When it comes to making cinnamon rolls, there are a few things you need to do. This guide has our best cinnamon roll recipe.
Is there anything more deliciously decadent than a warm, sweet, gooey cinnamon roll when you have a craving for a baked treat? We think not! The good news is that you don’t even have to leave your house to indulge that sweet tooth — you can make your very own, and it’s far easier than you think.
As long as you have the right ingredients, tools, and a little bit of patience, you can treat yourself to not just one, but at least eight cinnamon rolls, and you might even have leftovers to pop in the freezer.
Here is the best cinnamon roll recipe you have to try.
The Best Cinnamon Roll Recipe: Ingredients
First thing first, you’ll need to set yourself up with the right ingredients and tools to make delicious cinnamon rolls that’ll convert you from buying store-bought to homemade. Making cinnamon roll dough is probably the most labor-intensive part, but it’s well worth it. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 4 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 packet of dry yeast (active)
- 1 cup of whole milk (slightly warm)
- 2 room temperature eggs
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 1/3 cup of melted butter
- 1 teaspoon of salt
When it comes to the filling for making cinnamon rolls, the ingredients are fairly simple. In fact, you probably have most of them in your pantry already. You’ll need:
- 2 tablespoons of cinnamon (ground)
- 1/4 cup of melted butter
- 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
And finally, no cinnamon roll would be what it is without the frosting. This is, undoubtedly, the best part. The ingredients include:
- 1 and 1/2 cups of confectioner’s sugar
- 1/2 cup of butter
- 1/4 cup of softened cream cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- A pinch of salt
Once you’ve sourced all of your ingredients, it’s time to ensure you have the right tools. This will just make your life a whole lot easier during the preparation. Some of the most important include:
- A 13 x 9-inch baking pan
- A stand mixer (but you don’t have to have one!)
- A bench scraper for removing scraps of dough — but this is not necessary
- High-quality cinnamon because it’s the most important ingredient
Step One: Making Your Dough
The first and most important step when making these delectable sweet treats is proofing your yeast. This way, you can ensure you get the best rise out of your dough for that soft and pillowy dough effect. Here are the simple steps:
- Empty the packet of dried yeast into your warm milk. Your milk should be between 105º and 115ºF in temperature.
- Leave it to ”activate” for about 10 minutes until the mixture starts to look frothy
- After this, it’s time to make your dough. Add your sugar, melted butter, eggs, flour, and yeast mixture into a large mixing bowl
- If you’re using an electric mixer, use the hook attachment and beat on a medium speed until the dough is smooth
- If you’re mixing by hand, use a wooden spoon and mix until the dough is soft, but still a little sticky
If your dough seems too wet, add in a little flour until the consistency comes together to form a soft, pillowy, cohesive texture. Make sure to add a little flour at a time until you have the right texture.
Step Two: Kneading and Resting
Once your dough is a good texture, it’s time for some kneading.
Clear some countertop space and dust it liberally with flour. Turn out your dough onto the countertop and knead until it reaches a smooth and elastic texture. This might take you anywhere from 5-8 minutes — you can set a time for approximately 7 minutes if you prefer. Keep adding flour to your countertop so that the dough doesn’t become too sticky.
You’ll need a good dose of elbow grease for this part of the recipe, but the proof is in the pudding! Once your dough reaches the right consistency (it should have a slow bounce back when you push your finger into it), put it back into a greased mixing bowl and cover it with a damp tea towel. Allow it to prove for about an hour.
Step Three: Making Your Filling
Once your dough is left to proof, it’s time to move on to one of the most important parts of the cinnamon roll — the filling. The process is as simple as mixing together your cinnamon, butter, and brown sugar.
Make sure there aren’t any large clumps of sugar in the mixture. Set it aside for the assembly process.
Step Four: Dough Rolling and Assembly
After an hour, your dough should have doubled in size. Take it out of the bowl and punch it back with your knuckles to knock some of the air out of it (only a little!). Cut the dough ball into two equal portions.
Sprinkle your surface with flour and dust some over your rolling pin too. Roll each portion of dough into a rectangular shape that’s roughly 11 x 8 inches. Then, sprinkle your cinnamon filling over the top. Don’t spread your filling right to the edge — leave a half-inch border.
After this, roll your dough up from the bottom to the top, like you would a beach towel. Pinch the seam at the top to seal the roll and prevent it from unwinding when it bakes. Slice off the ends of the long dough sausage — make sure to use a very sharp knife or your bench scraper. Then, slice into individual rolls (you should get about 7-8 slices).
Step Five: Proofing, Baking, and Icing
You’ll need to prove your cinnamon rolls for a second time. But before you do, grease your baking pan and arrange the rolls inside it, leaving space between each roll to allow for expansion. They should double in size, again.
Cover your baking pan with a damp tea towel and allow it to prove for an hour. Set your oven to 350ºF about 15 minutes before the hour is up, then pop the baking pan right in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
Allow your buns to cool for a good 15 minutes after. And while doing so, it’s time to make your icing. Simply mix all of your ingredients — the softened butter, cream cheese, vanilla, and salt until combined. Then, slowly add in the confectioner’s sugar a little at a time until you have a thick, creamy frosting.
Step Six: Frosting
By the time you’ve made your frosting, the buns will have cooled enough to ice them. It doesn’t matter if the buns are still a little warm, this actually makes them all the more delicious.
Use a flat-edged knife and add your frosting on top, then enjoy!
Looking for More Cinnamon Roll Inspiration?
Now that you’re armed and ready with the best cinnamon roll recipe, there’s no excuse to buy ready-made, frozen, or store-bought cinnamon rolls that just don’t measure up! Unless you’re time-poor, of course.
But if you’ve always wanted to try and recreate this delicious treat at home, we hope this recipe serves you well. Explore the rest of this website for your fill of cinnamon roll inspiration and where to find the best of the best in the U.S./worldwide!