The Best Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Best Homemade Cinnamon Roll Recipe with Cream Cheese Frosting

The very best homemade cinnamon roll recipe with cream cheese frosting. A must-have for Christmas morning.

Updated December 2018 // I still make this recipe every year for Christmas morning. I’ve tried lots of recipes to compete with this one, and none come close. It’s the best recipe for homemade cinnamon rolls I have found. I have made two changes to the recipe from the original. I add more butter to the filling and whip it in the mixer before spreading on the dough. I also add more cream cheese and less butter for the frosting. I like the tang of the cream cheese with the sweetness of the rolls. I often double this recipe and freeze one half for another day, or give a pan to my neighbors to bake off on Christmas morning.

It is very late on Sunday night as I type this. I am sitting on the couch half-watching a bad movie and staring at my beautiful Christmas tree. I love my tree this year. I finally did something that I have been wanting to do for a few years now. I bought two Christmas trees. One is for the kids and is full of the sweet little ornaments they have made and snowmen and trains. The other is my tree. It is really, really big. Like 8 feet tall big. It is full of white lights and silver and baby blue ornaments. The best part is the glitter. I love glitter. I love how it sparkles and shines while being illuminated by Christmas lights. I need to take a picture of it to show you. I really think that it has helped get me in the mood for the holidays.

The funny thing about cinnamon rolls is that I only make them this time of year. I do not know why that is, because they are my family’s favorite breakfast treat. They are not hard to make, but I guess I save them for the specialness that this time of year has to offer. I make two batches at a time and freeze some of the unbaked rolls for another time. If you are going to do this, take the cinnamon rolls out of the freezer the day before you want to bake them off. Take them out of the fridge and let them come to room temperature and let them rise for about an hour before you bake them.

My friend Maggie gave me this recipe, and I have no idea where she got it from. But I am forever grateful that she gave it to me because these are my idea of the perfect homemade cinnamon rolls. Rich egg dough, sweet and spicy filling and lots of cream cheese frosting.

cinnamon roll recipe

Homemade Cinnamon Roll Recipe with Cream Cheese Frosting //

For the dough:

1 package yeast
1 cup warm milk (I microwave it for 45 seconds. It needs to be warm, but not hot.)
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup room temperature butter
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
4 cups flour (you may add up to 5 cups)

For the filling:

1 cup brown sugar
2 1/2 Tablespoons high-quality cinnamon
1/2 cup room temperature butter
1 Tablespoon flour

For the icing:

4 Tablespoons room temperature butter
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch salt

cinnamon roll recipeLet the yeast dissolve in the warm milk. Let sit for about 5 minutes. It will start to foam.

cinnamon roll recipeMix together the butter, sugar, salt, and eggs in the bowl of a mixer. You could also do this by hand or in a bread machine. Add the yeast and milk mixture.

cinnamon roll recipeSlowly add in the flour. I start with 2 cups and then gradually add the rest in. This a moist dough, but you do not want it to be sticky. Add just enough flour until the dough comes together and starts to pull away from the bowl.

cinnamon roll recipeYou will have a rich, yellow, egg dough.

cinnamon roll recipePut the dough in a large bowl coated with vegetable oil or cooking spray. Cover with plastic wrap and let double in size. 1 to 2 hours.

cinnamon roll recipeMake the filling. Put all of the ingredients in a bowl. Work with a fork until the mixture comes together and forms a thick paste. Or mix in the bowl of a mixer until light and fluffy.

cinnamon roll recipeRoll out the dough into a rectangle shape measuring about 21 inches by 16 inches. Spread the filling on top.

cinnamon roll recipeRoll the dough up.

cinnamon roll recipeCut the dough into 1 1/2 inch pieces and put in a greased pan.

cinnamon roll recipeCover the cinnamon rolls with a towel or plastic wrap and let them rise again for 1 hour.

cinnamon roll recipeBake in a preheated 400-degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool before you frost them.

cinnamon roll recipeMake the icing by creaming together the butter and cream cheese. Add the salt and slowly add the powdered sugar. Add the vanilla. Spread the cream cheese frosting on top of the cinnamon rolls. I keep my frosting on the side. This recipe makes quite a few cinnamon rolls, so I like to not frost them but frost them as we eat them. They will last for a few days and I put them in the microwave for 20 seconds to just soften them and then (I actually like them better without the frosting) frost them.

Best Homemade Cinnamon Roll Recipe with Cream Cheese Frosting

Best Homemade Cinnamon Roll Recipe with Cream Cheese Frosting

Cinnamon Rolls

Yield: amkes 12

Best Homemade Cinnamon Roll Recipe with Cream Cheese Frosting. Make these the day before and bake them off on Christmas morning.

Ingredients

For the dough:

  • 1 package yeast
  • 1 cup warm milk (I microwave it for 45 seconds. It needs to be warm, but not hot.)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup room temperature butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 cups flour (you may add up to 5 cups)

For the filling:

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup room temperature butter
  • 1 Tablespoon flour

For the icing:

  • 4 Tablespoons room temperature butter
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch salt

Instructions

  1. Let the yeast dissolve in the warm milk. Let sit for about 5 minutes. It will start to foam.
  2. Mix together the butter, sugar, salt, and eggs in the bowl of a mixer. You could also do this by hand or in a bread machine. Add the yeast and milk mixture.
  3. Slowly add in the flour. I start with 2 cups and then gradually add the rest in. This a moist dough, but you do not want it to be sticky. Add just enough flour until the dough comes together and starts to pull away from the bowl.
  4. You will have a rich, yellow, egg dough.
  5. Put the dough in a large bowl coated with vegetable oil or cooking spray. Cover with plastic wrap and let double in size. 1 to 2 hours.
  6. Make the filling. Put all of the ingredients in a bowl. Work with a fork until the mixture comes together and forms a thick paste. Or beat in the bowl of a mixer until light and fluffy.
  7. Roll out the dough into a rectangle shape measuring about 21 inches by 16 inches. Spread the filling on top.
  8. Roll the dough up.
  9. Cut the dough into 1 1/2 inch pieces and put in a greased pan.
  10. Cover the cinnamon rolls with a towel or plastic wrap and let them rise again for 1 hour.
  11. Bake in a preheated 400-degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool before you frost them.
  12. Make the icing by creaming together the butter and cream cheese. Add the salt and slowly add the powdered sugar. Add the vanilla. Spread the cream cheese frosting on top of the cinnamon rolls. I keep my frosting on the side. This recipe makes quite a few cinnamon rolls, so I like to not frost them but frost them as we eat them. They will last for a few days and I put them in the microwave for 20 seconds to just soften them and then (I actually like them better without the frosting) frost them.
Nutrition Information:

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 0Total Fat: 0g
Bree-September-2020-50

Oh hey there!

Well, hello there! Iโ€™m Bree Hester, the Boston-based blogger and food photographer here at Baked Bree. Here you can get lots of weeknight meal inspiration, eat more plant-based meals, and still indulge in a decadent sweet treat. Baked Bree is a place where you will find great recipes and inspiration for your next family adventure.

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This Post Has 77 Comments

  1. The Blue-Eyed Bakers

    Oooh yummy! Can we have one for breakfast!? These sound like such a perfect holiday time treat! And your glittery tree sounds gorgeous!

    1. bakedbree

      Yes you can! Thanks girls!

    2. Kim

      How much yeast is in a packet of yeast? I have a jar of yeast. I’m super interested in making these for Christmas day!

      1. Bree Hester

        2 1/4 teaspoons. I think that it even says it on the jar.

  2. Karin van D.

    That looks absolutely delicious. I love cinnamon rolls, but haven’t found the perfect recipe yet. Maybe this is the one? I am definitely going to try!

    1. bakedbree

      I think that it is the perfect recipe. I have tried a ton, but I always come back to this one.

  3. Jasmine

    Oh yummy! I love cinnamon rolls and these look divine! I think it is fantastic how you give step-by-step photos of what things should look like in the making. That really helps me because I am not used to baking with yeast, it’s very helpful! Thanks for passing on this wonderful recipe!

    1. bakedbree

      That is exactly why I do it. I want people to not be afraid to try to make new things.

  4. Jennie @ Oh, Sweet Day!

    They look FABULOUS!

    1. bakedbree

      thank you Jennie! They really are.

  5. Stacey Woods

    Mmmm, these look amazing! My kids love cinnamon rolls too… I’m bookmarking this one for sure! (And I can’t wait to see your tree!) ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. The cute Pie Guy

    Hey Bree,
    Great minds must bake alike.
    I also made cinnamon rolls.
    With all the pies I made, I had to find a way to use up my leftover pie crust dough. So I made cinnamon rolls from it.
    They turned out great, flaky, golden and tasty.
    You can see them here: http://www.everythingpies.com/cinnamon-rolls-leftover-pie-crust.html
    I’m partial to pastries, but next time try an all-butter pie crust dough to make cinnamon rolls. It take less ingredients and bakes up quicker.

    Keep on baking.

    1. bakedbree

      OMG. Pie crust cinnamon rolls. I die.

  7. Lynn

    These do look amazing and I want to try them!! Do you have any suggestions if I wanted to make up the dough and rolls the night before and bake them off in the morning? With the three-hour rising time, I’d need to get up really early in the morning to bake them for breakfast. I wonder if keeping them in the fridge overnight would slow down the yeast for the second rise.

    1. bakedbree

      Hi Lynn, I wrote this in the last paragraph in the intro section. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. lynne

    Yum! I’ve always wanted to make cinnamon rolls, just have never got around to doing it. Now I’m definitely going to try making them!

    1. bakedbree

      Let me know how it turns out for you…

  9. Angela Dal Bon Custom Invites

    Lot of frosting! Yum!

    1. bakedbree

      yeah for frosting!!

  10. Jun

    I have no idea that making cinnamon rolls is this easy! Thank you for including step by step shots too

    1. bakedbree

      they really are easy and I think that this recipe is particularly easy.

  11. Kimberly

    Awesome recipe! I love the step by step photos. One question though, when do we add in the yeast and milk?

    1. bakedbree

      right before the flour. Thanks for catching that for me!!

  12. Darcie

    I want to make cinnamon rolls for my family so badly, but I’m afraid of screwing up the dough! I’m going to do it though, because you make it look easy and delicious.

    1. bakedbree

      do not be afraid, it is really easy.

  13. Mackenzie T.

    Hi Bree!
    I made these cinnamon rolls last night and put them in the oven this morning and they were absolutely delicious! This is definitely a recipe that will be made many, many times when cinnamon rolls are needed! The step by step photos were so fantastic! They helped my baking SO much! Thanks again for posting a great recipe!
    Thanks!
    Mackenzie

    1. bakedbree

      I am glad that the pictures helped. And that you loved the cinnamon rolls as much as I do!

  14. Ingrid Burton

    Bree, first, I love these! I made them for Christmas and they were so good, I had to make them again today! I was wondering, could you use this dough for some other type of roll? I was thinking about some sort of garlic butter roll where you could spread the garlic butter like the cinnamon filling. Do you think that would work and what would you suggest for a savory filling? Thanks! Love your blog!

    1. bakedbree

      So glad! I do not see why not. I would make a garlic butter and fill it with parsley and herbs. You could also do a pesto one.

  15. Michelle

    If you are still wondering where the recipe came from it is the same recipe or the cloned recipe from Cinnabon.

    1. bakedbree

      thanks michelle.

  16. Tamara

    Loving your blog. Cinnamon rolls are on my list to make

    1. bakedbree

      they are so good Tamara! I love them.

  17. marie

    Just made these…and am impatiently waiting for them to come out of the oven!! Already smell like heaven!

    1. bakedbree

      Yum. I could go for a cinnamon roll right about now.

  18. Toni Eddins

    thiz look good

    1. bakedbree

      thank you Toni!

  19. Elizabeth

    Just discovered ur blog and im already hooked.Love all your step-by step pictures..it takes the anxiety out of the process.I do have a small doubt,i know you said that you could freeze the batch but can you be more specific…do you freeze the rolls in a foil tray or in ziplocks?Also if i plan to bake it the next morning i should defrost it in the fridge the prev night and then leave it out on the countertop for an hour…is that what you meant?
    Im sorry if i asked too many questions..im a beginner in baking .

    1. bakedbree

      Welcome Elizabeth! I freeze the rolls on foil trays and put them in the fridge the day before, leave them on the counter for an hour before baking. Never too many questions!! Ask me to clarify anything at all.

      1. Elizabeth

        Thanks so much..i was hovering around waiting for your response..will be def trying this recipe…

        1. bakedbree

          You are welcome Elizabeth.

  20. Heather

    I love your site. There’s so much good stuff here, I find myself opening lots and lots (7 right now) of recipes and perusing! I think I’ll make these for my brother-in-law’s visit and serve with salted caramel on top in place of the cream cheese frosting. Still loving that salted caramel ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. bakedbree

      thank you Heather! Yum, what a great combination. I made sticky buns over the weekend that were ridiculous. One of the best things that I have ever made. Will be posted soon!

  21. Alyse

    JUST made these, what an easy holiday recipe! Wanted a great hostess gift for my boyfriend’s family for Thanksgiving and made them this morning. Now they are cooling and look wonderful. Have not tasted them, but if they taste half as good as they look, I will be a lucky gal. Oh, and I may or may not have consumed a spoonful of icing, but I maintain that the spoon “fell in”, and thus, I had no choice. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. bakedbree

      That is such a nice hostess gift! You will win brownie points with the boyfriend’s parents for sure!

  22. Angela

    This recipe, looks like a keeper…
    I like that it seems easy enough, and it has an authentic twist to it.
    I am definitely going to try these delicious looking morning rolls…
    Angela.

    1. bakedbree

      these are delicious.

  23. Ayana

    I know this is and older post, but I made these 2 days ago, and my husband is having me make them again! These are the easiest cinnamon rolls I have ever made, and the dough is just wonderful. Thanks for the pics, and for sharing!

    1. bakedbree

      I am so glad Ayana!

  24. EnglishMuffin

    I just made these and they were so good! Thank you so much for sharing such an easy recipe, this is the first time i made dough, and it looked and felt just like my gran’s! So very impressed with myself but of course the credit goes to you ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. bakedbree

      No way, you did it all by yourself! And I am flattered that they looked like your grandmothers, that is the true test of a recipe.

  25. Sally Abraham

    OMG! My kids are going to ask me to make this for breakfast every day now. I can believe its so easy. One stupid question though. I live in Doha and the yeast is sold in a little tin so how much would I need to use? I’m guessing 2 tbsp?

    I just told my husband today that I found a new love, you Bree! You’ve made baking look so easy. Thank you.

    1. bakedbree

      A package of yeast is about 2.5 teaspoons.

  26. shalini

    Hi – these look awesome. The step by step shots are perfect too.

    I am dying to make them – pls clarify which flour to use – whole wheat? all purpose? self rising?

    thanks so much

    1. bakedbree

      All purpose.

  27. Breezy

    I just found you via Pinterest about a week ago. I have been drooling over your site since then. I made these this past weekend. THERY ARE TO DIE FOR!!! I shared a few with my neighbor before my hubby had a chance to sample. After he had his bite, all bets were off! He would not let me share them with anyone else! I had to make a second batch while he was at work on Monday just to share! Needless to say I am stalking your page! Thank you for sharing pieces of your world. My kitchen (and my waste) will never be the same.

    Thank you Bree!
    Breezy

    1. bakedbree

      I am so glad! I love these too, I have not made them in awhile, I should treat my family.

  28. Averie @ Averie Cooks

    Hey Bree! Just found this post linked from a link on Dorothy/Crazy for Crust’s site. Read the recipe and in your opening line you said you dont know where you friend got the recipe. It’s the Clone of a Cinnabon recipe https://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Clone-of-a-Cinnabon/Detail.aspx and I’ve always wanted to make it (5000+ reviews!) Your rolls are beautiful. Pinning!

  29. Tina @ Tina's Chic

    I think I gained 5 pounds from starring at the gorgeous picture! Must make these asap!!

  30. Iqraashi

    Going to try this.1package yeast = how many tbs.i have big pack of yeast

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  34. Christal

    I just made these again the other day for my family Christmas because some will be gone on Christmas day! They really are the best!!

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  39. Leslie Heyer

    I love these! I have made them a few times so far. I do double the filling and the frosting.

    1. bakedbree

      I am so glad. Does the filling ooze all over?

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  41. Betheny

    I made these for Easter breakfast this morning. I added ears to make them look like bunnies and added sprinkles to the frosting. It was a HUGE hit with my littles. It made isolation more bearable. I use to make these all the time before I had littles. I forgot how easy and amazing they are. My oldest requested them for her birthday breakfast later this month. Thank you Bree!

    1. Bree Hester

      How cute! I am happy that you liked them.

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