These delicious homemade Cinnamon Rolls are gooey, sweet, warm and will simply melt in your mouth. Best of all, this easy cinnamon roll recipe is topped with a simple and sweet cream cheese cinnamon roll icing! These homemade cinnamon rolls are what breakfast dreams are made of. Trust me, you won’t be able to eat just one!
Cinnamon Roll Recipe
Homemade Cinnamon Rolls take a bit of time to make but boy are they wroth it. Sticky, gooey, sweet and warm, these Cinnamon Rolls will simply melt in your mouth. I’m going to teach you how to make cinnamon rolls with a simple, foolproof recipe with results that will ensure you never buy store bought, canned cinnamon rolls again.
Treat yourself to the decadent breakfast you deserve on a relaxing weekend morning or make the holidays even more special with a homemade cinnamon roll. Oh, and if you’re wondering how to get even the heaviest of sleepers up and out of bed, just bake these Cinnamon Rolls! The aroma of them baking is pretty heavenly!
More Tasty Breakfast Recipes
- Cranberry Orange Muffins
- Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake
- Baked Pumpkin French Toast
- Caramel Apple Coffee Cake
- Morning Glory Muffins
Cinnamon Rolls Ingredients
Serve for breakfast or dessert, homemade Cinnamon Rolls are a treat for day or night! Soft and warm on the outside, gooey cinnamon goodness on the inside. As always, you can find the full printable recipe with complete instructions in the recipe card at the end of this post. Let’s take a look at what you’ll need…
For the Cinnamon Roll Dough:
- active dry yeast – You’ll need two packets. Rapid rise yeast can also be used in this recipe interchangeably.
- whole milk – Warmed to 110°F, the warmed milk will help to activate the yeast.
- brown sugar – Light or dark will work in this cinnamon roll recipe.
- eggs – three large at room temperature. Cold eggs will counteract the warm milk so make sure you let them sit out until they are room temperature.
- unsalted butter – Also at room temperature. If you need to substitute in salted butter, you’ll want to omit the salt from the recipe.
- vanilla extract – For depth of flavor and warmth. I like to use my homemade vanilla extract in this recipe to make it extra special.
- all-purpose flour – The amount depends largely on humidity and the other ingredients. My rule of thumb with flour is to add just enough to make the dough manageable. It should still be a bit sticky. Too much flour will create tough cinnamon rolls.
- salt – balances and intensifies all the flavor of all the other ingredients.
For the Cinnamon Roll Filling:
- brown sugar – The darker the brown sugar, the deeper, more molasses taste you’ll get. Light brown sugar can also be used in this recipe,
- ground cinnamon – Use high quality cinnamon for the brightest cinnamon flavor.
- unsalted butter – The butter will be melted so it absorbs the brown sugar – cinnamon mixture.
For the Cinnamon Roll Icing:
- butter – Unsalted and at room temperature.
- cream cheese – At room temperature for easier mixing. Use a full fat cream cheese for the icing.
- powdered sugar – To sweeten the cinnamon roll icing.
- whole milk – The amount will differ depending on the consistency you prefer your icing to be. I typically use about 3 to 4 tablespoons. Half and half or heavy cream can also be used.
- vanilla extract – Adds a nice flavor to the icing.
How to Make Cinnamon Rolls
For the Cinnamon Roll Dough:
- Pour the warmed milk into the large bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle the packets of yeast overtop. Stir in the brown sugar, eggs, softened butter and vanilla extract using a beater attachment. You can use a wooden spoon if a mixer isn’t available.
- Add in the salt and two cups of the flour. Beat (or stir) until combined and a dough begins to form.
- Sprinkle in another cup of flour and switch to a dough hook attachment on your mixer (or use your hands if you’re going the manual route). Mix on medium speed for about 6-8 minutes. Make sure to keep an eye on the dough to make sure it isn’t sticking to the bottom of the bowl. If so, add in a couple tablespoons of flour at a time until it no longer sticks. Using your hands? Knead the dough on a very well floured surface for about 8-10 minutes.
- Grease a large bowl with butter (or spray it with nonstick cooking spray) and transfer the dough to the bowl. Turn once so that the dough is lightly coated.
- Cover the bowl with a light, damp towel, (or plastic wrap) and let the dough rise for about an hour or until it has doubled in size.
For the Filling:
- Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Stir until completely incorporated.
Assemble the Cinnamon Rolls
- Grease or butter a 9-inch round or square baking dish. Set aside.
- Dust your workspace lightly with flour. Roll the dough out into a 12×9 inch rectangle.
- Brush melted butter over the dough. Leave a ¼ inch space at the far end of the long side of the dough clean.
- Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture evenly over the top of the butter and press it lightly into the dough so the butter absorbs the cinnamon sugar.
- Roll the dough into a log, keeping it tight as you roll. When you reach the clean edge, pull the dough up and over, pinching it together to seal in the log.
- Use a sharp knife, or floss, to cut the log into 10-12 rolls (depending on how you slice them). Place them in the greased pan and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise once more for 25-30 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Bake the cinnamon rolls for 20-25 minutes until the tops are lightly golden brown. Careful not to overbake or burn.
For the Cinnamon Roll Icing:
- Prepare the icing while the cinnamon rolls bake. Whisk together the softened butter and cream cheese until combined.
- Whisk in 2 tablespoons of milk and vanilla extract until the icing is smooth.
- Drizzle over warm cinnamon rolls, serve, and enjoy!
You can store leftover Cinnamon Rolls in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. To keep them fresh longer, transfer to your refrigerator, in an airtight container, for up to 5 days.
Reheat: Heat in the microwave for a few seconds to warm them back up.
Freeze: If you’d like to freeze the cinnamon rolls you can do so prior to or after baking. Before baking assemble as directed but stop at the second rise. Store in a freezer safe container until ready to bake. Let thaw overnight in the fridge then let rise at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour before baking as directed!
To freeze after baking, let the rolls cool completely then store in a freezer safe container. For easier access to individual rolls, place parchment paper in between so they don’t stick together. Let thaw and warm in the microwave to enjoy!
Cinnamon Roll Recipe FAQs
Can I Use Rapid Rise Yeast Instead of Active Dry Yeast?
Either option works and are interchangeable in this cinnamon roll recipe.
Can I Make These Cinnamon Rolls In Advance?
You sure can! You can easily prep the dough the night before and pop in the oven morning of. Assemble as directed. Once cut and in the pan, cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight. The next morning allow the rolls to reach room temperature then let them rise for about 30 minutes before baking as directed.
Trish’s Tips and Tricks
This is the best cinnamon roll recipe and is easy enough for even novice bakers. I always recommend reading through the instructions several times before making these cinnamon rolls. Take your time and you’ll have the most amazing results! When you make cinnamon rolls yourself and eat them straight from the oven with – you’ll never buy the canned version again!
Here are some of my best tips and tricks for top notch results:
- Want to make your own vanilla extract? Check out my Homemade Vanilla Extract recipe!
- For a thinner cinnamon roll icing, add more milk. For a thicker icing, add more powdered sugar.
- Swap whole milk for heavy cream for an even more indulgent flavor.
- Maple extract can be used instead of vanilla for a fun fall flavor twist.
- Rapid rise yeast can be swapped in for active dry yeast.
More Cin-fully Delicious Cinnamon Recipes
- Apple Cinnamon Bread
- Cinnamon Streusel Dessert Pizza
- Cinnamon Sugar Pastry Twists
- Cinnamon-Sugar Mini Cupcakes
- Soft and Chewy Snickerdoodle Cookie Recipe
The Best Homemade Cinnamon Rolls Recipe
Cinnamon Roll Dough
- 4 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast two packets
- ¾ cup whole milk warmed to 110°F
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature (½ cup or 1 stick)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 ¼ to 3 ¾ cups all purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon salt
Cinnamon Roll Filling
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter melted (½ cup or 1 stick)
Cinnamon Roll Icing
- 2 tablespoons butter room temperature
- 4 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- 2 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 3 to 4 tablespoons whole milk as needed
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract optional
Make the Dough
- Pour milk into the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle yeast on top of the warm milk. Stir in brown sugar, eggs, softened butter and vanilla extract using a wooden spoon or the beater attachment.
- Add 2 cups of flour and the salt and beat until combined or continue stirring with a wooden spoon until a dough starts forms.
- Switch to the dough hook and add another cup of flour and knead the dough on medium speed for 6 to 8 minutes. Keep an eye on the dough and if it’s sticking to the bottom of the mixer, add more flour as needed, a tablespoon or two at a time. (Not using a mixer? Knead the dough on a well floured surface for 8 to 10 minutes.)
- Spray a large bowl with non stick cooking spray or grease with butter and transfer the dough to the prepared bowl, turning over once so that the dough is lightly coated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a light, damp towel and let the dough rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
Prepare the Filling
- In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon until they are fully combined.
Assemble the Cinnamon Rolls
- Lightly grease or butter a 9 inch cake pan or 9 inch baking pan. Set aside.
- Prepare your workspace by dusting it with flour. Turn the dough out and roll the dough into a rectangle about 12 inches by 9 inches.
- Brush the butter over the dough leaving about a ¼ inch space at the far end of the long side of the dough nice and clean. Evenly sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over the top of the butter and press on it slightly so the butter absorbs the cinnamon sugar.
- Carefully roll the dough into a log. Try to keep it tight as you go. When you get to the clean edge, pull the dough up and over and pinch the dough together to seal the log. Now, use a sharp knife (or floss) to cut into 10 to 12 rolls. Place them in the prepared baking dish and cover them with plastic wrap and let rise again for another 25 to 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake the rolls for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Do not over bake.
Cinnamon Roll Icing
- While the cinnamon rolls are baking, prepare the icing.
- In a medium bowl whisk butter and cream cheese together until well combined.
- Add 2 tablespoons of milk and the vanilla extract and whisk until the icing is nice and smooth. You can add more milk (1 teaspoon at a time) to thin the icing.
- Now, serve and enjoy!