Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

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Homemade Cinnamon Rolls are extra soft with a sweet cinnamon swirl inside. Top these rolls with cream cheese icing for the perfect treat!

Cinnamon rolls are easy to make but they do take a little bit of time, I can assure you it’s worth it!

a cinnamon roll with frosting on a plate

These cinnamon rolls are not difficult although they do take time. If you haven’t worked with yeast, don’t be intimidated. As long as your yeast is fresh, these should work out just fine!

How to Make Cinnamon Rolls

  1. Combine the yeast with warm water and sugar (this is called proofing or blooming). The yeast should foam up (like the photo below).

Check Your Yeast!

Double check the expiry on your yeast packet or jar, especially if you don’t use it often! Expired yeast can make your rolls fall flat. If you’re unsure, use this yeast testing method to check your yeast.

Cinnamon roll ingredients in bowls on a wooden board

  1. Warm the milk and butter and make the dough using flour and the other ingredients in the recipe below, including the yeast mixture. I use a stand mixer but have included tips below the recipe if you don’t have a stand mixer.
  2. Knead the dough until it’s nice and smooth. You’ll know it’s kneaded enough when the dough takes on a smooth and elastic texture.

Dough for cinnamon rolls in a glass bowl

  1. Let the dough rise for an hour or so until it’s doubled in size.
  2. Roll it out flat, top with butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Roll it up and cut!

Steps to show how to roll and cut cinnamon rolls

Kitchen Hack

Once rolled into a long log, you will want to cut your cinnamon rolls. Rather than a knife, I use a piece of dental floss. This cuts the rolls evenly without squishing the soft dough. (Be sure it’s not flavored floss, nobody wants minty cinnamon rolls).

Icing for Cinnamon Rolls

I’m not going to lie, this is my favorite part. Beat cream cheese, butter, vanilla, powdered sugar, and a little salt in a large bowl (per recipe below).

You can use any kind of icing or even create a glaze for these if you’d like. You’ll want to ensure the rolls are fairly cooled or the butter in the icing will melt.

Homemade cinnamon rolls in a pan with cinnamon sticks on the side

To Make Ahead of Time

These cinnamon rolls can be made ahead of time and refrigerated overnight. Once rolled, place the rolls in a greased 9×13 pan and cover with plastic wrap.

Remove the rolls from the fridge, remove the plastic wrap and cover with a towel. With the oven turned off, place rolls in the oven and place a bowl or pan of very hot water in the oven next to the rolls. Allow to rise 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

Storing Leftovers

Cinnamon buns can be stored at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. If you plan to store them, keep the frosting in the refrigerator and add to each roll as you enjoy them.

  • In the Freezer: Cinnamon Rolls freeze well, just make sure they are tightly wrapped, or stored in an airtight container. You can individually freeze them for quick treats if you prefer. The cream cheese Icing can also be frozen, either on the buns or in a separate container.

These Cinnamon Rolls are such a treat, they are sure to make your holidays (or even ordinary days) special!

More Sweet Breakfast Treats

Cinnamon roll on a white plate with a cinnamon stick and icing on top
4.8 from 48 votes
Review Recipe

Cinnamon Rolls

Prep Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 15 cinnamon rolls
Author Holly Nilsson
This recipe makes soft rolls with sticky-sweet cinnamon filling on the inside, and dripping with cream cheese icing on the outside!


  • ¼ cup warm water
  • 1 package active dry yeast or 2 ¼ teaspoon
  • ¾ cup milk
  • cup butter
  • cup granulated sugar plus 1 teaspoon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 ¾ to 4 ¼ cups all purpose flour divided
  • 2 eggs room temperature
  • ½ cup butter softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar packed
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar or as needed
  • 4 ounces cream cheese softened
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter softened
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • teaspoon salt

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  • Grease a 9x13 pan.
  • Combine water, yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in a small bowl. Let sit 10 minutes or until foamy.
  • Combine milk, butter, remaining sugar, and salt in a saucepan and heat to 120-130°F.
  • Place 2 cups flour in a stand mixer. Add eggs, milk mixture and yeast mixture. Mix until combined.
  • Using a dough hook, add flour, ½ cup at a time to form a soft dough that pulls away from the side of the bowl. Remove dough from the bowl and knead on a lightly floured surface until dough is smooth and elastic (approx. 8 mins).
  • Place in a greased bowl in a warm spot and cover with a towel for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  • Roll dough into a 15" x 12" rectangle, spread butter on the dough and top with brown sugar and cinnamon.
  • Roll dough starting on the long side. Slice into 15 pieces. Place in prepared pan.
  • Cover rolls with a towel and allow them to rise 30-45 minutes. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Brush rolls with milk and bake 20-25 minutes.
  • While the rolls are baking, combine powdered sugar, cream cheese, butter, vanilla extract and salt with a mixer until fluffy.
  • Allow rolls to cool for about 10-15 minutes and spread frosting on warm rolls.

Recipe Notes

Double check the date on your yeast to ensure it has not expired.
If you do not have a stand mixer, will work but will take a little bit of work to get the dough nice and smooth. Mix in as much of the flour as you can with a spoon and then continue mixing it in by hand. Once the dough is not too sticky, place it on the counter with a little bit of flour and knead it until it is smooth and elastic. This will take about 10 minutes. 
Bread Machine This dough can be prepared in a bread machine. Combine dough ingredients in the order specified by your bread machine. Set on dough cycle. Let dough rest for 10 minutes once completed and continue with recipe as above.
Cutting the rolls: Once rolled into a long log, you will want to cut your cinnamon rolls. Rather than a knife, I use a piece of dental floss. This cuts the rolls evenly without squishing the soft dough. (Be sure it's not flavored floss, nobody wants minty cinnamon rolls).
To Make Ahead Once prepared, place rolls in a prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours. With the oven turned off, place rolls in the oven and place a bowl or pan of very hot water in the oven next to the rolls. Allow to rise 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 406, Carbohydrates: 59g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Cholesterol: 66mg, Sodium: 257mg, Potassium: 103mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 30g, Vitamin A: 566IU, Calcium: 58mg, Iron: 2mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword best cinnamon rolls, cinnamon buns, cinnamon rolls, cinnamon rolls recipe
Course Bread, Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Homemade Cinnamon Rolls on a plate with writing
Homemade Cinnamon Rolls with one on a plate with writing
Homemade Cinnamon Rolls in the baking tin with a title
Homemade Cinnamon Rolls in the baking pan and plated with a title

More Breakfast Rolls

Recipe slightly adapted from this copy cat version originally adapted from here

About the author


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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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Recipe Rating


  1. 375 for 20 minutes left my cinnomon rolls golden brown and delicious! This is my second time making these and they were perfect both times. Tonight I decided to make chicken and dumplings from scratch while also trying to make these cinnamon rolls…BAD IDEA! I let my milk, sugar, and butter get way beyond the recommended temperature of 120-130 degrees and I killed the yeast. Since I was in a hurry I just kept on and much to my chagrin when I checked them after an hour they did not rise. I restarted the recipe since I promised my family this delicious treat and they turned out perfect! Following the directions to the “t”, measuring your flour the proper way, and checking the date on you yeast will give you perfect cinnamon rolls every single time! Thank you Spend with Pennies for all of your delicious recipes!5 stars

    1. Oh no, that is too bad, Marsha. But I am glad you had enough time to remake these for a yummy treat for your family!

  2. 375 for 15 minutes left mine so browned I thought I ruined them. Every recipe I’ve used says 350, prob for a reason.2 stars

    1. We’ve made these many many times and always baked them at 375F per the recipe, and they turn out perfectly. As you can see in the photos, they are not overly browned. Perhaps your oven runs a bit hot Reece. Have you checked the temperature with an oven thermometer? Was your pan in the middle of the oven, or perhaps a little too close to the top rack? If you find they are browning too much but not yet cooked, simply place a loose sheet of foil overtop.

  3. Genius! I have been experimenting and trying recipes for years trying to achieve these rolls.Maybe I got lucky, but these were the best I’ve ever made. Thank you, thank you!5 stars

  4. Made these this morning and they turned out excellent! Thank you for the recipe. Was wondering if you can bake these on parchment paper as I have a sticky messy pan.4 stars

  5. I have made a lot of Cinnamon Rolls, but I will never try another recipe. THESE ARE THE BEST EVER! The dough is easy to work with. They rise beautifully and they taste even better! I would give them a 10 if it was possible.5 stars

  6. I have never made Cinnamon Rolls before, but where I’m from there was a favorite bakery shoppe that sold very good rolls. They also added Raisins inside.
    There’s was mine and my families favorite. Can’t find them here in this state.
    I will have to try to make these. They look delicious. Thanks!!!

  7. Followed the dough recipe exactly and turned out with a crumbly mess. I kneaded the heck out of it and it still wasn’t coming together.1 star

    1. We haven’t had the same issue, so I can’t say for sure what went wrong for you. When measuring the flour, did you scoop it with the measuring cup? This can add extra flour causing a crumbly dough. We use this method to measure flour. I hope that helps!

    2. I always use this recipe but I make a few adjustments! First the flour is too much I do about 3.5 – 4 cups. I don’t even use a mixer, and I added the flour a 1/2 cup at a time when mixing. Additionally I proofed my dough over night in the fridge ! They turned out amazing. I want to try this but using cardamom, star anise, and other spices with a sweetened condensed milk glaze.4 stars

  8. I am 71 years old. Lost my grandma’s recipe a few years bac and tried a few new ones these past few years. I made this for Thanksgiving and my daughter INSISTED that I make them again at Christmas, saying…”These are the best cinnamon rolls you have EVER EVER made. So, there you go. I added chopped pecans before rolling up and that was yummy. So, thank you for an incredible recipe that outshone even grandma’s. Truly…..these are the best I have ever made.5 stars