These Old-Fashioned Cinnamon Rolls are to die for! The buttery cream cheese icing melts in your mouth! If you’ve been intimidated by making from-scratch cinnamon rolls, I take you step by step below.
Growing up in North Dakota, it seemed that caramel rolls (with ice cream as an ingredient in the caramel) were the staple. In reality, I don’t remember her ever making cinnamon rolls.
After I left the nest, I came across a Cinnabon at an airport. Blown away!!
I traveled enough that I could get my cinnamon roll fix. But when I married Mark, I started to work 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. That may sound like an overstatement, but truly…these are the absolute best!
My recipe is VERY easy to make. The dough is tender and airy. The filling is buttery and flavorful. The butter-based frosting melts into the roll and has a very slight cream cheese flavor that melts into the rolls.
They are PERFECT and I don’t make that claim lightly.
But enough of my jibber-jabber, let me get to the details…
Tips to Make Old-Fashioned Cinnamon Rolls
- 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 or infrared thermometer to make sure I’m within that temperature range.
- The dough in this recipe is on the wetter side. Due to the amount of butter in the dough, it will still 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 and store them in the refrigerator overnight.
To Make Ahead: Place the cut rolls in a prepared 9 X 13-inch pan. Cover the pan in plastic wrap, and let them rise in the refrigerator overnight or for up to 2 days. When you remove them from the refrigerator, be sure to let them come to room temp and finish rising before you bake them.
Below are some pictures to help you along as you make these old-fashioned cinnamon rolls.
Proper dough consistency for this recipe:
Rolled rectangular dough:
Melted and mixed filling:
Filling spread on rectangle:
The dough is rolled and ready to cut into 16 rolls.
After baking and ready to frost:
Old-Fashioned Cinnamon Rolls From Scratch
- 1 pkg. 2 ¼ tsp. yeast
- 1 ¼ c. water lukewarm (105° to 115° F)
- 6 tbsp. butter melted
- 6 tbsp. granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 egg beaten
- 4 - 4 ½ c. all-purpose flour
- 6 tbsp. butter melted
- ¼ c. granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp. cinnamon
- 2 oz. cream cheese softened
- 7 tbsp. butter softened
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 1 ½ c. powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp. milk or as needed
- Add the yeast to lukewarm water and let proof for 5 minutes, or until bubbly.
- Mix the butter, sugar, salt, and egg into the yeast mixture.
- Stir in the flour one cup at a time. Knead for about 5 minutes in a stand mixer with a dough attachment, or 10 minutes, by hand. The dough should have a or until the dough has a smooth consistency and not stick to the side of the bowl or your hands.
- Place a small amount of oil in a large bowl and coat your loaf. Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and let it rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Once the dough has doubled in size, roll it into a rectangular about 10 X 20-inches.
- Mix the filling ingredients together in a bowl.
- Spread the filling evenly over the rolled-out dough.
- Starting on the long side of the rectangle, roll the dough up. Pinch the end of the dough to the roll to seal it.
- 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 X 13 inch pan with nonstick spray.
- Arrange the rolls on the pan, with the cut sides up.
- Cover the pan and let the rolls rise.
- If you are baking the rolls at a later time, cover them with plastic wrap and refrigerate them fgor up to 2 days.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Uncover and bake them for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
- While the rolls are baking, mix together the cream cheese and butter in a small bowl. Mix until smooth.
- Add the vanilla, salt, and powdered sugar. Mix well.
- If needed for consistency, add a little bit of milk or just enough to get your frosting spreadable
- Once the rolls are finished baking, remove them from the oven and spread the frosting over the warm rolls.