Best Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

For the Best Homemade Cinnamon Rolls, look no further!  This sweet breakfast is decadent and delicious and better than store-bought. Serve them with a simple homemade cream cheese icing for a special treat that can be enjoyed for breakfast or dessert!

baked cinnamon rolls in a metal tin with cream cheese frosting on top

The smell of homemade cinnamon rolls baking in the oven is one of my favorite things. Have you made fluffy cinnamon rolls from scratch in your kitchen? The best cinnamon rolls are made with love and care right at home from scratch, they taste so much better than store-bought ones, and you can add your own special touches to them.  

Find the ingredients for this cinnamon roll recipe at any grocery store or right in your pantry. Simply make the dough and fill it with cinnamon sugar, and butter mixture, then let them rise. Prepare a simple cream cheese frosting to spread on top or even more flavor.

Enjoy these homemade cinnamon rolls for brunch or as a treat any time of the day with a warm mug of coffee or tea.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • The entire recipe requires 2 hours or less including the time it takes for them to rise. 
  • This recipe is easy to follow, especially if it’s your first time making homemade cinnamon rolls. It’s the best homemade cinnamon roll recipe.
  • Customize the rolls by adding your favorite mix-ins to the filling. 
  • You can enjoy them in the morning on the go or for a snack that both kids and adults love. 

Ingredients You’ll Need

Cinnamon roll dough: 

  • All-Purpose Flour – Flour makes up the dry base of the ingredients and helps give the cinnamon rolls their doughy shape and texture. 
  • Sugar – The dough is sweetened lightly with granulated sugar to complement the filling and the cream cheese frosting. 
  • Instant Yeast – This is what makes the cinnamon rolls rise properly. When mixed with flour and warm water, yeast will give the cinnamon rolls a fluffy texture when baked. Instant yeast is also called rapid rise yeast. Do not use the standard active dry yeast or the dough will not rise in time.
  • Kosher Salt – Helps balance the flavors in the cinnamon rolls and further helps to activate the instant yeast. 
  • Water – Warm water mixed with yeast is what turns it “on” and gives it the chemical reaction needed to rise. 
  • Butter – Unsalted butter is best.
  • Egg – Helps bind the dough together and keeps the cinnamon roll in its classic swirl shape. 

For the filling:

  • Sugar – Keeps the filling inside extra sweet. Granulated sugar works great but you can also use light brown sugar for more flavor.
  • Ground Cinnamon – Adds a warming flavor to the inside of the roll making a traditional cinnamon flavor. 
  • Butter – Used to bind the filling together to create a paste that’s buttery and decadent. Use unsalted butter.

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • Butter – Gives the frosting a classically dense texture and buttery taste.
    Cream Cheese – Adds a tart creamy flavor to the frosting that helps cut the sweetness of the sugar in the cinnamon rolls. 
  • Vanilla Extract – Infuses the frosting with a hint of comforting vanilla flavor. 
  • Powdered Sugar – Sweetens up the frosting and adds texture.
  • Milk – Helps thin out the frosting to make it easily spreadable. 
steps to make cinnamon rolls

How To Make Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

  1. Mix the dry ingredients: Add the 2 cups of the flour, sugar, and yeast to a bowl of a stand mixer along with salt and mix until fully combined. 
  2. Mix the wet ingredients: Start out by mixing the butter and butter into a microwave-safe bowl. You’ll want to heat it up in 15-second intervals until the water is warm but not hot. Add this mixture to the flour mixture along with the egg, then beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in the rest of the flour until the dough starts to turn into a ball. You can do this on medium or low speed. During the mixing process, scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula to mix evenly. 
  3. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface: Lightly flour a work surface. Remove the ball of dough from the bowl and knead until the texture is smooth and has an elastic spring back when lightly pressed. This should take about 6 minutes. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes under a damp, clean towel. 
  4. Make the cinnamon roll filling: While the dough is resting, add the cinnamon and sugar to a small bowl, then set aside. 
  5. Fill and cut: Roll out the rested dough into a 15×10 inch rectangle using a rolling pin. Brush the surface of the dough with melted butter, then sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mix on top in a single layer. At the long end of the rectangle, roll the dough up tightly. Use unflavored dental floss or fishing line to cut the rolls into even pieces by sliding the floss under the roll and crossing through the  middle until it cuts through. 
  6. Let the dough rise: Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with non stick spray or butter, then place the cinnamon rolls cut side down on the baking sheet in a single layer. Cover with a towel and let them rise for 1 hour in a warm place. 
  7. Prepare the cream cheese frosting: While the cinnamon rolls rise, add butter and cream cheese to a stand mixer, then cream the two together with a paddle attachment. Once smooth, add in the vanilla and confectioners sugar. Add milk as necessary until a spreadable consistency is created. 
  8. Bake the cinnamon rolls: Preheat the oven to 350F. Add the cinnamon rolls to the oven for 25-30 minutes or until they are cooked through and golden brown on top.
  9. Cool, frost, and serve: Let the homemade cinnamon rolls cool for 20 minutes. Then, spread the cream cheese icing on top. Serve warm and enjoy! 
rolling cinnamon rolls and slicing

Expert Tips

  1. Follow the steps precisely. Pay special attention to baking time and temperature.
  2. Be sure to remember to divide the flour. Adding the flour slowly and in multiple steps allows the mixture to combine well and create the perfect dough.
  3. Let the dough sit for 10 minutes to rise before rolling and cutting into rolls. This will help keep the homemade cinnamon rolls fluffy on the inside. 
  4. Make sure to use softened butter as specified.
  5. While rising, you can leave the dough on the counter in the kitchen in front of a filtered window to create warmth. You can also add them to your oven with just the oven light on. 
  6. To determine if the dough passes the “doubled in size” stage, press the tips of two fingers lightly and quickly about ½ inch into the dough. If the impression you made stays, the dough is doubled.
  7. If you don’t have unflavored dental floss, fishing line also works well to cut the cinnamon rolls. Or you can use a sharp knife.

Variations

  • Instead of cinnamon, use pumpkin pie spice in the filling for warming fall flavors. 
  • Change up the flavor of the dough by adding maple, almond, or coconut extract to the dough mixture instead of vanilla. 
  • Add chopped pecans, walnuts, or dried fruit in the filling to change the flavor and texture of the cinnamon rolls. 
  • Add chocolate chips to the filling for a warm chocolate cinnamon roll taste.

FAQs

What kind of flour should I use for cinnamon rolls?

All-purpose flour works great. You can also substitute with half bread flour or use all bread flour.

Do you ice cinnamon rolls while hot?

Allow the rolls to cool about 5 to 10 minutes before icing them. This will help ensure the frosting does not fully melt into the cinnamon rolls. 

How do you know when cinnamon rolls are done?

The rolls are done when the tops are golden brown and the middle of the cinnamon rolls are fully set.

Whats the difference between cinnamon rolls and cinnamon buns?

Cinnamon buns traditionally have nuts inside whereas cinnamon rolls do not. 

half of a cinnamon roll sitting on a white plate

Try something new this weekend and try this easy cinnamon rolls recipe. With the perfect amount of cinnamon-sugar filling, frosting and dough, you will create a treat that everyone loves.

Other Sweet Breakfast Recipes

Did you try these homemade cinnamon rolls? Leave a recipe rating and review below.

baked cinnamon rolls in a metal tin with cream cheese frosting on top

Best Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Yield: 12 large rolls
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Resting Time: 1 hr 10 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 45 mins
These rolls are light, fluffy and full of cinnamon-sugar goodness. They are topped with cream cheese frosting!
5 from 2 votes

Ingredients 

For the cinnamon rolls:

  • 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast, (one packet)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup + 3 tablespoons water
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 egg

For the filling:

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted

For the frosting:

  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 3– 4 tablespoons milk

Instructions

  • To make the rolls, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix 2 cups flour, sugar, dry yeast and salt until combined.
  • Place water and butter in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high in 15 second increments until very warm but not hot to the touch (butter may not melt completely).
  • Add the butter mixture and the egg to the flour mixture. Beat 2 minutes on medium speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Add one cup flour and beat an additional 2 minutes on high speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Stir in remaining flour and mix until the dough starts to form a ball.
  • On a lightly floured work surface, knead dough until smooth and elastic and dough springs back when lightly pressed with 2 fingers, about 6 minutes. Cover loosely with a damp, clean towel; let rest for 10 minutes.
  • To prepare filling, in a small bowl combine sugar and cinnamon; set aside.
  • Using a rolling pin, roll dough into a 15 x 10-inch rectangle. Brush the dough with the melted butter stopping at least ½ inch from the edge. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture. Beginning at long end of the rectangle, roll up tightly. Pinch seams to seal. Cut into 12 equal pieces. (Use unflavored dental floss instead of a knife to cut rolls. Cut a piece of floss about 12 inches long. Slide floss under the roll; bring ends up and cross over to cut each slice.)
  • Place, cut sides down, in a greased 13 x 9 inch baking pan. Cover with towel and let rise in a warm place until double in size, about 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until rolls are golden brown. Remove from oven and cool for at least 20 minutes.
  • To prepare the frosting, in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and cream cheese. Add the vanilla and mix. Slowly add the confectioners’ sugar and mix until combined. Add milk 1 tablespoon at a time until frosting reaches a spreadable consistency. Drizzle or spread frosting over rolls and enjoy!

Notes

  • If the rolls are staring to brown excessively, remove them from the oven and make an aluminum foil “tent” to shield them, and then return them to the oven.
Storing: These easy cinnamon rolls can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to five days. You do not need to store them in the refrigerator.
Freezing: Homemade cinnamon rolls can be frozen after baking or before baking. To freeze cinnamon rolls after baking, allow the cinnamon rolls to cool completely; wrap cinnamon rolls tightly in plastic wrap and store up to three months. To freeze cinnamon rolls before baking, prepare cinnamon roll dough according to recipe instructions. Freeze cinnamon roll dough after cutting in the freezer up to two months in an airtight container or bag. The cinnamon rolls can be baked from frozen; add 2-3 minutes to the baking time for cinnamon rolls that were not previously frozen. Make the cream cheese frosting separately.
Source: adapted from Breadworld by Fleischmann’s® Yeast

Nutrition

Serving: 0g, Calories: 428kcal, Carbohydrates: 69g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 52mg, Sodium: 230mg, Potassium: 76mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 39g, Vitamin A: 480IU, Calcium: 41mg, Iron: 1.9mg
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Author: Ashley C.
If you try this recipe, don’t forget to leave a review below or share a photo and tag @spoonfulofflavor on Instagram.

2 comments on “Best Homemade Cinnamon Rolls”

  1. These turned out great! I swear there’s nothing better than a homemade cinnamon roll.

  2. This was my first attempt at homemade cinnamon rolls and they were perfect. Thanks for sharing!

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