Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

My husband, Jonathan, is an amazing baker and pastry chef. One of the coolest memories I have is of him getting up extra early on Christmas morning to bake these cinnamon rolls for the family. You can start them the night before and form the rolls, then let them rise the morning you plan to serve them.–Lisa Dupar

LC Proper Cinnamon Rolls Attire Note

We don’t know about you, but if we’re about to tuck into homemade cinnamon rolls, we first slink off to change into baggy sweatpants whose waistband no longer has any elasticity whatsoever left. You know, proper cinnamon rolls attire. Guess that makes us more realists than romantics.

Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 45 M
  • 3 H, 15 M
  • Makes 20 small or 9 giant rolls

Ingredients

  • For the dough
  • 10 ounces warm milk, [about 105°F (40°C)]
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 5 to 5 1/2 cups bread flour, plus more as needed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 large eggs
  • For the honey butter
  • 1 cup honey
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • For the cinnamon sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • For the icing
  • 5 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 10 ounces confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 ounces heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  • Make the dough
  • 1. Prepare a sheet pan or baking dish by lining it with parchment paper and rubbing it with butter.
  • 2. In the bowl of a standing mixer, stir together by hand the warm milk, yeast, and sugar. Let stand for 5 minutes. Add the flour, salt, butter, and eggs. Using the dough hook, mix until the dough is completely developed, 8 to 10 minutes. (By “completely developed” we mean that the dough should “clean” the side of the bowl, with no extra flour at the bottom; you might need to add a little more flour. The finished dough will be tacky but not sticky.) Remove the dough hook and cover the bowl with plastic. Set the bowl in a warm place and let stand until it’s double in size.
  • Make the honey butter
  • 3. In a medium bowl, stir together the honey and the butter until completely combined.
  • Make the cinnamon sugar
  • 4. In a small bowl, stir together the sugar and cinnamon until completely combined.
  • Assemble the cinnamon rolls
  • 5. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface. Roll it out into a rectangle roughly 18 inches by 24 inches and about 1/2-inch thick. Liberally brush the dough with half of the room-temperature honey butter. Sprinkle with as much of the cinnamon-sugar mixture as you please.
  • 6. Beginning with the 24-inch side of the dough, roll it tightly from the bottom to the top of the rectangle, gently pulling the dough to make an even, semi-tight spiral. Divide the long roll into individual rolls by cutting it in half crosswise with a serrated knife, then cut each portion in half again. Divide each quarter into 5 pieces. Place each spiral roll on its side. Carefully take the tail end of the piece of dough from one roll and gently pull and wrap it around the rest of the spiral dough, tucking it underneath. Place the roll in the pan and press down slightly on it. Repeat with the rest of the rolls, fitting them sort of snugly in little rows in the pan.
  • 7. Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C). Cover the pan with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and set it in a warm place. Let them rise again until while the oven preheats.
  • 8. Bake the cinnamon rolls for 15 to 20 minutes, until they are a deep golden brown, rotating the pan once halfway through. Remove from the oven and lightly brush with the remaining honey butter.
  • Make the icing
  • 9. Place the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of a standing kitchen mixer, and mix on low speed until smooth. Add the confectioners’ sugar, cream, and vanilla, and whip until smooth.
  • 10. When the cinnamon rolls are completely cool, slather them with icing. Serve the cinnamon rolls as-is or warm them in the oven at 325°F (163°C) for 2 to 3 minutes.
Hungry for more? Chow down on these:

Testers Choice

Testers Choice
Testers Choice
Jocelyn Walters

Nov 11, 2011

These cinnamon rolls were fabulous! Never knew what I was missing with the addition of honey to the butter for the filling. It really put the flavor over the top. The dough was rich and light and the extra honey butter brushed on after baking really helped keep the rolls moist. Winner winner chicken dinner—my search for the perfect cinnamon roll is over.

Testers Choice
Natalie Reebel

Nov 11, 2011

These may possibly be the best cinnamon rolls I have ever eaten. How could something with all that butter and honey not be good? These rolls were not only delicious, but much easier to make than first glances would suggest. The process went just as written. I did need to add ten minutes to the baking time. The resulting cinnamon roll was crisp on the outside (but not hard), and light and fluffy on the inside (but not doughy). I can see why they would be a great holiday treat. They were truly amazing.

Testers Choice
Jyoti D.

Nov 11, 2011

I have made a lot of cinnamon rolls, and I have to say, these were some of the best. The dough comes together quickly and easily in a stand mixer. My dough took about 1 1/2 hours to double in size. It was very easy to roll out, even without having to be chilled first. I spread on the honey butter and then the cinnamon sugar. If I had to do it again, I might chill the roll for 30 minutes before cutting it, as the butter/cinnamon mixture does ooze quite a bit. The rolls rise and puff quite a bit, so make sure you don’t crowd them in your baking dish. This makes a lot of good-sized cinnamon rolls. They are best warm.

Testers Choice
Adrienne Lee

Nov 11, 2011

This was quite good. You might need to make an adjustment in baking time if you use a different size pan. You might want to start with five cups of flour and add the additional half cup if needed. I definitely didn’t use all of the cinnamon sugar. I would have liked to have something else on the inside like raisins or nuts.

Comments
Comments
  1. Lisa says:

    Great recipe! Will try it and let you know, thanks.

    • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

      Our testers RAVED about it, Lisa. Here’s hoping you deem it rave-worthy, too…

  2. Julie says:

    To be clear, I can make these the night before through step 6, then let rise in the morning for a few minutes while the oven preheats?

    • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

      Actually, Julie, you would let them rise before freezing, so you would make them through step 7 prior to freezing…and clearly not turn on the oven!

      • Julie says:

        I am only interested in fresh rolls and not interested in freezing anything?

        • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

          Forgive me, Julie, I misread your question. Or rather, I think my thoughts instinctively turned to the baking pan of cinnamon rolls that my mom always, always keeps in her deep-freeze! Yes, you could refrigerate them overnight, let them rest at room temperature for half an hour, then bake ‘em off. Let us know what you think!

          • Julie says:

            I made them and they were amazing. Now I may be interested in freezing a batch!! How do I wrap them to freeze? And how do I thaw them before baking?

            • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

              Hurrah! What I suggest is ideally freezing an entire baking pan of them, Julie. Even though this takes your pan hostage, there’s less surface area of the rolls exposed to the elements. And again, ideally the rolls would be uniced. If it’s too late on either or both counts, then simply wrap them well in a double layer of resealable plastic bags–ideally the ones designed for the freezer–and squeeze every last ounce of air out of the bags. To thaw, simply leave at room temperature for several hours. If desired, once removed from the bags you can wrap the rolls in foil and warm in a low oven before icing–or, as the case may be, re-icing them. Easy peasy!

  3. Esther B. Mozo says:

    I made these last week and they were great! Best cinnamon rolls ever! They were soft and tasted sooooo good. Since I’m on a diet (oops!) and only my son and husband were at home to eat the 20 rolls (that were not quite as “small” as the recipe would have us believe — can you imagine how big the 9 “giant” rolls would be?), a few rolls stayed in the refrigerator for about a week … yet they were still soft after reheating for a minute in the microwave! These rolls are really amazing. I didn’t even have to put the cream cheese frosting on top, but I bet that would have made them just out of this world. I usually make cinnamon rolls with caramel sauce at the bottom and think them good, but this simple recipe is just way better. Simpler to make, more delicious, and did I already say softer? Thanks again Leite’s for another delicious recipe. Thank you for testing all your recipes and thank you for being such a reliable site. Keep it up and God bless all of you!

    • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

      You’re welcome, Esther. Although we can think of no lovelier compliment than what you just shared with us. Thank YOU. We look forward to hearing which other recipes draw your fancy.

  4. Rosie says:

    Thanks for this recipe!! My Mom’s “yeast buns” as she calls them are to die for and everyone raves about them and awaits for their package around the holidays. Sadly, there is no recipe as she has done them for decades and the recipe is long gone! And trying to take notes and stop her mid-process to take measurements is not practical at all. I have searched high and low for one that even comes close… and THIS IS IT! Now I have exact measurements and can make the slight adjustments (like adding raisins, etc) and my Mom’s Yeast Buns will be able to be passed down for generations… THANKS!

    • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

      Rosie, this is the best sort of comment we can hope to receive! Thank YOU for sharing your story with us…

  5. Nicholle C. says:

    I have to admit, I was a homemade cinnamon roll virgin. My fear of working with dough—mixing and kneading and rolling and all that—has intimidated me for some time, and I kept putting off making this recipe until this weekend, when Nemo forced me to stay indoors for two days. I sucked it up, sprinkled flour all over my kitchen, and made me some cinnamon rolls! I know my technique definitely needs some improvement, and as far as looks go they were far from perfection, but OH the taste…. The honey butter totally ROCKS these cinnamon rolls!! Now that Nemo has passed, I’m going outside to walk 50 miles and burn off the small pan of cinnamon rolls I ate in the past 48 hours. The next time a storm coops me up, I’ll be making these again with less trepidation and flour everywhere, and more finesse and confidence. =)

  6. Danielle says:

    What size pan do you use for these?

    • Beth Price says:

      Hi Danielle, you can use whatever pans you have on hand. One tester snugged hers in a 9 x 13 pyrex pan. You could also put them in two larger round pans. You just want them touching each other.

  7. jacque says:

    Hi Julie, I’m from Sweden, what do you mean by bread flour?

    • Beth Price says:

      Hi Jacque, what type of flours are available in Sweden? Bread flour has a higher protein content than regular flour.

  8. Soupcon says:

    I make cinnamon rolls/sticky buns frequently. If time constraints cause me to think I have not enough time to make these delicious treats, I use store-bought pizza dough, or fresh pizza dough from my nearest pizzaria and continue the recipe as written after the first dough rising.

  9. Lloyd Le Blanc says:

    Hello David,

    Firstly let me say that I absolutely love your site, and today I made these wonderful buns. Being in Canada, and not having any honey in the pantry (cupboard), I substituted maple syrup, and it was wonderful. I have been looking for this type of recipe for cinnamon buns that are not crisp but soft and gooey like these.

    Thank You & Regards,

    Lloyd

    • David Leite says:

      Lloyd, my pleasure. I think your substitution of the maple syrup for the honey is ingenious. I think I may have to try it myself.

      • Lloyd Le Blanc says:

        The maple syrup flavor was not strong. Next I will try raisins or currants and maybe cranberries and of course pecans.

        • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

          Sounds swell, Lloyd. Love when someone can tweak a recipe to suit their own likes…

        • David Leite says:

          Lloyd, may I suggest you use grade B maple syrup? People think grade A means the best, and grade B is inferior. But B actually has a more maple flavor. I prefer it to A–even over pancakes.

  10. Meikda says:

    I made these over the weekend and everyone loved them. They were soft in the inside and so good, We ate them right out of the oven. My daughter took them to work and they were calling for more.

    • David Leite says:

      Meikda, that’s the kind of thing I love to hear! And I just want to give a shootout to our recipe testers who test every single recipe that makes it (and many don’t make it) to the site. Saints, all of them.

  11. Maria says:

    I made these rolls last night, and they were soft and delicious right out of the oven. However, this morning I find the dough has turned very tough. I’m not an experienced baker, so I’m wondering what I could have done wrong? I don’t think I overmixed the dough because I did not let it run in the mixer for more than 4-5 minutes, by that time the dough was fully developed as explained in the recipe. Undermixed? Thank you.

    • Beth Price says:

      Hi Maria, I always love cinnamon rolls right out of the oven. If you do have leftovers, you might try warming them briefly in the microwave.

  12. noreen danclair-furlonge says:

    these are the best cinnamon rolls even better than the commercial ones at the airport.

  13. Beth says:

    Cannot wait to try these! The honey butter gracenote sounds inspired. Could this recipe be halved successfully?

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Beth, I’m always hesitant to recommend halving or doubling a baking recipe as I find there’s often a sorta quirky science going on such that the seemingly simple multiplication involved in halving a recipe just doesn’t work as it ought. May I suggest you make a full batch and either freeze half the rolls for later or give away half the rolls to friends, neighbors, the post office person, a local shelter, or some such?

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