These slow cooker cinnamon rolls have all the flavor of gourmet cinnamon rolls, but with half the work!
If you’re entertaining this holiday season and are looking for an easy, make-ahead, no fuss, and completely indulgent brunch recipe, I have you covered. Whip out your crockpot and “bake” a batch of these Slow Cooker Cinnamon Rolls. They’re fluffy and soft with ooey gooey cinnamon swirls and sweet icing on top. It’s a breakfast classic made easier!
Easier Method to Cinnamon Rolls
Using your slow cooker for cinnamon rolls is revolutionary. This method works because dough needs to rise and cook in a warm environment. So why not just do it all at once? Slowly and simply. And because the rolls are cooked in a steamy environment, they’re extra moist and soft. It’s a cinnamon roll miracle.
Because the whole process is done in the slow cooker, you drastically cut down on prep time and all the usual fuss. No waiting for dough to rise! As if we all weren’t totally in love with our slow cookers already, 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.
How to Make Slow Cooker Cinnamon Rolls
- Make the dough: The dough is a combination of these 2 cinnamon roll recipes: easy cinnamon rolls and classic overnight cinnamon rolls. The dough comes together quickly. After it’s prepared, let it rest for about 10 minutes. During this time, you can prepare the filling and line the slow cooker with parchment paper.
- Shape the rolls: Roll the dough out, like you would any cinnamon roll recipe. Spread with softened butter, then a heavy sprinkle of sugar and cinnamon. Roll it up tightly and cut into 10-12 rolls.
- Cook the rolls: On high for 2 hours until the sides are golden brown and the centers are cooked through.
That’s it, the rolls are done! Top with icing and serve.
Can you believe they are this easy?! A big sigh of relief.
One thing to note: if you’d like your cinnamon rolls to be a little toasty brown on top, you can place them in the oven after removing from the slow cooker. 5-10 minutes at a low temperature is perfect. See recipe note.
If you’re in the mood for a spin on the classic cinnamon roll, give my lemon sweet rolls a try!Print
Slow Cooker Cinnamon Rolls
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 2 hours
- Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
- Yield: 10-12 cinnamon rolls
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
Baking cinnamon rolls in a slow cooker cuts down on preparation time. The dough does not have to rise twice. In fact, it doesn’t even need to rise at all! All of the rising and baking is done in the slow cooker. And the rolls are unbelievably moist and soft.
- 3/4 cup (180ml) whole milk
- 1 packet Red Star Platinum Yeast or any instant yeast (1 packet = 2 and 1/4 teaspoons)
- 1/4 cup + 1 teaspoon (55g) granulated sugar, divided
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup (4 Tablespoons; 60g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 1 large egg
- 2 and 3/4 cups (344g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 5 Tablespoons (72g) unsalted butter, very soft
- 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/3 cup (67g) granulated sugar
- 1 and 1/4 cups (150g) confectioners’ sugar
- 2 Tablespoons (30ml) pure maple syrup (or use 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
- 2 Tablespoons (30ml) milk
- Make the dough: Warm the milk over on the stove over low heat or microwave it until lukewarm. No need to use a thermometer, but to be precise: about 95°F (35°C). Pour the warm milk into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook or paddle attachment (OR you can use a handheld mixer). Whisk in the yeast and 1 teaspoon granulated sugar. Cover with a clean towel and let sit until the yeast is foamy, about 5-10 minutes. This is called proofing the yeast. If the yeast does not dissolve and foam, start over with fresh active yeast. On low speed, beat in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, salt, butter, egg, and 2 cups of flour until combined. The dough will be wet. While continuing to beat on low speed, add the remaining flour 1/4 cup at a time until a soft dough forms. Dough will be ready when it gently pulls away from the sides of the bowl. I usually use 2 and 3/4 cups flour total. **If you do not have a mixer, you can stir the dough by hand with a wooden spoon in this step.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, then knead for 1 minute. Let the dough rest for about 10 minutes. During this 10 minutes, line a 4 or 5 quart slow cooker with greased parchment paper. (I spray it with non-stick spray, but brushing oil or softened butter all over it works too.) If you have a larger slow cooker, that’s ok– just space the rolls out more.
- Make the filling: After 10 minutes, roll the dough out in a 14×8 inch rectangle. Spread the softened butter on top. Mix the cinnamon and sugar together, then sprinkle on top of the butter. Roll the dough up tightly, then cut into 10-12 even pieces and place them inside the lined slow cooker. Place a paper towel right under the lid of the slow cooker– this will help keep condensation off of the cooking rolls. Do not leave that step out and do not use a cloth towel.
- Turn your slow cooker on high speed and cook for 2 hours, or until the rolls are fully cooked through. It’s usually 2 hours, sometimes 2 hours and 15 minutes. Once they’re done, remove the rolls from the cooker right away by lifting out the parchment paper.
- Make the icing: Right before serving, top your cinnamon rolls with glaze. Whisk the confectioners’ sugar, maple syrup, and milk together until smooth. Add a little more milk if too thick. Drizzle over the warm rolls.
- Rolls are best enjoyed the same day, but stay fresh covered tightly in the refrigerator for 5 days. Rolls (with or without icing) freeze well up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and heat up however you prefer.
- Overnight Instructions: This dough can be made the night before through step 3 and placed into a greased pie dish or cake pan. Cover with plastic wrap and keep in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning, remove from the refrigerator and place each roll into the lined slow cooker. Then continue with the recipe. The rolls may take less time, around 1 and 1/2 hours.
- Quick Dough: This is a dough formulated to be “quick.” Make sure you are using an instant yeast. If using active dry yeast, the cook time will be longer.
- Golden Brown Tops: Looking for a golden brown and toasty top? Remove the cooked rolls from the slow cooker using the parchment paper to lift them out. Then, place the entire thing (the parchment paper and rolls) into an appropriate size pan. (If your slow cooker is round, a pie dish would be great.) Bake at 300°F (149°C) for 5-10 minutes.
- Slow Cooker: You’ll need a 4 or 5 quart slow cooker.
- Reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs.
Keywords: slow cooker cinnamon rolls, cinnamon rolls
No slow cooker? No problem! Try my easy cinnamon rolls instead!
Reader Comments & Reviews
Can I substitute oatmilk for whole milk? Think they’d come out ok?
These look delicious!
Hi Monica! Whole milk or even buttermilk are best for the richest taste and texture, but you can use oat milk in a pinch.
Hi Sally, Do you have any suggestions if we were to try to halve the recipe? (Or has anyone on here tried it?) Supplies are low at the store these days, but would love to make these for my partner’s bday. Thanks!
Hi Meg! I haven’t tried halving this recipe before, but the overall cooking time in the slow cooker will be shorter since there’s less dough.
Hey! I don’t have paper towel… Why shouldn’t I use cloth towel? I don’t usually buy paper towel.
Hi Stephanie! Unfortunately you can’t use a cloth towel here. A paper towel is best to absorb the moisture.
Could a cheese cream icing be used instead ? Have you a gluten-free recipe?
Yes it can! You can use the cream cheese icing from my Overnight Cinnamon Rolls. I don’t have any gluten free cinnamon roll recipes and I haven’t tested this one with gluten free flour, but let me know if you try.
Can walnuts be added to the filling and cooked in the slow cooker?
I can’t see why not!
Super easy recipe and I like that the rolls rise and bake at the same time. Delicious Christmas breakfast for my family. Maybe it’s because I didn’t use parchment paper, just baking spray, but my rolls got really crispy and almost burned on the outside with only a 2 hour bake time.
If you have a ninja slow cooker, I recommend either leaving out the parchment paper or cooking on low or both. After 30 minutes in the ninja, the parchment paper was nearly on fire and the bottoms of the cinnamon rolls were badly burned. Very sad but thankful I hadn’t set them and left my house. The rolls would have turned out beautifully but know what your slow cooker can handle, friends!!
I’ve made these a couple of times, even at work! Amazingly moist and flakey!
Hi, I am very excited to try this recipe, but I have what may be a silly question? How do you know when the rolls are done? Several posts reference issues with burning, so I intend to keep a close eye on the, but what am I looking for? 🙂 Thank you!
Hi Vanessa, you can watch them closely through the glass lid and if you see the edges getting dark you can remove them! I hope you give them a try!
I made these cinnamon rolls this morning for brunch with family! They were so good and so simple. I think I may have left them in the cooker for 15-20 min longer than they maybe should have been (I was trying to time everything with the guests’ arrival) and I ended up with quite crisp edges. Maybe next time I’ll take them out and just keep them in a slightly warmed oven if I’m too early?
This was my first time making any kind of cinnamon roll and it turned out almost perfect – thank you Sally! I can’t wait to try the pumpkin version!
Teo, I’m so glad you tried these! That’s a great idea for next time– remove from the slow cooker and keep warm in a slightly warm oven.
Can you use this recipe in a larger slow cooker? I only have a 6qt…would I need to double it? Thanks!
You can make these in a larger 6 qt slow cooker– there will be space around the edges as that is a larger pot. OR you can 1.5x the dough to create a larger batch for the 6 qt slow cooker. Doubling would be too much.
When I saw this recipe, I knew it needed a place on my Christmas Eve menu. My family LOVES cinnamon rolls and the idea of cooking them in a crock pot seemed like a cool thing to try. Unfortunately, they were a flop for me! Making the dough went great; I’m a dough taster and the dough was so good! After the first hour in the crock pot, the sides were a golden brown, which would normally indicate they are ready for our plates! But, only the outer perimeter was cooked; the middle was still very wet dough. I continued cooking on high (maybe I should have switched to low at that point?) and checked them every ten minutes. The outer perimeter continued to get darker and darker but the middle was not getting done. After an hour and 40 minutes, they were burned on the edges and when I took them out of the crock pot, I discovered they were burned on the bottom. I am thinking that the problem may be in our crock pots having variances in temperature for high. Now knowing that mine is not going to cook them evenly on high, would you suggest cooking on low for a longer time? For now, I am going to try your regular cinnamon roll recipe!
Hi Theresa! I’m so glad you tried this recipe, but am so sorry the bottoms burnt! All slow cookers and their heat elements are different and for yours– I recommend cooking on low next time for a little longer. Keep your eye on them. I know they’ll be more successful next time if you try them again.
This is a genius recipe – I made it just like your directions The only bummer was they burned really badly around the ends (the oval end). I took them out at 2 hours – there was no indication they were burning. I know all slow cookers are different – was wondering if I cooked them on low what would happen? The dough was fabulous. Thanks.
Hi Paula! You can definitely try them on low next time. Were the non-burnt ones good? Hope you enjoyed the recipe!
My cinnamon rolls were delicious but burnt around the edges. Would a layer of foil help keep them from burning? Can these be made in conventional oven?
Hi Margo! Yes, you can bake these in an oven.
These are excellent! We love your recipes, they are so good! I haven’t made cinnamon rolls in decades so I’m really glad I made these today for my family. Thank you!
Thanks for an another amazing recipe, Sally! These were great.
I just got done making these for my family and they came out amazing! So glad I decided to give them a try, made lots of recipies and these are my favorite!! So so good my toddler loves it!
Made these again using 45 minutes on high and then on low the rest of time. Turned out beautifully. Thank you. This recipe has been added to my favourites listing.
Wow! These are out of this world! My first attempt at homemade cinnamon rolls and I’ll never go back! These were so easy and so much better than from a tube. I used half brown sugar and half granulated sugar along with the cinnamon and vanilla glaze. Next time I will just do all brown sugar as that’s my fav and gonna try the maple flavor.
I made the rolls in my slow cooker for the first time on Sunday. they turned out beautifully soft but the outside was very black. Obviously my slow cooker was too hot on high. Should I turn down to low after an hour or take them out after one hour?? Please suggest something as I was very impressed with the texture. Thank you.
Hi Hazel– I would begin at high heat, yes. Then after 45 minutes or so, switch to a lower heat which will continue to cook the dough but hopefully not heavily brown them. I’m glad you loved the texture!
First I must preface this by saying, I love this blog! Thank you for it! With that being said, I unfortunately don’t have good news for this recipe and I’m really sad about it. As with the previous comment, you cannot forget about these, mine were done in LESS than an hour and burnt! Especially after I continuosly checked them for the first thirty minutes. I will say that I am an expert cake baker and decided to try my hand working with yeast since I’ve been terrified of it for so long. So I am not new to baking or to this blog which again I love. However the rolls were really dry, and dense, even though my yeast did foam. The center rolls were not burnt but were still dark so I made the glaze and tasted them to try again. The cinnamon sugar was not nearly enough an the dough was very tasteless. The glaze, I’m not sure what was going on with it. This is just a comment to say not to walk away from the rolls once you begin cooking them. I’m sorry Sally, but I definitely still love this site!
No apologies necessary! I work tremendously hard on my recipes, as you know, so the fact that these were a fail for you shocks me! I’m so sorry to hear about it but, as always, I appreciate your honesty. This will help other readers– I suppose slow cookers vary tremendously between brands, perhaps? Because mine are never anywhere near done that soon. Anyway, thanks Kris! Let me know any other recipes you try.
I can’t believe how great these are!!! I’ve tried multiple cinnamon roll recipes and by FAR, this is tops in ease of preparation and the all important fluffiness/moistness. I actually have a jar of some homemade apple butter (so good) and I think I might try doing this slow cooker recipe with it. Do you think it’d work? I did see that you OKd the orange cinnamon roll recipe!
OH! And while I’m at it, might the strawberry rolls work if I replace the filling with some strawberry spread?
I’m making them now. My slow cooker tends to run hot too, so I quickly popped up the lid to make sure they weren’t burning. They look divine! I’ll pop them in the oven (if they’re not overdone) to give them a nice brown finish before glazing. The smell is just like it should be!
Thank you Sally for posting this recipe! This was the perfect way to kick off the new year with a recipe that brought me delicious cinnamon rolls with minimal work. New Year’s resolution of learning new techniques in the kitchen is off to a great start! Happy New Year!
Sally, This recipe looks wonderful. I haven’t made cinnamon rolls for several years mainly due to the time factor involved. But I plan on making these since I have two crockpots and use them all the time. One question: Could you use brown sugar for the filling instead of granulated?
Absolutely! Brown sugar for the filling would be just as tasty for sure. Enjoy, Tricia!