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.
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. In my 4th cookbook, 100 Morning Treats, I published a new recipe; Soft Buttermilk Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing.
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.
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.
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.
Soft and Gooey Cinnamon Rolls
- 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)
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar (99g)
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled (29g)
- 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)
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.
- 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).
Karen SSaturday, April 25, 2020 at 9:29 am
I am in the final stage of my second time baking these and I have followed the recipe closely, but they rise SO MUCH they are huge and over flow the pan. Not that it is a bad thing but they are not very pretty that way. I tried slicing them thinner but it didn’t help. What am I doing wrong?
Annette KingsburyFriday, April 24, 2020 at 11:26 am
I’m so happy to finally have success making authentic cinnamon rolls!
I made the parchment long enough to use it as a handle to lift the finished rolls out of the pan all at once and it worked great. I reduced the salt considerably in the recipe and only used one-fourth of the frosting recipe for a less-sweet roll. They were awesome. Thanks for the great instructions.
ChrisSunday, April 19, 2020 at 2:51 pm
I have been looking for years for a good cinnamon roll recipe. I have tried probably 10 different recipes. Even created my own. I’m not looking anymore. These beat any I have ever tried. Not sure if it is the extra eggs, the cold butter chunks, or the relentless folding and proofing. Or maybe all of it. Doesn’t matter — it works. These are incredible! Thanks!
LauraSaturday, April 18, 2020 at 10:34 pm
Hey Sarah, how can I make dough for cinnamon rolls without yeast? I can’t find any yeast in stores during this corona virus pandemic. Thanks
AmberFriday, April 17, 2020 at 12:26 pm
These are amazing!! I’ve had this recipe bookmarked for a while and finally tried it. Amazing!
Just curious how one decides to do temporal kneading+rising and how many times.
AmyFriday, April 17, 2020 at 10:43 am
In the “To assemble” instructions it says “and if your dough has been refrigerated, cover with tea towel and let come to room temperature.” Does that mean I should knead the dough straight from the fridge while cold and then cover and let come to room temperature or let come to room temperature and then knead? Considering the previous step says it should be refrigerated overnight or up to 72 hours shouldn’t it be refrigerated. Thanks!
SarahFriday, April 17, 2020 at 10:51 am
Yes, you do refrigerate it, and then knead it straight from the fridge. Kneading it 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 you cover it and let it rest for 20 minutes before rolling it – this helps the gluten relax and it will be easier to roll.
BetsySaturday, April 25, 2020 at 2:28 pm
I made these yesterday, and like a previous post, I’ve tried at least a dozen recipes over the years. This will be my go-to cinnamon roll recipe from now on! My husband has always compared my roll s with his grandmother’s and they never passed muster….until now. He said they were perfect. I did however adjust the filling using 1c brown sugar, 1/3 c. Butter and 2 T cinnamon. We like lots of filling in our rolls! Gave some to a friend this morning and she carried on and on how good they were. So glad I found this recipe. Thank you so much!!
May Iae Lyn BejareSaturday, May 2, 2020 at 6:29 am
I did this step and let it rest till room temp before trying to roll. The dough became so sticky again when i was rolling, so i popped it back to the fridge. Is this fine or should i just use a lot of flour when rolling?
KristiTuesday, April 14, 2020 at 1:33 pm
If I want to make half as many rolls, is it ok to cut all the measurements in half? Will ratio of yeast to other ingredients need to change?
StellaMonday, April 13, 2020 at 12:40 pm
Do you have to use whole milk? I only have 2%. Thanks!
KristenMonday, April 13, 2020 at 10:18 am
Hi! I made these yesterday and they were so so wonderful. It was my first time working with yeast or making any kind of dough like this, and I was pretty proud of how well they turned out. I need some skill practice though and was hoping you could help me troubleshoot. I didn’t feel like the dough ever rose much in between the four folds, nor during the overnight refrigeration. Since they turned out well, I didn’t know if it even matters that I didn’t get much rise? Additionally, I had a really tough time kneading the next morning and then when rolling it out it was sort of elastic and would jump back. I finally got it into a big enough rectangle but my arms are were dead. Is this normal with dough or did I mess something up? Thanks for sharing this recipe, I am already anxious to make them again!
Herb QuigleyMonday, April 13, 2020 at 1:34 am
Didn’t have any honey so I used homemade spruce tip syrup. Besides this substitute I followed recipe exactly. Oh man. Holy smokes. Best cinnamon rolls I ever had!
JulieSunday, April 12, 2020 at 10:47 am
We made these for Easter Brunch – they were delicious! My kids even helped, they loved to see how to roll them. They took some time to prep but since we are under Coronavirus quarantine we’ve got nothing but time! Thanks for sharing your wonderful recipe. We made an extra pan to drop off on a neighbors doorstep – can’t wait to share them.
SimoneSunday, April 12, 2020 at 8:56 am
Made these for Easter breakfast. I agree with others that it needs much more filling. Mine rolled beautiful and were easy to make but baked up very dry. I’m not sure why this happened. I was so disappointed because they looked perfect.
SarahSunday, April 12, 2020 at 5:38 pm
I’m sorry they turned out dry for you. Is it possible you overbaked them? I’ve never had the buns end up dry – the are always quite gooey with this filling.
ChrisSunday, April 12, 2020 at 7:20 am
Sarah, if you didn’t have cream cheese how might you alter the frosting? Maybe some milk or heavy cream? More butter? Thanks!
EliasSaturday, April 11, 2020 at 3:32 pm
Ridiculously good! I came across your blog for the first time yesterday. I decided to prep the dough last night and baked them this morning. I made eight giant rolls; completely filled every inch of my 9×13 pan. I was so happy that they tasted as good as they looked coming out of the oven. Whole family loved them. You have a whole new fan base in our home 🙂
JackieSaturday, April 11, 2020 at 10:19 am
Hi there! Is it ok to substitute almond milk for whole milk in this recipe?
SarahSaturday, April 11, 2020 at 12:13 pm
I haven’t tried alternative milks in this recipe, but I think it would work just fine!
VioletSaturday, April 11, 2020 at 10:00 am
I only have about 450g of all purpose flour but I do have whole wheat pastry flour…could I make up the difference with that? ?
SarahSaturday, April 11, 2020 at 12:14 pm
I think it would be fine! The rolls might be a little more dense due to the whole wheat, but they will still be delicious. 🙂
JeniSunday, April 5, 2020 at 1:00 am
Hope this help… https://www.cooksillustrated.com/how_tos/6620-yeast-types
SarahSunday, April 5, 2020 at 12:51 am
Can you give direction of how to make this with active dry yeast instead of instant yeast (it is all I could find at the store!).
MarianaSunday, April 26, 2020 at 12:04 pm
I made them with active dry yeast and followed the recipe. They turned out amazing!
wendySaturday, April 4, 2020 at 10:56 am
hi! thought I’d make these to help keep my home Zen and cozy during this crazy time.
Question- If I add pecans to the filling, will it have an adverse effect the rise and/ bake??
ElisaSaturday, April 4, 2020 at 10:34 am
Hi there! Amazing recipe and truly the best cinnamon rolls I’ve ever baked and had! Highly recommend.
Sarah, can I use the dough from this recipe to make a babka? I love this dough so much it’s all I want to make and eat!
ReneeThursday, April 2, 2020 at 3:51 pm
Hoping to make these this week amidst the quarantine as a comfort food for both my roommate and I. I only have access to active dry yeast, however. Is there a reasonable substitution that will allow me to make these without instant yeast?
MarshayWednesday, March 25, 2020 at 12:42 pm
Um are we supposed to bring the dough to room temperature before shaping? I did this per the instructions and ended up with cinnamon blobs rather than rolls after cutting. I do live in a hot climate however so I feel these probably should have been shaped while the dough was cold. That would also explain the hour and a half rising time as by having the dough at room temperature it only took 30-45 minutes to fully proof. Going to bake them and see how things turn out!
Melanie BatinTuesday, March 24, 2020 at 4:42 pm
I made these and realized I used active dry yeast, not instant… Will these still turn out? I’m going on my 3rd 30 min and fold the dough. Should I maybe leave it out longer before going into the fridge for up to 72 hours?
StevieSaturday, April 11, 2020 at 5:46 pm
I just did the same thing! I did not dissolve the yeast and my dough is not sticky at all. My friend made these a couple of months ago and it’s all my girls can talk about! Fingers crossed these work out.
SarahSunday, April 12, 2020 at 5:38 pm
Did you add all 10 tablespoons of butter? The dough is on the drier side until the butter is added in.
JeannyMonday, March 23, 2020 at 4:46 am
SO excited to try this! I’m encouraged, but i must say the last cinnamon rolls i tried turned out like Pizza lol. I don’t own a stand mixer and wanted to know the general knead times to work with the dough, as it will be done by hand. Or what signs should i look for to know it’s a good to go? Thank you!
AlissaSunday, March 22, 2020 at 12:15 pm
Can fresh yeast be used in this recipe? If so, what is the measured equivalent to the active dry yeast and how/at what point would I incorporate?
Excited to hear back!
Sofia Kaur BatthFriday, March 20, 2020 at 7:05 am
I would love to know why don’t we mix the yeast in water and sugar before it gets mixed into the flour ? I have checked many recipes and in order to get the yeast activated they feed it with sugar or starch?!
Madison SmithSaturday, March 14, 2020 at 9:07 pm
Preparing for a day of baking, this came in super handy! Thanks again!
Maya VTuesday, May 5, 2020 at 10:55 am
Followed your recipe to the T, it was lots of work but worth it. It was crusty outside but tasty and soft inside. Not too sweet so my friend who is diabetic was very happy with it. But I agree with Layla, i’ll double the cinnamon sugar filling next time. Overall, it’s the best sweet dough I’ve made in 30 years, THANK YOU Vanilla Bean! Posted the pics in my FB (see Maya Mcmvalderrama). I’m inspired to try it next time with bacon, or dulce de leche. Can’t wait.
LaylaTuesday, March 10, 2020 at 11:39 am
For those wanting to spread out the work on this recipe, I made these over three days and that schedule worked well. Day 1 – made the dough, did the stretch and folds/initial room-temperature rise, then refrigerated. Day 2 – took the dough out of the fridge, rolled it out and did the filling, shaped the rolls and put them in the pan, then returned to fridge. Day 3 – took the rolls out of the fridge, left them at room temperature for 45 minutes, then baked, made the frosting, and finished everything.
I was concerned that there wasn’t really much gluten development, both at the end of the stretch and folds and after I took the dough out of the fridge on the second day. The dough tore when I gently stretched it and definitely would not pass the windowpane test. However, in the end the rolls were fine. The drier parts (the edges touching the sides of the pan that didn’t get frosting on them) were a bit dense, but other than that the texture was good. I think a large part of the reason is the layer of frosting applied while the rolls are still warm. This is a great idea and guarantees nice soft rolls. I overbaked my rolls a little, and this saved them.
However, I agree with those who said there isn’t enough filling. To me, these tasted more like sweet rolls with some cinnamon than cinnamon rolls. (And I was using good, fresh cinnamon.) Next time I would double the cinnamon, or maybe just make the filling from the Bravetart recipe, which uses twice as much cinnamon and 1.5 times as much brown sugar for the same number of rolls.
EmmeyTuesday, March 10, 2020 at 8:06 am
Hmm Interesting, I’m wondaing my kids will love it or not! I’ll let you know about there thoughts. Thanks for sharing. .. Emmy
TinaThursday, March 5, 2020 at 8:50 am
This absolutely may be a long shot but as a kid we used to enjoy cinnamon rolls with nuts on the bottom. It wasn’t a caramel nut mixture, but some sort of sweet mixture that held the nuts to the bottom of the rolls. Oh how I long for these. Have you any suggestions?
HeatherSunday, January 3, 2021 at 5:04 pm
So I don’t actually know if this would work, BUT the pancake princess did a cinnamon roll showdown where the vanilla bean blog was the winner but she mentioned that the tastes of lizzy t recipe had you douse the rolls in heavy cream before baking and that it resulted in carmelization along the bottom. So i’m wondering if you could try putting the nuts at the bottom of the roll and pouring warm heavy cream on top of the rolls before baking to have a similar result??
SaraFriday, February 28, 2020 at 11:52 am
Can you make a double batch all at one time or do you need to do it separately?
KimFriday, February 21, 2020 at 8:03 pm
I can’t wait to try these! I’m just wondering if they are soft at room temperature or if they need to be warm to be soft. Thanks!
RuthFriday, February 21, 2020 at 2:13 pm
Thanks for your recipe, these buns are fab! I was hoping to make them for a potluck brunch. Do you think they would lose their magic soft pillowyness if I cut them to 20-24 (i.e. to make them mini sized?). Also, do you have a recommended baking time?
KelleyFriday, February 14, 2020 at 12:08 pm
Omg! I think these are the best rolls I have ever made! I used bread flour instead of all purpose, but only because I had a lot of it from another recipe I tried. The sweet bread dough makes a big difference! Thank you so much!
LindaThursday, February 13, 2020 at 4:16 pm
I don’t have a paddle attachment on my mixer – just beaters and the dough hook. Any suggestions for mixing the butter in?
MiriamMonday, February 10, 2020 at 11:35 am
These are amazing! Cinnamon rolls are so much work I’m so happy to find a recipe that is worth the hastle. I’ve done it both ways, do the two hour rise then rest in fridge overnight before rolling and baking, and after two hour rise rolling and resting cut rolls in the fridge overnight before baking next morning, both are equally delicious. Dough is easier to work with chilled.
TerryMonday, January 27, 2020 at 10:56 pm
Please excuse me if this already been asked in the 86 prior responses, but what kind of cinnamon do you use? TY.
shahucartFriday, January 17, 2020 at 10:02 am
Awesome cinnamon rolls recipe,these are very delicious.
AndreaWednesday, January 15, 2020 at 6:55 pm
I have been in search of the best cinnamon roll recipe, and I am happy to report that I have found it in your recipe, Sarah. These rolls are easy to make and literally melt in your mouth! My family is in love and this will be my go-to for all occasions. There were no instructions to make, freeze and bake later, so I am experimenting. Thank you Sarah!
Dru Era Pvt LtdWednesday, January 15, 2020 at 5:44 am
These are totally fabulous! Much obliged to you such a great amount for sharing. My family will appreciate these on vacation mornings for quite a long time to come.
SeaTuesday, January 14, 2020 at 4:29 am
Your photo make me so hungry. It’s look like delicious
MarlysFriday, January 10, 2020 at 5:56 pm
How do I make these without a stand mixer?
Pawe? TarasSunday, January 5, 2020 at 4:41 am
Aww, I love cinnamon rolls! Need to try this recipe ASAP! Can I ask if maybe you know how much fresh yeast do I have to use for this recipe? I’m from Poland and I have to say, for me fresh yeast taste so much better and that yeasty taste is soo important, at least for me;)
IsaWednesday, January 1, 2020 at 7:39 pm
An absolute winner! I prepare the dough last night and left the buns to rise over night and these morning we had the most glorious rolls, they were huge and the dough was so fluffy and delicious, thank you for sharing , I’m so pleased with my effort!
TZWednesday, January 1, 2020 at 1:09 pm
These are absolutely fantastic! Thank you so much for sharing. My family will be enjoying these on holiday mornings for years to come.
I multiplied the filling by 1.5x just because it’s my favorite part and they came out great! The icing technique is a stroke of genius as well.
StephTuesday, December 31, 2019 at 7:00 am
Hi- I would love to make these for work but need to be there around 6am! To do the overnight that would mean getting up around 4:30! If I baked them the night prior, any way to heat them up the morning of to just refresh them? Would they still be good just as is the following am? Thanks!!
NicoleTuesday, December 31, 2019 at 1:58 am
Hi hi, just bought your cookbook and it’s beautiful! I’m in the process of making the cinnamon rolls and I’m concerned. I’ve followed your recipe exactly but my dough doesn’t seem right. It’s not very sticky, even before the refrigeration overnight process. I just did the kneading part but it doesn’t…feel right. The dough looks more like it tears apart when I try to push it out. It’s hard to explain. Any thoughts on what’s going on with the dough? I’m going to forge on and see what happens
T JuarezMonday, December 30, 2019 at 2:37 pm
I just finished making these. They are delicious. I can see how some people may like more cinnamon filling. I rolled it out just a little too big and the filling didn’t cover it properly, but I didn’t add more and they came out great. I followed the recipe exactly and they are delicious. Now I know where I can add my own touches. Thank you for sharing this recipe!
Ryan GianosFriday, December 27, 2019 at 8:54 pm
Well, these rolls look quite lovely. I love a good cinnamon roll – especially when they are hot and fresh right out of the oven. Perfect with some cream cheese icing. Cheers!
D obviousFriday, December 27, 2019 at 8:27 pm
I made these for Christmas.. Omg best yet. I have to confess I was skeptical about mixing the dry yeast without proofing it.. Am I pleased with this recipe.. So were my guests. Hands down best cinnabon clone I’ve tried.. I will to use this recipe from now on. They are so worth the fiddly dough folding.
Ohh as an aside, I ran out of white flour and had to top up with 1 and 1/4 cups of whole wheat with no problem. In fact it adds additional texture to this ooooy goooy goodness.
I also increased the butter smear on the inner layer and place a small dollop on the tops of each. This help the sugar and cinnamon would property caramelize. I find insufficient application tends to yield grainy sections to the filling.
Topping the dish with the cream cheese icing, while warm, was a brilliant tip. It definitely prevented those dry bits of bun.
Beth R.Friday, December 27, 2019 at 5:32 pm
Saw this recipe on The Kitchn and decided to try. They are a bit more work than other recipes I have made but absolutely worth it! And the recipe is forgiving! I read the instructions as others and put the dough in the fridge to rise overnight. I pulled it out and let it rise 1 1/2 hours and then realized I should have assembled and let them have a final rise. They still worked. I assembled and let them rise another 30 minutes and they were perfect! Soft and pillowy, the perfect amount of sweetness. Everyone raves how good these were! I will make them again!
BrendaFriday, December 27, 2019 at 2:04 pm
Can I use a hand mixer. I dont have a mixer with a paddle
Mrs. BlakelyFriday, December 27, 2019 at 9:40 am
I am sorry, but CIndy Rahe bakery style cimminon rolls are my go to rolls. I have made these quite a lot and the dough is so soft and the frosting is very yummy. These will always be my go to cimminon rolls for the holidays and when my kiddos ask for them.
T juarezSunday, December 29, 2019 at 10:30 am
Just curious if you tried the recipe?
JulianaFriday, December 27, 2019 at 7:32 am
These were delicious: the rolls were a really great texture and flavour. I personally found them very very sweet and preferred them without any icing at all.
JulianaFriday, December 27, 2019 at 7:34 am
I should add that I don’t have a mixer of any kind and did everything by hand and it worked perfectly.
AngelaThursday, December 26, 2019 at 10:13 pm
I found your cinnamon roll recipe from the kitchn website. Someone affiliated with that website said yours are the best and that’s all they’ll make. I started the dough Christmas eve to make Christmas morning and OH MY GOSH these are the best cinnamon rolls. The dough is a little bit of work but so worth the effort! And your icing recipe… the perfect sweetness. Thank you so much for a great recipe!
FloranetThursday, December 26, 2019 at 2:43 am
You rock with your writing!! Spectacular one for sure.
AnnieThursday, December 26, 2019 at 12:41 am
My first cinnamon rolls! Such a great way to celebrate Christmas morning. I had doubts they would turn out but they did- these will be my go to on special days. Perfection! Thank you.
DeniseWednesday, December 25, 2019 at 11:53 pm
These rolls are AMAZING..no, PHENOMENAL ? My family fell over on the deliciousness. Thank you so much for sharing..I hope to never loose this recipe. I made very simple modifications. I combined all ingredients for the filling making a paste, added a tsp of Cointreau and a tsp of Fireball Cinnamon Whisky (I’ve been experimenting with liqueurs lately?). Melted the paste and spread it on dough (smooth spread). Once rolls were placed in 10″ cast iron pan with parchment (love your suggestion regarding creativity. The presentation was beautiful) and ready to bake I poured a small amount of heavy cream over the top of the rolls and baked. My error was not turning pan while cooking..forgot. Your recipe on its own is magnificent! My mods didn’t improve upon it, just made it a different great! Thanks for sharing. (This is my first post ever. This recipe demanded an expression of gratitude).???
Christine LWednesday, December 25, 2019 at 3:06 pm
Wow! We loved them! Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe! I do have a quick question – do the leftover rolls need to be refrigerated because of the frosting?
PeterWednesday, December 25, 2019 at 2:24 pm
I echo one of the previous comments that after following hundreds of “internet” recipes I have yet to leave a comment on one, but holy smokes these things are other worldly. I had to adjust the flour and baking time as we live at 7000 feet (which is normal for us). The instructions were spot on and clear and I got three thumbs ups from my wife and kids. Will be making these again for sure.
VIviSaturday, February 8, 2020 at 8:00 am
Could you give me your 7’k adjustments? I’m at that altitude too…
CarlieWednesday, December 25, 2019 at 2:10 pm
Sorry, I left out the most important part of my question.. I meant to ask: Can they be prepared, then FROZEN, to bake at a later date? Thank you
CarlieWednesday, December 25, 2019 at 2:08 pm
I was wondering if these can these be prepared as directed in the “overnight cinnamon rolls” version and then baked at a later date?
JessicaWednesday, December 25, 2019 at 1:13 pm
So delicious! Followed the recipe and it came out perfectly! I don’t think I could go back to store bought rolls again.
BreannaWednesday, December 25, 2019 at 12:02 pm
Turned out pretty well but there was definitely not enough cinnamon filling. The fluffy bread and heavy icing overpowered what should have been gooey, cinnamon-y deliciousness. I will definitely double the cinnamon and maybe add 50% more brown sugar next time.
Molly MoranWednesday, December 25, 2019 at 10:58 am
I made them this morning for Christmas, and they were the best I’ve ever had. I own a retail shop, so this time of year is particularly hectic for me. It was great to have a recipe that I could make in advance that came out so beautifully this morning. Thank you!
MarkWednesday, December 25, 2019 at 10:37 am
Merry Christmas! Great recipe, they turned out beautiful and scrumptious. 17 minute bake was all that mine needed. Thank you!
AmyWednesday, December 25, 2019 at 10:17 am
First time ever leaving a comment on a recipe, but dang, these deserve it. Absolutely perfect. Ratios all perfect, and now riding on a sugar high for the rest of Christmas day! No need to change a thing!
BradWednesday, December 25, 2019 at 9:40 am
Wow, these worked great!! Thank you!
CarenWednesday, December 25, 2019 at 9:29 am
Thank you- they came out perfect and made our Christmas breakfast a huge success. My first homemade cinnamon rolls could not have been better.
Super DadWednesday, December 25, 2019 at 9:09 am
Just enjoyed these on Christmas morning – the dough is absolutely amazing and the icing is perfect. I made these yesterday and set them out overnight and they came out great. My only comment is that there wasn’t enough cinnamon flavor for us. I used about 3/4 cup brown sugar and 2 tablespoons of cinnamon. Maybe add some cinnamon to the dough dry ingredients and up the cinnamon in the sugar mixture. I’d also brush on a little more butter. Regardless, these are absolutely delicious and worth every bit of effort!
Lan WhitleyTuesday, December 24, 2019 at 11:21 pm
Thank you for sharing this recipe. It just looks so wonderful , I was about to go to bed and had to get up to make this. I was getting ready to make the dough but realized I don’t have instant yeast, I only have active dry yeast. Can you please tell me what I need to do differently with active dry yeast and if I need to adjust the amount of yeast?
SarahTuesday, December 24, 2019 at 11:32 pm
Hello! You won’t need to adjust the amount of 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. (You can read more about the difference in yeast here: https://www.kingarthurflour.com/blog/2015/09/25/active-dry-yeast ) If you are worried about it, you could dissolve the yeast in the warm milk instead of adding it to the flour mixture.
TinaTuesday, December 24, 2019 at 10:52 pm
Hi! Trying to make this recipe and am at the step that calls for kneading the dough 10-12 times and forming into a ball. It is super sticky and I’m not sure how to troubleshoot this. Would be helpful to have step-by-step photos so we know what the dough is supposed to look like along the way. But in the meantime, what do I do with this sticky dough?!
SarahTuesday, December 24, 2019 at 11:04 pm
Hi Tina – Did you chill the dough like the recipe calls for? The dough is very sticky after it rises and chilling it overnight helps make it easier to work with. If you didn’t chill the dough (if you can’t do it overnight, I recommend at least 2 hours), you will need to use a lot of flour to help it roll out. I do have step by step instructions on folding the dough in my cookbook, where the recipe is originally from, but it shouldn’t be crazy sticky if it has been properly chilled.
TinaWednesday, December 25, 2019 at 6:13 pm
Wow! Totally didn’t expect you to respond on Christmas Eve, but thank you so much! I put the dough back in and waited until the morning to roll it out – this time with a lot of flour as you had mentioned and it all worked out perfectly! Thanks again! Merry Christmas!
MaySaturday, May 2, 2020 at 6:14 am
I had the same problem, so i kneaded the dough to see if the stickyness would go.. i hope i read the comments before doing that. i did not use a lot of flour when i tried to roll. popped it back in the fridge now to chill for a few hours. i hope i did not overwork the dough..??
JennyTuesday, December 24, 2019 at 10:09 pm
Dear Sarah, I just made this for my family over the past 2 and a half days and they are INCREDIBLE. So delicious and really great recipe – great results despite only having a handmixer 🙂 Happy holidays!
SarahTuesday, December 24, 2019 at 11:04 pm
I’m so glad you liked the cinnamon rolls! Thank you for stopping by and letting me know. Happy Holidays!
SamanthaTuesday, December 24, 2019 at 3:19 pm
If your’re doing the make ahead version do you still do the fold and let rise for 30 mins x4?
SarahTuesday, December 24, 2019 at 7:37 pm
Yes! You do let the dough rise for 2 hours at room temperature after mixing it. Roll, fill, cut and put in the prepared pan, then let the rolls rise overnight in the fridge.
JohnTuesday, December 24, 2019 at 1:24 pm
Please put more ads on this page and make finding the recipe more difficult.
SarahTuesday, December 24, 2019 at 7:38 pm
The ads are there to help pay for all the website expenses. If you click on the ‘PRINT RECIPE’ link you can view the recipe without ads. Have a merry Christmas.
KendallTuesday, April 21, 2020 at 12:53 pm
Can I use half oil half butter, to make the dough more moist?
NicoleTuesday, December 24, 2019 at 9:45 pm
ew, so negative. how about a thank you to the author for taking the time to write out and post a free recipe.
LindaMonday, December 30, 2019 at 4:31 pm
Dear John, one should not complain when you are getting something worth having for free. Happy New Year!
JasmineThursday, February 4, 2021 at 5:32 pm
I don’t know what I did wrong. I’ve made this before and was perfect. This time the dough was too tough. Can the yeast be cold or should it be at room temperature? Or did I over mix it ?
JasmineThursday, February 4, 2021 at 6:11 pm
I don’t know what I did wrong. I’ve made this before and it was perfect. This time the dough was too tough. Can the yeast be cold or should it be at room temperature? Or did I over mix it ?
Kati JohnsonTuesday, December 24, 2019 at 1:04 pm
Can I use a dough hook on my stand mixer to knead/fold the dough during the 2-hour rise? Thank you!
SarahTuesday, December 24, 2019 at 7:39 pm
The folding isn’t too intense – it’s just folding the dough over itself to help create a tighter crumb. The dough hook will work the dough too much.
Laurie JunkerTuesday, December 24, 2019 at 8:12 am
Can I get away with less than an overnight-72 hour rise? I’m making the dough this morning and will follow folding steps through the 2 hour rise but then I only have maybe 4 hours in the fridge before I’d like to prepare them for the overnight method. Thanks,
SarahTuesday, December 24, 2019 at 10:44 am
Yes – The dough is sticky, so chilling it overnight helps make it easier to work with. But 4 hours is just fine!
Laurie JunkerWednesday, December 25, 2019 at 9:17 pm
Great recipe! I’ve made a lot of “overnight” rolls and they’re always a little dry. Not these. I made the dough yesterday morning, let rise then rested in fridge until evening, rolled out and put in greased pan before bed and then this morning let rise for an hour and baked. Soft and fluffy and moist. Thank you!
AndreaFriday, March 20, 2020 at 3:16 pm
Can i use active dry yeast instead of instant active yeast!?? Thank you
MarianneMonday, December 23, 2019 at 4:33 pm
Glass or metal pan????? Making these now to have Christmas morning
SarahMonday, December 23, 2019 at 6:01 pm
You can use either! Dark metal bans will brown the buns more – I prefer a light metal pan if going that route.
CariMonday, December 23, 2019 at 11:37 am
I DIE!! These are worth the work and worth the wait. Do yourself a favor and make them right flipping now.
SarahMonday, December 23, 2019 at 6:15 pm
I’m so glad you like them! Thanks for coming back and leaving a lovely comment. 🙂
BellaMonday, December 23, 2019 at 8:49 am
Do you have to have a stand mixer? Can we mix it by hand? Thank you!
SarahMonday, December 23, 2019 at 6:10 pm
You could make these without a stand mixer – you will need to knead the butter in by hand, which will take awhile. But it will eventually work into the dough.
KathySunday, December 22, 2019 at 8:24 pm
Can you use bread flour? Thanks!
SarahMonday, December 23, 2019 at 6:11 pm
I always make them with all-purpose, but bread flour should work. But since it does have more protein in it, they won’t be quite as light and fluffy.
NancySunday, December 22, 2019 at 11:36 am
You recipe says 4 cups of flour or 568 grams, but I generally use King Arthur’s All-Purpose flour, which they peg at 120 grams per cup, which would be 480 grams for 4 cups of flour. 568 grams of King Arthur’s all-purpose flour would be closer to 4 3/4 cups. Any suggestions on how much flour I should use? Should I try splitting the difference between the 480 grams and the 568 grams?
SarahMonday, December 23, 2019 at 6:15 pm
The 568 grams is correct – my cup of flour weight is different than King Arthurs. There isn’t a consistent gram/ounce weight for flour among bakers (which can be annoying) – it can range anywhere from 115 to 150, depending on the baker. Mine is at the higher end of the scale. King Arthur’s all-purpose is also a higher protein flour, which can sometimes result in baked goods turning out slightly different (I don’t foresee that here, with yeasted dough, but for cookies and cakes it can sometimes make a difference).
JonTuesday, April 14, 2020 at 10:07 pm
So even if using King Arthur’s, we should use 568g? Excited to make this!
HeatherWednesday, December 23, 2020 at 1:55 pm
Now I’m confused which I should use since I have King Arthur flour on hand! Which did you end up using? 4 cups or 4 3/4 cups?
Leah TaxSunday, December 22, 2019 at 10:59 am
We just had these cinnamon rolls and they were everything we hoped they would be. I am so thankful for this recipe. We will make this every year!
SarahMonday, December 23, 2019 at 6:15 pm
I’m so glad you liked them!!
AbbySunday, December 22, 2019 at 7:28 am
These cinnamon rolls are just dreamy, Sarah, I looove. Happy holidays to you and your family!
GaytrieSaturday, December 21, 2019 at 6:34 am
Dear sarah congrats !!! Im a little confused by how to make the overnight rolls. I live in holland! U mean first make the dough and : with these steps:::
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. And after this do this:::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.
My point is do u need to fold the dough on itself and let it rise or not rise and put it in the frigde for 18 hours. Thxxx
trish mancusoFriday, December 20, 2019 at 8:02 pm
If I am to do the bulk fermentation overnight am I to do the stretch and folds before putting the bread into the fridge?
SarahMonday, December 23, 2019 at 6:20 pm
Fold the dough over itself, then let the dough rise for 2 hours. Place it in the fridge, and let it chill for at least two hours or overnight (the dough is very sticky, and this helps with the rolling and cutting). Then, roll, fill, and shape the dough, put them in the prepared pan and then put them in the refrigerator over night (they do not rise again at room temperature). This way you can hold them overnight and bake them in the morning – they will get their second rise slowly in the refrigerator.
Janet WilliamsFriday, December 20, 2019 at 3:57 pm
Can these be successfully made without a stand mixer? I would love to have a go but I don’t have a mixer
SarahMonday, December 23, 2019 at 6:21 pm
You can make them without a stand mixer, but it will take awhile to knead the butter into the dough by hand. It will eventually work into the dough. 🙂
Chelsea StrachanMonday, April 13, 2020 at 2:28 pm
would you suggest using a hand mixer if you have? or do it by hand if you dont have a stand mixer.
EmmaSaturday, April 25, 2020 at 11:20 am
A hand mixer would NOT be able to handle combining this dough. You can knead it by hand– just work those arm muscles!
PhyllisFriday, December 20, 2019 at 11:22 am
The best way to cut rolls is with dental floss! I would never use a knife. My caramel rolls are famous with my family. I have made hundreds. I have cinnamon caramel rolls, orange rolls and orange cranberry rolls in the freezer waiting for my family at Christmas!
KassideeFriday, December 20, 2019 at 11:02 am
Is there a way to print the recipe?
SarahMonday, December 23, 2019 at 6:22 pm
Yes! Under the recipe notes there is a link to print the recipe.
DanielleFriday, December 20, 2019 at 7:56 am
Cant wait to make them!!!!
KatherinSunday, December 15, 2019 at 4:36 am
looks like simple recipe will try! nice post
RachelSunday, December 1, 2019 at 10:17 am
Any thoughts on if these could these be frozen unbaked for later baking? I would like to make them for an event in a couple of weeks and only have time to make the dough this weekend.
Sharon RauschThursday, May 9, 2019 at 7:58 am
I can hear good sound thank you so much for sharing nice post.
Jamie ScarlettTuesday, March 26, 2019 at 7:28 pm
Oh these cinnamon rolls look incredible, something I have eaten rather a few of yet never made. Over the moon to come across your recipe. I know what I will be baking this Sunday. Thanks for sharing and looking forward to reading more of your delicious recipes.
CaitlinTuesday, January 22, 2019 at 8:44 am
These look amazing! I would love to make these potentially more travel friendly if possible. Would I be able to freeze these at any point in the process (before or after baking)? Would that ruin the integrity of the dough? Thank you—would love to take these on an upcoming tip and have most of the work done beforehand!!
CaitlinMonday, January 21, 2019 at 9:25 pm
These look beautiful and are on my list to make. Is this a recipe you could freeze at any point in the process and then defrost in order to back and if so, when? I would love to make these travel friendly to bring up to a family trip. Thank you!! 🙂
MargotSunday, January 20, 2019 at 6:43 pm
I finally made them and they were fabulous! I refrigerated the dough for several days, but I like the suggestion above for making ahead too. I just emailed the pancake princess to tell her her next bake-off should be chocolate cake. Yours is my current favorite.
CaitlinTuesday, January 22, 2019 at 6:36 pm
For some reason I have been unable to leave a comment so I am hoping this works! Would I be able to freeze these rolls at any point in the process and then thaw and bake?
RoryThursday, March 11, 2021 at 9:26 am
I ALWAYS make and freeze before baking. I pull them out for an hour and half and set them in a warm place. Then I bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Perfect every time!
Melissa BoleySunday, January 20, 2019 at 7:56 am
Can you clarify on the make ahead instructions…do you let them rise before refrigeration? Or once the come up to room temp? There is an hour and 1/2 rise from regular instructions, I don’t see in make ahead! (Take breakfast to hs boys swim team at 6:30 am so wanted to know when to get rolls out to bake.)
SarahSunday, January 20, 2019 at 9:47 am
Hi Melissa – After mixing the dough, you let it rise for 2 hours (first rise). Then, put the rolls together (roll, cut, put in pan) and put them in the refrigerator overnight (second rise). In the morning, let the rolls come to room temperature, and then bake. Some people do bake them without letting them come to room temperature in the morning (since they have been slow-rising all night in the refrigerator), but I always give them some time to warm up before popping them in the oven. Let me know if anything here isn’t clear! I’ll go back and make the directions more detailed.
Leah ArthurTuesday, December 24, 2019 at 6:49 pm
Hmmm. It says after mixing to refrigerate overnight, THEN assemble, bake. But, to save time in the morning, I’m going to assemble the night before, then bake in the morning.
SarahTuesday, December 24, 2019 at 7:36 pm
That will work! The dough is refrigerated overnight because it is very sticky, and this makes it easier to work with. I would recommend chilling it for at least 2 hours before rolling it out.
AliRizzThursday, December 26, 2019 at 11:05 am
Fantastic way to celebrate a holiday! I appreciated the opportunity to stay in the moment and ‘Be Here Now’ over the process.enjoying every morsel!
LauraWednesday, January 13, 2021 at 11:15 am
Buenos días! Me encanta sus trabajos. Quisiera saber si puedo obtener las recetas en castellano/español. Gracias ?
NatalieTuesday, January 15, 2019 at 11:14 pm
These cinnamon rolls are stunning! Absolutely gorgeous!
ReneeSunday, January 13, 2019 at 11:03 pm
I made your cinnamon rolls for Christmas this year and told my family it was an ultimate expression of my love. I look forward to making this many more times and hopefully improving on my technique!