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The BEST Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

The BEST homemade cinnamon rolls ever. If you love fluffy, soft, and absolutely delicious cinnamon buns, this is the recipe for you! Learn all of my tips and tricks, to make everyone’s favorite homemade yeast rolls including options to make them overnight or ahead of time.

cinnamon roll on a plate

Cinnamon rolls are one of my favorite pastries. They are perfect for breakfast, brunch, a midday treat, and even make a great dessert! This is my tried and true Homemade Cinnamon Roll recipe. It makes big, soft, and gooey cinnamon rolls that you will go crazy over! You’ll never need another cinnamon roll recipe again!

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

These gooey homemade cinnamon rolls are a truly treat. They are one of my favorite recipes that I have been perfecting for years. 

The dough is a sweet rich dough that becomes soft, fluffy, and flakey once baked due to the amount of fat content that it contains. The filling is your classic cinnamon roll filling – butter, sugar, and cinnamon. As far as the topping goes, I LOVE a cream cheese icing on my cinnamon rolls.

Ingredients for Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

The ingredients that you will need to make the best cinnamon rolls are pretty simple. Here’s what you will need:

cinnamon roll ingredients on a marble surface
  • All-purpose flour
  • Instant yeast or quick rise yeast (sometimes called rapid rise yeast)
  • Salt
  • Whole milk – full fat milk works best in this recipe, but you can use 2% milk if you don’t have any hand.
  • Butter – make sure your melted butter is not too hot before adding it to the dough.
  • Sugar
  • Egg + egg yolks – use room temperature eggs!

For the filling and baking you will need:

  • Butter
  • Dark brown sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Heavy cream

How do you make cinnamon rolls?

The first step to any cinnamon roll recipe is to make the dough. The high levels of fat in rich sweet dough from the butter and eggs make the dough very soft.

I like to use Fleischmann’s® Yeast Rapid Rise Yeast. It is an instant yeast which means that you don’t have to let the yeast proof before adding the butter and sugar, which inhibit fermentation. 

Before making the dough, you’ll want to bring all of your ingredients to room temperature. This will help create a uniform and smooth dough. Room temperature ingredients will also help the dough rise. Make sure that your melted butter is warm and not too hot. If it is scorching hot, you run the risk of killing the yeast. 

After you have added all of the ingredients, it’s time to knead the dough. I always use a stand mixer fitted with a hook attachment to mix the cinnamon roll dough. If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can go the old-fashioned route and knead the dough with your hands. If you knead the dough with your hands, do not be tempted to add more flour to the dough. The dough is supposed to be soft and somewhat sticky, which is key for making soft homemade cinnamon rolls.

Cinnamon Roll Filling

Our homemade cinnamon roll filling is made with three simple ingredients:

  1. butter
  2. brown sugar
  3. cinnamon

The butter needs to be very soft, so that it is easy to spread over the dough. To make the rolls extra special, you can also brown the butter. Just make sure that it has some time to cool before adding it to the dough. 

I always use dark brown sugar for the filling, but light brown sugar will taste just as great!

How to Roll Cinnamon Rolls

After your dough has risen until it is double in size, you’re ready to begin rolling your cinnamon rolls.

The dough will be very soft, so make sure to lightly flour your surface and the top of the dough for easy rolling.

Roll the dough out to a 16×20-inch rectangle. Spread the softened butter over the dough and then sprinkle the cinnamon sugar on top. Roll up like a jelly roll, beginning from a long end. Cut into 12 rolls.

How to Cut Cinnamon Rolls

To get uniform sized cinnamon rolls, I like to use a ruler to mark where I will be making each cut. Before measuring, trim off 1 inch from each end. Then use a sharp knife to make a mark every 1 ½ inches. 

To prevent ruining the shape of the cinnamon rolls, I recommend using unflavored floss to cut the rolls. Slide the floss under the log and then cross each end of floss across each other. Pull to run the floss through the dough and you will end up with a clean sliced cinnamon roll!

Alternatively, use a very sharp knife to cut the rolls. 

cut cinnamon rolls on a marble surface

The Secret to Gooey Cinnamon Rolls

When it comes to cinnamon rolls, I prefer them big, soft, and gooey, just like the ones that you find in malls or at Cinnabon stores. 

The secret to gooey cinnamon rolls is to add heavy cream to the cinnamon buns before baking. The cream makes the rolls gooey and irresistible. 

After your cinnamon rolls are shaped and cut, allow them to rise in the baking pan for about 30 minutes. Right before you are ready to place them into your preheated oven, pour warm heavy cream over the rolls. 

If you don’t have heavy cream on hand, you can use half and half, whole milk, or evaporated milk instead.

Cinnamon Roll Cream Cheese Frosting

Once the homemade cinnamon rolls have baked and your home smells like cinnamon sugar goodness, it’s time to frost them! Typically cinnamon rolls are topped with cream cheese frosting or a simple icing. I highly recommend going the cream cheese icing route.

To make cream cheese frosting, you will need butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract (or vanilla bean paste). 

You can frost the rolls while they are fresh out of the oven, or when they are at room temperature. If you frost them while they are hot, the icing will melt slightly and make the rolls even more soft!

How to Make Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

If you would like to have fresh baked cinnamon rolls for breakfast, I recommend using the overnight method. After you have shaped and cut the cinnamon rolls, arrange them in a parchment paper line 9×13-inch pan. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

The next morning, remove the rolls from the refrigerator and let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

If your rolls did not rise while in the fridge, allow them to rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour instead of 30 minutes. 

Then, pour the cream over the rolls as directed and bake. 

frosted cinnamon rolls

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unbaked cinnamon roll

The BEST Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Angelina
The BEST homemade cinnamon rolls ever. If you love fluffy, soft, and absolutely delicious cinnamon buns, this is the recipe for you! Learn all of my tips and tricks, to make everyone’s favorite homemade yeast rolls including options to make them overnight or ahead of time.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 cinnamon rolls
Calories 597 kcal

Ingredients 

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 ¼ tsp dry active yeast
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup whole milk room temperature
  • 10 tbsp butter melted
  • cup sugar
  • 1 egg room temperature
  • 2 egg yolks room temperature

Filling

  • ½ cup butter softened
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup heavy cream

Frosting

  • 6 tbsp butter room temperature
  • 4 oz cream cheese room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla or vanilla bean paste

Instructions 

Dough

  • Combine flour, yeast, and salt together in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment. In a large glass measuring cup, whisk the milk, melted butter, sugar, egg, and egg yolk until the sugar has dissolved. With the mixer running on low speed, slowly add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and mix until a dough begins to form and no spots of flour remain (about 2 minutes). Increase the speed to medium and knead until the dough is smooth, about 8 to 12 minutes (the dough should not be sticking to the sides of the bowl but will still be sticking to the bottom).
  • Transfer the dough to a lightly greased large bowl, and cover tightly with plastic wrap and a towel. Allow the dough to rise until doubled in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Assembly

  • Line a 9x13-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
  • In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon.
  • On a well floured surface, roll out the dough into a 16 by 20-inch rectangle. Spread the softened butter over the dough and then sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mixture evenly over the top, pressing it lightly into the butter so it sticks.
  • Starting at a long end, roll the dough tightly into a log. Pinch the seam gently to seal it and position the dough seam side down. Trim off about ½-1 inch of dough from the ends as this doesn’t have any filling. Use floss or a sharp knife to cut the dough into 12-equal pieces.
  • Transfer the pieces to the prepared pan and place them cut side up. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and a towel and let the dough rise for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a small saucepan over low heat or in a microwave safe bowl, heat up the cream until it is warm to the touch. Remove the plastic wrap and towel from the pan and pour the warm cream over the cinnamon rolls.
  • Bake in your preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until just golden brown on the edges.

Frosting

  • In the mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Beat until smooth and fluffy. If you prefer a thinner frosting, beat in 1-2 tbsp of milk or cream to thin it out.
  • Spread the frosting over the warm cinnamon rolls and serve. Enjoy!

Notes

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

  1. If you would like to have fresh baked cinnamon rolls for breakfast, I recommend using the overnight method. After you have shaped and cut the cinnamon rolls, arrange them in a parchment paper line 9x13-inch pan. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. The next morning, remove the rolls from the refrigerator and let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. If your rolls did not rise while in the fridge, allow them to rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour instead of 30 minutes.Then, pour the cream over the rolls as directed and bake.

Nutrition

Serving: 1rollCalories: 597kcalCarbohydrates: 72gProtein: 8gFat: 32gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 133mgSodium: 548mgPotassium: 158mgFiber: 2gSugar: 37gVitamin A: 1074IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 87mgIron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was and tag @bakedambrosia on Instagram

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5 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Made these last night and they came out so good! I used your cream cheese frosting too. Amazing! The whole family loved them.

  2. 5 stars
    This recipe is soooo good!!! Just made it today and the wait was so worth it! I have tries some cinnamon roll recipes for a good cinnamon roll recipe for a while and this is by far the best for me. Follow all the steps (I did the ingredients as listed, no substitutions) and you are good to go! I did not do the frosting anymore but it’s still 10/10! This will definitely be my go to cinnamon roll recipe. Thank you so much for sharing this!

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