One of the greatest smells is the smell of freshly baked amazing homemade cinnamon rolls. And this recipe for cinnabons from scratch is incredible! Everyone that tries them loves them!
They are one of my favorite things to make and eat. I first learned how to make them back in my 8th-grade cooking class. They are awesome, you can eat them for breakfast, brunch, as a snack, or pretty much whenever you want. If you want to eat them for dinner, I won’t tell anyone.
These amazing homemade cinnamon rolls are super tasty, super easy to make, and super cheap, and no mixer is required to make them.
Let’s dive into the fantastic world of baking and learn how to make some crazy awesome Cinnamon Rolls from scratch. If I can do it, you can do it, let’s get baking!
Step 1: Gather ingredients and tools
First, we need to gather up our ingredients and tools. For these amazing homemade cinnamon rolls from scratch you will need the following:
- Flour – I generally use all-purpose flour (plain flour) for these but bread flour works really well too. I have used both many times and they turn out great either way.
- Sugar – White granulated sugar for a hint of sweetness
- Butter – The butter adds a bit of flavor to the dough but also helps to control the texture. You may use oil instead if you like.
- Egg – The egg will help in the rising process and make the dough softer and make the texture lighter.
- Yeast – You may use active dry yeast or instant yeast. The yeast is what makes the dough rise and gives it a light texture. Yeast based doughs are my favorite!
- Water – The main moisture element in the dough.
- Milk – The milk will help to make a richer and softer dough.
- Salt – The salt will add to the taste and bring out the flavors of the other ingredients. It also will help the dough after it is baked to not get stale.
- Brown sugar – You can certainly use white granulated sugar in the filling too if you like.
- Butter – oh yeah gotta have butter! This adds tons of flavor to the cinnamon rolls.
- Cinnamon – Can’t have cinnamon rolls without ground cinnamon.
- Vanilla extract – The vanilla will add flavor to the rolls.
To glaze or not to glaze that is the question. I make a glaze 50 percent of the time and a nice cream cheese frosting the other 50 percent of the time. It just depends on who I am making them for and what their preferences are.
If you want a cream cheese frosting recipe check out this no-knead cinnamon rolls recipe.
- Powdered sugar – the main sweet element in the glaze
- Butter – This will add flavor to the glaze and help thicken it up
- Vanilla extract – another flavor element
- Milk – The main moisture element will add flavor as well as control the consistency.
Step 2: How to Make Amazing Homemade Cinnamon Rolls Without a Mixer
Combine the water and milk in a microwave-safe bowl and heat the liquid up to around 105 to 115 degrees F (40 to 44 C). Generally, it only takes 30 seconds or so. Optionally you can certainly heat up it in a pot on the stovetop. The active dry yeast needs warm liquid to active it.
Some people prefer to use rapid rise yeast or instant yeast which is totally fine you can just add it to the dry ingredients. I will ALWAYS active my yeast first however because I want to make sure the yeast is not bad or old and this is a full-proof way to know the yeast is good.
Step 3: Add Warm Liquid to Bowl
Now, add the warm liquid to a large bowl and sprinkle the yeast on top. Add in about a teaspoon of your white granulated sugar, it will provide some food for the yeast. While not absolutely necessary I always add it in. I need my yeast happy! Set the yeast mixture aside and allow it to do its thing for 5 to 10 minutes.
Step 4: Activated yeast and melted butter
Next, combine the flour and salt together in a separate bowl you can use a whisk or a sifter if you like. Then melt the butter in the microwave for a few seconds or heat it up on the stovetop. Notice the yeast how it goes nice and foamy, this is exactly what you want.
If after 5 or 10 minutes the yeast didn’t get foamy then it means the yeast is bad, old, or the liquid was too hot and killed it or it was not warm enough to activate it. You will need to start again. Once you have the activated yeast add the melted butter to it along with the rest of the sugar.
Step 5: Egg and Completing the Homemade Cinnamon Rolls Dough
After adding in the rest of the sugar whisk in the egg. If you don’t eat eggs you can leave the egg out. Now start to add the flour mixture in a little bit at a time.
Continue using the whisk until it gets too thick or you could be doing this all with a stand mixer. Switch to a wooden spoon and continue adding the flour until you get a tacky dough consistency.
After that add a bit more flour and knead the dough a little bit in the bowl making sure to get the flour that has stuck to the sides of the bowl. Then pour the dough out onto a floured surface to knead.
Step 6: Knead the Cinnamon Rolls Dough and Cover
It’s time to knead the dough. Why do we knead dough? Kneading the dough develops the gluten in the flour and makes the dough more light, airy, and chewy.
In order to knead the dough take the dough and fold it over onto itself and then push down and out with your palm stretching the dough then turn the dough a quarter turn and repeat. Knead the dough for 8 to 10 minutes the resulting dough will be nice and smooth.
Now just place the kneaded dough into a large bowl that has been sprayed with kitchen spray and cover it with a damp towel. Then allow the dough to rise on the counter or in a dough proofer for at least an hour or until doubled.
You don’t need a stand mixer to make amazing homemade cinnamon rolls
You can certainly use a stand mixer like a Kitchen Aid with a dough hook to knead the dough. Can you believe it that I still hand knead all of my doughs? I actually really enjoy it, burn a few calories doing it, and it is pretty therapeutic.
If you enjoy making homemade dough make sure to check out this homemade white bread recipe.
Step 7: Roll out the Dough and Add Butter, Sugar, and Cinnamon
After the dough has risen and is about double in size, roll out the dough into a rectangle. I generally roll it about a little less than half of an inch thick close to a quarter inch.
Now time to create the filling. Place the cinnamon, brown sugar, and vanilla extract in a bowl and combine them with a whisk or spoon.
After that take a couple of tablespoons of softened butter and baste the top of the dough. Then just sprinkle on the filling until it covers the whole thing.
Step 8: Roll up the dough and cut out the Cinnamon Rolls
Time to roll up the dough. It is a good idea to roll it fairly tight, if you roll it too loose it may fall apart in the pan depending on how tight they fit together.
This time for a cool little trick to cutting homemade cinnamon rolls dough I learned 30 years ago in my 8th-grade cooking class. Take some dental floss and pull out about 3 feet of it. Then place it under the dough and then go over the top and cross each end and pull. This will cut the dough perfectly without smashing it.
Sometimes when a knife is used it can smash the dough, try it out next time and see how you like it. Next, just place the cut rolls into a greased 9×13 inch baking pan.
Step 9: Cover and Let Rise
Once the pan is full of rolls and ready to go, cover it with plastic wrap or a damp cloth and let the rolls rise for another 45 minutes to an hour, or until doubled. You may also put it back in your dough proofer if you happen to have one of those.
Step 10: Baste and Bake Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
Next, we brush on butter to the tops of the cinnamon rolls, which will add flavor and help them get a nice golden brown color. Bake the rolls in a preheated at 375 degrees F (190 C), for around 15 to 20 minutes. When they are done they will be a nice golden brown on the tops.
Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool for 10 to 15 minutes before adding the glaze or cream cheese frosting on top.
Step 11: Make Cinnamon Roll Glaze or Cream Cheese Frosting
While our freshly baked homemade cinnamon rolls are cooling. We can make our glaze or if you like you can make a cream cheese frosting. To make the glaze add the powdered sugar, melted butter, and vanilla extract, plus about 2 Tablespoons of milk to a small bowl and mix them together.
You may wind up adding a bit more milk if you like the glaze runnier. All that is left to do is to add the glaze to the tops of those yummy cinnamon rolls. Then you are done and ready to enjoy them! 🙂
Like this recipe? Check out my other recipes here.
Can I make the homemade cinnamon rolls the night before?
Yes! You absolutely can make the dough the night before. After you form your rolls and put them in the pan instead of allowing them to rise the second time cover them with plastic wrap and place in your fridge overnight.
In the morning, take them out and let the unbaked cinnamon rolls come to room temperature, usually about 30 minutes. Then you can preheat the oven and bake them. This way you can have fresh homemade cinnamon rolls in the morning without having to wake up too early!
How long do homemade cinnamon rolls last?
The cinnamon rolls will last about 2 days if stored in an airtight container at room temperature. They will last for about 7 days if stored in the fridge.
Can I freeze the cinnamon rolls?
Yes you can freeze them before adding the icing. Place the cinnamon rolls on a baking sheet and add to the freezer for a few hours. Once they are frozen, remove them from the baking sheet and add to a freezer bag. They will last 2 to 3 months.
Then thaw them out and place them in a preheated oven, 350 F/176 C for 10 minutes or so to heat them up. Make the glaze and put it on top.
Amazing Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
- 13×9 baking pan
- Wooden spoon
- Basting brush
- 2¾ cups all-purpose flour 330g
- ¼ cup granulated sugar 56g
- 2 tbsp. butter 30g
- 1 large egg
- 1 package instant yeast or 2¼ tsp. (7g)
- ½ cup water 118ml
- ¼ cup milk 59ml
- 1 tsp. salt 4g
- ⅔ cup brown sugar 149g
- ¼ cup butter 56g
- 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon 15g
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract about 5 ml
- 1½ cups powdered sugar confectioner'sugar (180g)
- ¼ cup butter 56g
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract 5ml
- 2-3 tbsp. milk 30 to 45ml
- Add milk and water in a small bowl and heat to 105 to 115 F (40 to 44 C.) Add a teaspoon of the sugar along with the yeast. Set aside for about five to 10 minutes until the mixture gets foamy/frothy. This is how you know the yeast is activated and is good.
- In a medium bowl combine the flour and the salt and set aside. Then melt the butter, I usually just do it in the microwave. Add the melted butter (make sure it isn’t very hot) to the activated yeast along with the rest of your sugar. Whisk to combine.
- Whisk in the egg to the yeast mixture. Once combined we add our flour little by little, I continue to use my whisk for the first cup of flour or so, then I switch to a wooden spoon. You can certainly use a stand mixer to make your dough, but if you don’t have a mixer, you can do it all by hand like me. Add the flour a little at a time until you get a nice tacky dough. After that knead the dough a little bit in the bowl with some extra flour, this will help get the dough off the sides of the bowl. Then pour it out onto the counter.
- Knead the dough for 8 to 10 minutes, using your hands or a stand mixer. Add the dough to a bowl with a bit of oil or that has been sprayed with kitchen spray. Then cover the dough with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and allow it to rise for 1 hour or until doubled. Next, roll out the dough and baste the top with softened butter. Then mix together the cinnamon, brown sugar, and vanilla extract. If you don’t have brown sugar, you can use white sugar. Sprinkle that on top of the butter, then roll up the dough tightly.
- Using dental floss or a knife, cut about 12 rolls from the dough and place them in a 9×13 inch baking pan which has been sprayed with cooking spray. Cover with plastic wrap or a cloth and let the cinnamon rolls rise for 45 minutes to an hour.
- Remove the plastic wrap or cloth and baste the tops with butter then bake the rolls in a preheated oven (375 F/190 C) for 15 to 20 minutes until the rolls are golden brown. Once they are done allow them to cool.
- While the rolls are cooling make the glaze. Add the powdered sugar, melted butter, and vanilla extract, plus the milk, you can add another Tablespoon of milk if you want your glaze runnier. Then add the glaze to the top of the cinnamon rolls and they are done! Enjoy!
Do you like the recipe? Please give it a rating and comment down below, I really appreciate it. 🙂 If you make it tag me on Instagram @inthekitchenwithmatt. Also, sign up for the newsletter so you won’t miss out on any of my new posts and recipes.