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.

1139 Comments

  1. Lynette Wilson says:

    Can you use skim milk?

    1. In a pinch yes but keep in mind that the lower the fat, the less “rich” the baked good will taste.

  2. So easy and quick to assemble!

  3. Can I sub active dry yeast? How? Thanks!

    1. Hi Dorthy, 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, so just keep in mind active yeast will take longer to rise.

  4. Awesome, thanks. Think we’ll try these for Easter brunch.

  5. Can I use an 8” cake pan?

    1. You can try to squeeze them all in that size pan.

      1. The 8″ cake pan worked great! These came out perfectly

  6. Can I use the Red Star fresh yeast for these rolls?

    1. I mean, wet or cake yeast

    2. Sure can! See my Baking with Yeast Guide for the conversion chart.

  7. Could I use whole wheat flour or brown rice flour? I am planning on making these for easter.

    1. You can try whole wheat flour for dense and heavier rolls, but I don’t recommend brown rice flour.

  8. Meg Vnste E says:

    Sally
    How will the brown sugar vs the white sugar in the filling affect the taste and overall bread both in texture and losing together
    Admittedly, I also asking when see the option for sinimaon bread
    Thanks

    1. Brown sugar adds a little more flavor to the filling. It’s delicious! You can use white sugar, too, if you prefer. Truth be told, the cinnamon overpowers either.

  9. Thanks for another amazing recipe.

    Could you offer some feedback about how best to “reheat” my frozen (and fully baked) rolls?

    Would oven be preferable to the microwave, and if so: at what temp and for how long?

    Thanks!!!

    1. You can certainly use a warm 300F oven until warmed throughout (depends how many you are warming!), but I usually just use the microwave for about 30 seconds or until warmed throughout.

      1. (Thanks so much for the quick reply!)

        Is it best to thaw the frozen rolls overnight first, before re-heating?

  10. I’ve been making cinnamon rolls from scratch for years and this is the best recipe I’ve ever made. Like all cinnamon rolls, they need to be eaten freshly made and warm.

  11. Sofia Bernal says:

    Hello! do you think that the bread flour will work fine instead of all purpose flour? I have heard that it gives a chewier and lighter texture…

    1. Absolutely. Same amount. The cinnamon rolls will taste chewier.

  12. Delicious!!! I just made these for Easter brunch and everyone loved them! I used brown sugar and added a touch of nutmeg to the filling (I was feeling adventurous). I substituted a cream cheese frosting instead of the icing you recommended. Thank you for the recipe!

    1. Ellen Jardine says:

      I just made these for Easter too! I added 1tsp cardamom to the dough and it was amazing! I also used the cream cheese frosting, just made it a little lighter. The dough was perfect and light. I think it could use a little more filling though. Overall, a big hit!

  13. I made these for Easter. They turned out quite good. I used SAF instant yeast that I got on eBay as store brands are not easy to find in our rural area these days with the pandemic. I followed the recipe to the letter except I used salted butter. I mixed and kneaded the dough in my Kitchenaid and at first I was concerned the dough was too wet because it didn’t pull away from the bowl. I stayed the course and the dough rolled beautifully. I baked it in a round glass baking dish and should have reduced the temp to 350 but these were still good.

    To those who were unhappy about the rise, I say use a better instant yeast and pay attention to the date. I am not as pleased with typical store bought yeast these days and will continue to use SAF from now on even though it costs more. I always keep my yeast refrigerated. Not proofing the yeast worked out nicely and we were very happy with these rolls. Thanks for a well written, tasty recipe.

  14. These were absolutely perfect. So simple, as well. My go-to cinnamon roll recipe, for sure

  15. Just like the recipe title…”easy”. These were perfect for our Easter morning quarantine. Thank you. Love every recipe I have followed here and look forward to trying more.

  16. Awesome beginners recipe!!! First time ever making cinnamon rolls and they came out light, fluffy, and delicious! I surprised myself at how well it went 🙂

  17. Thanks for this great recipe, delicious! Made for Easter Brunch. I made the icing with milk and added a touch of Orange essential oil. I also added another egg to the dough for a rich flavor. Made in high altitude.

  18. I am not an experienced baker at all and these came out great. I followed the recipe exactly. I did add some Ghirardelli Cocoa powder to the filling. Easy to make and everyone loved them.

  19. Bridgett Langson says:

    First time ever making cinnamon rolls! Easy, peasy. Next time I will form the dough a rectangle before rolling it and after putting on the cinnamon, sugar, butter filling I will roll the dough more tightly. BUT they tasted great. I refrigerated them and let them rise for the hour plus in the morning.

    1. Butch Calloway says:

      Just made them, they ‘re not pretty but tasty, the rising tip worked great, will definitely make them again.

  20. I had been wanting to try making cinnamon rolls for a while and thought it would be great to try for Easter Morning. I had such a great result with this recipe and I plan to make them many more times. I made them the night before, refrigerated the rolls and then took them out and let them rise for about an hour before putting them in the oven. Next time I will make sure to cut them more evenly

  21. I made your cinnamon rolls exactly as the recipe stated/directed, using light brown sugar in the cinnamon sugar portion of the buttery filling, and milk in the vanilla and confectioner’s sugar icing. They are delicious!

    A difference I noticed is that my cinnamon rolls seemingly rose higher than the ones shown in this post’s photos. I used a 9″ high sided metal cake pan, rather than a different 9″ pan. I’m glad I did. I do not think any of my 9″ deep dish pie plates would have been high enough. For the rising, I followed your low heat oven suggestion exactly. I removed my fully risen cinnamon rolls at the end of the hour, then preheated the oven for the baking step. Normally, my oven bakes slow, but my cinnamon rolls were already getting brown enough at 18 mins instead of 25 mins (the minimum suggested baking time). I put a piece of foil over them to reach the 25 mins. They were fully baked.

    I find that these cinnamon rolls taste their best, with the best texture, when warm. After cooling completely, I zapped a roll in the microwave for 10 seconds. That made the center of the roll perfect!

    1. Darlene Richards says:

      I used a 9 inch spring form pan. They turned out great! Next time I will make a double batch. Thank you for the recipe!

  22. Hi Sally!! All the recipes I’ve tried have turned out amazing, including the above one which is the ideal comfort food. Thank you for hitting the right spot every time and providing us with detailed recipes which provide for a cool learning experience as well. Big cheers from Mauritius.

  23. I was scared to do this because I just started baking. these were amazing!!! I’m making them again this weekend.

  24. What if I used regular yeast? Do they have to rise overnight?

    1. No, it will just take a little longer to rise. Dough with fat (butter, in this case) takes longer to rise than unenriched dough. (It is the butter, milk, and eggs that make the dough tender.) This is why the recipe uses instant yeast. I always use regular yeast. Especially if you have a warm place to set your dough (like the oven), it doesn’t take much longer.

  25. I’ve been struggling with my baking lately but these were AMAZING! Turned out absolutely incredible. This is the best online recipe I’ve ever followed!

    1. Great recipe! I doubled the sugar filling and it provided the perfect amount of cinnamon flavor.

  26. This was my second recipe I’ve made from your website and I haven’t been disappointed yet! It was also my first time using yeast and these cinnamon rolls came out perfectly – they tasted just like Cinnabon but better?? Thanks again Sally!

  27. I tried one other cinnamon bun recipe before finding this one, and the results were really disappointing. This recipe was so much easier, the dough was instantly much smoother and the result was 1000 times better! Wish I’d used this recipe first to save me the trouble.

    Love how simple it was to follow, I added a little cinnamon to the dough as well as the filling – but aside from the followed exactly and it turned out great.

    Thanks Sally, I love all your recipes and shouldn’t have bothered looking around other websites.

  28. John K McCaffrey says:

    I was really thinking these were going to be hard to make. Well I am wrong. they were simple and easy . I put some raisins in them and let me tell you you have got it down pat. Can not wait till the kids come home and we can all enjoy them together. Thanks again for your recipes.

  29. Hello! I was wondering if I wanted to make two batches should I double the ingredients or just mix another batch separately ?

    1. Hi Rehanna! I recommend making 2 individual batches 🙂

  30. They taste amazing!! Just wanted to ask what to do about the sticky dough. It was hard to handle. I had to add oil and flour to my hands while kneading it.

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