The BEST Cinnamon Rolls You'll Ever Have...
Updated: May 9, 2020
Ooey, gooey, hot cinnamon rolls fresh from the oven.
If you're looking for a cheat treat or just love cinnamon rolls as much as I do you're in the right spot. Not gonna lie... I've grown up eating cinnamon rolls out of the can on Easter Morning or a Sunday just because! No shame, because they're absolutely delicious and worth every bite. These homemade cinnamon rolls sure do beat the can though served warm.
I was pretty surprised at how simple this recipe turned out to be because I was intimidated by using yeast and crossing my fingers that the dough would rise, but it worked perfectly and tastes just like a Cinnabon cinnamon roll... maybe even better!
I used this recipe and adapted a bit with the ingredients I had on hand. If you want to prep them the night before and bake them in the morning follow instructions below on how to refrigerate them overnight.
Let's get to it.
Prep time: 2 hours
Bake time: 20-25 minutes
Milk: I used 2% milk (you can also use whole milk)
Granulated Sugar: This is essential to help activate the yeast and sweeten up the cinnamon rolls.
Instant Yeast: Makes the cinnamon rolls rise, make sure the yeast is instant which helps reduce the rise time.
Butter: I used salted butter, you can use either salted or unsalted butter
Egg + Egg Yolk: Makes for the perfect texture and consistency
All-Purpose Flour: Original recipe called for bread flour which has a higher protein content, but all-purpose worked out great.
Brown Sugar: I used light brown sugar, but dark brown sugar can be used as well.
The icing is to die for with thick, creamy consistency and made with cream cheese. All you have to do is whip up cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Voila!
1. Luke warm milk: Microwave your milk for 30-45sec. in the microwave to help activate the yeast, but do NOT overheat your milk. It should feel similar to a warm bath and if you overheat simply wait a few minutes for it to cool.
2. Room temperature butter: Make sure to use room temperature butter in this recipe although others will call for melted butter. A trick I do is melt refrigerated butter in the microwave for 10-15sec to soften.
3. Rub brown sugar: Rub the brown sugar mixture into the dough before rolling.
4. Room temperature eggs: Make sure to leave your eggs out on the counter to bring them closer to room temperature. This step is important as to not mess with the yeast activation process in your dough.
These are honestly the best cinnamon rolls I've tasted and I can't wait for you to try them out yourself or to make for a loved one on a special occasion.
3/4 cup warm milk (whole or 2% will work)
2 1/4 tsp instant, dry yeast
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg, plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
1/4 cup unsalted butter melted
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, softened
Cream Cheese Frosting
4oz. Cream Cheese, softened
3 tbsp butter, softened
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Step 1: Start by microwaving your milk in the microwave to heat it up to room temperature for about 30-45 seconds. You can test the milk with your pinky to make sure the milk feels lukewarm. You don't wan't your milk to be too hot as this will effect the yeast process. Pour your warm milk into the bowl of your stand mixer and sprinkle your yeast on top. I used a small whisk to mix the yeast and milk together and let sit for about 5 minutes to allow the yeast to activate. Pour in granulated sugar, egg, egg yolk, and melted butter. Mix with paddle on stand mixer until combined. Next, stir in flour and salt by hand with a wooden spoon until the dough begins to form.
Step 2: Place the dough hook onto your stand mixer and knead dough on low-medium speed for 8-10 minutes. The dough should form into a nice, smooth ball and should not be too sticky. I added a bit more flour in this step so that my dough was not too wet.
Step 3: Transfer the dough into a greased bowl, flip the dough over to coat the entire ball with oil, and cover with plastic wrap. Place a warm kitchen towel over your bowl and allow the dough to rise for a minimum of 1 to 1 1/2 hours until it has doubled in size. Pro tip: Take a picture of your dough pre-rise and it'll be easier to tell once your dough has doubled.
Step 4: After the dough has doubled in size, move your dough to a well-floured surface and roll your dough into a 14x9 inch rectangle. Spread softened butter over the dough leaving 1/4 in. margin from each edge of the dough.
Step 5: In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle the mixture over your dough and rub into your dough.
Step 6: Begin tightly rolling your cinnamon roll starting from the 9in side and keep the seem side down to seal the edges the best you can. You'll want to cut off about an inch off of both ends since the filling might not have been distributed evenly.
Step 7: Cut into 1 in. sections with a sharp (preferably serrated) knife. I measure where I'm going to cut by pressing lightly with the knife to mark where I planned to slice. You'll get 9 cinnamon rolls.
Step 8: Place cinnamon rolls in a greased 9x9 pan (I used a round 9in cake pan) and line with parchment paper to catch any filling that may sneak out. Cover the cinnamon rolls with plastic wrap and place a kitchen towel over to rise for another 30-45 minutes.
Step 9: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove the towel and plastic wrap and place the cinnamon rolls in the oven. Bake for about 20-25 minutes until the tops are golden brown. Allow them to cool for 5-10 minutes before frosting.
Step 10: BEST PART...time to frost! In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment whip together the cream cheese, softened butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Beat until smooth and then spread the frosting over the cinnamon rolls to serve immediately. ENJOY!
How to Make Cinnamon Rolls Overnight:
After rolling the cinnamon rolls up, cut into your 1 in. rolls and arrange in greased pan lined with parchment paper, cover well with plastic wrap then place in fridge overnight. When you're ready to bake, bring the cinnamon rolls to room temperature and let them rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour before baking as directed.