You will love these easy Homemade Cinnamon Rolls: scratch-made, tender, fluffy, and so flavorful. Then slathered with scrumptious vanilla bean cream cheese icing! These are the cinnamon rolls to make for cozy weekends inside, holiday gatherings, and everything in between. They’re so insanely good, you can’t have just one!

homemade cinnamon rolls in white baking dish

Cinnamon rolls, cinnies, yeasty babies, sweet cinnaminnie fluffy clouds…I have so many names for them, ha! My love for these things is unconditional, I’m obsessed. Seriously, they’re at the top when it comes to my favorite things to bake/make. This recipe is newly updated since I last posted it back in 2019: new words, new images, and more! I hope you make yourself a pan soon!

BEST Homemade Cinnamon Rolls 😍

Fresh outta the oven, warm cinnamon rolls covered in ooey gooey icing that drips onto your hands, gahhh! Friends, these homemade cinnamon rolls are out of this world: so fluffy and tender, beaming with flavorful notes, and slathered in a swoon-worthy vanilla bean-flecked icing. The literal BEST!

More recipes: braised short ribs, one-pot mac and cheese, my fave creamy lemon herb ravioli, reader-favorite sweet potato pound cake, saucy chicken piccata meatballs, and these homemade brioche doughnuts– delish.

cinnamon roll on white plate with chamomile flower on the side

Ingredients For Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

(Note: the full ingredients list, including measurements, is provided in the recipe card directly below.)

  • For the dough: whole milk, granulated sugar, active dry yeast, eggs, butter, vanilla extract, flour, and salt. Simple and comes together so quickly!
  • For the filling: softened butter, packed dark brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Classic cinnie roll goodness- check!
  • For the icing: softened cream cheese + butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla bean paste…those vanilla bean flecks are so dreamy!

I make these cinnamon rolls all the time…be it a special occasion, gifting to friends/family, every Thanksgiving/Christmas morning, or just because. This is my holy grail classic cinnamon roll recipe that everyone enjoys and looks forward to. There’s honestly not a lot of fuss making them, but it does require some patience and commitment for the best cinnamon rolls you will LOVE ♡

⇢ Homemade cinnamon rolls are a lot easier than you think; I got you covered with helpful photos, full video tutorial, and plenty of tips! 😊

How To Make These Cinnamon Rolls

(Note: please see the recipe card directly below for the complete written instructions.)

  1. Make the dough. Combine the warm milk and about half of the sugar. Then sprinkle the yeast on top and mix well. Let the mixture sit until foamy.
  2. Add in the remaining sugar, eggs, butter, vanilla extract, flour, and salt.
  3. Mix until the dough begins to come together. Then increase the speed and continue kneading the dough until smooth.
  4. Shape the dough into a ball and place it into a lightly greased large bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel. Let the dough rise/proof in a warm environment until it doubles in size.
  5. Roll, fill, & cut rolls. After the first proof, punch down the dough knocking out the air and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough, prepare the filling. Spread the softened butter over the dough. Sprinkle the brown sugar on top of the butter and use your hands to rub it in. Lastly, evenly sprinkle the cinnamon and salt over the top and gently pat it into the mixture. Roll up the dough into a tight log. Use a sharp knife or unscented dental floss to cut the log crosswise into 12 pieces.
  6. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Add the rolls into the baking pan and cover. To make same-day rolls: Let the rolls proof in a warm environment until puffy. *Alternatively, transfer the covered pan with assembled rolls into the refrigerator to rest overnight, about 8-10 hours max (to bake cinnamon rolls on the following day). Before baking: let the rolls sit out at room temperature until puffy and proceed with baking. 
  7. Baking the rolls: Remove the plastic wrap/kitchen towel. Bake the cinnamon rolls at 350°F until lightly golden brown, about 30 minutes. While the rolls bake, prepare the icing.
  8. To make the icing: Beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Then add in the powdered sugar and continue beating. Add in the vanilla bean paste and continue mixing until the icing is smooth- set aside.
  9. Ice & serve. When the rolls are done, slather the icing over the rolls. These cinnamon rolls are best served right away. Enjoy! 
cinnamon rolls in large white baking dish

Tips + Tricks, & More For Recipe Success

Here are some additional notes for the most amazing cinnamon rolls 😛

  • Stick to the written recipe! Following the recipe as directed= best results!
  • Room temperature ingredients: The eggs, butter, and cream cheese need to be room temperature. For the eggs, this helps the dough to blend seamlessly. An egg that is cold straight from the fridge may cause coagulation. >> I like to set these out on the counter about an hour ahead of time and, in a pinch, submerge cold eggs in warm water to speed things up. And the butter/cream cheese is softened so that they blend well.
  • Use fresh yeast! Double check that yeast in the pantry, fresh is best!
  • Working with yeast: When making the dough, make sure that your milk is warmed to the appropriate temperature. If your milk is not warm enough, the dough will not activate. Alternatively, if the milk is too hot, it can kill the yeast and your dough will be no good, causing you to start over.
  • Follow rise times: For proper yeast effectiveness, allow the dough to proof until it doubles in size (first rise) and the cut rolls are puffy (second rise) before baking. This will make sure that the rolls’ texture will be on point.
  • Can I use instant/rapid rise yeast? Yes! For this type of yeast, add it directly with the dry ingredients. No need to wait for activation and only 1 proof!
  • Cutting rolls: A super sharp knife or unscented dental floss is clutch for this. I do, however, prefer the floss method because you don’t run the risk of having to press on/flatten the dough like you do with a knife.
  • Cinnamon roll middle popped out? So, when the cinnie middle pops, it’s typically caused by the rolls not having enough room to expand (like the pan used wasn’t large enough). No worries though, they’ll still be delicious!
black hand grabbing cinnamon roll in white baking dish

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls (Make-Ahead!)

If you want to make these homemade cinnamon rolls into an overnight situation, let’s do it. This is a great way to prep ahead and break the cinnamon roll-making into parts. Perfect for prepping ahead on your busy holiday gatherings like Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, and more as well!

After making the dough, then rolling it out, filling, and cutting the rolls ⇢ place the assembled rolls into a pan, cover, and transfer into the refrigerator to rest overnight, about 8-10 hours max. The next morning, take the rolls out, let them sit at room temperature for about 1 hour or until puffy and bake as directed.

BBR tip: Please know that I do not recommend refrigerating the assembled cinnamon rolls for an extended amount of time as they will dry out.

Tips For Storing Cinnamon Rolls

These homemade cinnamon rolls are best served freshly baked and iced; the texture and taste will be chef’s kiss!👌🏾 However, you can store leftovers, covered, at room temperature for about 1-2 days on the counter. Otherwise, store covered leftovers in the refrigerator, and they’ll keep for 3-4 days. Reheat these rolls in the microwave until warmed through and gooey again!

homemade cinnamon rolls with vanilla bean cream cheese icing in pan

It’s hard to beat the magic of Homemade Cinnamon Rolls, y’all. They’re such a treat and the perfect bake to make. Be sure to tag @butterbeready in your BBR recipe creations, I sure love to see it when you do. Until next time! 🤟🏾

More yeast roll recipes you might enjoy:

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homemade cinnamon rolls in white baking dish

BEST Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 32 reviews
  • Author: Quin Liburd
  • Prep Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
  • Yield: 12 rolls 1x
  • Category: Breakfast, Brunch
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
Save Recipe

Description

You will love these easy Homemade Cinnamon Rolls: scratch-made, tender, fluffy, and so flavorful. Then slathered with scrumptious vanilla bean cream cheese icing! These are the cinnamon rolls to make for cozy weekends inside, holiday gatherings, and everything in between. They’re so insanely good, you can’t have just one!


Ingredients

Scale

Yeast Dough:

  • 1 cup whole milk, warmed to about 110°F
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast- see notes
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted & slightly cooled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Filling:

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Icing:

  • 4 ounces (brick) cream cheese, softened to room temperature 
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste

Instructions

  1. Make the dough. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large mixing bowl (if you plan to mix by hand with wooden spoon), combine the warm milk and about half of the sugar together. Then sprinkle the yeast on top and mix well. Let the mixture sit for 10-15 minutes or until foamy.
  2. Once the mixture is foamy, add in the remaining sugar, eggs, butter, vanilla extract, flour, and salt.
  3. Secure dough hook attachment to mixer and mix on low speed until the dough begins to come together, about 1-2 minutes. Increase the speed to medium and continue kneading the dough until smooth, elastic, and supple, about 5-6 minutes. Alternatively, if you are not using a stand mixer, knead the dough by hand for 10 minutes on a lightly floured surface.
  4. Shape the dough into a ball and place it into a lightly greased large bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel. Let the dough rise/proof in a warm environment until it doubles in size, about 1 1/2 hours or longer depending on the temperature of your environment. *If using rapid rise/instant yeast, no need for this 1st proof, proceed with step below.
  5. Roll, fill, & cut rolls. After the first proof, punch down the dough knocking out the air and turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough to about 15×10 inches, now let’s prepare the filling. Spread the softened butter over the dough, leaving a slight margin around the edges. Sprinkle the brown sugar on top of the butter and use your hands to rub it in, leaving a slight margin around the edges. Lastly, evenly sprinkle the cinnamon and salt over the top and gently pat it into the mixture.
  6. Roll up the dough into a tight log starting from the longest side with the seam side down. Pinch the seam to seal in the edges as much as you can. I like to cut off a bit of the ends of the dough because they are not as full in size as the other sections. Use a large sharp knife or unscented dental floss to cut the log crosswise into 12 pieces.
  7. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with a piece of parchment paper (this helps just in case any of the filling leaks out). Add the rolls into the baking pan, leaving a bit of space between each one for expansion. Cover the pan with plastic wrap/clean kitchen towel. To make same-day rolls: Let the rolls proof in a warm environment until puffy, about 1 – 1 1/2 hours or longer depending on the temperature of your environment. Towards the end of proofing time, preheat the oven to 350°F. *Alternatively, transfer the covered pan with assembled rolls into the refrigerator to rest overnight, about 8-10 hours max (to bake cinnamon rolls in the morning). Before baking: let the rolls sit out at room temperature until puffy and proceed with step below. 
  8. Baking the rolls: Remove the plastic wrap/kitchen towel. Bake the cinnamon rolls at 350°F until lightly golden brown, about 30 minutes. While the rolls bake, prepare the icing.
  9. To make the vanilla bean cream cheese icing: In the bowl of a stand mixer or using a handheld electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Then add in the powdered sugar and continue beating until fully incorporated. Add in the vanilla bean paste and continue mixing until the icing is well combined, silky smooth, and free of any lumps. Set aside until the rolls are done baking.
  10. Ice ’em & serve. When the rolls are done, use a spreading utensil to spread the icing over the rolls, slathering every nook and cranny. These cinnamon rolls are best served right away. Enjoy! 

Notes

  1. If using instant/rapid rise yeast: simply bring the yeast dough together with all ingredients, no need to wait for activation and only 1 proof needed (as directed in step #7).
  2. For best recipe success, please read the blog post & notes in its entirety with video tutorial before beginning.
closeup of cinnamon roll with icing