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
  • 1/2 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.

1159 Comments

  1. Fabulous!!!!!!

  2. Love these! Sent a picture to my in laws and now I’m volunteered to make them this weekend 🙂

    Only trouble is that I’d like to make them at home, but we have some travel. Is it possible to make them more than a night in advance? Like 2 days?

    1. HI Max, for best taste and texture, I don’t recommend more than 1 day/night in advance. You can try the par-baking and freezing method detailed though.

  3. I’ve made these three times now after seeing so many glowing reviews. They do taste amazing, the best cinnamon rolls I’ve had! They are soft and flavorful.

    That being said, I’ve kneaded the dough plenty, floured my hands, floured the working surface, added about 30 grams extra flour andddd the dough was still terribly sticky. I’ve seen a comment stressing using warm water, done that, still too sticky. I was able to roll it, however once cutting it (used unflavoured floss) they came apart and didn’t keep their shape very well, so they didn’t look nearly as appetizing.

    They did taste amazing but the stickiness of the dough made it impossible to make good looking rolls, a shame.

  4. Can you substitute almond milk instead of whole milk?

    1. Absolutely! Same amount.

  5. The most delicious recipe I’ve ever made. I gave it to all of my teachers and they loved it!

  6. Barrett242 says:

    Hi Sally I love this recipe was wondering can i add the apples to this recipe for easy apple cinnamon rolls as i like how it only needs one rise? can it also be adapted for other flavors? I saw your apple cinnamon rolls recipe and noticed it takes more flour and more time to rise and bake so prefer this one in a pinch. Thankyou

    1. You can definitely try using the filling from the Apple Cinnamon Rolls with this dough. I have many other flavors of sweet rolls such as orange, strawberry, lemon, and more (just search “sweet rolls” in the search bar on top of this page!).

    2. I did add the apples and caramel sauce and it was delicious. Thank you so much I love your recipes.

  7. I’ve made this recipe 3 times now and it’s a knockout every time! They’ve been requested for this upcoming weekend again and I’m thinking I will make the dough the night before this time. Do you find you get the same level of rise when you do this?
    Thanks!

    1. I’m so happy they are such a hit, Britt! I do make the dough the night before often, see the recipe notes for the full make ahead instructions.

  8. Melinda Kaye Mercer says:

    This is the second time I’ve made this recipe. 🙂
    The first time (About 2 weeks ago) I messed up. (I put too much yeast.)
    I really like it and hope this round is better than the first.
    Sally, what kind of glaze is your favorite? Have you ever tried an orange, tea, or apple glaze? (Just wondering! :))

    1. Hi Melinda, I’m so happy you are enjoying this recipe. I really love all glazes, hard to choose a favorite! Right now I’ve been loving orange glaze (like I use on my orange sweet rolls)!

  9. Lynn Powell says:

    I made these this morning!! Never will i be scared to work with yeat dough again!! They are BEAUTIFUL!! And smell so good time to bake them off ..cant wait to try them!! Thanks !!

  10. Can these be made the night before and baked in the AM like the overnight recipe? If so, would you recommend letting them rise again before baking?

    1. Hi Annie, see my make ahead instructions.

  11. Wowwww, my first time making cinnamon rolls, but it won’t be my last!! These were SO delicious! The only thing I did differently was I had to accommodate for the type of yeast I was using: I bought a brick of Instaferm Red Yeast online because I could not find any yeast in-store. I have read that the recommended amount for that brand is 1-1.5% yeast to flour weight, so I used a smidge over 1 teaspoon. It’s also storm season over here, so I ended up adding a bit more flour during kneading due to humidity. Thank you for sharing this recipe! I’m so stoked. 🙂

  12. Amazing! My family has tried your recipe for years and they have turned out great everytime❤️

  13. This is my go-to cinnamon roll recipe. Been making it for over 4 years now and never had a flop!! I like to double the recipe for big rolls in a 9×13 pan and then I make a buttercream frosting. These rolls are just SO easy on a weekend morning.

  14. Hi! These sound delicious. Do you think using 1% will dramatically change the quality and taste?

    1. Hi Gabby, 1% milk is fine in a pinch. Your dough won’t be quite as rich but it will work.

  15. Yum yum, did them yesterday and making a new batch today, tkanks a lot;)

    1. Nichole Andrews says:

      My husband I made these today and they were a hit with our family will be doing this again. Thanks again!!!

  16. I made these for the first time today and they are amazing!!! I typically make the overnight cinnamon rolls, but it was nice to have a recipe with just one rise. I did make them with the make ahead instructions and baked them this morning. Turned out great!

  17. I made your overnight cinnamon rolls and they were fantastic. I tried this, but the dough is incredibly sticky. In the overnight rolls you have 1 cup milk to 4 1/2 cups flour. Here it is 3/4 cup milk/water to 2 3/4 cups flour. Seems like the ratio is off?

    1. Hi Carol! The two recipes are indeed different. This recipe doesn’t use nearly as much butter (even if we increased the recipe to use 2 packets of yeast and 4 and 1/2 cups of flour), so we use more milk. The other recipe also has an additional egg. So there’s more wet ingredients in that dough than just the milk. Anyway, if you find this dough is simply too sticky– add a few extra Tbsp of flour.

  18. can I half this recipe

    1. Sure can!

  19. Debbie Braun says:

    This was my first time making these and i was wondering why they didnt rise? What do you think i did wrong? Thanks in advance for your response

  20. Thank you very much for your recipe, i am never ever baking in my entire live and i bake this recipe yesterday and my father (whom never ate cinnamon roll) like it so much and asked me to bake it again
    I am very sorry for my bad English, it’s not my first language

    1. Hannah Kabli says:

      I haven’t made the recipe yet, and this is a silly question but I’m a bit of a perfectionist. I was wondering if it’s okay to make these in a 9×13 pan? Will it affect the buns to not be placed so close together in a round pan?

      Also which is better for the filling white sugar or the dark brown sugar? How does each affect t the flavor/consistency of the filling?

      Thanks in advance!!

  21. Holy. Moly. I just made these… I actually cut the recipe in half and made only 6 rolls. Good thing, or my husband and I would have eaten all 12!! FABULOUS recipe, and I’ve made a LOT of cinnamon roll recipes in my time! 🙂

  22. Hi Sally, thanks for this wonderful recipe. I did a batch immediately after I saw it, however my rolls were a little tough and dry, can you advise where I could have gone wrong? Overall its still a good treat

    1. Hi Joerynn, it’s easy to over-bake these rolls and they’ll quickly dry out after too much time in the oven. Reduce the baking time a bit next time if you can. Warming leftovers up in the microwave softens them back up, as does a little extra icing.

      1. Thank you. Will do that on my next try.

  23. I just baked it .. make it 2 batch, one for sweet and one for savory . Both are absolutely wonderful . Thank you very much for this recipe . And Hi from Bali

  24. Hi Sally,

    Thank you for the recipe! I added 1 tsp. cocoa powder to the filling. Yum!

  25. Made this recipe twice. The first time it was really good, but I think they weren’t as soft as I would have loved. But still delicious. The second time…oh my. Absolutely amazing. My fiancé and I ate the whole pan (9 rolls) in just one afternoon. We couldn’t stop ourselves!! Highly highly recommend this recipe! Very easy to follow. My dough was a bit sticky the second time, but didn’t prove to be a problem at all by the time I had to roll the dough.

  26. Hi Sally,
    Can I make these in a bread machine?

  27. anna liza dela cruz says:

    Hi Sally,
    I made it today…. and its great! It was just a perfect snack for the family.. They love it… my daughter said she forgot her name when she tasted it…. a great complement though for a beginner like me… Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe… God bless you more.

  28. Mike Clough says:

    Made this recipe this morning! Absolutely delicious! I will be making them again, and again, and again! Oh! And the next time I think I’ll add raisins!!

  29. I live in Scotland and have just started making your recipes .These buns turned out great as did the sandwich loaf the rolls andf the foccatia and tomorrow is the dark choc and banana bread .Thank you so much

    1. Dana Fortney says:

      I made these for the first time ,they didn’t raise well and we’re dry after baking any suggestions??

  30. This was a super easy recipe. The only hard part was waiting the 90 minutes for the dough to rise and the 25 minutes for it to cook. The wait was worth the flavor. Yum!

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