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. My 1st time baking cinnamon roll using your recipe and turn out very nice except didnt know how to control my fren’s turbo broiler the top was burned. Took out and cut the top away, turn upsidedown and put on the glaze. We used it as a birthday cake to celebrate my fren and my own birthday. Very happy and satisfied, thanx to u for the simple and easy recipe to follow

  2. I love your website and really enjoy your recipes. After numerous failed attempts, I successfully made cinnamon rolls for the first time for New Year’s morning this year. I was certain this was the recipe that I used but I seem to remember that the one I used called for leaving the cinnamon rolls out overnight rather than refrigerating them. Have your overnight instructions changed? Thanks again for all the great recipes!

    1. Hey Hannah! I do it both ways – leaving them at room temp or leaving them in the refrigerator. I recently tested it several times both ways. You can do either!

      1. Thank you so much for your reply. I thought I was losing my mind because I was sure it was your recipe that I used! Since now I know it was your recipe I have to tell you that every time I’ve tried a recipe with yeast it’s been a disaster. This recipe was amazing and it worked! It made me think I shouldn’t be scared of yeast anymore. Thanks for the recipe!

  3. I absolutely love cinnamon swirls so thought I’d give this recipe a go when I came across it! I did the dough on my dough bread making setting and they turned out really well – the only thing wrong was I used some gluten free bread flour as I wanted to use it up which made them a little crumbly (serves me right – will keep to the recipe next time)! Such a good, quick, easy recipe – thank you!

  4. I made this – it was great with and without the icing. A very simple recipe for a breakfast made with love 🙂

  5. Hi sally, I’ve never had cinnamon rolls in my life and I decided to try baking some to see what it tastes like and this recipe is soooo good. I just made it today and they came out perfect. It was so tasty with the glaze. Very easy recipe and will sure make more!

  6. Hello,

    I’m so excited to be trying this recipe! I have made them, and I’ve actually got them in the oven rising now – but I plan to refrigerate them overnight after that when they are room temp. (after step 5 instead of step 4, since step 5 takes 60-90 minutes) and bake them in the morning then add the glaze.

    Let’s hope they still turn out!

    Can’t wait to try them. Thanks for sharing this recipe, it seems so easy!

    1. I followed some advice and went ahead and baked the buns that night and then cooled them and warmed them a little in the morning.

      I followed your recipe exactly except that I cut the roll into 8 buns instead of 11 because I couldn’t fit 11 rolls in the 9 inch pie plate. The buns were ok but REALLY dense and bready.

      Any thoughts? or tips?

  7. My wife promised to bring homemade cinnamon rolls to a brunch. She got sick and sent me to the store for frozen ones. Well. I decided in the name of family honor to make them myself. I found your website on my phone in the baking aisle, bought the ingredients, and they came out great! Thank you! (I even put a pecan half on top of each one for a little flair).

    1. How perfect! I’m so happy these homemade cinnamon rolls came to the rescue.

  8. The dough was a bit too sticky to work with so I had to add flour and I was sure I mucked it up but it came out wonderfully! thank you so much!

  9. Hey Sally!

    First off I wanna say that your cinnamon rolls look absolutely delicious and amazing. Now I am about to try your recipe but I have a question. I’ve never worked with yeast before so im completely new to this. On the package of my yeast it says to dissolve it into water but when I looked at your recipe I noticed that im not supposed dissolve it and naturally I got a little confused so my question is, do I just mix in the dry yeast with the dry ingredients? or do I dissolve the yeast and then mix it in with the dry ingredients?

    Sincerely,
    Katerina Petrova

    1. Hi Katerina! Yep, you don’t have to proof the yeast for this recipe. I just add it right in. You could, however, proof your yeast if you’re worried it may be expired.

  10. Let me just say I love love this recipe. My son loves the cinnamon rolls. I made them tonight and was so impressed with the result that I had to share my comments. This is the second time I made these following this recipe. The first time I made them they were great but for personal preference I needed to double up on the filling, which I did second time around and they are perfect. I won’t bother trying any other recipe. I’m adding this one to my best of the best recipe book. Thanks for sharing. Next time i will try a different filling.

  11. For easy rising, I turn the light of the oven on. This provides just enough warmth for any length of time needed 🙂 This is also how I culture yogurt to maintain about 110 degrees.

  12. This may be a stupid question, but do you use the instant yeast or the active dry yeast? Both are completely different and I don’t want to get the wrong one- it says any instant yeast with a star next to it but by the star at bottom of page it says active dry yeast? Thanks!

    1. Bethany – use instant yeast here. If using active dry, expect up to 55% longer rise time.

      1. Leopard Girl says:

        If you let them rise overnight do you think that using active dry yeast would work out well? Thank you so much!

  13. These baked up to be the softest, fluffiest and moist cinnamon buns ever! Thank you so much for the detailed recipe. We can’t buy cinnamon buns here in Hong Kong, and it’s my kids’ favorite treat when we go back to North America. I thought I’d try your recipe since it had the word “easy” in it. Oh my goodness, we don’t have to wait to go back home to get fresh ‘mall’-style cinnamon buns anymore. I appreciate all your hard work in developing such a fail-proof delicious recipe that has enabled my family to have a taste of home, while being very far away. Thanks, Sally!

  14. I have done my share of baking but never made a cinnamon roll from scratch. I have these in the oven now and can tell by the smell they are going to be amazing. I make cinnamon rolls from a tube for Christmas every year but I am changing to these now.

  15. I had been putting off making these thinking it would be too fiddly. Finally bit the bullet and made them today. OMG – they were delicious and so easy. Thank you so much for a wonderful recipe!

  16. Hi! Two things: 1) have you ever tried making these mini-sized? I was thinking of trying in a mini muffin pan, but I wasn’t sure about proofing/baking times. 2) Are you running the Baltimore 10-miler next weekend? I am and I am so not ready!!

    1. Hey Amber! I have not tried them in a mini size, but let me know if you do. Here are mini cinnamon rolls I’ve made before though: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2012/06/03/mini-no-yeast-cinnamon-buns/

      Not running in that 10-miler. But good luck!

  17. If I overnight the dough, is rising in the oven as in step 5 still the preferred method?

    1. If overnighting, I usually let them rise for 1 hour at room temperature not in the oven the next morning.

      1. Hi Sally! If I used instant yeast instead of active dry yeast and overnight my dough, will I let them rise for 1 hour at room temp after overnighting or a little more? About 90 mins or so or will I hour be enough?

  18. These were amazing! My 7 year old son is gifted, heard that gluten is bad, and began to worry himself that eating any bread would kill him. Thanks, TV. So I decided to show him from scratch how it works. We made these start to finish this morning with apple filling and they were a huge hit with everyone, even the picky, anxious 7 year old. Thank you so much!

  19. What about the vanilla extract for the coffee glaze?

  20. On my way home from a pretty great walk the other day, I had a crazy craving for cinnamon buns. Not “jiffy” cinnamon rolls, which I have made many, many times, but legit, rising bread dough cinnamon buns. I have never made legit, rising bread dough cinnamon buns, so I did not have a trusty recipe to go to. I chuckled and thought “Sally’ll have something amazing!”

    Sure enough! Super easy, amazingly tasty cinnamon buns! I am so thankful for your blog, lady. 🙂 You are a life saver! (I have a momma with a brand new baby in the “family” who is crazy craving chocolate cake. Again, I chuckled and thought “Sally’ll have something amazing!” And sure enough, you do! I can’t wait to make your Triple Chocolate Layer Cake – I’ll let you know how it goes!)

    1. What a sweet comment. 🙂 Thanks for making my day Kim! I’m so glad you rely on my blog for recipes you crave. I love these cinnamon rolls so much! And the chocolate cake – to die for!

  21. Hi Sally,

    These look delicious! Looking forward to making them this week. One question, do you think spelt flour or whole wheat pastry flour would work in this recipe? I know you said regular whole wheat flour does not work well but I find that the pastry flour usually turns out less dense. Thanks!

    1. I honestly do not recommend either – truly, all-purpose or even bread flour would be best here.

  22. These are excellent. I cut them into 9 pieces and baked them in a 9″ square cake pan. I put them in my toaster oven on the bottom rack on 375 for 17 minutes. They were starting to brown so I took a chance, let them sit for about 5 minutes an then iced them. They came out perfect!

  23. This look so good, I can’t wait to eat them! I’m making them today because of course I have no patience and couldn’t wait until the weekend, which I probably should have, so my boyfriend can enjoy some for breakfast! What is the best way to store these? Sometimes we put bread in the refrigerator to make it last longer, but I’m not sure about these? And also, how long do they last after you’ve made them? Thanks!!

    1. Hi Amelia! That information is in the recipe (the last step).

  24. Oh wow. I read the entire recipe too and I didn’t even see it! Sorry! haha My rolls are rising right now. I hope they come out great. I guess I didn’t roll mine tightly enough because cinnamon and sugar came flying out everywhere, and my rectangle was slightly uneven so the end rolls weren’t the same size. It was my first time though, so I guess I can’t be too disappointed in myself!

  25. When do you put in the yeast? I’ve been reading and re-reading and don’t see the step. Thanks, looking forward to making these for a tailgating brunch.

    1. In step 1.

  26. How long can these be covered in the refrigerator before baking for? (through step 4, it says overnight). I’d probably be making them at about 2 o’clock in the afternoon and wouldn’t take them out of the fridge to rise for that final hour until 8am?

    1. That would be a little too long. I would try to start preparing them later in the evening if you can – or maybe a recipe developed to be overnight will be better!

      1. Thanks! Second question, after taking them out of the fridge overnight and letting them rise 1 hour, do I go right to baking them or proceed with step 5?

  27. Hi Sally, this recipe has been a fantastic hit at the toddler singing group I run and has been asked for a few times since, so firstly thankyou! I was just wondering if you have ever used gluten free flour in this recipe?

    1. I have not and wouldn’t recommend it! Perhaps try searching for a GF cinnamon roll recipe. Sorry! Here are some GF options on my blog: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/category/gluten-free/

  28. I just had to comment again. I made them last night/this morning and they turned out better then I’d even hoped for! It was my first ever time working with yeast without my mom’s help, so I was super proud of myself when they came out of the oven as one of the best things I ever made 😀

  29. I made these today and they were just delicious!

  30. Hi I just made these and they’re rising. They look amazing, but mime rose in 30 minutes. They are huge! Like really huge. Should I wait 30 more minutes or just bake them already? ?

    1. What type of yeast are you using? Good way to save on time! I would bake right now, yes.

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