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Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

My homemade cinnamon rolls are, hands down, the best. Period. Layers of soft chewy dough, with brown sugar cinnamon between each one, all topped with a thick yet oozing cream cheese frosting, all swirled into one delicious treat. It's the best cinnamon rolls recipe you'll find...try it, you'll see!
Total Time2 hrs 15 mins
Servings: 12

Ingredients

Cinnamon Roll Dough

  • 1 c warm milk (not hot)
  • 2-½ teaspoon Instant yeast
  • ½ c granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • ¼ c butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 c flour

Filling

  • ¾ c brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoon cinnamon
  • ½ c butter, softened

Icing

  • 6 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1-½ c powdered sugar
  • c butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

Making the Dough

  • Place warm milk in a mixing bowl, add yeast, and give it a stir. Let it sit for a minute or two while you’re gathering your other ingredients. 
  • Next, add sugar, eggs, butter, salt, and vanilla, and mix well. Lastly, using a dough hook, add flour and mix until it forms a firm yet tacky dough that pulls away from the edges. Resist adding more flour…the dough should be slightly tacky.
  • Remove dough from the mixer and knead by hand, on a lightly floured surface, for 5 minutes (yes, even if you used a stand mixer).

First Rising

  • Grease a large bowl with butter or cooking spray. Place the dough in this bowl, cover with a warm towel, and let sit in a warm spot for 1 to 1-½ hours or until it doubles in size.

Cinnamon Roll Filling

  • In a bowl, mix together brown sugar, cinnamon, and softened butter until it resembles a paste.

Rolling out the dough, adding filling, and cutting into shape

  • For this step, I used silicone baking mats, but you can also roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface. With a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the dough into a rectangle, measuring approximately 22” x 14”.
  • Drop some of the cinnamon roll filling here and there over the rolled out dough. Then, using a rubber spatula, gently spread the filling all over the dough, keeping away from the edges by about a quarter inch.
  • Starting at a short end (one of the 14” ends), gently but tightly roll the dough into one long roll.
  • Using a sharp knife (I found that a serrated knife worked best), cut the roll into 12 evenly sliced pieces. 

Second Rising

  • Preheat oven to 350℉.
  • Place the cut cinnamon rolls into a parchment-lined baking dish, three rows of four. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and let the rolls rise for another 30 minutes, or until they’ve nearly doubled in size.

Baking Cinnamon Rolls

  • Remove the plastic wrap and place baking pan in the oven on the middle rack. Bake for 20 – 30 minutes. My cinnamon rolls took 30 minutes to bake, but you should start checking on them after 20 minutes. All ovens are different. The cinnamon rolls will be done when the tops have just lightly browned and the dough sounds hollow when you lightly tap on it with a spoon. The rolls will rise even more while they’re baking and will most likely touch each other. This is fine and good…they’ll stay soft in the middle.

Icing for Cinnamon Rolls

  • While the rolls are baking, make the icing. Using either a stand mixer or handheld mixer, blend together cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla until smooth. 
  • When the cinnamon rolls are done baking, let them cool about 5 minutes and add icing to the tops, so it will slightly melt and ooze between the swirls. If you prefer the icing thicker on top, wait until they’ve fully cooled. 

Notes