Easy Cinnamon Rolls (from scratch)
Easiest cinnamon rolls I’ve ever made, only 1 rise. Perfect for yeast beginners!
This is a recipe for classic, home-style cinnamon rolls. Fluffy, soft, doughy, and bursting with buttery cinnamon swirls. It’s taken me some time to make the perfect dough from scratch and today, I have the winner for you. I baked two batches just to be sure. 😉
My cinnamon rolls are easier than any sweet roll I’ve ever made before. And they are quicker too. Perfect for the baker who wants to learn how to bake with yeast for the first time. You’ll find that the typical sweet roll or homemade bread recipe requires two rises. The incredible Raspberry Swirl Sweet Rolls (which many of you LOVE!) require a first rise of about 1-2 hours. Then a second rise for another two hours. Making them is completely worth the wait time, but I wanted something a little quicker. Today’s rolls only require 1 rise.
I use Red Star Platinum Yeast to bake my quick cinnamon rolls. I’m an avid Red Star yeast fan and have been ever since I faced my fears of yeast 6 months ago. Red Star Platinum takes the work out of it for you. Its careful formula strengthens your dough and makes working with yeast simple. And simple is always good, right?
The dough for today’s roll is very easy to throw together. It’s a perfect starting point for any sort of sweet roll you want to make. And it makes a conveniently sized small batch. Only about 11 rolls and they are baked in a small 9-inch round pan. The recipe can easily be doubled and baked in two 9-inch pans.
The dough ingredients are pretty standard: flour, sugar, salt, yeast, water, milk, butter, and 1 egg. Heat the butter, milk, and water all together in a bowl until the butter is melted and mixture is hot to touch (mine was 115F degrees). Accurate temperatures are crucial to successful baking. Next you’re going to stir the butter mixture into the dry ingredients, then add the egg. Add about 1/3 cup more flour to get the dough nice and soft. Your dough is ready to knead when it begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
Next? Kneading time! Lightly flour your countertop and get ready to get your hands dirty. It’s ok, baking is supposed to be messy. Want to learn more about the process of kneading? I study this helpful guide often. When you’re finished kneading, cover the dough and let it rest for about 10 minutes. It won’t really rise in this step, it just needs a chance to let the gluten settle. During this time, I got my filling ingredients ready: softened butter, cinnamon, and sugar. My three favorite ingredients these days.
After 10 minutes, roll the dough out into a 14×8 inch rectangle. Use a ruler to be accurate; I always keep one handy in a kitchen drawer. Spread the softened butter all over the dough. Sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar. Tightly roll up the dough and cut into 11 even pieces. Place in a greased round pan and get ready to rise. The rolls take about 60-90 minutes to rise. Remember, this is the only rise time for the rolls. Loosely cover the rolls with aluminum foil and place in a draft-free warm spot in your kitchen.
Here’s what I do: I heat the oven to 200°F. I turn off the oven. I place the rolls inside for 90 minutes. There, that’s it! Make sure you don’t refrigerate the rolls after this step. Keep them at room temperature if you are not baking right away.
After about 60-90 minutes, the rolls will have doubled in size and are ready to bake.
They look like fluffy little spiraled pillows. All nice & toasty!
They are ready for some glaze! I made an easy coffee glaze for my rolls. I simply mixed 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar with 2 Tablespoons of strong coffee. If coffee glaze isn’t your thing, replace the coffee with milk or cream.
And completely drench the rolls with the glaze right before serving.
I truly thought I had self control until I made these. I tested this recipe twice last weekend after I made breakfast. I was saving them for later in the day, but I just had to dig in. Trust me, your self-control will disappear after you make these. They are completely irresistible. Just wait until you smell them baking! I want to bottle that scent and wear it forever.
The dough is buttery and sweet, which I loved. If you’re looking for that perfect cinnamon roll recipe, you are in luck. Not only are these the fluffiest, softest roll I’ve ever made, but they are the easiest as well.
Easy Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
Easiest cinnamon rolls I've ever made, only 1 rise. Perfect for yeast beginners!
- 2 and 3/4 cups (345g) all-purpose flour (measured correctly)
- 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 package Red Star Platinum Yeast or any instant yeast (1 packet = 2 and 1/4 teaspoons)
- 1/2 cup (120ml) water
- 1/4 cup (60ml) milk (I usually use skim)
- 2 and 1/2 Tablespoons (40g) unsalted butter
- 1 large egg
- 3 Tablespoons (45g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (120g) confectioners' sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2-3 Tablespoons (30-45ml) strong coffee (or use milk/cream instead)
- Make the dough: Set aside 1/2 cup of flour. In a large bowl, toss the 2 and 1/4 cups flour, the sugar, salt, and yeast together until evenly dispersed. Set aside.
- Heat the water, milk, and butter together in the microwave until the butter is melted and the mixture is hot to touch. About 115°F (46°C). Stir the butter mixture into the flour mixture. Add the egg and only enough of the reserved flour to make a soft dough. I only needed 1/3 cup, but you may need the full 1/2 cup. Dough will be ready when it gently pulls away from the side of the bowl and has an elastic consistency.
- On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for about 3-4 minutes. Place in a lightly greased bowl (I used non-stick spray) and let rest for about 10 minutes.
- Make the filling: After 10 minutes, roll the dough out in a 14x8 inch rectangle. Spread the softened butter on top. Mix together the cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle it all over the dough. Add more cinnamon/sugar if desired. Roll up the dough tightly. Cut into 11-12 even pieces and place in a lightly greased 9-inch round pan. I used a pie dish, lightly sprayed with nonstick spray.
- Loosely cover the rolls with aluminum foil and allow to rise in a warm, draft-free place for 60-90 minutes. Here is what I do: heat the oven to 200°F (93°C). Turn oven off. Place rolls inside oven and allow to rise.
- After the rolls have doubled in size, preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Bake for 25-30 minutes until lightly browned. I covered the rolls with aluminum foil after 15 minutes to avoid heavy browning.
- Make the glaze: Right before serving, top your cinnamon rolls with glaze. Mix the confectioners' sugar, vanilla and 2 Tablespoons coffee together until smooth and drizzle over rolls. If it seems too thick, add 1 more Tablespoon coffee. You can replace the coffee with milk or cream instead, if you do not want a coffee flavored glaze. If you prefer a thicker glaze, add more confectioners' sugar and then add a pinch of salt to cut the sweetness, if desired.
- Rolls are best enjoyed the same day, but stay fresh and soft in a covered container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 5 days. Glaze the rolls immediately before serving. Rolls (with or without glaze) freeze well, up to about 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator and heat up however you prefer.
- Make ahead/overnight: This dough can be made the night before through step 4. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning, remove from the refrigerator and allow to rise at room temperature, about 1 hour.
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Try my Homemade Sweet Orange Rolls next!
For anyone still fearful of yeast, you can always make my 20 minute Mini Cinnamon Buns (no yeast) instead. However, today’s rolls are a great starting off point! Go ahead, challenge yourself.