The Best Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

glazed cinnamon roll on spatula over pan of rolls

The BEST cinnamon roll recipe, hands down! With hundreds of great reviews, it’s the only recipe for cinnamon rolls you will ever need! This easy, no-fail recipe makes the most moist, fluffy and absolutely delicious cinnamon rolls thanks to a secret ingredient! The rolls are then topped with a simple cream cheese frosting, the perfect pairing for these rolls.

My Cinnamon Rolls Video Tutorial

Watch my YouTube video tutorial for step-by-step instructions and watch me make these delicious cinnamon rolls! Want to receive new recipe emails in your inbox? Make sure to subscribe to my website emailing list and my YouTube channel and turn on notifications!

Ingredients for the Recipe

Here are the main ingredients you’ll need to make these soft and delicious rolls!

  • Whole Milk: using whole milk makes the dough more rich and buttery. The milk should be between 120 and 130F (49 to 54C); hot milk will kill the yeast and cold milk won’t activate it properly.
  • Dry Active Yeast: this recipe will work well with regular or instant yeast. If you’re using instant yeast, the proofing time will be less.
  • Flour: both regular, all-purpose flour and bread flour work for this recipe. You’ll need less all-purpose flour.
  • Butter: for making the yeast dough and for filling. Use unsalted butter for best results.
  • White & Brown Sugar: for making the caramelized cinnamon roll filling. Using a combination of two sugars makes the best filling.
  • Cinnamon & Nutmeg: for the filling.
  • Cream Cheese: for making the easy, creamy icing to go on top of the rolls. Soften the cheese at room temperature for 30 minutes before using it.
  • Confectioner’s Sugar: for making the icing.

My Secret To The Best Cinnamon Rolls!

You may be asking ‘what exactly makes this recipe so special’? Just one simple secret ingredient added at a crucial baking time – heavy cream! That’s it! All you need to do is add it at the 10 minute baking mark and voila – the most amazing rolls EVER! Huge thanks for my sister Nina for sharing this secret tip years ago with me. This recipe has hundreds of reviews and very satisfied bakers and will not disappoint! Just read the comments in my YouTube video for all the raving reviews. If you love Cinnabon cinnamon rolls, these are very similar.

Best Cinnamon Rolls recipe roll on plate

How to Make Cinnamon Rolls

These rolls are so fun and easy to make! Here’s how I put them together

  • Start with the yeast dough! Prepare a soft and slightly sticky yeast dough and let it proof for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size. Once the dough has proofed, roll it out into a large rectangle on a floured work surface.
  • Prepare the cinnamon sugar filling. This cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, and butter filling is what gives these rolls are the flavor! First, spread the softened butter over the dough, then sprinkle the sugar mixture over the top. This way, it will stick better!
  • Shape and roll the rolls: gently roll up the dough into one, large log. You can use a sharp knife or unflavored dental floss to cut the log into 12 equal cinnamon rolls. Place the rolls into a large casserole and let them proof again!
  • Baking: bake the cinnamons rolls in an oven preheated to 350F. After the first 10 minutes, pour my secret ingredient, the cream, over the top. Finish baking the rolls, until they’re golden brown on top.

Adding a Cream Cheese Icing

I love to add this easy creamy icing to the rolls when they’re still warm! Just cream together softened cream cheese and butter with cream, confectioner’s sugar, vanilla extract and a touch of salt. This creamy icing goes so well with the cinnamon rolls. Adding the icing to the rolls while they’re still warm will allow the icing to melt and sink into all the nooks and crannies! If you love having lots of icing, double the recipe and serve the extra frosting on the side!

cinnamon rolls with icing in baking pan

Make Ahead Instructions

This recipe can be prepared ahead of time, then baked when ready to enjoy!

  • Simply follow the instructions, making the yeast dough, filling and shaping the rolls. Cut the rolls to size and place into a large casserole pan.
  • Allow the rolls to proof at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes, then cover the pan with plastic wrap and place the rolls into the refrigerator. They can be made even a few days ahead of time.
  • When ready to bake, remove the rolls from the fridge and let them stand at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes. Bake at 330F, adding the heavy cream at the 10 minute baking mark. Continue with the original recipe.

Common Recipe Questions

Can I use milk in place of the heavy cream for the topping?

Yes, this recipe will work great with whole milk, half-and-half, or regular cream, too! Just pour the milk or cream over the rolls at the 10 minute baking mark.

Can I make these ahead of time?

Yes! These rolls are great for making ahead of time. Check out my make-ahead instructions in the paragraph above!

Can I add more fillings?

Yes, you can! Feel free to add chopped nuts, such as pecans, walnuts or almonds, to the filling, too! You can even add chocolate chips!

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The BEST Ever Cinnamon Rolls Recipe with video

More Recipes!

 This recipe is easily adjusted to incorporate additional flavors! Adjust the recipe to your liking and include chopped nuts for crunchier rolls or even dried berries for a berry twist!

Supplies/Tools

Need some kitchen supplies for this recipe? Check out these products (Amazon affiliate)

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glazed cinnamon roll on spatula over pan of rolls
5 from 7 votes

The Best Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

45 mins prep + 25 mins cook + 1 hr 30 mins Proofing Time:
12 servings
Seriously amazing cinnamon rolls recipe! Extra fluffy, moist, never-dry rolls with cream cheese icing! Made with a secret ingredient that makes these extra soft!

Ingredients 

For Dough:

  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups bread flour , or 3 1/2 cups all-purpose
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream, for topping

For Filling:

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened

For Cream Cheese Icing:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 2-4 tablespoons half-and-half or milk

Instructions

Making the Yeast Dough:

  • Place warm milk into large bowl and whisk in sugar until dissolved. The milk should be between 120 and 130F (49 to 54C); hot milk will kill the yeast and cold milk won’t activate it properly.
  • Sprinkle the yeast over the warm milk and let it dissolve and proof for 5 minutes. Whisk in the eggs, butter and salt next. Gradually begin adding in the flour. When a dough ball forms, turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead it gently to make soft dough. Adjust the flour as needed, add all 4 cups if the dough is still sticky. Place the dough into a greased bowl, covered it with a kitchen towel and let it proof for 45 to 60 minutes, or until doubled in size.
  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a large, rectangle baking dish (I used a 13×9-inch pan) with parchment paper and spray the sides with a non-stick spray. If you would like to add nuts to the cinnamon rolls, sprinkle them on the bottom of the pan.

Shaping & Baking the Rolls:

  • Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface into large rectangle. Spread the melted 1/3 cup butter over the dough to the edges. Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl. Sprinkle the mixture over the butter and work it in with hands (can add chopped nuts at this stage, if desired). Gently roll the dough to form a log. Using un-flavored dental floss or a sharp knife, section the log into 1 1/2-inch thick rolls.
  • Place the cut rolls into the prepared pan. Cover the pan with a clean kitchen towel and let the rolls proof until they're doubled in size, about 30 to 45 minutes. I placed mine next to my preheated oven to speed up the process.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, then take the rolls out and pour several tablespoons of heavy cream over each roll. Return the cinnamon rolls to the oven and continue baking the rolls for an additional 22 to 25 minutes, until they are a deep golden brown on top.

Cream Cheese Icing:

  • Meanwhile, prepare the frosting. Whisk together the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, 2 tablespoons half-and-half and salt in small bowl. Add the confectioner’s sugar next and mix again. Adjust the frosting consistency by adding milk; add several more tablespoons for a thinner icing.
  • Spread the frosting over warm rolls and let the rolls cool slightly before serving. Keep rolls covered and refrigerated when not serving. Best when reheated in oven.

Nutrition

Calories: 558kcal | Carbohydrates: 76g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 98mg | Sodium: 406mg | Potassium: 167mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 42g | Vitamin A: 866IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 92mg | Iron: 1mg