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.
- 2 and 3/4 cups (344g) 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
- 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
- 1 cup (120g) confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2–3 Tablespoons (30-45ml) strong brewed coffee or milk
- Make the dough: Whisk the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast together in a large bowl. Set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 to make a 14 inch log. Cut into 10-12 even rolls and arrange in a lightly greased 9-inch round cake pan or pie dish.
- 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!
- 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.
- Make the icing: Whisk the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract, and coffee/milk together. Drizzle or spread over warm rolls.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Milk: Whole milk is ideal for this dough. If needed, you can substitute nondairy milk.
- Reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs.