The BEST Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

4.94 from 16 votes
63 Comments

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These Homemade Cinnamon Rolls are the best ever! Soft, fluffy and topped with luscious cream cheese frosting, they’re so dreamy!

Fork cutting into a Homemade Cinnamon Roll.
Featured with this recipe
  1. Ingredients for Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
  2. Make Ahead of Time
  3. How to Slice Cinnamon Roll Dough
  4. Frequently Asked Questions about Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
  5. The Best Frosting for Cinnamon Rolls
  6. More Recipes with Cream Cheese Frosting
  7. More Delicious Cinnamon Roll Recipes
  8. How to Make The BEST Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
  9. The BEST Homemade Cinnamon Rolls Recipe
  10.  

When we say this is the BEST cinnamon roll recipe, we don’t say it lightly. This recipe beats Cinnabon (gasp!) any day of the week. These rolls are like little pillows of perfection, with a cream cheese frosting you could eat by the spoon. We can still remember special weekend mornings, waking up to the smell of our mom’s freshly baked cinnamon rolls. They’re easy enough to make on a random morning, but special enough to serve on Christmas morning. Whip up a batch of these best cinnamon rolls for your family this weekend!

Ingredients for Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

This recipe may seem overwhelming with a lot of steps, but they’re actually very simple! Gather all your ingredients together ahead of time, take it one step at a time and before you know it, you’ll have a baking dish of fluffy, gorgeous cinnamon rolls to share with people you love. Here’s what you need:

FOR THE DOUGH:

  • Warm water – one cup to mix with the yeast
  • Active dry yeast – You can use instant yeast or quick rise
  • Sugar – mix one tablespoon in with the warm water and yeast
  • Warm milk  – any kind of milk will work, but I like using whole or 2% milk for this recipe
  • Butter – softened, unsalted butter works great so you can control the amount of salt flavor in the dough
  • Sugar – white, granulated sugar
  • Salt
  • Eggs – two whole eggs
  • Flour – I like using bread flour for this recipe, but all-purpose flour works great too. 

CINNAMON FILLING:

  • Butter – melted
  • White Sugar 
  • Cinnamon
  • Brown sugar
  • Walnuts, pecans or raisins (OPTIONAL)

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:

  • Cream cheese – one eight ounce block, softened to room temperature.
  • Butter – also softened to room temperature
  • Vanilla extract
  • Powdered sugar – use a sifter to get the sugar super light and airy
Baking sheet of Homemade Cinnamon Rolls.

Make Ahead of Time

This cinnamon roll recipe is the perfect thing to make the night or day before, freeing up plenty of time for lazy morning snuggling and relaxing. There are two times you can refrigerate the dough:

  1. After it is kneaded and before the first rise.
  2. After the dough has risen and is shaped on a lightly floured surface.

Cover the shaped dough in plastic wrap or an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to a day. When you’re ready to bake, unwrap slightly and let it rise until doubled. Then bake, frost, and enjoy!

How to Slice Cinnamon Roll Dough

Once you roll up your dough into a “tube” shape you will want to slice off each individual roll (this is actually my favorite part). Don’t do this with a knife if you can help it! It will make it so your dough un-rolls and it will most-likely be uneven. The easiest thing to do is to get about 2 feet of dental floss and place it under the rolled dough, 1 inch from the end. Bring the floss up around the dough and cross it over the top, cutting through the dough and filling. Repeat at 1-inch intervals. WAY easier than using a knife.

Hand holding floss cutting into Homemade Cinnamon Rolls.

Frequently Asked Questions about Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Can homemade cinnamon rolls be frozen?

Yes! Freeze them either in the pan, unrisen and unbaked. Remove from the freezer the morning you want to serve them, and allow them to rise before baking. You can also freeze them AFTER baking but before they’re frosted.

How do I reheat homemade cinnamon rolls?

To reheat from frozen, thaw them on the counter until room temperature. Pop them into the oven for about 20 minutes until heated all the way through. Or, you can microwave individual rolls for about 45 seconds, then stick them in the oven for a couple of minutes for fresh baked crust.

What is the difference between cinnamon rolls and cinnamon buns?

Cinnamon rolls are glazed with cream cheese icing after baking. Cinnamon buns are flipped out of the pan upside down, which forms a sweet buttery crust on top.

Read Next: 35+ Brunch Ideas

The Best Frosting for Cinnamon Rolls

Arguably, the best part of this cinnamon roll recipe is the creamy cream cheese frosting. Sweet but not too sweet, with a rich cream cheese flavor that complements the fluffy rolls to perfection. And if you frost them while they’re still warm, the luscious icing melts down into the sweet crevices. We always use our famous Cream Cheese Frosting for this recipe (see recipe card below). It is simply scrumptious!

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls with cream cheese frosting.

More Recipes with Cream Cheese Frosting

While we’re on the subject, try a few of our most favorite frosting covered treats. You’re welcome.

Close up view of a Homemade Cinnamon Roll on a plate.

More Delicious Cinnamon Roll Recipes

Plus, if you love a little more to your rolls, try a few of these mouthwatering recipes:

How to Make The BEST Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Homemade Cinnamon Roll on a plate with cream cheese frosting.

The BEST Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

4.94 from 16 votes
The Best Homemade Cinnamon Rolls you’ve been craving are right here!  This soft, fluffy cinnamon roll recipe with the perfect blend of cinnamon and sugar, is topped with the most luscious cream cheese frosting. They’re so dreamy!
Prep Time 2 hrs
Cook Time 18 mins
cooling time 10 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 18 mins
Course Bread
Cuisine American
Servings 24 rolls

Video

Ingredients

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons yeast (quick rise)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 7 1/2 cups bread flour divided (all-purpose flour works fine also)
  • 2 tablespoons oil

Cinnamon Filling:

Cream Cheese Frosting:

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, combine water, yeast, and sugar. Set aside for 10 minutes.
    Heat milk in microwave for 2 minutes. Set aside. In a large bowl or heavy mixer combine milk, softened butter, salt and sugar. Mix together until butter is melted. 
    Add eggs one at a time and 3 cups flour. Mix for 2 minutes. Add yeast mixture and 2 cups flour. Mix well. 
    Yeast and water in a mixing bowl for Homemade Cinnamon Rolls.
  • Let dough sit for 10 minutes. (If using a standing mixer…now is the time to change to a dough hook!) Continue to mix while slowly adding remaining 2 ½ cups flour. Dough will start pulling away from the sides of the bowl, but is still quite sticky. Beat 3 more minutes. 
    Coat another large bowl with 2 tablespoons oil. Take dough out of mixing bowl and place in oiled bowl, turning over once to coat each side. Place clean towel over bowl and let raise in a warm spot for 45 minutes. 
    Cinnamon Roll dough in a bowl.
  • After 45 minutes, put dough out onto floured surface. Knead by hand, adding a little flour if needed. DO NOT USE TOO MUCH FLOUR! You want dough to remain very soft! 
    With rolling pin, roll dough into a rectangle shape about the size of a jelly roll pan (11×15 inch) and 1/4-½ inch thick.
    Rolling pin rolling out Cinnamon Roll dough into a rectangle.
  • Melt ⅓ cup butter in microwave for 30 seconds or until just melted. Spread over dough. 
    Butter on top of roll out dough for Homemade Cinnamon Rolls.
  • Sprinkle ¼ cup sugar and ¾ cup brown sugar over butter. Sprinkle cinnamon on top of sugars. Top with nuts if desired. 
    Roll out dough with butter, brown sugar and cinnamon.
  • Roll up starting with the long side; pinch seam to seal. Cut into 1 inch rolls (see notes above on how to do this) and place on greased cookie sheet or in 2 9×13 glass baking pans. 
    Slices of Homemade Cinnamon Rolls.
  • Cover and let rise another 45 minutes. 
    Baking sheet of Homemade Cinnamon Rolls.
  • Bake at 325 degrees for 16-20 minutes or until lightly browned (Do NOT over-bake). Cool for 10 minutes before frosting. 
    Sheet of baked Homemade Cinnamon Rolls.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla with an electric mixer until smooth. 
    Whisk holding Homemade Cinnamon Rolls cream cheese frosting.
  • Slowly add powdered sugar, mixing constantly, until desired consistency is reached. (you may not need ALL of the powdered sugar) 
    Mixing bowl with whipped cream cheese.
  • Spread over warm cinnamon rolls.
    Homemade Cinnamon Rolls with cream cheese frosting.

Notes

Tips for cutting rolled cinnamon roll dough:

  • Once you roll up your dough into a “tube” shape you will want to slice off each individual roll (this is actually my favorite part). Don’t do this with a knife if you can help it! It will make it so your dough un-rolls and it will most-likely be uneven.
  • The easiest thing to do is to get about 2 feet of dental floss and place it under the rolled dough, 1 inch from the end.
  • Bring the floss up around the dough and cross it over the top, cutting through the dough and filling. Repeat at 1-inch intervals. WAY easier than using a knife.
Hand holding floss cutting into Homemade Cinnamon Rolls.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 485kcalCarbohydrates: 72gProtein: 7gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 55mgSodium: 341mgPotassium: 111mgFiber: 2gSugar: 43gVitamin A: 530IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 51mgIron: 1mg

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About the author

Erica Walker

Erica lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her beautiful three girls. Beyond the world of recipes, she loves adventuring with everything from kayaking, to cruising, to snowboarding and taking the family along for the thrill ride.

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Comments

  1. This looks delicious! I am working on my first batch now! I plan to freeze the cinnamon roll dough. Does anyone know if you can make the cream cheese frosting ahead of time and freeze as well? Thank you in advance!

  2. 4 stars
    I used fresh yeast and followed the recipe but didn`t get the rise. Was it the kneading, too much mixing, or something else. I used all purpose flour. would like to perfect this! Please help, Thanks in advance.

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