Easy Cinnamon Rolls From Scratch

These easy cinnamon rolls from scratch are perfect for yeast beginners because they only require 1 rise. Each cinnamon roll is extra soft with the most delicious cinnamon swirl!

This cinnamon roll recipe makes classic, home-style cinnamon rolls. They’re fluffy, soft, and topped with vanilla glaze. It’s taken me some time to develop quick cinnamon rolls that maintain all the flavor of traditional overnight cinnamon rolls. I have the winner for you right here and I baked two batches just to be sure.

cinnamon rolls in a glass baking dish

Yeast Beginners Rejoice!

Do you love homemade cinnamon rolls, but are nervous to bake with yeast? Join the club. I was too! But this recipe changed everything for me. They’re perfect for anyone who wants to learn how to bake with yeast. Unlike cinnamon rolls that require hours of rise time, plus a 2nd rise time after the rolls are shaped, this easy cinnamon rolls recipe only requires 1 rise.

Here’s my #1 tip: I recommend using a strong and dependable yeast. Red Star Platinum Yeast is an instant yeast, which cuts down on rise time. Its careful formula strengthens your dough and makes working with yeast simple. And simple is always good, right?

Baking with Yeast Guide

Reference this Baking with Yeast Guide whenever you work with baker’s yeast. I include practical answers to all of your common yeast questions.

3 cinnamon rolls on a blue plate

How to Make Easy Cinnamon Rolls from Scratch

Bakery style goodness for beginners!

  1. Make the dough: The ingredients are pretty standard: flour, sugar, salt, yeast, water, milk, butter, and 1 egg. Heat the butter, milk, and water together. Next, stir the butter mixture into the dry ingredients, then add the egg. At this point, your dough is ready to knead!
  2. Knead the dough: You can use your mixer or hands to knead the dough. 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 a few minutes so the gluten settles. During this time, get your filling ingredients ready: butter, cinnamon, and sugar.
  3. Shape the cinnamon rolls: Roll the dough out into a 14×8 inch rectangle. Spread the butter on top, then sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. You can use regular white granulated sugar or brown sugar in the filling. Tightly roll up the dough and cut into 11-12 pieces. Place in a greased round pan and get ready to rise.
  4. Rise: Let the shaped rolls rise for 60-90 minutes. Remember, this is the only rise time for the rolls.
  5. Bake: After the cinnamon rolls are nice and puffy, bake until golden brown.

cinnamon rolls in a glass baking dish before baking

cinnamon rolls in a glass baking dish after baking

The TRICK to Easy Cinnamon Rolls

Let the dough rise in your oven.

Here’s what I do: I heat the oven to 150°F (66°C). Turn the oven off. Cover the rolls and place them inside. Leave the oven door cracked open for about 30 minutes, then shut it closed. There, that’s it!

cinnamon rolls in a glass baking dish

After baking, the rolls are ready for a finishing touch. You can serve with vanilla icing or salted caramel, but I love drenching these easy cinnamon rolls in coffee icing. Simply mix 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar with 2 Tablespoons of strong coffee.

These easy cinnamon rolls from scratch are completely irresistible and they take half the time. If you’re looking for that perfect cinnamon roll recipe, this is the winner.

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cinnamon rolls topped with icing in a glass baking dish

Easy Cinnamon Rolls (from scratch)

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours, 5 minutes
  • Yield: 11-12 rolls
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These easy cinnamon rolls are perfect for yeast beginners because they only require 1 rise. Top with vanilla icing or my favorite coffee icing below.


Ingredients

Rolls

  • 2 and 3/4 cups (344g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 and 1/4 teaspoons Red Star Platinum Yeast or any instant yeast (1 packet)
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) whole milk
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) water
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg

Filling

  • 3 Tablespoons (45g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar or packed light or dark brown sugar

Icing

  • 1 cup (120g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 23 Tablespoons (30-45ml) strong brewed coffee or milk

Instructions

  1. Make the dough: Whisk the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast together in a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. Combine the milk, water, and butter together in a heatproof bowl. Microwave or use the stove and heat until the butter is melted and the mixture is warm to touch (about 110°F). Pour into the dry ingredients, add the egg, and stir until it forms a soft dough or use your mixer.
  3. On a lightly floured surface using floured hands, knead the dough for 3 minutes. Place in a lightly greased bowl (I use non-stick spray), cover loosely, and let rest for about 10 minutes.
  4. Fill the rolls: After 10 minutes, roll the dough out in a 14×8 inch rectangle. Spread the softened butter on top. Mix together the cinnamon and sugar. Sprinkle it all over the dough. Roll up the dough tightly to make a 14 inch log. Cut into 10-12 even rolls and arrange in a lightly greased 9-inch round cake pan or pie dish.
  5. Rise: Tightly cover the rolls with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm, draft-free environment for 60-90 minutes. See blog post above for my trick to this step!
  6. Bake the rolls: After the rolls have doubled in size, preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Bake for 25-28 minutes until lightly browned. If you notice the tops are getting too brown too quickly, loosely cover the rolls with aluminum foil and continue baking.
  7. Make the icing: Whisk the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract, and coffee/milk together. Drizzle or spread over warm rolls.
  8. Cover leftover frosted or unfrosted rolls tightly and store for up to 3 days at room temperature or up to 5 days in the refrigerator.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead Instructions: This dough can be made the night before through step 4. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning, remove from the refrigerator and allow to rise in a warm environment, about 1 hour. Continue with step 6.
  2. Freezing Instructions: Baked rolls can be frozen up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and warm up before enjoying. You can also freeze the unbaked rolls and here’s how: bake the rolls in step 6 for only about 10 minutes at 375°F (191°C). Cool completely, then cover tightly and freeze. To serve, take the rolls out of the freezer and put into the refrigerator a few hours before serving. Then, finish baking them.
  3. Yeast: I highly recommend instant yeast. If you only have active dry yeast, you can use that instead. Active dry and instant yeast can be used interchangeably in recipes (1:1). Active dry yeast has a moderate rate of rising and instant dry yeast has a faster rate of rising; active dry yeast will create a slower rise time.
  4. Milk: Whole milk is ideal for this dough. If needed, you can substitute nondairy milk.
  5. Reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs.

424 Comments

  1. Can I use skim milk?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Leslie, In a pinch yes, but keep in mind that the lower the fat, the less “rich” the baked good will taste.

  2. Ariel Mc knight says:

    Thanks for sharing your recipes. Absolutely love this recipe. This is my third time making them. Family favorite..

  3. These are delicious. I made a batch today.

  4. Any changes if you use Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 flour? It is gluten free but has the gum additive.

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Tracey! We haven’t tested this recipe with GF flour, but would love to hear how it goes for you if you give it a try.

  5. Meena Gehani says:

    These were so good! My two year old grandson loves to mix the flour and sugar and then run the mixer. We’ve made pizza dough too many times.
    Thanks for your recipes.

  6. My daughter is currently making these for the second time and both times she had to add nearly 2 more cups of flour to make firm enough for rolling. Is this normal?

    1. Hi Sallie, 2 additional cups of flour is quite a lot, making it almost 5 cups of flour for around 1 cup of liquid (counting the egg and melted butter, too). Did you alter anything in the dough recipe?

      1. I had the same problem with the consistency of the dough. I had to add approx. 3/4 cup of flour to the mixture.

  7. I have to make these for a person who can’t have eggs , can I omit the egg or use an egg replacer like flax seed or chia seed ?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Shilpa, we haven’t tested an egg-free version of these cinnamon rolls, but let us know if you give any substitutes a try. We don’t recommend omitting it completely.

    2. Hi there! So once in a while I have to make these or other rolls vegan. I replace the milk with soy and eggs and butter with vegan butter and sugar with raw sugar. If it’s just the eggs that need to be replaced use 1/4 cup butter for 1 egg. I hope this works for you!

      1. That is fabulous , I am making them for someone who is allergic to eggs.

        Thank you for the tip!

        I will post my attempt with this adjustment xxx

    3. Loved this recipe like many other recipes you’ve shared!

    4. Hi Shilpa,
      I made it without the egg because I didn’t see the part where I had to add it in the recipe. After making the roles I was wandering why on the list of the ingredients was the egg and in step by step description no. So …. not bad without the egg.

  8. Do I have to activate the yeast before adding it?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Joe, instant yeast is typically added right to the dry ingredients. Most modern active-dry yeasts are already active, so we can get away with that here using active-dry as well. Hope this helps!

  9. Weighed out all the ingredients and the ratios were perfect. Thank you so much for this recipe, it’s a keeper!

  10. Alice Springs says:

    Like a comment above I too had to add more flour to even knead the mixture as it was sticking to everything including my hands. Had to get my hubby to add more flour as I was stuck to the mixture. They’re just coming out of the oven now though and they look amazing! (I weighed everything in grams on digital scales so definitely accurate to the recipe given)

    1. Eek! I just out the filling on but I’m not which which direction to roll it! From the short side or long side?

  11. Turned out excellent, accompanied with scrambled eggs… Thank you! Would of posted a picture, now on my All Yummy Pinterest Page.

  12. So what’s the difference between this and the other more complex cinnamon roll recipe? I don’t wanna be missing out on something haha thank you so much.

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Nick! This dough is slightly lighter and less soft and tender. Both are delicious!

  13. These turned out amazing and were so easy to make!
    My rolls didnt have much room to rise when i left them before baking, next time i’ll use a bigger pan!

  14. These are legit the best cinnamon rolls, they’re so easy to make and so yeasty!
    I do one thing differently though (because I read the recipe wrong the first time I made them and have just done it that way every time since), when I spread the butter out instead of sprinkling the cinnamon and brown sugar over it I mix them together in a measuring cup ’till it’s one consistency. I find it’s a lot easier to spread it that way over the rolls and not have to worry about too much sugar/cinnamon in one spot.

  15. Samantha Odhiambo says:

    Thanks for the recipe.
    I made a batch today they were delicious and soft, tho my filling ended up at the bottom of the pan caramelized somehow ehat did I do wrong?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Samantha! Some caramelizing is normal, but burning wouldn’t be. It’s possible you oven may run a bit hot – we recommend using an in-oven thermometer or simply reducing the heat by a few degrees next time you try these. So glad you enjoyed them!

  16. Jessie Karev says:

    Can you lt them rise overnight or for a few more hours instead?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Jessie! Yes, keep it covered in the refrigerator overnight. Then punch it down to release the air, then continue with the recipe (rolling out/shaping).

  17. It has been years since I made cinnamon rolls and found this recipe. This recipe is so forgiving. I had mixed all of the ingredients and realized I forgot the egg. I added it and then worked it into the dough with my hands. It came out fine. I was also on a tight schedule and had just an hour to let it rise. I followed your tip on letting the dough rise in the oven and they came out perfect. Definitely a keeper.

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