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Easy Cinnamon Rolls

Easy Cinnamon Rolls

These easy cinnamon rolls are soft and fluffy with a cinnamon brown sugar filling, and cream cheese frosting. They are perfect for brunch!

easy homemade cinnamon rolls

These easy cinnamon rolls are absolutely delicious! The soft and fluffy sweet roll dough is filled with cinnamon and brown sugar, and then topped with a sweet cream cheese frosting for the perfect breakfast treat.

They take a little time, as the dough needs to rise before shaping it into rolls, and then rise again before baking. But most of the preparation time is hands off. Plus, after shaping the rolls, you can cover them and put them in the fridge to bake later.

easy homemade cinnamon rolls

Which is perfect when you want them for brunch. There’s no need to start the process of making them exactly 4.5 hours before you want to serve them. Instead you can get them ready the day before, pop them in the fridge overnight (or for up to 48 hours) and then pull them out to rise and bake the next day.

I do this every time I make these easy cinnamon rolls, because we rarely want them in the evening. It makes for a very easy morning with a really tasty brunch!

easy homemade cinnamon rolls

How wet should cinnamon roll dough be?

The dough for these easy cinnamon rolls should be tacky to the touch, but not so sticky that it gets all over your hands when you touch it. If the dough is really sticky, and isn’t clearing the sides and bottom of the bowl when kneading in your stand mixer, then you should add a little more flour, a couple tablespoons at a time, until it comes together.

The dough shouldn’t be too dry either. If there are dry bits of flour visible in the dough, then add a little more water, a tablespoon at a time, until it comes together and is no longer dry.

easy cinnamon rolls

Is it okay to leave cinnamon rolls out overnight?

These cinnamon rolls have cream cheese frosting on them, so you should store any leftovers in the refrigerator. Once they have cooled completely, cover the pan tightly, and refrigerate them for up to 3 days.

They can be reheated in the microwave on low heat. Keep in mind that the frosting will melt a bit into the roll when reheating.

easy homemade cinnamon buns

Can I refrigerate homemade cinnamon rolls before baking?

As mentioned earlier, you can definitely do this. I almost always do! There are a couple of options for refrigerating your cinnamon rolls before baking them.

After the first rise, the cinnamon rolls are shaped and placed in a baking dish. At this point you can cover the rolls and refrigerate them for up to 48 hours, let them rise again and then refrigerate them, or let them rise and bake them right away.

Depending on when you want to enjoy them, you may choose a different option every time you make them!

homemade cinnamon rolls

How to make Easy Cinnamon Rolls:

  • I always use all purpose flour for these cinnamon rolls. Bread flour would likely be fine too, but I haven’t tried it myself.
  • The amount of flour added to the dough is not a hard and fast amount. Judge how much to use by how the dough looks and feels. It should be soft and a bit tacky to the touch, but not dry or overly sticky. When kneading, it should clear the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  • I like my cinnamon rolls with raisins in the filling. My entire family is not on board with that, so we sometimes just add raisins to half the batch. They are better with raisins though! 🙂

Here are some more great sweet roll recipes for you:

easy homemade cinnamon rolls
Yield: 12 rolls

Easy Cinnamon Rolls

easy cinnamon buns

These easy cinnamon rolls are soft and fluffy with a cinnamon brown sugar filling, and cream cheese frosting. They are perfect for brunch!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Rising Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 30 minutes


For the dough:

  • 5 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, slightly beaten
  • 3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 1/8 to 1 1/4 cups buttermilk, at room temperature

For the filling:

  • 2-3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)

For the frosting:

  • 2 oz (57 g, 1/4 of a package) cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar


For the dough:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream together the butter, salt, and sugar.
  2. Add the egg and mix until smooth.
  3. Switch to the dough hook on a stand mixer (or a wooden spoon if mixing by hand), and add the flour, yeast, and 1 1/8 cups of the buttermilk.
  4. Mix on low speed until the dough comes together into a ball and clears the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  5. Knead for 10-12 minutes (12-15 if kneading by hand) until the dough is smooth and silky, a bit tacky, but not sticky at all.
  6. If it’s very sticky, add a bit more flour, a tablespoon at a time. If it’s very dry and not coming together, add a bit more buttermilk, a tablespoon at a time.
  7. Move the dough to a large, lightly oiled bowl and cover it with plastic wrap.
  8. Allow it to rise for about 2 hours, or until it doubles in size.

Shape the cinnamon rolls:

  1. In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon for the filling, and set aside.
  2. Punch down the risen dough, and turn it out onto a lightly oiled counter.
  3. Roll it out to about a 1/2 inch thick rectangle, about 12 by 14 inches.
  4. With a rubber spatula, spread the softened butter over the dough, leaving 1/4 inch space around the edges.
  5. Spread the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture evenly over the butter.
  6. Sprinkle raisins over the sugar, if using.
  7. Starting from one long side, roll the dough up into a log, keeping it even as you roll.
  8. Pinch the seam closed with your fingers and lay the log seam side down on the counter.
  9. Using a serrated knife, slice the log into 12 even pieces.
  10. Place the cinnamon rolls in a 9x13 inch pan, and cover them tightly with plastic wrap.
  11. At this point, you can either refrigerate the buns for up to 2 days, pulling them out 3-4 hours before baking to let them proof, or let them proof (rise) at room temperature immediately for about 90 minutes, or until the the rolls have doubled in size.
  12. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, with a rack in the middle of the oven.
  13. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until they are golden brown.

For the frosting:

  1. With an electric mixer, whip the butter and cream cheese until combined.
  2. Mix in the vanilla.
  3. Add the powdered sugar in 3 additions, mixing well after each addition.
  4. Whip the frosting until it's light and fluffy.
  5. Set aside, covered tightly with plastic wrap.
  6. When the cinnamon rolls are finished baking, allow them to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, and then spread with the cream cheese frosting.
  7. Serve warm. Keep any leftovers, covered tightly, in the refrigerator. They reheat well in the microwave on low heat.


Source: Adapted from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 roll

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 396Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 201mgCarbohydrates: 60gFiber: 2gSugar: 30gProtein: 7g

Nutrition Information is estimated based on ingredients used and may not be exact.


Friday 12th of April 2024

Can you cheat and make the dough in a bread machine using the Dough setting?


Tuesday 16th of April 2024

I would imagine that would be fine, but haven't tried it myself.

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