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Easy Cinnamon Rolls (VIDEO)

Big, soft, homemade Cinnamon Rolls have the best cream cheese icing and they always disappear fast! As my sister puts it, they are “better than Cinnabon!”

The sweet smell of homebaked treats wafting through your kitchen is completely irresistible. Some of our favorites are Chocolate Chip Cookies, moist Banana Bread, and these Cinnamon Rolls! They literally melt-in-your-mouth warm from the oven with some of the glaze melting between each sweet bun.

Easy cinnamon rolls baked and glazed in casserole dish

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Easy Cinnamon Rolls:

We love that these easy cinnamon rolls can be made within a couple of hours with very little active time. I’m sharing my best tips for quick rising dough using instant yeast. If you’re new to working with yeast doughs, see our tips below so you can be confident.

Ingredients to make cinnamon rolls with quick rice yeast

Cinnamon Roll Icing:

The fluffy cream cheese frosting is even easier 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 and glazes the sides. If you prefer a glaze, try our salted maple glaze.

Ingredients for cinnamon roll icing with cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla

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. Watch the video tutorial below and you’ll be a pro in no time!

  1. Combine and knead dough 3 min, cover and rise 30 min in a warm spot
  2. Roll into a 10×17 rectangle and spread with softened butter
  3. Sprinkle on cinnamon-sugar and roll tightly into a log
  4. Cut into 12 pieces, transfer to a buttered dish, cover, and proof 20-30 min in a warm place
  5. Brush tops with melted butter and bake
  6. Make the icing and spread onto warm rolls.

Step by step pictures how to make cinnamon rolls

How Do I Know When I’ve Added Enough Flour?

The right dough consistency is key with cinnamon rolls. If you add too much flour, they won’t rise as well. First, be sure to MEASURE CORRECTLY.

You’ll know you have added enough flour when the dough still feels lightly tacky/sticky to the touch while kneading, but won’t stick to clean and dry fingertips. I knead with one hand and keep the other clean to test and make sure I have added enough flour.

Proofed cinnamon rolls dough before baking

Can I Use Less Butter?

Nope.

The butter plays a crucial role in how moist the cinnamon rolls are and also allows the cinnamon sugar mixture to bake into the cinnamon rolls. Unless you want a dry cinnamon roll, don’t skimp on the butter. In fact, you can throw all modesty out the window and use even more inside the cinnamon rolls and brush the tops with double the butter!

Can These Be Made Ahead?

If you’re wanting to prep cinnamon rolls the day before and enjoy freshly baked cinnamon rolls in the morning for the holidays or a special occasion, check out our Overnight Cinnamon Rolls Recipe.

made ahead cinnamon rolls frosted with glaze

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 Yeast.  Note: Rapid Rise yeast is not the same as “Active Dry Yeast” which requires an additional proofing.

Heat Kills Yeast and stops the rising process. Never overheat the liquids (they should be 110˚ to 115˚F) and keep oven at 100˚F if proofing in the oven. I double-check temperatures with an instant-read thermometer.

Proofing: Yeast doughs require rising times. In most cases, you can cut the rising time by proofing in a warm place like a 100˚F oven. 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.

yeast dough cinnamon rolls glazed with icing in pan

Why Isn’t My Yeast Dough Rising?

If your dough is not rising and puffing up as expected, these are the common reasons:

  1. Too cold – set the dough in a warmer place (100˚F oven).
  2. Too hot – if oven or milk were too hot, it can kill the yeast
  3. Old or expired yeast – start over with new yeast.
  4. Too much flour – a dense dough won’t rise properly

How to Reheat Cinnamon Rolls:

If you have refrigerated your cinnamon rolls, you can quickly warm them up 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. A re-heated cinnamon roll is just as enjoyable as a fresh one and I’d argue the glaze gets even better!

Single reheated glazed sweet bun in the pan

More Homemade Bakery-Quality Desserts:

Watch Natasha Make Cinnamon Rolls:

This easy cinnamon rolls recipe never fails to impress. I hope you’re inspired to discover a new favorite.

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Easy Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

5 from 17 votes
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 23 minutes
Rising Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 58 minutes
cinnamon rolls in casserole dish with icing on top

Big, soft, homemade Cinnamon Rolls have the best cream cheese icing and they always disappear fast! They are incredible warm from the oven with some of the glaze melting between each sweet bun.

Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com
Skill Level: Easy/Medium
Cost to Make: $10-$12
Keyword: cinnamon rolls
Calories: 494 kcal
Servings: 12 cinnamon rolls

Ingredients

Ingredients for Cinnamon Rolls:

  • cup  warm milk  (110-115˚F), not hot
  • 2 1/4 tsp instant yeast (rapid rise)
  • 1 large egg room temp
  • Tbsp  unsalted butter melted, divided
  • Tbsp  granulated sugar
  • 1/2  tsp  salt
  • cups  all-purpose flour plus 2 to 4 Tbsp (and more to dust)

For the Cinnamon Roll Filling:

For the Cream Cheese Icing:

Instructions

How to Make Cinnamon Rolls:

  1. In a large mixing bowl (or using a stand mixer), add 1 cup warm milk (110-115˚F) and sprinkle with 1 packet instant yeast. Whisk in 1 egg, 4 Tbsp sugar, 1 Tbsp melted butter and 1/2 tsp salt.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Butter sides and bottom of a 9×13 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.

  6. Brush tops with 1 Tbsp melted butter and bake at 350˚F for 22-24 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 Cream Cheese Icing:

  1. 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.

Recipe Notes

*On Measuring Flour: Fluff up flour then spoon into a dry measuring cup. Level off the top.
**Liquid should not be hotter than 115˚F and oven no hotter than 100˚F or you will cook and ruin the yeast.

Nutrition Facts
Easy Cinnamon Rolls Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 494 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Fat 17g26%
Saturated Fat 10g63%
Cholesterol 57mg19%
Sodium 128mg6%
Potassium 127mg4%
Carbohydrates 78g26%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 31g34%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 543IU11%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 71mg7%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

If you make this recipe, I’d love to see pics of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag them #natashaskitchen

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natashaskitchen

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

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Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review

  • Patricia Pinney
    November 10, 2019

    This recipe looks AMAZING (as do all your recipes!) Would love to hear if anyone has attempted to freeze these, them set them out to rise for baking. I would love to have some in the freezer for when the urge strikes!
    Love you Natasha! Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 11, 2019

      Hi Patricia, I haven’t tested that to advise. If you experiment, let me know how you liked the recipe. Reply

  • November 9, 2019

    Delicious melt in your mouth. Yum Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 10, 2019

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!! Reply

  • nona wilt
    November 7, 2019

    Natasha,
    When I was much younger, my dad took me to a restaurant in Washington, D.C. that served Rum Buns. Do you have a recipe that would be similar? Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 7, 2019

      Hi Nona, I have not tried that! We have cinnamon rolls and other bun recipes. Thank you so much for sharing that with me. Reply

  • Hind
    October 31, 2019

    These rolls are soft, buttery, and just plain delicious!!!! I like to try recipes from many people until I like something very much and keep that recipe forever. This is my to give recipe from now on. Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 1, 2019

      That’s so great! It sounds like you have a new favorite! Reply

  • Claudia
    October 27, 2019

    Natasha, you need your own show on the Food Network. You are such a natural on camera and your recipes are winners!! Your husband would have to be in on the editing because he is a wonderful addition to the presentation. Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      October 28, 2019

      I’m so inspired reading your review, CLaudia. Thank you! Reply

  • Tatjana Jovanovic
    October 20, 2019

    Omg another amazing desert my family loved it so easy to make it on first try better than any Cinnabon thank you for all videos and explanations I look forward to baking now. Thank you Tatjana Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      October 20, 2019

      I’m so happy you enjoyed that. Thank you for sharing that with us! Reply

  • DavidF
    October 13, 2019

    Natasha,
    These are really perfect. Wonderful. We made them today on 10-13-2019, and my wife said that this is her GO TO RECIPE now for cinnamon rolls. Even very easy she said.

    However, I loved it but didn’t like (no more didn’t prefer) the cream cheese icing. Do you have a recipe for the more normal icing that is always on CRs? It’s like a white icing. I am going to get her to find that one and use it.

    Yet, the icing is perfect and very good, even I think it is tasty … just my preference is (maybe) just simple white icing.

    Any ideas would help? Maybe, even suggest that some people like the typical icing in end of recipe.

    Thanks. Your new loyal subbers … Reply

  • Tatiana
    October 8, 2019

    Hello Natasha, I just made this beautiful cinnamon rolls, they smell and taste it delicious, also the fosting is so simple but sooo good, I love all your recipes Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      October 8, 2019

      I’m so glad you enjoyed that, Tatiana! That’s so great! Reply

  • mia
    October 8, 2019

    can I use 00 flour. if so how?
    I love all of your recipes hope you are having a good day. Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      October 8, 2019

      Hi Mia, I haven’t tested that to advise. If you experiment, let me know how you liked the recipe Reply

    • mia
      October 8, 2019

      would you be able to estimate the 00 flour measurements? Reply

  • Natalie Rosenthal
    September 28, 2019

    Just made these and the rolls came out so light and tender. Delicious. Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      September 28, 2019

      I’m so happy you enjoyed that, Natalie! Thank you for sharing that great review with me. Reply

  • A.
    September 28, 2019

    These were delicious. So soft and puffy  Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      September 28, 2019

      I’m so happy you enjoyed that. Thank you for sharing that with us! Reply

  • Janna
    September 22, 2019

    I made these today for an office brunch tomorrow. I do not know if they are going to make it to the office! My family is devouring them. I had to promise to make another batch tomorrow night for us. My husband loves the cream cheese frosting and he does not normally like icing. Thank you for a great recipe! Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      September 23, 2019

      I’m so glad you all enjoyed that! It sounds like you have a new favorite! Reply

  • Diane
    September 21, 2019

    Hi Nat….Could the rolls be frozen in the pan and then when ready to use, thaw and warm them before icing? Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      September 21, 2019

      Hi Diane, I haven’t tested that to advise. If you experiment, let me know how you liked the recipe Reply

  • September 20, 2019

    Natasha, these look amazing, but I’m gluten free. Will gluten free flour work in this recipe? If so, that would be AMAZING! Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      September 20, 2019

      Hi John, I haven’t had anyone report using gluten free flour for these yet. If you experiment, please let me know how it goes since others may have the same question! Reply

  • jen
    September 19, 2019

    can i use active dry yeast and how long it will rise Reply

    • Natasha
      September 19, 2019

      Hi Jen, for active dry yeast, I suggest following this version and then just let them do their last rise on the counter (rather than putting them in the fridge overnight). It is essentially the same cinnamon rolls with active dry yeast instead of instant yeast, but the rise times are longer with active dry yeast, although still super delicious! Reply

  • Sandra
    September 17, 2019

    Love this recipe. It was so easy. Made it for a coffee date. There were 4 of us and we it it all!

    Thank you. Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      September 17, 2019

      I’m so glad you all enjoyed that! This recipe is so perfect for a coffee date! Reply

  • Alexandra Burd
    September 16, 2019

    Loved this so much! I love all your recipes and had my boyfriend make these (he’s the baker) and we both thought they were incredible! Thank you again for another great recipe, Natasha!  Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      September 16, 2019

      My pleasure, Alexandra! Thank you for that awesome feedback! Reply

      • Sydney
        September 18, 2019

        Hi! This looks amazing! I’m wondering though if I could take out the cream cheese in the frosting? My husband hates cream cheese frosting and I’m trying to find a good frosting recipe that doesn’t have cream cheese. Reply

  • Lana
    September 16, 2019

    Hello Natasha. This looks interesting to make.
    I like Russian recipes but some of them have have measurements that are hard for me. I am not good at math so I hate it. But willing to learn and improve. Do you have a conversion chart that you use for your recipes? Like 5 gr. to tablespoon? I might be confusing. I hope you understood my question. Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      September 16, 2019

      Hi Lana, I do not have a conversion chart on the blog but that is a good idea! if you click “Jump to Recipe” at the top of the recipe posts that will take you to our printable recipe where you can select Us Customary or metric measurements to see conversions. We are working on adding it to all of our recipes but the process is time consuming. Google is also a pretty good conversion source or our Post on MeasuringReply

  • Carole Emerson
    September 15, 2019

    Love your avocado chicken salad. Took it to church today. lots of raves.

    Do you have a cookbook out? If so I’d love to get one. Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      September 16, 2019

      Hi Carole! We are thinking about that, stay tuned! Reply

  • Jane
    September 15, 2019

    Will these work with gluten free flour? Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      September 16, 2019

      Hi Jane, I haven’t had anyone report using gluten free flour for these yet. If you experiment, please let me know how it goes since others may have the same question! Reply

  • Kristina
    September 15, 2019

    I made these this morning and oh my gosh my family was over the moon. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. Like I said before whatever I make from your recipes turns out amazing. Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      September 16, 2019

      That’s so great! It sounds like you have a new favorite! Reply

  • Jennifer Teruel Tamson
    September 15, 2019

    Natasha, thank you so much for sharing your videos & recipes. I am from Oslo, Norway & I enjoy & love watching your cooking & baking videos.
    Best regards,
    Jennifer Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      September 16, 2019

      I’m so inspired reading your review. Thank you! Reply

  • JEN L HESS
    September 14, 2019

    Why does NO ONE put raisins in their cinnamon rolls? I would add raisins! Also, I would make the icing maple! YUM!!! Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      September 14, 2019

      If you try it with raisins I would love to know how you like it! Thank you for that great review! Reply

  • Jane
    September 14, 2019

    has anyone tried making these with gluten free flour? Reply

    • Natasha
      September 16, 2019

      Hi Jane, I haven’t had anyone report using gluten free flour for these yet. If you experiment, please let me know how it goes since others may have the same question! Reply

  • Kimberly
    September 14, 2019

    Oh, these look SO good, my mouth is watering! On the menu for next week! Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      September 14, 2019

      That’s so great, Kimberly! Reply

  • Demeter
    September 14, 2019

    There is no better motivation to getting your family out of bed on the weekend than with these cinnamon rolls! Works like a charm, haha. Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      September 14, 2019

      Every single time! Thank you for that great review, Demeter! Reply

  • Suzy
    September 14, 2019

    Honestly I shy away from making homemade because it seems complicated but these were so easy! Will be making them again soon! Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      September 14, 2019

      That’s just awesome!! Thank you for sharing your wonderful review, Suzy! Reply

  • Lauren Kelly
    September 14, 2019

    I have always been too intimidated to make my own cinnamon rolls but you make it look so easy! I am going to surprise my family with these this weekend! Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      September 14, 2019

      I hope you all enjoy that Lauren! Thank you for the great review! Reply

  • Abby
    September 13, 2019

    The minute I saw this video come out I knew FOR SURE I was making cinnamon rolls today. I’ve tried MANY cinnamon roll recipes, but this one is by far the best. It’s simple to follow, no need to proof the dough too many times, and the cream cheese frosting is AMAZING! It was a big hit this evening! The video voiceover says to add 1 tbsp of butter to make the dough, but the written recipe calls for 2 tbsp. I ended up using 2 tbsp because you never skimp out on butter, especially when it comes to cinnamon rolls! Thanks Natasha for another amazing recipe! This is definitely my new go-to cinnamon roll recipe! God bless! Reply

    • Natasha
      September 14, 2019

      Hi Abby, I’m so happy you loved the cinnamon rolls! Thanks for the amazing review! We divide that butter and used half to put into the dough and half to brush the tops but I agree – the more butter the merrier! 🙂 Reply

  • Sharon
    September 13, 2019

    Can I make these ahead of time and keep them in my fridge until ready to bake? Im talking like 2 days in advance… Reply

  • Julie Blanner
    September 13, 2019

    I bet these smell as amazing as they look! I know what we are making for this weekend! Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      September 14, 2019

      They sure do, Julie! I hope you enjoy this recipe! Reply

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