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.

1090 Comments

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  1. Would it be ok to use bread flour?

    1. Absolutely! Same amount.

  2. This is the second time I’ve made these rolls from this recipe…my rolls were perfect & delicious…this recipe will always be mine to use…thank you Sally for the best & easiest cinnamon rolls…I have people asking when I’m making them again.

  3. Luv this recipe! I made it my own by the addition of pumpkin pie spice along with cinnamon and chopped pecans in filling. Also used fresh squeezed orange juice in icing. Baked at 325-350 as my oven runs hot.
    My husband loved them. Will be making these for every holiday. Thanks for a great recipe:)

  4. This was a great easy to follow recipe. Thanks so much for sharing it.

  5. Made this recipe a couple weeks ago and going to make again today. Tasted really nice and I’m not usually a fan of cinnamon (I used a little less though) but these were amazing. Everyone who tried them loved them. How do I prevent them from going hard when storing? Mine went quite hard after a few hours.

    1. So glad you love these! Cover tightly while still warm and keep at room temperature for a couple days before refrigerating. That always helps.

  6. Hi! Silly question and just want to double check. For the make ahead instructions we need to make them through step 4? So fill the rolls and then put them in the fridge overnight? I can’t wait to make these!

    1. Exactly! Hope you enjoy this recipe, Katie!

  7. If I don’t have instant yeast, will regular be ok?

    1. If using active-dry yeast, everything remains the same, but the rise time will be slightly longer.

  8. I stumbled on your page while looking for anything pumpkin recipe. Thank you!! I’ve never baked with yeast, too intimidated I guess, but this recipe is very easy to follow and makes me look like a pro! Next batch will include pecans! Truly easy and directions are very well explained. My new favorite recipe source!!

    1. I’m so happy you enjoyed this recipe, Laura! Thank you for making my recipe!

  9. Andrea Azhocar says:

    This recipe was great but I would have loved some visuals . I’m a newbie when it comes to baking and I ask a lot of questions whenever I do / get into something new. Step by step photos would have been cool but they didn’t come out too bad. My icing was a little light in color.

  10. I have always been a little afraid of working with yeast, but I have come to trust Sally! 🙂 I just made these for Christmas morning and they were delicious! Feeling ready to tackle other yeast recipes now!

  11. Yummy! My only edits were to use brown sugar in the filling versus sugar (that’s how I’m used to making them that way). I doubled the filling as well. I baked at 350 for 22 minutes. The coffee glaze was amazing!!!

    1. I, too, used brown sugar and added a little more cinnamon! I am “yeast adverse” – scares me to death! So, I decided to take the leap! OMG! These rolls turned out great! I was pretty proud of myself, and it eliminated my yeast fear – Thanks, Sally!

  12. Followed this recipe EXACTLY and the rolls turned out perfect! Fluffy and not too sweet or greasy. My teenagers and husband loved them on Christmas morning, thank you!

  13. How long would I knead the bread for in my KitchenAid stand mixer? I know the recipe says 3 min by hand, but not sure about mixer. I’m just a little new to this. Thanks!

    1. Hi Paige! Still 3 minutes.

  14. These are amazing, we used gluten free flour and these are the first of MANY recipes and boxed mixes we have tried that my husband raves about. TY

  15. I made these for my family on Christmas morning! They are the *perfect* quick homemade cinnamon rolls!!! My kids request homemade over canned cinnamon rolls, so this will now be my go-to recipe! Thank you Sally!

  16. Can I substitute the red star yeast for fleischmanns active dry yeast ?

    1. Hi Kaila, If using active-dry yeast, everything remains the same, but the rise time will be slightly longer.

  17. jacqueline kidder says:

    Hey Sally , i dont have the Platinum yeast I have Fleischmann’s ActiveDry yeast.. do i need to change anything … my 1st time using yeast so not too sure – Thanks so much

    1. If using active-dry yeast, everything remains the same, but the rise time will be slightly longer.

    2. You can use any yeast brand

  18. Just made these this morning, never made them before, and they were amazing. So tasty, the dough so soft and light. The kids loved them, and they are picky and very honest will definitely make again. Thankyou so much!

    1. I’m thrilled that you enjoyed them so much, Luisa!

  19. Hi Sally, i’m just making these now it was easy so far. Can i do a cream cheese frosting instead of the coffee frosting? I’m not a big coffee fan

    1. Yes you can, Carolyn! I recommend the cream cheese icing from my Overnight Cinnamon Rolls.

  20. I’m not a novice baker, but like many of us, I haven’t worked much with yeast recipes. I tried making the cinnamon rolls this afternoon. I’m sure I followed your instructions carefully, but the dough was so loose it was impossible to handle it. It would have been like trying to knead a bowl of vanilla pudding. I wound up adding more and more increments of flour until I was able to turn the still sticky dough out onto a floured surface and knead it. The rolls baked up nicely, but because of the extra flour (maybe a scant 3/4 cups altogether), they are breadier than I would have liked. Any suggestions? Thanks.

    1. Hi J.B.! With 3/4 cup of liquid and melted butter combination, plus 1 egg, I’m wondering how the dough could have been too wet. Sometimes I find it too dry! Did you accidentally mis-measure anything? Or leave anything out? Thank you for your feedback.

    2. Virginia Govula says:

      Hey! I used this recipe too (came out amazing) but I noticed it called for instant yeast while I was using active dry yeast. That could’ve been what caused a problem for you, active dry has to proof in the warm milk+sugar mixture before adding the dry ingredients. What I did was use the exact same measurements but a different process, I let the yeast proof in a mug with the warm milk and maybe 25% of the sugar that’s called for. Then add all the dry ingredients and mix everything together! My dough came out nearly perfect, but I added more flour while kneading and rolling out before filling!

  21. Your icing was a hit, but can I leave the iced cinnamon rolls on the counter? I used 2 T. cream instead of milk and 1 T. of coffee.

    1. Hi Carol, They would likely be fine covered on the counter for a day. I recommend storing them in the refrigerator if longer than that.

  22. Not a 5 Star recipe. Followed instructions and turned out hard and dry with not much cinnamon taste. Had to “freshen” up in microwave the next morning after baking them the night before. Will not use this recipe again.

    1. I love this recipe ❤️ I’m not a complete novice baker, but I mainly have done cookies, cakes, cupcakes and muffins. Yeast was kind of new for me, so this recipe was heaven sent I wonder if Gloria in post above lives in a high altitude location, however, as she said they were too dry. For high altitude you compensate with adjusted bake time and temp as well as needing additional liquid. It’s very simple to Google “adjustments for high altitude baking” to get the exact tweaks needed depending on how high up you live. Heartfelt thanks for posting this wonderful recipe.

  23. These are delicious and my family loves when I make them! Very Buttery!

  24. Nancy Padgett says:

    Hi Sally, Umm how do you knead dough ? I don’t come from a family of bakers ! Do you have a video ?

    1. Hi, Nancy! Kneading dough is essentially massaging and stretching the dough with gentle motion. You can knead dough with your hands or in a stand mixer. You can watch me knead dough in my Soft Dinner Rolls video!

  25. absolutely wonderful! I doubled the amount of cinnamon in the filling but that was the only change, came out great.

  26. Love your recipes, just have to adjust at times living in Europe due to different ingredients. Here they mainly sell fresh/cake yeast. How long should I let it rise with fresh yeast? Using the conversion table it would be 2/3 oz (19 grams) then instead of 1 package dry yeast?

  27. Hi Sally!
    Once the cinnamon rolls were baked, I noticed that the bread was a little thick. Do you think I should have let it risen longer?

    1. Hi Annie! The bread layers between the cinnamon roll filling? Perhaps the dough wasn’t rolled up tightly enough or even rolled out into a large enough rectangle. It wouldn’t have to do with the rise time, unless I am misunderstanding your question.

      1. Thank you!! They tasted delicious anyway!!!

  28. Loved your Beginners Guide to Yeast Bread. These Easy Cinnamon Rolls are going to be my first try at making cinnamon rolls. I’ll let you know how they turn out. Thank you for sharing all your knowledge with us.

  29. Thank you for sharing your recipe. My cinnamon rolls turned out a bit chewier and stiffer than your recipe says. Unlike some others who are blaming you… I used old yeast and am a bit of novice when it comes to yeast baking. I look forward to trying it again in the future.

  30. Great recipe! Easy to follow instructions. Taste delicious.
    I made one change to the filling.
    I used 3/4 cup of brown sugar instead of amount your recipe called for.(I prefer using brown sugar in my cinnamon rolls). These came out perfect. Will certainly make this recipe again! Thanks.

    1. Hey, what kind of difference is there between using brown sugar and white sugar in the filling?

      1. Brigid OMalley says:

        The difference between sugar and brown sugar is that molasses is added to sugar to make brown sugar. This means that the brown sugar will give you a richer taste than granulated sugar.

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