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Homemade Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

Soft and tender, this homemade cinnamon rolls recipe makes the perfect breakfast treat for your family. Make a batch on weekends or holidays for smiles all around.

Front view of cinnamon rolls covered in frosting sitting on a cutting board
The Best Homemade Cinnamon Rolls!

If you’ve always wanted to make an amazing recipe for homemade cinnamon rolls but didn’t know where to start, we are going to lay it all out step-by-step in this post. You will become a pro in no time!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe for Cinnamon Rolls

  • So incredibly soft. This recipe makes a soft and tender dough just like Grandma made. They’ll melt in your mouth!
  • Huge Recipe. Makes three dozen rolls and may actually make up to 40 big fluffy rolls.
  • Convenient. Can be made ahead. Freezes great.
  • Customizable. Filling, frosting, and glazing changes to make your own.
  • Perfect for Gifting. Rolls can be baked in any baking dish and make a heartfelt gift.

Ingredients You’ll Need for This Homemade Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

Top down view of the ingredients used to make cinnamon rolls from scratch including shortening, sugar, milk, butter, vanilla, egg, flour, and yeast
Cinnamon Roll Recipe Ingredients

Cinnamon Roll Dough Ingredients

Filling Ingredients

  • Unsalted Butter
  • Brown Sugar
  • Cinnamon

Cinnamon Roll Icing

How To Make Cinnamon Rolls

Please note, that the recipe card has more complete instructions. This is intended as an overview.

Step One: Mix the Dough.

First, you will heat the milk in a saucepan and add sugar and shortening. Then you will mix all of the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl following the step-by-step instructions included on the recipe card.

Step Two: Let the Cinnamon Roll Dough rise.

Cover and allow the dough to rise in a warm non-drafty area for 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Punch down and allow to rise again.

Step Three: Roll out the dough for your homemade cinnamon rolls recipe.

On a floured surface, roll the dough out until it measures 12 to 14 inches wide, 3 feet long, and 1/2 inch thick.

Homemade cinnamon roll dough rolled out on a cutting board and topped with a cinnamon and brown sugar filling. Hostess At Heart

Step Four: Add the filling.

Brush the rolled dough with melted butter. Sprinkle the dough with the brown sugar and cinnamon, covering the dough completely. Rub the butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar together until it resembles a paste.

Step Five: Roll up the dough.

Create a roll by turning the dough toward you. You want the roll tight enough to hold together when you slice it but not so tight that it won’t allow the dough to rise.

Step Six: Slice into rolls.

Cut the roll into 1/2-inch slices with a sharp knife or dental floss.

Step Seven: Let the cinnamon rolls rise.

A baking dish filled with unbaked homemade cinnamon rolls - Hostess At Heart

Allow rolls to rise for another 30 minutes in the greased baking dishes.

Step Eight: Bake your rolls.

Bake at 350 °F for 20 minutes. Remove pan from oven and allow to cool completely.

Step Nine: Frost the rolls.

Mix up your cinnamon roll icing recipe while you wait for the homemade cinnamon rolls to cool.

Variations

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best flour to use for cinnamon rolls?

Bread flour! Bread flour makes these rolls soft and fluffy. You can substitute with all-purpose flour but I don’t recommend it. The density of these rolls will come out heavier.

Why are my cinnamon rolls not fluffy?

Make sure you allow the dough to rise according to the recipe instructions. If you don’t, the rolls will not be fluffy. It’s also important that your yeast be fresh.

Do you roll cinnamon rolls tight or loose?

Roll the dough gently but not loosely, and then pinch the seam closed. You want it tight enough that when you slice the rolls, they don’t unroll but loose enough that they have room to rise. If the rolls are rolled too tight, the centers can pop up and over the roll while baking.

Soft and tender rolls made from a recipe for cinnamon rolls sitting on a cutting board - Hostess At Heart

How To Reheat & Store Homemade Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

Best way to store this Homemade Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

Baked cinnamon rolls can be kept in an airtight container or sealed plastic baggy at room temperature for up to one week.

Can I freeze Homemade Cinnamon Rolls?

Yes. You can freeze cinnamon rolls frosted or unfrosted, baked or unbaked.

Freeze unbaked cinnamon rolls after they’re sliced and before the final rise. Thaw unbaked rolls in the refrigerator overnight in the pan you choose to bake them in. Remove the rolls from the refrigerator and allow the rolls to rise until light and fluffy. 30 minutes to 1 hour.

To freeze baked cinnamon rolls, with or without frosting, you can freeze them in the pan or individually.

Thaw at room temperature when you are ready. To freeze individual cinnamon rolls, spread them out on a parchment-lined baking sheet until they are frozen.

Then place them in an airtight container, and they will stay separate so that you can remove one at a time as needed.

Individually frozen cinnamon rolls without frosting can be thawed in the microwave for thirty seconds at a time until they are ready to eat. Add the frosting if desired.

Cinnamon rolls with frosting should be thawed at room temperature since the microwave will just melt all of the frosting off. Cinnamon rolls can be frozen for up to three months.

Frosting can also be frozen and thawed with the cinnamon rolls.

Top down view of cinnamon rolls topped with frosting covering a cutting board - Hostess At Heart

How to reheat

Homemade cinnamon rolls can be reheated in the microwave. Start with ten seconds. Add another five to ten seconds, depending on how hot you want your roll. You may need to add more frosting since the microwave will melt whatever is on your roll.

Tips for the perfect Homemade Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

  • Store any leftover frosting to spruce up reheated cinnamon rolls.
  • Use room temperature ingredients.
  • You can bring the egg to room temperature by putting it in a bowl of room-temperature water for 5 minutes. You don’t need to leave it out on the work surface.
  • Make sure that you dust your working surface and rolling pin so the cinnamon roll dough doesn’t stick.
  • Don’t overheat the milk. Doing so will kill the yeast. I use a candy thermometer.
  • Don’t add more flour than you need. The dough should be slightly sticky. Too much flour can make rolls tough.
  • Rolls can be baked in any sized container that’s oven safe. I’ve used round cake pans, pie plates, and even a large lasagna pan. Foil pie tins are perfect for freezing or gifting the rolls.

What to Serve with your Recipe for Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

We grew up eating cinnamon rolls for breakfast or with a bowl of chili.

If you tried this delicious recipe, don’t forget to rate it and leave me a comment telling me what you think. I love hearing from you!

Close up view of a homemade cinnamon roll dripping with icing on a cutting board surrounded by more rolls baked from scratch - Hostess At Heart

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

Author: Hostess At Heart
Soft and tender, this homemade cinnamon rolls recipe makes the perfect breakfast treat for your family. Make a batch on weekends or holidays for smiles all around.
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 2 hrs 45 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 3 hrs 5 mins
Course Bread
Cuisine American
Keyword: Cinnamon Rolls, Sweet rolls
Servings: 36

Ingredients
 
 

Cinnamon Roll Dough Ingredients

Cinnamon Roll Filling Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter 1 stick
  • 3 cups Brown Sugar I used close to 3 cups. You may use more or less.
  • 1/3 cup cinnamon Sprinkle 1/4 to 1/2 cup over rolled out dough.

Cinnamon Roll Icing

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter 1 stick softened to room temperature.
  • 1 lb powdered sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp milk enough to make icing spreadable

Instructions
 

  • In a saucepan, heat milk to 180 °F. Add sugar and shortening and continue heating until shortening is melted. Allow the mixture to cool slightly. Over heating will kill the yeast and prevent your dough from rising.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine only 4 cups of the bread flour and the remaining dough ingredients. Combine with warm milk mixture. Mix well.
    Add 4 eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
    Add additional flour one cup at a time until the dough is sticky but manageable (additional 4-5 cups). You don't want it dry and tough.
    Cover and allow the dough to rise in a warm non-drafty area for 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Punch down and allow to rise again.
  • On a floured surface, roll the dough out until it measures 12 to 14 inches wide, 3 feet long, and 1/2 inch thick. Brush the rolled dough with melted butter. Sprinkle the dough with the brown sugar and cinnamon covering the dough completely.
    Rub the butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar together until it resembles a paste.
    Create a roll by turning the dough toward you. You want the roll tight enough to hold together when you slice it but not so tight that it wont allow the dough to rise.
    Cut the roll into 1/2-inch slices with a sharp knife or dental floss.
  • Grease baking dishes. I used 3 9×13 pans, 12 rolls per pan. Allow rolls to rise for another 30 minutes in the baking dishes.
  • Bake at 350 °F for 20 minutes. Remove pan from oven and allow to cool completely.

Cinnamon Roll Icing

  • Add the butter to the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and mix until combined. Add the vanilla and then the milk 1 tablespoon at a time until the consistency is spreadable.
  • Frost completely cool rolls.

Notes

Adapted from The Vintage Mother
Store in an airtight container for up to a week, or place in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Rolls can be iced one at a time before serving or the entire plan all at once.

Nutrition

Serving: 35gCalories: 367kcalCarbohydrates: 59gProtein: 5gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 35mgSodium: 155mgPotassium: 115mgFiber: 2gSugar: 37gVitamin A: 237IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 81mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

This recipe was calculated using the exact brands and measurements I used to make this recipe. If you are following a strict diet please note changing anything will cause the nutritional info to change. My calculations are intended as a guide only.

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Table view of homemade iced cinnamon rolls sitting on a cutting board - Hostess At Heart
Recipe Rating




Kathleen

Thursday 29th of December 2022

These were so perfect, I made two pans for our big family breakfast and froze the rest for another time! Thanks!

Julie Menghini

Saturday 31st of December 2022

Thanks, Kathleen. Having these in the freezer is like money in the bank for me.

Eliza

Thursday 29th of December 2022

This recipe is everything you want in a cinnamon roll -- soft and fluffy, sweet, cinnamony and sugary, with homemade icing that's soooo tasty.

Julie Menghini

Saturday 31st of December 2022

Thanks, Eliza! I wish I had one in front of me too!

Lynn

Tuesday 27th of December 2022

I'm such a sucker for cinnamon rolls! SO good!

Julie Menghini

Tuesday 27th of December 2022

Thank you, Lynn! I am too!

Ruth

Monday 26th of December 2022

Wow wow wow this recipe is the best

Julie Menghini

Monday 26th of December 2022

Thank you, Ruth! We love this one too.

Sally

Friday 23rd of December 2022

This recipe made the perfect gift for my neighbors. They're already asking for regifts!

Julie Menghini

Friday 23rd of December 2022

Thank you, Sally! I'd love a gift like this too.