These perfect cinnamon rolls are incredible! Soft, fluffy, with the perfect amount of sweet cinnamon filling. The search is finally over!

A huge fan favorite for ten years, these cinnamon rolls are perfection.

Frosted cinnamon roll on spatula.

How to Make Cinnamon Roll Dough

This recipe makes a huge batch of cinnamon rolls – 24 to be exact. And the cinnamon rolls are substantial in size.

If you want a more moderate approach to cinnamon rolls, here’s a small batch recipe cut down from this perfect cinnamon roll recipe.

The dough for these cinnamon rolls includes:

  • scalded milk
  • butter
  • yeast
  • eggs
  • sugar
  • flour (I use unbleached all-purpose flour)
Butter, sugar, melted butter, egg, yeast and flour in white bowl with dough hook.

I add the flour as quickly as possible, because I’ve learned over the years of making these cinnamon rolls, that they turn out softer and fluffier if the dough is not over kneaded.

Once the flour has been fully incorporated, the dough only needs to be kneaded for 2-3 minutes.

The flour amount in the recipe is a guideline, because several factors will impact the exact amount of flour needed, including how we each measure flour.

The dough should clear the sides of the bowl and be soft and slightly sticky, but if it leaves a lot of doughy residue on your fingers, continue adding flour a little at a time until it is less sticky and more supple.

It should not be stiff and stodgy. Err on the side of under flouring if you aren’t sure.

Dough mixing in Bosch mixer with dough hook and white bowl.

Let the dough rise until doubled.

These food-safe buckets {aff. link} are my go-to for rising the dough for these perfect cinnamon rolls.

Dough rising in 6 quart dough bucket.

Rolling and Cutting Cinnamon Rolls

Divide the dough in half and pat or roll each half into a rectangle, about 1/4-inch thick.

Spread softened butter across the top, followed by the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Very lightly pat the cinnamon and sugar mixture into the dough.

Cut the cinnamon rolls into 1 1/2-inch pieces (or thereabouts), depending on how big you want the cinnamon rolls.

Spreading brown sugar and cinnamon on cinnamon rolls and cutting them into pieces.

How to Tuck the Ends of Cinnamon Rolls

To avoid the loose edge of the cinnamon rolls unraveling while baking, I always tuck that edge under the cinnamon roll.

It’s about as simple as it sounds. Before placing on the sheet pan, take the loose edge and bring it underneath the cinnamon roll.

Place the cinnamon roll on the prepared pan so that edge stays tucked underneath.

Tucking end of cinnamon roll underneath.

I use two half sheet pans lined with parchment paper for baking these cinnamon rolls.

Let them rise on the pan until noticeably puffy – the sides of the cinnamon rolls should be touching each other.

Unbaked cinnamon roll on sheet pan.

Bake until golden and no longer doughy in the center. In my oven that’s about 22 minutes.

I prefer letting the rolls cool until just warm before spreading on the frosting instead of spreading the frosting on right out of the oven.

The frosting recipe includes maple extract. It is a delicious flavor pairing for these cinnamon rolls! However, you can easily leave it out if you want a more classic cinnamon roll frosting.

Spreading frosting on baked cinnamon roll.

How to Make Cinnamon Rolls Ahead of Time

I have an entire post dedicated to this topic: How to Make Cinnamon Rolls Ahead of Time.

But in short, it’s easy to make these cinnamon rolls in advance.

  • Make the cinnamon rolls and place them on the sheet pan.
  • Immediately cover them with greased plastic wrap and pop them in the refrigerator for 8-12 hours.
  • Take them out of the refrigerator and let them come to room temperature (it’s likely they rose in the refrigerator, but if they need more rising time, let them rise fully before baking).
  • Bake as directed in the recipe.

The baked and frosted cinnamon rolls can also be frozen (it’s a game changer) – I’ve included details for doing so down in the notes of the recipe.

Baked and frosted cinnamon roll on sheet pan.

Perfect Cinnamon Rolls

These cinnamon rolls are perfection. I have probably a dozen other recipes for cinnamon rolls on my site, but when I need a never-fail, go-to recipe, I always turn to this recipe!

Thousands of you have fallen in love with this recipe, too. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Shannon: I had to comment because this is the first cinnamon roll recipe that has worked out for me! Honestly, I think I have made at least 10 recipes and none of them tasted just right.

Katie: I very seldom comment on recipes because I usually have to tweak them to my liking but this was spot on. I actually hate baking because it never turns out well for me, I’m a perfectionist. I cannot believe how good these are and everyone who tried them agreed! They are so awesome and I’ve made cinnamon rolls in the past that were just meh, so I wasn’t too hopeful. What reeled me in was that it was a tried and true recipe, I love it when the older generations decide to share their incredible recipes with us! Thanks Gloria and Mel! They were truly delicious.

Andrea: I’ve been making these for 3 years now, and seriously life changing. I wasn’t a newbie to cinnamon roll making, but your tips make these even more amazing. One of my most favorite recipes of all time!!! 

Baked cinnamon roll on white plate with fork.

A Little About Gloria

Years ago, my Aunt Marilyn introduced me to these cinnamon rolls AND to Gloria, the amazing woman behind the cinnamon roll recipe!

When I finally met her, it felt like I was meeting a celebrity, which is not far from the truth. Her cinnamon rolls are legendary! She was so gracious and kind. And so excited to have her recipe posted here!

Gloria who is famous for her cinnamon rolls holding up a picture, and Gloria standing next to Mel and Aunt Marilyn.

For decades, every year on Father’s Day, Gloria and her daughter made cinnamon rolls for all the men at Gloria’s church congregation. In order to serve the cinnamon rolls at the peak of their awesomeness, they would stay up all night so that the rolls would be warm from the oven and super fresh for church (in the picture above she’s holding a collage of one of her epic all nighters).

I want to be like Gloria when I grow up (except I don’t think I’m selfless enough to stay up all night like that!).

Gloria has since passed away, but her amazing legacy (even beyond cinnamon rolls!) lives on. 💗

Fork digging out gooey center of cinnamon roll on white plate.

One Year Ago: Loaded Broccoli Cheese and Bacon Soup
Two Years Ago: Glazed Chocolate Chip Scones {And Halloween Recap}
Three Years Ago: Hearty Turkey and Bean Chili

Frosted cinnamon roll on spatula.

Perfect Cinnamon Rolls

4.78 stars (190 ratings)

Ingredients

Rolls:

  • 4 cups milk (preferably not skim)
  • 1 cup (227 g) salted butter
  • 1 cup (212 g) sugar
  • 2 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 ¾ tablespoons instant yeast (see note)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 11-13 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Filling:

  • 1 cup (227 g) salted butter
  • 2 cups (424 g) lightly packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

Frosting:

  • 8 ounces (227 g) cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup (113 g) salted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons maple extract/flavoring (optional)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 pounds powdered sugar
  • Cream or milk for consistency

Instructions 

  • For the dough, heat the milk in a medium saucepan until the milk is scalded (which is basically heating it until right before it simmers – it will start steaming and little bubbles will form around the edge of the pan). Pour the milk into the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the dough hook.
  • Add the butter, sugar and salt. Mix until the butter is melted and let the mixture cool until warm but not hot (110 degrees F on instant-read thermometer).
  • Add the yeast and eggs and mix until combined.
  • Turn the mixer to low speed and add the flour until the dough clears the sides of the bowl. The exact amount will depend on several factors (including how you measure the flour). I usually end up adding right around 13 cups of flour. The goal is for the dough to soft and just slightly sticky without leaving a lot of residue on your fingers. Let it knead for 2-3 minutes.
  • Transfer the dough to a large, lightly greased bowl. Cover with lightly greased plastic wrap and let rise until doubled.
  • Divide the dough in half. Roll or pat each portion of dough into an 18-inch by 12-inch rectangle. Spread 1/2 cup softened butter over each rectangle.
  • Stir together the brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle half of it over each rectangle. Pat it in slightly with the palms of your hands. Starting with one long end, roll up the cinnamon rolls. Don't stretch and pull the dough while rolling or it can cause gaps when the cinnamon rolls are baking.
  • Cut each cinnamon roll log in half with a serrated knife or unflavored dental floss. Then cut each half in half again (forming four equal portions). Cut each of the four portions into three rolls – twelve cinnamon rolls total. Repeat this with the other roll – you'll have 24 cinnamon rolls total.
  • Place the rolls on a parchment-lined half sheet pan. I space the rolls 3 across, 4 down. If the ends have come free, carefully tuck them under the cinnamon roll.
  • Cover the pan with lightly greased plastic wrap and let the rolls rise until double. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Bake the rolls for about 18-22 minutes until lightly golden on top. Let the rolls cool almost completely in the pan before frosting.
  • For the frosting, in a large bowl, whip together the cream cheese and butter. Add the vanilla, maple (if using) and salt, and mix until combined.
  • Gradually add the powdered sugar and mix until thick and creamy. Add cream or milk a tablespoon at a time until the frosting is smooth and spreadable to your liking.
  • Spread the cinnamon rolls with frosting.

Notes

Yeast: also, if you don’t have instant yeast and want to use active dry, up the amount to 2 1/2 tablespoons and dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup water with a pinch of sugar. If doing this, you’ll need to add a bit more flour than if following the recipe using instant yeast.
Make-Ahead: this post details how to make sweet rolls ahead of time.
Freezing: once the cinnamon rolls are completely cooled, use a spatula to carefully transfer a single cinnamon roll to a quart-sized ziploc bag. Seal the bag with as little air inside as possible and freeze for up to a month. To reheat, remove the roll from the bag (it’s easier than it seems – it will pop right out!) and warm on a plate in the microwave for 1-2 minutes.
Serving: 1 Cinnamon Roll, Calories: 718kcal, Carbohydrates: 115g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 25g, Saturated Fat: 15g, Cholesterol: 96mg, Sodium: 478mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 66g
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Recipe Source: adapted slightly from Gloria C. (after my Aunt Marilyn told me all about them)

A frosted cinnamon roll with a but being taken out, on a white plate.


Step-by-step photos and instructions on how to make cinnamon rolls.