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Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

These homemade cinnamon rolls are fluffy and light, made with yeasted dough, filled with a warm spiced butter filling, and topped with a tangy cream cheese frosting. 

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls in a baking dish.

There is nothing better than waking up to the luscious aromas from a batch of warm and gooey cinnamon rolls baking in the oven.

These homemade cinnamon rolls are truly a special treat that is filled with love. Starting by making a yeasted dough, filled with brown sugar, butter, and spices, and drizzled (or lovingly slathered) in a tangy cream cheese frosting.

If you’ve only ever made cinnamon rolls from a popped can before, don’t worry!

The hardest part about these homemade cinnamon rolls is waiting for them to rise. They’re totally beginner friendly and super easy to make!

Trust me, these homemade cinnamon rolls are the perfect way to start the day!

Craving cinnamon rolls but live a GF life? Try these gluten-free cinnamon rolls!

Ingredients for cinnamon roll dough on a table.

Ingredients for homemade cinnamon rolls

Dough ingredients: 

  • Warmed milk and granulated sugar – This combination will give our active dry yeast a perfect environment to bloom and grow. 
  • Active dry yeast – Active dry yeast will make our homemade cinnamon rolls fluffy and light. 
  • Eggs – Eggs will help emulsify the ingredients and bind them together. 
  • Melted butter – Melted butter will add moisture and necessary fat to our homemade cinnamon rolls.
  • Vanilla extract – Vanilla extract will add a subtle sweet vanilla flavor. 
  • All-purpose flour – All-purpose flour is a common baking ingredient that will make up the majority of our dough. 
Brown sugar and cinnamon filling ingredients on a table.

Filling ingredients: 

  • Softened butter – Softened butter will help the spices and sugar get ultra melty and gooey.
  • Brown sugar – Brown sugar has a rich, deep molasses flavor. 
  • Spices – I’ve used a combination of ground cinnamon and nutmeg for warm spices in these homemade cinnamon rolls. 
  • Kosher salt – kosher salt is necessary even in baked goods, to help enhance and bring out the flavors of the filling in these homemade cinnamon rolls. 
Creamy cream cheese frosting ingredients on a table.

Cream cheese frosting ingredients: 

  • Cream cheese – Cream cheese is thick and will give a great tangy flavor. 
  • Powdered sugar – Powdered sugar is a common frosting sugar because it can dissolve at room temperature. 
  • Heavy cream – Heavy cream will add a luscious texture and ensure that our frosting is the perfect consistency in our homemade cinnamon rolls. 
  • Vanilla extract – Vanilla extract will give the frosting a subtle vanilla flavor. 
Yeast in a bowl.
Dough in a bowl.

How to make homemade cinnamon rolls

If you’ve never made homemade cinnamon rolls before, this recipe is very beginner friendly!

First, we’ll focus on making the dough:

In the bowl of a stand mixer, you’ll add your warm milk, and granulated sugar, and sprinkle your yeast on top. You’ll let that sit for 5 minutes until the yeast starts to get foamy. 

Moving on, you’ll add your eggs, your melted butter, and vanilla, and give it a quick stir. Slowly now, start adding your flour. Once all of the flour is added, you’ll continue to let the stand mixer knead the dough for 5 minutes. 

Place your dough ball in a lightly greased bowl, cover it with a kitchen towel, and let it rise in a warm place for 1 hour. Once the dough has risen, roll it out into a rectangle, roughly ¼” thick.

Cinnamon roll dough sprinkled with butter and cinnamon sugar.
Unbaked cinnamon rolls in a baking dish.

Time to roll!:

Take your rectangle of dough, spread your softened butter sprinkle your spices evenly across it, and roll it tightly into a log making sure to pinch the seam at the end so it stays closed. 

Cut your log into 1” thick slices with a serrated knife and place your unbaked cinnamon rolls into a greased baking dish, cut side up, and cover again with a kitchen towel while you preheat the oven.

When they’re finished baking, generously frost them with the cream cheese frosting, and serve warm!

Cream cheese frosting drizzled on a cinnamon roll.

What is the difference between active dry, and rapid rise yeast?

I know the names can get confusing, but there’s only 1 big difference between these two types of yeast that are commonly found in most major grocery stores:

Active dry needs time to bloom in a warm liquid and sugar solution, whereas rapid rise  (sometimes called “instant”) can be added straight from the packet, into your dry ingredients.

You can substitute rapid rise for active dry, but you need to use 25% less of the yeast to do so, so just keep that in mind when baking!

Making overnight cinnamon rolls

  1. Follow the recipe as written, but cover the dough with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge before the second rise in step 6 of assembly.
  2. The next day, bring the rolls to room temperature and let rise for 45-60 minutes while you preheat the oven and continue with the recipe as written. 
Homemade Cinnamon Rolls topped with cream cheese frosting.

Tips and tricks:

Making the dough: 

  • Be sure that your milk isn’t too hot. If it’s scalding, it will kill the yeast. You want to use warm milk, not hot! 
  • Using a stand mixer really will do all of the work for you, so you don’t have to knead the dough by hand. And be sure to have a warm place where your dough can rise properly afterward. 
  • Use room-temperature eggs for your dough. It incorporates better into the dough.

Cutting the cinnamon rolls:

  • Make sure your knife is sharp! A dull knife will squish the rolls and press them down, losing that gorgeous swirl. 
  • You can also use plain unflavored dental floss to cut your rolls. This will give you super clean cuts!

For the filling:

  • Feel free to use your favorite blend of spices! Cardamom, ginger, and allspice would work lovely here as well. Have fun with it!
  • Mix-ins like raisins, nuts, or other dried fruit will also work great here too.
Cinnamon roll on a plate with a fork.

More cinnamon roll recipes

Storage and leftovers

Lastly, any leftover homemade cinnamon rolls can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.

These are best eaten after they’re made. 

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls in a white baking dish.

More breakfast treats

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

These homemade cinnamon rolls are fluffy and light, made with yeasted dough, filled with a warm spiced butter filling, and topped with a tangy cream cheese frosting.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Rising Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 9 rolls


For dough:

For filling:

For cream cheese frosting:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


For dough:

  • Add the warm milk and granulated sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Sprinkle over the yeast and allow it to sit for 5 minutes, or until foamy and fragrant.
  • Add the eggs, melted butter, and vanilla. Whisk to combine.
  • WIth the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour. Once all of the flour is added, the dough should come together into a smooth ball around the hook. If it is still sticking to the sides of the bowl, add flour 1 tablespoon at a time – just until it no longer sticks to the bowl.
  • Knead the dough on low speed for 5 minutes, or until it is smooth and tacky. The dough should be soft and slightly sticky to the touch.
  • Lightly oil the bowl and then shape the dough into a smooth ball. Place it in the oiled bowl and cover. Set the dough in a warm place and allow it to rise until doubled in size – about 1 hour.
  • When the dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and roll it into a ¼ inch thick 9×14 inch rectangle.

For filling:

  • In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.

For assembly:

  • Spread the dough with softened butter and sprinkle the filling mixture evenly over the butter.
  • Tightly roll the dough into a log, making sure to pinch the seam closed so the log doesn’t unroll.
  • Use a sharp serrated knife, cut off 1/2 inch off each end, and then cut the log into 1-inch rounds. You should end up with 9 large cinnamon rolls.
  • Grease 9×9 baking dish with butter or line with parchment paper.
  • Place the cinnamon rolls in the pan, making sure to place them cut side up.
  • Cover the rolls again and place them in a warm place to rise while you preheat the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.


  • When the cinnamon rolls almost completely fill the pan, it’s time to bake!
  • Bake the cinnamon rolls for 35-40 minutes, or until they are golden brown.
  • Remove the cinnamon rolls from the oven and allow them to sit for 10 minutes before frosting.

For frosting:

  • Place the softened cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
  • With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the powdered sugar.
  • When all of the powdered sugar has been incorporated, slowly add the heavy cream and vanilla, with the mixer still on low speed.
  • When all of the heavy cream has been incorporated, turn the mixer to medium-high speed and beat until the frosting becomes smooth and fluffy – about 2 minutes. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Spread the frosting over the cinnamon rolls and enjoy.


Serving: 1roll | Calories: 424kcal | Carbohydrates: 85g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 87mg | Sodium: 213mg | Potassium: 145mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 624IU | Vitamin C: 0.04mg | Calcium: 71mg | Iron: 3mg
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Keyword cinnamon rolls, overnight cinnamon rolls, the best cinnamon rolls
Did you try this recipe?Leave a comment and 5 star review!
Homemade Cinnamon Rolls pin for Pinterest.

About Brandy!

I am a food lover and recipe developer bringing you delicious recipes that taste great and are easy to make! My food is inspired by travels around the world and my love of flavorful food. A list of things that make me happy: cats, Coke Zero, houseplants, and travel. Read more...

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