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.

1159 Comments

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  1. Hi – wondering if anyone has made these with soy milk and active yeast vs. instant?

  2. Just made these buns for Christmas morning and they are delicious! Thanks Sally

  3. Just made these and they’re absolutely incredible! Easy to make, too. Thanks for sharing this recipe. =)

  4. Hi!  I have been having a hankering for cinnamon rolls for quite some time, but I keep ignoring the urge due my desire it eat a proteinful breakfast of eggs.  Since I have not made cinnamon rolls since my middle school cooking class, I was wondering if it is possible to substitute water for milk.  Because as a vegetarian, any little bit of protein counts.

  5. Love the recipe. Third time making it. However i always end up adding like a good cup / cup and a half flour. For the dough to be “kneadable” ;-).  I use metric. Not sur the conversions are right. 

  6. So so amazingly good! My kids & even my super picky husband loved them. Definitely the best cinnamon rolls I’ve had. I followed your instructions for the overnight method & they turned out perfect. Light & fluffy & just the right amount of sweet for an early morning treat. So easy, too! Mahalo for the recipe! 

  7. Lisa Michael says:

    Just made these today and they are perfect!!!!   Got more buns than the recipe said for yield, which is great…have pictures too! Will definitely make again, maybe tomorrow

  8. Sallys,

    I don’t know what is your secret but you make me feel like I can bake anything. This recipe and the brownies one make me the baking goddess around my friends. Im so confident that when I do I recipe from you it going to turn out wonderfully! Thank you so much for all your effort. You rock!

  9. Hey does anyone know how to substitute powdered sugar with regular sugar for the glaze?

    1. I’m not sure, but I think you would have to mix the water and sugar together in saucepan until the sugar has dissolved

  10. I accidentally used self rising flour instead of all purpose. Could this be why my dough was very dense? Other than that I followed the recipe. Any suggestions? They weren’t light and fluffy. 

  11. Has anyone made the dough in their Kitchenaid mixer, for the kneading?   

  12. Sally, you are my baking hero! These were spectacular. I made them while snowed in with this blizzard, and they were worth every second. We had them with mimosas. 🙂 Love you and your recipes!!

  13. Linda Schwalm says:

    I wanted a recipe like we made in school cafeteria on my these are awesome, and the coffee icing is to die for I was hesitate tried it and love it. Thanks

  14. RICHARD Jerome Fortune says:

    i’ve just finished baking the second batch of these in 3 days they are grear and easy to bake and are even better with homemade butter creamcheese icing,,I’ve been baking for 26 yrs and had to try this out simple and easy is always better. kudos on a great beginners recipe Sally and ive got to double the batch the young ones love em .

  15. Hey!!!! I tried this recipe last night and it was AMAAAAAZZZZZZING ^_^ simple and easy to follow for first timers like me….Thank you so much for sharing it <3

  16. So excited to try these… I’m making ’em this afternoon!

  17. I added mini semi-sweet chocolate chips to the filling and it is devine! The coffee glaze is delicious! 🙂 

  18. I made these this morning and they were absolutely delicious my sister loved them and my mother they are really soft some crunchy they are just so good I love this recipe!!!!!!!!!Love it
    (Ariel)

  19. Oh God, this looks absolutely perfect. I’m going to make it right now !! yam 😛

    1. OK, so I did it, and WOW it was PERFECT!! Thank you so much for the recipe!

  20. I can’t wait to try these! They make me want to overcome my fear of baking with yeast -thank you!

  21. I have spent over 25 years trying to replicate my mother’s cinnamon rolls.  I even have her hand written recipe.  I made cinna-bricks.  I tried your recipe yesterday and hit gold.  Exactly as I remember them. Folks at work said the were better than that cinnamon bun chain store.  Thank you so much. This is a keeper!!

  22. Hi Sally!
    I’m super excited to surprise my boyfriend with these Sunday morning. I’m planning on making them the night before and letting them rise overnight in the fridge. I was just wondering in the morning when I take them out of the fridge and let them rise for another hour at room temp, should they be covered with plastic wrap?? I really want them to turn out perfect! Thanks! I love your recipes! 

    1. Yep, keep them covered 🙂

  23. Hi ‘m planing on preparing these tonight and surprising my girlfriend with them in the morning. Thing is the area we live in is pretty limited and the only brand yeast I’m able to find is Fleischmann’s. I’m just wondering if the recipe should be modified for the different yeast, also currently only have a 9×13 baking dish

    1. You’ll need a 9inch baking pan– and Fleischmann’s will work just fine.

  24. Anonymous Baker says:

    Hi.. I’m new to baking with yeast and I’m willing to bake this tomorrow. Is it possible that I substitute active dry yeast for the instant one? Coz, I can’t find instant yeast where I live. Thanks!

    1. Hi! Active dry yeast and instant yeast are pretty different, but you can subsitute it! For active dry yeast, combine the milk, water, and butter, and heat to about 115 (or when it seems hot but not scalding) and gently pour over your yeast. Let this sit untouched for 5 mins or until it looks foamy. While this is sitting, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Once your 5 minutes is up, give the yeast mixture a gentle stir, and you can follow the recipe the rest of the way!

      1. This is what I did and it turned out perfect!

  25. Yum!!I am just jumping in the kitchen .thank u so much sally..can I know how to make choclate glaze.

  26. Crystal Inman says:

    I love this recipe! I have always used a recipe from my old Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. But this will be my go-to recipe from now on! I will recommend this recipe to my friends! Thanks for creating this awesome recipe!!

  27. I have made cinammon buns with several different receipes, but this receipe is by far the easiest! Tonight I’m trying your receipe to make chocolate cinammon buns. Wish me luck!

  28. Can I use salted butter ? Is it there any substitute for unsalted butter? Because I want to make it tomorrow in the morning and I don’t have time to buy unsalted butter 

  29. I thoroughly enjoyed your recipe for my first attempt at yeast baked rolls. Due to food allergies I substituted almond milk for the dairy and flax seed for the egg. I am happy to say they baked up beautifully and my husband and I enjoyed them for our after dinner sweet treat with coffee. Thanks for sharing! I’ll definitely make these again!!

  30. This recipe is fool-proof! It was my first time to work with yeast and it was a success! The bread is soft, tasty and fluffy! This recipe is a keeper. Thanks, Sally! ♥

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