It never fails that on any given Saturday or Sunday, my kids ask for Cinnamon Rolls for breakfast. And, it never fails that I always forget to plan ahead when it comes to weekend breakfast or brunch.
But, with these ready in One Hour Cinnamon Rolls, they can be whipped up and ready in no time.
And this is not a cinnamon roll recipe that comes out of a can either. These are made start to finish in about an hour. Can I get a woo-hoo for being a weekend breakfast hero?!
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Why you’ll love this recipe
- No one can resist these gooey cinnamon rolls slathered with a thick layer of the best cream cheese icing
- Homemade dough is so much better than the kind in a can and way easier to make than you think
- Total time from start to finish is only an hour. There’s no need to prep the dough ahead of time or make the night before
- Sweet cinnamon sugar filling surrounded by addicting soft, buttery rolls means you can’t eat just one. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Homemade Cinnamon Rolls ready in one hour
That's right, you read that correctly. These homemade cinnamon rolls are made from scratch, baked, smothered in cream cheese icing and ready to be devoured in one hour flat.
They're like miracle cinnamon rolls, that's what they are. The trick to these is instant yeast, which requires much less proofing time than active dry yeast. You could always go the cinnamon rolls in a can route, but... Lemme count the ways this homemade 1 hour cinnamon rolls recipe is way better:
- You make them yourself so you know exactly what goes into them
- You don't have to worry about popping that scary cardboard tube of cinnamon rolls open with a knife or a spoon. I cringe just thinking of that pop
- You get to decide exactly how much cream cheese icing gets slathered all over your warm, fresh-out-of-the-oven 1 hour cinnamon rolls. You won't become another victim of the there's-not-enough-icing-for-everyone-so-use-it-sparingly pre-made version
- Your house will smell like a bakery and your family will sing your praises for at least a week. And, it wouldn't be hard to set out some fluffy self-rising flour pancakes with 100% maple syrup topping them to go with this breakfast either
- These can also be called lazy cinnamon rolls. You don't have to think ahead and prepare anything the night before! You can wake up on a lazy weekend morning, prepare these, stick these simple cinnamon rolls in the oven and instantly become the mom/dad/sister/brother/aunt/uncle/best friend who makes delicious homemade sticky cinnamon buns for breakfast - hero status, I tell ya
Putting this simple Cinnamon Rolls recipe together
To make these easy cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing, start by mixing the dough and letting it rest for a few minutes while you make the filling. The filling is a simple mixture of cinnamon and sugar which you'll sprinkle on top of a layer of butter. Mmmmmm!
When the dough has rested, roll it out into a rectangle, spread the butter on top then sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar mixture. Roll it up from the long end, pinch the seams, and cut into 11-12 individual rolls.
Allow these to rise for 25 minutes then bake. When they're baking, mix up the cream cheese icing (the very best part and really the only reason I make cinnamon rolls to begin with).
I like to slather as much of the cream cheese icing on top when the cinnamon rolls are still very warm. Some of it will melt and that's perfectly okay! This recipe makes plenty of icing to keep everyone happy.
Ingredients & substitutions
For the dough:
- Milk: I think whole milk makes the fluffiest rolls. Substitute lower-fat or non-dairy milk if you like. Or make cinnamon rolls with heavy cream for an even richer treat
- Butter: use unsalted so you can add salt separately and get just the right amount
- All-purpose flour
- Granulated sugar
- Salt: I recommend kosher salt
- Yeast: the key to quick cinnamon rolls is instant yeast. Check the expiration date to make sure it’s fresh. If it’s old it may not activate and rise properly
- Egg: for the best results, take it out of the fridge for at least a half hour before using it to allow it to warm to room temp. This will ensure it blends easily into the dough
For the filling:
- Brown sugar: use either dark or light brown sugar
- Granulated sugar
- Ground cinnamon
- Unsalted butter: you’ll want it very soft (but not melted) so you can easily spread it across the dough
For the frosting:
- Cream cheese: let it soften on the counter for at least 30 minutes so it’s easy to blend
- Unsalted butter: soften it at room temp along with the cream cheese
- Vanilla: pure extract makes the best icing for cinnamon rolls
- Powdered sugar: whip with the cream cheese and butter for light-yet-deliciously-rich frosting
- Whole milk: use to thin the icing as needed, one tablespoon at a time. Substitute with any milk of your choice
How To Make Cinnamon Rolls with cream cheese icing
Start by making the dough. Add the milk and butter to a small saucepan over low heat. Stir for a few minutes until the butter is melted and the milk feels warm. If you have a digital thermometer you can hang it on the side of the pan to check the temp as the liquid warms. It should be around 110°F. If it’s too hot, let it cool for several minutes.
Combine 3 cups flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl.
Pour the warm milk and melted butter into the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle in the yeast and stir with a spatula to combine.
Add the flour mixture and egg to the yeast mixture. Use the dough hook attachment to mix everything together on medium-low speed for about 5 minutes. If the dough sticks to the sides of the bowl add more flour ¼ cup at a time. You’ve added enough when the dough pulls away from the bowl and begins to form a ball. You shouldn’t need more than 3 ½ cups of flour in total.
Grease a bowl with vegetable oil. Take the dough out of the bowl and gently form it into a ball. Add it to the greased bowl and cover with a damp towel. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
While the dough rests, pour the cinnamon and sugars for the filling into a small bowl. Whisk until combined then set aside.
Grease a pie plate or 9 x 13-inch baking dish with butter or cooking spray. Or line the pan with parchment paper and set aside.
After the dough has rested for 10 minutes, turn it onto a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle some flour on a rolling pin before rolling the dough into a 14 x 9-inch rectangle.
Spread the softened butter across the surface of the dough. Then sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar mixture.
Start at the long edge and roll the dough up tightly. Pinch together the seam to seal it.
Cut off the two ends of dough with a piece of dental floss (see Pro Tip below) so the edges are even. Cut the rest of the dough into 12 rolls of equal size.
Place cinnamon rolls in prepared dish. Cover the rolls with a damp towel and let the dough rise for 25 minutes in a warm place.
Make the cream cheese frosting while the rolls are rising. Whisk the butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Add in the vanilla.
Whisk in the powdered sugar. If the mixture is too thick, add one tablespoon of milk at a time to reach the desired consistency. Set aside
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Uncover the rolls and bake for 15-20 minutes. You’ll know they’re done when they are golden brown and cooked through.
Cool the rolls on a wire rack for a minimum of 5 minutes. Frost the warm rolls with icing and serve.
- In the first step, you need to warm up a mixture of milk and butter until the butter is melted. Before moving on to the next step, it's very important to make sure the milk has cooled down to 110 degrees F. You do not want to add your yeast to the milk/butter mixture if it's too hot. This will certainly kill your yeast and any chances of becoming the weekend breakfast hero your family is rooting for. Yeast is sensitive in that it needs a warm, not hot, environment in which to bloom and give life to your dough. I highly recommend using a digital thermometer to get an accurate read on the temperature of your milk before adding the yeast to it. The thermometer is inexpensive and if you order one today, I'm sure Amazon Prime will have it to you before the weekend is here!
- Once you have rolled your dough up with the filling, it's easiest and best to use unflavored, unwaxed dental floss to cut the dough into individual rolls, preventing the dough from getting squished down. To cut dough with dental floss, simply break off a piece of floss about 12 inches long. Very carefully slide the middle of the floss under the dough to the place where you want to cut. Pull the ends of the floss up and cross over the top of the dough, as if you were about to tie a knot. Give a quick tug on both sides of the floss to cut all the way through the dough. This is the best method for not squishing down your dough while cutting it. If you do not have dental floss, use a sharp knife and press down gently to avoid misshapen rolls
- To get a good rise on your cinnamon rolls in a short time, I recommend placing the covered pan in a slightly warm oven. You can warm up your oven in a couple of ways: 1) turn the oven on for exactly 1 minute to 350 degrees F then turn off and place the pan inside or 2) simply turn on the interior oven light while the rolls are proofing inside. Either of these methods provides a just-warm-enough environment in which to allow the buns to rise
Like this recipe? Follow me on Pinterest for lots more recipes just like this one! And don’t forget to pin this recipe for later by clicking on one of the images below the recipe. Or, click on any of the images in this post to save to Pinterest.
Do cinnamon rolls have to rise twice?
These quick cinnamon rolls use instant yeast, which means the rolls only need to rise once. If you use traditional yeast, also called active dry yeast, the rolls do need to rise twice and will take longer to make.
How to make air fryer cinnamon rolls
Preheat the air fryer to 350ºF. Line the air fryer basket with parchment paper and place cinnamon rolls on top, spacing them apart to allow the air flow on all sides. Air fry for 8-9 minutes. Top with icing while they're still warm
*please note, air frying times may vary depending on your brand of air fryer. Keep an eye on the cinnamon rolls while they're baking to test for doneness
How to reheat a cinnamon roll
You can easily reheat cinnamon rolls in the oven. First preheat the oven to 350°F. Then place the leftover rolls in an oven-safe dish covered with aluminum foil and heat for 10-15 minutes.
How to reheat cinnamon rolls in air fryer
Preheat the air fryer to 350ºF. Line the air fryer basket with parchment paper and place cinnamon rolls on top, spacing them apart to allow the air flow on all sides. For cinnamon rolls without icing, lightly spread some softened butter on top of each roll. Air fry for 3-5 minutes and serve
*please note, air frying times may vary depending on your brand of air fryer. Keep an eye on the cinnamon rolls while they're reheating to test for doneness
How to freeze cinnamon roll dough
After placing the formed rolls of dough in the pan, cover them tightly with plastic wrap and aluminum foil and freeze. When you’re ready to eat, remove the frozen cinnamon rolls from the freezer and let them thaw and rise. Remove the plastic and foil before baking.
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- 1 cup whole milk
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour divided
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 envelope instant yeast approximately 2 ¼ teaspoons
- 1 large egg room temperature
- ¼ cup granulated
- ¼ cup brown sugar packed
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup unsalted butter very soft
Cream Cheese Icing
- 4 ounces cream cheese softened
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons whole milk if needed
Prepare the Dough:
- In a small saucepan, combine milk and butter. Heat on low and stir until the butter is melted and the milk is warm to the touch. If needed, let the milk mixture sit for a few minutes until it is warm but not hot. (It should be around 110°F).
- In a separate bowl, whisk together 3 cups flour, sugar and salt until combined.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough-hook attachment, add yeast and lukewarm milk mixture and stir by hand to combine.
- Add the flour mixture and egg and mix on medium-low speed until combined.
- If the dough is sticking to the sides of the bowl, add the remaining flour, ¼ cup at a time, until the dough begins to form a ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl (only add up to 3 ½ cups of flour total).
- Continue kneading for 5 minutes on medium-low speed. Remove dough and gently form it into a ball with your hands.
- Place it in a bowl greased lightly with vegetable oil and cover with a damp towel.
- Let rest for 10 minutes.
- While the dough is resting, whisk together the sugars and cinnamon for the filling in a bowl until combined. Set aside. Grease a pie plate or 9 x 13-inch baking dish with butter or cooking spray. Or line the pan with parchment paper. Set aside
Prepare the Filling:
- When the dough is ready, gently turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Use a floured rolling pin to roll the dough out into a large rectangle, about 14 x 9 inches in size. (If you want all edges to be even, you can use a to cut the dough into a perfect rectangle.)
- Use a knife or offset spatula to spread the softened butter evenly over the entire surface of the dough.
- Sprinkle evenly with the cinnamon and sugar mixture.
- Beginning at the 14-inch edge, tightly roll up the dough. Pinch together the seam so that it seals.
- Use a piece of unwaxed, unflavored dental floss (see note below) to “cut” off the two ends of the roll (an inch on each end – discard that dough) so that they are even.
- Then cut the remaining dough into 11 or 12 equally-sized pieces. Place each of the cut cinnamon rolls into prepared baking dish.
- Cover again with a damp towel and leave the dish in a warm place to allow the cinnamon rolls to rise for 25 minutes.
Prepare the Icing:
- While the dough is rising, whisk the softened cream cheese and butter together until combined using an electric mixer or by hand.
- Whisk in the vanilla until combined.
- Whisk in the powdered sugar until combined. If the icing is too thick, add a tablespoon or two of milk to thin it out to your desired consistency (I usually add in two tablespoons of milk).
- When the rolls have risen, uncover the dish.
- Place the dish on the center rack of the oven and bake at 350°F for 15-20 minutes, or until the rolls are golden brown and cooked through.
- Remove and let cool on a wire rack for at least 5 minutes. Slather on the icing and serve warm.
- To cut dough with dental floss, simply break off a piece of unflavored, unwaxed floss about 12 inches long. Very carefully slide the middle of the floss under the dough to the place where you want to “cut”. Pull the ends of the floss up and cross over the top of the dough. Give a quick tug to cut all the way through the dough. This is the best method for not squishing down your dough while cutting it. If you do not have dental floss, use a sharp knife and press down gently to avoid misshapen rolls
- To store, cover tightly in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently in the oven until warmed through. The cinnamon rolls are best stored in the fridge without icing. Store the icing separately in a tightly sealed jar. Iced cinnamon rolls may also be stored in the fridge. The icing may drip and melt into the rolls when reheated, so go ahead and add some more
- To make air fryer cinnamon rolls: Preheat the air fryer to 350ºF. Line the air fryer basket with parchment paper and place cinnamon rolls on top, spacing them apart to allow the air flow on all sides. Air fry for 8-9 minutes. Top with icing while they're still warm. *Please note, air frying times may vary depending on your brand of air fryer. Keep an eye on the cinnamon rolls while they're baking to test for doneness
- To reheat cinnamon rolls: You can easily reheat cinnamon rolls in the oven. First preheat the oven to 350°F. Then place the leftover rolls in an oven-safe dish covered with aluminum foil and heat for 10-15 minutes.
- To reheat cinnamon rolls in air fryer: Preheat the air fryer to 350ºF. Line the air fryer basket with parchment paper and place cinnamon rolls on top, spacing them apart to allow the air flow on all sides. For cinnamon rolls without icing, lightly spread some softened butter on top of each roll. Air fry for 3-5 minutes and serve. *Please note, air frying times may vary depending on your brand of air fryer. Keep an eye on the cinnamon rolls while they're reheating to test for doneness
- To freeze cinnamon roll dough: After placing the formed rolls of dough in the pan, cover them tightly with plastic wrap and aluminum foil and freeze. When you’re ready to eat, remove the frozen cinnamon rolls from the freezer and let them thaw and rise. Remove the plastic and foil before baking
Ms R Millar
How do you stop the filling melting when you leave to rise.?
I've actually not had that issue when making these. Perhaps find a cooler spot to place the dough when they're rising, away from the oven or stovetop, and see if that helps. I hope it does!
If you only have salted butter do you omit he salt nthat you have listed?
Yes, you can omit the salt altogether if using salted butter. It's difficult to say how much salt is actually in the butter you're using. If you tend to like your food a bit saltier, you can use salted butter and just cut the amount of salt called for in the recipe in half.
Could you make the dough at night and then roll, slice and bake in the morning?
I think you can certainly try that! I would think it would work, especially if you placed the dough in the fridge to rise overnight. It'll rise slower in the cold temp of the fridge which could work well here. Let me know how it works out for you!
I did try this last weekend. The dough rises wonderfully overnight and is easier to handle than when it's 'fresh'.
However, I'd recommend taking it out of the fridge in the morning and let it come to room temperature before rolling out. Otherwise the pinching won't work as well (at least in my experience, haha).
The other thing is that the dough feels thicker somehow if you roll it out while it's still cool. I was worried it'd taste different once baked, but it definitely didn't, so all in all: all good.
Great tips, Malin - thank you so much!
How would you recommend mixing the dough without a standing mixer with dough paddle? These look luscious and I’d love to try. Thanks!
Hi Tabbatha! You can certainly mix the dough with a wooden spoon and then by hand when it starts to come together. Good luck!
These look amazing! Can you make the rolls the night before and leave them in the fridge until you’re ready to bake the next
I've never tried it but it should work, since the fridge will slow down the fermentation. Give it a try!
I’ve been finding the best cinnamon rolls recipe and I stumbled across yours while scrolling Instagram. Your post looked absolutely scrumptious and I decided to try yours out and it was nothing short of amazing! I am sticking to yours from now onwards, thank you!
So glad you stumbled upon my recipe! And even happier you loved it!
What if I only have regular yeast and not instant yeast? Also, can I sub Bobs gluten free flour??
For the yeast, when you combine it with the milk in step 1, let the yeast/milk mixture sit for 5-10 minutes to allow the regular yeast to bloom. It should get foamy and smell yeasty. Then you can proceed with the rest of the steps.
Technically you should be able to substitute the regular flour for Bob's 1:1 GF Baking flour. I've never done it, but the package says you can replace it one-for-one with regular flour and I've done so in other recipes. Good luck and enjoy!
Can this be made gluten free with Bobs GF flour? What do I need to adjust if I only have regular yeast?
Yes, you should be able to replace the flour cup-for-cup with Bob's GF baking flour. If you have regular yeast instead of instant, when you add the yeast to the milk in step 1, allow the mixture to rest for 5-10 minutes to allow the yeast to bloom (it'll get foamy and smell yeasty) then you can proceed with the rest of the steps. Enjoy!
Wiyld live to see some GF recipes, please
awesome! I will definitely share more. I have some on my site already - I will file them under REcipes/Gluten-free going forward. For now, if you search 'gluten-free' on my blog you'll be able to find a few.
Do you think I could use almond milk instead or regular milk?
yes that should work!
First time baking anything with yeast. Your directions were spot on for this beginner!
How wonderful, Lisa! Hope you enjoyed every last morsel.
Can I sub almond milk for the regular milk?
Yes, that should work just fine!
If i will make half the quantity , how can the egg be divided
Here's a little trick for halving the egg - crack it into a small measuring cup, beat it lightly with a fork and measure half the amount into your recipe. Good luck and enjoy!
I give this recipe 5 ⭐️
These were sooooo good!
I only had normal yeast so used that and left dough in the fridge overnight. Not enough rise so I turned oven on and then off and put dough in and had a nice rise within 10mins.
Had no cream cheese so just topped with a glacé icing whilst they were warm.
Make these they are amazing!
Thank you so much for baking and sharing how you made these - super helpful!
Hey there! I know you posted this a while ago, but I'm hoping you are still reading comments! I have made these over and over again- they are incredible! I typically make them for other people, but I made a tray today and I think I've had 4..... I need to go to sleep before I try to get another!
Anyway- my question- the FIRST time I made these, they rolled out perfectly. Nothing was hard about rolling it together into the cinnamon roll shape, either... they were my neatest rolls ever! But now, at least 10 batches later, the dough is really difficult to roll up. I can't tell if it's my flour on my my table, temperature, humidity..... I've seen other recipes say to stick the dough in the fridge...help if you can!
Hi Carrie! It could be all of those things, to be honest! As the seasons change and the temperature and humidity change, dough reacts differently. You could certainly chill the dough - that will definitely make it easier to roll if it's too warm or humid in your kitchen. You can try chilling the dough an hour, a few hours or overnight. I hope that helps!
Can you use bread flour instead of all purpose?