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Never-Fail Cinnamon Rolls

cutting cinnamon roll

Want homemade Cinnamon Rolls without the fuss? This fail-proof recipe is for you then! Make delicious cinnamon rolls topped with icing, the easy way.

Soft, chewy, sweet, and completely homemade not to mention easy to make. This is the Cinnamon Roll Recipe I have for you folks today! Get ready for seconds and thirds because this recipe makes a big irresistible batch.

pan of cinnamon rolls

An Easy Dependable Recipe for Beginners

These Cinnamon Rolls are different than ordinary rolls! They are softer and more pillowy. The yeast-based dough is more forgiving, making it easier to work with, plus the results are consistent every time. So even beginners can make homemade cinnamon rolls with confidence.

Ingredients needed for Cinnamon Rolls

With just a handful of pantry staples you can make warm, soft cinnamon rolls. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Warm Water, Yeast, and Sugar – this is the mixture that the yeast will activate and bloom in. The water should be warm but not hot.
  • All-Purpose Flour – this fills out the rest of the dough and provides gluten!
  • Melted Butter – for moisture and for flavor. Make sure to melt and cool your butter.
  • Salt – to balance out the flavors of the dough.
  • Salted Butter, Brown Sugar, and Ground Cinnamon – this mixture is to make the cinnamon sugar filling! Butter should be very soft.
  • Salted Butter, Milk, Vanilla, and Powdered Sugar – these are the ingredients needed to make the brown butter icing.
ingredients

My Secrets for Yeast Success

Over the years, I’ve perfected baking with yeast and now I’m here to share all of my secrets with you. Fresh Cinnamon Rolls here we come!

Check the Expiration Date: If you didn’t know yeast could expire, you know now! Check the expiration date of your yeast, if it’s expired, throw it out. Expired yeast is of no use to you or your baked goods. Buy some fresh and store it in the fridge to extend its shelf life.

Use Quick Rise Yeast: My favorite kind of yeast to use is SAF-Instant Yeast, I use it almost exclusively. Quick Rise Yeast is great because you can see it working almost immediately. Of course, you can still use regular yeast if that’s all you have.

Use Warm Water to Activate: Not too warm but not too hot! You want the water to be a nice comfortable temperature, like a baby bath. If you want to be really precise about it use a thermometer, it should read between 100-110 degrees F.

Let Yeast Proof: Proving yeast is the process of dissolving it in warm water and sugar and letting it sit. This is when you can see if your yeast is working or not. After about 10 minutes, there should be foam atop of the water, that means your yeast is alive and well. If there aren’t any bubbles, throw it out and try again or get new yeast.

cinnamon roll dough

Tips and Tricks for the best Cinnamon Rolls

Tips and tricks for yeasted dough garners it’s own post, but what it all comes to is this:

DON’T ADD TOO MUCH FLOUR

There are a lot of factors that can change the amount of flour added to the dough. Whether that be how you measure your flour, the climate you are baking in or old family traditions that are out of date. Yikes. However, there are a couple of visual cues I always look for when making these cinnamon rolls.

Here are the things you should look for when making cinnamon rolls:

  • the sides of the mixing bowl are clean
  • dough that sticks to the bottom of the mixing bowl
  • smooth dough (or mostly smooth)
  • dough that is tacky but not sticky enough to actually stick to your finger

Odds are you are going to add in less or more than 6 cups of flour into the dough and that’s okay! If you stick to these visual cues, you’ll be fine. And remember, it is better to leave the dough on the sticky side, you can always add more flour in later.

How to Make Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

For full details check out the recipe card below!

  1. In a stand mixer, start out by proofing the yeast. Mix warm water, sugar, and yeast together, let stand until foamy.
  2. Add in remaining sugar and 2 cups of flour. Mix with the dough hook attachment on low-medium speed. Stir in the cooled melted butter and salt. Then add another 1-2 cups of flour. Let the machine knead the flour into the dough. Add in the remaining flour in increments if needed (see my notes on flour above). Once again let the machine knead the flour into the dough.
  3. Scrape the dough out of the mixing bowl and into a well-greased bowl. Roll it around to coat in oil then refrigerate 2-3 hours or overnight.
brown butter icing

Rolling the Cinnamon Rolls

  1. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper, then butter the parchment paper.
  2. Flour a clean surface and dump the dough onto it. Sprinkle the dough with flour as well as a rolling pin. Roll it into a 24″x18″ rectangle (this doesn’t have to be perfect). Remember to move the dough around while rolling to make sure it isn’t sticking. If it is, add a little more flour.
  3. Using your fingers, spread the softened butter over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border along the top of the longer side (24″ side). Next spread the brown sugar over the butter and then sprinkle on the cinnamon.
  4. Roll the dough up into a tight log, rolling towards the inch border without any filling on it. Once rolled, place the entire log towards you with the seam facing down to help seal it. Cut into even rolls with a serrated bread knife, then place those rolls onto the half sheet pan. (I ended up with 16 rolls and two end pieces that you can either squeeze in somewhere or just toss).
  5. Cover the rolls with plastic wrap and let rise until double in size. Bake until the tops are golden brown!

Brown Butter Icing

To top everything off is a beautiful toasty brown butter icing. Browning butter is when you have melted butter on the stove then left it to cook the milk solids contained within. The butter becomes a pretty auburn color and the results are not only stunning but tasty. Can you see the little flecks of browned butter in that icing?! WOW!

Do I have to brown my butter for the icing?

No you don’t HAVE to brown your butter, especially if you are in a rush. But let me just tell you, you’ll be missing out on an experience that is so worth it.

cutting cinnamon roll

Storing Instructions

I doubt you’re going to have leftovers! But if you do, here’s how to store cinnamon rolls so you can enjoy them for longer.

Simply cover well with plastic wrap and store at room temperature for about a day.

You can definitely store them in the fridge for an extra day of freshness (2 days total), but after that, they start to lose all of that glorious softness.

More Treats to Check Out!

cutting cinnamon roll

Never-Fail Cinnamon Rolls

Want homemade Cinnamon Rolls without the fuss? This fail-proof recipe is for you then! Make delicious cinnamon rolls topped with icing, the easy way.
Prep Time 4 hrs
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 4 hrs 25 mins
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 16 servings
Calories 511 kcal

Ingredients
  

For the Dough

  • 2 cups warm water
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons dry active yeast 2 packets
  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar divided
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour give or take 1 cup, see NOTES below
  • 5 tablespoons butter melted and cooled
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Cinnamon Roll Filling

  • 1/2 cup salted butter very soft but not melted
  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

Brown Butter Icing

  • 1/2 cup salted butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 cups powdered sugar

Instructions
 

For the Dough

  • In a stand mixer, start out by proofing the yeast. Mix warm water, 3 tablespoons of sugar, and yeast together, let stand for 10 minutes, until foamy. (If it didn't foam, throw it out and try again or buy fresh yeast).
  • Add in remaining sugar and 2 cups of flour. Mix with the dough hook attachment on low-medium speed. Stir in the cooled melted butter and salt. Then add another 1-2 cups of flour. Let the machine knead the flour into the dough for about 2 minutes on low to medium speed. Add in the remaining flour in increments if needed (see my notes on flour below about the perfect dough). Once again let the machine knead the flour into the dough.
  • Scrape the dough out of the mixing bowl and into a well-greased bowl. Roll it around to coat in oil then refrigerate 2-3 hours or overnight.

Rolling the Cinnamon Rolls

  • Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper, then butter the parchment paper.
  • Flour a clean surface and dump the dough onto it. Sprinkle the dough with flour as well as a rolling pin. Roll it into a 24″x18″ rectangle (this doesn’t have to be perfect). Remember to move the dough around while rolling to make sure it isn’t sticking. If it is, add a little more flour.
  • Using your fingers, spread the softened butter over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border along the top of the longer side (24″ side). Next spread the brown sugar over the butter and then sprinkle on the cinnamon.
  • Roll the dough up into a tight log, rolling towards the inch border without any filling on it. Once rolled, place the entire log towards you with the seam facing down to help seal it. Cut into even rolls (1 1/2" thick) with a serrated bread knife, then place those rolls onto the half sheet pan. (I ended up with 16 rolls and two end pieces that you can either squeeze in somewhere or just toss).
  • Cover the rolls with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees, or until the tops are golden brown.

For the Brown Butter Icing

  • Melt 1/2 cup of butter in a light-colored pan over medium heat.
  • Once melted, the butter will then start to foam, swirl your pan as it foams for a minute or two. You’ll start to notice little brown flecks, that’s what you want!
  • Once the color becomes medium brown remove from heat immediately (we don’t want burnt butter)!
  • Stir in milk and vanilla. Then, cup by cup, whisk in the powdered sugar until thick.
  • Pour over warm cinnamon rolls and spread with a knife.

Notes

Things you should look for with the dough:
  • the sides of the mixing bowl are clean
  • dough that sticks to the bottom of the mixing bowl
  • smooth dough (or mostly smooth)
  • dough that is tacky but not sticky enough to actually stick to your finger
Odds are you are going to add in less or more than 6 cups of flour into the dough and that’s okay! If you stick to these visual cues, you’ll be fine. And remember, it is better to leave the dough on the sticky side, you can always add more flour in later.

Nutrition

Calories: 511kcalCarbohydrates: 94gProtein: 7gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 32mgSodium: 411mgPotassium: 131mgFiber: 3gSugar: 56gVitamin A: 375IUCalcium: 53mgIron: 2mg
Keyword cinnamon roll recipe, cinnamon rolls, how to make cinnamon rolls
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