Home > Breakfast > Homemade Cinnamon Rolls Homemade Cinnamon Rolls March 17, 2019 | 41 Comments SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Jump to Recipe This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy. Delicious & gooey homemade cinnamon rolls with step-by-step photos, detailed instructions, and all my top tips for perfect cinnamon rolls every single time. Create the ultimate breakfast or brunch by serving these cinnamon rolls alongside these breakfast potatoes and this strawberry smoothie! Homemade cinnamon rolls If you ask my toddler what his favorite thing to eat is he won’t hesitate at all with yelling “CINNAMON ROLLS!” He loves them! Because of this, we make a lot of cinnamon rolls at our house, and subsequently do a LOT of testing:) The result of all that testing? This delicious cinnamon roll recipe that just might change what YOUR favorite thing to eat is… I’ve included step-by-step photos and very detailed instructions below, so you can make these — even if you don’t have much baking experience. If you get a chance to try these let me know what you thought in the comment section below! How to make these cinnamon rolls Step One: warm milk and proof yeast Warm the milk to exactly 100 degrees and remove it from the stove top (I use a thermometer for exactness) Next we proof the yeast, which means that we activate it. To do this, add the yeast and sugar on top of the warm milk and let it stand for 5-10 minutes. Do not stir the yeast into the sugar and milk. Step Two: combine butter, vanilla, and egg While the yeast is activating, melt 4 tablespoons of butter and let it cool back to room temperature – it’s important the butter isn’t hot so when it’s added to the egg, the egg doesn’t cook. Whisk together the butter, an egg yolk (reserve or discard the whites), and pure vanilla extract. Step Three: combine the mixtures Before combining the yeast with the butter & egg mixture, you need to ensure the yeast is activated. Activated yeast with have a bubbly foam on the surface, just like the picture below on the left. If you don’t get the foamy yeast you’ll need to start again or you’ll end up with dense homemade cinnamon rolls. The 2 most common reasons for the yeast not activating is old/bad yeast, or the milk was too hot. Once you’ve verified the yeast is activated, whisk together the yeast with the butter & egg mixture (bottom right photo). Step Four: Add-in dry ingredients Add all the dry ingredients to a stand mixer bowl. Mix together, then create an indent in the center of the dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients from step 3 to the indent you created in the dry ingredients (bottom left picture). Mix on low speed with the dough hook until thick and slightly sticky (~2 minutes), scraping down the sides with a spatula as needed. Knead on medium speed until the dough gathers around the hook, (~5-6 minutes). If the dough is not gathering around the hook you can add a small amount of additional flour. You DO want the dough to be slightly sticky and tacky. Resist the urge to add too much additional flour as this will take away from the softness of the dough. Step Five: let the dough rise Gently form the dough into a ball and place in a large greased bowl. Cover. Let rise until doubled; about 45 minutes to 1 hour. PRO TIP: The dough will rise faster in a warm (not hot!) environment. There are a couple ways we do this in our house. My husband will put his rising dough in front of our fireplace on low heat. I like to heat my oven to 170 degrees F, turn it off, add the bowl of dough, and keep the oven open just a crack. Step Six: roll out the dough Lightly flour a clean surface and roll out the dough. Try to get a rectangle shape that is approximately 15 x 12 inches (with the 15 inch side facing you). Avoid overworking the dough. Spread the butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar over the dough. Starting on the long end, tightly roll up the dough in a jelly roll style roll. You should end up with an even-sized cylinder. Cut the cylinder of dough into 12 even slices (use your measuring tape for perfect accuracy!) Step Seven: let the rolls rise Grease a 9 x 13 inch pan and place the cut homemade cinnamon rolls onto the pan. (This 9 x 13 Cake Pan is my favorite pan ever) Cover the rolls and allow them to rise (again in a warm environment for best results) for 20-30 minutes or until nearly double. Once the the rolls have risen, pour warmed heavy cream evenly over the rolls. This makes the cinnamon rolls gooey, delicious, flavorful, and slightly caramelizes all the edges. This tip comes from Tastes of Lizzy T and we don’t make our cinnamon rolls without it now 🙂 Step Eight: bake and glaze Place the cinnamon rolls in the oven and prepare the topping while they’re baking. Once the homemade cinnamon rolls are out of the oven, let them cool for 10-15 minutes before spreading the frosting evenly over the rolls. Enjoy while warm and gooey! Cinnamon Roll FAQS How do you make the best cinnamon rolls? I’ve sprinkled all my tips throughout this post to making the best possible homemade cinnamon rolls, but here are my top tips: Practice: while that might sound silly, the more you make cinnamon rolls the better they get (and I’m saying this from personal experience!). While I do believe you can make an awesome batch of cinnamon rolls by following these directions carefully, you’ll improve the more you make them! Avoid adding too much flour: while the dough might seem too sticky, adding too much additional flour will end up with a denser (less gooey and “light”) cinnamon roll. Are cinnamon rolls healthy? I would definitely categorize cinnamon rolls as a treat:) While I wouldn’t consider them healthy, I think they’re a great treat to have in moderation! How do you make gooey cinnamon rolls? I mention this above, but the two “secrets” to gooey homemade cinnamon rolls are (1) avoid using too much flour in the dough and (2) covering them in heavy cream before baking. Do this and you’ll end up with gooey and fluffy cinnamon rolls! More delicious recipes French Toast (with a 4-ingredient caramel syrup!) Acai Bowl (4 flavors!) Healthy No Bake Cookies Cinnamon Roll Cheesecakes (reader favorite!) The absolute best homemade pancakes with blueberry syrup FOLLOW ALONG! Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates, recipes and content. Homemade Cinnamon Rolls 5 from 11 votes - Review this recipe Delicious & gooey homemade cinnamon rolls with step-by-step photos, detailed instructions, and all my top tips for perfect cinnamon rolls every single time. SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe Homemade Cinnamon Rolls 5 from 11 votes - Review this recipe SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe Delicious & gooey homemade cinnamon rolls with step-by-step photos, detailed instructions, and all my top tips for perfect cinnamon rolls every single time. Course Breakfast, Dessert Cuisine American Keyword Homemade Cinnamon Rolls Prep Time 30 minutes Cook Time 18 minutes Dough Rising 1 hour 15 minutes Total Time 48 minutes Servings 12 large cinnamon rolls Calories 339kcal Author Chelsea IngredientsFor the Dough:1 cup whole milk (I wouldn't recommend a lower fat)2 and 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast (not instant)1/3 cup + 1/2 teaspoon white granulated sugar4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract1 large egg yolk2 and 3/4 cups all-purpose white flour, plus some additional flour as needed3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamonFor the Filling:1/2 cup butter, softened1 cup brown sugar, packed (I like dark, but light works great too)2 tablespoons ground cinnamon1/3 cup heavy cream, slightly warmedFor the Frosting/Glaze4 ounces full fat cream cheese, room temperature1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature1 cup powdered sugar1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste OR 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extractPinch of ground cinnamonPinch of fine sea salt InstructionsMake the Dough:Preheat your oven to 170 degrees F. Heat the milk in a medium pot over low heat until it reaches 100 degrees F. Remove pot from heat and add in the yeast and 1/2 teaspoon sugar. Do not stir. Let sit until foamy, which should take roughly 5-10 minutes. (If the mixture doesn't foam you may need new yeast or you could have killed the yeast with milk that was too hot. Start over or your rolls won't rise).While the yeast is sitting, melt the butter and let it return to room temperature. Once cooled, whisk in the vanilla extract and egg yolk until smooth. Whisk this mixture into the yeast/milk mixture.Using a stand mixer, mix together the flour, the remaining 1/3 cup sugar, the salt and the cinnamon. Once combined, make an indent in the center and pour the yeast mixture into the indent. Mix on low speed with the dough hook until thick and slightly sticky (~2 minutes), scraping down the sides with a spatula as needed. Knead on medium speed until the dough gathers around the hook, (~5-6 minutes). If the dough is not gathering around the hook you can slowly add additional flour (1/4 cup up to 3/4 cup extra). You DO want the dough to be slightly sticky and tacky. Resist the urge to add too much additional flour as this will take away from the softness of the dough, but the dough should gather around the dough hook and be slightly sticky and tacky, but not stick to your fingers.Remove the dough and shape into a ball (it will be a little sticky!). Grease the mixing bowl with cooking spray or butter and return the dough to the bowl, turning to coat with the spray or butter. Cover with plastic wrap or a towel and let rise until doubled. This takes roughly 45 mins to 1.5 hours. Placing the dough in a warm environment will make it rise faster. (I turn off the oven that preheated to 170 degrees, add the bowl of dough into the oven, and crack the oven open a 4-5 inches).Lightly flour a clean surface and roll out the dough. Try to get a rectangle shape that is approximately 15 x 12 inches (with the 15 inch side facing you). Avoid overworking the dough.For the Filling:In a large bowl, combine the 1/2 cup softened butter with the brown sugar and cinnamon. Beat until you have a thick mixture.Use a butter knife or spatula to spread the cinnamon sugar mixture over the entire dough rectangle. Starting on the long side (closest to you), tightly roll up the dough into a jelly roll style roll.Cut the roll of dough into 12 equal slices and place in a greased 9 x 13 ceramic or glass pan (avoid metal pans if possible)Cover the rolls in the pan and allow them to rise until nearly doubled. Again, place in a warm environment to make it raise quicker. About 20-30 minutes.Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Warm the heavy cream for 15-20 seconds in the microwave (you don't want it hot, just not cold/straight from the fridge).Using a pastry brush, brush the heavy cream over the risen rolls and allow it to soak down, in, and around the rolls.Bake cinnamon rolls at 375 degrees F for 17-26 minutes, until the rolls are lightly golden brown at the edges and the center of the rolls are cooked through.For the Frosting/Glaze:While the rolls are cooling, prepare the frosting/glaze. Combine the room temperature cream cheese and butter in a large bowl and beat until smooth and creamy, about 2-3 minutes. Add in the powdered sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Beat until smooth.Allow cinnamon rolls to cool at room temperature for 10-15 minutes and then spread the glaze evenly over the rolls. Enjoy warm! Video Nutrition FactsCalories: 339kcal DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.