This classic homemade cinnamon roll recipe pairs a soft, fluffy dough with swirls of buttery cinnamon sugar and cream cheese frosting. Best breakfast ever!
It goes without saying that homemade cinnamon rolls taste amazing, but the other benefit of making them at home is that your whole house will smell absolutely incredible. Is there anything better than that aroma of cinnamon baked goods in the oven? I don’t think so! If you want to get your kids out of bed in the morning, make a batch of cinnamon rolls!
Homemade Cinnamon Roll Recipe
Now, cinnamon rolls aren’t exactly a weekday breakfast, but they’re perfect for a lazy weekend when you’re not in a rush to eat or Christmas morning when you want to make something special. You’ll need to account for the time the dough needs to rise since these cinnamon rolls are made with yeast. Good things are worth the wait, though!
If you’ve never worked with yeast before, this is a good recipe to try your hand with it. The key is to avoid over-kneading, which will make the cinnamon rolls tough.
For the Dough:
- Active dry yeast – Don’t use instant yeast! It’s not the same.
- Whole milk – The milk needs to be warm, but not hot.
- Eggs – The eggs should be room temperature.
- All-purpose flour
For the Filling:
- Brown sugar – Light or dark will work for this recipe.
- Ground cinnamon
- Butter – The butter needs to be softened so it’s easy to work with.
For the Frosting:
- Butter – This butter will need to be softened too!
- Cream cheese – And the cream cheese should also be room temperature.
- Vanilla extract
- Confectioners’ sugar
How to Make Homemade Cinnamon Rolls from Scratch
1. Make the Dough
Add the warm milk to the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast over the top. Mix in the eggs, butter, and sugar, then add the salt and 4 cups of flour. Mix using the beater blade until the ingredients are just combined.
2. Knead the Dough
Scrape the dough off of the beater blade, then attach the dough hook. The dough should be tacky and stick to the sides of the bowl. Use the dough hook to knead the dough until it’s smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes.
3. Let the Dough Rise
Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning it once to coat the dough in the oil. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size. This should take about an hour.
4. Make the Filling
Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
Punch down the dough. Roll out the dough into an 11×8-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Brush the top of the dough with butter, then sprinkle with the sugar mixture, leaving a 1/2-inch border on the edges. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with the long side. Pinch along the seam to seal. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling ingredients.
6. Let the Dough Rise Again
Cut the dough logs into 8-12 slices; place the cut rolls into a greased 13×9-inch pan and cover with a kitchen towel. Let the rolls rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Start preheating the oven to 350ºF just before an hour has elapsed.
Bake the cinnamon rolls until they’re golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool on wire racks.
8. Make the Frosting
While the cinnamon rolls are cooling, make the frosting. Beat the butter, cream cheese, vanilla, and salt until smooth, then gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar.
9. Frost the Cinnamon Rolls
Spread the frosting over the tops of the cinnamon rolls and serve.
How to Store
Transfer the cinnamon rolls to an airtight storage container and refrigerate them for 2 to 3 days.
Can cinnamon rolls go bad?
Yes, they can! Because they have a cream cheese frosting, cinnamon rolls need to be stored in the refrigerator or the frosting will spoil.
What goes with cinnamon rolls?
Cinnamon rolls are pretty filling on their own, so I usually just serve them with some fresh fruit on the side. You can also make a savory breakfast option for balance—since the cinnamon rolls are a lot of work, I recommend something simple like scrambled eggs!
Are cinnamon rolls breakfast or dessert?
Cinnamon rolls are usually served for breakfast, but they work as a dessert too!
More Sweet Breakfast Recipes to Try
- Easy Baked French Toast Casserole
- Easy Homemade Waffle Recipe
- The Best Homemade Pancake Recipe
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
- 1 package 1/4 ounce active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm whole milk 110° to 115°
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup butter melted
- 2 eggs room temperature
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 to 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup brown sugar packed
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup butter softened, divided
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 6 oz cream cheese softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- To the bowl of a stand mixer, add the warm milk sprinkle the yeast over the top.
- Add the eggs, butter and sugar. Mix until combined.
- Add in salt and 4 cups (save the other 1/2 cup and add only if you need it) of flour and mix using the beater blade just until the ingredients are barely combined.
- Scrape the dough off the beater blade and remove before attaching the the dough hook.
- The dough should be tacky and will still be sticking to the sides of the bowl.
- Allow to “knead” until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes.
- Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
- In a smaller bowl, Mix brown sugar and cinnamon.
- Once the dough has doubled, punch down dough
- On a lightly floured surface, roll into an 11×8-in. rectangle.
- Brush with butter; sprinkle with brown sugar mixture to within 1/2 in. of edges. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; pinch seam to seal.
- Cut into 8-12 slices; place in a greased 13×9-in. pan, cut side down. Cover with a kitchen towel. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Bake until golden brown, 20-25 minutes. Cool on wire racks.
- For frosting, beat butter, cream cheese, vanilla and salt until blended; gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar. Spread over tops. Refrigerate leftovers.