The Best Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

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Ooey-gooey cinnamon rolls are made with a tender dough, cinnamon sugar mixture and a perfect maple cream cheese icing. Perfect for the holidays or any special occasion, these are the best homemade cinnamon rolls. You're going to love them!

Ooey, gooey, soft and tender, these homemade cinnamon rolls are the best. My family requests them every year over the holidays or any special occasion and we can’t get enough of them. I’ve even turned them into a full on 100% sourdough version that is also incredible. But these, these are the OG, original family favorite cinnamon roll recipe. Filled with cinnamon sugar goodness, a light and tender dough and topped with a delicious maple cream cheese icing – doesn’t get better than that!

Why You’ll Love The Best Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

You will love these because they are so tasty. Everyone who tries them raves about how good they are. We’ve been making and selling these rolls for years in our home bakery and always have customers asking about them. This recipe produces a cinnamon roll that is tender, full of flavor and is the perfect cinnamon roll recipe. You’re family will love them, your friends will love these homemade cinnamon rolls and you will love them! I can’t wait for you to try them!

A Little History of the Best Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

My extended family has been going to the coast of Oregon for Thanksgiving every year for the past 50 plus years. We enjoy pot-luck style feasting for many days, lots of family time, long walks on the beach and I especially love making new and favorite recipes fit for a crowd. These cinnamon rolls were born out of this tradition. Many years ago I used to bring recipes I wanted to make and share with my family over that week – and in that quest, I developed this cinnamon roll recipe. I sometimes make these rolls twice during the week – we love them so much. The dough is substantial, yet soft. The middles are gooey but baked through. The icing takes these rolls to a whole new level of glorious cinnamon rolls. Basically, our whole family loves and looks forward to these homemade cinnamon rolls.

How to Make the Best Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Mix and Knead the Dough

This dough is a dream to work with. I like to use a stand mixer and knead for 10 minutes or you could knead by hand for about 12-15 minutes. Mix together all the warm milk, melted butter, sugar and instant yeast. The yeast should give off a “yeasty” smell letting you know it is active and ready to raise your dough. Then add All the butter and eggs in the dough enrich it, which can make it take longer for this dough to rise. To help combat this issue, I use instant yeast in the dough. This is my favorite yeast (affiliate link). It doesn’t need to be proofed and it helps an enriched dough rise a little more quickly.

Filling Dough with a Cinnamon-Sugar Paste

Throughout the many years of making this recipe, I’ve learned a few tips that have upped my cinnamon roll game. Many cinnamon roll recipes will have you spread butter over the dough and then add the cinnamon sugar mixture on top. Instead, I like to mix together softened or melted butter in a bowl and mix cinnamon, brown sugar and a little bit of flour into the butter. Then I spread the cinnamon-sugar paste over the roll dough. I think this gives a more even flavor and that little extra flour helps keeps the rolls from gaping open when baked. If you want to add nuts or raisins into your rolls, you can add them right on top of the cinnamon-sugar paste and roll them right up. I sometimes top some of the cinnamon rolls with toasted pecans. Yum!

This recipe makes 12 large cinnamon rolls. I roll the dough on the counter, spread on the filling and then roll up, pinching the seam together. To cut out the cinnamon rolls, you can use a sharp knife, bench cutter or even dental floss. If you have any wispy cinnamon roll ends, go ahead and tuck them under the roll so they don’t come loose during the bake.

Baking Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

A word of caution on baking the rolls. Ovens all bake differently. Some ovens bake hotter in the back and cooler in the front. If you want an even bake on your rolls, rotate your pan 180 degrees after the first ten minutes of baking. This will keep half of your rolls from getting too dark and the other half being too light. Check the center of one of the cinnamon rolls once the pan is baked to make sure that the middle isn’t raw. Sometimes you need to let them go a minute or two longer just so they are completely baked through.

The Best Cinnamon Roll Frosting

The frosting on these rolls is amazing. There’s no other way to describe it. I’m not a huge fan of overly “cream cheesey” tasting frosting, and the ratios on this icing are just perfection. More butter than cream cheese, all whipped together take these rolls to an ethereal level. I also highly recommend adding in the maple flavoring that really give a unique flavor to the entire cinnamon roll. It is just divine! Whip the frosting until it is thick and creamy. Let the cinnamon rolls cool about 5 minutes before spreading a large dollop on each roll.

Amy’s Recipe Tip

  • If you want extra ooey gooey cinnamon rolls, add a little warmed heavy cream to the top of the rolls. Take ¼ cup of lightly warmed heavy cream and pour it over the tops of the cinnamon rolls right before baking. You want the cream a little bit warm so it doesn’t mess with the rise of the rolls.
  • This is the perfect recipe to make ahead of time! Find out all the details here.

Have I convinced you yet? You need these cinnamon rolls in your life. And your family does too. I usually double this recipe to feed a large crowd at our Thanksgiving celebrations. This year I wasn’t planning to make these cinnamon rolls but my kids looked at me with those sad eyes of “too much has been cancelled in the name of COVID” and this mama has a hard time saying no right now, so I made them. And guess what? I am grateful I did. For the memories. For the traditions. For the look on their faces. And for the amazing gooey deliciousness that is sitting in my kitchen right now. I hope you love them too! Enjoy!

The Best Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Ooey-gooey cinnamon rolls are made with a tender dough, cinnamon sugar mixture and a perfect maple cream cheese icing. Perfect for the holidays or any special occasion, these are the best homemade cinnamon rolls. You're going to love them!
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Rise Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 50 minutes
Course Bread, Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 rolls


Cinnamon Roll Dough

  • 2 cups milk warmed (2% or whole milk works best)
  • ½ cup unsalted butter melted
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon instant yeast
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 5 ½ – 6 ½ cups bread flour see recipe notes

Cinnamon Roll Filling

  • ½ cup unsalted butter very soft or melted
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon all purpose flour

Cinnamon Roll Frosting

  • ½ cup unsalted butter softened
  • 2 oz cream cheese softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons heavy cream or half and half can also substitute milk in a pinch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon maple extract
  • a pinch of salt


Cinnamon Roll Dough

  • Warm the milk in the microwave (about 1 1/2 minutes full power) or on the stove. To the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook, add the warmed milk and melted butter. Feel the mixture with your finger (make sure you feel in the center of the milk/butter mixture) and make sure it is not too hot. You want the temperature to feel like a baby's bathwater. If it is too hot, let it cool a bit before proceeding.
  • Add the sugar and instant yeast to the milk/butter mixture. Stir. Look for the yeasty smell that tells you the yeast is activating (should happen within 10-20 seconds) and then proceed with the recipe.
  • Add the eggs, salt and a cup of flour. Turn on the dough hook on in your stand mixer and continue adding the flour a cup at a time until you have added 5 cups of flour. Knead for 1 minute until all the flour is fully incorporated. Check the dough by rolling it into a ball in your fingers to see if you need more flour. If the dough is too sticky to roll into a ball, continue adding flour 1/4 cup at a time, kneading for 1 minute after each addition. This process will make sure you don't over-flour the dough. Once you can pinch off a piece of dough and roll it into a ball with just a little sticky residue on your fingers, you can stop adding flour. Knead for a total of 5-7 minutes.
  • Lightly oil (or spray with cooking spray) a large container and dump the dough in the container. Cover lightly with a kitchen towel and set in a warm place to rise. I like to turn my oven into a "proofing box" with the oven light turned on. This is a nice warm spot for my dough to rise and speeds ups the process a bit. Make sure the oven is NOT turned on during this process.

Cinnamon Filling

  • While the dough rises, make the cinnamon filling. To a small bowl, add the softened or melted butter. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon and flour. Mix together until fully combined and set aside.

Cinnamon Roll Frosting

  • Whip together the butter and cream cheese until fully mixed and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, heavy cream, vanilla extract, maple extract and salt. Whip together using a mixer until light and fluffy. Set aside.

Assemble the Cinnamon Rolls

  • Prepare a half sheet pan and line with parchment paper.
  • Once the dough has doubled in size, move it from the bowl to a clean space on the counter. The dough will be soft and not overly sticky. Pat the dough out into an approximate 18 by 12 rectangle. Spread the cinnamon filling all over the dough with your fingers, making sure to cover up to the edges of the cinnamon roll.
  • Starting with the dough closest to you, roll up the cinnamon roll and pinch together the seam. Flip the cinnamon roll over, seam side down. Cut the long log of cinnamon roll dough into 12 equal pieces. Place the cinnamon rolls on the parchment paper, 4 rows of 3.
    Alternatively you can cut the dough into 24 pieces for regular-sized cinnamon rolls (see recipe notes).
  • Cover the rolls and let rise for about an hour until doubled in size, touching and proofed. The amount of time this takes will depend on how cold your kitchen is.

Bake and Enjoy

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Once the rolls have puffed up and almost doubled in size, they are ready for the oven. If you want an extra gooey cinnamon roll, warm up some heavy cream and drizzle it over the top of the cinnamon roll before sticking in the oven. Bake the cinnamon rolls for 10 minutes. Then rotate the pan and bake for another 8-10 minutes until just starting to brown.
  • Check the middle of one of the cinnamon rolls by using a butter knife to pry up a bit of the roll and make sure it is baked to your liking (the center will tell you if it needs more time or is perfectly baked). Let the rolls cool for 5 minutes before covering with frosting.
  • Freeze any extra frosted cinnamon rolls in a ziplock bag. To re-heat, place on a plate and warm in the microwave for 30 seconds (time will vary depending on microwave) and enjoy!


This recipe makes 12 very large cinnamon rolls. You can easily make 24 smaller cinnamon rolls that are more of a regular size if you want to feed more people. To do that, cut the dough in half and make two logs of rolled dough. Cut each log into 12. Place the dough on the parchment-lined baking sheet, 6 rows of 4.
Bread Flour: This recipe used to call for all-purpose flour. I now use bread flour almost all the time for these cinnamon rolls. They have a little more structure, are more chewy and tender. Use a 12.5% protein content good quality bread flour. You can also substitute all-purpose flour if desired.
Keyword cinnamon roll
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  1. Oh the memories!! We will miss gathering with you over this Thanksgiving, but will continue to be Givingthanks for you ALL daily! Thanks, too, for sharing this delicious, family-loved recipe! Blessings abound! ❤️🙏🏻🦃🌊😋

  2. Hi, is there a way to add sourdough discard to these and still use yeast? I’d like to find a recipe for discard usage in homemade cinnamon rolls.

    1. You can bake them in a 9 by 13 pan, but if you do that I would recommend using 2 9 by 13 pans and making 24 smaller rolls than the 12 larger ones or fitting about 6-8 large rolls per 9 by 13 pan. This recipe makes really big cinnamon rolls and cramming all that dough into a smaller pan can lead to underbaked dough.