Cinnamon Rolls

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Make the best homemade cinnamon rolls with this easy, family-favorite recipe. Soft, fluffy, and topped with luscious icing, these cinnamon rolls are perfect for any breakfast or brunch.

Top view of warm baked pastries with icing.

There’s something magical about the smell of freshly baked cinnamon rolls wafting through the house, isn’t there?

This recipe has been a beloved staple in my family for over 10 years, bringing warm, gooey goodness to countless breakfasts and brunches.

The combination of soft, fluffy dough, swirled with a generous layer of cinnamon and sugar, and topped with a luscious icing, makes these rolls absolutely irresistible.

I’ve made these homemade cinnamon rolls so many times that I could probably bake them with my eyes closed!

They’re a family favorite, and I’m excited to share this tried-and-true recipe with you.

Whether you’re an experienced baker or a newbie in the kitchen, you’ll find that these homemade cinnamon rolls are not only delicious but also fun and satisfying to make.

Looking for other breakfast recipes to try. Check out our Buttermilk Pancakes or Cinnamon Bread.

Tips for Perfect Cinnamon Rolls

Tips

Proper Dough Consistency: When mixing the dough, add flour gradually. The dough should be soft and slightly sticky but not overly wet.

Cutting the Rolls: For the perfect slice, use dental floss to cut the rolled dough. Slide the floss under the roll, cross it over the top, and pull tight. Or, try the pizza cutter method that I used for our carrot cake cinnamon rolls.

Baking: Keep an eye on your rolls towards the end of the baking time. Bake until they are golden brown, usually 20 to 30 minutes. Overbaking can dry them out, so it’s better to check a little earlier.

Icing: Spread the vanilla icing on the rolls while they are still slightly warm. This allows it to melt a bit and seep into the rolls, adding extra moisture and sweetness.

Freshly baked cinnamon rolls with a golden-brown color.

Storage and Reheating

Storage: Finished cinnamon rolls will last in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. You can also leave them unfrosted and store them at room temperature for 2-3 days. 

Freezing: Cinnamon rolls can be frozen, but I recommend doing so without the icing. To freeze the rolls, let them cool completely, wrap them tightly in a couple layers of plastic wrap followed by a layer of aluminum foil, then store them for up to 1 month.

Reheating: To warm your cinnamon rolls, let them thaw fully in the fridge if frozen, then warm either in the microwave or oven and add the icing before serving! 

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

These cinnamon rolls are fairly simple, but cinnamon rolls in general can be a little bit finicky.

I currently live at 30 feet above sea level and in a very warm, humid climate. So, if you live at a different altitude, in a different climate, or you’re even experiencing different weather, the recipe can change slightly.

Here are a few potential adjustments you may need to make:

  • Flour: I’ve used anywhere from 2½ cups of flour to over 4½ cups depending on where I’ve lived. My best tip is to start with less, then add more as needed.
  • Bake time and temp: If you live in the mountains, you will likely need to adjust both the oven temperature and the baking time. Check out this article on high altitude baking for more tips.

Totally! This cinnamon roll recipe makes an excellent make-ahead breakfast option and is perfect for Christmas morning. 

To prep them ahead of time, assemble as directed, then bake at 325ºF for just 15 minutes. Cool the rolls completely, then place the whole pan into a freezer-safe bag and store in the freezer for up to 2 months.

When you’re ready to serve, thaw the rolls completely, then bake until golden-brown. 

For more detailed instructions on par-baking and freezing, check out this post on how to freeze cinnamon buns.

If you don’t have instant yeast, you can use active dry yeast.

Activate it by dissolving it in the warm water and milk mixture (make sure it’s between 110°F to 115°F) and let it sit for about 5 minutes until frothy. Then proceed with the recipe as directed.

For extra soft rolls, make sure not to overbake them.

Also, adding an extra tablespoon of butter or using whole milk in place of some of the water can make a big difference in softness.

Yes, you can customize the filling to your liking. Try adding raisins, chopped nuts, or even a layer of cream cheese for a different twist.

Just be sure to distribute the fillings evenly for the best results.

Warm pastries with icing starting to melt.

Other Great Breakfast Recipes to Try

Looking for more delicious breakfast ideas? Check out more of our favorite recipes:

Close-up view of a freshly baked pastry with a swirl pattern, topped with a light layer of icing.

Easy Cinnamon Rolls

4.7 from 93 votes
Print Pin Text
Author: Kimberly
Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Rise Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours 55 minutes
Servings: 12 Servings

Ingredients

For the Cinnamon Roll Dough:

  • 2 ½ to 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons instant yeast, 1 standard packet
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten (at room temperature)

For the Filling:

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup light brown sugar, packed (or more to taste)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon, adjust to taste

For the Glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons whole milk, adjust to desired consistency
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions
 

Prepare the Dough:

  • Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish and set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine 2 ½ cups of flour, granulated sugar, yeast, and salt.
    2 ½ to 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
    3 tablespoons granulated sugar
    2 ¼ teaspoons instant yeast
    1 teaspoon salt
  • In a microwave-safe bowl or over the stovetop, heat the water, milk, and 3 tablespoons of butter until it reaches 110°F to 115°F.
    ½ cup water
    ¼ cup whole milk
    3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Pour the warm water mixture into the dry ingredients in the stand mixer. Add the beaten egg.
    1 large egg
  • Using a dough hook, mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. If the dough is too wet, gradually add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until a soft, smooth, and elastic dough forms.
  • Continue to mix on medium-low speed for 5-6 minutes. Allow the dough to rest in the bowl for 3-5 minutes.

Roll Out the Dough:

  • Turn the rested dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Use a rolling pin to roll it into a rectangular shape, about ¼-inch to ½-inch thick.

Add the Filling:

  • Spread the softened butter evenly over the rolled-out dough.
    3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon evenly over the buttered surface.
    ½ cup light brown sugar
    2 to 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon

Shape the Rolls:

  • Starting from the long side, tightly roll the dough into a log, keeping the filling inside.
  • Use a sharp knife or dental floss to cut the rolled dough into 12 equal pieces.

Rise:

  • Arrange the cut rolls in the prepared baking dish. Cover with a clean towel and place in a warm, draft-free area to rise until doubled in size, about 1-2 hours.
  • Preheat your oven to 350°F during the last 15 minutes of rising.

Bake:

  • Bake the rolls in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes or until they are golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven and let the rolls cool slightly before adding the glaze.

Make the Glaze:

  • In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons of milk, and vanilla. Adjust the consistency with more milk if needed.
    1 cup powdered sugar
    2 to 3 tablespoons whole milk
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Spread the glaze over the slightly warm rolls and enjoy!

Notes

  • Environmental factors cause the amount of flour required to vary slightly by region.  We’ve linked to a great resource in the FAQs section of the post.
  • We have not tried to substitute ingredients such as gluten-free flour, bread flour, almond milk, soy milk, etc. and cannot provide recommendations on the use of alternate ingredients.
  • The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients in the recipe card and a serving size of 1 cinnamon roll. Actual calories will vary.
  • For more glaze, make a double batch.
 

Nutrition

Serving: 1cinnamon roll | Calories: 293kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 290mg | Potassium: 85mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 358IU | Vitamin C: 0.03mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition Disclaimer

Kim and John Vargo of Berly’s Kitchen and its affiliates are not dieticians or nutritionists. Any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If preferred, use your favorite online nutrition calculator to double check the amounts. Calories and other nutritional values can vary based on brand and serving size.

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85 Comments

  1. Very easy. wonderful aroma while baking reminded me as a child while Mom making them. Soft, fluffy and taste wonderful.

  2. Delicious! Very happy with this recipe. My mixer couldn’t handle the dough so I had to knees by hand. Still turned out great and I got a quick arm workout! 😂

    1. Thank you DeDe, we’re thrilled you enjoyed the cinnamon rolls and got an arm workout as well lol! Have a lovely day 🙂

    1. Hi Kelsey!

      The butter needs to be softened and the milk and water should be warmed. That’s listed in the recipe, so as long as you follow it, you should be good! I always use an egg right out of the fridge. It would work fine at room temperature, too. Although, it’s not necessary. Hope that helps! 🙂

  3. These are perfect! 😋
    I followed the recipe with active yeast, I don’t have a stand mixer so I used my bread machine for mixing and kneading then let it rest 5 minutes rolled out, added filling rolled up and cut into rolls.
    My house is cold so I placed plastic wrap (sprayed with Pam) on the top and placed in my microwave and prompt the door with the end of a spoon so the light would stay on, (that’s how I get my breads to rise)🤷🏻‍♀️ I set my timer for 1 hour to rise then baked at 350’ for 25 minutes let cool and topped with icing.
    I love baking breads (I’m not that good at it yet) and I never uses my bread machine I don’t like the breads I’ve baked in it, this was my first time to use it for mixing and kneading and it worked! 😉

    1. Hi Carol!

      Thanks so much for the comment! I love your workaround for proofing dough in the microwave. That’s a great tip!

      I use our new bread maker more for kneading than actually making bread. Lol! It comes in handy. We’re so happy the cinnamon rolls turned out and that you enjoyed them. Have a wonderful evening! 🙂

  4. I just wanted to say they are so easy to make and that is alot I am terrifed of yeast dough but I did activate it separately and worked wonderfully also I let them raise on the stove my family loved them they were gone by the next day been requested to please make more I would recommend this recipe to anyone !

    1. Hi Shirley!

      We are so happy to hear that, and thrilled that your family enjoyed the cinnamon rolls! 🙂 Thank you so much for coming back to comment. We hope you have a wonderful week!

4.74 from 93 votes (64 ratings without comment)

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