Easy Cinnamon Rolls

These Easy Cinnamon Rolls are smothered with homemade cream cheese frosting. They’re super soft, gooey and quick—made in just one hour!

Easy Cinnamon Rolls are made all year long, but they’re especially great for the holidays. Whether you make them for breakfast or brunch, this recipe will be well-loved, just like our mini cinnamon rolls and cinnamon roll cake.

Close up of frosted Easy Cinnamon Rolls in a pan.

made in 1 hour!

My entire family is OBSESSED with homemade Cinnamon Rolls (trust me – we have recipes on the site for Cinnamon Roll Cake, Cinnamon Roll Waffles – the list goes on and on!)

My mom has been making them for as long as I can remember. Recently, she decided to try a quicker version that’s perfect for beginners.

She tried Easy Cinnamon Rolls while we were visiting for the holidays and the ENTIRE family LOVED it. The rolls were soft and sweet and tasted just as good as her regular version, BUT – they were made in an hour!

We added a little more butter and sugar (can’t go wrong with more butter and sugar, right?!). We also added some cream cheese to the frosting and baked at a lower heat for more time.

The result was amazing and you better believe we’ll be making these again!

Cinnamon roll vs. a Sticky Cinnamon Bun

Although similar, there is a difference between the two!

Sticky buns. Sticky buns are inverted which means once baked the pan is flipped over and to let the buns fall out. The bottom of the buns become the top. Sticky buns are topped with a white frosting, caramel and pecans.

Cinnamon rolls. Whereas cinnamon rolls are served right side up and topped with a sugar glaze or cream cheese frosting and often include raisins and chopped pecans. 

How to Make One Hour Cinnamon Roll process pics.

Cinnamon Roll Ingredient TIPS

Active Dry Yeast. Normally active dry yeast is bloomed in warm water and sugar before adding it to the other ingredients. In this recipe, the active dry yeast is added to a mixture of warm water (105-110°F), room temperature buttermilk, sugar and melted butter.

It is very important the ingredients are at the proper temperature so that the yeast can work its magic. Let it sit for 15 minutes and you should see the yeast blooming. You can also use instant yeast in this recipe without changing any of the instructions.

Also, make sure your Active dry yeast is fresh. When yeast is old, it doesn’t work as well and your cinnamon rolls won’t turn out as light and fluffy.

Homemade Bread Flour. To make your own bread flour, all you need is some all purpose flour and wheat gluten. In a 1 cup measuring cup add 1 ½ teaspoons of vital wheat gluten then fill the measuring cup the rest of the way up with all purpose flour. Sift the contents of the cup together. 

The wheat gluten aids in a softer and chewier texture.

Buttermilk. To make a cup of buttermilk add 1 tbsp of vinegar to a 1 cup measuring cup. Then, fill it the rest of the way with milk. Finally, let it sit for 5-10 minutes before using it in your recipe. 

Easy Cinnamon Rolls Recipe sliced and proofing on a sheet pan.

How to Make easy Cinnamon Rolls

If you haven’t had a ton of experience with yeast – do not fret! I, myself, have only started baking with yeast a few years ago and although intimidating, it’s fairly easy to use.

MIX. In a large bowl, or bowl of a stand mixer, stir together water, buttermilk, sugar, melted butter and yeast. Allow to sit for 15 minutes.

REST. Add in salt, eggs and flour (for flour, be sure to spoon in and top off and start with 4.5 cups – you want the dough to be sticky). Mix for 10 minutes and allow to rest for 10 minutes.

FILLING. Prepare your filling by mixing together melted butter, brown sugar, sugar and cinnamon. Set aside the cinnamon sugar mixture.

ROLL OUT. On a floured surface, roll dough into a 12 x 16 inch rectangle using a rolling pin. Spread your filling over the top and roll it up.

BAKE. Cut into 12 large rolls (or 18 smaller rolls). Place rolls in a large, greased baking dish or jelly roll pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

FROSTING. While baking, mix together the frosting ingredients in a small bowl. Spread a layer on top of the cinnamon rolls while they’re warm, and then spread another layer of frosting once they have cooled. ENJOY!

We love how simple this recipe is! They seriously make the best cinnamon rolls!!

Variations

  • Sprinkle raisins or chopped nuts, like walnuts or pecans, on to the brown sugar mixture before you roll the dough to be cut.
  • Use a simple powdered sugar glaze on top.
  • Use your favorite frosting. Maple and vanilla frosting both taste great.
Cream cheese frosting whipped up in a white bowl.

Quick Cinnamon RollS FAQ

For some reason, many tend to think that cinnamon rolls are intimidating. I used to think so myself, but now I’ve realized just how easy they are to make – especially using this recipe. Here are some notes, tips, and FAQs to help you in making these.

No Proofing: You’ll notice the reason that this cinnamon roll recipe takes a fraction of the time is because the dough doesn’t need hours to rise. The dough rises a bit in the oven and they come out fluffy and delicious. 

Best way to cut the dough: You can use a serrated bread knife to gently saw through the dough, but even that can cause the slices to squish and pinch together.

The best way to cut the dough is to use a long piece of unflavored dental floss or sewing thread. Gently place the floss under the spot you wish to cut. Bring the floss up, cross it over the top then pull the ends so it slices right through the dough.  

Make gooey cinnamon rolls. We added more filling to this recipe to make it more gooey (if you want it less gooey, change the brown sugar and sugar to ½ cup each).

We also include lots of frosting, which helps make them super gooey! If you like less frosting, you can change amounts to: ⅓ cup butter, 2 cups powdered sugar, 3 oz. cream cheese, 1 teaspoon vanilla and milk. 😉

Best flour to use. All-Purpose flour works well for this recipe, but bread flour works best. It makes the rolls super soft which adds to the gooey-ness and delicious-ness that we love so much in this recipe.

storing info

STORE. Place cinnamon rolls on a plate and cover tightly with plastic wrap or foil, or place in an airtight container. They should keep at room temperature for 2-3 days.

FREEZE. Freeze rolls unfrosted or frosted. Wrap the pan, or individual rolls, with plastic wrap and again with aluminum foil and put in the freezer. Let them thaw overnight and warm them in the oven for a few minutes.

Sheet pan filled with frosted Easy Cinnamon Rolls.

For more cinnamon treats, check out:

Easy Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

4.91 from 90 votes
One hour Cinnamon Rolls are smothered with homemade cream cheese frosting. They're super soft, gooey and quick!
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 12
Calories 587 kcal
Author Lil’ Luna

Ingredients

Dough:

  • 1 cup water warm
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk room temp
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter melted
  • 3 tbsp active dry yeast
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 4.5 – 5.5 cups bread flour

Filling:

Frosting:

Instructions
 

  • In a bowl, mix together water, buttermilk, sugar, melted butter and yeast. Allow to sit for 15 minutes..
  • Add in salt, eggs and flour (for flour, be sure to spoon in and top off and start with 4.5 cups – you want the dough to be sticky). Mix for 10 minutes and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
  • Prepare your filling by mixing together melted butter, brown sugar, sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
  • On a floured surface, roll dough into a 12 x 16 inch rectangle.
  • Spread your filling over the top and roll up. Cut into 12 large rolls (or 18 smaller rolls).
  • Place rolls in a large, greased baking dish or jelly roll pan.
  • Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes.
  • While baking, mix together your frosting ingredients. Spread on warm rolls. Add another layer of frosting once cool.

Video

Recipe adapted from Your Homebased Mom.

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About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Comments:

  1. 5 stars
    I just made these 1 hour connimon rolls and they are delicious! It was a bit of trouble, but worth it t.

    1. Yay! I’m glad to hear you enjoyed the cinnamon rolls. Homemade is usually always worth the effort, right? 😉 Thanks for trying them!

  2. I just spent a lot of time making these rolls today. I’ve never made cinnamon rolls but I have made bread and it didn’t seem right to me that they weren’t allowed to raise before they were put in the oven and my instinct was correct. The rolls didn’t raise and I wasted a lot of time and money because they aren’t fit to eat☹️

    1. Sorry to hear you had trouble with the cinnamon rolls. Was your yeast fresh? Was the water temperature too hot or too cold? Sometimes that can kill the yeast and cause it to not rise. There are lots of different factors that can play into dough rising well or not. We haven’t had any trouble with them rising in this recipe (especially when following the directions to sit for certain periods of time). But I’m sorry to hear yours didn’t. That is frustrating. Thanks for giving the recipe a try!

  3. 5 stars
    First off, these cinnamon rolls are the bomb! As promised, they are light and fluffy and done in an hour(give or take) and just come together super easily. And it makes 12 huge rolls! I cooked 9 in a 9×13 and 3 in a round 9 inch pan! However,not being a novice to making cinnamon rolls,I wanted to give my input as others asked some of my same questions(as I was making them),in their reviews.
    I followed the directions 95% having to make a few modifications.
    I did use rapid rise yeast( yes, all 3 tbsps, and as some asked they were not yeasty tasting at all!) It was what I had and just reduced each time you let the dough “rest” by a minute or two.
    I did my kneading in my kitchenaid and let it do its thing for about 7 or 8 minutes instead of 10.
    Only other thing I changed was my filling. My preference is softened butter,not melted, and I made up all the cinnamon and sugar it called for but used about 2/3rds of it. More than that and its just spilling out all over and hard to roll up the dough. Oh and we add mini chocolate chips to the filling too.
    My husband and kids were all super excited and said this recipe is definitely a keeper!!! Happy baking!!!

    1. Thank you so much for your feedback!! So helpful for many readers I’m sure. I’m also so happy to hear that the cinnamon rolls were a hit! The addition of the mini chocolate chips sound tasty. Thanks for giving the recipe a try!

  4. 5 stars
    I never realized homemade cinnamon rolls were so easy until I saw these a while back. My husband thanks you. 😂😂

  5. 4 stars
    For one hour cinnamon rolls these are fantastic! Especially when you’re in a hurry!
    I am an avid faker and will make the full all day long cinnamon rolls when I have the time but if I don’t this is the recipe I use.

  6. 5 stars
    Thank you! This recipe and some yeast from a friend saved our Christmas breakfast. I thought my husband had bought our usual frozen, rose and bake ones. 😮(I’ve never made them from scratch) 😮😮I know! I’m just not a baker, but these were so easy and done so quickly. They were so yummy!

    1. YAY!! I’m so glad they were there to save the day and you all enjoyed. Way to give homemade cinnamon rolls a try too!

    1. Yes you can. I’d suggest making the rolls through step 6. Then wrap the pan with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge overnight so that they don’t rise too much. Then in the morning when ready to bake, let them sit out as the oven warms up and bake as recipe indicates. Should still turn out amazing!!

  7. Made this for Easter brunch the night before, stored in fridge overnight & baked the next morning after I let it sit out at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. Came out great! I didn’t have buttermilk so used whole milk with a little less than a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. I was pressed for time the night before, but think letting my dough chill in the fridge for 20 minutes prior to rolling out the dough might have been helpful, but everything turned out OK despite the middle section of my log being fuller than the ends. The frosting covers up your imperfections which is helpful! Thank you for this amazing recipe! Everyone loved them 💗

    1. Thanks so much for sharing your experience making these. And I’m so happy to hear that the rolls turned out delicious and were a hit! Hooray!

    1. That is such a cute video! I’m so glad you enjoy the cinnamon roll recipes. They looked amazing!!

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