Bread and Yeast Goods/ Breakfast/ Sweet Rolls and Doughnuts

Cinnamon Rolls

April 9, 2014

Freshly baked cinnamon rolls made from scratch. The perfect balance between delicate, fluffy dough and a sweet cinnamon filling, these tasty rolls will fill your house with a delightful smell as they bake.

Read this post for a detailed guide on how to make perfect cinnamon rolls.

 The BEST Cinnamon Rolls - fluffy, gooey, and made from scratch. |

Yesterday, it was raining like crazy! While I was getting all cozy under the covers and switching the TV channels every 2 minutes, I got bored. And hungry. As always. So I baked what I consider to be the perfect comfort food on a cold day. Cinnamon rolls!

Let me start by saying that although cinnamon rolls take some time to make – they really aren’t as hard as one might think. Most of the time is spent waiting for the dough to rise. I promise you – It is so worthwhile that by the time the first batch I made was gone, I wanted to start making a second one.
The more you make them, the simpler it becomes.
Conclusion: make cinnamon rolls as much as possible.

The BEST Cinnamon Rolls - fluffy, gooey, and made from scratch. |

These cinnamon rolls are unbelievably good. So soft and fluffy! And then there’s all that cinnamon and sugar… I used light brown sugar to give it more of a caramel flavor. It might look like a lot of sugar when you first start to spread it on the rolled dough, but you will see once they are done baking that it’s just right. They are sweet rolls after all!

Let’s see how we make these babies, shall we?

The BEST Cinnamon Rolls - fluffy, gooey, and made from scratch. |

There are a few stages:

  1. Make the dough. If you have a mixer with a dough hook it will do most of the work for you. If not, don’t worry, it can be done manually.
  2. Let it rise! This is the part lots of people are afraid of. Don’t be. You can do it! 🙂
    Let the sweet rolls rest for an hour in a warm environment until they double in size. You are probably thinking, what the heck is a warm environment, right? I have a trick for you that will work like a charm.
  3. Roll it. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a rectangle. Spread it with melted butter and cinnamon-sugar mixture. Roll it into a log shape and cut into individual rolls. Place them in a pan.
  4. Nap time (for the rolls). Let the cinnamon rolls rest in pan for 30-45 minutes until they double in size. The second time, it’s even easier!
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes. I have to warn you about this one. Your house will smell like the Cinnabon bakery. You won’t be able to concentrate on anything else until they’re out of the oven.

The BEST Cinnamon Rolls - fluffy, gooey, and made from scratch. |

Now back to the beginning.
Start by sprinkling the dry yeast over lukewarm liquid (i.e. milk/water). What exactly is lukewarm? 110F/45C.  If you don’t have a thermometer, do the baby milk trick. You know, when you pour a drop of milk on your hand to check if it’s not too hot (I don’t have babies but I have nieces). If the liquid is too hot (over 130F) the yeast will die. And we don’t want anyone to die. My recipe is made with a half cup of water and a half cup of milk so what I did was mixing half cup of hot water with half cup of cold milk. That way, it reached the right temperature (this will work for this recipe only. In other cases you’ll just have to warm up the liquid). After you have verified that the liquid is the right temperature, sprinkle the yeast on top of the lukewarm milk-water mixture. Let it sit for 10 minutes. The yeast will start to look foamy.

The BEST Cinnamon Rolls - fluffy, gooey, and made from scratch. |

In the meantime, in a separate bowl (or a mixer bowl) mix all the other ingredients, except for the flour. Add the yeast mixture and mix just until combined. This can be done by hand or with the mixer on low speed. Add 3 cups of the flour and mix, by hand – with a wooden spoon or using the mixer on low speed using the dough hook. Mix until the dough starts to come together. You’ll probably need to add more flour at this point – 2 tablespoons at a time, until the dough is smooth and starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl. For my dough I used exactly 450 grams flour – about 3¼ – 3½ cups. Do not use more than 3½ cups.

After you add all the flour and the dough has come together, keep kneading the dough on low speed in the mixer for 5 minutes, or by hand on a floured surface for 7-8 minutes. The dough should be smooth and elastic, just slightly sticky and easy to handle.

Now for part 2.

Put the dough in a greased bowl and cover it with a plastic wrap. Let it rest until it doubles in size. Dough rises best in warm environments. Here I have a trick for you that works for me every single time. Put an oven rack in the middle of your oven. Fill a pan or a bowl with hot water and place it on the bottom of the oven. Then let the dough rest on the oven rack in the middle. Close the oven door. This is optional. You can let the dough rest on the counter as well.
Let the dough rest for about an hour.

The BEST Cinnamon Rolls - fluffy, gooey, and made from scratch. |

Moving on to part 3 (& 4).
Take the dough out of the oven and gently punch it to remove the air. Next, roll it on a floured surface into a 14*10 inch rectangle (about the size of a silpat baking mat). If the rectangle is a bit bigger or smaller, that’s fine. It should be very easy to roll out the dough. Spread the melted butter on the dough. The butter should be room temperature, not hot. Then sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar mixture, leaving a small border around the edges of the dough. Press the sugar mixture gently into the dough so it sticks to the butter.

The BEST Cinnamon Rolls - fluffy, gooey, and made from scratch. |

Roll the dough to form a log, starting with the longer edge of the dough. Cut the dough into even pieces – about 12 rolls and place them cut side up, in a 9*13-inch pan or a 9-inch round pan. Make sure to leave gaps between the rolls because they will expand while they rest. {Note – at this point you can refrigerate the rolls for a few hours or overnight and then bake it straight from the fridge. This works because the rolls will still rise in the fridge – just slower because of the cold.}
Cover rolls with plastic wrap and let them rise for 30-45 minutes, until doubled in size.
(If you use my trick and let the rolls rise in the oven, after 30 minutes of resting, take the rolls out in order to preheat your oven for the next step, which is baking the rolls.) When the rolls have doubled in size, it’s time to bake them.

The BEST Cinnamon Rolls - fluffy, gooey, and made from scratch. |

This brings us to the last part.

Brush your cinnamon rolls with heavy/light cream or milk (not mandatory). Bake them for 25-30 minutes. When they are ready, a toothpick inserted into the rolls should come out clean. You can top the rolls loosely with aluminum foil after 15 minutes, if they start to brown too much.

The glaze is optional but is delicious, sticky (in a good way) and pretty.

So let me repeat it for the third time just to make sure you’ve got it… the best part is the cinnamon-y smell which is about to fill your entire house… you won’t be able to control yourself!
I’m getting hungry just from thinking about it…


4.78 from 9 votes
Cinnamon Rolls
YIELD: 12 rolls
Freshly baked cinnamon rolls made from scratch. The perfect balance between a delicate, fluffy dough and a sweet cinnamon filling, these tasty rolls will fill your house with a delightful smell as they bake.

For the sweet rolls:
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (7 grams or 0.25 ounces) active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup (56 grams or 1/2 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams or 1.7 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/4 – 3 1/2 cups (450 grams or 16 ounces) all-purpose flour
For the filling:
  • 1/2 cup (113 grams or 4 ounces) butter, melted or at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams or 5.3 ounces) light brown sugar (or granulated sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
For the glaze:
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1-2 tablespoons heavy/half-and-half/light cream (or milk)
  1. In a small saucepan, heat water and milk until lukewarm (110F-115F). Sprinkle the yeast over the lukewarm milk mixture and let it sit for 10 minutes.
  2. In a bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook (If you don’t have a mixer, mix by hand), add the butter, egg, sugar and salt and mix. Add the milk mixture and mix until combined. Add 3 cups of flour and mix on low speed (or mix by hand with a wooden spoon) until combined. Add the remaining flour, 2 tablespoons at a time, stirring well after each addition until the dough comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. The dough should be soft, smooth, elastic and just slightly sticky. Once it has reached this consistency, keep kneading on low speed in the mixer for 5 minutes, or by hand on a floured surface for 7-8 minutes.
  3. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rest in a warm place for about an hour until doubles in size.
  4. Meanwhile, make the filling. In a small bowl, mix together sugar and cinnamon.
  5. When the dough has doubled in size, gently punch it to remove air. Then, roll it into a 14x10 inch rectangle. Leaving small border around the edges, spread the dough with butter, then with sugar mixture and press gently. Roll up dough to form a log, starting with the longer edge, and pinch to seam seal. Cut into 12 equal size rolls and place cut side up in a greased 9-inch round pan or 9*13-inch pan. Cover and let rest to rise for about 30-45 minutes or until it doubles in size.
  6. Preheat oven to 375F/190C.
  7. Brush the rolls with heavy/light cream or milk (optional). Bake cinnamon rolls in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, until the tops have browned and a skewer inserted into the rolls comes out clean. If the rolls brown too fast, cover them loosely with aluminum foil.
  8. To make the glaze, mix all ingredients together, adding little cream at a time until the desired consistency. Then, drizzle over the rolls.
  9. Serve warm or reheat before serving.

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  • Reply
    April 9, 2014 at 11:45 am

    Looks delicious!

    • Reply
      April 9, 2014 at 7:50 pm

      Thanks Rene! 🙂

  • Reply
    April 9, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    שירן זה לא פייייר
    אני חולת קינמון ומכינה המון בצקי שמרים (אני מתמחה בבצקי חלות) ורק לראות את התמונות אני חצי בעילפון!
    אם יכולתי הייתי רצה למטבח להכין, אבל המטבח כבר עבר למטבח פסח

    אני רק יכולה לדמיין זוללת חצי תבנית עכשיו.

    בנתיים אני מאחלת לך פסח נהדרררררררררר
    ושוב – זה נראה משגע!!

    • Reply
      April 9, 2014 at 7:41 pm

      לא נורא וויני, ככה יהיה למה לצפות לאחר החג 🙂 ואם את מומחית לחלות, תפני אותי לאחד המתכונים הטובים שלך בבקשה ואכין בהקדם!

  • Reply
    Nicole ~ Cooking for Keeps
    April 9, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    I like your conclusion! More cinnamon = better. These look great!

    • Reply
      April 9, 2014 at 7:57 pm

      Hahaha… I know 🙂 I can’t get enough of these rolls!

  • Reply
    April 9, 2014 at 7:33 pm

    wow it looks insane!!!

    • Reply
      April 9, 2014 at 7:51 pm

      Thanks Dor 🙂

  • Reply
    Ashley @ Wishes & Dishes
    April 10, 2014 at 3:41 am

    There’s nothing better than homemade cinnamon rolls. Yours look amazing!

    • Reply
      April 10, 2014 at 7:05 am

      Thank you Ashley 🙂 There really isn’t nothing better than homemade cinnamon rolls!

  • Reply
    Angie (@angiesrecipess)
    April 10, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    Who doesn’t love cinnamon rolls! I could have finished the whole bunch! These look fantastic.

    • Reply
      April 11, 2014 at 3:31 pm

      Thank you Angie 🙂

  • Reply
    Cindy @ Pick Fresh Foods
    April 11, 2014 at 3:17 am

    I just love love cinnamon rolls. One of my all time favorite treats. These look so good. I can just imagine how wonderful they smell baking. Pinning!!

    • Reply
      April 11, 2014 at 3:35 pm

      Thank you Cindy 🙂 They are one of my favorite treats too!

  • Reply
    April 12, 2014 at 11:01 am

    These look phenomenal! Question for you…If I were to start the process the night before, would I place the cut rolls in the fridge before or after the second rise? Or maybe it’s best to bake them and then reheat and drizzle in the morning. Have you ever tried that?

    • Reply
      April 12, 2014 at 6:42 pm

      Hi Cindy! I always make rolls ahead of time, and they are best the day they are made 🙂 After you shape the dough into rolls, arrange them in the pan, cover with plastic wrap and place them in the fridge (before the rise). The next morning, remove them from the fridge and leave them on the counter to rise for about an hour.
      They are so good 🙂

  • Reply
    Ilona @ Ilona's Passion
    April 12, 2014 at 11:35 pm

    Lovely blog, I like your recipes. Beautiful theme, I adore Bluchic. I noticed that on your home page you have small pictures with posts, but when I click on the post, nice large picture is shown. Can I ask you how did you do it? Or Bluchic purchased theme allows it? I am just using their free Adelle for now. I will appreciate any answer, Thank you

    • Reply
      April 13, 2014 at 7:53 am

      Thank you Ilona! I emailed you 🙂

  • Reply
    September 1, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    Do these freeze well??

    • Reply
      September 1, 2014 at 8:01 pm

      Hi Matti! You can read the above comment I wrote to Cindy about making the rolls ahead of time. But, if you want to bake the rolls, then freeze them it’s also possible. Thaw the rolls a few hours before using them, then warm them briefly in the oven before serving.

  • Reply
    November 7, 2014 at 11:24 pm

    I made these last night and they were SOOOOO freaking good. Way better than anything store bought. And you’re right, the house smells amazing while they bake. Thanks for posting this. It will be my go-to recipe for cinnamon rolls from now on!

    • Reply
      November 9, 2014 at 7:45 am

      It makes me so happy! Thank you for taking the time to share with me how much you loved them! They are my go-to recipe, too!

  • Reply
    April 12, 2015 at 3:36 am

    Looking for a cinn roll thats fluffy and not hard…..thanks. any tips would be great

    • Reply
      April 14, 2015 at 7:36 am

      Hi Jodi! This recipe for cinnamon rolls is super fluffy and soft! Did you try making it?

  • Reply
    April 19, 2015 at 10:37 pm

    Hi Shiran

    Thanks for the great recipe. Just made these and they turned out absolutely fantastically! Have tried to make these before a recipe on another site and they were quite dry and tough. These on the other hand are light, fluffy and just the right amount of sweetness! Will be using your site in future to bake other desserts as well 🙂

    • Reply
      April 20, 2015 at 7:07 am

      Hi Darsan! I’m so glad to hear that! Thank you 🙂 I have a few recipes for cinnamon rolls but I really like this one, it’s so fluffy, soft and full of flavor!

  • Reply
    Rayna Ramirez
    April 27, 2015 at 5:29 pm

    Can you use instant yeast for this recipe ?

    • Reply
      April 28, 2015 at 1:22 pm

      Hi Rayna, yes you can, use 2 teaspoons of instant yeast instead. Also, skip the part of “proofing” the yeast (the part when you sprinkle the yeast over the milk), and just add it along with the flour.

      • Reply
        January 19, 2018 at 5:54 pm

        היי שירן! האם אפשר להשתמש בשמרים טריים (קוביה) ואם כן, מה הכמות? אני נמצאת במקום שבו קשה למצוא שמרים יבשים לצערי..
        תודה מראש

  • Reply
    February 17, 2016 at 4:51 am

    First of all I really like your blog 🙂 I have found it a week ago and I have already tried your cheescake brownie recipe. Brownies were fantastic, definetely the best I have ever baked and I have tried quite a few recepies. So thank you for that.
    Fr cinnamon rolls: I have a question. In my country (Slovenia, you probably never heard of because it’s a really small country in Europe … but never mind) yeast can be bought in these blocks… I don’t know how to call it… on the internet it was called “a block of compressed fresh yest”. How much should I use? Thank you for answer.
    Have a lovely day 🙂

    • Reply
      February 18, 2016 at 11:32 am

      Hi Katarina! Thank you so much (and of course I’ve heard of Slovenia) 🙂
      If using fresh yeast, you’ll need to use about 20 grams – the rule of thumb is multiplying the weight of dry yeast by 3. You should read the label to understand how to use it/add it to the flour.
      I hope this helps! Have a lovely day, too 🙂

      • Reply
        February 20, 2016 at 4:19 pm

        Just letting you know that I have just made these and they are delicious! I made them for my older sister’s birthday (she is 19) and she loved it. Maybe I did roll the dough too thin… I don’t know. But anyway, they were great. And for the glaze I used vanilla pod, because I really like those tiny black dots in a frosting or cream or glaze or whatever 😀 The glaze is also great.
        And thank you for your soon answer about yeast.
        Can’t wait to try some more of your recipes! I’m thinking of cinnamon roll cake… 😉

        • Reply
          February 22, 2016 at 1:45 pm

          Happy birthday to your sister, Katarina! I’m glad to hear it worked out for you with the fresh yeast. Can’t wait for you to try more recipes! 🙂

    • Reply
      October 25, 2019 at 4:44 am

      I definitely cried after tasting these! I’ve been missing good cinnamon rolls while living in England. Thanks so much for new Christmas morning recipe!! **And my new favourite place for baking recipes.

  • Reply
    March 20, 2016 at 7:21 am

    Shiran gotta try ths recipe 2day…. hope this turns out welll…

    • Reply
      March 22, 2016 at 6:43 am

      Let me know how it turns out!

  • Reply
    November 7, 2016 at 9:22 am

    Tried your cinnamon roll today. Tured out super fluffy n soft . Thanks a lot

    • Reply
      November 9, 2016 at 6:58 am

      Thank you for your comment!

  • Reply
    Jennifer Davis
    February 3, 2018 at 11:02 pm

    Wow !I followed your instructions , and they were fabulous!!!

  • Reply
    Brenda T
    December 26, 2018 at 2:09 pm

    I actually wanted to do a taste test with my family. I made your recipe and a different one that said they were the best cinnamon rolls ever. ( I made them the same day, just to have a fair comparison). Your recipe won out! . Even reheating them the next day, yours just tasted better! I did double the icing recipe, just because I love icing. Funny thing I tasted it without icing and they were still very tasty and so soft. Delicious! This is now my only cinnamon roll recipe. : ) Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply
    April 21, 2019 at 12:29 am

    It was absolutely gorgeous! I made them last night and my family loved it! thankyou Shiran! 🙂

  • Reply
    May 31, 2019 at 9:17 am

    hey shiran! this is my first time using this recipe, and for the filling, I accidentally added the butter in with the sugar and cinnamon. is that okay? also, when I cut my rolls they always turn out kind of flat, squashed, and ugly (it might be because I rolled the dough starting from the short side). any tips?

  • Reply
    Lana Green
    August 17, 2019 at 2:38 pm

    Can I use any other type of sugar for the glaze, or must it be powdered? Otherwise, the rolls turned out great!

    • Reply
      August 18, 2019 at 7:07 am

      Hi Lana. Only powdered sugar will work.

  • Reply
    August 7, 2020 at 1:24 am

    Dearest Shiran,
    We recently came upon your blog and needless to say, we are now hooked. We made these cinnamon rolls to break the fast last week and they were phenomenal. The only thing that dissappointed me was that they dried out within a few hours. Do you have an idea what I can do differently to keep the dough moist over time aside from making sure they are well covered as they were. Thank you

    • Reply
      August 20, 2020 at 5:43 am

      Thank you, Michella 🙂 Make sure not to overbake them. You can try adding a little bit of sugar syrup like in this babka recipe. I usually leave a few pieces for the same day and freeze the rest.

  • Reply
    February 7, 2021 at 9:33 am

    They are amazing! Just made them and certainly will be making them again. So soft and fluffy! 😀

    • Reply
      Lael Engstrom
      November 24, 2021 at 10:32 am

      Would you freeze before the final rise or after they are baked?

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