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 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. Milk: Whole milk is ideal for this dough. If needed, you can substitute nondairy milk.
  4. 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.

1094 Comments

  1. 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

  2. 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. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

    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!

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

  6. 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?

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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. 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.

  11. Followed the recipe and these turned out great! I let them rise in the oven and honestly these were to die for, everyone in my family loved them will for sure double the recipe next time!

  12. Hi Sally!
    Love this recipe. I did have one question! I love your trick about letting the rolls rise in the oven, however, I am a little confused. Do I let them rise in the oven for 30 minutes with the door open and then they are ready? Or do I let them rise for 30 minutes with the door open, close the door and let them rise for another 30-60 minutes?
    Hope you can clarify for me!

    Thanks 🙂

    1. Hi Danielle, I usually place them in a warm oven with the door cracked open for 30 minutes, and then close the door but leave the dough in the oven for the rest of the time. I hope this helps!

  13. Wow me n my kids made these Roll’s this evening and they turned out fabulous! I made more of the filling then the recipe called for but nothing’s wrong with sweeter rolls thank for the recipe

  14. Ok, friends. I’ve tried this recipe as-is about 3 times and each time it bakes too quickly, is a little dry, and its flavor is more saccharin-sweet than that deep-cinnamon goodness that you want. No offense to the recipe. It’s probably just a matter of taste. I’ve always preferred molasses or brown sugar over granulated sugar. I am remaking this recipe with a few changes.

    I backed off the amount of flour from 2 3/4 to 2.5c, switched granulated sugar for brown, and doubled the filling sugar amount, (also with brown sugar). I also reduced the bake time and temperature a bit. I decided to make a cream cheese icing this time.

    The difference was night and day. A much more moist roll with a richer, more cinnamon flavor and the cream cheese icing was the perfect icing choice. I think I can still get a more moist roll next time. I will continue to tweak. This is now my base recipe for go-to “quick” cinnamon rolls!

    Thank you, Sally, for this recipe! I’m so glad I’ve found a family recipe that doesn’t have to be prepped the night before. The perfect slow-Sunday-morning treat.

  15. No, I do not live in a high altitude; I live in Oklahoma, nothing but prairie. I don’t know what happened; did not rise like I thought they should and did not overbake them either.

    1. Hi David, You want to knead the dough until the dough is smooth on the outside and springs back when pressed on with your fingers. For better visuals of this and more helpful hints I link to this great article in the above text: https://redstaryeast.com/yeast-baking-lessons/baking-steps-guide/kneading/

  16. I have always made traditional cinnamon rolls, to include the copycat cinnabon rolls. I make them for Christmas and birthday breakfast. BUT making the regular cinnamon rolls is SO time consuming!!! It takes 5 hours to make regular rolls! Ahhhh
    For my daughter’s 6th birthday today I made these cinnamon rolls and I will say that YOU CANNOT TELL A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THESE ROLLS AND ROLLS THAT TAKE 5 HOURS TO MAKE! HIP HIP HORRAY! No more getting up at 4 am to make cinnamon rolls! These took only 1.5 hours from start to finish! this is going in my recipe book. Only change is I made the cinnabon buttercream icing. Thanks!

  17. These were wonderful. I used active dry yeast, so I premixed it with the warm milk and water+a little sugar to help it activate. Anyway, they were fantastic. Great recipe.

  18. We love this recipe! It is so easy and they came out perfect. I made them for Christmas and now planning to make them for a spend the night party. Can I double this recipe? Thanks again!

    1. Hi Natalie, I’m so happy that you enjoy the recipe! For the best texture I recommend that you make the dough twice instead of doubling it.

  19. Sally,
    I make these all the time are they are excellent! I do however use a couple of substitutions- instead of the granulated sugar in the filling I use brown sugar and instead of the milk for the frosting I use heavy whipping cream! They taste just like those famous Cinnabons!

  20. Made these today with my daughter, followed the recipe exactly. Found I needed a little extra flour but the rolls turned out perfectly and we are now addicted to them. 5* recipe

  21. I’m making these for my first time this weekend and have a quick question. I’ve noticed most (if not all) of your cinnamon roll recipes call for granulated sugar in the filling as opposed to brown. It seems like brown sugar would be the go to for these. Is there a reason granulated is suggested or is it a taste preference?
    Also, ever tried using bread flour?
    Thanks!

  22. I just made the dough abd it cane together beautifully. Yes it was sticky at first but after u flour hands and maybe add little more flour, it kneaded beautifully. Cant wait for finished product.

  23. Just finished frosting these, they are amazingly delicious. The dough rose beautifully according to directions. I also added to the icing. Will def make again.

  24. Tried these and was able to make 2 round cake pans worth of shortie rolls. Just want to add that they are good. Though I dusted the tops with powdered sugar after the icing too. Seeing as how mine didn’t seem as glazed as the pics, I wanted to add a bit of sweet without having to make and add more icing

  25. GREAT RECIPE! I was always afraid to work with yeast since my Grandmother said it could be tricky but thanks to your recipe I am now the proud baker of homemade cinnamon rolls! Thank you SO much!!!!

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