Hello and welcome to the wide wide world of cinnamon rolls.
This easy cinnamon roll recipe is perfect for yeast beginners because they only require 1 rise. Each cinnamon roll is extra soft with the most delicious cinnamon swirl & they’re fluffy, soft, and topped with vanilla glaze.
This cinnamon bun recipe includes options to make them overnight or ahead of time and even freeze them.
Seriously, say hello to big, fluffy PERFECT cinnamon buns packed with a cinnamon brown sugar filling and topped with a vanilla glaze that drips into the middle and soaks every single bite.
Descriptive, yep. Delicious, absolutely.
Healthy? Not so much. But sometimes you need that little somethin’ somethin’ for moments in your life that require a something special.
So, let me tell you more about this sweet, fluffy, easy cinnamon bun recipe because it’s one you’ll never, ever forget.
Ingredients In Cinnamon Buns
This recipe doesn’t require a ton of ingredients, but it does require love, patience and dedication to the true recipe — meaning don’t deter from the original!
- Milk: 2% or whole milk. For tenderness
- Granulated sugar + Light brown sugar: Used to sweeten the cinnamon rolls and to help activate the yeast. The brown sugar will add density, and give more of a robust molasses sweet flavor and a toasted look to any baked good.
- Quick rise yeast: Use quick rise or instant yeast in this recipe to help the cinnamon rolls rise faster. If you don’t use instant yeast, be sure to allow the yeast to proof in the warm milk until it is frothy. This will take an extra 5 minutes or so & may take slightly longer to rise.
- Butter: the one and only. You’ll need it for both the dough & filling.
- Egg: For texture and consistency in the dough.
- All-purpose flour or Bread flour: I used AP, but bread flour has a higher protein level to help lighten the cinnamon roll texture. The higher amounts of protein help to produce more gluten, which gives cinnamon roll their chewy, soft texture.
- Cinnamon: YUM.
- Salt: Flavor!
The Easiest Cinnamon Rolls (From Scratch!)
For the dough
- 345 g Plain flour
- 30 g Caster sugar
- 30 g Light brown sugar
- 1 tsp Salt
- 7 g Instant yeast
- 120 ml Whole milk
- 60 ml Water
- 45 g Butter
- 1 Large Egg
For the filling
- 70 g Soft butter
- 1 1/2 Tbsp Ground cinnamon
- 60 g Soft brown sugar Either light or dark.
For the glaze
- 120 g Icing sugar, sifted
- 2-3 Tbsp Whole milk or strong brewed coffee
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- Make the dough by placing the flour, sugar, salt & yeast into the bowl of your stand mixer (or just a large bowl). Whisk to combine. Set aside.
- Heat the milk, water, and butter together until the butter is melted and the mixture is warm to touch 40°C (about 110°F) by using a heatproof bowl in a microwave or small pan on the stove.In your stand mixer, fitted with the dough hook, pour the wet into the dry ingredients, start on a low speed. Once your dough starts coming together, add the egg and turn the speed up to medium & let it go until the dough starts coming away from the bowl.
- On a floured surface using floured hands, knead the dough for 5 minutes (it's gonna be messy) until it comes together & feels nice and smooth. If you touch it, it should feel tacky and not dry and floury. Don’t be tempted to keep adding flour! Place in a lightly greased bowl, covered in a tea towel, and let rest for about 15 minutes.
- Make the filling by combining the butter, sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Use your hands or a wooden spoon to make a spreadable filling. Set aside.
- Fill the rolls: After 15 minutes, roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface, in a 35cm x 20cm (14×8 inch) rectangle. Spread the cinnamon filling all over the dough, don't forget the edges! Roll up the dough tightly, starting from the long end. Trim the edges & cut into 10-12 even rolls and arrange in a lightly greased 22-23cm (9-inch) round cake pan or pie dish.
- Rise: Tightly cover the rolls with aluminum foil, plastic wrap or tea towel and allow to rise in a warm, draft-free environment for 60-90 minutes.
- Bake the rolls: After the rolls have doubled in size, preheat the oven to 170°C (338°F). Bake for around 25 minutes until lightly browned. If you notice the tops are getting too brown too quickly, loosely cover the rolls with aluminum foil and continue baking.
- Make the icing. You want this ready when the rolls come out! Whisk the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, salt, and coffee/milk until smooth and thick but runny consistency. Drizzle or spread over warm rolls.
How to Make Easy Cinnamon Rolls from Scratch
- Make the dough: Place dry ingredients into a bowl, heat the butter, milk, and water together until lukewarm. Next, stir the butter mixture into the dry ingredients, then add the egg. At this point, your dough is ready to knead!
- Knead the dough: Use your standing mixer or hands to knead the dough. When you’re finished kneading, cover the dough and let it rest for a few minutes so the gluten settles. During this time, get your filling ingredients ready: butter, cinnamon, and sugar.
- Shape the cinnamon rolls: Roll the dough out into a rectangle. Carefully spread the butter on top. Tightly roll up the dough and cut into 10-12 pieces. Place in a greased round pan and get ready to rise.
- Rise: Let the shaped rolls rise for 90 minutes. This is the only rise time for the rolls.
- Bake: After the cinnamon rolls are risen and puffed up, bake until golden brown.
The TRICK I Used For This Easy Cinnamon Roll Recipe
Let the dough rise in your oven!
Here’s what I do: I heat the oven to 65°C (150°F). Turn the oven off. Cover the rolls and place them inside. Leave the oven door cracked open for about 30 minutes, then shut it closed. That’s it!
Tips For Making The Best Cinnamon Buns:
- Don’t overheat your milk. It should be between 40°C-45°C (105-115 degrees F). The cinnamon rolls will not rise if your temperature is hotter. If you warmed it up too much, simply wait a few minutes until it cools down enough to touch.
- Make sure to use room temperature butter for the filling.
- Use a room temperature egg in the dough: if you use a cold egg, there’s a chance it could affect the yeast or mix with the melted butter and cause it to coagulate.
- If you can, use bread flour: It will make ALL the difference in achieving softer, fluffy, perfect cinnamon rolls.
- Make sure you flour your work surface and the rolling pin: To prevent the cinnamon rolls from sticking the surface or to the rolling pin.
How To Make Overnight Cinnamon Rolls
After rolling the cinnamon rolls up, cut them as mentioned, arrange in a pan lined with parchment paper and lightly greased on the sides, cover well with plastic wrap then place in the fridge overnight. When you are ready to bake, bring the cinnamon rolls to room temperature and let them rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour before baking as directed.
How to store cinnamon buns
Cover leftover frosted or unfrosted rolls tightly and store for up to 3 days at room temperature or up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
How to freeze cinnamon buns
To freeze before baking: the dough should be put in the freezer after the first rise (meaning they’re rolled up with the filling in and cut). Place into your prepared pan and cover well, then transfer to the freezer.
When you are ready to bake, let the dough thaw in the fridge — preferably overnight, then place in a warm spot for 30 minutes up to 1 hour before baking to activate the second rise. Bake cinnamon rolls as aforementioned.
To freeze after baking: allow the cinnamon rolls to cool down and come to room temperature after baking. You can choose to either freeze the entire pan, making sure they are well wrapped or covered in an airtight container, or you can choose to freeze individual cinnamon rolls.
When ready to eat, defrost the cinnamon rolls at room temperature, then warm in the oven at 175°C (350 degrees F) for 10-15 minutes or you can warm them up individually in the microwave for 20-30 seconds (once defrosted). I suggest freezing them before they are iced, and then frost them when ready to eat.
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If you make this easy cinnamon roll recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment below or take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #WhatsUpDoughBakes.