Who needs buns of steel when you could have buns of cinnamon? These are the World’s Best Homemade Cinnamon Rolls and once you try them you’ll never go back.

This post is going to be full of pictures, and not much else because who needs stories about Mom bribing us with cinnamon rolls to get us to eat the potato soup which later turned into a tradition? No one, because everyone really just wants the recipe so let’s get on with the world’s best cinnamon rolls. Boom!

a photo of a single cinnamon roll topped with a creamy white frosting sitting on a small dessert plate with a silver fork in the foreground.

Ingredients for Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

This ingredients list might look long at first glance, but several of the items overlap between the three different components and most of the items will be things you already have at home. Here is what you will need:

For the Dough

  • Warm Water: helps activate the yeast, should be between 105° and 115°F
  • Heavy Cream: adds to the squishiness of the rolls, whole can be substituted
  • Instant Yeast: I prefer instant yeast over active dry yeast and would recommend not substituting it.
  • Sugar: feeds the yeast to active it
  • Buttermilk: adds to the fluffiness of the rolls
  • Sea Salt: enhances all the flavors in the cinnamon rolls
  • Eggs: provides structure to the rolls and helps binds all the ingredients
  • Canola Oil: adds a little more fat while helping the cinnamon rolls stay tender
  • Butter: adds richness to the dough
  • All Purpose Flour: provides the structure for rolls
  • Soy Lecithin: and emulsifying agent that helps fat and water stay together that helps create the most perfect rolls, can be omitted if needed but it really makes a difference!

For the Filling

  • Unsalted Butter: don’t melt it, leave it at room temperature
  • Brown Sugar: adds richness and pairs well with cinnamon
  • White Sugar: adds additional sweetness
  • Cinnamon: adds that signature warm flavor to cinnamon rolls
  • Cornstarch: helps keep the filling thick and extra gooey

For the Frosting

  • Cream Cheese: adds a delicious tang to the frosting
  • Unsalted Butter: adds richness to the cream cheese icing
  • Vanilla Extract: adds flavor
  • Corn Syrup: helps the frosting looks glossy
  • Powdered Sugar: adds the sweetness and structure to the frosting

The measurements for each ingredient can be found in the recipe card at the end of the post.

a photo of a baking dish full of golden fluffy homemade cinnamon rolls topped with a thick white sweet glaze.

Tips for the Best Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Alright, first a few tips. Make sure you know and understand what is the difference between instant yeast and dry active yeast.

Number 1: Instant yeast (or bread machine yeast) is best. Don’t substitute. And let it “proof”. That means let it get all foamy. You see, instant yeast works faster, but I’ll let you click our link above to read more about the difference.

Number 2: These babies want to give you fat pants, and that’s ok, so let’s go ahead and add a little heavy cream into the rolls. It will make them squishy, just like our thighs after eating these. You can use whole milk as a substitute if you need to.

Number 3: Soy Lecithin can be skipped if you must but I promise it creates the perfect roll.

And yes, the soy lecithin is like honey but totally gets added straight to the flour. I don’t know why, and I don’t really care as long as these keep turning out bomb.com.

a photo of a pan of golden cinnamon rolls topped with white frosting with one cinnamon roll missing in the front.

How to Make Cinnamon Roll Filling Gooey

Number 4: I don’t melt the butter. My mom didn’t, so I don’t. I actually think it makes for a better filling too. When it’s at room temperature, you can smear it by hand or spatula all over the rolled dough. Press the cinnamon sugar filling into the dough as much as possible which is best done by working fast with the softened butter, even using a spatula if needed to ensure all the butter goes on the dough and isn’t stuck between your fingers.

Number 5: Yes, I do use brown sugar and white sugar, Maeser taught me and he is king of the cinnamon rolls so just do it all Nike style. We have tested recipes for a little over 6 years and while there are some I just plain don’t like, there are others that I think are fantastic. I add cornstarch. It really does make a difference.

a close up photo of perfectly golden baked cinnamon rolls topped with white cream cheese frosting.

How to Make Soft Cinnamon Rolls

Number 6: One thing I’ve learned is to not go tooooo thin when rolling out the dough because the layers end up too weak to hold in the filling and you end up not sinking your teeth into a big ol’ soft bite. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to about 1/4″ thick. I wouldn’t go any thinner than that.

Number 7: Now, this next part is totally up to you. I like our rolls soft, so while you have to be careful not to under bake I prefer to put them close together in a baking pan versus way spread apart so that the sides stay soft. Then I gently press the outer layers down a little so I create a more rounded top and can see all of the cinnamon goodness.

Which makes them turn out like this! Aren’t they beautiful? They really are The World’s Best Cinnamon Rolls!

a photo of a whole of unbaked cinnamon roll dough spiraled with cinnamon and sugar sitting on the counter ready to be sliced into individual rolls.

Number 8: In testing I learned that all brown sugar recipes didn’t get that gooey cinnamon thing going on as well even when flour or cornstarch was added. When we pulled them out of the pan there was never any gooeyness left behind which became a sign to us that the recipe wasn’t just right. These rolls leave a little something in the pan, aka awesomeness.

See how beautiful and soft they turn out? And really, if the saying is true that you are what you eat then you will be beautiful for eating these. #Fatpants and all. 😉

How to Cut Cinnamon Rolls

My preferred method is to use dental floss or thread to cut cinnamon rolls. If you use dental floss, make sure that you use flavorless floss. You don’t want a little lingering minty flavor on your rolls!

Slide the floss carefully under the rolled up dough about 1-1.5 inches from the end of the roll, bring both ends of the floss up, cross them in an X over the top of the roll, switch both ends of the floss to the other hand and cross the floss through the dough roll. Using floss helps the cinnamon rolls stay round and not smashed.

If you don’t want to use floss, a sharp knife can also be used to cut the cinnamon rolls. Be very gentle when slicing through the dough, you don’t want to smash it!

a photo of a single unbaked cinnamon roll sitting in a baking dish surrounded by several unbaked cinnamon rolls.

What Can You Substitute For Buttermilk?

For each cup of buttermilk, use 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar and add enough milk to make 1 cup.

How Many Times Do Cinnamon Rolls Need to Rise?

Cinnamon roll dough will need to rise twice. Once the dough is made, it will rise for 1-2 hours. Then you form the cinnamon rolls and they will need to rise for another 1-2 hours. Each dough rise is critical to get the fluffiest cinnamon rolls.

a photo of a 9x13 baking dish full of golden baked homemade cinnamon rolls topped with white frosting.

How Long Will Cinnamon Rolls Keep?

Cinnamon rolls will keep for 2 days at room temperature.

They should be wrapped in plastic or foil so they don’t dry out.

Cinnamon rolls will keep for an additional week in the refrigerator.

Can You Freeze Frosted Cinnamon Rolls?

You can freeze cinnamon rolls unfrosted, thaw them and warm them and add frosting before eating. Or, you can freeze cinnamon rolls already iced.

Just freeze them and then wrap tightly in foil or plastic wrap and keep frozen till ready to eat. Uncover and thaw before serving.

a photo of a single homemade cinnamon roll being removed from a pan of cinnamon rolls.

Homemade cinnamon rolls are what dreams are made of and what fill my fat pants! Good gracious this is the best cinnamon roll recipe in the whole world and that cream cheese frosting is perfection!

a photo of a single golden baked cinnamon roll on a small dessert plate with a silver fork sitting next to the plate.

More Sweet Breakfast Options:

World’s Best Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

4.38 from 154 votes
Servings: 20 -24
Prep Time: 4 hours
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 20 minutes

Description

Who needs buns of steel when you could have buns of cinnamon? These are the World's Best Homemade Cinnamon Rolls and once you try them you'll never go back.

Ingredients 

  • 1 Cup Warm Water
  • 1/2 Cup Heavy Cream, *may substitute whole milk
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons Instant Yeast
  • 1 Cup Sugar, divided, plus 2 teaspoons
  • 1/2 Cup Buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons Sea Salt, fine grain
  • 1/3 Cup Canola Oil
  • 1/3 Cup Butter, melted, we like Land O Lakes
  • 2 Eggs, large, lightly whisked
  • 7-8 Cups All Purpose Flour, We use Lehi Roller Mills or Gold Medal
  • 2 Dime Sized Circles Soy Lecithin, NO MORE

For the Filling

  • 12 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 2 Cups Light Brown Sugar, packed, plus 2 Tablespoons
  • 1/2 Cup White Sugar
  • 5 Tablespoons Ground Cinnamon
  • 4 Tablespoons Cornstarch

For the Frosting

  • 6 oz. Cream Cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon Corn Syrup, light karo syrup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 2- 2 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar

Instructions

  • In a glass measuring cup, add the water and cream.
    1 Cup Warm Water, 1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
  • Heat in the microwave until warm, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  • Make sure it’s warm and not hot.
  • Add the yeast and 2 teaspoons of sugar.
    4 1/2 teaspoons Instant Yeast, 1 Cup Sugar
  • Allow to foam for 5-10 minutes.
  • In another measuring cup, add the buttermilk and warm as well. Making sure it’s luke warm, add it to the yeast mixture.
    1/2 Cup Buttermilk
  • In another measuring cup, add the remaining sugar, salt, oil, butter and eggs, whisking to combine.
    2 teaspoons Sea Salt, 1/3 Cup Canola Oil, 1/3 Cup Butter, 2 Eggs, 1 Cup Sugar
  • Add to the yeast mixture in a standing mixer.
  • Stir with a dough hook to combine.
  • Add the flour over the top and the soy lecithin.
    7-8 Cups All Purpose Flour, 2 Dime Sized Circles Soy Lecithin
  • Mix until the dough begins to form a ball then mix for 3 minutes, adding an additional 1/4 cup flour if you were too light handed with the first measurement and it needs more. I never do, but everyone measures differently.
  • Remove the dough hook and place a towel over the bowl to rise for 1-2 hours in a warm spot.
  • Very lightly flour the counter and roll the dough into a large, even rectangle.
  • Spread the soft butter all the way to the edges.
    12 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, sugar and cinnamon with the corn starch.
    2 Cups Light Brown Sugar, 1/2 Cup White Sugar, 5 Tablespoons Ground Cinnamon, 4 Tablespoons Cornstarch
  • Sprinkle liberally over the butter, all the way to the edges.
  • Roll into a tight log and using floss, slice the rolls by sliding it under the dough, bring it up and make an “x”, pull it tight to cut through and set it in the lightly greased cookie sheet.
  • Repeat until all of the rolls are in the pan and then drape with a towel to rise for 1-2 hours.
  • Heat the oven to 350 degrees and bake for 20-22 minutes, watching the tops because as soon as they are golden the rolls are done and you DO NOT want to over bake.
  • Remove from the oven, cool for 2 minutes and top with frosting while hot.
  • Sneak into another room to enjoy one all alone before the husband and kids find you.

For the Frosting

  • In a bowl, with a handheld mixer, whip the cream cheese and butter together until softened.
    6 oz. Cream Cheese, 4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • Add the corn syrup (karo syrup) and vanilla a beat again.
    1 1/2 Tablespoon Corn Syrup, 1 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • Finally, slowly beat in the powdered sugar until desired consistency.
    2- 2 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar

Notes

store in an airtight container at room temperature

Nutrition

Serving: 1RollCalories: 631kcalCarbohydrates: 103gProtein: 7gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 11gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 67mgSodium: 314mgPotassium: 146mgFiber: 3gSugar: 65gVitamin A: 616IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 72mgIron: 3mg
Author: Sweet Basil
Course: 500+ Best Dessert Recipes

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a photo of a 9x13 baking dish full of golden baked homemade cinnamon rolls topped with white frosting.