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Our Favorite Cinnamon Rolls

Today I’m sharing the BEST Cinnamon Roll Recipe EVER! These homemade cinnamon rolls are easy to make, with very little rise time thanks to a few time saving tricks! You’ll have gooey, soft, from-scratch cinnamon rolls prepped and baked in no time!

Nothing Tastes Better Than Homemade Cinnamon Rolls!

Today’s recipe is one that you will want to bookmark, pin, print out, save for later, share on facebook and tweet about. It’s THE recipe for cinnamon rolls. It’s a pretty big claim, I know, but I fully stand behind it. And I’ll share a dirty secret…growing up my mom used to make cinnamon rolls and pour melted butter onto each roll before frosting them. Like GENIUS!

Cinnamon Rolls (or cinnamon buns) are one of those recipes that a lot of people might shy away from, opting to open a can, or head to the mall food court to get their fix. I would surmise this is because there is yeast involved. But, let’s just squash that idea. Yeast is just another ingredient, like sugar or flour. There is NO reason to tense up at its mention.

Cinnamon Buns baked in a 9x13 with instant yeast

How To Make Delicious Cinnamon Rolls From Scratch

I am going to walk you through the simple steps. So let’s start with what you will need.

Cinnamon Roll Dough Ingredients:

  • All Purpose Flour 
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Salt
  • Water & Milk
  • Butter
  • Egg
  • Rapid Rise Yeast (aka Instant Yeast)

Using Rapid Rise or Instant Yeast in this recipe is great for a few reasons: You only need 1 (short) rise time and you don’t need to hydrate (or bloom) the yeast in water. 

Waiting for dough to rise is sometimes a guessing game if you are new to yeast baking. But the instant yeast is great because the process happens much quicker! Your dough will double in just about an hour!

How To Roll out yeasted dough for cinnamon rolls

Making Cinnamon Roll Dough

I want to hit on a few important details of making the dough, that always has helped me. I’ve written out full, detailed instructions in the recipe, but I wanted to include a few images so you could see every step along the way! Don’t get too hung up on making them look perfect, especially if this is your first time making them.

  1. The recipe calls for a range of flour, 5-6 cups. You will probably need closer to 5 cups, but you want to have extra on-hand in case your dough seems too sticky, and also to flour your work surface. You want to add just enough flour that the dough forms a ball and is elastic, but not too sticky.
  2. You can use your dough hook to knead the dough in the bowl of a stand mixer OR you can use your hands! Whichever you prefer!
  3. Don’t get too hung up on the size you roll your dough out. I’ve given the dimensions 15×10, but if it’s a little larger than that it’s totally ok!
  4. What if you get more than 12 rolls out of your dough? This could happen because you cut your rolls a little smaller, or roll your dough out a little larger. It’s TOTALLY FINE! Just bake them all! You might need to bake additional rolls in a different pan, because 12 is the max you can fit in a 9×13.

What Is In Cinnamon Roll Filling?

Beside pure love, cinnamon roll filling only consists of butter, sugar, and cinnamon! BUT that doesn’t mean you have to stop there. There are tons of options of goodies you can add to your buns if you want to get creative!

  • Granulated sugar
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Very soft butter

Other Filling Options:

  • Raisins
  • Chopped Nuts
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice for a fall twist
  • Diced Apples

Spreading the Filling on the Dough:

  1. In a medium bowl stir together the sugar and cinnamon for the filling. Set aside.
  2. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface into a 15×10- inch rectangle using a rolling pin. This doesn’t have to be exact.
  3. Spread the soft butter onto the rolled out dough evenly. Sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar mixture. Starting the with long sides, tightly roll up the dough, pinching the seams to seal.
  4. Using a sharp knife, dental floss, or thread to slice into 12 equal pieces. *some use dental floss or thread because it doesn’t “squish” the dough like the pressure of a knife does, creating precise edges.
  5. Line a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper and coat with nonstick spray. Place the cinnamon rolls evenly into the pan, cover with a towel and allow to rise for 1 hour in a warm place, until doubled in size.

TIP: 

Cutting the rolled dough into slices can be done a few ways. You can simply use a sharp knife, or some folks like to use dental floss (unflavored of course!) or thread. This trick doesn’t “squish” the dough as much as pressing a knife into the roll does. Less pressure creates a more precise edge, resulting in very uniform rolls. I have to admit I rarely do this, but they sure turn out pretty if you do!

Cinnamon Roll Icing:

Cinnamon Roll Icing/Frosting is serious business. I personally think you can’t have too much. Some like a cream cheese frosting on their cinnamon rolls, but I prefer a classic buttercream style!

  • Room temperature butter
  • Powdered sugar
  • Milk
  • Vanilla extract
Cinnamon Rolls baked in a 9x13 pan

What Type Of Yeast Should You Use In Cinnamon Rolls?

You can use Instant Yeast, which is how this recipe is written, or active dry yeast. Do this at a 1:1 ratio. The only difference is you will need to allow for a longer rise time. This dough recipe is very forgiving, so no need to double rise, or “bloom” the yeast. More rise time is all you’ll need!

Where Do You Put Your Dough To Rise?

This used to always be a question I asked myself when I was new to yeast baking. But here are a few good tips:

  • Some new ovens have a “Proof” setting, and I have found this is an AMAZING feature, and if you’re lucky enough to have this, USE IT!
  • If your kitchen is cool or drafty heat your oven to 200°F when you first start mixing the dough. As soon as the oven comes to temperature, TURN IT OFF! You will probably still be kneading! Finish making your cinnamon rolls according to my recipe, and then cover with a clean kitchen towel and place the pan in the warm oven. The temperature will have dropped by this point leaving it only slightly warm which is the perfect place for your dough to rise!
Baked Cinnamon Rolls topped with frosting

Overnight Option 

This recipe can ABSOLUTELY be made in advance. It’s especially great for holidays, or for entertaining because you can do everything in advance! 

Here’s What You Do…

Cover your cinnamon rolls in the pan with plastic wrap before they’ve risen and place the pan in the refrigerator to rise slowly overnight. This is a great method to use if you want to prep ahead! The next morning pull your pan out of the fridge and preheat your oven. Remove the plastic wrap and bake!

Serving a cinnamon bun on a spatula from the 9x13 pan

I REALLY want you to try this Cinnamon Roll Recipe. Nothing tastes better than baking from scratch, and I hope I’ve been able to give you the confidence to bake with yeast if you’ve never tried it before!

Looking For More Cinnamon Rolls Recipes? Try These:

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Bakery Style Cinnamon Rolls topped with buttercream frosting

Cinnamon Rolls

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 22 reviews
  • Author: Shelly
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
  • Yield: 12 rolls 1x
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Breakfast

Description

My Easy Bakery Style Cinnamon Rolls are the BEST! I use RapidRise™ Yeast which makes the process quick!


Ingredients

Scale

Dough 

  • 56 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 (1/4- ounce) packets Fleischmann’s® RapidRise Yeast
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 6 tablespoons butter, cubed
  • 1 large egg

Filling

  • 1/2  cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons butter, very soft

Frosting

  • 3/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

  1. Dough: In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment mix together 2 cups of flour, sugar, yeast, and salt on low speed until combined. 
  2. Place the water, milk, and butter in a microwave safe bowl and heat in 25 second increments until the temperature reaches between 120°-130°F. Butter might not be melted, completely, which is fine. Add this to the flour mixture along with the egg and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  3. Add 2 more cups of flour to the mixture, and mix on high speed for 2 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl if necessary.
  4. Turn mixer to low and add in just enough remaining flour until the dough will form a ball. 
  5. Lightly flour a clean surface knead the dough for 6-8 minutes, adding a little more flour as necessary while you are kneading until the dough is smooth, elastic and springs back when lightly pressed with 2 fingers. Alternately, you can do this step in your stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment.
  6. Cover the dough with a towel and let it rest for 10 minutes.
  7. Filling: In a medium bowl mix together the sugar and cinnamon for the filling. Set aside.
  8. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface into a 15×10- inch rectangle using a rolling pin. This doesn’t have to be exact.
  9. Spread the soft butter onto the rolled out dough evenly. Sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar mixture. Starting the with long sides, tightly roll up the dough, pinching the seams to seal.
  10. Using a sharp knife, dental floss, or thread to slice into 12 equal pieces. *some use dental floss or thread because it doesn’t “squish” the dough like the pressure of a knife does, creating precise edges.
  11. Line a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper and coat with nonstick spray. Place the cinnamon rolls evenly into the pan, cover with a towel and allow to rise for 1 hour in a warm place, until doubled in size.
  12. Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake cinnamon rolls for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.
  13. Cool on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes.
  14. Frosting: Prepare frosting in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix the butter and powdered sugar together for 1 minute on medium speed. Add in the milk and vanilla and mix for another minute until creamy and smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  15. Spread frosting onto rolls.

Notes

Store airtight at room temperature for up to 3 days.

You can also prepare the rolls overnight by completing steps 1-11, but instead of allowing the rolls to double in size in a warm place, cover and place in the refrigerator to rise overnight.

Recipe adapted from breadworld.com

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 roll
  • Calories: 559
  • Sugar: 39.2 g
  • Sodium: 210.3 mg
  • Fat: 24 g
  • Carbohydrates: 80.1 g
  • Protein: 6.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 76.8 mg

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71 comments on “Our Favorite Cinnamon Rolls”

  1. Hello Shelly! Your recipe calls for 2 packets of rapidrise yeast, each packet contains 2 & 1/4 tsp so that means I need a total of 4 & 1/2 tsp yeast? Thanks in advance for replying and keep safe!

  2. I noticed some comments about freezing them, but can you explain what steps to take to freeze them before baking?






    1. Yes, you can do this! I will add instructions to the post tips to help! Prep the cinnamon rolls up to step #11 in the recipe card, but don’t allow the dough to rise as stated. Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap, and freeze for up to a month. The night before you’re ready to bake them, take them out of the freezer and allow them to thaw in the refrigerator overnight. The dough will rise once it’s thawed and then bake as stated!

  3. Hi there! I followed the steps and used 5 cups of flour but the dough was kinda tough when done…and it didn’t really rise after the 10 min in the oven. What did I do wrong? Did I Mix on high too much?

    1. The dough won’t rise after the initial 10 minute rest period. You allow it to rest for those 10 minutes to relax the gluten before forming them into the rolls and then rise 🙂 Since this recipe is written using rapid rise yeast you only need one rise time.
      Also the dough shouldn’t seem tough, but it shouldn’t be sticky. If it’s dry you can add a tablespoon of water to the dough at a time until it is no longer dry.

      1. Michelle DSouza

        These were gorgeous Shelly, my boys loved them. Made them without the frosting, but it was still so delicious. Have always wanted to try them, and now I did. Thank you Shelly.






  4. These were super delicious and a huge hit today! Thank you for such a great and easy to follow recipe!






  5. This is the second year in a row I have made these on Xmas eve for Xmas morning, they are easy and super delicious!






  6. I’ve always wanted to make cinnamon rolls from scratch (especially as in Australia we don’t have the ‘pre-made’ ones to easily bake) and after seeing this recipe decided to take the plunge.

    It was so amazing and delicious! Everyone raved about how good they were. The rolls were soft and just melted in your mouth. Can’t wait to do them again!!






    1. Cinnamon Rolls the next day will always be a little firmer than the day you bake them, but they shouldn’t be hard…did you store them airtight?

  7. Jessica Hauge

    I’ve made these twice love them ! The only problem I have is they are hard the next day even after storing them like it says . Am I doing something wrong ?






    1. Yes, you can, however you will need to allow for more time to rise and also you will need to activate the yeast in warm water for 5 minutes and allow it to dissolve and “bloom”.

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