Easy Cinnamon Rolls (from scratch)

These easy cinnamon rolls 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 overnight 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 cinnamon rolls 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 (345g) 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. 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.

1183 Comments

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  1. Such a great cinnamon roll recipe Sally. It will be my go to from now on. Thank you for sharing it with all of us!!

  2. Great recipe! My husband and son love cinnamon rolls and I really enjoyed making them.

  3. Awesome recipe, my 6 and 5 year old love making them with me their dad! Thank you so much

  4. Hi there, made these cinnamon buns for the very first time today! It won’t be the last! My husband took one with him to eat on his walk. He’s just had another one with a cup of tea. I better try one before he eats the lot! Delicious ! M

  5. Samantha Kunkel says:

    Thanks! These are beautiful and easy to mix up!

  6. These were simple and delicious. Highly recommend.

  7. Hi, Sally!!! How would I alter this recipe to have raisins and pecans in my cinnamon rolls??? I’m your biggest fan (seriously) and I always go to your recipes when looking to make new things.

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Brandi, You can definitely add them! Just add them to the filling before rolling up the dough. Enjoy!

  8. Oh my god, this was scrumptious! I gave them to my family and they absolutely LOVED them and the rolls were gone in minutes! I absolutely love these, my brother asked me to make more tomorrow. Thank you so much this is the best recipe I have ever tried out.

  9. Dulcinea Choque says:

    Made this last night and bake them today, so easy and and a big hit with my family, I love them, thank you so much !

  10. Hi Sally,
    I am a big cinnamon rolls fan. I find cooking therapeutic and I love cooking from scratch. My 4 and 9 year old boys often join hands with me; I enjoy how cooking can bring the family together.
    I tried your cinnamon rolls just as you instructed and they turned out very well. When I served them on the breakfast table this weekend everyone thought they were bought from the store. 🙂 They were gone before I knew! Yes, we all have sweet tooth. 🙂
    Thank you for sharing the recipe, Sally.

  11. These were super fast and easy and oh so yummy! Definitely my go-to from now on. I’m wondering if this dough would be too sweet to use for pizza rolls?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Merete, While you could use this dough we love using our pizza dough to make pizza rolls!

  12. This was an amazing recipe!!

  13. Hello! Can I make these two days ahead of time and leave them in the fridge until that second morning or would I have to freeze them the first night? Thank you!!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Emily, You can leave frosted or unfrosted rolls covered tightly for up to 3 days at room temperature or up to 5 days in the refrigerator. If you want to get started early but have fresh baked rolls the day you are serving them see the recipe notes for make ahead directions.

  14. Hi Sally, so I baked these only partially from the make ahead directions and then froze them, could they be placed in the fridge overnight and then baked the rest of the way in the morning?

    1. Absolutely!

  15. krysta Wolfangel says:

    These are pretty great! They are a little less yummy than the overnight version BUT SO MUCH EASIER. They are very good and I do not think I will make the overnight version again any time soon.

  16. I’ve been looking for a perfect cinnamon roll recipe for a long time and this is IT! My family was used to eating pillsbury but I started making things homemade and I wanted to make cinnamon rolls homemade too. So I found a recipe but not everyone liked it. But this recipe is absolutely amazing.

  17. I loved the flavor of these. But the 9 inch pan was far too tight for so many rolls and the ones in the middle didn’t rise well and ended up being undercooked. Do you recommend a 9×13 pan instead?

  18. Do I use the 1/4 c water to dissolve the yeast before mixing with the flour, sugar mixture?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Terry, No need to proof it as most modern dry yeast is already active. (we never do in this recipe!)

  19. Hi I have one quick question does the oven temperature have to be adjusted for fan ovens ?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Linda, While all of our recipes are written for conventional oven settings (and that’s what we recommend for even baking), the general rule is to lower the oven temperature by 25 degrees F if using convection, and check for doneness a few minutes early.

  20. 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.

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