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 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.

1141 Comments

  1. These rolls are the best.  A big hit!  Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  2. Senthia Madrid says:

    Tried your recipe today and they came out to dry. Can you tell me why?

    1. You may have added too much flour in the kneeding process or overbaked them.

  3. I never leave comments but these really were amazing and so easy to make. Thank you for adding this to my family’s baking favourites!

  4. Hi!! I was wondering if I can bake a batch in a square mold… do you think it would work? By the way… I LOVE your blog!!!

  5. I made these tonight and I was really disappointed I knew that wasn’t enough sugar in the dough. they taste like yeast rolls with frosting and a hint of cinnamon. i am frustrated right now all that time and they aren’t good lol 🙁 i will tweak it next time.

  6. This rolls recipe was the first recipe I tried of Sally’s and now these cinnamon rolls are a part of our yearly tradition of Christmas tree decorating day!

  7. Sally!! Why do you need to make these look so delicious??? They’re making me hungry ~v~

  8. Marilda Méndez Salazar says:

    Hello!, I want to do this recipe and I want to know if i can use fresh yeast? proportion?

  9. Can these be made ahead of time and frozen for later use? I’m trying to minimize my time in the kitchen when we have Christmas company. Thanks! 

  10. Can these be frozen and enjoyed later? What stage is the best time to freeze them (then finish the rest whenever you unfreeze)?

  11. Hi Sally – can these be made into giant cinnamon rolls? Do you just cut the batch into half the amount meaning 5-6 rolls? Would the baking time change? Thanks!

  12. hi Sally! is there anyway that I could make these using whole wheat flour, at least partially?? thanks!

  13. Is there a way to make them the day before so that they can just be plopped into the oven to bake?? 

    When my daughters were young it was a tradition to have cinnamon rolls Christmas morning before opening presents.

  14. These were amazing and so much easier than other recipes I’ve tried. I think we’ve found our new recipe!

  15. I made these for Christmas morning and they were a HIT! I prepped them the night prior and I think that they may have been a tiny bit dry/dense due to that. Had I made them right away then I’m sure they would have been perfect. Regardless, we gobbled them up and marked them to make in the future. (side note – this is my first Christmas as a newlywed with my in-laws and these rolls, along with my traditional egg breakfast casserole, made me look like a rockstar daughter-in-law). 10 out of 10 would bake again.

  16. I made these yesterday for Christmas morning. It was easy enough to follow. The problem is the baking time and temperature. I followed the recipe and ended up with a crusty top. I placed a foil so it wouldn’t get too brown but it still did. I took it out from the oven around 18 mins to baking time since it looks like it’s getting burned. It ended up tasting more of a bread than a cinnamon roll. It was dry and the filling needs to be doubled. I think 375F is too high of a temperature.

    1. I made these today with my 4 year old daughter. The only thing I did differently was I cut them into smaller pieces and baked them for a little less time. Definitely not bread… very sweet and delicious treat. Maybe try the smaller pieces. Hope that helps

  17. Can’t wait to try this cinnamon roll recipe. Love simple to make recipes.

  18. Made these today and they were perfect! I switched the glaze to a cream cheese frosting as my kids love cream cheese and it was delicious!! 

  19. Sparkle Saturn says:

    I made these just now for my family, they literally taste like Cinnabon, no joke, I am not in America at the moment but these taste like home!!! thanks so much for the easy recipe!!

  20. Came out a bit dry and… definitely salty. I followed the recipe very carefully. Normally I use a different recipe, but this time I badly needed a quick alternative. Not sure if I will try it again with less salt.

  21. Dottie Cooper says:

    Made cinnamon rolls today and we thought they were very good. I used one cup whole wheat flour, instead of all white. I used icing on mine, but my husband prefers butter. I am glad that I read the tip about putting aluminum over the rolls after baking for 15 minutes. All ovens are a little different and I know I usually subtract a few minutes from most recipes for my oven. I baked for 25 minutes and had the rolls covered the last ten minutes. They would have been too brown if no foil.
    I appreciated your complete and thorough directions. I used to make a lot of bread years ago and now that I am retired would like to start making more bread and rolls.
    Thanks and Happy New Year

  22. I made these the night before my friend came over and got my mom to put them in the oven to rise while we were at school. When we got home we put them in the oven, put the foil on top after 15 minutes, made the glaze and hey presto! Yummy Cinnamon rolls.

  23. Delicious, but definitely do exactly as she says. I didn’t make back into my kitchen until 18minutes had passed and the tops were already way too brown. I would definitely make this again but like another user had said, I would double the filling.

  24. I used this recipe in conjunction with a family recipe and I do agree, more filling would be better 🙂

    But yes – very easy to follow, easy to make and easy to eat!

  25. carrie feorge says:

    loved this.  not salty. not doughy. not sweet…and that was without the icing on top..definetly will make this again… thank you for sharing

  26. I followed the directions exactly, as I like to do the first time I use a recipe. It was absolutely delicious; my book group of picky eaters (“Oh no, I’m on a diet”) ate the whole thing. This is not a very sweet recipe, by the way – if you’re looking for gooey, try another one. But it’s refined, simple, and perfect for brunch!

  27. Hi Sally.

    I love this recipe. I’ve made these many times and shared your recipe with
    friends. I saw your other recipe for slow cooker cinnamon rolls and was wondering if this recipe would work in the slow cooker as well?

    1. Yes, absolutely! These would work in the slow cooker like my slow cooker cinnamon rolls. The dough recipes are actually similar 🙂

      1. Thanks for the reply. I did them in tge oven today, as I used your overnight method and wasn’t sure about the rising time. Would an overnight batch going in the slow cooker need any room temperature rising before the cooking?

  28. I made these last night, and I should say it was my first time making a sweet dough and first time using yeast..but omg these turned out perfectt i downed two immediately as they were done baking (although they werent meant to be had for breakfast but I just couldnt resist!) my parents loved them too and wondered why i made so little! Thankyou so much definitely making them again

  29. I make these all the time and we love them so much!!! They are so easy to make. the only thing we don’t like is waiting for them to rise LOL!
    Thanks for always sharing your amazing recipes.

  30. I usually make much larger batches from another recipe and today my little girl wanted these for breakfast so I started to search for a smaller quick recipe.   I feel I should of just did a quarter of my recipe.  I have not baked these yet because they simply will not raise.   The dough appears to be dry filling is a little short. I will post my opinion after they have baked.  I will post my review after they have cooked

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