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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.

This recipe is brought to you in partnership with Red Star Yeast.

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. No yeast cinnamon rolls are delicious, but this recipe is perfect for anyone who wants to learn how to bake with yeast. Unlike these homemade 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. Platinum Yeast from Red Star 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. If you want to learn more about how to knead, this is a helpful guide. 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.

More Shortcut Homemade Recipes

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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: 1112 rolls 1x
  • 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

Scale

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 Platinum Yeast from Red Star or any instant yeast (1 packet)
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) whole milk
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) water (or more whole milk)
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg

Filling

  • 3 Tablespoons (45g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup (67g) 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 as you get the filling ingredients ready.
  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.

Keywords: easy cinnamon rolls from scratch

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. The recipe was easy to make I was really shocked just how easy it was.Just ready to taste them I definitely will keep this recipe.

  2. Hi Sally
    Does the butter have to be room temperature?
    Can I warm it in the microwave

  3. These turned out really good and we’re really easy to make. We loved them!!

    1. I didn’t have instant yeast but I had active dry yeast and the dough is really sticky what should I do ?

      1. Hi Nina! You can use either, the rise time will just be longer for active dry yeast. There are a lot of variables that go into the consistency of dough, even down to the weather and humidity in the air. There’s nothing wrong with adding just a little more flour to bring the dough into a less sticky and knead-able consistency.

      2. Thanks for asking this question. I had no idea there was a difference in instant and dry yeasts. Mine is super sticky as well. I’m out of flour so off to the store I go. I guess it can rise now and later

  4. should I be using strong flour (bread flour) or just a regular all purpose flour?

    1. Hi Theresa! Bread flour should work for chewier rolls, but all-purpose is great here for soft rolls. Up to you!

  5. This recipe is perfect in every way. It is simple to execute and requires a very reasonable amount of time. I made the recipe exactly as is, except that I didn’t have whole milk so I substituted half heavy cream and half water. The rolls didn’t quite double in size but this didn’t affect doneness, texture or taste. The best part for me, however, is that they tasted just like my grandmother’s cinnamon rolls. I have her recipe but it requires hours and hours and I rarely have that kind of time. Tasting these warm from the oven brought back a flood of happy memories and made me feel like I was right back in her kitchen.

  6. Only reason I have the recipe 4 stars is because nowhere does it say what kind of dough I should be looking for when kneading. I measured exactly to your recipe, but it was so sloppy. I added another half cup of flour and still wasn’t sure if that’s the way it should be. Extremely sticky. Had to look at other one hour cinnamon roll recipes to try and figure it out. Otherwise, recipe is great. Came out perfect with the help of other recipes.

    1. Hi Amy- I’m having the same problem right now. I used the dough hook to mix for a few minutes then mixed with a spatula. When it was time to knead it was way too wet and I made an absolute mess. I hate adding too much extra flour because I don’t want dry, dense rolls.

  7. Hi Sally, is it possible to not bake the cinnamon rolls right after the rising process?
    Is there a way to leave the cinnamon rolls as it is to bake after some time of the rising process?

    1. Hi Munazza, the alternative to baking these right after the rise time is to make the overnight option. The 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.

  8. Hi Sally,
    Can I use gluten free flour in this recipe?

    1. Hi Tina, we haven’t tested it but please let us know if you do!

    2. Hi Tina
      Just reading the reviews before trying the recipe. My mother has celiac disease and cannot eat items with yeast. We use gluten free flour for recipes, but never yeast. It may be ok for those eating gluten free for other reasons. Hope it goes well for y’all.
      Thx
      Cheryl

  9. Hi Sally
    Made such an amazing batch last night at first trial, such a perfect recipe you are now my to go for confectionery recipes.
    Much Love

  10. I made this recipe a few times now. They came out delicious. I wanted to make them again but I forgot to buy the 1/2 & 1/2 creamer I used in the previous times I made this recipe, I only have 1% milk, would I be able to use that as a substitute , or will they not come out that good ?

    1. Hi Sandy, 1% milk will work, though the dough will be a little less soft due to the decrease in fat.

  11. I just made these and they were excellent!!! This recipe was easy and it didn’t take a lot of time! I even used 2% milk because that is all I had.
    My only question is : I have an amazing sourdough starter. Can I use that instead of the dry yeast and how much would I use? How and when would I add the starter instead of the dry yeast? Thank you for a great recipe!!

    1. Hi Bessie, we don’t have much experience working with sourdough starter so can’t offer any advice. Let us know if you give it a try!

    2. Yes, you can use sourdough starter. There are several good Pinterest recipes for sourdough cinnamon rolls out there.

  12. Best thing I’ve ever baked!!!
    Definitely a new regular in my house.

  13. Hi!
    My family and I really aren’t big cinnamon people. Can I switch up the filling to something else?
    Thank you!

  14. This is my favourite cinnamon rolls recipe. I find the dough too sticky to handle though so I always add a little extra flour. They still come out perfectly risen and soft! I’m thinking you could use other filling too like nutella/ chocolate spread or dried fruit.

  15. Is red star active dry yeast the same as instant yeast. I could not find anything that said instant and is it ok to use on this recipe

    1. Hi Lisa, yes! Instant yeast will be perfect in this recipe.

  16. I admit, I was very skeptical about my cinnamon rolls rising in 90 minutes. And, I was nervous about making cinnamon rolls because I didn’t think that I could make anything close to what my grandma used to make.. But, I’ve made other recipes from your site and have been successful so I gave it a try.

    Let me say, the cinnamon rolls are amazing! And, easy! Thank you so much for another successful baking adventure!

  17. I’m trying to save time by making the rolls ahead of time, but bake them a few days later at a family member’s home as a special treat. Do you have any recommendations on how I should do that…freeze the dough? My only concern is that I need to travel about 3 hours with the rolls and I’d like to bake/ice the rolls the next morning.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

    1. Hi Lana, see recipe notes for our recommended make-ahead and freezing instructions!

  18. Hi Sally, could this recipe be used for savoury scrolls? I’m looking for a soft a fluffy pizza scroll recipe.

    1. Hi Zoe, we can’t see why not, although it would take some recipe testing as you’d likely want to cut back a bit on the sugar in the dough. We do have a recipe for pizza rolls using our yeasted pizza crust recipe. Let us know what you try!

  19. Is it possible to use plant based milk in place of cow milk and flax eggs instead of regular eggs? Thanks so much. I love your recipes!

    1. Hi Janet, we haven’t tested these rolls with those substitutes so we’re unsure of the results. You can expect a different taste and texture when making substitutions, but let us know if you give it a try!

  20. I just made them today – delicious! I veganized them and they are incredible. (almond milk, vegan butter, justegg) . I added lightly toasted almond slices to the sugar filling I used coffee in the icing. Easy to make and so good, thank you.

    1. Hi Mar Mar, the rolls are still plenty sweet and delicious without the icing topping if you prefer plain cinnamon rolls.

  21. These taste great, but I’m having a few problems. First know, I’m 68 and a beginner at baking such wonderful things. The first dough, I threw out because it was tough and then I realized I hadn’t put the water in. The second batch were tasty but didn’t rise well. I made the third batch this morning and it rolled out very well, but again it didn’t rise like I thought it would. The second batch, I used the trick you suggested with the oven and today I just tried the 90 minutes rising time, but still they didn’t rise well. I’m using Fleischmann’s quick-rise yeast. (I’m in Canada and can’t find the one you recommended. I believe I’m kneeling it well as my grandmother taught me how to kneed dough. Can you think what I’m doing wrong? Is there a video showing this technique? I didn’t have any problem with your pizza dough and the grandkids loved it.

  22. Great recipe!!! Simple, very tasty!! My family loves them.

  23. I was disappointed by this recipe. The dough didn’t double in size even after several hours. I’ve used a recipe in the past that was quite easy and the buns doubled in size in no time, and the dough was sweet..this one wasn’t.. Next time I will take the time to look for my old recipe.