Cinnamon Rolls

These homemade cinnamon rolls are filled with cinnamon and sweet honey butter and topped with cream-cheese icing (not shown in our photo). Here’s how to make them.

Lots of cinnamon rolls baked together

We don’t know about you, but when we’re about to tuck into homemade cinnamon rolls, especially these irresistibly and ever so slightly unconventional ones made with honey butter and cream cheese frosting, we first slink off to change into baggy sweatpants whose waistband no longer has barely any elasticity whatsoever left. We consider it proper cinnamon rolls attire. We’re not certain whether that makes us realists and not romantics, and we don’t really care so long as we have these rolls. Kindly note that the unbaked rolls can be assembled and rolled and stashed in the fridge the night before, so all you have to do in the morning is pull the rolls from the fridge while the oven preheats and you sip coffee while you wake up.–Renee Schettler

Cinnamon Rolls

  • Quick Glance
  • (11)
  • 45 M
  • 3 H, 15 M
  • Makes 20 small or 9 giant rolls
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  • For the dough
  • For the honey butter
  • For the cinnamon sugar
  • For the icing


Make the dough

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 pull away from the sides of the bowl with no extra flour left at the bottom. It’s possible that you may need to add a little more flour if the dough seems sticky. The dough, when completely developed, should be tacky but not sticky.)

Remove the dough hook and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Set the bowl in a warm place and let stand until the dough has doubled in size.

Make the honey butter

In a medium bowl, stir together the honey and the butter until completely combined.

Make the cinnamon sugar

In a small bowl, stir together the sugar and cinnamon until completely combined.

Assemble the rolls

Place the dough on a lightly floured surface. Roll it out into a rectangle, roughly 18 inches by 24 inches and 1/2 inch thick. Liberally brush the dough with half the honey butter. Sprinkle with as much of the cinnamon sugar as you please.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and rub the parchment with butter.  

If making small rolls, beginning with the 24-inch side of the dough, roll it tightly from one side to the other, gently pulling or pressing the dough as needed to make as even a roll as possible.  

If making giant rolls, beginning with the 18-inch side of the dough, roll it tightly from one side to the other, gently pulling or pressing the dough as needed to make as even a roll as possible.

Divide the long roll into individual rolls using a serrated knife and slicing the dough roll into individual rolls. Small rolls should be about 1 1/4-inches thick and giant rolls about 2-inches thick. Working with 1 roll at a time, carefully take the tail end of the piece of dough and gently pull and wrap it around the rest of the spiral dough, tucking it underneath. Place the roll on the baking sheet and press down slightly. Repeat with the rest of the rolls, fitting them sort of snugly. (You can cover and refrigerate the rolls overnight if that lets you hit the snooze button the next morning.)

Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C). Cover the rolls with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and set it in a warm place. Let the rolls rise while the oven preheats.

Bake the cinnamon rolls, rotating the pan once, until they’re a deep golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and lightly brush the tops of the rolls with the remaining honey butter.

Make the cream cheese icing

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.

When the rolls are completely cool, slather them with icing. Serve them as-is or, to rewarm, place them in the oven at 325°F (163°C) for 2 to 3 minutes. Originally published November 11, 2011.

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

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 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 10 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 how they'd be a great holiday treat. They were truly amazing.

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 and 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 rolls. They are best warm.


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  1. I’ve tasted cinnamon rolls in past but i’m sure this one is one I have missed. I can taste the flavor of butter and honey. You described everything in such a way that inspires me to try this recipe at home.

    1. Mobasir, we’re thrilled and pleased to hear you’ll be trying them at home. Thank you. Yes, these truly are unique among cinnamon rolls. We so appreciate your kind words and look forward to hearing what you think of them…

  2. HI. Your recipes are really great and indeed interesting BUT I’m unable to make most of them. In Europe we have different measurements – we don’t have sticks of butter – our butter is packed in 100 / 250 / or 500 gr packages. Also the flour here is measured in 1000gr or 1 kilo. The liquids are measured in liters. Is there any way to edit your recipes to add these measurements in brackets? Maybe u find a solution. Many thanks. Uschi

    1. Sole, we didn’t test it the way, so we can’t give a definitive “yes.” (As you know, baking recipes can be finicky.) But this one seems simple enough, so I’d go for it. Please drop by again and let us know how they turned out so that we can help others in the future.

    1. Kay, let’s find out, shall we? I don’t have a stand mixer, either, and neither did my grandma or my mom, both of whom made amazing cinnamon rolls, so I’d venture to say it will work spectacularly. I think the main trick is to not add too much flour while kneading the dough by hand. Well, that and arm fatigue, but I have to say, I prefer kneading by hand, it’s sorta meditative. At any rate, best wishes, merry merry, and happy happy!

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