Homemade Cinnamon Rolls: Classically Perfect

This warm from the oven Homemade Cinnamon Roll recipe is a deliciously decadent, gooey cinnamon bun that’s easier to make than you might think! Especially when you’re craving true comfort food. All year long!

Made with a beautiful and easy to handle, forgiving dough, these cinnamon rolls are actually fun to make! And to me… are the best cinnamon rolls.

Homemade Cinnamon Roll on a White Plate

But maybe especially in the summer. I know that sounds strange. But here’s why.

For me, cinnamon rolls will always be about Sunriver, Oregon. It seems weird, I know. Most often, we spent part summers in 3 places; grandma’s house, Priest Lake, Idaho… and Sunriver, Oregon.

Grandma’s house was a place of long summer days, dusty adventures with the cousins, and amazing summer food and picnics. Priest Lake had a charm all of its own, which is why it was the setting for my first novel, Whispers of the Heart.

Sunriver was a different story altogether. Located in central Oregon, near the Deschutes River, it was and is a magical place. Miles of bike paths skirt valleys and rivers, airports, and PGA golf courses. The sun is hotter than hot, but dry. Mt. Bachelor looms in the backdrop whether your bike riding or fishing or canoeing down the river.

But what I remember most is mornings spent biking to the donut shop in the village. Where my mom, always… always bought a pecan sticky bun. I wrinkle my nose when thinking about it.

As a kid, I never understood HOW she could like that donut when the chocolate frosted doughnut was SO much more amazing. I’m smiling because today, I completely understand.

This Homemade Cinnamon Rolls recipe is made in the spirit of those warm Sunriver summer days. Topped with pecans… for mom.

Homemade Cinnamon Roll on a Wicker Tray with Coffee

How to Make This Easy Homemade Cinnamon Roll Recipe

Please see the full instruction in the recipe card below, but here is a quick overview of how to make these easy Homemade Cinnamon Rolls.

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls Ingredients in a Stand Mixer

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine 1 cup flour, granulated sugar, yeast, and salt. Warm milk and butter together in a saucepan or a microwave and stir it into the flour mixture. Add the egg and vanilla extract and continue mixing until combined.

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls First Rise

Switch to the dough hook and gradually add the remaining 2 plus cups of flour. Continue mixing and kneading the dough until a sticky dough forms. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray and place dough in the bowl, cover, and let rise until double, about 45 minutes. 

Doubled Homemade Cinnamon Roll Dough in Glass Bowl

Lightly punch down the risen dough, turn out onto a floured surface and roll into a rectangle shape and trim sides if necessary. Spread butter over the rectangle and then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, leaving about a 1-inch border.

Rolling the Homemade Cinnamon Roll Dough, filling and Making a Log

Beginning at the long side, roll up the dough tightly in a jelly-roll style and pinch the edges to seal. Using a sharp knife or serrated knife, first, slice a little from each end to create an end. Then slice the cinnamon rolls into 9 or 12 equal portions and transfer to a 9″ x 13″ baking pan lined in parchment.

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls Before Rising

Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 to 45 minutes.

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls Ready to Bake
Bake the homemade cinnamon rolls in a preheated 375° oven for 20 to 22 minutes. The rolls should be nicely golden brown around the edges and the centers are baked.

While the cinnamon rolls are cooling, beat together cream cheese, softened butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Keep the frosting at room temperature. Once the cinnamon rolls have cooled, spread the frosting over the rolls.

Frosted Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Reuse the Scrap and Leftover Dough

I like to trim the sides of the dough to make a more even rectangle. I also like to trim the ends of the rolled dough to make a level end before cutting into slices.

Here’s why I love the leftover dough. You get to play and make fun shapes!

Fun Shapes Made with Leftover Homemade Cinnamon Roll Dough

And enjoy homemade, warm-from-the-oven cinnamon rolls! With a cup of coffee… of course!

Homemade Cinnamon Roll on a White Plate with a Cup of Coffee

Homemade Cinnamon Roll on a White Plate

Easy Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Yield: 9 to 12 servings
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes

This warm from the oven Homemade Cinnamon Rolls recipe is a deliciously decadent, gooey cinnamon bun that's easier to make than you might think! Especially when you're craving true comfort food -- all year long!

Ingredients

  • 3 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 packet instant yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Filling

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup toasted pecans (optional)

Cream Cheese Icing

  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine 1 cup flour, granulated sugar, yeast, and salt.
  2. Microwave or in a saucepan over medium heat, warm the milk and the butter until it's lukewarm, about 120 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and beat until combined. Add the egg and the vanilla extract and continue to mix until combined.
  3. Attach the dough hook to the stand mixer and gradually add the remaining 2 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour. Continue to mix and knead on medium speed until all of the flour is incorporated and a sticky dough forms. Add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, if necessary.
  4. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray and place dough in the bowl, turning to grease the top. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft-free area until doubled in size, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  5. Meanwhile, line a 13" x 9" baking pan with parchment paper and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the filling ingredients of brown sugar and cinnamon. Let the butter soften to room temperature and set aside.
  6. Lightly punch down the risen dough and let rest for 5 minutes. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and roll or pat into a rectangle measuring about 15" x 9". Trim the edges of the rectangle if desired.
  7. Spreading the Filling: Using an offset spatula or knife, spread the butter over the dough leaving a 1-inch border all around. Then sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mixture over the butter. Take a minute to gently rub the cinnamon sugar into the butter mixture. This will help the filling stay put during baking.
  8. Making the Cinnamon Rolls: Beginning at the long side, the 15-inch side, roll up the tightly, jelly roll style and pinch the edges to seal. I like to cut off the uneven ends and save for later.
  9. Cutting the Rolls: Using a sharp knife or serrated knife, cut the cinnamon rolls into 9 or 12 portions. My guys like big cinnamon rolls so I generally cut 9. Then carefully transfer to the prepared baking pan. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 to 45 minutes.
  10. Baking the Cinnamon Rolls: Bake in a preheated 375° oven for 20 to 22 minutes. The rolls should be nicely golden brown around the edges and the centers are baked.
  11. Making the Cinnamon Roll Frosting: While the cinnamon rolls are cooling, beat together the cream cheese, softened butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Keep the frosting at room temperature. Once the cinnamon rolls have cooled, spread the frosting over the rolls. Enjoy!

Notes

Yeast:

We like to use instant yeast when possible. But when we run out, active dry yeast works just as well. Simply add the yeast and sugar to the warm milk mixture. Let proof about 5 minutes before adding it to the dry ingredients. Be careful that the milk is no too hot when adding yeast.

To Make Ahead (Overnight):

  • Assemble the cinnamon rolls in a prepared baking dish, wrap tightly with plastic wrap followed by a layer of foil. Store in the refrigerator.
  • The next morning, remove from the refrigerator and let come to room temperature while they rise; about 30 to 45 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375°. Bake as directed.

To Freeze: 

  • Assemble the cinnamon rolls in a prepared baking dish, wrap tightly with plastic wrap followed by a layer of foil. Store in the freezer for up to 1 month.
  • To bake, remove the cinnamon rolls from the freezer and let come to room temperature as they rise overnight. Bake as directed.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 323Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 66mgSodium: 429mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 1gSugar: 35gProtein: 3g

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