These homemade cinnamon rolls are soft and fluffy, filled with the most delicious cinnamon sugar swirl, have warm and gooey centers, slightly golden brown edges, and smothered in a generous amount of cream cheese frosting. Nothing beats this classic recipe!
If you find yourself (1) with a cinnamon rolls craving, (2) looking to mix up your weekend breakfast menu, and/or (3) wanting an easier cinnamon roll recipe that's homemade (though no shame in grabbing Pillsbury for 100% ease)— I have just the recipe.
Meet your new weekend breakfast tradition!
These Homemade Cinnamon Rolls Are:
- Larger than most— big and giant!
- Soft, tender and buttery
- Filled with a cinnamon sugar swirl
- Made completely from scratch
- Perfect for weekend breakfast and/or brunch
- Topped with a generous amount of frosting
This Is My Favorite Cinnamon Roll Dough
Making homemade cinnamon rolls can be intimidating— between using yeast and the process. But I promise, this cinnamon roll dough is not complicated to pull together. It's also a rich, tender dough from the butter and eggs. These cinnamon rolls melt in your mouth.
- Butter: Not only does butter provide incredible flavor, it also creates a tender and rich dough.
- Eggs: Adding egg into the dough helps create a tender dough that will melt in your mouth.
- Milk: Rather than using water, this recipe requires whole milk. It provides additional richness to the dough, something that you can't get from water.
How To Make My Favorite Cinnamon Rolls Recipe
- Make the Dough: The dough comes together quickly. The ingredients are standard: flour, sugar, yeast, milk, butter, and egg. You heat the milk together, then add the ingredients to the warm milk (follow the specific order in the recipe.)
- Knead the Dough: If you have a mixer, use it. Otherwise, knead using your hands. When you're finished kneading, cover the dough and let it rest and rise for about 45 minutes.
- First Rise: Let the dough sit for about 1 covered.
- Make the Filling: Combine the cinnamon and sugar together in a small bowl. Set aside the room temperature butter.
- Shape the Rolls: Roll the dough out into a larger rectangle. Spread with the room temperature butter, then a heavy sprinkle of sugar and cinnamon. Roll it up tightly and cut into 10-12 rolls.
- Rise 2: Let the cinnamon rolls sit for about 15 minutes to poof up.
- Bake: Bake for 25-30 minutes until slightly golden brown.
You Have Options
- Frosting: What side are you on— cream cheese frosting or classic frosting? I 10000% recommend cream cheese frosting for all cinnamon rolls. The combination of the tangy cream cheese with the buttery, cinnamon sugar filling is iconic. Though, if cream cheese frosting isn't your thing, look at the recipe notes for another option.
- Make-Ahead: After shaping and cutting the rolls, place them into the prepared baking pan. Cover them tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap— you don't want the dough exposed to the air. Skip that second rise and place in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning, remove from the refrigerator and allow the rolls to rise in a warm environment for about 30 minutes. Then, follow the bake time listed in the recipe.
After you bake a batch of these cinnamon rolls, you will wish that you had this recipe all along. Whether it's for holidays, just to have, breakfast traditions, or dessert. They're soft, buttery, not too sweet, cinnamon-spiced, and smothered in cream cheese frosting. Your kitchen will smell amazing while they bake and you will fall in love at first bite.
It's true when they say that scratch recipes always wins.
Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons instant dry yeast (2 standard packets)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature, cut into pieces
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 5 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting/rolling
Cinnamon Sugar Filling
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 4 ounces full-fat block cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 Tablespoons heavy cream
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Make the Dough: In a small saucepan, over low heat, warm the milk until lukewarm— you should be able to dip your finger in it. Pour the warm milk into the bowl of a stand electric mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Whisk in the yeast and sugar. Cover with a towel and let it sit until the mixture is foamy, about 5 minutes. On low speed, beat in the softened butter until it's slightly broken apart— the butter won't be mixing in just yet so don't worry. Next add the eggs. Gradually add the flour, then salt. Once it is all added, beat on medium until a soft dough forms. Increase to medium-high speed and beat until the dough becomes soft, about 4-6 minutes.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead it with your hands for about 1 minute. Form the dough into a ball and transfer it to a lightly greased bowl. Loosely cover the dough and let it rise in a slightly warm environment for about 30 miuntes to 1 hour or until it doubles in size. (Tip: Heat your oven to 150°F, turn the oven off, and place the dough inside with the door slightly ajar.)
- Grease with butter or nonstick spray the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish or line with parchment paper, if desired. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and, using a rolling pin, roll into a 10×16 inch rectangle. Make sure the dough is smooth and evenly thick, even at the corners.
- The Filling: Spread the softened butter over the dough. In a small bow, combine the cinnamon and sugar together until combined, then sprinkle it evenly over the tough. Tightly roll up the dough to form a log. Some filling may spill out, that's OK. Cut into 10-12 even rolls. Arrange them in the baking dish. Cover the rolls tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap— you don't want the rolls exposed, and allow them to rise for 15 minutes.
- After the rolls rise, preheat the oven to 375°F. Bake for 25 minutes until slightly golden brown. About halfway through, cover the rolls loosely with aluminum foil so the tops down brown too much. Remove pan from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes as you make the frosting.
- Make the Frosting: In a medium bowl using a handheld mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter together on high speed until smooth and creamy. There should be no lumps. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla and heavy cream. Beat on low until combined, then increase to high speed for 2 minutes.
- Frost the Rolls: Using a knife or ofset spatula, spread the frosting over the warm rolls and serve immediately. Cover the leftover cinnamon rolls tightly and store at room temperature for up to 3 days.
- Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: The baked (not frosted) rolls can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and warm up in the microwave or oven. Then, add frosting. You can make the cinnamon rolls the night before and here's how: follow the steps through step 4 (skip letting them rise for 15 minutes.) Then, cover tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap— you don't want the rolls exposed otherwise the dough will dry out. The next morning, take the rolls out of the refrigerator and let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Then continue with step 5.
- Yeast: The times listed in this recipe are based off of instant dry yeast, not active dry yeast. If using active dry yeast, the rise times will be longer.
- Milk: For best results use whole milk.
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