Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Rolls

The very best Cinnamon Rolls that can be made in just a few hours!

The Facts

Cinnamon rolls are amazing. Given that statement, it is surprising that this was not one of the first recipes analyzed. However, we have finally applied analysis to these delicious baked goods and are happy with the results. We intend to follow this up with other roll and swirl recipes, but for this first one we wanted to focus on a typical brown sugar and cinnamon roll with cream cheese frosting. In other words, a classic cinnamon roll.

For the dough, one of the key elements is of course yeast. Most recipes, regardless of flour amounts, stuck with a single instant yeast packet (2.25 tsp). However, this resulted in a 6 cups of flour recipe with the same yeast as a 3 cups of flour recipe… which as you can imagine might yield pretty different results. To keep the cinnamon rolls fluffy, we kept our ratio above the pack, using 4.5 tsp for 5 cups of flour. Additionally, in the dough, we kept it simple with just eggs, butter, and milk as the core source of fluids. Some recipes used different oils, yogurts and even water, but we felt it was best to take the simplest and more traditional approach. We did not want the dough to be dry, so we made sure to keep fluids in above average proportion (especially in Colorado).

Next up is the filling. Not only it is essential to have enough of it to go with the amount of dough, but it also need to have the right flavor and texture. We designed our filling to be universally “above average.” Every element, the brown sugar, cinnamon, butter, and salt, are in above average proportion to the dough so that every bite not only has enough filling, but that filling really packs a punch. The ratio between the filling was designed to produce a sandy texture. Just enough butter to be spreadable but no more to prevent it from leaking everywhere during the baking process.

Finally, the frosting. It’s hard to mess up a cream cheese frosting, but nonetheless we wanted to make sure it would be just right. We used one of our existing frostings since they are pretty universal, and we didn’t feel the need to custom fit one to these cinnamon rolls. The frosting complements the rich brown sugar filling on a fluffy sweet dough with a slightly acidic but creamy and sweet topping. Once again, making sure there is enough frosting for every bite will ensure the cinnamon roll is good throughout.

The final note is around assembly. When creating the rolls, you will have a long single roll, and you have some flexibility for cutting depending on how many you want. Our roll went out to 24 inches. Cutting each of them an inch would yield 24 cinnamon rolls. We went with 16 1.5-inch rolls, which was a balance between size and quantity. For super-sized rolls you could go all the way to 2-inch rolls, just make sure it has enough space to rise and spring in the oven. On that note, we saw two different approaches. If you do a small number per dish very spread out, you get large and fluffy cinnamon rolls (like real rolls). This however will likely result in multiple batches. The second approach is more efficient, packing the dish full of rolls, but will yield more compact square-looking rolls. The choice is up to you (we did both) and we promise you they are delicious both ways!

Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Rolls

The Very Best Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Rolls that are so fluffy and full of gooey goodness! You won't find a better cinnamon roll recipe.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Rise Time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 40 mins
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 16
Calories 405 kcal


For the dough:

  • 5 cups All Purpose Flour (682g)
  • 4.5 tsps Instant Yeast (2 packets)
  • 1/2 cup Granulated Sugar (117g)
  • 2 tsps Kosher Salt (7g)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups Milk (we used Almond Milk, but any type will work fine)
  • 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter - melted (113g)

For the filling:

  • 2 cups Dark Brown Sugar (336g)
  • 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter - melted (113g)
  • 8 tsps Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt

For the frosting:

  • 4 oz Cream Cheese - softened
  • 2 tbsps Salted Butter
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 2 tbsps Milk (we used Almond Milk, but any type will work fine)


For the dough:

  • In the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add in: 4.5 tsps of Instant Yeast, 1/2 cup Granulated Sugar, 2 tsps Kosher Salt, 2 Eggs, the 1 1/4 cups of Milk (heated to ~110-115 degrees), and the 1/2 cup of melted Butter. Mix together until well combined.
  • Switch to the dough hook, add in 2.5 cups of flour and allow to mix together until most of the flour has been absorbed. Then adding the remaining 2.5 cups of flour.
  • Once all flour has been incorporated, turn the speed up to medium and allow to knead for 5-7 minutes or until the dough is fully formed and can now be stretched out without breaking.
  • Grease a large bowl with oil, place the dough in (turning over once to fully coat in oil), and cover with plastic wrap. Place in a warm place to rise for 1 hour (we use the proofing setting on our oven).
  • After the hour, the dough should be roughly doubled in size. Punch it down to remove the excess air. On a floured surface, roll it out to be a 24in x 14in rectangle (or based on the size of rolls you would like as mentioned above).
  • In a small bowl, combine: 2 cups Dark Brown Sugar, 1/2 cup melted Butter, 8 tsps Cinnamon, and 1 tsp Kosher Salt until it is a wet sandy texture.
  • Spread the filling evenly across your rolled out rectangle of dough, leaving about 1 inch of border on all sides.
  • Tightly roll the dough from the long side up. Pinching together the crease so that it stays as a long log. Cut the rolls based on how big you want each cinnamon roll (we did 1 1/2 in thick to yield 16 cinnamon rolls).
  • Grease a 9 x13 pan, adding each roll into the pan (a max of 12 in a 9x13 pan). Cover with plastic wrap and place back in the warm spot to rise for 1 more hour.
  • Towards the end of the hour, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Remove the plastic wrap and place the rolls in the oven for 22-25 minutes or until golden brown on top.*
  • Allow rolls to cool slightly before coating with the cream cheese frosting and enjoy!

To make the frosting:

  • In the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the 4 oz of softened cream cheese and 2 tbsps butter for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add in the 2 cups of Powdered Sugar, 1 tsp Vanilla Extract, and 2 tbsps Milk. Begin to mix together on low speed (so that the powdered sugar doesn't go everywhere) and then turn the speed up to medium. Allow to mix together for 3-5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Scraping down the sides as necessary.


*Baking only 1 dish at a time if you have multiple.
**If the rolls rise too much and the inside pops out of its tight roll while baking, you can simply press it back down with a fork or knife if desired.
Keyword cinnamon, cinnamon rolls
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