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

  1. Karen Anderson-Miller says:

    Hi Sally,
    I made these rolls for Thanksgiving breakfast while watching the Macy’s parade. They were delicious and so easy! I decided to use active dry yeast, refrigerate overnight, and let the rolls rise in the morning. This did not work! I learned through that failed experiment that adding the fat later than the yeast is important. I remade these rolls in the morning using active dry yeast mixed with the water and a little sugar, and let it get frothy. Then I started the dough and after it got sort of mixed up, I added the milk, butter, and egg.  This worked great and the rolls turned out beautifully!!

    Thank you for a great recipe—none of the above missteps are your fault. All user error:-) I will definitely make this recipe again!!

  2. Thanks so much for sharing! A super easy recipe that anyone could make. Thanks for sharing it was delicious!!!

  3. These truly are the easiest and best tasting cinnamon rolls ever. I used to make them for Christmas morning and it got to be a pain, but now I can start the tradition again.

  4. Hi!
    Need clarification on the below part!

    “Here is what I do: heat the oven to 200°F (93°C). Turn oven off. Place rolls inside oven and allow to rise.” – does how long do you heat it at 200F for??

    And

    “After the rolls have doubled in size, preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Bake for 25-30 minutes until lightly browned. I covered the rolls with aluminum foil after 15 minutes to avoid heavy browning.” – do you leave them loosely covered with foil during the rising phase and baking phase??

  5. So wonderful!  I made the dough the night before through step four and let them rise in the fridge per recipe. When I took them out of the fridge the next morning they weren’t as risen as I wanted so I put them in a warm oven for ~45 min and they totally puffed up. Baked for 25 minutes and they were perfect!  We used these as our belated Christmas morning breakfast. Easy for me to get on the table and still felt really special. Thank you Sally – Another winner!

    1. This was a great tip, thanks for posting! I also left mine in the fridge overnight and they didn’t look risen (or changed at all) in the morning. The warm oven for 45 minutes before baking worked like a charm. Thanks!

  6. I’m pretty much addicted to the smell of fresh baked roll but too lazy to prepare the whole stuff in the morning. Thank you for the tip with making it ahead! It saves a lot of time for me.

  7. Hi Sally! Could this recipe be halved?

    1. Hi Sophie! You can try, but I recommend making all of the dough. You can freeze extras 🙂

  8. Really great recipe!!! I didn’t use all the crumble as it looked like a lot but in the future I definitely will!! To all the future bakers of this recipe please do not be afraid to load on all the crumble. 🙂

  9. So I’ve made the cinnamon rolls as is and my family loved them. Today I made a batch of cinnamon rolls and for a second batch, I followed the directions up to spreading the butter and sprinkling on the cinnamon sugar mixture and instead, I spread some homemade raspberry jam that my sister made. It was fabulous!

  10. Hi sally! I’m so excited to try this simple recipe but I’m just curious, can I do the kneading in my stand mixer? Because I’m extremely lazy like that, lol.

    1. You sure can!

  11. I’ve tried a lot of different recipes and they all fell short of wonderful. These are the most amazing rolls yet. I just wanted to play with the dough it was so soft. Definitely a hit with my family. This is my new go to dessert for everything holiday party and food gifts. Thank you for sharing this.

  12. I am a complete newbie at doing anything with yeast and am determined to make these for Christmas b/fast this year (instead of buying the tubes from Trader Joe’s). Sally, it seems like most of the previous reviewers have increased their filling portion. What are your thoughts on this if someone wants them really ooey-gooey? I also intend to look up a cream cheese frosting/topping from one of your other c/roll recipes since that is what we like at home. I might try some experimenting with caramel & apple filling also. Please pass on any thoughts or comments you might have on these … I know it has been a while since you posted this recipe. Thank you in advance!

    1. Hi Faye! So happy to help and glad you are using my recipe for such a special occasion! Extra ooey gooey is always a good thing, so adding more filling wouldn’t hurt. What about a caramel cream cheese frosting like in my apple cinnamon rolls recipe? You could also use that filling and this dough (though there may be a little too much filling that way). Let me know how it goes and have fun baking!

  13. 34weeks pregnant over here, and I had the strongest craving for cinnamon rolls.
    If I am going to bake ANYTHING.. I always check your page to find a recipe, because they’re always so DELICIOUS!
    Thank you again for a great recipe!
    THEY WERE AMAAAAZING. Trying not to eat them all! hahaha

  14. Can I use Red Star Active dry yeast instead? And do I have to take the temperature of the butter milk water mixture? I dont have a thermometer for that. Thanyou!

    1. Hi Rota! No need to take the temperature– just make sure it’s lukewarm. You can use active dry yeast; the rise time will be a little longer.

      1. Hi Sally, I used the dry active yeast but the rolls didn’t rise after 90 mins. How much longer should I give it? Or should I pop them in the oven at 150 degrees F? If so, how long in the oven? Thank you.

  15. These are delicious and so easy! Prepared them the night before and baked them Christmas morning. Might be a new tradition.

    1. At what step did you stop the night before and then pick up at the next morning? I don’t have time to make these from start to finish in the morning and hoped there was a way to start them at night and bake fresh the next morning so I’m glad you said this!!

      1. Once the dough has been made, it can be placed in the refrigerator overnight – you just need to allow time for it to warm up in the morning before proceeding

  16. Evelyn Gonzalez says:

    My 16 year old made it all on her own and it came out delicious! Shows how easy this recipe is and great for yeast beginners.

  17. Penny Hatfield says:

    I just made the wonderful cinnamon rolls!! Thank you so much for publishing recipe!!

    1. You are welcome, Penny!

  18. Penny Hatfield says:

    Thank you so much for the cinnamon roll recipe. I made them just a few minutes ago. Waiting to put them in oven. They look so wonderful and smell even more so.

  19. I have made your cinnamon rolls for about 3 years now! I even put it in my vows that I would make them for my husband’s birthday every year even when were on a diet! We were married on December 15th 2018 and tomorrow is his birthday. Thank you so much for this recipe!

    1. This might be the best wedding vow I have ever heard! I love it!

  20. Mine are cooking in the oven now and they smell delicious!! Reminds me of the days I used to work at Auntie Annes’s!! Can’t wait to try them on this snowy chilly day!!

  21. I made these this morning. First time ever making them from scratch. They were good. Although my husband said they were good he said they were missing a little something. Kids loved them and are already begging for more.

  22. Aimee K Aldrich says:

    Fantastic recipe, came out perfect! Thank you!!! I will definitely make these again!

  23. Hi sally. I make this recipe its delicious and good but my bread is not soft its hard to bite.. Why is that?

    1. Hi Lea! Were the cinnamon rolls overbaked?

  24. Hi, I too am afraid of yeast but want to make these rolls since everyone says it is so easy. Only tho g is I can’t seem to find where your blog is to find you trick for the warm draft free environment. Please help!

    1. Hi Judy, Here’s what I do: turn the oven on to 200°F (93°C). Once heated to that temperature, turn the oven off. Stick the covered dough inside the oven and allow it to rise in this warm environment!

      1. That’s different from what you say in this posting. You say 150 degrees and crack the door open for awhile.???

      2. Hi Karen! 150F, 200F, or anywhere in between is fine. Keep the oven door ajar for a bit, then close it to trap the semi-warm air inside.

  25. Freya Waynberg says:

    Plan to make these for our weekend breakfast. But, I want to know if the uneaten ones can be frozen.

  26. Ashleigh Zincone says:

    Hi, Can they be frozen? If so before cooking or after? Thanks! I want to surprise my family this weekend!

    1. Hi Ashleigh! My freezing instructions somehow went missing. So sorry about that. I just re-added them for you. See the recipe notes.

  27. I always proof by Bread in the microwave oven using the steam cup of water method. First you put in a cup of water and bring it to a bowl you move it off to the side of the microwave then you add your covered bread dough. Makes a great warm environment and I have never had a fail. Would this trick work for this recipe?

    1. I can’t see why not!

  28. Hi, I have baked other recipes and they turned out delicious! My two year old daughter loved it too (she was my little helper!)
    I was wondering if you can use oil instead of butter? Would it change anything?

    Thanks 🙂

    1. Hi Tajnina! I do not recommend using oil instead of butter in this cinnamon roll recipe.

  29. Hi Sally
    I made these today and they turned out really well, thanks for the recipe. Being in Australia, I am a metric girl. Letting you know there’s a typo error in the recipe – the 1/2 cup of milk should be 120ml not 180ml.
    Love your website!

  30. Hi
    Do I need to mix the yeast first if it isn’t instant
    Thank you

    1. These days, even active dry yeast is perfectly OK to be mixed right in with the dry ingredients. So yes, mix right in.

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