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.

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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?

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. Add about 1/3 cup more flour to get the dough nice and soft. 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. 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. Place the rolls 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 glaze. 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)

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 (180ml) 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

Icing

  • 1 cup (120g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2-3 Tablespoons (30-45ml) strong coffee or milk

Directions

  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: Loosely 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.

Recipe 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.

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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.

858 Comments

  1. I am not clear about Step 2. Reserve 1/2 cup of flour , so the balance of 2 and 3/4 will be used to make the dough ?  

    Thanks 

    1. In Step 1 she sets out flour to use (2 and 1/4 cups) immediately in step 1 and flour to ‘set aside (1/2 cup)’ for step 2 .

      In Step 2 you then use the flour reserved in step 1 (the 1/2 cup) but she’s flagging you might not need it all just somewhere between 1/3 cup and the full 1/2 cup.  We needed the full 1/2 cup in our dough.

  2. These rolls are FANTASTIC! I am an absolute beginner with using yeast, and these turned out beautifully! They made a gorgeous presentation and were gobbled up in no time by everyone at our Father’s Day brunch. I was very pleased and proud (and, of course, ate two of them myself!). They are substantial without being heavy, pleasingly sweet without being over the top. Perfect!

  3. I use this recipe every time I want to make cinnamon rolls; it’s wonderful. It is also very simple for me since I’m still learning how to cook and bake. They only thing I do different is add  much more butter and cinnamon/sugar mixture for the family who absolutely loves this recipe. I truly appreciate this recipe. 

  4. These are wonderful!  They taste delicious and the texture is perfect – not too heavy or doughy.  I followed the recipe except I did not have the same type of yeast and do not have experience adding yeast to dry ingredients, so instead I used the method of adding it to lukewarm water first and let it sit for a few minutes before adding it to the dry ingredients.  They turned out perfect!  

  5. This was the first recipe I’ve ever made using yeast, and they were DELICIOUS. I’ve since tried another one of your roll recipes (also yummy) and will be trying my third in a couple days. You’ve made me a believer!

  6. I made these today for the first time and this recipe is definitely getting saved to my favorites. I am new to bread baking, this was the 4th yeast recipe I’ve tried and since I did not have instant yeast (and had plenty of time on my hands) I actually did the 2-rise method and proofed my yeast before adding it. For my first time making cinnamon rolls with how they came out they looked like they were made by a pro. My hubby was very impressed. These are so filling, not too sweet, and perfectly soft and gooey. I can’t wait to make them again.

  7. hi sally, I just finished baking and eating your cinnamon rolls. I didn’t have butter at home so I used softened margarine, it was so delicious, my kids and I could not stop picking the crumbs, I used a 9″ round pan and a baking tray and since I got thirteen rolls and the pan didn’t contain everything. I love the end product of the one the tray more, because it had enough space and didn’t have to stick to each other. now, my question is, is it suppose to stick together? thanks for sharing.

  8. I’m new to breadmaking and am branching out to sweet rolls. Up until now, everything I’ve made has been in my stand mixer. Can I forgo the kneading and just use the mixer to get to the consistency that I want? This recipe looks wonderful!

  9. I have tried out this recipe but I ran out of AP flour and managed with 2 cups AP and remaining 3/4 cup whole wheat flour. The dough was really sticky and so I had to use more of the wheat flour (1/2 cup more) plus more during the kneading and rolling process. All though the rolls were delicious, they were not soft and fluffy but a little dry although they rose beautifully, so I know that the yeast was good. Could the use of wheat flour be the reason? or the excess? What is the maximum amount of flour that can be added without compromising the softness? Thanks for the recipe.

  10. I just made this recipe…It’s the best recipe ever compared to all the complicated cinnamon buns recipes I saw. And the result is amazing. The recipe is not only easy to do but the buns themselves taste very very good. I can say they are the best cinnamon buns i’ve eaten so far. If you’re looking for a great recipe well you found it.

  11. These cinnamon rolls are by far the easiest and best tasting that I have made. The recipe is very easy to follow. If you are a beginner this recipe is for you.

  12. 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!

  13. 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!!!

  14. 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.

  15. 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!

  16. 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! 

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

  18. 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!

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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