Cinnamon rolls are fluffy and delicious with buttery flavor.

Soft dough is filled with sweet cinnamon sugar, rolled up, and baked to perfection. Top it off with a buttery frosting for the perfect bite!

Enjoy them as a special breakfast treat, a holiday tradition, or a midday pick-me-up. These cinnamon rolls are so delicious, you won’t be disappointed!

a homemade cinnamon roll with cream cheese frosting on a white plate

We Love These Cinnamon Rolls!

Although they take a bit of time, cinnamon rolls are easy to make so don’t be intimidated by the yeast. As long as your yeast is fresh, these should work out just fine!

  • They’re soft, fluffy, and gooey throughout.
  • These cinnamon rolls are easy to make, even for beginner bakers!
  • They can be made with a stand mixer or kneaded by hand.
  • Make them the night before and bake in the morning for a warm, delicious breakfast!

Ingredients for Cinnamon Rolls

Yeast: Active dry yeast is mixed with sugar and warm. If the yeast doesn’t get foamy, it should not be used.

Flour: All-purpose flour or bread flour can be used. I use all-purpose flour since it’s what I usually have on hand.

Butter and eggs: Use unsalted butter and add your own salt. Eggs add flavor and help with the rise, while the butter adds flavor and texture.

Cinnamon Sugar Filling: The filling for these cinnamon buns is a mixture of brown sugar and ground cinnamon. Use either dark or light brown sugar.

Cinnamon roll ingredients in bowls on a wooden board

How to Make Cinnamon Rolls

  1. Proof the yeast: Combine the yeast with warm water and sugar. The mixture should become foamy.
  2. Make the dough: Warm the milk and butter in a separate bowl. Add the remaining dough ingredients, including the yeast mixture, and knead the dough until smooth.
  3. Let the dough rise: Place it in a warm place for about an hour or until doubled in size.
  4. Add the filling and bake: Roll the dough into a rectangle, spread with softened butter, and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Roll the dough and cut it into individual rolls. Place the rolls in a prepared baking dish and bake them in the oven until they are golden brown.

Enjoy! Once the rolls are done baking, remove them from the oven and let them cool before serving. Don’t forget the cream cheese frosting!

Cinnamon Roll Pro Tip

You can use a piece of dental floss to cut the cinnamon roll dough into even pieces. This method helps to avoid squishing the soft dough and gives you more precise cuts than a knife. Use unflavored dental floss, as nobody wants minty cinnamon rolls!

cutting cinnamon rolls with floss

Cinnamon Roll Icing

Cream cheese icing is my favorite way to top fluffy cinnamon rolls. This icing needs cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar with vanilla for flavor. Be sure to let the rolls cool down before adding the frosting, or the butter in the frosting may melt.

If you’d prefer, you can skip the frosting and drizzle with glaze.

a pan of homemade cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting

Tips for The Best Cinnamon Rolls

  • Make sure that all ingredients are at room temperature.
  • Check the expiration date on your yeast. Expired yeast can prevent the dough from rising properly. Use this yeast testing method to check your yeast.
  • Allow the dough to rise in a warm place and cover it lightly with a kitchen towel.
  • You can add chopped pecans, coconut, or raisins to the filling if you like.
  • If the rolls are browning too quickly in the oven, cover them loosely with foil to prevent them from getting too dark.

To Prepare The Night Before

My family has dubbed this the best cinnamon roll recipe, and I love that it can be made ahead of time and refrigerated overnight for an easy breakfast.

  1. Cover the prepared cinnamon rolls in a greased 9×13-inch pan with plastic wrap.
  2. When you’re ready to bake the rolls, remove them from the fridge and remove the plastic wrap. With the oven off, cover the rolls with a towel and place a bowl or pan of very hot water in the oven to allow them to rise.
  3. To bake, remove the rolls from the oven (leave the water in the oven) and preheat the oven to the temperature specified in the recipe.
  4. Bake according to the recipe instructions.

The hot water will help to create steam and keep the rolls soft and fluffy as they bake.

To prepare your cinnamon rolls in advance, follow these steps:

Storing Leftover Rolls

Cinnamon rolls can be stored at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. Keep the frosting separate, (store it in the refrigerator) and add it to each roll as you enjoy them.

You can also freeze cinnamon rolls by wrapping them tightly or storing them in an airtight container. You can even individually freeze the rolls for quick treats. The cream cheese frosting can also be frozen, either on the buns or in a separate container.

More Overnight Breakfasts

 Did you enjoy this Homemade Cinnamon Roll recipe? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!

a homemade cinnamon roll with cream cheese frosting on a white plate
4.97 from 296 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Homemade Cinnamon Roll Recipe

This recipe makes soft rolls with sticky-sweet cinnamon filling on the inside and loads of cream cheese icing on the outside!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Rise Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 50 minutes
Servings 15 cinnamon rolls
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  • ¼ cup warm water
  • 1 package active dry yeast or 2 ¼ teaspoons
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • cup unsalted 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 unsalted 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


  • Grease a 9×13 pan or baking dish.
  • Combine the water, yeast, and 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar in a small bowl. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes or until it becomes foamy.
  • In a saucepan, combine the milk, butter, remaining granulated sugar, and salt. Heat the mixture to 120-130°F using a thermometer.
  • Place 2 cups of flour in a stand mixer. Add the eggs, milk mixture, and yeast mixture and mix until combined.
  • Using a dough hook, add the flour ½ cup at a time until the dough forms a soft ball that pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead it on a lightly floured surface until it is smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes).
  • Place the dough in a greased bowl in a warm place and cover it with a towel for 1 hour or until it has doubled in size.
  • Roll the dough out into a 15" x 12" rectangle. Spread butter on the dough and top it with the brown sugar and cinnamon.
  • Roll the dough up, starting on the long side. Cut it into 15 pieces and place them in the 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 frosting ingredients with a mixer until fluffy.
  • Allow rolls to cool for about 10-15 minutes and spread frosting on warm rolls.



Double check the date on your yeast to ensure it has not expired.
If you do not have a stand mixer, this recipe will still 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.
To bake, remove the rolls from the oven (leave the water in the oven) and preheat the oven to the temperature specified in the recipe. Place the rolls in the oven, close the door, and bake according to the recipe instructions. The hot water will help to create steam and keep the rolls soft and fluffy as they bake.
4.97 from 296 votes

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.

Course Bread, Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
cinnamon sugar Homemade Cinnamon Rolls on a plate with a title
Homemade Cinnamon Rolls and icing on a plate with a title
close up of Homemade Cinnamon Rolls with a title
Homemade Cinnamon Rolls in the pan and plated with a title

More Breakfast Rolls

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


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About the author

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. Hi, Holly. This recipe reminds me of the one I used 30+ years ago, then unfortunately lost due to a break-in and vandalism. I do have a couple of questions. ** I am physically unable to knead. is it possible the stand mixer could do the last 8 minutes called for, as well? ** For the overnight method, you say to place the water BESIDE the pan of rolls. Would placing it on the oven floor be acceptable instead? My apartment has a very small stove/oven, and there wouldn’t be enough room for both to be on the same shelf. I’d rather know for sure, in advance, to avoid the possibility of losing the ingredients. Many thanks!

    1. How heartbreaking Terry, I’m sorry that happened to you and the recipe was ruined. Yes, you can definitely mix the last 8 minutes in a stand mixer (it should take about 3 to 4 minutes on speed 2 if using a Kitchenaid). You could certainly place the water below the rolls as well. I can’t wait to hear how they work out for you!

  2. Can these be frozen before baking and then thawed and let rise then baked? Sounds like the recipe I have been looking for. Want to make small pans since it is just the two of us and a large pan is to much for us.

    1. I have never tried freezing these before baking but they freeze great after baking. You can even freeze the cream cheese mixture separately and add back on top when ready to enjoy!

  3. March 6, 2024
    Thanks Holly for your cinnamon buns recipe.
    Cinnamon Buns turned out very good.
    I didn’t have enough butter so instead I replaced with olive oil. Also, we have been using homogenized milk, I used that instead of 2 percent milk.
    I have no brown sugar and used regular sugar.
    The texture of baked cinnamon buns are very soft indeed.
    This sure is for keeps.
    Thank-you.5 stars

  4. I converted this recipe into a keto version by substituting the flour with keto wheat flour, used swerve sugars and almond milk. I thought it was fantastic!!!5 stars

  5. I made these with Brown Sugar Splenda and Stevia with the butter
    for the filling and a Brown Sugar Splenda Caramel Icing due to health needs. I made the rolls exactly following the recipe with the sugar so they would rise well. They made a soft, special roll and am thrilled to find a recipe that works exactly as stated! Thank you for the recipe!5 stars

      1. No, you can just follow the recipe instructions as listed.

  6. I made this recipe!! I made half with chopped walnuts and half without. This recipe is perfect. It’s my first attempt to make them from scratch.5 stars

  7. Excellent recipe
    Just as great as my Mother’s homemade cinnamon rolls recipe.
    Wouldn’t change a thing5 stars

  8. Cinnamon rolls have always been my Achilles heal, but not now! These turned out amazing for Christmas Eve morning! Recipe saved! I have found the bakers yeast to be full proof and have had so much more success with my dough making!5 stars

  9. I will never be able to describe how immaculate these were. Thank you from the bottom of mine and my husbands, stomachs.5 stars