Easy Cinnamon Rolls

Is there anything more comforting and homey than waking up to the smell of homemade cinnamon rolls?  No, but they are too labor-intensive and take too long?  Not anymore.  These easy cinnamon rolls make it simple enough to whip up warm cinnamon rolls for your family on any given weekend morning.

Homemade, easy cinnamon roll on a gray plate, with a fork.


This recipe makes sweet and soft rolls with a buttery filling full of brown sugar and cinnamon.  Can you imagine the intoxicating aromas wafting from the oven?  

Then the rolls are iced…twice!  A cream cheese frosting is slathered on while hot and then again when the rolls have cooled a bit.  Delicious.


  • Water- warm, but not too hot
  • Buttermilk – low fat or whole works.  It should be room temperature.
  • Cream cheese at room temperature
  • Heavy cream
  • Granulated sugar
  • Dark brown sugar
  • Powdered sugar
  • Butter – I like salted, but you can use unsalted as well.  Room temperature.
  • Large eggs – at room temperature
  • Bread flour
  • Instant yeast – also referred to as ‘bread machine yeast’ or active dry yeast
  • Kosher salt
  • Cinnamon – use good quality cinnamon for the best flavor
  • Vanilla

Pan of easy cinnamon rolls to bake with some of the ingredients.


Bread flour has a higher protein content than all-purpose flour, so it produces lots of gluten.  Gluten is what gives bread dough it’s stretch and elasticity.  It also produces a tender baked product that is light and airy with a delicate crumb – perfect for a sublime cinnamon roll.

Bread flour and all-purpose flour can be used interchangeably in a pinch with very few noticeable differences in texture and crumb.


Why is working with yeast so scary?  If you screw up the yeast, the bread won’t rise.  Yeast is a living organism that can be destroyed by using a liquid that’s too hot or too cold and then the bread won’t rise.  No wonder we hesitate to make bread at home.

Well, let’s get more familiar (hence, comfortable) with yeast.

For this recipe, we need instant yeast, which is also known as ‘bread machine’ yeast.  This is the most common yeast in the supermarket.  It’s dehydrated yeast organisms that are then ground into a fine powder.  You could also use Active Dry Yeast which is similar to instant yeast, but not ground quite as fine.  They can be used interchangeably.

Remember mom or grandma ‘proofing’ yeast by dissolving the yeast in a bowl with warm water and some sugar and hoping that it begins to grow and get foamy?  You don’t have to do that any longer.  The beauty of either instant yeast or active dry yeast is that you can sprinkle them with dry ingredients.  No more proofing!

Homemade, easy cinnamon roll on a gray plate, with a fork.


If your yeast is fresh and you follow the directions, these rolls are almost foolproof.

  1. Combine the wet ingredients and then mix in the dry ingredients.  The mixer will do the work for you and knead the dough.  It will rest for 10 minutes.
  2. Make the filling by stirring the filling ingredients together.
  3. Roll out the dough into a rectangle.
  4. Spread the filling over the rectangle, roll it up and cut it into slices.
  5. Bake until golden.
  6. Make the frosting while the rolls bake.
  7. Frost the hot rolls and then more frosting when they cool.

Like this recipe?  Here are a few more breakfast sweets to try:



What’s better than waking up to the smell of cinnamon?  With these easy cinnamon rolls, you can make your family homemade, gooey cinnamon rolls on any morning in a little over an hour.

  • Author: Millie Brinkley
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 12 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American



For the dough:

  • 1 cup warm water
  • ¾ cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoon instant yeast
  • ½ tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 4 ½5 ½ cups bread flour

For the filling:

  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cinnamon

For the frosting:

  • ¼ cup butter, room temperature
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Heavy cream – enough to make the frosting a spreadable consistency


Butter a 9-inch round pie plate or cake pan.  Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

To make the dough:

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the water, buttermilk, sugar, melted butter, and eggs. Stir gently until well combined.

Sprinkle in the salt, yeast, and 4 ½ cups of flour.

Mix the dough until well combined and begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl.  If it feels too sticky, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, and then set the mixer to low and knead the dough for 10 minutes.

Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the filling.  

In a medium bowl, stir together the melted butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and cinnamon.  Set aside.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 12×16-inch rectangle.

Use an offset spatula to spread the filling evenly over the top of the dough.

Starting at the long side, roll the dough up into a cylinder.

Use a sharp knife to cut the roll into 12 slices.

Place the slices in the prepared pan.

Bake in a preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until golden.

While the rolls bake, make the frosting.

In a medium bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese together until light and fluffy.

Pour in the vanilla and spoon in the powdered sugar.

Continue to beat the frosting until well mixed.

Add the heavy cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you reach the desired consistency.

Spread half of the frosting on the rolls while they are hot.

Allow the rolls to come to room temperature and then spread the remaining frosting on the rolls.

Keywords: easy cinnamon rolls, cinnamon rolls, homemade cinnamon rolls, comfort food, cream cheese frosting, breakfast sweets