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.
made in 1 hour!
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.
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.
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!!
- 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.
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.
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.
For more cinnamon treats, check out:
- Cinnamon Roll Cake
- Mini Cinnamon Rolls
- Tropical Cinnamon Rolls
- Cinnamon Roll Waffles
- Nutella Cinnamon Rolls
- Sticky Walnut Buns
Easy Cinnamon Rolls Recipe
- ⅔ cup sugar
- ⅔ cup packed brown sugar
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter melted
- 3 tbsp ground cinnamon
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or In a large bowl with a wooden spoon, mix warm water, buttermilk, melted butter, sugar and yeast. Allow to sit for 15 minutes.
- Add eggs and salt, then mix in flour one cup at a time. Mix for 5 minutes, then allow to rest for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare your filling. Mix sugar, brown sugar, melted butter and cinnamon together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a large baking dish or jelly roll pan (or a 9-x-13-inch baking dish if you are fine with your rolls touching).
- On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 12-x-16-inch rectangle. Spread the filling over the surface of the dough, leaving a ½ inch border all around. Roll the dough into a log starting at the long edge, making sure the seam is on the bottom.
- Use a long piece of unflavored dental floss or sewing thread to cut the roll into 12 large rolls or 18 smaller rolls. Gently place the floss under the spot you wish to cut, then bring the floss up, cross it over the top and pull the ends so it slices right through the dough.
- Place rolls cut side up in the prepared pan. Bake for 17–20 minutes.
- While rolls are baking, mix all frosting ingredients together in a large bowl, starting with 3 tablespoons milk and adding more as needed to reach a spreadable consistency.
- When rolls come out of the oven, immediately spread a layer of frosting on warm rolls. Add another layer of frosting once cooler.
Recipe adapted from Your Homebased Mom.