Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls + Video

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Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls are easy to make for a delicious cinnamon roll breakfast without ever leaving home! Topped with copycat Cinnabon frosting, these soft sweet rolls with a thick, cinnamon-sugar filling will be gone before you know it.

titled: cinnabon cinnamon rolls copycat recipe


 

Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls

A fabulously soft, sweetened bread made with egg and buttermilk is the base for Cinnabon cinnamon rolls, and it’s also the base for ours.

We make our filling with butter, cinnamon, brown sugar, and a little cornstarch to thicken up the filling (so it doesn’t all ooze out, thanks to a great tip from a recipe message board).

The copycat Cinnabon frosting is, of course, the star of the show! A vanilla cream cheese frosting with a hint of lemon to really make it stand out. 

If you enjoy the flavors of sweet cinnamon and sugar, we also have recipes for Cinnabon Cinnamon Stixcinnamon sugar donuts, French toast, and homemade cinnamon swirl bread.

adding dough ingredients to mixer

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Active Dry Yeast – You’ll need the regular packets, not the instant kind, for homemade Cinnabon cinnamon rolls.

    If it doesn’t get nice and foamy when mixed with the water and sugar, it has died and you’ll need to start over with a fresh packet.

    Also, be sure your water is right between 110-120°F — using a kitchen thermometer will help.

    If it’s too cold, the yeast won’t bloom. Too hot, and you’ll kill it.
  • Buttermilk – This ingredient adds moisture and tanginess, plus it helps make these quick homemade cinnamon rolls extra fluffy!

    If you don’t have any on hand, you can make an easy substitute with regular milk and lemon juice or vinegar.
  • Eggs and Butter – Bring these to room temperature before starting the recipe, even for the portion of butter that needs to be melted.

    Ingredients incorporate a lot better when they are the same temperature, and the butter will melt faster and more evenly if it’s already warm.
kneading dough for cinnamon rolls

Homemade Cinnabon Icing Recipe

Whip together a mixture of softened cream cheese and butter, then mix in powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and kosher salt.

The secret ingredient in this Cinnabon icing recipe is lemon juice!

It perfectly complements the cream cheese and helps balance the sweetness in the rolls.

Be sure to use freshly squeezed citrus — bottled lemon juice is too sour and often has a bitter aftertaste.

rolled out dough covered in softened butter

Kitchen Tools You Will Need

Quick Homemade Cinnamon Rolls Without a Stand Mixer

No mixer? No worries! You can mix the dough by hand instead.

  1. Activate the yeast. Add water, yeast, and sugar to a large bowl. Let sit for 5-10 minutes until foamy.

    Once the yeast blooms, stir in the buttermilk, eggs, and butter.
  2. Form the dough. Stir in the buttermilk, eggs, and melted butter. Then, add the salt and flour and mix until you can no longer stir with a spoon.
  3. Knead. Turn dough out onto the floured countertop and knead for 3-5 minutes. Once the dough is no longer sticky, proceed with the remaining instructions.
sliced unbaked cinnamon rolls

Make Ahead Instructions

The easiest way to prep this cinnamon roll breakfast recipe is to do most of the work the day before you want to serve the rolls.

Then, all you have to do is pop your quick homemade cinnamon rolls in the fridge and bake them fresh the next morning!

OVERNIGHT PREPARATION: 

  1. Make and assemble the dough. Follow the recipe all the way up until the baking step.
  2. Cover and refrigerate. Place the unbaked cinnamon rolls into the baking pans and place them in the refrigerator. The dough will slowly rise overnight.
  3. Bake. The next morning, remove the pans of Cinnabon cinnamon rolls from the refrigerator and bake.

    NOTE: They may need a few extra minutes in the oven to account for the cold dough, so be sure they are cooked thoroughly before you pull them out. 
  4. Make copycat Cinnabon frosting. Prepare the Cinnabon icing recipe while the rolls bake, then slather over the top while hot!
baked cinnamon rolls in pans

Cinnamon Roll Breakfast FAQ

Can you put dough in the oven to rise faster?

Yes! In fact, it’s the perfect “warm place” for this very purpose.

Preheat your oven to 200°F, then turn it off. Place the dough inside and shut the door, then check it after about 45 minutes. It’s ready once it has doubled in size.

What can you add to homemade cinnamon rolls?

Feel free to add some extra warming spices like ground ginger, cardamom, or nutmeg to the filling.

You could also add or swap flavors in the Cinnabon icing recipe to make it more interesting! Use orange juice instead of lemon, or substitute maple syrup for the vanilla extract.

For a pop of extra sweetness, sprinkle raisins or dried currants over the filling before rolling up the dough!

showing inside of cinnamon roll topped with frosting

Enjoy!
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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pan of copycat cinnabon cinnamon rolls with frosting

Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls + Video

Donna Elick
Make Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls at home! Enjoy soft sweet rolls with cinnamon-sugar filling and cream cheese frosting with this copycat recipe.
5 stars from 4 reviews
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Method Oven
Servings 12

Ingredients
 

Rolls

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 cup water warm, 110-120°F
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

Filling

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, 1 stick, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Frosting

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, 1/2 stick, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions
 

  • Pour water and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook (see cooks note if you do not have a stand mixer), sprinkle yeast over top, and stir. Allow yeast to bloom for 5-10 minutes. Once it is nice and foamy, it is ready. *It should look like the ‘head’ of a beer poured too quickly and smell yeasty.
  • In the meantime: melt 6 tablespoons of butter in a microwave-safe bowl.
  • Once the yeast mixture is aromatic and looks like the head of a beer, add buttermilk, eggs, and butter to the bowl of the stand mixer. Mix on low and add 4 cups of flour, one cup at a time. Add salt. Once the flour is mixed in, add remaining flour slowly until dough becomes a ball. Mine takes 5 ½ cups total. Knead dough on medium-high for 5 minutes. Add more flour a tablespoon at a time as needed, if bread is too sticky to come together. The dough should be tacky when you pull it out of the mixer, not sticky.
  • Lightly dust countertop with flour. Turn dough out onto the countertop. Knead a few turns, shape dough into a ball.
  • Add 1 tablespoon butter to bowl and heat in microwave until melted. Place dough into bowl upside down, flip the dough over and cover loosely with plastic wrap and drape bowl with a towel. Set bowl in a warm place in your kitchen. Allow dough to rise for 60-90 minutes until nearly doubled in size.
  • Meanwhile combine light brown sugar, cinnamon, and corn starch in a medium bowl. Stir with a fork until well combined. Set aside.
  • Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough a few turns, then using a rolling pin, roll out into an 18” tall x 24” wide rectangle. Spread softened butter around dough leaving the bottom 1” border uncoated.
  • Sprinkle the buttered dough with brown sugar mixture, leaving the bottom 1” uncoated. Use your rolling pin to gently press sugar mixture into the dough (so it doesn’t fall out as you roll it).
  • Starting at the top, tightly roll dough toward you, using the last 1” to seal roll. Cut dough roll in half and then cut those halves in half, giving you 4 pieces. Cut each of those pieces into 1/3rd. You will have 12 pieces.
  • Grease (2) 9”x13” baking dishes. Place rolls in pans evenly spaced out, 2 rows of 3 rolls in each. Make sure to put the end pieces upside down. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and drape a towel over pans. Set pans in a warm place and allow rolls to rise another 60-90 minutes until rolls have doubled in size.
  • Preheat oven 350°F.
  • Bake for approximately 20 minutes until golden brown and cooked through. Halfway through baking time rotate the pans.
  • In the meantime prepare frosting; add cream cheese and butter in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer (or stand mixer) until light and fluffy. Add remaining ingredients. Beat until mixture is light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Set aside.
  • Remove rolls from oven. Spread ¼ of frosting over each pan of rolls. Allow to cool slightly and repeat. Serve and enjoy!

Video

Donna’s Notes

You can mix the dough by hand if you do not have a stand mixer. Add water, yeast, and sugar to a large bowl. Once the yeast blooms stir in the buttermilk, eggs, and butter. Mix with a spoon and add the salt and flour. Stir until you can no longer stir with a spoon. . Turn dough out onto the floured countertop and knead for 3-5 minutes until the dough is no longer sticky. Proceed with remaining instructions.
OVERNIGHT PREPARATION: Prepare cinnamon rolls, once you put them into the baking pans place them in the refrigerator. They will slowly rise overnight. Remove them from the refrigerator in the morning and bake. They may need a few extra minutes to get the chill off in the oven so be sure they are cooked through before you pull them out. Then frost as the recipe describes.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 627cal | Carbohydrates: 97g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 89mg | Sodium: 544mg | Sugar: 46g | Fiber: 3g | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 3mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Originally published November 2013, updated and republished July 2023

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157 Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing this recipe. It's the best! I have never found a recipe I liked, until now. It was easy to follow. Theses are the best tasting cinnamon rolls I have made. Thank you again.

    1. I am so happy you loved these cinnamon rolls, They are a family favorite.

      Thank you for stopping by to tell us about your experience!

  2. Great recipe! I like how they are not as dense as a cinnabon but just as tasty. My husband's eyes rolled into the back of his head as he took the first bite and said, " oh my goodness! "
    The only change I made was baking them in 8×8" pans, 4 rolls to a pan. Froze two pans for future use but they may not last long.

  3. Im going to make these but I only have salted butter not unsalted will this be alright? Will the recipe turn out alright if I use the salted butter?

  4. I LOVE Cinnabon cinnamon rolls, I was so happy when I found your site a year ago. My 13 year old granddaughter has helped me make them several times. She is very helpful. I laughed when she tried her hand at rolling the dough out, we are making them as I am writing this to you. Thank you so much.Its the best recipe.

  5. Thank you for sharing! These rolls got rave reviews from my family and friends. My family is requesting these every week. I have shared on my own blog.

  6. Cannot make these. After trying many recipes based on the picture mainly because the picture looked soooooo good, I look closer now. This picture does not match the instructions. The instructions say two 9 x 13 pans each containing '6' rolls. This picture shows more so it is definitely a picture of something else. I cannot take a chance of wasting time and ingredients on this…………..just sayin'

    1. So sorry to hear that. I have made this recipe countless times and have used 2 pans and 1 (9×13) pan. The 9×13 made great rolls, but they did not get as big as when I made them in 2 (9×6) pans. Good luck and enjoy. I put my name on this recipe because I stand by it. Enjoy and good luck!

  7. This recipe is awesome! I have featured it as one of 25 excellent copycat recipes today on Ducks n a Row. Hope you can stop by1

  8. A friend of mine LOVES cinnamon rolls, and I'd really like to make a batch of these for her birthday. I've made them many times before, but I always do it in a straight run through. Is it ok to make these ahead and refrigerate before baking? If so do I need to let them come to room temperature to bake? Or is it just better to bake them ahead and tell my friend to reheat them?

  9. These are awesome….I tried other copy cat recipes for the cinnamon buns, but yours is the best. I love that you don't use margarine like the other ones too. The icing is awesome.
    Thanks for a recipe that my family absolutely loves.

  10. Thank you so much for this recipe!!!! 🙂 I've just made my first Cinnabon rolls according to your directions. The rolls were delicious :))) But could you advise me what should I do to make sugar less noticeable? After baking the sugar was not melted and I felt big crystals in my mouth :/

  11. I made these for a retirement party last spring and my coworkers all but licked the pans clean. Needless to say, they loved them! However, now they ask me to make them ALL the time. I finally gave in and are making them as I'm typing this. Can't wait to taste these yummy buns again!
    FYI: I used a bread machine on the dough setting, allowing the yeast to bloom first. Then, adding all wet ingredients followed by the dry, I set it and walked away. The dough turned out great!
    Thanks for the wonderful recipe!

  12. I just made these tonight and I am in love! I will never use another cinnamon roll recipe nor will I buy them again! I did not have any trouble with mine being heavy. They were so pillowy soft. I had to have two because one was not enough. I absolutely cannot wait for breakfast tomorrow! So good they make you want to close your eyes with every bite!

  13. I made these cinnamon rolls and they came out absolutely delicious. These are better than cinnabun, as a matter of fact it blows theirs away. I had one on hand to taste side by side. The one thing you must do if you can is grind your own cinnamon. The difference when using fresh ground is dramatic. Prepackaged ground cinnamon is mostly garbage.

  14. Awesome recipe. Today is my second attempt. First were great. I hope I do better. Practice, practice, practice. Instructions were easy to follow. My wife couldn't believe what a great job I did.

  15. Made these tonight….AMAZING. Seriously. So perfect. The only thing I changed up is I used more milk than water, so 3/4 cup buttermilk and 1/2 cup water. I also use my own frosting recipe. Best homemade cinnamon roll I've ever had. Ever. And my neighborhood and I have been addicted to The Pioneer Woman cinnamon rolls- again with my own frosting- and I'll still make them and love them, because they offer a different bread consistency, but they take longer to make and even when you halve the recipe you have rolls coming out your ears. This recipe here gives you a different experience. The dough is so airy and just, perfect!! Thank you for sharing this divine recipe!!

  16. I make these all the time, I found a trick with cutting them, I use floss. Slide a long strand of floss under rolled dough, bring it up around criss cross then pull, cuts a perfect piece.

  17. Mine are in the fridge, to be baked in the morning. I have a few friends coming over to work on my house, so I wanted a treat. But I messed up and used bread flour. Old habits die hard! I bet they are still great and chewy and wonderful. Can hardly wait till morning.

  18. I would like to try these, but I'm confused. If I want to make them and put them in fridge until next morning, at what point do I do this? And the next morning when I take them out, what do I do? And if you want to freeze dough, at what point, etc. same questions. Thanks.

  19. So excited to try the cinnamon roll recipe!!! Thank you so much for sharing. On an aside, since you are capable of breaking down a recipe in its copy cat form, wondering if you can help me crack the code to another baked good. I am trying to figure out how to make a donut that I had in Shipshewana, Indiana at the Rise-N-Roll bakery called a cinnamon caramel donut. The dough literally melts on your tongue like cotton candy when you bite into it. Any idea what kind of dough they might be using or how to achieve that affect with a donut? Please let me know your thoughts. Thanks 🙂
    ME: https://www.facebook.com/srallen5150
    Donut Shop: https://risenroll.com/product/cinnamon-caramel-donuts/

  20. Hey, I want to convert the measurement into metric measurement; is this US measurement system?

  21. I use this recipe each week to give to friends. Everyone loves them. Was my first time using yeast so I was surprised at the great result. You spurred me to purchase a Kitchen-Aid Professional and I am on cloud nine. Thank you

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