Cinnamon Rolls with Best Icing (VIDEO)
Big, soft, homemade Cinnamon Rolls are irresistible with whipped cream cheese icing that melts over the warm rolls. We love these freshly baked while they are warm but they also reheat well if you’re lucky enough to have leftovers. Watch the video tutorial and you will realize it’s easier than you think to make cinnamon rolls from scratch.
These easy cinnamon rolls are the perfect breakfast for any holiday or special occasion. They are such a treat, especially on Christmas morning and Easter.
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.
The sweet smell of homebaked treats like Apple Pie and Banana Bread wafting through your kitchen is so comforting and a batch of homebaked cinnamon rolls tops my list of favorites. These are the best when served warm from the oven with some of the glaze melting between each sweet roll.
Cinnamon Rolls Video
This easy Cinnamon Roll Recipe never fails to impress. If you enjoyed this video tutorial, Subscribe to our Youtube Channel and click the bell icon so you’ll be the first to know when we post a new video.
Quick and Easy Cinnamon Rolls
These are melt-in-your-mouth soft and the icing is irresistible. As my sister puts it, they are “better than Cinnabon!” and way better than Pillsbury or anything you’d get out of a can.
These easy cinnamon rolls take just 2 hours to make and most of that is rising time. If you’re new to working with yeast doughs, see our tips below and you will be a pro in no time!
The Best Cinnamon Roll Icing
The fluffy cream cheese frosting is so simple with just 4 ingredients and it comes together in 1 mixing bowl: cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. This icing is my favorite the next day when you reheat a cinnamon roll and it gets all melty. I love that it’s not overly sweet but if you like a sweeter glaze, by all means, add more powdered sugar.
How to Make Cinnamon Rolls
Homemade cinnamon rolls are easier than you think. In fact, there is very little active time – most of the time required is in letting the dough rise and puff up.
- Make the Dough – combine and knead the dough for 3 min, cover and rise for 30 min in a warm spot
- Roll the dough into a 10×17 rectangle and spread with softened butter
- Sprinkle on cinnamon sugar and roll tightly into a log
- Shape Rolls – Cut into 12 pieces, transfer to a buttered metal 9×13 casserole, cover, and proof 20-30 min in a warm place
- Bake the rolls – Brush tops with melted butter and bake
- Frost rolls– Make the icing and spread it onto warm rolls.
Tips for Working with Yeast
Be sure to use Instant or Rapid Rise Yeast which is a fast-acting and quick-rising yeast. It speeds up the process. We use the Red Star Brand Rapid Rise Yeast and you can also use their Platinum Instant Yeast.
Heat Kills Yeast and stops the rising process. Never overheat the liquids (they should be 110˚ to 115˚F) and keep the oven under 110˚F if proofing in the oven. I double-check temperatures with an instant-read thermometer.
Pro Tip: “Rapid Rise Yeast” and “Instant Yeast” are used interchangeably. They are not the same as “Active Dry Yeast” which requires additional activating and proofing.
How to speed-proof dough
Yeast doughs require rising times. In most cases, you can cut the rising time by proofing in a warm place around 100˚F to 110˚F.
- Oven Proofing: If you don’t have a low heat proofing setting, you can warm your oven to the lowest heat setting for 2 minutes and turn it OFF. Set the dough bowl over a towel in the oven to proof, just don’t forget the towel in the oven.
- Microwave Proofing: Place a damp kitchen towel in the microwave and heat on high for 1 minute. Cover dough with plastic wrap, place in the warm microwave, and let rise in the warm microwave with the door closed.
Butter plays a crucial role in how moist the cinnamon rolls are. Unless you want a dry cinnamon roll, don’t skimp on the butter. In fact, you can use even more inside the rolls and brush the tops with double the butter.
All-purpose flour or bread flour works well for cinnamon rolls. Bread flour is even better and has a higher amount of gluten to give you the softest, fluffiest rolls.
In recent years, I have found that a metal baking pan works best. It conducts heat faster and gives your buns color a little earlier so there is less risk of over-baking.
Set the dough in a warmer place (100-110˚F oven). Avoid overheating or it will kill the yeast. Also, check that yeast is not expired and avoid adding too much flour.
Avoid over-proofing your dough. If you let it rise for too long, you will exhaust the yeast and the rolls can fall flat or seem dry when baked. Also, avoid adding too much flour and over-baking.
Make-Ahead Cinnamon Rolls
If you love make-ahead desserts like Lemon Bars, Baklava, and Cheesecake, you’ll be happy to know that you can make cinnamon rolls the day before and enjoy freshly baked cinnamon rolls in the morning. Check out our Overnight Cinnamon Rolls Recipe.
To Reheat: You can quickly warm refrigerated rolls in the microwave for 18-20 seconds. The dough becomes soft and the frosting softens and melts like a thick glaze over the cinnamon roll.
These cinnamon rolls and whipped cream cheese frosting remind me of my favorite bakery rolls and you really can’t beat a freshly baked cinnamon roll.
More Dessert Recipes
These are some of our favorite dessert recipes for special occasions or if I’m craving a bakery-quality treat at home.
Easy Cinnamon Rolls Recipe
Ingredients for Cinnamon Rolls:
For the Cinnamon Roll Filling:
- 6 Tbsp unsalted butter , softened, plus more to for grease pan
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
How to Make Cinnamon Rolls:
- Add 3 cups flour (measured correctly*) and stir in with a firm spatula or wooden spoon. Add more flour 1 Tbsp at a time just until dough is no longer sticking to fingertips or the walls of the bowl. It should still feel slightly sticky but won’t stick to clean/dry fingertips. Knead dough by hand for 3 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm 100˚F oven for 30 minutes (or at room temp 1 hour), until doubled in size.
- Generously dust a clean work surface with flour and turn the dough out onto the floured surface. Sprinkle dough lightly with flour and roll into even 17″x10″ rectangle, squaring off the sides. Dot the surface of dough with 6 Tbsp softened butter and spread it out evenly all the way to the edges.
- In a small bowl, stir together 1/4 cup sugar and 2 Tbsp cinnamon and sprinkle ALL OF IT evenly over buttered dough. Roll the dough up starting with one of the longer sides and work in a typewriter motion, keeping a tight roll. Once it's rolled up, push ends in slightly to make them a little more uniform then slice into 12 equal-sized rolls.
- Butter sides and bottom of a 9×13 metal baking pan with 1 Tbsp butter and arrange cinnamon rolls, evenly spaced with the cut-side down. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm 100˚F oven 20-30 minutes, (or room temp 50-60 min), until puffed. Do not proof too long.
- Brush tops with 1 Tbsp melted butter and bake at 350˚F for 20-24 mins or until tops are lightly golden. Let cool in pan 15 minutes then frost warm buns generously with the cream cheese glaze (instructions below).
How to Make Cinnamon Roll Icing:
- In a medium bowl with an electric hand mixer, cream together 4 Tbsp softened butter and 4 oz cream cheese. Beat in 1/2 Tbsp vanilla then add 1 cup powdered sugar and continue mixing on high speed until fluffy (3-4 min), scraping down the bowl as needed.
**Liquid should not be hotter than 115˚F and oven no hotter than 100˚F or you will cook and ruin the yeast.