Cinnamon Rolls will fill your house with the wonderful smell of freshly baked sweet rolls that are full of cinnamon and topped with a homemade whipped cream cheese frosting. Try my Quick Cinnamon Rolls or my Air Fryer Cinnamon Roll for the same great cinnamon roll taste!

Cinnamon Rolls

It made sense to add this classic cinnamon rolls recipe to my growing number of sweet roll recipes, including my Raspberry Cream Cheese Sweet Rolls, Orange Sweet Rolls, and Lemon Blueberry Sweet Rolls.

No matter the bakery you walk into, you are almost certainly going to find a cinnamon roll on the menu. But, you will have to travel to Sweden to find the giant cinnamon rolls that measure 12 inches in diameter or more! But don’t be intimidated, the cinnamon rolls from this recipe are pretty average in size, so you should be fine eating the entire roll.

One Cinnamon Roll on a White Plate with Fork

Cinnamon Sweet Rolls Recipe

There are three main parts to this recipe–the dough, the filling, and the homemade frosting.

Cinnamon Rolls After Baking but without Frosting from Overhead

Sweet Roll Dough

The base for this sweet roll dough is the same as a few of my other sweet roll recipes.  It is one of the easiest doughs to work in part due to the ingredients and in part due to the process.  To make this dough:

  • Whisk together the milk, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and the yeast.
  • Let that sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes. The mixture will get a little foamy.
  • Add in eggs and whisk until the mixture is smooth.
  • Next, move to your stand mixer. Make sure it is fitted with a dough hook. In the bowl, combine the remaining sugar, flour, and salt. 
  • Add the milk mixture and turn the mixer on low.  Slowly add pads of butter, blending well between additions. 
  • Once everything is combined, turn the mixer to medium for 1 minute and then switch to medium-high to knead until the dough is soft (about 5 minutes). Keep a close eye on your dough. It should be soft and pliable, but not sticky.

If you watch the video you will see that the dough is so soft that you almost don’t need a rolling pin. I use one at the end just to try and make sure the dough is even.

Overhead Image of Cinnamon Rolls in Pan with Cream Cheese Frosting

Can I Make Cinnamon Rolls without a Dough Hook?

Yes. For best results, use a stand mixer with a dough hook, but if you have to knead the dough by hand, it will take about 25 minutes of gentle kneading (and some arm strength) to equal the 5 minutes using the dough hook. It can still be done, but it gets a little messy, and sometimes there is too much extra flour added to the recipe in the kneading process.

Spatula Picking up Cinnamon Roll from Pan

How to Slice Sweet Rolls with Dental Floss

After rolling all the goodness up into sweet rolls, sometimes it’s hard to slice them into individual-sized rolls without smooshing them. If the knife you are using is not sharp enough, that can lead to the squishing of the rolls before they are baked. A great method to save you from frustration is dental floss! Yep, dental floss.

To use dental floss, first, make sure it is plain (not flavored) floss. Slide a long piece of floss underneath the rolled-up rolls and wrap the floss around the roll about 2 inches in. Pull to slice through the roll. Continue this method every two inches or so. Now, don’t forget to go floss your teeth, but use a new piece of floss!

Inside of Cinnamon Roll with Frosting Dripping Over on White Plate

Can I Freeze Cinnamon Rolls?

Yes! You can freeze cinnamon rolls in a few different ways.

  1. Before they rise and bake, cover them with plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Take them out of the freezer when you are ready to bake them and let them thaw and rise before completing the rest of the steps. If you are planning to freeze the rolls longer than a couple of weeks, you will want to add a bit more yeast to the recipe (about 1 extra teaspoon).
  2. You can also freeze them after baking the rolls, but before adding the frosting.
  3. A third way to freeze the rolls would be to cook them only 10-15 minutes. Then, remove them from the oven and let the rolls cool completely. After the partially baked rolls have cooled, cover them (in the pan) with at least two layers of plastic wrap and freeze for up to 2 weeks. When you are ready to bake them, let them thaw in the refrigerator overnight before popping them in the oven for about 15 minutes. That would be the perfect time to make the frosting.

Whenever you store food in the freezer, always remember to label and date the storage containers or wrappings where the food is held. I sometimes like to add a couple of instructions to remind me how to reheat or cook the food when I am ready to do that.

5 from 4 votes

Cinnamon Sweet Rolls

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Rising Time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 50 mins
Cinnamon Sweet Rolls will fill your house with the wonderful smell of freshly baked sweet rolls that are full of cinnamon and topped with a homemade whipped cream cheese frosting.

Ingredients

Dough

  • cup (163 g) whole milk, warmed in the microwave for about 30 seconds
  • 5 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 ¾ cups (344 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup (113 g) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces, room temperature
  • ½ tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

Filling

  • 3 tablespoons   butter,  melted and cooled
  • cup (67 g) brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons  cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon  kosher salt

Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup (57 g or ½ stick) butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cups (188 g) confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch kosher salt

Instructions

Dough

  • In a medium bowl, combine milk and 1 tablespoon sugar. Sprinkle yeast over milk and whisk to blend. Let sit until yeast is foamy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs; whisk until smooth.
  • Combine remaining 4 tablespoons sugar, flour, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the milk mixture. With the mixer running, add butter, 1 piece at a time, blending well between additions.
  • Knead on medium speed for 1 minute. Knead on medium-high speed until the dough is soft, about 5 minutes.
  • Brush a medium bowl with some melted butter; place the dough in the bowl. Brush the top of the dough with the remaining melted butter; cover with plastic wrap.
  • Let dough rise in a warm, draft-free area until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  • When you are ready, punch the dough, turn it out onto a floured surface, and roll it into a 10×15-inch rectangle. (It should be about ¼-inch thick.)

Filling

  • In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt with a fork.
  • Pour 3 tablespoons of the melted butter over the dough so that it covers the entire surface.
  • Spread brown sugar mixture over dough making sure it covers the entire surface.

Rolling, Cutting, and Baking

  • Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Roll up tightly, starting on the long edge.
  • Using a very sharp knife, cut the log into 12 rolls. Place them into the prepared 9×13-inch baking pan. Let rise in a warm place until doubled.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes.

Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting

  • When rolls are almost done baking, put cream cheese, butter, confectioners sugar, vanilla, and salt in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
  • Mix on low until just combined. Once ingredients are all incorporated turn mixer on high and leave it for 4-5 minutes. Frosting should be light and fluffy.
  • Place cream cheese frosting on rolls right in the pan OR invert rolls onto serving plate and then top with frosting.

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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

  1. Do you think these would be ok if I made them up to placing them in the pan and then put in fridge overnight to bake in the morning? Do the second rise then bake?

  2. que linda que nos compartas esta receta que ya tengo ganas de saborear el delicioso glaseado, junto con la canela y esa masa suave e indescriptible ya la amo a mis nenas les encantara mil grs

  3. These cinnamon rolls are delicious. The sweet dough recipe is versatile and you can use various fillings including pumpkin, raspberries, apricot peach preserves. This one is definitely a keeper.

  4. Soo good. More of a coffee cake consistency for me. I made them the night before and let them sit out for a couple Hours before baking for a Sunday brunch. Will definitely be making again!

  5. Very good recipe. I’ll definitely make it again. Had to add a bit more flour because the dough was very wet and shaggy.

  6. It’s a great recipe, i love it.
    I have prepared the night before and bake it the next day, and it taste really nice

  7. I don’t have a stand mixer. When making the dough by hand, what process do you recommend for adding the butter into the dough?

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