★★★★★

Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Rolls need no introduction. These are ooey-gooey fluffy rolls of cinnamon sugar heaven–the very BEST and easiest homemade cinnamon rolls you’ll ever make.

Pan of cinnamon rolls with two rolls on white plates.

One of life’s greatest joys is biting into a hot cinnamon roll fresh from the oven. The doughy buttery layers swirled with cinnamon filling, the sweet icing and the intoxicating aroma filling the kitchen is probably the closest we can get to experiencing heaven on earth.

Cinnamon Rolls

When it comes to breakfast recipes, I’m a sucker for sweet pastries, pancakes, waffles, and coffee cake.

But I also like cinnamon rolls. Just a little bit. Y’all remember this Cinnamon Roll Cake?

I’ve tried lots of cinnamon roll recipes over the years. From old family recipes to several of the hundreds (thousands?) circulating the Internet, I’ve given them all a shot on my quest to make the best ever cinnamon rolls.

I can say with confidence this is my very favorite homemade cinnamon roll recipe!

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Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

If you’ve been popping open cans to make cinnamon rolls at home, welcome to the first day of the rest of your cinnamon roll life.

Sure, refrigerated dough is convenient. There are times when, for whatever reason, we all must settle for canned rolls to get our cinnamon roll fix. It happens.

Pan with baked cinnamon rolls covered in melted icing.

But here’s the honest-to-goodness truth: You simply cannot beat the taste of homemade cinnamon rolls made from scratch.

It takes just a bit more effort and and the results are undeniable. Sticky, sweet, ooey-gooey, irresistibly cinnamon-y rolls are worth the extra time and energy. You can even prep the dough in advance and be ready to bake a fresh pan of earth shatteringly good homemade cinnamon rolls first thing the the morning.

And of course, no cinnamon roll is complete without frosting. I love this cream cheese frosting on my rolls!

It has just a bit of extra cinnamon in it, along with nutmeg, to make these sweet rolls extra tempting.

Delicious homemade cinnamon rolls start by making a yeast dough that you let rise until doubled in size.

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What kind of yeast do you use for cinnamon rolls?

For this recipe, you need active dry yeast. I buy mine in packets to make measuring easy (one batch of cinnamon rolls = one packet).

Along with the active dry yeast, here’s what else you need to make the dough for cinnamon rolls:

Recipe and ingredients at a glance; scroll down for the full recipe with amounts!

  • Flour
  • Milk
  • Sugar
  • Egg
  • Salt
  • Warm Water
  • Butter
One large cinnamon roll being cut with a fork.

To make the dough:

STEP 1. Heat the milk and butter

In a saucepan, heat milk until just starting to bubble. Remove from heat and add in butter. Stir occasionally until butter is completely melted. Let cool until lukewarm.

STEP 2. Proof the yeast

In another bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water with one teaspoon sugar. The yeast will begin to bubble up and become slightly frothy looking, this will take several minutes.

STEP 3. Combine, mix, knead!

In a large bowl, mix together 2 ¼ cups of the flour, sugar, and salt.

When milk mixture has cooled enough, add yeast mixture to saucepan and stir to combine. Pour liquid into dry ingredients along with the egg and mix well.

Stir in remaining flour, ½ cup at a time, until dough pulls together, and away from sides of bowl. Knead on a well-floured surface for about 5 minutes.

Place in oiled bowl and cover with a towel or plastic wrap. Let rest for 30 – 45 minutes minutes.

STEP 4. Roll out the dough

Turn dough onto well-floured surface and sprinkle with more flour on top then roll into a rectangle.

Now it’s time to make that wonderful cinnamon sugar filling!

Cinnamon roll dough in rectangle shape with melted butter and partly covered with cinnamon.

To make the cinnamon roll filling:

Combine cinnamon and brown sugar in a small bowl.

Spread melted butter over the surface of the rectangle of dough. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture on top then roll up the dough into a cylinder and pinch the ends to form a seam.

Baking cinnamon rolls:

Use a very sharp serrated knife or a string of dental floss to cut the dough into 12 even portions. Place the cinnamon rolls on a greased baking dish, cover with a towel and let them rise until doubled in size.

Roll of cinnamon rolls being cut with a twine.
Pan of cinnamon rolls doubling in size before baking.

For me, this takes about 45 minutes.

PRO TIP: Before baking, drizzle cinnamon rolls with about 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream. This creates an even more MOIST Cinnabon style roll.

Bake your cinnamon rolls until golden brown (20 to 25 minutes). While they’re baking–and filling your kitchen with the delicious smell–get your frosting ready.

To make the cream cheese frosting:

You need. . .

  • Butter
  • Cream Cheese
  • Vanilla
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Milk
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg

Mix butter and cream cheese with electric mixer until smooth. Add powdered sugar and mix on low speed until combined. Mix in the milk, vanilla, and spices and beat on medium speed for one minute.

Spread frosting over the rolls when still hot from the oven! Serve warm and enjoy cinnamon roll bliss.

Baking cinnamon rolls being frosted with cream cheese icing.

Make Ahead Cinnamon Rolls

If you want to treat your family to freshly baked cinnamon rolls first thing in the morning, I recommend preparing the dough the night before!

After dividing the dough into rolls, place them on your baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and set them in the fridge overnight. About an hour before baking, remove them from the fridge and let them rise again.

These keep well covered with plastic wrap for about 3 days after baking. Once they cool, I like to heat mine in the microwave for a few seconds to get that warm-from-the-oven taste every time.

More Cinnamon Recipes

Yield: 12 rolls

Cinnamon Rolls

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Rise Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 25 minutes

Cinnamon Rolls need no introduction. These are ooey-gooey fluffy rolls of cinnamon sugar heaven--the very BEST and easiest homemade cinnamon rolls you'll ever make.

Ingredients

For the dough:

  • ¾ cup milk
  • ¼ cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons (1 packet) active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 ¼ cup all-purpose flour, divided
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 egg, room temperature, beaten

For the filling:

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • ⅓ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

For the frosting:

  • 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered (confectioner’s) sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan, heat milk until just starting to bubble. Remove from heat and add in butter. Stir occasionally until butter is completely melted. Let cool until lukewarm.
  2. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water with one teaspoon sugar. 
  3. In a large bowl, mix together 2 ¼ cups flour, sugar, and salt.
  4. When milk mixture has cooled enough, add yeast mixture to saucepan and stir to combine. Pour liquid into dry ingredients along with the egg and mix well.
  5. Stir in remaining flour, ½ cup at a time, until dough pulls together, and away from sides of bowl. Knead on a well-floured surface for about 5 minutes.
  6. Place in oiled bowl and cover with a towel or plastic wrap. Let rest for 30 - 45 minutes minutes.
  7. Turn dough onto well-floured surface and sprinkle with more flour on top. Roll into a 12x18” rectangle. It should be about ½ ” thick.
  8. Mix the cinnamon and sugar together in a small bowl. Spread the melted butter over the surface of the dough, almost the edges. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the butter.
  9. From the long edge of rectangle, roll up the dough into a log. Pinch to seal the seam.
  10. Use a sharp serrated knife, or dental-floss, cut the roll into 12 equal-sized pieces.
  11. Grease a 9x13” baking dish. Place each roll in the dish spiral side up.
  12. Cover with a towel and let rise 45 to 60 minutes, until doubled in size.*
  13. Bake rolls at 350° for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown on top.
  14. Meanwhile, make the frosting: mix butter and cream cheese with electric mixer until smooth. Add powdered sugar and mix on low speed until combined. Mix in the milk, vanilla, and spices and beat on medium speed for one minute.
  15. Spread frosting on warm rolls. Serve warm!

Notes

  • You can make the rolls up to a day ahead of baking time. After step 11, cover dish with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight. Remove from fridge in the morning, and allow rolls to rise for 1 to 1 ½ hours. Remove plastic wrap and proceed to step 13.
  • Rolls will keep covered with plastic wrap for up to 3 days at room temperature.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 251Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 139mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 2gSugar: 9gProtein: 6g

*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

Did you make this recipe?

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Are you craving these sweet, delicious, perfect cinnamon filled rolls yet? Go ahead and make them right now–your family will thank you!

Aimee

About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on April 6, 2020

Comments & Reviews

  1. My mom lives alone and loves cinnamon rolls! I’m making them for her for the first time today for Mother’s Day tomorrow. Is there a way to freeze some of them so she can enjoy them later as well?

    1. I made these last month and froze them individually in plastic wrap. I did have to butter all sides when reheating in the MW to make the sides soft.

  2. I have made these and they were delicious – than ks for the great recipe.
    However, while in the oven, a couple of the buns popped up like a corkscrew in the middle.
    I just pushed them down when I took them out of the oven and they were fine.
    What I am doing wrong?
    Thanks.

  3. These were delicious, but too much cinnamon in the frosting. Next time I’m going to leave out the spices and have a nice white glaze. I was so excited to taste the tangy cream cheese in the frosting, but all we could taste was cinnamon. Otherwise, they were delicious. I made them the night before according to instructions and they rose and naked beautifully in the morning! Thanks!!

  4. Sadly, my cinnamon rolls did not rise. My yeast seemed to behave as it should when proofed. The only thing I think may have gone wrong is that I over kneaded. I used my stand mixer and mixed with the dough hook for 5 mins instead of kneading by hand. Any other ideas what may have gone wrong?

  5. I made these the other day, and the rolls were very dry and the frosting turned brown (I think from the nutmeg?), anyway, I am trying them again today. Maybe I did something wrong. I just thought the dough was very dry.

    1. I have a tip in the recipe above to drizzle with a little heavy cream before baking. Makes them super moist like Cinnabon!

  6. This recipe looks delicious, we are going to make this today for Easter morning tomorrow :). Will the pre-cut cinnamon roll dough keep in the fridge for 24 hours in advance? Or should I make up the dough the evening before so it only remains in the fridge for about 12 hours?

  7. Ingredients for dough are confusing not sure but there are 2 different spots for sugar … is it correct or is one of those supposed to be something else?

    1. If you read in step 2, you add 1 tsp of sugar to the yeast. In step 3 you add the remaining sugar with the flour.

    2. The first sugar gets added with the yeast. The 2nd sugar gets added to flour. If you read the instructions it will make sense.

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