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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Ingredients

  • For the dough
  • For the honey butter
  • For the cinnamon sugar
  • For the icing

Directions

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.

Print RecipeBuy the Fried Chicken & Champagne cookbook

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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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Comments

  1. 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. =)

  2. 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!

  3. 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!

    1. 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. 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?

        1. 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!

          1. 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?

          2. 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!

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