Breads, Rolls + Donuts Holidays Icing + Frosting

Pillowy Soft Cinnamon Rolls

Friday, December 20, 2019

This recipe for homemade cinnamon rolls produces perfect pillowy soft cinnamon buns consistently. This recipe has a rise time of 2 hours and a total of 4 foldings (video guidance below!). Allowing the dough to rest overnight in the fridge yields the best results and makes this recipe convenient for a morning bake! These cinnamon rolls are 100% worth the effort. The cinnamon rolls will emerge from the oven gooey, pillowy soft and perfect.

soft and gooey cinnamon rolls on parchment paper

I like my cinnamon rolls super soft and gooey, so I put a thin layer of the icing over them while they are still warm. The icing melts into the just baked rolls, eliminating any hard corners or edges.

If you prefer a little crispy crunch to your cinnamon rolls, you can wait until they have cooled and then top them with all the icing. Or you could make this cinnamon buns recipe that has a cinnamon sugar dusting instead of icing!

My Cinnamon Rolls recipe was featured on The Kitchn, and the Pancake Princess declared it the winner of her Cinnamon Roll Bake Off! I created this recipe for my first cookbook, The Vanilla Bean Baking Book.

Tips for Making the Best Cinnamon Rolls: 

1. What if I don’t have instant yeast? You can still use active yeast. Active dry yeast is a little different than instant in that it used to be made with larger granules and needed to be dissolved first. However, most yeast made today has similar sized granulates, so you can skip this step. It should be fine to use the active yeast in the recipe as written. If you are worried about it, you could dissolve the yeast in the warm milk instead of adding it to the flour mixture. Red Star Yeast has a great FAQ page troubleshooting yeast here. You can read more about the difference in yeast here.

2. Is the dough supposed to be this sticky after mixing? YES! It is. The directions call for it to be chilled after mixing, which will help with the rolling out process. If you don’t chill the dough, it will be hard to roll out.

3. What if I don’t have all-purpose flour? Bread flour is a fine substitution, but the texture will be slightly different, and not as fluffy.

*Caution, whole wheat flour will make the rolls more dense, and you may need to add more liquid to the dough. 

4. Can I add more cinnamon flavor? Of course! I sometimes use 3/4 cup brown sugar and 4 teaspoons cinnamon for the filling.

cinnamon roll dough cut into individual rolls and set to rise.

5. Can I shape the buns and let them rise overnight in the fridge? Yes! There are directions below on how to do so (this step still requires that the dough be chilled first before rolling).

6. Can I freeze the baked buns?

If you want to bake the buns and freeze them, you can. Once cooled, wrap them in plastic, and then place them in a freezer bag for up to 2 weeks.

When ready to eat, thaw, warm, and then coat with icing. They may not be as soft and tender as fresh-baked buns.

7. Can I substitute something else for the honey? I honestly haven’t tried it, and the ratios may have to be adjusted somewhat when changing out sugar-y liquids. Or try maple syrup instead. Here’s how to substitute other liquids

8. Can I use other egg sizes beside large? Yes. Check out this egg size conversion chart for replacing egg sizes.

9. Why do I knead the dough straight from the fridge and then let it rest again?  Kneading the dough a few times (10 to 12, as indicated in the recipe) helps wake the gluten up.

There is a lot of butter in this dough which can get in the way, so sometimes it needs a little help. Then covering it and letting it rest for 20 minutes before rolling it will help the gluten relax so it is easier to roll.

soft and gooey cinnamon rolls, close up photo.

How to Fold Cinnamon Roll Dough

I’ve included a video below of the folding process, which shows how to do it. This little extra step is the secret to the pillowy soft texture of the rolls!

Why do I fold the dough? Folding the dough helps improve the dough’s structure, ensures gluten will form, and makes it easier to handle.

video of folding cinnamon roll dough.
cinnamon rolls in a brass pan pan

Soft and Gooey Cinnamon Rolls

Servings: 10 rolls
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
I like my cinnamon rolls super soft and gooey, so I put a thin layer of the icing over them while they are still warm. The icing melts into the just baked rolls, eliminating any hard corners or edges. If you prefer a little crispy crunch to your cinnamon rolls, you can wait until they have cooled and then top them with all the icing.
Sarah Kieffer
4.61 from 43 votes
Print Pin Rate

Ingredients

Dough

  • 4 large eggs room temperature
  • 3/4 cup whole milk warm (100-110F)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour (568g)
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 10 tablespoons 1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into 1-inch pieces (142g)

Filling

  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar (99g)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled (29g)

Frosting

  • 8 tablespoons 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature (113g)
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature (114g)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar (113g)

Instructions

For the dough

  • Grease a large bowl.
  • In a large liquid measuring cup, combine the eggs, milk, and honey.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, mix the flour, yeast, and salt and stir on low to combine. Add the egg mixture and mix on low to combine. With the mixer on low, add the butter, one piece at a time. When all the butter has been added, increase the speed to medium and beat the butter into the dough, until all the little butter pieces are incorporated, 1 minute. Transfer the dough to the prepared bowl. The dough will be very sticky and you will need a spatula to scrape the dough into the bowl.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes. Place your fingers or a spatula underneath the dough and gently pull the dough up and fold it back over itself. Turn the bowl and repeat this folding again. Continue 6 to 8 more times, until all the dough has been folded over on itself. Re-cover the bowl with plastic and let rise for 30 minutes. Repeat this series of folding 3 more times, for a rise time of 2 hours and a total of 4 foldings (see the GIF above on how to do this folding). Tightly cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or up to 72 hours.

To Assemble

  • Flour a work surface and knead the cold Sweet Dough 10 to 12 times (see troubleshooting above for why). Shape the dough into a ball, cover the top lightly with flour, and cover with a tea towel and let come to room temperature. 
  • Grease a 9×13-inch pan; if desired, line with parchment paper (this makes for easier cleanup). 
  • In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
  • Roll the dough into a 16 by 12-inch rectangle. Brush the dough with the melted butter and sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mixture evenly over the top, pressing it lightly into the butter so it adheres. Starting at a long side, roll the dough into a tight cylinder. Pinch the seam gently to seal it and position the dough seam side down. Use scissors or a sharp knife to cut the dough into 12-equal pieces. Transfer the pieces to the prepared pan and place them cut side up. Cover the pan loosely with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until doubled, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. 
  • Adjust an oven rack to the middle position. Preheat the oven to 350F (180C). Remove the plastic and bake 27 to 32 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through, until the rolls are golden brown. While the rolls are baking, prepare the icing. 
  • Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Using an offset spatula or table knife, apply a thin layer of the cream cheese icing, using about one-third of the mixture. Let the rolls cool for another 15 to 20 minutes. Top with the rest of the icing and serve. 

For the icing

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter and cream cheese on medium until smooth and creamy. Add the vanilla and salt and mix on low to combine. Add the confectioners' sugar and mix on low until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix on medium until the icing is light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. 

**For overnight cinnamon rolls

  • Prepare the rolls (roll out dough, fill them, roll them up, cut them, and put them in the prepared pan, but do not let rise for 1 1/2 hours as stated above) then cover them loosely with plastic and refrigerate for up to 18 hours. When ready to bake, preheat the oven, and let the rolls sit at room temperature (still covered in plastic) for 30-45 minutes. Bake as directed (they make take slightly longer to bake). 

Notes

The dough can be cut into 8, 10, or 12 pieces, depending on your preferred size. Add a few minutes to the baking time for larger-size buns.
You don’t have to use a 9 x 13-inch baking pan here; you can get creative if you’d like. I often use this round 10-inch pan (affiliate link) for baking the cinnamon rolls or this 5 quart braiser. You could also bake them on a half sheet pan lined with parchment. 
  • Reply
    Tara
    Friday, July 2, 2021 at 3:18 pm

    Hi! I’m wondering if when you make your recipe if you you go by volume or weight for your flour?

  • Reply
    Revy
    Tuesday, June 22, 2021 at 12:05 pm

    5 stars
    I have tried several cinnamon roll recipes and yours is the best. they turn magical. all my friends and family love it.
    Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  • Reply
    Amanda Cook
    Thursday, June 3, 2021 at 3:08 pm

    5 stars
    Great recipe! Made them several times. Can you freeze the dough after the double rise and then bake in the oven with a little extra time? I saw you can freeze after the bake just wondering if I could do before. Thanks!

  • Reply
    Kalyn
    Monday, May 31, 2021 at 9:22 pm

    5 stars
    Just made these for the first time and it was SO WORTH the effort. I was a little nervous about the dough when I finished the 2 hours of folding/rising because it was quite sticky when I working with it…but getting it out of the fridge the next morning—total dream. The dough was smooth and easy to work with, and rolled up so easily, I felt as if I’ve made these cinnamon rolls a million times. Very very very good. Thank you Sarah for all the amazing recipes in this book that have brought a lot of joy to my home baker’s heart (and a lot of delicious baking for my family to enjoy) !!

  • Reply
    Mary
    Sunday, May 30, 2021 at 7:08 pm

    5 stars
    The GREATEST cinnamon rolls! So soft and pillowy, excellent cinnamon flavour, and lots of cream cheese icing (love the trick of adding a bit on right after they come out of the oven and the rest later). Absolutely delicious!!

  • Reply
    Katherine
    Saturday, April 3, 2021 at 7:46 am

    I am sensitive to dairy, butter specifically. Do you have any experience using a plant based butter with the recipe? Any recommendations? Thank you!

    • Reply
      Annie
      Monday, April 26, 2021 at 9:16 pm

      We have a dairy allergy in our house. Made these for Christmas with oat milk and Earth Balance unsalted plant butter. They turned out amazing!!!

  • Reply
    Susan Bruner
    Saturday, February 13, 2021 at 11:26 am

    Where is the print link for your recipe? I’m not seeing it, thank you!

  • Reply
    Ollie
    Friday, February 12, 2021 at 9:13 pm

    Is this calling for 2 packets of 1/4oz instant yeast (total 1/2oz) or 2.5oz of instant yeast?

    • Reply
      Paul Schafer
      Friday, May 21, 2021 at 5:26 pm

      It’s a packet of instant yeast which is 2 1/4 teaspoons. Please do not put that many ounces of yeast in it, it’s gonna rise to the ceiling ?

  • Reply
    Shawna
    Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 11:39 am

    I’ve mad this too many times to count since Christmas and it’s amazing each time! I’ve added a little orange zest to my cinnamon sugar mix and it just makes the flavor really pop!! Thank you for this!

  • Reply
    Alison
    Monday, January 18, 2021 at 12:48 pm

    Oh man… these were SO pillowy soft and perfect. I was a little worried when I rolled them out because they were very difficult to roll – it seemed like maybe I had kneaded too much and developed too much gluten, because they sprang back very stubbornly and I could really only manage an oblong, not a rectangle. I was concerned they might be tough because of that, but I was so wrong – the texture was amazing. Definitely the best cinnamon rolls I’ve ever made. I prefer a bit more filling and a cream cheese-ier frosting, and luckily those are much easier to adjust to my individual preference, but I’ll be sticking exactly to this dough recipe because it’s magical.

  • Reply
    Jean
    Thursday, January 14, 2021 at 7:35 pm

    I made these, for the first time, last Thursday and swore I wouldn’t make them again because of the difficulty in slicing the log into individual rolls (I used a very sharp serrated knife). But then I tried the baked rolls…..and they were pretty delicious. So, I made the dough again yesterday and tried refrigerating the “log” before cutting it into individual rolls, but still had the same problem. I tried a serrated knife, dental floss and a very sharp chef’s knife. I don’t mind the multiple folds, the overnight refrigeration, etc., but cutting the log into individual rolls has been very frustrating. Any suggestions?

  • Reply
    ishika
    Wednesday, January 6, 2021 at 1:55 pm

    Not everyone is able to write a beautiful post, a good and intelligent person is able to write a beautiful post, it is not that everyone writes better, to write a better post, the mind should also be clear and you have posted a lot. Beautiful, I think your mind will also be very clear. I too constantly try to write a better post in my life and I am very inspired to see your post.

  • Reply
    Christina
    Wednesday, December 30, 2020 at 7:42 am

    This recipe was wonderful and my family and I LOVED them! I even managed to mess a few things up (like doubling the butter in the dough ? whoops) and they STILL turned out amazing. Thank you, and Happy New Year!!

  • Reply
    Rachel
    Saturday, December 26, 2020 at 12:45 pm

    Super super delicious! I made these dairy-free with oat milk and Miyoko’s vegan butter (unsalted) and they turned out fantastically well. (I also subbed out the cream cheese in the frosting.) I have tested a number of different cinnamon roll recipes and these do require a few more steps with the repeated folds, but it was easy to do and I could clearly see the results in the structure of the dough once I had shaped the rolls. Everyone in the pod agreed these were the best rolls out there 🙂

  • Reply
    Anita Sharma
    Saturday, December 26, 2020 at 8:41 am

    These were sooo good, I increased the recipe by half so i could give some to my neighbours as a Christmas gift. Yummy…

  • Reply
    Camille
    Friday, December 25, 2020 at 5:41 pm

    I made these yesterday/this morning and they were phenomenal. 10/10. You are one of my all-time favorite bakers and every one of your recipes has worked like a charm. I’ve slowly but surely been baking my way through your cookbooks. Thank you, and Merry Christmas!

  • Reply
    Lisa
    Friday, December 25, 2020 at 2:29 pm

    I have never made cinnamon rolls from scratch though we eat them every Christmas Day. I’m so happy I decided to give this recipe a try. They are amazing! My husband doesn’t love cinnamon rolls but he declared these the best he’s ever tasted. I have to agree.

    I made the dough Christmas Eve morning and chilled it all day instead of overnight. Then I assembled the rolls and let rise overnight in the refrigerator per the instructions. I didn’t have any trouble rolling the dough without the overnight chill. I let them come to room temperature for 45 minutes before I baked them and did the double icing application as described (definitely worth doing). I did add extra filing (3/4 cup brown sugar and 1.5 tablespoons of cinnamon) but otherwise followed the instructions. Delicious! Thank you for the great recipe and the very specific instructions. I will be making these every Christmas!

  • Reply
    Julie
    Friday, December 25, 2020 at 10:09 am

    I have made cinnamon rolls for Christmas every year for at least a decade. I thought they were really good. I WAS WRONG. these are a bit more work, but goodness it is worth it. Thank you for this! I wouldn’t change a single thing. Perfect!!

  • Reply
    Arwa Al-Salam
    Wednesday, December 23, 2020 at 5:03 pm

    Hello, I’m trying your recipe for the first time, I can’t wait to bake these. The dough has been in the fridge for about 24 hours and I’m planning to bake them tomorrow. I noticed the dough is very very dry and has formed a skin, I’ve never had this happen with overnight dough before, the bowl is wrapped really tight so not sure what might have happened. Can you kindly advise? Thanks so much!

  • Reply
    Kathy
    Wednesday, December 23, 2020 at 1:21 pm

    I have rolled out the dough, put the filling on, cut them, and placed it in the pan. Can I leave this in the fridge for 2-3 days now (It’s the 23rd and I want to bake them in the morning of the 26th)? Or, should I let them rise in the fridge overnight and freeze them for a day?

  • Reply
    Shana
    Friday, December 18, 2020 at 3:30 pm

    I accidentally kneaded the dough before putting in the fridge…not realizing that is to be done when it comes out. Should I knead it again when I get it out of the fridge? Or just roll them out and cut? Excited to try these. I make hundreds of the Pioneer Woman’s maple cinnamon rolls every year for almost 10 years and thought I’d give yours a go. My family are eager taste testers. Thanks for any feedback.

  • Reply
    Joanie
    Wednesday, December 16, 2020 at 5:22 pm

    Need advice – after refrigerating the dough overnight, the dough is very stiff and I’m having trouble rolling it out to the 12 by 26 rectangle. The dough keeps pulling back. Is it supposed to be difficult to roll out?
    Thanks!

  • Reply
    April
    Sunday, December 13, 2020 at 3:52 pm

    Hi Sarah!

    I’ve not seen anyone ask yet, and was just wondering if the frosting could be made a day in advance, just to make Christmas morning easier. Do you think this would still work?

  • Reply
    Susan Dubose
    Tuesday, December 8, 2020 at 8:13 pm

    These are fabulous! I used almond milk instead of cow milk, rolled the dough out a bit bigger but still delicious. Thank you for your sharing!

  • Reply
    Karlee Filiere
    Tuesday, December 8, 2020 at 1:06 pm

    Hello!
    I just made the dough for these and sticky is not a word I would use to describe it. It came right out of the bowl of the stand mixer and formed a ball no problem. Wondering what I did wrong! And if youve had this happen before, will I yield a similar result to your recipe?

    Thanks so much

  • Reply
    Richard Tunner
    Monday, December 7, 2020 at 9:56 pm

    Easy and a big hit with my family, I love them, thank you so much! I come up with the idea for my Christmas Holiday.

  • Reply
    Pam
    Monday, December 7, 2020 at 6:33 pm

    After the 4 foldings and 2-hour rise, do I need to refrigerate the dough overnight or can I immediately start kneading it and shaping it into a ball?

  • Reply
    Anita Charlton
    Monday, November 30, 2020 at 9:09 pm

    Ok!!!!! I’ve never made any kind of bread before, ever! I have been mustering up the courage to make cinnamon rolls. As I researched, your recipe came to be #1 to go for it… I have made my dough, flipped it and flipped it by the 3rd flip i felt like a pro. To see it rise for me gave much satisfaction!!! I will either make them tomorrow or the next night. I hope I did everything right. I flipped them and then covered and put it in the fridge. I hope thats correct. When I bring it back out, I shape it, fill it, cut them and put them back in the fridge to rise once more. Then bring it out and get to room temp and bake. I hope i understood that to be the process.. I plan on making your icing and then adding orange peel to icing with a second batch… I’m so very excited…. thank you for all your yumminess!!!!

  • Reply
    Rachel
    Thursday, November 26, 2020 at 10:35 am

    I found this recipe last year from the Kitchn recipe taste off so I knew I needed to make this for my annual Thanksgiving cinnamon rolls. This recipe lives up to the hype. The roll itself has amazing texture and the icing is other-worldly. This recipe has a lot of work, but it’s totally worth it. This is my new go-to cinnamon roll recipe and will be one of the top ten recipes I make in 2020. If you’re considering this recipe, make it. You will not be disappointed.

  • Reply
    Hannah
    Tuesday, November 24, 2020 at 10:57 pm

    Made these last year and had them frequently requested to bring back for Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Reply
    Sylvia
    Monday, November 23, 2020 at 2:21 pm

    I made these for Thanksgiving in three days. Do I have to freeze them until then, or can I leave them in the fridge and bring to room temperature and allow them to rise before I bake in three days.

  • Reply
    Asha
    Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 2:40 pm

    Hi, is it possible to freeze the cut rolls before baking (before or after the last rise in the fridge) to bake later? If so, what would the baking instructions be? Thanks!

  • Reply
    Michele Mellott
    Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 11:07 am

    I made 2 dozen of these a week ago and they turned out absolutely amazing! I do a lot of baking with my 13.25″ Lodge cast iron skillet. Would it be possible to use this as a vessel for my next batch of cinnamon rolls?

  • Reply
    Bernie
    Monday, October 26, 2020 at 4:54 am

    Hey so I’m stuck at home for now and only have self-rising flour on hand. Is it possible to use that instead of all-purpose flour?

  • Reply
    Sydney
    Sunday, October 25, 2020 at 9:18 pm

    Finished making these today (sans stand mixer, it’s possible!) and I have to say these rival cinnabons to me, possibly better! One thing to note, I went ahead and doubled the filling recipe from the start and they came out perfect to me, if I did the filling as recommended, I don’t think they’d be as great, but still good. I also only cut them into 8, not 12 which are pretty large, but more of the size of an ideal treat worthy bun. Overall great recipe, 15/10 recommend

  • Reply
    jeremy brumley
    Tuesday, October 20, 2020 at 9:45 pm

    I followed the recipe exactly. The dough rose beautifully! After baking they seemed to me to be a little too yeasty. Not sweet enough IMO. tasted more like a dinner roll, i don’t know if maybe there was not enough filling. I did add a full packet of yeast, i measured it and it was a little more than the 2 1/4 tsp. Any suggestions?

  • Reply
    Michelle
    Thursday, October 15, 2020 at 4:00 pm

    What is your preference, light or dark brown sugar, when making the filling?

  • Reply
    Rjys
    Thursday, September 17, 2020 at 12:20 am

    Can i make the dough in a food processor? I’ve read elsewhere that you can make dough using the metal blade extension in a good processor but that it will make the dough warmer. Do you have any suggestions about how that would alter your recipe? TIA!

  • Reply
    Honeybee
    Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 8:20 pm

    Oh My. These cinnamon rolls are the best! Look no further this is the recipe you have been looking for. Drop the mic.

  • Reply
    Charlie
    Tuesday, September 8, 2020 at 2:51 am

    Made these first by mixing active yeast straight into the flour. Unfort, the yeast didn’t dissolve at all after mixing, so there were crunchy little bits of yeast everywhere. Nixed that, and made a second batch, by mixing the active yeast first into the warm milk and these turned out great!?
    Only adjustment would be to add more cinnamon next time, as I found them not to be a little light.
    Other than that, super soft and delicious and not overly sweet!

  • Reply
    Melissa
    Friday, September 4, 2020 at 8:14 am

    Do you have any adjustments for high altitude cooking? (Over 9,000 feet)

  • Reply
    Melanie
    Monday, August 17, 2020 at 10:53 am

    These rolls were so yummy. I was a little worried that the filling wouldn’t be enough for the fluffy dough, but it worked out just fine. In the past I’ve had the filling drain out of the dough and coat the bottom of the pan. I used agave syrup and dry activated yeast with no issues. I used slightly less sugar than called for in the icing and also had some leftover.

  • Reply
    Phxcooks
    Wednesday, July 29, 2020 at 10:12 pm

    Cinnamon Rolls recipe is great! I made it according to your recipe and the taste is great! Everyone in the family likes it, it makes me happy. thank you

  • Reply
    Jeanette
    Saturday, July 25, 2020 at 9:59 pm

    Just tried this recipe for my weekend baking “project”. It’s wonderful! Absolutely my go-to cinnamon roll recipe from now on. The bread is fluffy, and the mix of cinnamon and brown sugar is just nice to my taste. I will say, for those worried about handing the super sticky dough when folding, make sure your hands are wet before handing. Also, for those of you who may be trying this for the first time, I rolled my dough to a thickness of 6 mm before rolling, and that was a bit too much dough in the final product. Next time, I’ll bring it down to a thickness of about 3 mm as I like more filling with each bite. I also let the roll rest for about 10 min before cutting (with floss). Enjoy…. this takes “time” but seriously, the actual time required (apart from rests when you have other things in your life) isn’t that much.

  • Reply
    Sara
    Thursday, July 23, 2020 at 1:36 pm

    I used coconut sugar for the filling and monk fruit sugar in the icing instead of regular sugar. It’s my first time making cinnamon rolls and it turned out perfect. My husband LOVE it !!!

  • Reply
    Becky
    Thursday, July 23, 2020 at 10:50 am

    Hi Sarah, would it be okay to rolled out before the dough come to room temperature after the overnight refrigeration. I found it very difficult to roll after it came to room temperature and I wouldn’t get a good swirl. Thanks.

  • Reply
    Britney
    Sunday, July 19, 2020 at 11:12 am

    I’ve made this recipe two times now and its amazing! The crumb and texture of the dough is just perfect and it’s not too sweet at all, Advice to people who plan on making this: If you’re using active dry yeast, dissolve it in the milk before adding the other wet ingredients. The first time around, I didn’t dissolve my active dry yeast (red star brand) and although the dough proofed very well, the final product had tiny crunchy bits of yeast (which were visible during the proofing process but I falsely hoped they would dissolve overnight). The second time I dissolved my yeast (which requires no extra effort) and had no issues. Also the full 2 tsp of salt pushes the boundary between too salty and well flavoured in my opinion. I would decrease it by 1/4 tsp if you’re not a fan of salt.

  • Reply
    Priscilla
    Tuesday, July 14, 2020 at 4:15 pm

    Hi, I did this recipe and the taste is incredible! I follow every step (I made it 48hours and bake it today). but my cinnabuns didn’t come as fluffy as the pictures, the dough came more like a pie crust. I don’t know if I need to adjust the instant yeast because I live in a high altitude place or is it because I added the yeast to the warm milk, and then separately with the eggs already beaten with the honey, I temper them together because I was scared the eggs would get scramble, omg but well for being my first time trying to make them I’m surprised of my efforts.

    • Reply
      Debbie
      Tuesday, May 18, 2021 at 7:43 am

      Priscilla, it sounds like you killed your yeast. If the milk is warm enough that you’re worried it will scramble the eggs, then it is much too hot for the yeast. The ideal temperature for proofing (or just dissolving) yeast is usually said to be between 100 and 115 degrees Fahrenheit, so not much warmer than body temperature. If you don’t have a thermometer, try putting a clean finger into the milk. It should feel slightly warm, so if it feels hot, let it sit for a few minutes to cool before adding the yeast.

  • Reply
    Nikki
    Saturday, July 11, 2020 at 8:36 pm

    Just made the cinnamon rolls and they were nothing short of amazing!!!! The time it took to make the sweet bread was worth every minute. I will definitely make this again but may double up on the dough and save half for later. Can this dough be frozen, if so how long?

  • Reply
    Sarah
    Friday, June 19, 2020 at 5:43 pm

    this recipe is definitely a staple!!! my dad absolutely loves them and asks for them all the time. i add extra cinnamon since we like it that way

  • Reply
    Alicia Ibarreta
    Tuesday, June 16, 2020 at 2:26 am

    Would it be ok to use buttermilk instead of milk? It’s what I have. The recipe looks fab

  • Reply
    Kayla
    Sunday, June 14, 2020 at 12:06 pm

    HOME RUN! THANK YOU SO MUCH!

  • Reply
    Melia
    Thursday, June 11, 2020 at 6:10 pm

    The best cinnamon rolls I’ve ever bake. Thanks a lot the recipe and the very detail instructions. I only made 1/2 of the recipe because it’s my first time baking with your recipe but I turned out so good. Definitely will bake it again

  • Reply
    Camille
    Monday, June 8, 2020 at 12:54 pm

    This is the best replica for the cinnabon cinnamon bun I’ve tried. The dough was so soft. I doubled the filling (and was happy I did), otherwise made no changes. Next time I’d only use half the icing recipe (personal preference). That being said, I don’t think it will be my go- to cinnamon bun recipe, preferring something a bit chewier. But I will absolutely make this again when the cinnabon craving hits.

  • Reply
    Tori
    Tuesday, June 2, 2020 at 6:47 pm

    Hey! I just combined the dough, but it seems to be too liquify and not uniform enough. (Not sticky just too liquify!). I weighed out the flour- do you suggest I add more?

    • Reply
      Tori
      Tuesday, June 2, 2020 at 6:47 pm

      *liquidy

  • Reply
    Nina
    Thursday, May 28, 2020 at 3:36 pm

    Hi! I just made your cinnamon rolls and they were great! First time to make a cinnamon roll.
    Memories of my mom’s rolls have been fulfilled!
    Thank you !!! The buns didn’t need the icing and could stand by themselves. Next time I’ll do them for 25 mins as the buns got too brown and a little crunchy on the edges.
    I couldn’t find the nutrition info on the page. I’m a diabetic s and needed the carb grams / roll (12 pcs)
    I couldnt help myself with the wonderful baking smell !

  • Reply
    Julie
    Sunday, May 24, 2020 at 2:17 pm

    This was the first time I ever tried making cinnamon rolls, and your recipe is amazing – these are easily the best homemade cinnamon rolls I’ve ever had.

    If I wanted to make these smaller (approximating Cinnabon’s minibons, instead of full-sized), do you have a recommendation for what dimension to roll out the dough/how many pieces to cut? Would I have to modify the baking temperature, or just decrease the bake time?

  • Reply
    Lia A Rossetti
    Saturday, May 23, 2020 at 8:15 am

    I am making these for my boyfriend’s birthday on Memorial Day! I let it rise overnight (last night) and this morning I am rolling them out and preparing them for another fridge day. Is it ok that it will be sitting in the fridge longer than the 18 hours you mentioned? It’ll be more like a day and a half. Thank you!!

  • Reply
    Gary
    Friday, May 22, 2020 at 6:00 pm

    Starting with the “Copycat Cinnabon” years ago. I have tried every recipe I could find, searching for the perfect roll.
    I finally found it. THIS IS IT!
    Granted, it is a little labor intensive compared to others, but — WOW! — it is really worth it. This Vanillabeanblog Cinnamon roll recipe is absolute perfection.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  • Reply
    Sophie Leon
    Monday, May 18, 2020 at 12:41 am

    I used my Hamilton Beach hand mixer that has dough hooks and it’s still alive, I used a wooden spatula at the very end but only cause I was worried about my mixer but not because it couldn’t handle the job, I’ve made pita bread with the same hand mixer and it worked perfectly

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    Alex
    Monday, May 11, 2020 at 6:26 am

    I have never found a cinnamon roll recipe that truly works out until I found this recipe. SOFT, PILLOWY CLOUDS!! If you are even hesitating one second, stop and make this asap. It is so worth it and honestly not that difficult or any more labor intensive than other recipes. I used brioche/pastry flour for an even lighter texture and it worked wonders. I have now found my go-to cinnamon roll recipe and I would encourage anyone to give this a try. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!

  • Reply
    Lollo Hill
    Sunday, May 10, 2020 at 3:24 pm

    Thank you for posting! My family and I love cinnamon rolls and are very picky. I started Friday and baked this today and it was heavenly! My boys complimented me with “much better than Cinnabon, Mama!” Really worth the wait and excellent!

  • Reply
    Janet
    Sunday, May 10, 2020 at 11:28 am

    These turned out amazing!!!! I made a poor decision to make 8 instead of 12 and ended up with HUGE cinnamon rolls that took 45 minutes to bake but OMG were they incredible. So soft and billowy, perfect amount of cinnamon & sweet, just fantastic. I made the dough on Friday, assembled on Saturday and baked Sunday morning. This is now my only cinnamon roll recipe. Thank you so much!!!!

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    christina
    Saturday, May 9, 2020 at 3:42 pm

    i used cold milk instead of warm milk. help! is there any way to salvage this? i am at the step of folding the dough every 30 mins.

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    Jade
    Saturday, May 9, 2020 at 11:09 am

    I have tried this recipe twice and I can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong :(( I followed it the first time with cup measurements for flour, and the second time I measured it on a food scale. Both times the dough was way too sticky to roll out even after chilling overnight and using a ton of flour on the roller and surface. Any advice? The flavor is great for the ones that I can roll up and cook!

  • Reply
    Melissa Cruz
    Saturday, May 9, 2020 at 9:44 am

    Making these for mother’s day! Can’t wait to wake my mama up with the smell of cinnamon rolls and a cup of coffee. Thank you for sharing!

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    Deidre
    Tuesday, May 5, 2020 at 7:30 pm

    This recipe takes a long time but it is TOTALLY worth it! Even my mom, who thought she had a good recipe, liked these even better (I gave her some of mine). And she asked for the recipe. Totally a keeper!

  • Reply
    Janet
    Monday, May 4, 2020 at 12:01 pm

    I just made these yesterday after seeing your recipe on the Pancake Princess bake off! It was hands down the best cinnamon roll I’ve ever had in my life, gloriously fluffy. I must admit my rolling skills are not quite there yet but I look forward to many more trials to taste test!

    I did go ahead and take your suggestion to increase filling to 3/4c brown sugar, and did 4 tsp cinnamon and 1 tsp cardamom. Glorious. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Reply
    Sunshineyyz
    Friday, May 1, 2020 at 10:05 pm

    Anyone who is reading this who hasn’t made this and is thinking of…DO IT. NOW. Go to your kitchen, go to the store, go wherever you need to go to make these. I can’t comprehend how someone could of thought this recipe up. It’s a masterpiece. Thank you!

  • Reply
    Mary Jo
    Thursday, April 30, 2020 at 9:13 pm

    Two weeks ago I made what I thought were the best cinnamon rolls ever …until today. This is by far the best ever. I have to admit I was concerned about the lack of kneading and lack of volume but read the other comments of success with this recipe. Fingers crossed, I tossed them in the oven and the final result was a magical, melt-in-your-mouth cinnamon roll. So tender and tasty. Perfect. Will probably never use another recipe. Would love to use this dough for other things. I saw an Apple cider cinnamon roll recipe. YUM! What else can be made. I followed the recipe as written, no deviation. Thank you!

  • Reply
    Natalie
    Wednesday, April 29, 2020 at 12:20 pm

    Hi! Any idea how to convert this recipe for a bread machine? Thank you!!

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    Anya
    Monday, April 27, 2020 at 12:47 pm

    So I tried this 3x and it just didn’t work for me. I followed the recipe to a “t” and they turned out HUGE. The only difference is I kneaded them in the Kitchen Aid – did this cause the excessive fluffiness?

  • Reply
    Emma
    Monday, April 27, 2020 at 11:21 am

    Love these cinnamon rolls so, so much! Growing up, my family always had a weird tradition of making Pillsbury cinnamon rolls and never eating them, because they were gross. Nevertheless, they were present every Christmas morning. This past Christmas, I made these for myself and my husband, to start a tradition of serving delicious rolls instead. They are incredible! Just this past weekend, for my husband’s quarantine birthday, I put up a Christmas tree, wrapped his gifts in Christmas gift wrap, and decorated the whole house for Christmas while he slept, just to add some magic and wonder to a weird day. And, you better believe, I served these cinnamon rolls. They’re as magical as it gets. Also, I highly, HIGHLY recommend doubling the icing. 😉

  • Reply
    Mariana
    Sunday, April 26, 2020 at 11:58 am

    I made these following the advice of The Kitchn staff. Absolutely perfect in every way! Soft, pillowy, buttery, melt in your mouth, cinnamon rolls. I found the recipe to be easy to follow, and very forgiving for an inexperienced baker with yeasted doughs. Thank you!!!

  • Reply
    Pamela C.
    Sunday, April 26, 2020 at 1:20 am

    Any thoughts on adjusting this recipe for use with a bread starter?

    The specific starter recipe I have also has a cinnamon roll recipe, copied below – but I like the sound of this so much better! But it’s been harder to get yeast and it’d be nice to use what I have on hand. Don’t mind playing with the recipe, but wonder if anyone has tried?

    My existing recipe calls for these ingredients to make dough:
    – My existing Bread Starter
    – 2 3/4 cup All-Purpose Flour
    – 2 Tbsp Sugar
    – 1 1/2 tsp Salt
    – Heaping Teaspoon of Cinnamon or Cardamom
    – 9 Tbsp Whole Milk
    – 2 Eggs
    – 4oz (1stick) of Unsalted Butter

  • Reply
    Tim
    Saturday, April 25, 2020 at 7:15 pm

    Incredible! Highly recommend substituting a tsp amount of cinnamon for a tsp of ground cardamom. Adds delightful depth to the filling and gives it a hint of that Cardamom Bun craze that is sweeping. Also had success substituting a watered down Greek yogurt in place of the whole milk, because you know… Quarantine.

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