Cinnamon Rolls from Scratch

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Perfect, made from scratch Cinnamon Rolls, are a rich and indulgent breakfast with outrageously amazing cream cheese frosting.

The best sweet rolls are easy to make from scratch (although, they do take waiting time) and come out pillowy soft with gooey filling.

Cinnabon copycat cinnamon rolls

If you’re new to working with yeast bread, it may seem intimidating to you. However, it’s a lot easier than a lot of people think. First, I recommend reading my post, Tips for Baking with Yeast before you start. Furthermore, if you need gluten-free, try Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls.

Cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing.

How to Make Cinnamon Rolls from Scratch

Proof your yeast by simply combining warm water, yeast, and sugar in a bowl. I always check the expiration date on the yeast prior to using. If it’s close to the expiration date a good way to check it, if it bubbles after 10 minutes with warm water and sugar then it’s still good.

Yeast dough ready for first rise.
Cinnamon roll dough, ready for the first rise.

Warm the milk and butter in your microwave or a saucepan on the stove. Set it to the side, because now you are ready to make the dough for your cinnamon rolls!

After combining the ingredients, knead the dough until it is smooth and has an elastic texture. This is how you can tell when the cinnamon roll dough has been kneaded enough.

cinnamon roll dough after 2 hours of rising
Dough after 2 hours of rising.

Let the dough rise for an hour or so, until it is double its original size.

freshly made cinnamon roll dough on a pastry mat.

Roll or press to stretch it out flat, then brush the top with melted butter. Next, sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar.

pouring melted butter on sweet pastry dough.
cinnamon sugar mixture on unbaked dough.

Then, roll it up and cut it into slices.

rolling sweet dough filled with cinnamon.

Pour melted butter into the pan and sprinkle with sugar. This will help them not stick to the pan. 

Place unbaked rolls in the pan and let them rise until double in size, about 45 minutes.

Cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing.

Storing Instructions

  • Unfrosted cinnamon rolls will keep for 2 to 3 days in an airtight container on the countertop. (You can frost each one before serving since the frosting DOES need to be refrigerated.)
  • If you plan to frost them, store the leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.

Can I freeze cinnamon rolls?

Yes, they freeze well. Make sure they are stored in an airtight container. You can freeze them individually if you prefer.

As well, the cream cheese Icing can be frozen. You can freeze the frosting separately or on the buns.

Other Bread and Dough Recipes

  1. Foolproof Quick Dinner Rolls
  2. Soft Fluffy Yeast Rolls
  3. Cream Cheese Buttermilk Biscuits
  4. Whole Wheat Flour Pizza Dough
  5. Sweet Onion Corn Bread
  6. Crazy Bread: Master Dough for Everything
  7. Crazy Bread Dough Focaccia
  8. Easy Pizza Dough

Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary based on the products used.

Cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing.

Cinnamon Rolls

Perfect, made from scratch Cinnamon Rolls, are a rich and indulgent breakfast with outrageously amazing cream cheese frosting. 
Author: Paula
5 from 10 votes
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Prep Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 12 rolls
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  • ¼ ounce package yeast (2½ teaspoons)
  • ½ cup warm water 120 – 130°F
  • ½ cup warm milk
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • cup butter melted
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 ½ to 4 cups all-purpose flour


  • ½ cup melted butter
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • Optional: 3/4 raisins and/or pecans

For the pan:

  • ¼ cup butter melted
  • ¼ cup sugar


  • ½ cup butter at room temperature
  • 4 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar sifted
  • 1- 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Dissolve yeast in warm water; set aside. In a large bowl of a mixer with a dough hook attachment, mix milk, sugar, melted butter, salt and, egg. Add 2 c flour and mix until smooth. Add yeast mixture alternating with remaining flour. Mix until smooth. Pour dough onto a floured flat surface and knead for 5 minutes. Place in an oiled bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled in size (about 2 – 2 1/2 hours).
  • When doubled in size, punch down dough. Roll or press out dough with fingers until approximately 15 x 9-inch rectangle. Spread melted butter all over the dough. Mix sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over butter. Sprinkle with raisins or pecans if desired. Beginning on long, 15-inch, side roll-up. Pinch dough at the seam and ends to seal. cut into 12 slices.

For the pan:

  • Pour 1/4 cup melted butter into your baking pan and sprinkle 1/4 cup sugar over butter.
  • Place sliced cinnamon rolls almost touching in the pan and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
  • Bake 23 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.


  • Meanwhile, beat together ½ cup butter and cream cheese with your electric mixer on low. Add confectioner sugar, vanilla, and milk. Mix until smooth.
  • Allow to cool slightly before frosting.


Calories: 602kcal | Carbohydrates: 82g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Cholesterol: 92mg | Sodium: 456mg | Potassium: 106mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 52g | Vitamin A: 920IU | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 2mg
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  1. 5 stars
    These cinnamon rolls look so delicious! I've just joined your blog and will be back!

  2. 5 stars
    These are gorgeous. They are a childhood food and I fear making them for eating them all at once.

  3. 5 stars
    I just stopped by to get this recipe because I was going to make it this morning. I didn't realize that the dough has to rise for 2 hours! So maybe I will make them tomorrow morning!

5 from 10 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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