Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

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This is my go-to Homemade Cinnamon Rolls recipe because they always turn out so soft and fluffy. They have just the right amount of cinnamon sugar filling and are topped with a creamy and tangy cream cheese frosting. Can also be made overnight!

Cinnamon roll on a white plate with a bite on a fork to the side.

These are your classic homemade cinnamon rolls. You know the soft pillowy ones with gooey centers. They are my family’s favorite and I have been making them for years. They are great for making any breakfast extra special!

We love having these for Christmas morning but you could also try this Biscuits and Gravy Casserole if you want something more savory. Also, these Gingerbread Pancakes are special and festive!

Reasons You Will Love These Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

  • Make-ahead and Freezer-friendly
  • Easy enough for beginners to make
  • Soft and fluffy
  • Ooey gooey cinnamon sugar filling
  • Straight forward recipe and uses easy to find ingredients
Ingredients to make cinnamon rolls: flour, milk, butter, eggs, sugar, yeast, salt, cinnamon, brown sugar, plus frosting.

Ingredients

This is a list of ingredients to make the richest, fluffiest cinnamon roll dough you will ever have!

MILK: You can use any kind of milk but whole milk will give you the richest and softest cinnamon rolls.
FLOUR: You can use all-purpose or bread flour for this recipe. Bread flour will make the rolls slightly chewier.

SUGAR AND SALT: Sugar helps the yeast do its job and make the dough rise and the salt helps control the yeast so it doesn’t rise too fast so both are important.
BUTTER AND EGGS: Eggs and butter also add to the richness of the dough.

YEAST: You can use active dry or instant yeast for this recipe. I like to proof my yeast first in warm milk to make sure it is active and good to use before continuing with the recipe.

Six pictures showing how to mix and proof the dough for cinnamon rolls.

How To Make Soft and Fluffy Cinnamon Rolls

STEP 1: Mix the yeast and sugar with warm milk. Let it sit for 5 minutes and it should look foamy (picture 2). This is how you know your yeast is alive and active. If it doesn’t foam up don’t use it.

STEP 2: Add soft butter, half of the flour, salt, and eggs to the yeast mixture and mix by hand until combined (picture 4). Add the remaining flour and mix until the dough starts to get stiff then transfer to your stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix on speed 1 or 2 for 5 minutes to knead the dough (picture 5). Cover the dough and let it rise in a warm place until doubled in size. (picture 6)

STEP 3: Remove the dough and roll it into a large rectangle (picture 1 below). Spread with soft butter, cinnamon, and sugar (pictures 2 and 3 below). Roll and cut (pictures 4 and 5 below). Place in a baking pan, cover, and let rise in a warm place until double in size. (pictures 6 and 7 below)

STEP 4: Bake for 25-27 minutes. Cool while making frosting then frost while still warm for gooey cinnamon rolls.

Seven pictures showing how to roll and cut cinnamon rolls.

FAQs

WHY ARE MY CINNAMON ROLLS NOT FLUFFY?

The rolls were not allowed to rise and double in size. This is important for fluffy rolls. Rising time will vary from house to house depending on the temperature.

WHY DO MY CINNAMON ROLLS RISE UNEVENLY WHILE BAKING?

This is often caused by using too small of a pan or rolling the rolls too tight. Be sure to use a 9×13 baking pan for this recipe. If your centers do rise up while baking gently push them back down with the back of a spoon after baking.

HOW TO STORE CINNAMON ROLLS?

Store covered tightly at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

HOW TO FREEZE CINNAMON ROLLS?

Tightly cover baked and cooled rolls with heavy-duty foil and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and frost before serving. Another option is to bake the rolls for 10 minutes then remove and cool completely, cover, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight then finish baking for 15-20 minutes.

HOW TO MAKE OVERNIGHT CINNAMON ROLLS?

Prepare rolls through step 3 in the recipe then cover and place in the refrigerator for up to 12 hours. Remove from the refrigerator and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size. Bake as directed.

Close up of a pan of cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting.

Tips and Suggestions

  • Check the expiration date on your yeast and proof the yeast first before continuing with the recipe.
  • When rising dough, cover it with plastic wrap instead of a kitchen towel. It will keep the dough from drying out and kitchen towels can sometimes stick to the dough creating a problem when trying to take it off.
  • Use a sharp knife or dental floss to cut the rolls.
  • It’s best to use a metal or glass baking pan. If you need to use a ceramic pan allow more baking time to finish the centers.
  • If your rolls are browning too much before the centers can bake tent them with foil while baking.
Overhead view of cinnamon roll on a white plate with bite taken out.

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Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
25 mins
RISING TIME:
4 hrs
Total Time
5 hrs 25 mins
 

This is my go-to Homemade Cinnamon Rolls recipe because they always turn out so soft and fluffy. They have just the right amount of cinnamon sugar filling and are topped with a creamy and tangy cream cheese frosting. Can also be made overnight!

Course: Breads/Rolls
Cuisine: American
Keyword: soft and fluffy cinnamon rolls
Servings: 12
Calories: 601 kcal
Author: Malinda Linnebur
Ingredients
CINNAMON ROLL DOUGH:
  • 1 cup (240ml) whole milk
  • ¼ cup (55g) sugar
  • 1 (.25oz) package active dry or instant yeast or (2¼ teaspoons)
  • 3¾-4 cups (581.25-620g) flour (all-purpose or bread)
  • 4 tablespoons soft butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
FILLING:
  • 1 cup (195g) packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup (110g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup (113g) very soft butter
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
  • 4 ounces (113g) very soft cream cheese
  • cups (180g) confectioners sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the warm milk (100°F), sugar, and yeast. Allow to sit for 5 minutes. The mixture should be foamy. If it isn't your yeast isn't active and can't be used.

  2. Add ½ of the flour, butter, eggs, and salt. Mix by hand just until combined. Add the remaining flour and mix until it becomes stiff. Place on stand mixer fitted with dough hook and knead on speed 1 or 2 for 5 minutes. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place until double in size.

  3. Punch dough down and remove from the bowl. Roll into a 12×18 inch rectangle. Spread with soft butter. Sprinkle with sugars and cinnamon. (can mix the sugars and cinnamon in a bowl first to make it easier to sprinkle evenly). Roll the dough to form an 18 inch log. Cut into 12 equal rolls. Place in a lightly greased 9×13 baking pan.

  4. Cover and allow to rise until double in size. Bake at 375°F for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned on top. Remove from oven and allow to cool while making the frosting. Combine the cream cheese, confectioners sugar, milk, and vanilla until smooth. Spread over warm rolls.

Recipe Notes
  1. Read the post for storage, freezing, and overnight instructions. 
Nutrition Facts
Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
Amount Per Serving (1 roll)
Calories 601 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 8g50%
Trans Fat 0.5g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 66mg22%
Sodium 382mg17%
Potassium 184mg5%
Carbohydrates 108g36%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 50g56%
Protein 11g22%
Vitamin A 451IU9%
Vitamin C 0.03mg0%
Calcium 103mg10%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the information shown is just an estimate.

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