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!


  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

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pan of copycat cinnabon cinnamon rolls with frosting

Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls Copycat Recipe + 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 7 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



  • 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


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


  • 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


  • 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!


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.


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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  1. Hi, I have justa baked a batch of these rolls and I have poured frosting on them but we are not going to eat them until tomorrow. Should I keep them in the refrigerator or is it OK if I leave them on the counter?

  2. These turned out really good even though I messed up the recipe in several places (I was tired). I ran out of AP flour and had to use 2 cups of whole wheat. Even with the whole wheat flour, even then the dough was sticky. I was short on time so I only did a 30 minute rise in a warm oven. The kids loved them and my fiance ate 2. Would definately make again.

  3. Hi Donna,
    Your recipes are always awesome! I hate to be so dense, but I never can find your recipe videos.
    Thanks for your help,

  4. OMG! These are fabulous! We discovered we didn't care for the lemon in the frosting, so have left that out after first batch. Yum yum yum. Thank you so much for all you do for us amateur bakers!!

  5. These have ruined me! That is a good thing though. Cinnabon used to be my favorite cinnamon roll but these outshine Cinnabon any day of the week. We especially like these on Thanksgiving and Christmas, but I will make them anytime I get a craving for a good cinnamon roll because going to Cinnabon is no longer an option. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  6. Great recipe for a beginner! Only issue I had was that it seemed to be too much flour. I only used 5 cups and turned out great. My stand mixer couldn’t handle that much dough so I did have to knead by hand.

  7. Substitute gluten free flour for all purpose flour? How does it taste, rise, look? Any other changes?

  8. WOW! I used lemon juice and whole milk instead of buttermilk and you couldn't tell any difference. I also doubled the frosting recipe. I made these for the first time this evening and my husband and I both had to close our eyes and smile on first bite. The best. We're always looking for little traditions, and this recipe will be our Christmas morning treat. I read someone having the rolls dry out, about 10 min. in I turned the heat way way down. It may also help to put a pan/dish of a little water at the bottom of the oven to steam them and keep them moist.

  9. 5 stars
    These came out so good, the whole family loved them. We don’t have a cinnabon near us, so it’s nice to have something like this to throw together every once in a while.

  10. 5 stars
    I’ve made these probably a dozen times over the last several years, and I have to say, it never goes wrong. perfectly predictable results every single time. they are our Christmas breakfast every year and often get made on rainy weekend days. They are about a 5 hour ordeal for me, but I hand mix the dough. Thanks so much for sharing this one. Many families connected to mine have enjoyed them and also use your recipe now

    1. Hi Sam,
      That is awesome! We are so happy everyone enjoys them. They are a lot of work but so worth it! Have a great day!
      TSRI Team Member,

  11. These sound so delicious! I tried watching the video but only get audio, no video. Will you please help? Thanks!

  12. Well The Directions are For 1× 2× 3× So There is a Few choice’s in the size you can make. 1×usually gives you a decent amount for one or two people to share.

  13. 5 stars
    My family loves these! I make them every Christmas Eve for Christmas morning breakfast. I follow the directions to a tee and they come out just right every time. Even the part where they slowly rise overnight in the refrigerator.

  14. 5 stars
    these rolls were AMAZING! i couldn’t believe how easy they were to make. donna and chad, you’ve outdone yourselves!

  15. 5 stars
    donna’s recipe for these cinnamon rolls is pure perfection! i followed it exactly as written, and they turned out amazing. so close to the restaurant version!

  16. 5 stars
    These are my go-to cinnamon roll recipe, and have been for years! My husband is obsessed with them, and I make them each year on our anniversary and for Christmas morning.

    I do have a question though- if I need to make them in advance, can I freeze the rolls right before they’re to go in the oven, and then defrost and cook when I need them?

    1. Hi Jelisa!
      We’re glad you enjoyed! Yes, you can freeze the rolls before glazing and going in the oven.
      TSRI Team Member,

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