Skip to Content

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Sharing is caring!

Cinnamon Rolls are perfect morsels sent straight from heaven! Cinnamon and sugar are wrapped up in every single delicious little bite.


main image of cinnamon rolls


I have a confession for you: the first time I made these cinnamon rolls I forgot to add any sugar and barely added any cinnamon! Gasp!

And yet… when I served them… everyone still loved them! That’s when I knew I had found a winning recipe. 

A few weeks later when I made them again (with cinnamon and sugar!) I knew this was the best cinnamon rolls recipe and needed to be shared!

I love that this homemade recipe only uses basic ingredients.

Which means late at night I can totally make these when I forgot about that party in the morning! Guilty!

I also love that this easy recipe is delicious without the frosting. While I love serving with Cream Cheese Frosting, sometimes I just serve them alone too!

And finally I love that rich, buttery, sugary, cinnamon flavor. It’s the perfect cinnamon roll for serving on all your favorite holidays!


cinnamon roll dough on work surface


Ingredients in Cinnamon Rolls

This great recipe is perfect for Christmas morning! Enjoy these warm rolls any time you need a pick me up!

  • Milk: I recommend whole milk for the best texture but 2% milk can be used as well.
  • Oil: Vegetable oil is what I use though you could swap for olive oil as well.
  • Sugar: Don’t forget this one like I did! Or you just really have butter rolls!
  • Yeast: Use active dry yeast. It’ll rise like it’s supposed to. The instant yeast just doesn’t work quite right.
  • Flour: I use all-purpose flour. You could try bread flour too but I personally haven’t done it.
  • Baking Powder: You’ll want a heap of baking powder to get the right amount of rise.
  • Baking Soda: Together baking powder and baking soda give just the right fluffy texture.
  • Salt: Without salt the cinnamon rolls would fall pretty flat!
  • Butter: Melted butter means you don’t even need to wait for it to soften!
  • Cinnamon: Cinnamon is key here. Have a very generous hand with that cinnamon flavor!

Pro Tips:

  • I haven’t tried almond milk or any other substitutes but they might work! Let me know if you do!
  • I also haven’t tried vegan butter but it would probably work about the same as regular butter.


cinnamon roll dough rolled out


How to Make Cinnamon Rolls

Here’s the cinnamon roll recipe you need to get the best cinnamon buns of your life!

  1. Heat: Bring milk, oil, and sugar to a simmer and then let it cool before adding the yeast.
  2. Add: As you add the flour to the yeast mixture you want to remember you want sticky dough! Dry dough means dry cinnamon rolls.
  3. Rise: Let the dough rise in a warm and draft free spot.
  4. Mix Dry Ingredients: Now you’ll mix in your baking soda and baking powder, salt, and the last cup of flour.
  5. Shape: Think of a large rectangle for the shape! Cover with butter, sugar, and cinnamon. Then roll into a large log.
  6. Cut: Use a sharp knife or dental floss to cut the rolls.
  7. Bake: When the cinnamon rolls are golden brown, take them out and devour them!

Pro Tips:

  • Use a baking mat, aluminum foil, or parchment paper to keep the rolls from sticking.
  • The cinnamon roll dough will continue to rise rapidly (even in the fridge!) so bake them up quickly!
  • If you use dental floss to cut the rolls, make sure it’s not flavored! Yuck!
  • Leave space between the cinnamon rolls so they can expand and puff!
  • It helps to have a floured surface when using the rolling pin so it doesn’t stick to your counter.
  • A serrated knife can help you not squish the unbaked rolls when you cut them.


butter, cinnamon, and sugar spread over dough


How to Make Icing for Cinnamon Rolls

There are many options you can use for that cinnamon roll icing! 

While cinnamon rolls are good on their own, often with a spread of icing, they become the best part of your whole day!

Try these icing options for the top of the rolls:

The best way to serve this original recipe is really any way you want! They are delicious and perfect no matter how you serve them.


cinnamon roll dough rolled up into a tight spiral


Who Invented Cinnamon Rolls

Okay, in Sweden they actually have a national holiday dedicated to the cinnamon roll and it falls on October 4th!

I vote we make that a national holiday here too! Soft roll day for the win!

Cinnamon rolls are thought to have originated possibly in Sweden but in Northern Europe they are a favorite for sure.

There is no specific man or woman we can credit with the creation of this delicious dessert however.

I guess every October 4th we should just tip our hats to the great country of Sweden and bake up a batch in their honor!


cinnamon rolls sliced and ready to place on a cookie sheet


Can Dogs Eat Cinnamon Rolls?

No! Dogs definitely shouldn’t eat cinnamon rolls. They aren’t a dog food kind of treat and are very hard on a dog’s digestive system.

With that being said, none of the ingredients in this particular recipe are toxic to dogs (like nutmeg or raisins.)

Nonetheless, very sensitive dogs could react strongly to the amount of sugar and butter and may even require a visit to the vet.

So for best results for you and your dog, keep the cinnamon rolls out of reach!


cinnamon rolls on cookie sheet ready to rise


How to Store Cinnamon Rolls

Any leftover cinnamon rolls can be stored on the counter for up to two days.

If it’s going to take you longer than that to consume them, be sure to keep them in the fridge.

These should always be stored in an airtight container to prevent bacteria growth and keep them soft.


fresh baked cinnamon rolls


How Long are Cinnamon Rolls Good For?

Cinnamon rolls can be stored on the counter, in the fridge, or in the freezer. Here’s how long they’ll last.

  • Counter: Store for up to two days.
  • Fridge: In the fridge I find they stay good up to five days.
  • Freezer: They’ll last for up to three months.


zoomed in image of cinnamon rolls on cookie sheet


Can You Freeze Cinnamon Rolls?

Definitely! First, allow the cinnamon rolls to fully come to room temperature.

Then you can wrap the whole tray and freeze like that, or you can freeze them individually.

I like to separate them and wrap each cinnamon roll in plastic wrap, then freeze. That way I can take out just one at a time for a quick treat.

Be sure not to frost them first as the frosting will stick to the plastic wrap!


cinnamon rolls on a cookie sheet with one missing


How to Reheat Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon rolls can be reheated in the microwave!

While many dishes require you to reheat them in the oven, not so with this recipe! 

They’re soft and delicious straight from a quick run through the microwave.

With that being said, you can always put them in the oven and warm them through if you prefer that crispy outside.


cinnamon roll held up above cookie sheet full


What Can I Do with Leftover Cinnamon Rolls?

There are easy ways to dress up your leftover cinnamon rolls that don’t require a lot of work but make a create dish!

Here’s a few easy ideas that make the perfect brunch recipes.

  • Pumpkin Breakfast Casserole
  • Cake Pops (just blend and squash like you would with regular cake!)
  • French Toast (slice and bake in place of regular bread slices)
  • Bread Pudding

Tasty Recipes with Cinnamon You’ll Love…


single cinnamon roll on a plate


These Cinnamon Rolls make the perfect sweet breakfast food, you’ve come to know all your life. Easy to make with basic ingredients, you’ll be so glad you whipped up a batch this week!


Yield: 40 - 50 cinnamon rolls

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

zoomed in image of cinnamon rolls on cookie sheet

Cinnamon Rolls are perfect morsels sent straight from heaven! Cinnamon and sugar are wrapped up in every single delicious little bite.

Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 20 minutes
Inactive Time 2 hours 59 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes


  • 4 cups of whole milk
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 2 packages active dry yeast or 4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast.
  • 8 cups all-purpose flour + 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (heaping - over flowing)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda (scant - not quite 1 teaspoon)
  • 1 Tablespoon Salt (heaping - over flowing)
  • 2 1/2 cups of melted butter (or more) I use salted.
  • LOTS of cinnamon. You want to be generous.
  • Cream Cheese Frosting


  1. In a large pot or dutch oven, over medium heat, add milk, vegetable oil, and 1 cup of sugar.
  2. Heat mixture and stir until it begins to simmer.
  3. Remove from hot burner and let mixture sit and cool until warm but not hot. This should take between 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  4. Sprinkle yeast on top of milk mixture and allow to sit for 1 minute. Do not stir in.
  5. Slowly add 8 cups of the flour (1 at a time) mixing just until combined after each addition. Dough will be very sticky. That is good!
  6. Cover mixture with a clean flour sack kitchen towel. If you do not have one, saran wrap sprayed with cooking spray will work as well.
  7. Sit mixture in a relatively warm and draft free spot for 1 hour, allowing mixture to rise.
  8. After 1 hour, remove the towel and add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and the remaining 1 cup flour.
    Mix thoroughly until combined.
  9. This dough will rise rapidly if left out, so use immediately. You can keep it in the fridge but it will still continue to double/triple/quadruple in size and will require CONSTANT punching down.
  10. Preheat your oven to 350*F
  11. Prepare baking sheets by lining them with a baking mat, non-stick foil or parchment paper.
  12. Melt 1/4 cup of butter and drizzle it on top of mat or sheet. smear around to ensure entire bottom of pan is covered.
  13. Remove 1/2 the dough from pan and place it on a well floured work surface like a large counter or island. I like to sprinkle the top of my dough with a little flour as well when I initially start rolling so it does not stick to my rolling pin.
  14. Roll out dough into a rectangle to the best of your ability. Should be approximately 10 inches high and 30 inches across.
  15. Roll the dough to 1/4 inch thick as it will double in size when baking.
  16. Melt 1 cup of butter and pour over the dough. Be generous.
  17. Use your fingers or a spatula to spread butter evenly over dough.
  18. Sprinkle 1 cup (or more) of sugar over butter on rolls.
  19. Sprinkle a generous amount of cinnamon on rolls over sugar.
  20. Starting with the WIDE end furthest from you, gently and tightly roll dough towards yourself making the cinnamon roll shape. Continue rolling until all rolled up.
  21. Pinch seams together if dough will allow you too.
  22. Using a sharp knife or dental floss, cut cinnamon rolls approximately 1/2 inch in width.
  23. Each log will do between 20 - 25 cinnamon rolls.
  24. Place cinnamon rolls on pan. Do no over crowd. You want room between each roll as they will expand while cooking.
  25. Cover with kitchen towel and let rest for 20 minutes.
  26. Bake for 15 - 18 minutes or until just golden.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 611Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 574mgCarbohydrates: 103gFiber: 3gSugar: 45gProtein: 11g
Recipe By: Pioneer Woman

Originally Posted: February 3, 2015

Photos & Text Updated: September 7, 2022


Sharing is caring!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Tab G.

Friday 12th of May 2023

Janelle, I am soo thankful I found your recipe! It turned out scrumptious! The 3+ hours to make it was WELL worth it. I love your pro tips!


Sunday 1st of October 2023

It is a long recipe, but oh so tasty! You should also try our Mashed Potato Cinnamon Rolls. We are obsessed with them too!


Friday 3rd of April 2020

They turned out wonderful!


Monday 31st of August 2020

YEA! So glad to hear it!! Have you tried our Mashed Potato Cinnamon Rolls? Secretly I like them more! :)

David Belleau

Sunday 29th of March 2015

I like this recipe

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Skip to Recipe