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. 😉

My BEST ever Cinnamon Rolls - totally from scratch, great beginner recipe! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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.

My BEST ever Cinnamon Rolls - totally from scratch, great beginner recipe! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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.

My BEST ever Cinnamon Roll recipe - these fluffy, gooey cinnamon rolls are made from scratch and are a great recipe for beginners!

My BEST ever Cinnamon Roll recipe - these fluffy, gooey cinnamon rolls are made from scratch and are a great recipe for beginners!

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!

Easy cinnamon rolls recipe

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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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.
If you're new to working with yeast, these soft and fluffy homemade cinnamon rolls are a perfect place to start! Click through for the recipe.
If you're new to working with yeast, these soft and fluffy homemade cinnamon rolls are a perfect place to start! Click through for the recipe.

1150 Comments

  1. Kay Thompson says:

    Wonderfully, light, slightly sweet rolls…love ’em.
    I think you suggested putting a cup of water in a container, on top of a pizza stone during the baking of these rolls. Please tell me this is your suggestion. My first batch turned out SO good, the second was a little dry, I forgot about the water in the oven.
    I’m hooked on this recipe. Thanks,
    Kay

    1. AWESOME recipe!!❤ I make it all the time for my family!!Thank you for posting this Sally. Would I be able to put mini chocolate chips in the roll itself with the cinnamon and sugar mix?

      1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

        Yes, you sure can!

    2. made this for the first time and it was a hit. I added some crushed pecans to the filling and topped the rolls with pecan pieces. SOOOOO Good!!

  2. My family loves cinnamon rolls and I love to bake so I just had to make these! They turned out perfectly and everyone loved them. This was my first time making cinnamon rolls and your recipe was so easy to follow. I had no whole milk so I used almond milk and a little bit of heavy cream. Absolutely making these again 🙂

    1. This is the 3rd time I’m making cinnamon rolls with this recipe. The best cinnamon roll recipe ever….

      1. 1st time i made relized half way thru i had no vanilla extract or conf sugar so made with a lil gran sugar and baked a few mini marshmallows on half to try it … Came out really good next time ill check Cupboard 1st

  3. Thanks! I can’t wait to try. Mine got a little brown. But overall they look great!

    1. Dakota Jaloszynski says:

      Did you cover with aluminum foil? If not that is why they became brown. That is on you.

  4. The Recipe is sooo gooood, i love using it because the rolls come out soo. soft and delicious, although it takes about 2 hrs which some may say is a lot but it is worth it.

  5. Hi Sally! Is it alright if I prepare just the dough without the filling and leave it overnight in the fridge?

    I misread the recipe, and prepared only dough

    1. Hi Zoe, you can prepare the dough in advance like that. Keep it covered in the refrigerator overnight. Then punch it down to release the air, then continue with the recipe (rolling out/shaping).

  6. I forgot to add the 1/4 cup water I didn’t realize it until I had started to roll out dough! I’m wondering if they will rise as I’m assuming the water is what activates the yeast??

    1. I have made bread for years, learned from my mother. It is the sugar that activates the yeast not the water.

      1. Good to know! Thanks

  7. In the make ahead recipe, when do you do step 5, before fridge, or next morning before rising for an hour, or after rising for an hour?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Gert, For the overnight instructions the long rest in the refrigerator will take the place of letting the dough rise in a warm environment for 60-90 minutes. See the recipe notes for detailed instructions.

      1. Thanks Sally! I just wanted to make sure the roll was cut before placing in the fridge.

  8. Hi! I was just wondering if there is a good way to figure out when the butter mixture is about 110 degrees? Would using a meat or candy thermometer work?
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Noelle, yes, using a meat or candy thermometer works.

  9. do you proof the yeast?

  10. Whenever I make a new recipe, I ask my husband where it ranks. This time, without prompting he said, “No competition, this is my favorite thing you’ve ever made. Do not forget this recipe.” Which is amazing considering most people know me for my cakes and cookies which have been requested for parties and weddings. However, I’ve surprisingly never made homemade cinnamon rolls before, but I’m glad I decided to go with this recipe. I had to make mine with pizza yeast, which worked just fine. I also covered the tops with brown sugar icing! I highly recommend this cinnamon roll recipe 🙂

  11. Cindy Towery says:

    I am teaching my 11 year old granddaughter to bake. We decided to make some cinnamon rolls so I just googled cinnamon rolls and this recipe was highly rated. This recipe is delicious and was so easy to follow. My granddaughter was so proud of her first cinnamon rolls! Our next baking adventure will be your easy homemade sprinkle cake! Thanks for the easy to follow recipes!

  12. Excellent recipe! It was so easy to make and the buns turned out very fluffy. Thanks Sally!

  13. Can some raisins be added to the filling?

    1. Hilari @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Definitely!

  14. I have always wanted to make cinnamon rolls but have never gotten around to it- these were so fun to make and they turned out amazingly, my boyfriend ate 5 in the span of 2 hours if that’s saying anything.

  15. Hi Sally,
    Love your recipes. I was wondering if I could use large muffin tins instead of a baking pan for the rolls?

    1. Absolutely! The oven temperature remains the same, but the bake time might be a little shorter.

  16. I’ve been modifying this recipe for a while now, only in that I use normal yeast instead of the instant. So I just dissolve the yeast in the liquids, then add it, and treat it like a bread dough. I let it rise the first rise in a bowl, and then roll it out and fill it. Instead of using 1/4 cup of brown sugar, I use 1/2 cup of brown instead (I like my rolls sweet!). They turn out wonderfully! I also have put the formed rolls in the fridge overnight, and that works well too.

  17. Mine tasted nice but the dough was too soft and there was no obvious swirl. They kind of amalgamated in cooking into a cinnamon loaf. I will try again using less liquid

  18. I’ve made these a couple times now, same day and overnight. It will continue to be my go-to recipe for cinnamon rolls! Simple and delicious every time!

  19. Hi Sally,

    In most of your recipes, you are using All-Purpose flour, Is it ok to use bread flour instead?

    With Best Regards
    Anju

    1. Hilari @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Anju, bread flour has a higher protein content and is best for chewier baked goods like breads and bagels. I don’t recommend substituting all-purpose flour for bread flour- the end result will likely be tough and more dense. Here are all of our recipes with bread flour!

  20. This is the second time im making and they arent rising. Brand new pack of yeast and everything. I dont know what im doing wrong.

    1. Hi Marsha, add your yeast to your warm milk, and wait for 5 minutes, this should help it activate, ensure your milk isn’t hot though.

  21. instead of instant yeast can you use dry active?

  22. Just made these – absolutely delicious! My 86 year-old mother declared them the best ever! I’m definitely adding this recipe to my regular rotation!

  23. This is my second attempt at trying this recipe and I can’t even get past making the dough as it’s genuinely to sticky to knead the dough and go further into the recipe. So disappointed on how much ingredients I’ve wasted.

    1. I almost never follow the exact flour amounts when baking especially with yeast breads. Relative humidity has a huge effect on how much liquid the flour will absorb. 2 1/2 cups of flour may work perfectly one day and be either too dry or too wet the next day. Follow the recipe on everything but the flour then just slowly add flour in until you get the consistency you are looking for. Happy baking!

  24. These were amazing!!!!! I added a little extra butter spread on the dough and I made a little extra cinnamon topping. We like ours sweet. I bakes mine 25 min and they were perfect!! Next time might back a minute or two less.

  25. This dough is so difficult to work with. I’ve made cinnamon rolls from scratch before and never had trouble when rolling up the cinnamon rolls and cutting them. This dough didn’t seem to stick to itself to form a tight log and the rolls practically fell apart when cutting them.
    There also seem to be some missing information in the instructions – I like other reviewers had trouble getting my dough to rise when following the instructions, only to read in the comments that I was supposed to proof the yeast and not mix it with the dry ingredients.
    The rolls are currently in the second rise (fingers crossed), albeit missing some filling.
    I usually enjoy making Sally’s recipes, but this one has so far been a miss.

  26. Well, despite screwing up the oven rise, these still managed to come out nicely. So I guess that means these are pretty hard to mess up! Unbeknownst to me, my oven was set to celsius. In any case, they rose perfectly well. The blast of heat did not do anything problematic to the yeast.

    While I agree the rolls were loose and hard to tightly pack initially, when they rose, they came out just fine.

    I will share my butter softening trick as we don’t have a microwave: use a grater to create the butter and it will be super soft and spreadable in no time.

    I mixed both vanilla and coffee because the icing was a bit sweet for me. A wonderful rainy day treat!

  27. Great recipe, thank you. Added more flour until I got the consistency I wanted. Child has been requesting these for a while now. Delish!

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