Shared thousands of times. No cinnamon roll recipe comes close to this one! These make-at-home cinnamon rolls are big, fluffy, soft, and absolutely delicious. If you’re looking for soft and pillowy cinnamon rolls to bake at home, your search stops here! Let’s get started!
“Anyone who gives you one of these cinnamon rolls fresh out of the oven is a friend for life.”
You’ll never go back to any other recipe once you try this one! This Cinnamon Roll Make at Home Recipe includes options to make them overnight or ahead of time and even freeze them for later.
Prep & Bake Times
PREP TIME: 2 HOURS 15 MINS
BAKE TIME: 20 MINS
TOTAL TIME: 2 HOURS 35 MINS
“I was going to go on a run this morning. I got to the end of my driveway – and decided I wanted cinnamon rolls. I walked back into my house and made your cinnamon roll recipe. Best. Idea. Ever.” ~ Nicole
Just imagine leisurely waking up to the heavenly smell of fresh, warm cinnamon rolls infused with rich brown sugar and draped in a tranquil vanilla cream cheese glaze. These really are the best cinnamon rolls to make at home!
Though not the healthiest, there are times when you need to treat yourself with something comforting for life’s special moments.
Soft and Pillowy
We’ve written extensively about the difference between bread flour and all-purpose flour. The trick to keeping the best cinnamon rolls to make at home is bread flour!
Here’s the skinny on why you have to use bread flour for your make-at-home cinnamon rolls:
If you are making cinnamon rolls at home, you should most definitely grab the bread flour to do this. Bread flour is hands down the best option when making cinnamon rolls.
Any good cinnamon rolls recipe is going to usually call for bread flour instead of other kinds of flour. This is because bread flour is high in protein, usually containing 11% to 13% more protein than other kinds of flour.
Protein is important in flour as it helps with the creation of gluten as you knead the dough. This protein creates stability and lift, allowing the cinnamon dough to rise and hold its shape.
This protein is important because pastries will become tough and dense if they cannot rise. The dough also must be able to hold that rise and not fall or end up deflating in the oven.
Bread flour is a common choice when baking cinnamon rolls because it helps them to hold their shape. This not only creates beautifully swirled cinnamon rolls, but it also keeps them soft and pillowy after they have been baked.
This makes all of the difference and works much better than other kinds of flour that don’t have as much protein. In fact, our team of cinnamon roll experts recommends that people always use bread flour when they are working with any kind of kneaded dough that has to rise.
Are These As Good As What You’ll Buy at Cinnabon?
No, they are better than Cinnabon! And, if you don’t believe read what Jess wrote about our Best Cinnamon Rolls You Can Make at Home Recipe!
“Out of all the cinnamon roll recipes we’ve tried, this is by far the best one. My family can’t get enough of them! The search is over!” ~ Jess
Here’s the back story of our best cinnamon rolls to make the at-home recipe. As many of you know, our team has a very close relationship with a couple of bakeries who’ve found fame and fortune baking commercially. They’ve been on The Food Network, Diners Drive-Ins & Dives, and QVC just to name a few.
In 2020, we approached these bakeries and asked for help creating the best cinnamon roll recipe to make at home.
Our team of cinnamon roll experts demanded the recipe have the following characteristics:
- Easy to follow the recipe
- Simple ingredients
They assisted us in developing a simple recipe for the best cinnamon rolls to make at home. The recipe has now been shared tens of thousands of times since we first published it three years ago.
With this cinnamon roll recipe, you can easily compete with some of the World’s Best Cinnamon Roll bakeries!
Are you ready to start making our delicious, warm, and pillowy cinnamon rolls? Breakfasts will never be the same again after trying them.
Remember, we kept the ingredients basic for a reason. Despite the fact that this cinnamon roll recipe only calls for a few components, it does need some patience – don’t deviate from our advice or your cinnamon rolls won’t turn out light and pillowy as we intended.
You’ll only need a few ingredients to make these award-winning cinnamon rolls!
- Butter: For the best results, we recommend using grass-fed salted butter.
- Milk: For the best results, we recommend using 2% or whole milk.
- Granulated Sugar: Used to help activate the yeast and of course to sweeten the cinnamon rolls.
- Yeast: We recommend quick rise or instant yeast. This will help your cinnamon rolls rise faster. This specific yeast doesn’t need any ‘proofing,’ meaning you don’t have to wait and watch it until it bubbles.
- Egg Yolk + Egg: This recipe was created to provide the perfect texture and rich flavor for your homemade cinnamon rolls! Don’t forget the extra egg yolk!!!!
- Dark Brown Sugar: When available, choose dark brown sugar for a more robust molasses sweet flavor in those cinnamon roll swirls!
- Cinnamon: Although Cinnabon uses Makara cinnamon, that’s not necessary. Our team of experts recommends using Saigon cinnamon because of its bold flavor and sweetness. But, you can simply use what you have at home, too.
- Salt: Don’t skimp on the salt unless you have a medical necessity! Even the finest cinnamon rolls in the world would be dull without a touch of salt. The use of salt not only makes the meat more flavorful, but it also aids in the control of yeast.
- Bread Flour: Again, don’t use all-purpose flour. The higher protein levels as we explained above help create the light and pillowy cinnamon rolls you crave for breakfast at home!
- Powdered Sugar
- Cream Cheese
What You’ll Need To Get Started
We want you to be successful! We designed the Best Cinnamon Roll to Make at Home recipe, with you in mind. Here are a few kitchen utensils and tools you’ll need to get started:
- 9×9 inch baking pan: We recommend using a well-seasoned 9×9 inch square baking pan.
- Knife: For best results, use a serrated knife to cut the cinnamon roll log.
- Mixer: At the World’s Best Cinnamon Rolls, we’re old-school. We suggest that you knead the dough by hand, but we understand if you prefer to use technology instead. Feel free to utilize a stand mixer with a dough hook.
- Spoon. We use a wooden spoon to stir the bread dough because we think it works best.
- Rolling pin. You’ll need a rolling pin to get your dough perfectly flat. If you don’t have one, no problem! Just flour up an empty wine bottle, PVC pipe, vase, or water bottle, and use one of those instead.
- Parchment Paper. The parchment paper will help you remove the cinnamon rolls from the pan easily, it will catch any filling that leaks out, and it can make your Instagram photos look even better!
PRO-TIPS to Get Started
- Flour Your Surfaces: This is to avoid the best cinnamon rolls sticking to the surface or rolling pin. Make sure your work table and rolling pin (or a suitable substitute) are floured.
- Room Temperature Eggs & Butter: Trust us, let your eggs come to room temperature in a bowl of warm water. A few minutes will do the trick! And, forever and always…room temperature butter
- Watch Your Milk Temps: The ideal milk temperature is 105-110 degrees Fahrenheit. You want to avoid killing the yeast. If you do, your cinnamon rolls won’t rise. And, you’ll disappoint your family and probably never live it down!
Remember to follow the recipe for The Best Cinnamon Rolls to Make at Home Recipe exactly as we’ve outlined below. Now, let’s get started!
Ingredients for Amazing Dough
- ¾ cup warm milk
- 2 ¼ teaspoons quick rise yeast
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
- ¼ cup salted grass-fed butter, melted
- 3 cups bread flour
- 1 teaspoon of salt
Ingredients For a Rich Cinnamony Filling
- 2/3 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 ½ tablespoons ground Saigon cinnamon (Yes, you can use off-the-shelf cinnamon.)
- ¼ cup salted grass-fed butter, softened at room temp
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (We have tested it with Maple extract. Amazing!)
Ingredients for a Decadent Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 4 oz cream cheese, softened
- 3 tablespoons grass-fed butter, softened
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla or maple extract
Instructions For The Best Cinnamon Rolls to Make at Home
Warm milk to around 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Transfer warm milk to the bowl of an electric mixer and sprinkle yeast on top.
Add in the following ingredients:
- Egg yolk
- Melted butter
To make the cinnamon roll dough, mix all of the ingredients together until they are well combined. Then, add the bread flour and salt gradually, stirring with a wooden spoon until the dough begins to form.
For a more old-school approach, begin by kneading the dough with your hands on a well-floured surface! OR attach the dough hook to the stand mixer and knead the cinnamon roll dough on medium speed for 7-9 minutes. The mixture will eventually coalesce into a dough ball that is slightly sticky to the touch.
If the cinnamon roll dough is sticking to the bottom of the mixer, it may need additional bread flour. We recommend adding 1-2 tablespoons more bread flour. Adjust accordingly.
You’re doing fantastic so far! Now it’s time to put your cinnamon roll dough ball in a well-oiled bowl and wrap it with plastic wrap and a warm towel.
Allow the cinnamon roll dough to rise until it doubles in size. How long will that take? It depends on the humidity and temperature of your kitchen. We’ve received hundreds of comments and reviews on this recipe. In most kitchens, the dough ball will double in size in 1 to 1.5 hours. Be patient! Don’t rush it. If it hasn’t doubled in size, leave it alone!
Step 4 – Roll It Out
Prepare a well-floured surface in your kitchen. A countertop is the most common. Once the cinnamon dough ball has doubled in size, transfer it to your countertop.
Grab your rolling pin or a suitable replacement like a wine bottle and roll out the dough into a 14×9 inch rectangle.
Remember the butter that was at room temperature? Apply it to the rolled cinnamon dough, leaving a 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch border on the other side.
Step 5 – Massage it In
You’re almost there! Just a few steps left and your family will be enjoying the best cinnamon rolls to make at home!
In a small mixing bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon. With your fingers, apply the cinnamon-sugar mixture to the buttered dough and massage it in.
Step 6 – Roll it Up
Now that you’ve combined the cinnamon-brown sugar mix into the dough, it’s time to roll the cinnamon roll dough up tightly.
Place the cinnamon dough, seam side down, and seal the edges as best you can. Start with the 9-inch side. About an inch will need to be cut off the dough’s ends as they won’t contain as much of the brown sugar-cinnamon mixture as other areas of your dough log.
Step 7 – Cut The Dough Log
Grab your serrated knife and cut the dough log into 1-inch pieces. You should have 9 pieces if you followed our instructions in Step 4 and rolled out the dough properly.
Step 8 – Place The Pieces in The Pan
You will need a greased 9×9-inch baking pan for this recipe. Be sure to line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper before adding the cinnamon roll slices.
Now, cover the baking pan with plastic wrap and a warm towel. We recommend letting the cinnamon rolls rise again for approximately 30-45 minutes.
Next step? It’s time to bake the best cinnamon rolls you’ve ever had!
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit before you begin cooking. This will ensure that your cinnamon rolls are cooked evenly and have that gorgeous slightly golden brown tone we’re aiming for!
Step 9 – Bake Them Up
The moment you’ve waited for! Remove the warm towel and plastic wrap from the baking pan.
Once the oven is at 350 degrees, bake the cinnamon rolls for approximately 20-25 minutes. Watch them closely. All ovens are a little different and we don’t want to overcook them. In fact, we want to slightly undercook them. This is one of the keys to a soft and fluffy cinnamon roll!
Take the cinnamon rolls out of the oven when they are slightly golden brown on the edges.
Don’t frost them yet, though! Let them cool on the countertop for 5-10 minutes while you prepare the world’s best cinnamon roll frosting!
Your patience is paying off! Trust us, you’ll never try another cinnamon roll recipe ever again!
Step 10 – Frost Them Up
Grab a small mixing bowl and your electric mixer. Combine the following ingredients.
- Cream Cheese
- Softened butter
- Powdered sugar
- Vanilla extract (or Maple)
Beat the ingredients in a small mixing bowl until smooth and fluffy. Now, spread the frosting generously over the cinnamon rolls. Let the frosting ooze between all the cracks and crevices.
Step 11 – Serve Them Up
The only thing left to do is serve the delicious cinnamon rolls you just made to your friends or family.
This recipe for the best cinnamon rolls to make at home has been shared thousands of times. We’re grateful to our readers for testing our cinnamon roll recipes and sharing them with family and friends.
National Cinnamon Roll Day
National cinnamon roll day is October 4th each year. This recipe is perfect for family gatherings, client gifts, or to bring to work. Click here to learn more about celebrating National Cinnamon Roll Day!