Make these easy homemade cinnamon rolls for a decadent breakfast idea. They are light, fluffy and topped with the best cream cheese frosting.

cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting in baking pan

Homemade cinnamon rolls

Don’t let homemade cinnamon rolls scare you off! They are actually very simple to make.

Each bite is so delicious and better than anything store bought. Your kitchen will smell amazing.

The cream cheese frosting gets into every nook and cranny of the cinnamon rolls. This is definitely a breakfast no one will forget! Your family will go crazy over this yummy recipe.

cinnamon roll fresh out of the oven
ingredients for recipe: flour, yeast, butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, cream cheese, powdered sugar, milk

Ingredients

FOR THE DOUGH: 

  • Warm Water 
  • active dry yeast
  • milk 
  • Melted Butter -melted but not hot!
  • Brown Sugar 
  • Granulated Sugar 
  • Salt 
  • egg 
  • Flour 

FOR THE FILLING: 

  • butter – melted 
  • Brown Sugar 
  • Cinnamon 

FOR THE FROSTING: 

  • Cream Cheese- softened 
  • Butter- softened 
  • Powdered Sugar 
  • Vanilla Extract 
  • Milk 
cinnamon roll on plate

How to make homemade cinnamon rolls:

First, mix the warm water and yeast. Allow this to sit for about 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, you should be able to see the yeast activate as tiny bubbles will form at the surface. Also, the liquid will thicken slightly.

Second, get out your stand mixer. You need the paddle attachment.

yeast being activated and dough forming

Start to slowly combine the yeast mixture with the remaining dough ingredients including milk through flour.  When you get to the flour, make sure to gradually add it 1 cup at a time until a soft dough forms.

Next, put the dough in a bowl that is well greased. Turn the dough to make sure it is coated entirely.

The bowl needs to be covered and I normally use plastic wrap. Let this rise until it has doubled in size. This normally takes about an hour to an hour and a half.

Once the dough has doubled in size, take it out of the bowl and knead for 1 to 2 minutes.

You will need to add a little flour so it doesn’t stick to your hands or the countertop. Next, roll out the dough into a large rectangle.

It does not have to be exact but should be around 24”X15” in size.

icing in mixing bowl and baked cinnamon rolls getting topped with frosting

Cinnamon Roll Filling

Use a small mixing bowl and mix together the filling ingredients. Once combined, spread the cinnamon filling all over the top of your rolled out rectangle. 

Make sure to get everywhere and then roll up the dough.

Dough with filling being rolled up and sliced

How to Roll Cinnamon Rolls

Start at the short end and begin rolling the dough as tightly as possible. Don’t go too fast and just take your time.

Trick for slicing:

Now, slice the roll into individual rolls. I like to use a long piece of dental floss to do this.

Just place it under your roll and cross the floss on top of your roll and pull in opposite directions. This trick will help you to get clean slices every single time.

Keep repeating until you have about 15 to18 cinnamon rolls. You will need a glass 9X13 casserole dish coated in cooking spray.

Time to bake!

Place the cinnamon rolls in the baking dish making sure each slice is snug. Use plastic wrap to cover and allow them to rise for another 30 to 60 minutes.

You want them to double in size. Finally, bake in a 375 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until the centers of the rolls are cooked through.

While they are cooking, mix together the icing ingredients. Once out of the oven, put the icing on the cinnamon rolls.

Enjoy! They are best served warm.

Why didn’t my cinnamon rolls rise?

You likely did not give them enough time to rise either the first or second time. It is important to follow the dough recipe to the letter.

Cinnamon rolls are not hard to make but the instructions do need to be followed closely. Make sure to allow the dough to rise for the entire time required in each step.

Another possible culprit is that the yeast you are using has expired.

How to freeze cinnamon rolls

This is a great option so that you can enjoy homemade cinnamon rolls on holiday mornings or during the week.

Just make the cinnamon rolls as normal and allow to cool completely.

Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and foil before freezing. When ready to use, let thaw and reheat until warm.

Another option is to wait and add the icing until they are out of the freezer. Both options work well but I find going ahead and putting the icing on really helps on busy mornings.

Another tip is to use the disposable pans for the ones you plan to freeze. Cinnamon rolls in the freezer should be used within 5 weeks.

I like to have a baking day and make several of these for the freezer. They are great to share with friends and enjoy during the week when you are too busy to make homemade rolls.

cinnamon rolls in baking dish with icing

Tips:

  • These can be prepared the night before.  Prep them up to the 2nd rise.  Cover the rolls and refrigerate.  When you are ready to bake them, let the rolls sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes to come to room temperature and then bake based on the recipe.  
  • The rolls should be golden brown. Keep in mind that cooking time will vary based on the size of your rolls.  If the tops of your rolls are golden brown but the center is not done yet, cover the rolls with the foil so that they do not get over browned.  
cinnamon roll on serving spoon

Print the recipe for easy homemade cinnamon rolls:

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls 

5 from 2 votes
Make these easy homemade cinnamon rolls for a decadent breakfast idea. They are light, fluffy and topped with the best cream cheese frosting.
Prep Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 55 mins
Servings 24
Cuisine American
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Calories 256
Author Eating on a Dime

Ingredients

  • FOR THE DOUGH:
  • 1/4 cup Warm Water
  • 1 package active dry yeast 0.75 oz
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup Melted Butter melted but not hot
  • 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 Egg
  • 3 – 3 ½ cup Flour
  • FOR THE FILLING:
  • 1/2 cup Butter melted
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Cinnamon
  • FOR THE FROSTING:
  • 6 oz. Cream Cheese softened
  • 1/4 cup Butter softened
  • 2 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp Milk

Instructions

  • Mix together the warm water and yeast. Let sit for about 10 minutes. You will see the yeast activate – tiny bubbles will form at the surface and the liquid will thicken slightly.
  • In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, slowly combine yeast mixture with the remaining dough ingredients, milk through flour.  Gradually add the flour 1 cup at a time until a soft dough is formed.
  • Place the dough in a well greased bowl and turn to coat. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Allow to rise until about double in size – about an hour to an hour and a half.
  • Remove dough from bowl and knead for 1-2 minutes, adding flour so it doesn’t stick to your hands or the countertop. Roll out into large rectangle. The rectangle should be around 24”X15” but does not need to be exact.
  • Mix together filling ingredients. Spread the cinnamon filling over the top of your rolled out rectangle.
  • Roll up the dough, starting at the short end.
  • Slice your long roll into individual cinnamon rolls. Cut a long piece of dental floss and place it under your roll. Cross the floss on top of your roll and pull in opposite directions. You will get nice clean cut slices every time.
  • Repeat slicing until you have about 15-18 pieces. Place sliced rolls in a glass 9X13 casserole dish (sprayed with cooking spray). Make sure they are nice and snug. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for another 30-60 minutes, or until almost doubled in size.
  • Bake in 375 F oven for 20-25 minutes or until the centers of the rolls are cooked through and the rolls are golden brown.

Recipe Notes

Cooking time will vary based on the size of your rolls.  If the tops of your rolls are golden brown but the center is not done yet, cover the rolls with the foil so that they do not get over browned.  
Mix together icing ingredients. Place icing on cinnamon rolls and serve warm.

Nutrition Facts

Calories 256kcal, Carbohydrates 37g, Protein 3g, Fat 11g, Saturated Fat 7g, Trans Fat 1g, Cholesterol 37mg, Sodium 153mg, Potassium 66mg, Fiber 1g, Sugar 23g, Vitamin A 369IU, Vitamin C 1mg, Calcium 34mg, Iron 1mg

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cinnamon roll on plate

More cinnamon roll recipes:

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About the Author

Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Eating on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you cook delicious meals without busting your budget. Together we are going to cook real food… for real families.

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