Easy Cinnamon Rolls (from scratch)

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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

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
  • 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 14x8 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.

Make ahead/overnight: 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.

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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.

843 Comments

  1. I love your recipes! Just made these (1st time at making cinnamon rolls) but I added raisins. So easy and great for newbies!
    Thank you so much for your recipes and easy to follow directions!

  2. Best recipe by far. I did use brown sugar instead of white sugar and some rasins. But original recipe is great. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Made these using wheat flour as it was all I had. I used the substitution ratio of 3/4C of wheat flour for every 1 C of white flour, and they came out amazing!! My daughter said they were even better leftover than fresh, and I wouldn’t go that far myself, but they certainly were tasty reheated! I am planning to make a double batch at my in-laws this weekend to impress everyone! Sally’s is my new favorite cooking site! Incidentally, this was my first time baking with yeast – a newbie convert! Going to try all sorts of breads now that I have confidence! Thanks!

  4. Thank you for the recipe! My mom liked it very much. I made two batch of these but on the other batch, instead of putting the cinnamon mixture, I put some melted chocolate. May I ask how much calories are in the cinnamon bun?

  5. Hi Sally! I just made a fresh batch of your cinnamon roll recipe and I can’t wait to give them to someone in my family to try (since I’m gluten+dairy free, lol!) I am running a 1-week long camp this week called, Camp Crafty Kitchen, at my house, and I’m so excited to make this recipe with my campers (and of course give credit to your blog in the recipe handout). Thanks for the great recipe 🙂

  6. Also, I wanted to let you know that I used active dry yeast instead of instant yeast. I diluted the yeast in the warm water-milk mixture. I then let the mixture sit for 5 minutes, and afterwards added in the melted butter. It worked perfectly! After making the recipe, I found my instant yeast in the pantry. I think I need to get a bit more organized! 

  7. These came out perfect! By far best batch of cinnamon rolls I’ve ever made. I added about a teaspoon more butter in the dough, used a little more butter in the filling and subbed half of the granulated sugar for brown sugar. They are to die for! I baked them in a springform for easy transport and pulling and they looked beautiful! My boyfriend said these are amazing (and he can be a tough critic). Will definitely save and use the recipe again in the future!

  8. I have try this recipe every time my children asked for cinnamon rolls, I have even given my co workers and it never fail me,thanks this recipe is the best. Thanks Sally.

  9. The cinnamon rolls were incredible! They really were much better than anything Cinnabon has ever had…and I thought Cinnabon was good. I did pull them out about 10 minutes early as suggested by a few people in the comments and they were perfect. I am saving this recipe and will certainly use it again. Thank you for sharing the recipe with us!

  10. I am wanting to make these to give to friends. How would I go about freezing them for them to use at their convenience! Thanks

  11. It is best recipe i seen so far. It is easy and quick to make. I’m using active yeast instead of instant yeast but i dont know it is right thing to do. But it is delicious with instant yeast so im guessing it doesnt matter.

  12. Hi Sally! Could I cut the rolls into smaller pieces and then let it rise? I need to make some for a crowd and was wondering if that would work to make a lot of mini cinnamon rolls

  13. 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!!

  14. 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.

  15. These were AMAZING and so easy to make. I followed the directions to the letter; however, next time I am going to try brown sugar and a bit more cinnamon. Not sure if I could improve on perfection but I will try!!!

  16. 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??

  17. 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!

  18. 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.

  19. 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. 🙂

  20. 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!

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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!

  24. 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

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