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The Best Cinnamon Rolls on a square white plate with cinnamon sticks on a red and white checked napkin.

The Best Cinnamon Rolls

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Buttery, brioche-like dough made for the BEST Cinnamon Rolls ever! Treat your family to this amazing breakfast treat!

With a drizzle of powdered sugar glaze, this just may be the ultimate homemade cinnamon rolls recipe. Perfect for weekend company, Mother’s Day or any darn day of the week!

The Best Cinnamon Buns on a square white plate with cinnamon sticks on a red and white checked napkin.

Why You Should this Homemade Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

I first made these homemade cinnamon rolls one year during Lent. Nick and I both gave up desserts for a full 40 days. He, though, had been hounding me for weeks to make cinnamon buns. We were both missing our sweets!

  • Sometimes you just have to have something sweet for breakfast!
  • I tested 3 cinnamon roll recipes and these were the  BEST of the bunch.
  • The tender, buttery dough was exquisite and all these needed with a little drizzle of a powdered sugar glaze as a finishing touch.
The Best Cinnamon Rolls in a Pyrex baking dish

Homemade Cinnamon Buns Recipe

Bill’s grandmother used to make dinner rolls, bread, pies, and/or cinnamon rolls from scratch every weekend. She lived with his family for years, and they were all spoiled by her incredible baked goods.

Baking without a recipe, she made the dough by feel alone. Unfortunately, that means there were no recipes left behind.

I can’t say my family is extremely picky when it comes to this breakfast treat. For years and years, we had a stash of Sara Lee frozen cinnamon rolls that just took a zap in the microwave before chowing down. They love the Easy Cinnamon Rolls out of the can, too!!

There may not have been visible tears when we thought the Sara Lee product was discontinued, but, I promise, there was much sadness. But using a Kitchen Aid mixer with a dough hook, homemade cinnamon rolls aren’t that daunting. I hope you’ll give this recipe for our favorite cinnamon rolls a try.

Overhead view of one of The Best Cinnamon Rolls on a white plate with a cup of tea

Tips for How to Make Cinnamon Rolls and Yeast Dough:

Once you know a few basic tips for baking with yeast, making yeast bread and cinnamon rolls won’t be nearly as daunting.

  • Check your yeast package for an expiration date. PRO-Tip: Do not use expired yeast. It’s frustrating when you have the dough made and it won’t rise (or “proof”) due to old, outdated yeast.
  • Use an instant thermometer for checking the temperature of your warm liquids. PRO-Tip: If the liquid is too hot (above 120º), it will kill the yeast. The resulting rolls will be dense and disappointing!
  • Salt can also kill yeast, so it’s always added along with the flour and not directly into the yeast mixture.
  • Kneading is imperative to developing the gluten and helps create a smooth, elastic dough. I love using my dough hook for a super-easy way to knead. 
  • PRO-Tip: Monitor the heat of your mixer’s motor while kneading. It can easily overheat and you’ll want to give it a rest if it gets too warm.
  • There are typically two proofing times. First, the dough is placed in a greased bowl, covered, and left in a warm spot until it doubles in size. The second is after the dough is shaped into rolls or loaves. Do not hurry this process along by placing the dough into a too hot location. The resulting texture of the bread will suffer. Warm room temperature (85º or so) works well. You can place a pan of hot water into your oven which will gently warm the space, and use that space to proof your dough.
  • PRO-Tip: The internal temperature of a fully baked yeast bread should be between 195 and 210º depending on the type of bread.
  • Wondering How to Make Glaze for Cinnamon Rolls?? It’s super easy. Whisk together powdered sugar, milk and vanilla. If you want it thinner, add a little more milk. Thicker? Add a little more powdered sugar. Pro-Tip: For smooth icing, make sure to sift the powdered sugar.

Step by Step Guide to Making Cinnamon Buns

Mixing the Dough

  • First, gather your ingredients. For this recipe, you do not need bread flour, just all-purpose flour. I like using Instant yeast, Red Star Platinum Yeast to be specific. Have your butter at room temperature.
  • Warm your milk and check the temperature before adding it to the yeast. I mentioned above that it should not be hotter than 120º.
  • Decide whether you want to knead by hand or use the dough hook on your stand mixer. The latter is always my choice.

Proofing the Dough

This dough, like most bread doughs, will have two proofing periods. One just after the dough is mixed and the second, just after it’s shaped into cinnamon rolls.

  • Use a greased bowl for the first proofing. This will help you easily remove the risen dough from the bowl.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic and place the bowl in at a spot in your house where the room temperature is quite warm, 80-85º.  My brand new oven has a “proof” setting which is 85º.

Shaping the Dough

  • Mix the filling ingredient.
  • Roll the dough into an 18-inch square, spread with butter, then filling.
  • Starting with the edge nearest you. roll the dough into a cylinder and pinch lightly to seal the seam.
  • Cut the roll into 12 equal pieces, place in the baking pan, and proof again.
  • Preheat oven to 350 º. Bake the rolls for 35-40 minutes, until they are golden brown.

Baking the Rolls

  • Preheat oven to 350 º. Bake the rolls for 35-40 minutes, until they are golden brown.
  • Glaze when cool.

If you are an experienced bread baker, please share any of your best baking tips in the comments.

The Best Cinnamon Rolls photo and text collage for Pinterest

More Cinnamon Bun Recipes You’ll Love:

Have you ever made homemade cinnamon rolls? If you give these a try and enjoy them, please consider coming back and leaving a rating in the comments. This will help others find the recipe.

Cinnamon Rolls - Tender, buttery dough filled with brown sugar and cinnamon and drizzled with a simple glaze

The Recipe: The Best Cinnamon Rolls

Tender, perfect glazed cinnamon rolls

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Yield 12 rolls

Ingredients

Dough:

  • 3/4 cup warm whole milk
  • 1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast, I used Red Star Platinum Yeast
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 4 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks, butter, at room temperature, cut into 12 pieces

Filling:

  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

Glaze:

  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

  1. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Set aside.
  2. Combine the warm milk and yeast in Pyrex in a bowl and whisk until the yeast dissolves. Mix in the eggs.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, cornstarch, sugar, and salt. Mix to combine.
  4. With the mixer on low, slowly add the warm milk mixture and continue mixing until the dough comes together for about 1 minute.
  5. Increase the speed to medium and add the butter, one piece at a time, till incorporated.
  6. Switch to the dough hook and continue to mix until the dough is smooth and comes away from the sides of the bowl, about 10 minutes.
  7. Knead the dough a few times on a lightly floured surface and form the dough into a smooth ball.
  8. Place the dough in a greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the warm spot and let rest till doubled in size, about 2 hours.
  9. Mix the brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt together in a small bowl.
  10. Punch down the dough and roll into an 18-inch square on a lightly floured surface and spread with the softened butter.
  11. Sprinkle the filling evenly over the dough and press gently.
  12. Starting with the edge nearest you. roll the dough into a cylinder and pinch lightly to seal the seam.
  13. Cut the roll into 12 equal pieces (I used a piece of dental floss) and place the pieces, cut side down, in the prepared pan.
  14. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm spot until doubled, about 1 hour.
  15. Preheat oven to 350 º. Bake the rolls for 35-40 minutes, until they are golden brown.
  16. While the buns bake, make the glaze by whisking the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla in a medium bowl and set aside.
  17. Let rolls cool for about 15 minutes, then drizzle on glaze with a spoon.

Notes

Adapted from Cook's Country.

Total time does not include proofing time.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1 roll

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 446Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 69mgSodium: 359mgCarbohydrates: 83gFiber: 2gSugar: 43gProtein: 7g

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