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

Comments are closed.

  1. Hi there

    Can I make them into mini cinnamon rolls? How long should I bake them?

    Thanks. Btw love your recipes

    1. Hi Shirley! I’m sure you could make these into smaller rolls, but I haven’t tried it. You’d likely have to cut the larger rectangle into smaller rectangles so the rolls can be smaller. I’m unsure of the best dimensions, but let me know if you try anything.

  2. Absolutely the best recipe. No fail. I’ve always been afraid of yeast. It was perfect and so easy. Thank you for the recipe and tips.

  3. Made these yesterday. Thank you. They were easy and delicious!

    1. Can I put a little heavy cream in with the 2% milk to make like whole milk?

      1. I did similar today when I made – I used Half & Half and 1% milk. Worked great!

  4. Vanessa G says:

    I followed this recipe exactly as you posted and it is amazing! My family devoured them! I have been baking from scratch due to being quarantined and finally had my teen son help make the dough while I helped him do research for an essay and he was so worn out from the measurements to kneading! Lol! He now has a new respect for baking from scratch. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  5. My sister and I made this. WOW. Never using another recipe again

  6. Hi Sally! Do you know if I might be able to use “Pizza Yeast” in this recipe? It says it doesn’t require rising time, so I’m wondering if I could just make them and put in the oven right away?

    1. I have made them twice with pizza yeast and I did the rise time just like Sally says and it worked perfectly. They didn’t rise as much but they did rise.

  7. Hi Sally,

    My rolls always turn our nice and crispy on the top on the day of baking but the roll will turn out hard next day. Is it the way i store it? i usually just packed them in a plastic bag after cooled. My rolls always turn out to be hard on the top and soft inside the roll when baking. anything to do with my oven temp as i have set it to the same as your recipe.

    1. Hi Jaime, it sounds like you’re storing these baked and cooled cinnamon rolls correctly. Let’s look at your oven– halfway through baking, I recommend tenting the baking rolls with aluminum foil. This will prevent the tops from getting too brown/done before the centers can fully cook. You can also try lowering the oven temperature by 25 degrees F and/or lowering the oven rack on which you bake these. If lowering the oven temperature, bake for a couple extra minutes with the tented foil on top. All of these changes will help.

      1. JAIME LIM says:

        Thanks Sally for your reply. I will try to do it again using a foil to cover the top nearing to end of baking.

  8. So easy and turned out perfect!

  9. Never made cinnamon rolls before. Your explanation made the process really easy and the results were just fantastic. Thank you!

  10. Made these cinnamon rolls today. So easy and tastes so good. Will definitely be making again and again. Thank you!

  11. David Linn says:

    I don’t have whole milk, will 2% milk be ok to use?

    1. Hi David, You can use 2% in a pinch but your dough will not be as rich.

  12. David Linn says:

    Thank you for the advice. I will wait and try this recipe when I have the whole milk.

  13. Is Full Cream Milk & whole milk the same?

    1. Hi Sue, they are no the same. Cream is usually between 30-40% fat while whole milk is 3.5% fat. Cream would be too heavy for this dough.

      1. Deeannah Loia says:

        They may not be the same but one of my batches I used full cream milk, and it turned out fine!

  14. This recipe really is amazing! I´m so glad i came across it after having a craving for cinnamon rollsduring self-isolation. I was a bit scared of working with yeast because I don´t have much experience but it really was fool-proof. Can´t wait to make these for a coffee morning as soon as we are able to catch up with friends again. Thanks Sally.

  15. So delicious and easy! I didn’t have whole milk and used 2% still they were deeeeelicious. thank you, now I will check out some of your other recipes .

  16. Deeannah Loia says:

    Made two batches, they were perrrrrfect! I made my icing with: 1/4c sweet condensed milk, 1c powdered sugar, and 1tsp water, combined and poured it over some hot cinnamon rolls… so scrumptious! Even the next morning, it tasted great cold.
    The dough was perfect.
    Great recipe!

  17. First time making cinnamon rolls and this recipe works beautifully. I made 14 and baked in a metal 9×9 pan at 350 for 20 min – probably could have even baked a little less but they’re still nice and soft. Perfect warm from the oven!

  18. Alice Tan says:

    Can I use bread flour instead? What is the difference in the dough compared to using plain flour?

    1. Absolutely. Same amount. The cinnamon rolls will be a little dense and chewier too.

  19. Hi Sally! I have so enjoyed making lots of your recipes during this quarantine! My cinnamon rolls are in the oven rising right now, but I had a question about the dough. When I mixed in the milk/butter/water and egg to the flour mixture, the dough stuck to my hands and the counter a lot while kneading and I ended up using a lot of flour on the surface and my hands to make it workable. I’m hoping they still come out okay but is there anything different I should try for next time to get a less sticky dough? Thank you!

    1. Hi Hannah, there are a lot of variances that go into the consistency of dough, even down to the weather and humidity in the air. There’s nothing wrong with adding just a little more flour to bring the dough into a knead-able consistency. Just remember that the dough is supposed to be a little soft, so don’t over-flour it.

  20. I just want to let you know I have made so many recipes of yours during this quarantine. Being able to make delicious things for my family has been therapeutic for me. You are making a difference! Can’t wait to follow more of your recipes!

  21. Marlene Schwartz says:

    Hi. I am going to make these for Mother’s Day and I thought I would make the dough the night before. Do I do your “trick” before I refrigerate or the next morning when they are resting?

    1. Hi Marlene, don’t let the shaped dough rise (step 5) until after refrigeration overnight. If you are using my warmer environment trick, you will do this the next morning when they need to rise. (The rolls will slightly rise overnight in the refrigerator.)

  22. These were delicious and easy! Made the dough, let it rest, filled the dough, cut and placed them in the pan (covered) and then refrigerated overnight. Took out in the morning and let rise for a couple of hours (slow yeast/cool kitchen) and then baked. They were a bit overdone at 25 minutes in my oven (wish I had pulled them out at 20 minutes) but they are really really good. I might dial the sugar back just a tad next time but the texture was perfect. I made the vanilla glaze and coffee glaze; they were both great.
    [I made the rolls a bit smaller by cutting them into 12 pieces (probably why they cooked faster) and they perfectly filled my 9” springform pan.]
    Thanks for another great, easy to follow recipe.

  23. Great recipe! I’m a husband and dad and stumbled across your recipe intended for Mother’s day. It was a smashing success. I even took a couple of interesting turns. I forgot to add the egg but still turned out marvelously. What’s up with that? Also, fogot to check ingredients supply and was out of cinnamon. Found out nutmeg as a substitue, about 1/4 the amount of cinnamon and they were delicious.

    Since it worked find without the egg, I’m curious what that adds that we missed out on?

    1. Hi Scott! Glad you tried and enjoyed these cinnamon rolls. The egg tenderizes the dough. Add it next time, it helps yield a richer tasting roll.

  24. Can you help with my recent dilemma? I was gifted an amount of yeast recently,( none in our stores) , but I wasn’t told if it is active dry or instant yeast . Is there a way I can test this. I have been proofing it and using it as active dry but now I’m reading that the rise for each kind is different.It was purchased at Costco. Thanks.

  25. Made this recipe a couple times it’s so easy and they are delicious.

  26. What if I ran out of all-purpose flour, and I only have whole wheat flour?

  27. So yummy! I’ve made these rolls twice now. Quick question – if I let them rise in the oven do I only let them rise for 30 min or should I still follow the 60-90 min?

    1. So glad that you enjoy these, Belle, thank you! Let them rise until they have doubled in size and are extra puffy. This can still take 90 minutes even if letting them rise in the slightly warmed oven.

  28. I just made these today for my family and they were devoured in about 10 minutes! They were perfect and it’s my first time making cinnamon rolls ever. Thank you for making it so easy for us to follow. Love your recipes!

  29. Oh. My. Yum!!!! These are delicious!! I had Some green apples that needed using so I chopped them up and added them to the filling. Soooo yummy!

    1. I finally found the courage to tackle this recipe and it was a success! Thank you Sally for making it easy to learn how to make these. I ate FOUR in one sitting!

  30. Hi Sally,
    I’m a great cook, but but am intimidated by baking. Too technical for me.
    Tried this recipe today and it was a hit!! So easy and accurate as far as fluffy texture. I’m so glad I stumbled upon this! As we all love cinnamon,
    I did sprinkle a tad on top after frosting, not too much. Only question, how do bake them so they all rise to the same height as one or two poked up above the rest. Otherwise so delicious!! Thanks again.
    Susan

    1. Hi Susan, I’m so glad you tried and loved these cinnamon rolls! Sometimes a couple of my cinnamon rolls bake up much taller than the rest. The best way to have them rise evenly during the baking process is to make sure you are rolling the dough rectangle as even as possible– totally even thickness. Then cut the rolls as even as possible, too. (A ruler helps with that.) Otherwise, I usually just use a rubber spatula to press down any super tall ones.

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