Oliver’s Amazing Cinnamon Rolls

About every day that goes by I wonder how I got so lucky to find me a man that wants to bake me cinnamon rolls. I’m very grateful . I’m the savory cook in the house and he’s the baker. We make a good team .

How this whole thing started was basically the day we were in California together and I asked Oliver , my Fiance if he wanted Cinnabon …he proceeded to ask me what that was and I was in shock . I grew up on Cinnabon . Its the cutest little cinnamon roll cafe that makes the worlds best cinnamon rolls. And if you haven’t had one, then I’m glad you’re here . You cannot live your life without at least trying cinnamon rolls. They’re magical.

Now that he’s addicted and we moved to the UK where there isn’t any Cinnabon shops around , he decided to look up recipes and practice making his own . His recipe combines multiple different ones and some trial and error . But here’s the one that created the most perfect , delicious sticky , cinnamon-y rolls of heaven .

overhead view of the ingredients in this Best Cinnamon Rolls Recipe (Better than Cinnabon)

This is the Best Homemade Cinnamon Rolls Recipe EVER! These gooey cinnamon rolls are even better than Cinnabon cinnamon rolls, and are topped with the best cream cheese frosting! They’re easy to make and can be prepared the day before and left to rise overnight in the refrigerator.  

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes 
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes 
  • Rising time: 2 hours 
  • Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes 
  • Servings : 12 

Equipment

**the below equipment is clickable for you to shop directly

Ingredients

Cinnamon Roll Dough:

Cinnamon Sugar Filling:

Cream Cheese Frosting:

Instructions

Make the Cinnamon Roll Dough:

  • Warm milk in the microwave milk for 45-60 seconds. It should be warm but not hot to the touch (about 105 degrees F).
  • Place milk into the bowl of your standing mixer, then add 1 TBS sugar and 1 TBS yeast to the warm milk. Stir and let it sit (proof) for five minutes or until it becomes foamy.
  • Add the ½ cup sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla to the mixture in the bowl of your standing mixer. Use a dough hook to stir until combined
  • Add 4 cups flour, salt and cinnamon and stir the dough hook, starting on low and increasing to high.
  • Knead dough in the standing mixer until a large ball is formed. The dough should be smooth and only slightly tacky to the touch. If the dough seems too sticky and is not forming a ball, add more flour 1 TBS at a time until a smooth ball is formed.
  • Transfer dough to a floured surface and knead with your hands until it is smooth and elastic (about 3-5 minutes). Form it into a ball.
  • Grease a large bowl and place the dough inside.
  • Cover the bowl with a warm, damp towel and put the bowl in a warm place to rise.
  • Let the dough rise in a warm place about 1 hour or until dough has doubled in size.

Make the filling:

  • While the dough is rising, make the filing. In a small bowl, combine butter, brown sugar and cinnamon until mixture is homogenous (uniform throughout). Set aside.
  • Alternately, you can combine the cinnamon and sugar. Then melt the butter and brush it on the rolled dough, then sprinkle the cinnamon sugar on the butter-brushed dough. (I think this way is easier)!
  • Assemble Cinnamon Rolls
  • Sprinkle a large work surface with flour.
  • Gently press the gas out of the dough and form it into a rectangle.
  • Roll the dough into a 24×12” rectangle, about 1/4 inch thick.
  • Spread the filling all over the dough using greased hands or a greased spatula. This process can seem difficult but it gets easier as you spread it. (Alternately: if you only combined the cinnamon and sugar, then melt the butter and use a pastry brush to spread the melted butter all over the dough. Then sprinkle the dough with cinnamon sugar and pat it down gently to insure it sticks).
  • Roll up dough cut into 12 equal sized rolls (feel free to measure and cut each roll to be 2” long).
  • Line a 9×13 inch glass baking dish with parchment paper and lightly grease. Then place rolls in 4 rows of three, evenly spaced.
  • Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
  • Bake Cinnamon Rolls
  • Once rolls are doubled in size, bake them in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 18-20 minutes. They will rise more in the oven. (NOTE: Check the center cinnamon rolls and make sure they are baked through. If your oven bakes cool or unevenly you may need to increase the baking time up to 10 minutes longer. If the top starts to brown before the center is baked, tent the baking pan with foil to prevent further browning).

Make the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • While rolls are baking, beat together cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Do NOT chill the frosting. Keep it at room temperature until the cinnamon rolls are baked.
  • Once the cinnamon rolls have bene removed from the oven, spread the cream cheese frosting on them while they are still warm.
  • Cool & Serve!
  • Let cool and serve warm.
MAKING THE CINNAMON ROLLS

STEP 1: MIX THE HOMEMADE CINNAMON ROLL DOUGH 

Just like any yeast dough, start by proofing the yeast until it is foamy. Then add the rest of the wet ingredients stir until they are just combined.

Finally add the dry ingredients and carefully knead the dough until a firm, but slightly tacky ball is formed. Start with only 4 cups of flour, and add more as needed.

USING A STANDING MIXER:

I recommend using a standing mixer fitted with the dough hook to make the dough for these best cinnamon rolls. My only recommendation is to add a about 1/3 of the dry ingredients at a time, mixing after each addition, to avoid making a floury mess!

Mixing the dough by hand: 

Mixing the dough by hand is also very easy to do! The only difference will be that mixing the cinnamon roll dough by hand requires more kneading by hand than using the standing mixer.

collage of an overhead view of the first three steps in making the dough for this Best Cinnamon Rolls Recipe (Better than Cinnabon)

STEP 2: KNEAD THE HOMEMADE CINNAMON ROLL DOUGH

Once a firm but slightly tacky dough ball has formed in the standing mixer (as pictured below), turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead by hand, adding more flour if necessary.

Knead the dough for 2-5 minutes, or until it is smooth and elastic, but still a little sticky.

overhead view of the dough for this Best Cinnamon Rolls Recipe (Better than Cinnabon) in the bowl of the standing mixer after it has been kneaded

STEP 3: LET THE BEST CINNAMON ROLL DOUGH RISE FOR THE FIRST TIME

Once the dough is smooth and elastic, place it in a lightly greased bowl to rise. I recommend covering it with a warm, damp towel and putting the bowl in a warm place to rise (for about 1 hour).

HOW DO YOU MAKE DOUGH RISE FASTER?

To help the homemade cinnamon roll dough rise faster simply boil some water and put it in a bowl or measuring dish next to the bread that’s rising.

Cover the bread AND the vessel containing the boiling water with a damp towel and let the magic happen! This creates a warm, moist environment that yeast loves. 

I also recommend putting the dough/boiling water/damp cloth apparatus in your oven with the lights turned on. This creates a warm moist environment that the yeast loves, which speeds up the rising process.

two overhead photos of the Best Cinnamon Rolls Recipe dough in a bowl, one before the dough has risen and one after.

STEP 4: MAKE THE CINNAMON SUGAR FILLING

While the homemade cinnamon roll dough is rising, make the cinnamon sugar filling. This is very easy to do, however there are two different methods I would like to discuss…

THERE ARE TWO WAYS TO MAKE THE CINNAMON SUGAR FILLING:

  1. Combine all ingredients and then spread onto the dough. For this method, add softened butter, brown sugar and cinnamon to a medium-sized bowl and combine with a fork until the mixture in homogenous. Then spread this mixture on the dough with your hands and a greased spatula.
  2. Combine dry ingredients, but melt butter and brush it on the dough. For this method, combine the cinnamon and sugar in a bowl and mix well. Then, melt the butter and use a pastry brush to brush it on the rolled out dough. Next, sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over the melted butter and roll it out.

The second method is easier (in my opinion), because spreading the butter/brown sugar/cinnamon mixture is a touch difficult. However the first method (mixing all the ingredients together) is my preferred method.

I prefer this method because the filling doesn’t leak to the bottom of the pan (and out of the cinnamon rolls) as much it does with method #2. There is virtually no filling leakage when all the ingredients are combined and spread onto the dough, but there is some leakage with the melted butter method.

two photos showing the steps in making the cinnamon sugar filling for this best cinnamon rolls recipe

STEP 5: FORM THE BEST CINNAMON ROLLS DOUGH INTO A RECTANGLE

After the dough has risen, press it down to release the air from it and form it into a rectangle. This step is important because it makes it easier to roll the dough into the desired shape (which is a large rectangle)!

Place the dough rectangle onto a well-floured surface and you are all ready for the next step….

overhead view of the Best Cinnamon Rolls Recipe dough formed into a rectangle before rolling it out

STEP 6: ROLL OUT THE CINNAMON ROLL DOUGH INTO A LARGE RECTANGLE

Next, roll the cinnamon roll dough rectangle into a 24×12” rectangle that is about 1/4″ thick. This dough is so easy to work with that this step should be very easy!

If you find the dough is sticking to the rolling surface, add a light dusting of flour!

I use this marble rolling pin in every recipe that requires rolling and I absolutely love it. The weight is perfect to get a nice even roll, especially for yeasted dough.

front view of the dough for this Best Cinnamon Rolls Recipe being rolled out with a marble rolling pin

STEP 7: ADD THE CINNAMON SUGAR FILLING

Once the dough has been rolled out into the desired shape and size, add the cinnamon sugar filling. As I mentioned above, spreading the filling can be a little tricky, but here are a few tips to make it easier:

  • Start by sprinkling most (but not all) of the filling evenly over the dough. It will look like there isn’t enough, but do not worry there definitely is.
  • Take a greased spatula and spread the filling evenly over the dough. While this cinnamon roll dough is hearty, you still need to be careful not to tear it while you are spreading the filling.
  • Add the rest of the filling where needed, and spread until it’s evenly distributed.
front view of a hand sprinkling the cinnamon sugar filling onto the rolled out dough for this best cinnamon rolls recipe

When the filling is evenly spread, it will look like the photo below. Be sure to leave a 1/4″ border around the edges without filling so that it doesn’t leak during baking. 

overhead view of the cinnamon sugar filling evenly spread out onto the rolled out dough for this best cinnamon rolls recipe

STEP 8: ROLL UP THE CINNAMON ROLL DOUGH 

It is very important to get a tight roll on the dough. I recommend pulling the dough towards you and gently pressing down as you roll it.

Front view of the best cinnamon rolls recipe dough being rolled up (halfway through the process)

Once you have finished tightly rolling the best cinnamon roll dough, it should look like the photo below. Be sure to pinch together the dough where the end meets the roll, to prevent the filling from leaking.

front view of the best cinnamon rolls recipe dough and filling all rolled up and ready to be cut

STEP 9: CUT THE CINNAMON ROLL DOUGH INTO 12 PIECES

Now it’s time to cut these homemade cinnamon rolls into individual pieces. I recommend using a very sharp knife or even a string to cut them, to avoid smushing the rolls and ruining the swirl.

MEASURE BEFORE CUTTING! 

highly recommend that you do not eyeball the cutting process. Instead, measure the length of the dough roll (which should be 24″ long) and divide it by 12 to determine how long each cinnamon roll should be.

Then, use your knife to make marks at the places you will cut (in the case of a 24″ roll that would be every 2 inches). After you have marked out all of your cuts, then use either a knife or string to cut the rolls.

overhead view of 3 best cinnamon rolls recipe cut off of the rolled up dough before being placed in the baking dish to rise

STEP 10: PLACE CUT ROLLS INTO A 9×13″ BAKING DISH

Arrange the cinnamon rolls into four rows of three in a 9×13″ baking dish. They will rise and touch each other, but this is a good thing (as I will discuss later)!

I recommend lining the baking sheet with parchment paper to prevent the cinnamon rolls from sticking to the pan.

front/overhead view of 12 best cinnamon rolls in a baking sheet lined with parchment paper before the second rise

STEP 11: COVER THE BEST CINNAMON ROLLS AND LET THEM RISE

Once the homemade cinnamon rolls are arranged in the baking sheet, cover them with a warm damp towel and let them rise until doubled in size. Be very careful not to let the towel touch the tops of the cinnamon rolls.

During this rise, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F so the oven is ready to go once the dough has risen (which takes between 30 and 60 minutes). 

Overhead view of the best cinnamon rolls recipe in a baking pan after the dough has risen before baking

STEP 12: BAKE THE RISEN HOMEMADE CINNAMON ROLLS

After the rolls have doubled in size, it’s time to put them in that oven and bake! Something important to note is that this cinnamon rolls recipe will rise more in the oven. So do not be surprised if you see the rolls start to puff up even more as they bake, that is normal and good.

WHAT TEMPERATURE DO YOU BAKE CINNAMON ROLLS?

This homemade cinnamon roll recipe bakes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (which is about 177 degrees Celsius). Please do not try to rush the baking process by increasing the temperature. It is important to the final rising process that these rolls bake at 350 degrees F!

HOW LONG DO YOU BAKE HOMEMADE CINNAMON ROLLS?

Bake this homemade cinnamon roll recipe for 18-20 minutes. You will know the rolls are done when…

  1. they are golden brown on top
  2. they sound hollow when gently hit with a wooden spoon.
  3. the outside of the rolls feel firm (and not doughy) to the touch.

Below is a great photo showing how the rolls looked after they have finished baking.

front view of two hands hold a pan of the best cinnamon rolls recipe right after the have been removed from the oven after baking before frosting

STEP 13: MAKE THE CREAM CHEESE ICING

Here are a few tips for making the cream cheese icing for this Cinnabon cinnamon roll recipe:

  • Use room temperature ingredients. It is critical that the cream cheese and butter have completely reached room temperature and are softened before trying to combine them. Cold ingredients will be much harder to beat together.
  • Thoroughly beat the cream cheese and butter before adding other ingredients. Do this to ensure there are no lumps in your cream cheese frosting. You can use a standing mixer or a hand mixer.
  • Add vanilla and beat again. After adding vanilla, be sure to beat the mixture again until it’s well combined.
two photos showing the first two steps in making the icing for this best cinnamon rolls recipe
  • Carefully add the powdered sugar. I recommend adding half at a time and beating the frosting after each addition. This way you won’t make a big powdered-sugary mess!
front view of a hand adding powdered sugar to this cream cheese frosting for this best cinnamon rolls recipe
  • Finally, beat the cream cheese icing until silky smooth. Make sure to fully incorporate the powdered sugar so there are no lumps! Again, you can either use a standing mixer or a hand mixer!
  • Keep the cream cheese frosting at room temperature. The frosting incorporates into this cinnamon rolls recipe the best when it is at room temperature. If you are making the rolls right away, do not refrigerate the frosting.
    • if you are making the recipe the night before to bake in the morning, simply remove the cream cheese frosting from the refrigerator and place it on the counter to come to room temperature as the cinnamon rolls rise and bake.

As you can see below, the result is an irresistibly creamy and delicious cream cheese icing that truly makes this the best cinnamon rolls recipe EVER!

overhead view of a bowl of cream cheese frosting to be used on this best cinnamon rolls recipe

STEP 14: FROST THE HOMEMADE CINNAMON ROLLS 

Frost the cinnamon rolls as soon as you remove them from the oven. I cannot stress this enough! Adding the cream cheese frosting to the warm cinnamon rolls is one of the factors that makes this cinnamon roll recipe SO GREAT.

Frosting the cinnamon rolls when they are warm causes the icing to melt into the cracks of the rolls, making every bite full of gooey, frosted deliciousness.

front view of this cinnamon roll recipe being frosted with cream cheese frosting.

STEP 15: SERVE WARM!

Finally, it is time to dig in and enjoy these homemade cinnamon rolls! I recommend letting them cool for 10 or so minutes before serving. But eating them warm is definitely the best way to enjoy them!

overhead view of this cinnamon roll recipe baked with only one cinnamon roll frosted

This recipe and these images are from Joy Food Sunshine , Oliver tried a few and this is hands down our favourite . It really is incredible . Make sure to follow them !

Naila in Vogue

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