These easy homemade cinnamon rolls are satisfying in every way. They are filled with cinnamon and brown sugar, they are super soft and tender, and the cream cheese icing is so creamy and silky. This recipe can easily be doubled too!
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The idea for this recipe was to make a small batch so that if you have a small family, you don’t have to make a huge pan. But if you need to make them for brunch or Christmas morning to feed family, double the recipe to make a dozen. You might also like these orange rolls for a special occasion.
The Quickest Way to Make Cinnamon Rolls
When I developed this recipe, the idea was to make something quick and easy for you to make at home. Because life is busy and taking a few hours to make cinnamon rolls is too cumbersome sometimes!
This recipe takes right around 90 minutes, plus 15 minutes to cool before putting on the icing. And if you are super impatient though, you can skip the 15 minute resting time and put the icing on right away!
These cinnamon rolls are quick because of the method we use to make the dough. To activate the yeast and help it to raise quickly, use VERY hot milk and water. Cold water is best used in bread recipes that need a long proofing time or if the dough is going in the fridge for a slow raise overnight.
Cinnamon Roll Filling Recipe
The cinnamon roll filling recipe is super easy and straight forward, but I would say it is one of the most important parts since it is what brings so much flavor to these pastries.
To make the filing, we combine 2 tablespoons of cinnamon with softened butter, brown sugar, and vanilla. This forms a paste that you will spread over the rolled dough.
As a note, too much cinnamon can be uncomfortable to the palette. Have you ever tasted cinnamon plain?
It has a super strong flavor and can almost leave a burning sensation on the tongue. Of course, you could always add an extra teaspoon or two of cinnamon to the filling if 2 tablespoons isn’t enough for you. ‘
Just remember that the balance of flavor is already super on point, so you shouldn’t need to change it unless you just have to have more cinnamon!
Tips for Rolling the Dough into a Perfect Rectangle
Rolling the dough is probably the most intimidating part of making cinnamon rolls. To make it as easy as possible, follow these simple tips.
- Lightly flour your work surface so that the dough doesn’t stick. Flour the rolling pin as well.
- Have a ruler handy so that you can measure the dough as you go. The dough should be rolled out to a 12 x 18 inch rectangle.
- Spread the cinnamon roll filling with a spatula or your hands. I always use my hands even though it’s messy. I just find that my hands are my best tools sometimes!
- To roll the dough, start with the 12 inch short end and roll it along the 18 inches until it is a cinnamon roll log.
- Cut the log into 2 inch slices so that there are 6 rolls. It is easiest to use a serrated knife so that you don’t have to press on the dough as the knife cuts.
- Allow the rolls to raise in your baking dish for 45 minutes, and then baked for around 25 minutes.
- Let the rolls cool for 15 minutes before icing them, otherwise the icing will melt.
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 2 1/2 tsp instant yeast
- 2 Tbs granulated sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 3/4 cup milk, very hot
- 1/2 cup + 1 Tbs water, very hot
- 5 Tbs unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 2 Tbs cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
Cream Cheese Icing
- 2 Tbs unsalted butter, softened
- 3 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- pinch of salt
For the Dough
- Combine all dry ingredients and egg yolk in mixer fitted with a dough hook.
- Heat milk and water in microwave for one minute or until very hot. It doesn’t need to boil, but it should be very hot to the touch.
- Turn mixer onto medium speed and pour liquid into mixer. If dough still seems dry, add a little more water until dough seems just slightly sticky and soft.
- Mix dough on medium-high speed for 5 minutes.
- Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead a few times to bring dough into a smooth ball. Shape dough into a rectangle and beginning rolling with a floured rolling pin.
- Roll the dough into a 12 x 18 inch rectangle.
For the Cinnamon Roll Filling
- Stir softened butter, brown sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon together in a bowl. Mix with hands or with a hand mixer if ingredients aren’t coming together with a spoon.
- Spread filling over the 12 x 18 rectangle, leaving a 1/2 inch border of dough on all sides.
- Starting with the short end(12 inch end), roll the dough evenly until you have a cinnamon roll log. This means that the log will be 12 inches long, not 18 inches.
- Cut the log into 2 inch slices with a serrated knife so that there are 6 cinnamon rolls.
- Line an 8 x 11 inch pan (or 9×9 or 9 -10 inch cake pan) with parchment if desired. If you aren’t using parchment, spray pan lightly with nonstick spray.
- Place rolls in pan and cover with a towel. Let rolls raise for 45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees, uncover rolls, and bake for 20-25 minutes. Rolls will be golden brown on top with finished.
- Let rolls cool in pan for 15 minutes and prepare the cream cheese icing.
For the Cream Cheese Icing
- Cream softened butter and cream cheese together with a hand mixer. Add vanilla and pinch of salt and mix.
- Add powdered sugar and beat on high speed for 2-3 minutes to incorporate air into the icing so it is lighter.
- Spread icing over cinnamon rolls and enjoy! Refrigerate leftover cinnamon rolls if there are any. Warm cinnamon rolls in the microwave for 15-20 seconds if they have been in the fridge.
This is a Baker Street Society original recipe.
Keywords: easy homemade cinnamon rolls, cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing