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These easy cinnamon rolls from scratch are perfect for yeast beginners because they only require 1 rise. Each cinnamon roll is extra soft with the most delicious cinnamon swirl!

This cinnamon roll recipe makes classic, home-style cinnamon rolls. They’re fluffy, soft, and topped with vanilla glaze. It’s taken me some time to develop quick cinnamon rolls that maintain all the flavor of traditional overnight cinnamon rolls. I have the winner for you right here and I baked two batches just to be sure.

cinnamon rolls in a glass baking dish

Yeast Beginners Rejoice!

Do you love homemade cinnamon rolls, but are nervous to bake with yeast? Join the club. I was too! But this recipe changed everything for me. They’re perfect for anyone who wants to learn how to bake with yeast. Unlike these homemade cinnamon rolls that require hours of rise time, plus a 2nd rise time after the rolls are shaped, this easy cinnamon rolls recipe only requires 1 rise.

Here’s my #1 tip: I recommend using a strong and dependable yeast. Red Star Platinum Yeast is an instant yeast, which cuts down on rise time. Its careful formula strengthens your dough and makes working with yeast simple. And simple is always good, right?

Baking with Yeast Guide

Reference this Baking with Yeast Guide whenever you work with baker’s yeast. I include practical answers to all of your common yeast questions.
3 cinnamon rolls on a blue plate

How to Make Easy Cinnamon Rolls from Scratch

Bakery style goodness for beginners!

  1. Make the dough: The ingredients are pretty standard: flour, sugar, salt, yeast, water, milk, butter, and 1 egg. Heat the butter, milk, and water together. Next, stir the butter mixture into the dry ingredients, then add the egg. At this point, your dough is ready to knead!
  2. Knead the dough: You can use your mixer or hands to knead the dough. When you’re finished kneading, cover the dough and let it rest for a few minutes so the gluten settles. During this time, get your filling ingredients ready: butter, cinnamon, and sugar.
  3. Shape the cinnamon rolls: Roll the dough out into a 14×8 inch rectangle. Spread the butter on top, then sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. You can use regular white granulated sugar or brown sugar in the filling. Tightly roll up the dough and cut into 11-12 pieces. Place in a greased round pan and get ready to rise.
  4. Rise: Let the shaped rolls rise for 60-90 minutes. Remember, this is the only rise time for the rolls.
  5. Bake: After the cinnamon rolls are nice and puffy, bake until golden brown.
cinnamon rolls in a glass baking dish before baking
cinnamon rolls in a glass baking dish after baking

The TRICK to Easy Cinnamon Rolls

Let the dough rise in your oven.

Here’s what I do: I heat the oven to 150°F (66°C). Turn the oven off. Cover the rolls and place them inside. Leave the oven door cracked open for about 30 minutes, then shut it closed. There, that’s it!

cinnamon rolls in a glass baking dish

After baking, the rolls are ready for a finishing touch. You can serve with vanilla icing or salted caramel, but I love drenching these easy cinnamon rolls in coffee icing. Simply mix 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar with 2 Tablespoons of strong coffee.

These easy cinnamon rolls from scratch are completely irresistible and they take half the time. If you’re looking for that perfect cinnamon roll recipe, this is the winner.

More Shortcut Homemade Recipes

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cinnamon rolls topped with icing in a glass baking dish

Easy Cinnamon Rolls (from scratch)

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours, 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1112 rolls 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These easy cinnamon rolls are perfect for yeast beginners because they only require 1 rise. Top with vanilla icing or my favorite coffee icing below.


Ingredients

Scale

Rolls

  • 2 and 3/4 cups (344g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 and 1/4 teaspoons Red Star Platinum Yeast or any instant yeast (1 packet)
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) whole milk
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) water
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg

Filling

  • 3 Tablespoons (45g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar or packed light or dark brown sugar

Icing

  • 1 cup (120g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 23 Tablespoons (30-45ml) strong brewed coffee or milk

Instructions

  1. Make the dough: Whisk the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast together in a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. Combine the milk, water, and butter together in a heatproof bowl. Microwave or use the stove and heat until the butter is melted and the mixture is warm to touch (about 110°F). Pour into the dry ingredients, add the egg, and stir until it forms a soft dough or use your mixer.
  3. On a lightly floured surface using floured hands, knead the dough for 3 minutes. Place in a lightly greased bowl (I use non-stick spray), cover loosely, and let rest for about 10 minutes as you get the filling ingredients ready.
  4. Fill the rolls: After 10 minutes, roll the dough out in a 14×8 inch rectangle. Spread the softened butter on top. Mix together the cinnamon and sugar. Sprinkle it all over the dough. Roll up the dough tightly to make a 14 inch log. Cut into 10-12 even rolls and arrange in a lightly greased 9-inch round cake pan or pie dish.
  5. Rise: Tightly cover the rolls with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm, draft-free environment for 60-90 minutes. See blog post above for my trick to this step!
  6. Bake the rolls: After the rolls have doubled in size, preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Bake for 25-28 minutes until lightly browned. If you notice the tops are getting too brown too quickly, loosely cover the rolls with aluminum foil and continue baking.
  7. Make the icing: Whisk the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract, and coffee/milk together. Drizzle or spread over warm rolls.
  8. Cover leftover frosted or unfrosted rolls tightly and store for up to 3 days at room temperature or up to 5 days in the refrigerator.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead Instructions: This dough can be made the night before through step 4. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning, remove from the refrigerator and allow to rise in a warm environment, about 1 hour. Continue with step 6.
  2. Freezing Instructions: Baked rolls can be frozen up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and warm up before enjoying. You can also freeze the unbaked rolls and here’s how: bake the rolls in step 6 for only about 10 minutes at 375°F (191°C). Cool completely, then cover tightly and freeze. To serve, take the rolls out of the freezer and put into the refrigerator a few hours before serving. Then, finish baking them.
  3. Yeast: I highly recommend instant yeast. If you only have active dry yeast, you can use that instead. Active dry and instant yeast can be used interchangeably in recipes (1:1). Active dry yeast has a moderate rate of rising and instant dry yeast has a faster rate of rising; active dry yeast will create a slower rise time.
  4. Milk: Whole milk is ideal for this dough. If needed, you can substitute nondairy milk.
  5. Reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs.

Keywords: easy cinnamon rolls from scratch

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Thank you, Sally! Just made these as written and they turned out great!

    1. I made these and they came out perfect! I’m wondering if the recipe can be adapted to make a loaf? I’m thinking of French toast…

  2. These were great! My 14 year old is a cinnamon bun snob and he approved. This is a keeper recipe!

    1. I’m currently making these right now and I forgot to add the egg hopefully I still get something that resembles the finished product

    1. Hi Julia, In a pinch yes, but keep in mind that the lower the fat, the less “rich” the baked good will taste.

  3. Such an easy recipe, definitely making it again. The rolls are soo fluffly and soft. And also the smell after they are baked. Omg. It is SOMETHING.

  4. Re: the oven trick for the rise, just want to clarify that you can use the :30 minute oven trick and then that’s it? Or do you need to shut the door and leave them in for the remainder of the hour or 90 minutes? Thanks!

    1. Hi Stephanie! Yes, shut the door and leave them to rise in the warm environment for the remainder of the rising time 🙂

    1. First time making cinnamon rolls from scratch! This recipe is very easy to follow and was super yum! Didn’t think they would be done so fast. I added raisins to my cinnamon sugar filling and baked them for ~ 23-24mins. They came out nice and perfect. Used a cream cheese and pecan glaze and had them for dessert! Will definitely make this again! Thanks

    1. Hi Gloria, Do you mean bake them directly on a cookie sheet? We do recommend using a cake pan or pie dish that has sides – this will stop them from spreading out too much and unrolling themselves!

  5. This was pretty good! I was snowed in and couldn’t go get whole milk so I ended up using almond milk. I feel like brown sugar instead of white would be better for the filling, but that is of course down to personal preference. The other thing I will say is keep an eye on these as they’re baking. I put mine in for 25 minutes and they came out a bit too brown for my liking. I make mine in a metal cake pan, I’m sure it varies with other types of pans, but I probably could’ve done fine with 20-22 minutes rather than 25. Still yummy though!

    1. Hi Shelby,
      When you change so many parts of the recipe, you can’t compare it to the original way the recipe was written. It’s more than a different type of cake pan that you did. You changed so many things about the recipe so of course your cook time and experience with the recipe was different!
      I made the recipe as written and it was perfect. Thank you Sally!

      1. Actually Sally/Sheri… If you reread her message *Literally the *Only thing she changed was the milk… She used almond milk, which she already had, rather than running to the store to buy whole milk. She simply stated she thinks it would be better with brown sugar, due to preference- but implies she didn’t use it. And she also mentioned a cake pan, which is what the author says to use- that or a pie dish. …Therefore, she *Literally had only one change… Myself, also only having almond milk, as I’m lactose intolerant, am thankful for HER comment & the knowledge that maybe my bake time will also need lowered.
        Have a nice day. Thanks, Mae

  6. Sally can you ise this doigh to make the giant cinnamon rolls as well as smaller ones?

      1. Thank you! I’m gonna give it a go in the next couple of days!

    1. I love the recipe. Just curious if breadflour could be used. But love as it is. Simple.

      1. Hi Lidia, bread flour has a higher protein content and is best for chewier baked goods like breads and bagels. We don’t recommend substituting all-purpose flour for bread flour- the end result will likely be tough and more dense. Here are all of our recipes with bread flour!

    1. Hi Jae, I do not recommend it because pastry flour won’t hold the necessary dough structure.

  7. I use this dough for pizzas to. I dont use sugar put a little honey in my yeast then water. It is awesome. Thanks

    1. Hi Isaac! No need – just whisk the icing ingredients together.

  8. I found it’s easier to spread the cinnamon and sugar if you mix it in with the butter, distributes the cinnamon and sugar evenly and it doesn’t fall out when rolling it.

  9. Can this be doubled? I love your site
    I have tried several of your recipes and loved them all. Thank you!

    1. Hi Tina, You can double the recipe, but we always find that the taste and texture are better when making two separate batches. The rise time as well as the bake time would be longer if doubling (same oven temperature) but we’re unsure of the exact times needed.

  10. Just made these this morning, and they turned out fantastic. Since Mardi Gras is in a couple days, I decorated them with gold, green, and purple sugar after I iced them. This was my first time making rolls, and it couldn’t have been easier! Will definitely be making these again!

    1. Hi Dana, bread flour has a higher protein content and is best for chewier baked goods like breads and bagels. We don’t recommend substituting all-purpose flour for bread flour- the end result will likely be tough and more dense. Here are all of our recipes with bread flour!

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