These homemade cinnamon rolls are homemade rolls that are as soft as a pillow. The dough is so soft, the outside of the roll is just as gooey as the middle! They are filled with a cinnamon filling and topped with cream cheese glaze.
These homemade cinnamon rolls are the best homemade cinnamon rolls you will ever taste. What makes them the perfect cinnamon rolls is the fluffy texture strong flavors.
Cinnamon rolls are a family favorite, so I have spent a lot of time perfecting these into the best cinnamon roll recipe. These are the perfect way to start the day on a special occasion like Christmas morning.
Why This Recipe Works
- Gooey cinnamon rolls- I love cinnamon rolls that are soft and gooey. This is the best recipe for rolls that seem to melt in your mouth!
- Cream cheese glaze- No cinnamon roll is complete without a cream cheese frosting on top.
- Easy Cinnamon Rolls- The best part is I make this an easy recipe by making it as simple as possible with clear instructions so even a first time baker can have delicious rolls.
Here are some notes on the ingredients. For a full list of ingredients, check out the recipe card below.
- Warm milk- I recommend using whole milk or 2% milk.
- Yeast- You can use active dry yeast, instant yeast or fast rise yeast. Using 2 produces a greater rise.
- Eggs- Pull these out 2 hours before baking.
- Unsalted Butter- Pull these out 2 hours before baking.
- Brown sugar- I used light brown sugar. You can use dark brown sugar.
- Salt- The salt in the filling helps to balance the flavors.
- Cream cheese- Use full fat cream cheese.
- Powdered sugar- Use a sifter to prevent a lumpy glaze.
Step By Step Instructions: Dough and Filling
Here is how to make and bake this cinnamon roll dough.
The dough is made with a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment. If you don't have an electric mixer with dough hook instructions for kneading by hand are included.
STEP 1: Mix the milk and yeast. First, warm the milk in the microwave to 110F. Use a kitchen thermometer. Then, sprinkle 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, salt, and cinnamon. 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: Mix eggs and yeast. In a separate bowl, lightly beat your eggs. Add the eggs and yeast mixture to the dry ingredients. Mix on low speed until a dough starts to form and some flour is incorporated. Then, set to medium speed and knead for 5 minutes.
If kneading by hand, use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon and mix until a dough starts to form. Turn the dough onto a floured surface. Knead for 5 minutes until a soft dough ball forms.
STEP 5: Rise. Spray a large bowl with nonstick spray and place the dough in the greased bowl. Cover with a dish towel and let it rise in a warm place.
Let the cinnamon rolls rise for 1 hour. It will be double in size.
STEP 6: Beat the filling. In a small bowl, using a hand mixer, beat the unsalted butter, brown sugar, ground cinnamon, and salt until smooth.
Assembling the Rolls
STEP 1: First, punch down the dough and roll it out on a lightly floured surface using a rolling pin. It should be a large rectangle and ¼ inch thick.
STEP 2: Spread cinnamon mixture filling on top of the dough. I used an offset spatula to spread it on.
STEP 3: Roll the dough into a log. Start with the short side, not the long side, so you get as many swirls as possible. It should be tightly rolled, but not too tight.
STEP 4: Cut the rolls using a serrated knife or unflavored dental floss. I use a serrated knife to cut rolls, make sure to use light sawing motions to get a clean cut. Also, wash the knife after each cut, because it will be very messy!
STEP 5: Place rolls in a 9X13-inch baking pan and let rise for 35 minutes.
STEP 6: Set oven temperature to 375 degrees F and bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until top of the rolls are light golden brown.
Icing the Rolls
I have tried both icing the rolls when they are piping hot or when they cooled slightly. I found that when the rolls are hot, it melts the icing into the cracks of the roll. Which also helps with the gooeyness!
Beat the cream cheese and butter on high speed for 1 minute. Add in the powdered sugar, and mix on low until it is creamy.
Add the vanilla extract and milk and mix on low until smooth and pourable.
Immediately after pulling the rolls out of the oven, spread the cream cheese frosting on top of the cinnamon buns with a spoon.
For overnight rolls, 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 for best results.
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.
The rolls rise best in a warm area. If your oven is busy, you can let the dough rise at room temperature as long as you don't have a cold house.
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! Follow the instructions, but bake for only 10 minutes and chill. Then, you can bake the rest of the way (10-18 minutes) the next day until hot.
Storing and Freezing
Store these homemade cinnamon rolls in an airtight container in the fridge. Store up to 5 days. Warm rolls are the best cinnamon rolls, so heat them in the microwave before eating them.
These homemade cinnamon rolls can be frozen in 2 ways.
- Freeze the rolled rolls. Freeze these up to 30 days. Let them thaw before baking. They won't rise as much, but will still work.
- Freeze the already baked rolls. Freeze these up to 30 days. Thaw for 1 hour before eating.
Other Breakfast Recipes To Try
Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
Cinnamon Roll Dough
- 1 cup Warm milk Warmed to 110°F
- 2 packets Active rise yeast (14 grams)
- 2 Large eggs room temperature slightly beaten
- 4 ½ cups All-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- ¼ cup White granulated sugar
- 10 tablespoon Unsalted butter room temperature
Cinnamon Roll Filling
- ½ cup Unsalted butter room temperature
- ¾ cup Packed brown sugar light or dark
- 2 tablespoon Ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon Salt
Cream Cheese Glaze
- 4 oz Cream cheese room temperature
- 4 tablespoon Unsalted butter room temperature
- 2 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup Powdered sugar sifted
- 1 tablespoon Milk
Cinnamon Roll Dough
- In a microwave safe bowl, heat the milk until 110°F. It needs to be warm but not hot for the heat. Pour in both packets of yeast and let it sit for 10 minutes to activate. The yeast will be foamy.1 cup Warm milk, 2 packets Active rise yeast
- In a mixing bowl, sift the flour. Mix in sugar and salt. Cut the butter into cubes and add to the flour. Use a pastry cutter or your hands to cut the butter into the flour until the butter is the size of a pea.4 ½ cups All-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon Salt, ¼ cup White granulated sugar, 10 tablespoon Unsalted butter
- Pour in the milk and beaten eggs.1 cup Warm milk, 2 Large eggs
- Mixer using a dough hook: Mix on low until a dough forms. Turn to medium and knead for 5 minutes.By hand: Use a rubber spatula and mix until a dough starts to form. Turn the dough onto a floured surface. Knead for 5 minutes until a soft dough ball forms.
- Preheat oven to 200°F. Spray a large mixing bowl with non-stick spray. Place the dough in the bowl and cover with a kitchen towel. Place bowl in the oven, crack open the door and turn off the oven. Rise for 1 hour. *Overnight instructions see notes.
Cinnamon Roll Filling
- Using a hand mixer, mix the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Mix on low until a paste-like filling forms.½ cup Unsalted butter, ¾ cup Packed brown sugar, 2 tablespoon Ground cinnamon, ⅛ teaspoon Salt
- The dough should be double in size. Punch down using your fist. Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface. Roll until ¼ inch thick.
- Spread the filling over the dough. Roll the dough from the bottom tightly. Roll from the bottom to get more swirls inside the roll.
- Cut the uneven ends off with a knife. Use unflavored dental floss or a serrated knife to cut 12 cinnamon rolls.
- Place in a 9x13 pan sprayed with baking non-stick spray. Cover with the towel and rise at room temperature for 35 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake the rolls for 20-25 minutes. The rolls should be lightly golden on top.
Cream Cheese Glaze
- Using a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter on high for 1 minute. Add in sifted powdered sugar. Mix on low until creamy. Add in vanilla and milk.4 oz Cream cheese, 4 tablespoon Unsalted butter, 2 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract, 1 cup Powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon Milk
- Ice the cinnamon rolls when they are hot. The icing will melt into the cracks and make the rolls extra gooey.