These caramel cinnamon rolls combine my two favorite things! Salted caramel and homemade cinnamon rolls. The rolls are super soft and gooey, full of cinnamon filling and salted caramel. They are topped with a salted caramel icing and extra caramel!
If there is one thing that can make regular cinnamon rolls better, it is having them smothered in caramel. These salted caramel cinnamon rolls are extra gooey and full of rich fall flavor.
My favorite part about these rolls is the topping. The icing has salted caramel and it has even more caramel on top. If you are a salted caramel lover, you will love these rolls!
Why This Recipe Works
- Homemade dough- The dough is extra soft because 10 Tablespoons of butter is cut into the dough like it is pie dough. As the butter melts when cooking, it helps keep them very soft.
- Cinnamon roll filling- The cinnamon filling has lots of brown sugar and cinnamon!
- Salted caramel- Caramel made from scratch is far superior than any caramel you buy at the grocery store. However, in a pinch you can still use store bought caramel.
- Caramel icing- The icing is simple, and it is poured on top of the rolls when they are very hot so it melts into all of the cracks.
Step By Step Recipe Video
Here are some notes on the ingredients. For a full list of ingredients, check out the recipe card below.
- Unsalted butter- Pull the butter out 2 hours before using so it is softened.
- Milk- Use any milk and warm it to 110F. If too hot, it will kill the yeast, if too cool then it will dramatically slow the yeast down.
- Active dry yeast- I used 1 packet of yeast.
- Eggs- Pull the large eggs out 2 hours before baking. They also need to be lightly beaten before adding to the flour.
- Brown sugar- I used light brown sugar.
- Powdered sugar- Make sure this is sifted to get a smooth icing.
- Heavy cream- You can also use milk. Use slightly less milk since it isn't as thick as heavy cream.
Step By Step Instructions: Dough and Caramel
Here is how to make and bake the dough for the rolls and the salted caramel.
The dough is made with a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment. For making by hand instruction, see the recipe notes.
STEP 1: Mix the milk and yeast. First, warm the milk in the microwave to 110F. Use a kitchen thermometer. Pour the yeast over the warm milk and let it sit for 10 minutes.
It will be foamy at the end of the 10 minutes.
STEP 2: Mix the dry ingredients and the butter. In a large mixing bowl, mix the all-purpose flour, white sugar, and salt. Then, pour in the cubed butter. Use either a pastry cutter or your hands to cut the butter into the flour mixture.
The butter should be the size of a pea.
STEP 3: Knead the dough. Mix wet ingredients with the dry on low speed until a dough starts to form. Then, turn to medium speed and knead for 5 minutes.
STEP 4: Rise. Spray a large bowl with nonstick spray and place the dough in the bowl. Cover with a kitchen and towel and let it rise in a warm place.
Rise for 1 hour. It will be double in size.
STEP 5: Heat the sugar. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat the sugar. Use a whisk to stir until all the sugar crystals are melted and it turns amber in color.
See my salted caramel recipe for a ton of tips and tricks on making caramel.
STEP 6: Add butter and cream. Take the sugar off of the heat and add half of the butter at a time. It will bubble a lot and be hot, but keep stirring!
Repeat with the cream and add the vanilla extract and salt.
Assembling The Rolls
- Roll the cinnamon roll dough out. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface using a rolling pin. Roll the dough into a large rectangle, it should be about ¼th inch thick.
- Spread the cinnamon filling. Use an offset spatula to spread the filling over the dough. Make sure to get the edges on the short side of the dough. Don't worry as much on the edges on the long side of the dough because we will cut that part off.
- Spread the caramel. Drizzle the caramel on top and use the spatula to spread it on top of the filling.
- Roll the dough. Start on the short side and roll the dough into a log.
- Cut off the uneven ends.
- Cut the roll into 12 even slices. I used a serrated knife with light sawing motions to cut the rolls. You can also use unflavored dental floss.
- Rise. Place the sliced rolls into a 9X13-inch baking dish. Let it rise for 20 minutes.
- Bake. Bake the rolls for 22-25 minutes. They should be lightly golden brown on top.
- Spread the icing. Pour the icing on top of the cinnamon rolls when the rolls are hot. I used a spoon to spread it on top.
- Add extra caramel. Immediately sprinkle the extra caramel sauce on top of the sticky buns.
Once you are done kneading the dough. Place in a large bowl sprayed with nonstick spray. Then, cover with plastic wrap. Store in the fridge overnight. It needs to chill for a max of 16 hours.
Then in the next morning, you can pull it out and roll up the cinnamon rolls. Then, let it rise for 1 hour instead of the 20 minutes.
Yes you can! Bake for 16 minutes. Then, cover with aluminum foil and set on the counter overnight. Make the icing and store in an airtight container. In the morning, set the oven to 325F and bake until warm. Then, melt the icing in the microwave and pour on the rolls.
If you are eating just one, then reheat the rolls on a plate in the microwave for 20-30 seconds until warm. If you are reheating a whole tray, then preheat the oven to 350, and let it sit in the oven for 5 minutes or until hot.
Yes you can. Freeze them after you have cut into rolls. Thaw 1 hour before baking.
Yes you can! Sprinkle ½ cup of chopped pecans inside the filling.
Storing and Freezing
Store these caramel cinnamon rolls in an airtight container in the fridge. Store up to 5 days.
The baked rolls can be frozen. Store in an airtight container and freeze up to 30 days.
Heat in the microwave for 30 seconds until hot.
Other Cinnamon Roll Recipes To Try
Caramel Cinnamon Rolls
- 1 cup Milk warmed to 110°F
- 2 ¼ teaspoon Active dry yeast or a whole packet
- 2 Large eggs room temperature
- 4 ½ cups All-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- ¼ cup White granulated sugar
- 10 tablespoon Unsalted butter room temperature and cubed
- 1 cup White granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoon Unsalted butter room temperature and cubed
- ½ cup Heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- ½ teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup Unsalted butter room temperature
- ¾ cup Brown sugar packed light or dark
- 1 tablespoon Ground cinnamon
- ⅓ cup Salted Caramel
- 1 ½ cups Powdered sugar sifted
- 2 tablespoon Salted caramel
- ⅓ cup Heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
- Caramel to top the rolls with.
- I strongly recommend making the caramel ahead of time, so it has time to cool. Start by pour the sugar into a medium saucepan over medium heat. Let the sugar heat until every sugar crystal is melted. Use a whisk to mix it together.1 cup White granulated sugar
- Let the caramel turn amber in color. This takes less than 30 seconds, it goes fast! Take off the heat. Add half of the cubed butter, and whisk until mixed together. Then, add the rest of the butter and mix.4 tablespoon Unsalted butter
- Heat the heavy cream in the microwave until warm. Then, pour half of the cream into the caramel and mix. Mix in the rest of the cream. Add in the vanilla and salt.½ cup Heavy cream, 1 teaspoon Salt, ½ teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
- Pour the caramel into a separate container and cool completely before using.
- These instructions are to make the dough using a stand mixer with a dough hook. For mixing by hand, see recipe notes. Heat the milk in the microwave for 1 minute until the milk is warmed to 110°F. Pour the yeast on top of the milk and let it sit for 10 minutes.1 cup Milk, 2 ¼ teaspoon Active dry yeast
- In a large bowl, mix the flour, salt, and sugar. Pour in the cubed butter. Use a pastry cutter or your hands to cut the butter into the flour. Do this until the butter is the size of a pea. Pour in the milk/yeast and lightly beaten eggs.4 ½ cups All-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon Salt, ¼ cup White granulated sugar, 10 tablespoon Unsalted butter, 2 Large eggs
- Turn the mixer on low and mix until a dough starts to form. Then, turn the mixer to medium and knead for 5 minutes. The dough should be slightly tacky, but not dramatically stick to your hands.
- Preheat the oven to 200°F Spray a large mixing bowl with non-stick spray. Place the dough in the bowl and cover using a kitchen towel. Place the bowl in the oven, crack open the door, and turn off the oven. Let it rise for 1 hour.
- In a small bowl, mix the butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Mix using a hand mixer until it is smooth.½ cup Unsalted butter, ¾ cup Brown sugar, 1 tablespoon Ground cinnamon
- Punch the dough down. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface using a rolling pin. Roll into a large rectangle until it is ¼ inch thick.
- Spread the filling on top of the dough using an offset spatula. Drizzle the caramel on top of the filling.⅓ cup Salted Caramel
- Roll the dough starting on the short side. Roll into a log. Cut off the uneven edges. Use a measuring tape to cut the rolls into even 12 slices. Use dental floss or a serrated knife to cut the rolls. If using the knife, use very light sawing motions.
- Spray a 9X13-inch baking pan with baking non-stick spray. Place the rolls into the pan and cover with a kitchen towel. Let them rise for 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Bake for 22-28 minutes until the top of the rolls are lightly golden on top.
Salted Caramel Icing
- Make the icing while the rolls are cooking. Mix the sifted powdered sugar, salted caramel, heavy cream, and vanilla. It should be pourable.1 ½ cups Powdered sugar, 2 tablespoon Salted caramel, ⅓ cup Heavy cream, 1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
- As soon as the rolls are done baking, pour the icing on top. This allows the icing to melt into the rolls. Use all of the icing. Then, drizzle extra caramel on top.Caramel