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.

Easy cinnamon rolls baked and glazed in casserole dish

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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!

Ingredients to make cinnamon rolls with quick rice yeast

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.

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.

  1. Make the Dough – combine and knead the dough for 3 min, cover and rise for 30 min in a warm spot
  2. Roll the dough into a 10×17 rectangle and spread with softened butter
  3. Sprinkle on cinnamon sugar and roll tightly into a log
  4. Shape Rolls – Cut into 12 pieces, transfer to a buttered metal 9×13 casserole, cover, and proof 20-30 min in a warm place
  5. Bake the rolls – Brush tops with melted butter and bake
  6. Frost rolls– Make the icing and spread it onto warm rolls.
Step by step pictures how to make cinnamon 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.

Proofed cinnamon rolls dough before baking

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.
made ahead cinnamon rolls frosted with glaze

Common Questions

Can I use less butter for low-fat cinnamon rolls?

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.

What kind of flour should I use for cinnamon rolls?

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.

What is the best baking pan for cinnamon 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.

Why isn’t my dough rising?

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.

Why are my cinnamon rolls dry?

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.

Single reheated glazed sweet bun in the pan

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.

yeast dough cinnamon rolls glazed with icing in pan

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.

Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

Easy Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

4.94 from 215 votes
Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com
Cinnamon rolls with frosting
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.
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 23 minutes
Rising Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 58 minutes

Ingredients 

Servings: 12 cinnamon rolls

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 or bread flour, plus 2 to 4 Tbsp (and more to dust)

For the Cinnamon Roll Filling:

  • Tbsp unsalted butter , softened, plus more to for grease pan
  • 1/4  cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2  Tbsp ground cinnamon

For the Cream Cheese Icing:

Instructions

How to Make Cinnamon Rolls:

  • 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.
  • 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 1 1/2 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.

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 Per Serving

494kcal Calories78g Carbs8g Protein17g Fat10g Saturated Fat57mg Cholesterol128mg Sodium127mg Potassium3g Fiber31g Sugar543IU Vitamin A1mg Vitamin C71mg Calcium3mg Iron
Nutrition Facts
Easy Cinnamon Rolls Recipe
Amount per Serving
Calories
494
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
17
g
26
%
Saturated Fat
 
10
g
63
%
Cholesterol
 
57
mg
19
%
Sodium
 
128
mg
6
%
Potassium
 
127
mg
4
%
Carbohydrates
 
78
g
26
%
Fiber
 
3
g
13
%
Sugar
 
31
g
34
%
Protein
 
8
g
16
%
Vitamin A
 
543
IU
11
%
Vitamin C
 
1
mg
1
%
Calcium
 
71
mg
7
%
Iron
 
3
mg
17
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cinnamon roll recipe, cinnamon rolls, homemade cinnamon rolls
Skill Level: Easy/Medium
Cost to Make: $$
Calories: 494

Natasha Kravchuk

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 and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

Read more posts by Natasha

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Recipe Rating




Comments

  • Amira
    February 24, 2024

    The recipe says the 1.5tbsp cinnamon for the filling, and the recipe instructions says 2tbsp. Which is the correct measurement?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      February 25, 2024

      Hi Amira, great question! Sorry about that. 1 1/2 Tbsp is correct and I have updated the recipe card.

      Reply

  • chance fealzadeh
    February 18, 2024

    Hi just warning can you need the cinnamon rolls in kitchen aid stand mixer

    Reply

  • Vika
    February 2, 2024

    Really good and super soft!
    We don’t like glace so we skipped it… Warmed up next day and it’s delicious !
    Thx!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      February 3, 2024

      Hi Vika! Thank you for trying my recipe. I’m glad you loved them!

      Reply

  • Anna Solovey
    January 28, 2024

    litterly so good. im definitly making this again…. and again.
    👌👌👌

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      January 28, 2024

      I’m glad you enjoyed it!

      Reply

  • Veronika Avramenko
    January 11, 2024

    The most tastiest and quickest cinnamon roll recipe I’ve tried! In love, will be making it again soon! Perfect for chaotic evening or morning with a toddler.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      January 11, 2024

      Hi Veronika! I’m so glad you loved this! Thank you for time wonderful feedback.

      Reply

  • Maria
    January 2, 2024

    What dimensions do you recommend to roll out the dough in order to make mini cinnamon rolls?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      January 2, 2024

      Hi Maria, I haven’t tried these as mini cinnamon rolls, but you might do some internet research to see how others are doing it and apply that here. If you test this out, I’d love to hear how it goes.

      Reply

  • Samantha
    December 27, 2023

    Hi Natasha, what changes would I need to make for high altitude and using a pyrex baking dish? Also, can I use regular yeast, or does it have to be instant yeast?

    Reply

  • Dominique
    December 8, 2023

    Hi! I’ve made these a bunch of time and my kids love them (:

    I was wondering if they would bake okay in a foil pan? I’m wanting to bake them for someone!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      December 9, 2023

      Hi Dominique! I’m glad you love the recipe! I haven’t tested a tin foil pan, but I don’t see why not.

      Reply

  • Stacia Boston
    November 23, 2023

    This recipe came out just as beautifully as Natasha’s did! Soft, fluffy perfect cinnamon rolls my family doesn’t like the icing so I added more cinnamon sugar, and they were fabulous!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      November 23, 2023

      Yay, I’m so glad that it was a huge success!

      Reply

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