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 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.

1142 Comments

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  1. Love them! So simple, yet so delicious. even my 3yo helped and loved them. Thanks for always having metric units as well 🙂

  2. How thick should the dough be and 11-12 rolls, correct?

    1. Hi Danielle! Yes, this recipe can yield between 10-11 rolls. For 10 rolls, they’ll each be slightly less than 1.5 inches thick when cutting from the 14 inch log. (1.4 inches to be exact. You can just eyeball it.)

  3. I made these and they are absolutely gorgeous and delicious. Definitely the most successful venture I’ve had with yeast. I did the regular cinnamon and sugar on one, strawberry preserves on one, and fudge on the last third of this recipe. All delicious with the glaze. Thank you!

  4. After doing the 10 minute bake and then freezing, should I bake around 15-18 minutes or the full 25-28 minute baking time?

    I am so inspired and loving your tips and tricks. Thank you!

    1. Hi Mollie, Depending on how cold they are they may need the longer bake time. Use your oven light to keep an eye on them and bake until lightly browned. Enjoy!

  5. This is the best recipe ever! I’ve made this recipe at least 7 times since December and it’s always been great! I even changed up the filling one time and made it with cardamom and crushed pistachios. Thank you for the recipe!

  6. jayde rawlinson says:

    Can I use pre-made dough that you buy in the shops pre-made puff pastry

  7. I great activity for my two daughters as we work to pass time at our home. Thanks!

  8. Made this twice, delicious both times, BUT
    How do you separate the individual rolls? I dumped them out of the pan as a single 10″ diameter unit. Grabbed a roll and got it and half of its neighbor. A dozen rolls set to rise ended up with a dozen chunks of various sizes, most of which unrolled at least one turn.

    So, how do you get them apart without breaking them in pieces? (I never made raised rolls before)

    1. Hi Jim, I’m glad you enjoy these rolls! I use a 9 inch round pan so I’m wondering if yours are unrolling in a larger pan simply because they have more room. If they are not easy to break apart after they bake simply use a knife to separate them.

  9. Sally-thank you!!!! I’ve made these along with basically every other cinnamon roll recipe you have. They are all phenomenal! Question-what happens if you let the dough rise for too long? Like if it rose for three or four hours? Thank you!!

    1. Hi Maddie! When dough rises for too long, it can often collapse or not brown properly.

  10. Hi Sally!

    I am such a huge fan of your recipes. I followed this one exactly. Because you add the yeast to the dry ingredients though, my yeast stayed pretty much in the same little sphere form and NEVER ROSE! I went to check on my beautiful buns expecting to see puffy masterpieces and they are still exactly the same as I left them. So sad. I will try and bake them anyways and see what happens. Maybe it was the yeast I used? Its my tried and true though except I always dissolve it first until nice and foamy. Ive actually never added it like you have in this recipe.

    1. Hi Jessica! So happy to help. Were you using instant yeast? Was it expired by chance? The shaped rolls should definitely rise, so I would also check the temperature where they were rising. The colder the air, the longer they’ll take. Make sure the butter/liquid mixture isn’t too hot as well– any hotter than what is recommended will kill the yeast.

  11. Divorced Kat says:

    I only have soy milk and almond milk. Could maybe the soy milk work for the whole milk?

    1. Either would be fine in a pinch!

  12. Denise Kopcha says:

    I don’t have whole milk, but I have fat-free, 1%, half and half, and heavy cream. Which would you recommend using instead of whole milk?

    1. Hi Denise! You can use the 1% milk in a pinch.

  13. Such a yummy, easy recipe! I have struggled with some doughs in the past, but this one is super easy to work with! On my second time making these I did increase the filling to 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1.5 T cinnamon (per my husband’s suggestion). I also top them with a cream cheese or sour cream frosting (depending on what I have. I mix up 3 T softened butter, 3-4 T sour cream/cream cheese, 2 cups powdered sugar, and a splash of vanilla. SOOO delish!!

  14. Lindsay Fletcher says:

    Can the dough be made in advance?

  15. I do not like icing on cinnamon rolls. Can I put melted butter, brown sugar, and pecans in the bottom of the baking pan?

    1. Hi Paula! Here’s my pecan sticky buns recipe you’d enjoy.

  16. Oh my gosh…these rolls are incredible!! Thanks for this great recipe! For next time, should the egg have been room temperature (I worried when I cracked the cold egg into the warm milk that I might have messed up)? And should I have whisked it a bit first?

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed them, Karen! Yes all of your ingredients including eggs should be room temperature. You can read about it in more detail in my Top 10 Baking Tips post.

  17. hi sally,i was wondering if it is still delicious if i use low-fat milk instead of whole milk?or maybe i should use plain yogurt?

    1. Hi Samira, Whole milk is best, but you can use any fat or nondairy milk. The lower the fat, the less “rich” the baked good will taste.

  18. Hiya Sally!
    You must be blowing up because of these quarentine times, hope it is not affecting your area too much
    Just wondering, all I have on hand right now is leavening flour, would that work..?
    It doesnt really say how the mix is (obv) but it worked out great for pizza the other day
    Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Josephine! I don’t recommend leavening flour here. Hope you are staying safe and healthy in your area as well!

    2. My rolls didn’t rise could it be because I used wholemeal flour instead (we have no flour on our shelves due to lockdown)?

      Cheers
      Sarah

      1. Yes whole wheat flour is sharp and cuts the gluten strands so the product can’t rise. It’s best if you can do half and half with white flour, or you can try letting your dough sit overnight to soften up the dough. Try googling a whole wheat recipe and see how it compares to this one. 🙂

  19. Really an easy recipe to follow. I made this with 1% milk and margarine instead of butter and was still a hit. I made it a caramel with caramel sauce and the sauce in the recipe. It was hit and gone within 10 minutes.

  20. MeAnn Sepulchre says:

    I just made this today and conquered my fear of baking with yeast. Thank you for the great recipe, it turns out great! Will definitely be doing this again next weekend.

  21. Hi Sally,

    Love this recipe!! just one quick question, my cinnamon rolls started rising from the middle of the roll and look like mini mountains / cupcakes loll not sure why.. would you know?

    Thanks,
    Sana

    1. Hi Sana! That’s completely normal and I experience it sometimes too– either the dough may not have been rolled up tight enough or there were certain parts of the rolled out dough that were thicker than others (usually the culprit). Press them back down– they’ll fall right back into place.

  22. I know this sounds like a really stupid question,,,but it says to mix the dry ingredients does that include NOT mixing the yeast with water first?

    1. I am confused as to when to add yeast. In the warm liquid mixture?

    2. Hi Tom, you don’t need to mix this instant yeast with water first. Add it to the flour as instructed.

  23. Youmna Moumtaz says:

    Excellent fast and easy. I recommend it big time

  24. Can you PLEASE tell me if it’s possible to make this using gluten free flour?

    1. Hi Sabrina, I have personally never tested this recipe using gluten free flour but let me know if you try it.

  25. These turned out great! I didn’t have rapid rise yeast laying around, so I used regular yeast, just dissolved it in the water first and then mixed everything together. Delicious!

  26. We are making them right now, they are rising. We used Red Star Active Dry Yeast not instant. Should that be ok, it may just take longer? Yes?

    1. Yes, the rise time will be longer with active yeast but it will work. I hope you love them!

  27. I fear the quantities are way off.
    I am in the middle of making them, but had to add an extra 120g of flours (had been measuring the ingredients exactly up until then).
    I have to say, I can’t stand “cups” because I never know what they mean and the line comparators are often (as in this case) wrong.
    If I may, you ought to get a cup of flour and weigh it so that as poor souls on the other side of the pond can actually understand what you are talking about 😉

    1. Hi Andrea, thanks so much for your feedback! I make these cinnamon rolls using my listed weight measurements. They are accurate. Feel free to add extra flour to make a soft, yet workable dough.

      1. They actually came out OK (I let them cook for a tad too long, but that was my fault because I was watching TV :D)
        I don’t know if it was the flour (which was plain/all purpose), but no way could I work with that dough. This is actually the second recipe I try and both times I had the same problem.
        Anyway, as I said, they came out good 😉

  28. Hi Sally – would it be ok to use bread flour? Have a lot of right now. Or would you not recommend?

    1. Bread flour should work for chewier rolls. Enjoy!

      1. Thank you Sally, for your prompt reply!

  29. Kelly Schiffhauer says:

    They were delicious! I’ve always wanted to make them and finally had some time yesterday! They were a hit! Thank you:)

    1. I’m thrilled you enjoyed them, Kelly!

  30. these were really good! the reason i gave it three stars though is because i don’t think following the recipe exact worked. this was my first time working with dough from scratch which i’m assuming did not help. i had to add about an extra cup of flour because before it was basically like batter! eventually i got to baking them, and these cinnamon rolls were amazing! the bread is nice— i added some vanilla extract to it which made it taste even better 🙂 —but i don’t think i added as much filling as i needed! the only compliant i really have is icing! i thought it tasted terrible! i’m not a powdered sugar based icing person, but even for a sweet tooth like me this was so sweet i couldn’t even eat it! three stars because of the icing and didnt have the right amount of flour, other wise, i loved!

    i’m not disappointed though, as ived used some other recipes of yours and know they’re great 🙂

    1. I found that when working with bread doughs that are too sticky after mixing in the recommended flour, I usually knead in the extra flour it needs until has the right pliability, which is also what I did with this recipe, and it turned out great.

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