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.

More Shortcut Homemade Recipes

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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.

1039 Comments

Comments are closed.

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

  1. Hi Sally,
    I prefer to use metric measurements when baking. I followed your recipe blindly and got a very loose dough. I had to add more flour to get it to come together. Then I looked again and there is a mistake! A half cup of milk is not 180 ml! It should be around 120 ml, which makes a lot more sense and explains why my dough was loose. Please could you correct it? 🙂

  2. Hi Sally,
    I’ve made these yummylicious cinnamon rolls 3 times now! The second I made them, I sprinkled some chocolate chips. OMG it was delish! My husband even requested that I made some for his colleagues. So they’re baking in the oven now. Thank you so very, very much for the recipe

  3. I was so intimidated by cinnamon rolls but your recipe was so easy to make. I made them the night before and bake them in the morning and they were perfect!! So happy!! 🙂

  4. Can this be made with cream cheese icing? My boyfriend is in love with that. If it can, do you have any recipes you can direct me to? I appreciate everything you put out!

    1. You can use the cream cheese icing from these rolls: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/overnight-cinnamon-rolls/
      Enjoy!

      1. Thanks! Also for spreading the butter – is it using melted butter? or should I just try to spread the softened butter with a knife (sorry if its a stupid question!)

  5. Hi,
    Thank you for this recipe. My dough was very sticky, is the third a cup of flour that you mention adding in the description in addition to that stated in the recipe or part of it please? I just about managed to roll the dough out to shape it, what do you suggest please.
    Many thanks

  6. Why do you use white sugar instead of brown sugar? I have always used brown and wonder if it would be better with white.

    1. White sugar is best in this dough, but you can certainly use brown sugar in the cinnamon sugar filling.

  7. Made today, BUT the tops overbrowned nearly burned very very quickly and covering didn’t help much….frustrated….what have I done wrong?
    We cut the burned tops and ate the rest of the roll….which were good!

    1. Hi K! Sounds like the rolls puffed up quite a bit, so they were much closer to the heating element in the oven. If you decide to try them again, lower the oven rack.

  8. I just made these today to try out for Easter and they turned out fantastic! This was my first time making anything with yeast and I was so happy how easy it was and how they turned out. I did the oven trick as mentioned and had it set at 200° and also used active dry yeast (all I had on hand) and they turned out. I couldn’t be happier!

  9. First time ever making cinnamon rolls and this was such an easy one to follow! My son said they’re better than Cinnabon! Thanks for another great recipe!

  10. Hi Sally!
    Can buttermilk be used in place of regular milk? Or how about heavy whipping cream? I don’t have milk, lol!

  11. Thank You! I have always been intimidated by yeast rolls!
    I made these and they came out great on the first try!
    Thanks Again!

  12. I found your blog by chance. It’s amazing great effort. Thank you so much.

  13. Sally,
    Thanks so much for this wonderful recipe! My husband just took a new job, and I made these for him to celebrate his first day of work yesterday. He said they were fantastic. I did take a little liberty with the icing and did cream cheese, butter, and confectioner’s sugar for extra creamy icing. I appreciate how sharing the tips for making ahead and placing in the fridge overnight. It worked like a charm, and I didn’t have to get up quite so early to have them ready. This recipe is going in my “keep forever” stack! Thanks for all you do!!!

  14. I wondered if the quick 10 min ride along with the 60-90 min one would yield a soft enough cinnamon roll but boy did they ever ! Nothing is lacking in this shortcut recipe

    1. Sally you are hands down the BEST Baker online in 2019!!!!
      I am blown away at what I can do in the kitchen because of the recipes you bless us with!
      THANK YOU!

  15. Best cinnamon rolls by far. I used brown sugar instead of white sugar in the filling. but original recipe is great. Thanks for sharing!

  16. These were amazing! My husband made them today and they were so fluffy! We used a frosting instead of the glaze.

  17. Another awesome baking-with-yeast recipe! I made a batch to help celebrate Mother’s Day for my partners Mama and she LOVED them…they turned out so perfectly soft and flavorful!! I’m jazzed to know I can satisfy a cinnamon roll craving without having to go to the store. This recipe will definitely be on repeat…thanks Sally:)

  18. Another awesome recipe! So glad I found this site. I’m definitely a yeast beginner and these turned out soft and fluffy, so thrilled! Thank you Sally!!

  19. Hi Sally! Do you think I can use your ‘raspberry sweet roll’ filling with this roll recipe? I want to make raspberry sweet rolls but I will only have time for one rise.

  20. My daughter and I made these today. We used real butter because we never have unsalted and they were so good! The entire family enjoyed them. Thank you for sharing and helping beginners like my daughter and I!

  21. I made these today but the oven seemed too hot at 375. They seemed overlooked. They were good when warm but hardened.

  22. What a great looking recipe! I’d like to make these in advance for an event next weekend. For the freezing instructions where you bake for only 10 minutes, should the icing be added before baking? After freezing and defrosting in the refrigerator for a few hours, must more icing be added? Also, how long to bake the defrosted rolls that have already had their 10 minutes in the over prior to freezing?

    1. Hi Shirley! Happy to clarify. Add the icing only after they are fully baked and ready to serve. Bake the defrosted rolls for the remaining time, about 15 minutes or until browned on top.

  23. Only thing I did different was I substituted half of the regular sugar in the filling for maple sugar and add some finely chopped walnuts. They were delicious!

  24. Yummy but slightly crunchy on the outside. Maybe I didnt let them rise enough? They wouldn’t double in size after 90 minutes.

  25. I have used this recipe twice so far. The 1st time, they were fabulous!! The 2nd time i used the overnight method. When i baked them the next morning, they turned out very dark and hard. Haven’t figured out what went wrong. Both batches were exact in every detail except the latter was chilled overnight. Help???

    1. Hi Richard! Same baking time, oven rack position, and temperature? If they were dark and hard, it sounds like they were over-baked!

      1. Hi Sally,
        Found the problem.
        I tried the recipe a (couple LOLOL) more times.
        Let’s just say that it was operator error…
        If i remember correctly, there is an ongoing story about men never asking(or reading) the directions…

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