Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

These fluffy cinnamon rolls serve as the perfect homemade breakfast treat. Whip up a batch to enjoy with a cup of coffee, or serve them for a brunch with friends and family.

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
Photo: Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox
Active Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 30 mins
Servings:
10

Not much compares to the comforts of a homemade breakfast served with coffee from your favorite mug. And while savory options such as biscuits and gravy or breakfast tacos are delicious favorites, adding something sweet to a breakfast spread is always sure to please. Gooey, buttery, flavorful cinnamon rolls are the perfect fit.

Cinnamon rolls are a timeless breakfast treat, made with a yeast dough and sticky-sweet glaze. The rolls have been made in home kitchens for centuries, and they all come in different shapes and sizes with a variety of fillings and toppings.

The dough for these homemade cinnamon rolls is rolled out and spread with plenty of butter, cinnamon, and sugar to create a gooey, tasty filling. Once rolled up and baked, you'll have soft, moist breakfast rolls topped with a luscious vanilla glaze that are just begging for you to dig in with a fork.

Here, learn how to make homemade cinnamon rolls the whole family will love.

Craving cinnamon rolls but don't have time for a yeast dough? Try these Southern Butter Rolls.

Ingredients for Homemade Yeast Cinnamon Rolls

The ingredients for these homemade cinnamon rolls are simple and easy to find at your favorite grocery store.

For the dough, this recipe calls for warm milk, sugar, active dry yeast, softened butter, one egg, salt, and flour. To make the filling for these cinnamon rolls, you'll need more softened butter and sugar, along with the star of the show—cinnamon.

The simple glaze used to top these cinnamon rolls is made by combining powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract.

cinnamon rolls
Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

How to Make Homemade Cinnamon Rolls From Scratch

While it may seem daunting, the dough for these cinnamon rolls comes together in a few simple steps. The process is made even easier with the help of a stand mixer and dough hook.

To start the dough, combine the warm milk and sugar, and sprinkle the yeast over top. It's important to let the yeast mixture sit for 5 minutes to allow the yeast to activate. During this time, it will feed on the sugars in the mixture and begin to produce carbon dioxide, releasing bubbles and turning into a foamy mixture.

yeast for cinnamon rolls
Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Once the yeast has activated, combine two cups of the flour with the softened butter, egg, and salt. Mix on low.

making dough for cinnamon rolls
Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Then, mix in the remaining flour before turning the speed on the mixer up to medium-high. Leave the dough in the mixer for five minutes to knead it.

cinnamon rolls dough
Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Then, transfer the dough to a bowl sprayed with cooking spray. Set the dough aside to rise for one hour.

dough for cinnamon rolls
Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

After the dough has risen, flour a flat surface and roll it out to form a rectangle.

rolling dough for cinnamon rolls
Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Spread the softened butter over the dough. Mix together the sugar and cinnamon, and spread it on top of the butter.

cinnamon sugar and butter on cinnamon rolls dough
Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Roll the dough up to form a log and cut it into even pieces.

cinnamon roll pieces
Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Place the cinnamon rolls in a greased baking dish and allow them to rise for another 15 minutes before baking at 350°F for 22 minutes.

cinnamon rolls rising
Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Once the cinnamon rolls are baked, remove them from the oven, and allow them to cool slightly for 15 minutes before topping them with vanilla glaze.

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Tips for Making Homemade Cinnamon Rolls With Yeast

The key to making moist, fluffy cinnamon rolls is allowing them to rise. The yeast in the cinnamon rolls is what helps to create that beautiful, soft texture, and using yeast that is alive once activated is crucial to the process.

Allow your yeast to activate for 5 minutes to be sure it begins creating foam and bubbles before continuing the steps of making the cinnamon roll dough. If the yeast doesn't activate, toss the mixture, and start over with new yeast for best results.

What's the Best Frosting for Cinnamon Rolls?

The topping you choose to use for cinnamon rolls is entirely up to you. For many, a classic batch of cream cheese frosting is the perfect pairing, adding a sweet tanginess to the mix.

These homemade cinnamon rolls are topped with a simple vanilla glaze for a touch of sweetness that comes together at home in just minutes.

The glaze can also be altered to switch up the flavor. Consider using almond extract instead of vanilla extract, or even mixing additional cinnamon into the glaze for an extra kick of spice.

How to Store Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

It's best to enjoy cinnamon rolls right after they come out of the oven. That's when the texture of these rolls is at its best.

However, if you have leftovers, there's no need to throw them away. Store leftover cinnamon rolls in an airtight container or individually wrap them in plastic wrap. Leave them out at room temperature for two days, or in the fridge for four days.

Once you're ready for a treat, warm a cinnamon roll for 15 to 30 seconds in the microwave.

Ingredients

Cinnamon Roll Dough

  • 1 cup warm milk

  • 3 Tbsp. granulated sugar

  • 1 (1/4-oz.) pkg. active dry yeast

  • 5 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened

  • 4 ¾ cups all-purpose flour, divided

  • 1 egg

  • 1 tsp. salt

Filling

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened

  • cup granulated sugar

  • 2 Tbsp. ground cinnamon

Glaze

  • 2 ½ cups powdered sugar

  • 2 Tbsp. milk

  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, add the milk and sugar. Sprinkle the yeast over top. Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes while the yeast activates. It will begin to foam and look bubbly.

  2. Once the yeast has activated, turn the mixer on low. Mix in two cups of the flour, salt, egg, and softened butter. Mix in the remaining flour., or

  3. Turn the speed up on the mixer to medium-high. Knead the dough in the mixer for 5 minutes until it pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough to a bowl greased with cooking spray. Cover it with a kitchen towel, and set it aside to rise for one hour, until about doubled in size.

  4. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly flour the countertop or another flat surface. Use a floured rolling pin to roll the dough out to form a large rectangle.

  5. In a small bowl, mix together the cinnamon and sugar. Use a spatula to spread the softened butter evenly over the rolled out dough. Top the butter with the cinnamon-sugar mixture, pressing down lightly.

  6. Roll the dough into a log, starting with one of the long ends. Trim the ends, and then cut the log into 10 even pieces. Place the prepared cinnamon rolls in a greased 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish. Set the cinnamon rolls aside to rise for an additional 15 minutes.

  7. After the second rise, bake the cinnamon rolls in the preheated oven for 22 to 24 minutes until lightly golden brown. Once baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly for 15 minutes before glazing.

  8. Make the Glaze: Whisk the powdered sugar in a large bowl to eliminate any large clumps. Whisk in the milk and vanilla extract, and mix until a smooth glaze forms. Drizzle the glaze over the cinnamon rolls before serving.

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