These are the BEST easy homemade cinnamon rolls ever! They’re rich, moist, soft, and fluffy. This recipe is essentially a one-bowl recipe, requires simple ingredients that you may already have at home, and is completely done by hand. Enjoy these pillowy rolls for breakfast, a snack, or a cozy dessert.
The secret to fluffy and pillowy cinnamon rolls
The secret to making these soft and pillowy homemade cinnamon rolls is to use double the amount of yeast. Yes, with double the amount of yeast we will get those fluffy and puffed-up rolls with tiny air pockets throughout the dough.
The best way to cut homemade cinnamon rolls
Ok. So, these rolls have the softest and squishiest texture ever. That’s why we need to be very gentle when cutting the dough into rolls. The best and easiest way is to use a string of unflavored floss or a thin sewing thread.
For the floss, grab a piece about 10 inches long. Cut off both uneven ends. Do this by placing the floss under the log, then carefully pull the two ends of the floss up and over the log, crossing over each other and pulling through to cut the log. Divide and cut the log into six equal pieces.
If you don’t have any, you can also use a sharp knife and gently saw back and forth. Avoid cutting down the dough because it may potentially squish the dough.
Top tips for easy homemade cinnamon rolls
- Activate the yeast – A good quality dry, active yeast will make your cinnamon rolls rise and have that soft and fluffy texture. We apply the yeast to the melted and warm milk and butter mixture. If the milk and butter are too hot, or too cold, the yeast won’t activate. To know when the temperature is right, use your finger to feel how warm it is. It should feel as warm as your body temperature. If it’s too hot, let it cool for a couple of minutes.
- Mixing and kneading – Gradually add the dough into the dry ingredients, by adding ½ cup of flour at a time, stirring as you go. By doing this, you are gradually hydrating the flour without overworking it. Keep adding ½ cup of flour at a time until your mixture is not sticky anymore. At this point, transfer your dough into a heavily floured surface and start kneading. Stop kneading once your dough ball feels smooth and light. Do not overmix, otherwise, your cinnamon rolls may end up dry and dense.
- Smooth filling – To keep the bowls and utensil use at its bare minimum, we’ll apply the filling ingredients right on the surface of the dough before rolling. To make this possible, make sure your butter is at room temperature and spreadable.
- Smooth icing – For the icing to be smooth and silky, we need the butter and the cream cheese to be at room temperature and spreadable. This icing is made by hand because of how smooth room temperature ingredients are.
- Ice your easy homemade cinnamon rolls – The best time to apply the icing is when the rolls are fresh and warm out of the oven. The rolls soak in the icing by melting into the swirls, creating a soft and gooey texture.
How to store
These easy homemade cinnamon rolls are best if made and enjoyed fresh and warm but can be gently reheated in the microwave.
Room temperature: cover the dish in plastic wrap and store it at room temperature for up to three days. Since cinnamon rolls are best enjoyed warm, reheat them in a microwave-safe dish for 10 seconds and enjoy!
Fridge: store leftover rolls in the fridge in an airtight container for up to five days. Reheat in a microwave-safe dish for 10 seconds and enjoy!
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Easy Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
- Total Time: 50 minutes + 1 hour 30 minutes rising
- Yield: 6 cinnamon rolls 1x
Foolproof easy cinnamon roll recipe for fluffy, soft, and gooey original cinnamon rolls.
- 2 – 2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup milk of choice
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 packet dry active yeast (about 2 1/4 tsp)
- 2 tbsp coconut sugar (sub brown sugar)
- 1 egg
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar (sub brown sugar)
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 oz cream cheese
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- In a microwave-safe bowl, add the milk and the butter. Heat it in the microwave in 30-second increments, until warm and melted (do not reach boiling point). Let cool for about 3-5 minutes. It should be warm, but not too hot/too cold or it will kill the yeast.
- Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and sprinkle the yeast. Wait 10 minutes to let the yeast activate. Add the egg, coconut sugar, and salt, and stir.
- Add in flour 1/2 cup at a time, at this point the dough will become sticky and thick. Use your hands to mix and knead the dough. If it’s too sticky add another 1/4 cup of flour and continue to mix and knead by hand. The dough should become soft and smooth. The dough is ready when, with clean hands, it does no longer stick.
- Wash your mixing bowl and lightly grease it with some olive oil. Add the dough. Cover with plastic wrap, and wait for about 1 hour to let it rise.
- Grease an 8 x 10 inch baking dish or a 9 inch round pan.
- Remove the dough from the bowl, and on a lightly floured surface, knead the dough lightly once again. Add additional flour if necessary, until the dough loses its stickiness. Roll out the dough into a large rectangle (thickness should be 1/4 inches). Fix corners to make sure your rectangle is sharp and even.
- Spread the butter over the surface of the dough, leaving a 1/2 inch gap all around the edge of the dough. Sprinkle the sugar evenly with your hand. Then top it with the cinnamon.
- Tightly roll up the dough from the long end, forming a log, and place it seam side down. Gently press the two ends in towards each other to restore the dough to its original length. Trim off any uneven corners.
- With a string of unflavored floss (or thin sewing thread) cut off both uneven ends. Do this by placing the floss under the log, then carefully pull the two ends of the floss up and over the log, crossing over each other and pulling through to cut the log. Divide and cut the log into six equal 2-inch slices.
- Place each roll into your greased baking dish, and brush the top of each roll using melted butter.* Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place** for about 30 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 350 F / 175 C. Remove plastic wrap, and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until slightly golden brown.
- In the meantime, prepare the frosting. In a medium sized mixing bowl, use a fork to mash together the room temperature cream cheese, and the room temperature butter.
- Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and keep mixing, until smooth. If necessary, add a tbsp of milk to get the desired consistency.
- Remove the rolls from the oven, and let them cool off for about 10 minutes.
- Drizzle with frosting, and allow it to melt in.
*You can make these rolls a day ahead by letting the rolls chill overnight to bake the next morning. Prep up to the point of placing the rolls into a baking dish, cover, and place them in the fridge. Let the rolls rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes before baking.
**If it’s cold in your kitchen, preheat your oven to the lowest temperature. When it’s already hot, turn off your oven and place the rolls inside uncovered and close the door. After 30 minutes, the rolls should have doubled in size.
Make sure your milk and butter are warm (about 110 F / 43 C), otherwise your dry yeast won’t activate.
Use room temperature butter and cream cheese.
To achieve a clean cut and avoid squishing the rolls, use unflavored dental floss.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
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