Tasty Neighbor Gift

It’s that time of year that you are scrambling to find something to give those neighbors and friends something that they will love, blowing their minds, or even their taste buds. Our sunshine rings are a perfectly tasty neighbor gift that will be sure to do all three.

I think that there is nothing better for a neighbor gift than something you make yourself. I honestly think my favorite gifts are the baked goods made by friends and neighbors. To me it means a little more when the gift is made than to just go buy something that I could have bought myself. I know I sound like a brat, but it’s true. The greatest things for Christmas aren’t just things, but the thought that count.

Sunshine Rings

Sixty years ago Emily’s grandparents were poor college students.  Her grandma wanted to make something special that would look and taste delicious but be within her budget. So she took her cinnamon roll and rather then cut them up, twisted them creating a ring. She then decided it needed a happy name and so she called them sunshine rings.  Since that Christmas, 60 years ago, we have been making sunshine rings.  Now we are starting our third generation of sunshine ring makers and love passing on the tradition.

Sunshine Rings
Recipe Type: Dessert
Cuisine: Cinnamon Roll Ring
Author: The Modern Dad
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6-8 rings
The perfect treat to give to neighbors or make for a Tuesday night.
  • 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. Use pizza cutter and cut into pizza like slices.
  7. Brush with melted butter.
  8. Roll up pizza slices like a croissant. Place on greased pan.
  9. Cover; let rise until doubled in size (30-60 minutes).
  10. Bake at 375º for 12-15 minutes.


Make the roll recipe.  One recipe makes 6-8 rolls depending on how big you make them.  Take a section of dough and roll it out into a circle, about 1/2 inch thick. Spread butter over the dough, then brown sugar and cinnamon.  Grandma likes to add nuts and raisons but we just like them plain. Next, roll the dough into a long strip and bring the two ends together into a circle and pinch the seam together.  Take a knife and cut slices about an inch apart and all but an inch through.  Now comes the fun part- twist the rolls so they make a ring.  Bake for 13-15 minutes. Then frost- if you frost them warm the icing melts a little or wait until they are cool and the frosting will be fluffy. (Word to the wise, if you are planning to give them away, wrap them up fast because it’s easy for them to disappear)