Coming from a family of bread bakers, I’ve made yeasted bread for the past 20 years.
My mom always made caramel rolls for us kids growing up. In fact, I don’t remember one time that she made cinnamon rolls. It was only when I began to travel and came across a Cinnabon in the airport many many years ago, that I tried traditional cinnamon rolls.
Since then, I’ve worked on perfecting my cinnamon roll recipe. I’ve spent many years tweaking the dough, filling, and frosting, and today I’m sharing with you, PERFECTION.
As a bonus, my recipe is VERY easy to make. The dough is tender and airy. The filling is buttery and flavorful without being overpowering. The butter-based frosting melts into the roll and has a very slight cream cheese flavor. It is PERFECT and I don’t make that claim lightly.
But enough of my jibber-jabber, let me get to the details…
- Make sure the water that you proof your yeast is not too hot, which will kill the yeast. I like to stay around 105 to 115 degrees and use a meat thermometer to make sure I’m within that temperature range.
- This dough is a wetter dough. Due to the amount of butter in the dough, it will be easy to handle.
- Since this is an enriched dough, (with milk and egg) it will take a little longer to rise.
- You can shape this dough, let them rise, and bake them right away or opt to make them ahead.
To Make Ahead: Place the cut rolls in a prepared 9 X 13-inch pan, cover in plastic wrap, and let them rise in the refrigerator overnight or up to 3 days. When you remove them from the refrigerator, be sure to let them come to room temp and rise fully.
Proper dough consistency:
Rolled rectangular dough:
Melted and mixed filling:
Filling spread on rectangle:
Dough rolled and ready to cut in 16 rolls.
After baking and ready to frost:
How to Make the Most Delicious Cinnamon Rolls From Scratch
- 1 pkg 2 1/4 tsp yeast
- 1 1/4 cup lukewarm water (105 to 115 degrees)
- 6 tablespoons butter melted
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg beaten
- 4 to 4 1/2 cups flour
- 6 tablepoons butter melted
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 2 oz. cream cheese softened
- 7 tablespoons butter softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons or as needed
- Add the yeast to lukewarm water and let proof for 10 minutes or until bubbly.
- Mix the butter, sugar, salt, and egg into the yeast mixture.
- Stir in flour one cup at a time. Knead for about 10 minutes or until it has a smooth consistency.
- Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Once doubled, roll the dough out into a rectangular shape, about 10" X 20" in shape.
- Mix the filling ingredients together in and bowl and spread over the rectangular dough.
- Starting on the long side of the rectangle, roll the dough up and pinch the end to seal.
- Cut the roll in half in the middle and divide each half into 8 rolls, for a total of 16 cinnamon rolls.
- Spray a 9"X13" pan with nonstick spray.
- Arrange the rolls on the pan, cut side down (except ends, place cut side up).
- Cover and let rolls rise. If you are baking rolls at a later time, cover them with plastic wrap and refrigerate them up to 3 days.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Uncover and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
- While rolls bake, mix up the frosting.
- In a small bowl, mix cream cheese and butter until smooth.
- Add vanilla, salt, and powdered sugar, until thoroughly mixed.
- If needed add a little bit of milk or just enough to get your desired consistency.
- Once rolls are finished baking, remove from the oven and spread the frosting over the warm tops.