If you’re looking for a perfect cinnamon roll recipe, my Incredible Cinnamon Rolls are that recipe! They’re soft and fluffy with a gooey, buttery cinnamon sugar filling and a sweet cream cheese icing. So easy and fantastic!
Cinnamon rolls are easily one of my favorite things in this world. I never pass up a chance to try a local bakery’s version, or to even pop open a can of refrigerated rolls on days when I’m desperate for a taste.
However, some cinnamon rolls are quite disappointing, which is basically a crime against humanity if you ask me. It’s always heartbreaking when you take a bite of one and it was clearly just for looks – it’s either stale, or not cinnamon-y at all, or wayyyy too frosting-heavy to be considered edible (although that one is more of a personal preference).
I consider myself a connoisseur of cinnamon rolls. BRB, putting that on a business card.
So I set out to make the perfect, most Incredible Cinnamon Roll recipe ever. And I think I nailed it, to be honest with you!
These rolls are both simple and perfect – made with a soft and fluffy yeast-risen dough, a heavy hand with brown sugar and ground cinnamon, and a generous but not over-powering cream cheese icing. The icing also isn’t so cloyingly sweet that it loses that tangy cream cheese flavor, which was important to me since I love that flavor!
You start with a yeast-based dough, like any self-respecting cinnamon roll does. It starts with yeast – I like rapid rise yeast, but any should work – whole milk, butter, eggs, salt, and flour. Now, if you’re new to bread-making, here’s a tip: the amount of flour is just a starting point. The recipe calls for anywhere between 4 – 6 cups of flour. The amount of flour you need varies on a lot of things, namely weather/climate, which is a biggie! I needed exactly 5.5 cups of all-purpose flour, but you may only need 4… or perhaps you need the full 6. The recipe starts off at 4 cups to see where you’re at, and then you can add more if it’s necessary.
How will you know when and if to add more flour? The dough should be slightly sticky but pliable and should spring back when you touch it with very little dough on your hands. If it’s incredibly sticky and loose, you definitely need more flour. But if you can poke it with your finger and a little or no dough comes off on your fingertip, it sounds like you’re ready!
The dough needs to rise, but after an hour, you’ll roll it out into a plane of dough. Top it with melted butter and a generous handful of brown sugar & ground cinnamon. Roll it up, cut it into 12 equal pieces (these are big cinnamon rolls!) and let them rise once more. This isn’t a shortcut recipe, but man, it is worth the wait!
Bake it up until they’re golden and set, then top with the cream cheese icing. It’s kind of a cross between a glaze and a frosting, and it is SO divine!
These cinnamon rolls are super soft and fluffy with a sweet, thick brown sugar and cinnamon filling and a lovely vanilla cream cheese glaze… and they’re totally incredible!
*adapted from Taste of Home
- One package (2 & ¼ teaspoons) rapid rise yeast
- 1 cup warm whole milk (110 to 115 degrees F)
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup melted butter
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4-6 cups all-purpose flour (you may not use all of it - see recipe for notes)
- FOR THE FILLING:
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1-2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
- ⅓ cup melted butter
- FOR THE GLAZE:
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 4 ounces (1/2 pkg) cream cheese, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the yeast and warm milk, whisking to combine. Let set for 5 minutes, then add in the sugar, melted butter, eggs, salt, and two (2) cups of the flour. Mixture will be very sticky. Gradually add in the remaining flour, starting with ½ cup at a time and working until dough is ready. Dough will be ready when it pulls away from the sides of the bowl and springs back lightly when touched with very minimal dough on your fingers. Mixture shouldn't be super sticky. Add more flour as needed, knowing that you may need all of the flour or only some of the flour depending on the weather in your home.
- Knead the dough for about 4 minutes on a clean, flat work surface. Lightly oil a large bowl and add the dough ball to the bowl, turning to coat in the oil. Cover loosely with a tea towel and let rise, about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
- In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon. Punch down dough, then roll out into a large rectangle on a flat work surface - anywhere around 11x8 to 13x9 should do the trick, with the long side facing you. You don't want it to be too thin but not super thick, either. Spread the surface of the dough with the melted butter and sprinkle liberally and evenly with the cinnamon sugar mixture.
- Starting with the long side facing you, being rolling the dough tightly as you go until it forms into a log shape; pinch the ends to seal. Using a sharp serrated knife or some dental floss (my preferred method), cut the dough into 12 equal pieces. You may want to discard the end pieces. Place the cinnamon rolls in a greased 13x9 rectangular baking pan. Cover loosely with a tea towel and rise for one hour in a warm place.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until lightly golden brown and bubbly. While cinnamon rolls bake, make the frosting: in a large bowl, beat together the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla until smooth. Add in the confectioners' sugar until a soft frosting comes together. Spread the frosting evenly over the hot cinnamon rolls.
There’s nothing better than a fat, fluffy cinnamon roll and these will fit the bill!
Have a super sweet day!