The best Homemade Cinnamon Rolls Recipe! These soft cinnamon rolls taste just like Cinnabon cinnamon rolls, and they’re topped with yummy cream cheese frosting! Directions for making ahead and freezing and step-by-step photos can be found just above the recipe.
If you love soft, gooey cinnamon rolls, then these Homemade Cinnamon Rolls are for you! These big, fluffy cinnamon rolls taste just like Cinnabon cinnamon rolls.
They’re topped with rich cream cheese frosting that pairs perfectly with the sweet brown sugar butter filling.
There are step-by-step photos and plenty of tips to help you make amazing homemade cinnamon rolls. I’ve also included directions for overnight cinnamon rolls and for freezing the cinnamon rolls so that you can make these rolls when you have time and bake when you’re ready.
How to make homemade cinnamon rolls
Step 1: Add the yeast, warm milk, and part of the sugar to a mixing bowl. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes, or until foamy. If the yeast doesn’t foam, start over with new yeast.
Step 2: Mix in the eggs, butter, remaining sugar, and vanilla until combined.
Step 3: Add 3 cups of flour and mix in. Continue mixing in flour 1/4 cup at a time until the dough comes together. It should be soft and slightly sticky.
Step 4: Cover and let rise until dough has doubled in size.
Step 5: Roll dough into a 12×24-inch rectangle. Mix butter, sugar, and cinnamon together.
Step 6: Spread filling over dough. Roll dough up lengthwise.
Step 7: Cut dough into 12 equal-sized rolls. Place in pan.
Step 8: Cover pan and let rolls rise until almost doubled in size.
Step 9: Once rolls are almost double in size, uncover and bake until golden brown.
Step 10: Toward the end of the baking time, beat the butter and cream cheese together. Mix in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and pinch of salt.
Step 11: Let the baked cinnamon rolls stand for 5 minutes, and then spread the cream cheese frosting over the warm rolls.
- Milk: You can use anything from skim to whole milk. Using whole milk will give you a dough that’s a little softer and a little richer.
- Yeast: You can use either instant yeast or active dry yeast. Just make sure that if you use active dry yeast that the yeast foams. If the yeast doesn’t foam, start over as the rolls won’t rise if it doesn’t foam.
- Mixing: You can mix by hand if you prefer. Just add an additional 2 or so minutes to the kneading time.
- Rising: If your kitchen is cool, your rolls will rise slowly. To create a warm spot for the rolls to rise, preheat oven to 350F for exactly 60 seconds. Press cancel. This creates a nice warm spot for the dough to rise.
- Cutting: I like to use a serrated (bread) knife to slice the cinnamon roll dough. This helps to avoid smooshing the rolls as they’re cut.
- If your filling has leaked out of the baked rolls, immediately place a lid or platter over the pan and carefully invert. This will help the filling to reincorporate into the cinnamon rolls. Just be careful as the filling will be very hot.
- Frosting: Don’t chill the frosting after you make it. The frosting needs to be at room temperature to spread over the warm rolls.
Make-ahead (overnight) instructions
- After the cinnamon rolls have been assembled in a baking dish, wrap tightly with plastic wrap and cover with a tea towel or aluminum foil and place them in the refrigerator.
- In the morning, remove the baking dish from the refrigerator and let them come to room temperature and finish rising (this takes about 30-40 minutes).
- Then bake according to recipe instructions.
- Place the unbaked cinnamon rolls in the baking pan.
- Cover tightly with plastic wrap and then with aluminum foil
- Freeze for up to 1 month.
- To bake, remove cinnamon rolls from the freezer the night before you’d like to bake them and place them in the fridge.
- Place the pan out at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.
- Uncover and bake according to the instructions.
More sweet roll recipes!
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Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
- 9×13-inch glass pan
- Stand mixer
- 1 cup milk1
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar divided
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast2
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- ½ cup butter melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 – 4 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup brown sugar packed
- 2-3 tablespoons ground cinnamon to taste
- 1/2 cup butter at room temperature
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 ounce package cream cheese softened
- 1/4 cup butter at room temperature
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Pinch salt
- Grease a 9×13-inch glass baking pan. Set aside.
- To make the dough, warm the milk to 105F.
- Add the warm milk, 2 tablespoons sugar, and yeast to the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Let the yeast sit for 5-10 minutes, or until foamy.3
- Add the remaining sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla and mix until combined.
- Add 3 cups flour and the salt and stir in.
- Continue adding flour 1/4 cup at a time until the dough comes together and clears the sides of the bowl.
- Knead the dough for 2-3 minutes, or until it’s smooth and just slightly sticky to the touch. If the dough still seems too sticky at this point, add flour 1 tablespoon at a time. The dough should feel soft and smooth and should feel a little sticky but shouldn’t come off on your finger if you pinch it.
- Cover with a damp towel and let it rise in a warm spot until doubled, about 1 hour.4
- Toward the end of the rising time, stir the butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon together until well-combined. Set aside.
- Lightly flour your working surface.
- Gently deflate the dough.
- Roll the dough into a 12×24-inch rectangle that’s 1/4-inch thick.
- Spread the filling over the dough. It will be a little crumbly and hard to spread. Just do your best to cover the dough.
- Roll the dough up lengthwise and cut into 12 equal pieces.
- Place the rolls into the prepared baking pan.
- Cover and let rise until almost doubled, about 30 minutes.
- Toward the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Bake the cinnamon rolls for about 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Toward the end of the baking time making the frosting.
- Beat the cream cheese and butter until well-combined.
- Mix in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt until well-combined.
- Let the cinnamon rolls stand for about 5 minutes.
- Spread the cream cheese frosting over the warm cinnamon rolls.
- Any milk from skim to whole milk will work. Using whole milk will give you a slightly richer and softer dough.
- If you would like to use instant yeast, substitute an equal amount of instant yeast for the active dry yeast. There’s no need to let it foam before continuing.
- If the yeast doesn’t foam, start over. If your yeast isn’t foamy, then your dough won’t rise.
- If your kitchen is cool, you can create a warm spot by turning your oven to 350F and letting it preheat for exactly 1 minute. Press cancel after 60 seconds. Place rolls in oven to rise.
- Nutrition values are estimates.
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