we are introducing you to a few more People of Prairie, and sharing some of the relationships that help define our community. You can support this year’s 12 Days of Giving campaign and help grow inspiration and creativity all across campus with a gift to the Prairie Fund.