Breakfast Recipes/ Christmas/ Dessert Recipes/ Recipes for Busy Moms

Soft Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

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This homemade cinnamon roll recipe is by far our family’s favorite Christmas tradition. We make these every year as a special Christmas morning treat. Plus this recipe makes so many pans that we have plenty to give to family and neighbors. If you’re looking for a super soft, homemade cinnamon roll recipe this is the only one you’ll need.

Tools that you’ll need to make cinnamon rolls

Here are a few of my go-to tools when we make cinnamon rolls. These aren’t required but sure do make this process a whole lot easier:

Pastry Scraper – This is one of my favorite kitchen tools. I use this to measure and cut my cinnamon rolls. I also use this to clean up the table/counter when I’m done. It is so easy to scrape everything off and wipe down the surface.

8″ round pans – I think this is a good size and I can usually fit about 7 rolls in one.

Rolling Pin – I’m still a big fan of a classic rolling pin.

Silicone Pastry Mat – I need to get this! Having the measurements would make rolling the dough out so easy. This is an extra-large mat 30″ wide.

Hand Mixer – I prefer to make the frosting using a hand mixer.

Gather Your Ingredients to Make Cinnamon Roll Dough

To make these soft cinnamon rolls you need flour, sugar, brown sugar, yeast, oil, milk, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. I love using my largest, heavy-bottomed pot to make the dough. I can do most of the mixing in the same pot which saves on washing dishes.

For dairy, we prefer to use whole milk. I haven’t had success using skim or any milk substitutes.

Melted butter is used for greasing your pans. You’ll want to grease your pans before you begin.

Ingredients for Homemade Cinnamon Rolls Dough:

  •  2 cups Whole Milk
  •  1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
  •  1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
  •  1 packages Active Dry Yeast, 0.25 Ounce Packets
  •  4 cups (plus 1/2 Cup Extra, Separated) All-purpose Flour
  •  1/2 heaping teaspoon Baking Powder
  •  1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
  •  1 1/2 tsp. Salt

How to Make Homemade Cinnamon Roll Dough

First things first you want to use a LARGE pot. Your dough will rise in this pot so you need room for it to double in size.

Start by warming up your milk, vegetable, and sugar. You want to be careful not to boil the milk. You also want to make sure you warm the milk at a medium-low temperature so that you don’t burn the bottom of the pan. You can warm your milk 2 ways, I honestly haven’t seen a difference in quality so I chose the second option, it is much faster:

  1. Heat the milk mixture to just about boiling (but not boiling). Take off the heat and let the milk cool until it is warm.
  2. Heat the milk mixture until it is warm. Stirring occasionally. Once it is warm turn off the heat and move on to the next step without waiting.

Once your milk is warm you want to sprinkle your yeast on top, letting it sit for about 1 minute.

Next, you will add in the 4 cups of flour. Once you have incorporated the flour and it is just combined (do not over stir) you want to cover the bowl and set it aside to rise for 1 hour.

After 1 hour add 1/2 additional cup of flour and mix until combined.

Put onto a floured surface to roll out.

Rolling Out Your Dough

Take half of your dough and place it on a well-floured surface. I love to use my countertop for this (or cover your dining table with a thick plastic tablecloth – easy cleanup!

Roll the dough into a rectangle shape. It should be around 15 inches long. You’ll want your dough to be slightly thin, it will rise one more time in the pan.

Ingredients for Homemade Cinnamon Roll Filling

  • 1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar (or use 2/3 cup total granulated sugar)
  • 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • Optional: Pecans, Walnuts, or raisins

We like to use a mixture of sugar and brown sugar. It just adds a nice rich flavor. If you don’t have brown sugar, no worries! Just use granulated sugar.

In a small bowl, using a hand mixer, mix the butter, sugars, and cinnamon until combined. Set aside.

Add the Cinnamon Roll Filling

Once your dough is rolled out you want to add the filling. Take your melted butter and liberally brush on the dough. Next, sprinkle on your cinnamon sugar filling mixture. Make sure to get the filling all the way to the edges.

This is when you would add your nuts or raisins. Just sprinkle some on top of the cinnamon mixture.

Rolling the Cinnamon Rolls

This is the fun/messy part. Roll your cinnamon rolls towards you starting on a long end. Yes, some filling may seep out the sides, that’s ok, there’s still plenty filling inside. Try not to make the rolls too tight, we want fluffy soft cinnamon rolls when we’re done.

Cutting the Cinnamon Rolls

Once you have a nice long rog of cinnamon rolls you’ll need to cut them. I like to cut my cinnamon rolls using a pastry scraper. I keep my rolls about 1 – 1 1/2 inches thick. As you can see sometimes I’m not so careful and they don’t look very perfect, but don’t worry they look fine when they’ve been baked.

Grease your pans with melted butter.

Place your cinnamon rolls in your pans.

I often use 8″ round foil pans that give me space to put about 7 rolls in each pan. You want to leave space around each roll so that they can rise… trust me they will rise even more! I also like to make bigger batches if we are entertaining like the large trays below…

Once your pans are full, set them aside and cover them with a clean cloth. I like to let mine rise in a warm spot for another 1/2 hour.

Ingredients for Cream Cheese Cinnamon Roll Frosting

We love traditional cream cheese frosting on our cinnamon rolls. It’s the perfect sweet and creamy topping. This is our go-to recipe for frosting cakes, cookies, and these cinnamon rolls.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 8oz cream cheese (softened)
  • 1/2 cup buttern(softened)
  • 4 cups powdered sugar (sifted)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract

With a hand mixer, mix the cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add in the vanilla. Turn the speed to low (you don’t want a powdered sugar mess!!) Slowly add in the powdered sugar one cup at a time. Mix until fluffy.

Once your cinnamon rolls have cooled and are barely warm you can pour your frosting over the top. H.e.a.v.e.n.l.y ! !

Now quickly hide a pan before your family eats them all!

I hope you’ve found a new favorite recipe for your family. It’s a fun tradition and our kids love to help roll out the dough, sprinkle on the sugar, and of course help eat them when they are ready.

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Donna
These are the very best homemade cinnamon rolls with delicious cream cheese frosting. They are perfect for a special brunch or holiday.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 1 hr 30 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Resting Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Servings 16

Ingredients
  

Dough:

  • 2 cups Whole Milk
  • 1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 packages Active Dry Yeast 0.25 Ounce Packets
  • 4 cups plus 1/2 Cup Extra, Separated All-purpose Flour
  • 1/2 heaping teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Salt

Filling:

  • 1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter melted
  • 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar or use 2/3 cup total granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • Optional: Pecans Walnuts, or raisins

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 8 oz cream cheese softened
  • 1/2 cup buttern softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar sifted
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract

Instructions
 

To Make your Dough:

  • Preheat your oven to 375˚F
  • Warm your milk. You can do this 2 ways, I honestly haven't seen a difference in quality so I chose the second option, it is much faster:
    1. Heat the milk mixture on low/medium to just about boiling (but not boiling). Take off the heat and let the milk cool until it is warm. It can take up to an hour for the milk to cool to warm.
    2. Heat the milk mixture on low/medium until it is warm. Stirring occasionally. Once it is warm, turn off the heat and move on to the next step without waiting.
  • Once your milk is warm you want to sprinkle your yeast on top
  • Let it sit for about 1 minute.
  • Add in 4 cups of flour.
  • Mix until just combined (do not over stir)
  • Cover the bowl and set it aside to rise for 1 hour.
  • After 1 hour add in the additional 1/2 cups of flour and mix until combined.

Mix the Filling

  • In a small bowl, using a hand mixer, mix the butter, sugars, and cinnamon until combined. Set aside.

Roll Out the Dough

  • Place your dough onto a well floured surface. Roll your dough out into a rectangle about 15 inches long.
  • Take your melted butter and liberally brush on the dough. Next, sprinkle on your cinnamon sugar filling mixture. Make sure to get the filling all the way to the edges.
  • Optional: Add your nuts or raisins. Just sprinkle some on top of the cinnamon mixture.

Roll Cinnamon Rolls

  • Roll your cinnamon rolls towards you starting on a long end. Some filling may seep out the sides, that's ok, there's still plenty filling inside. Try not to make the rolls too tight, we want fluffy soft cinnamon rolls when we're done. Pinch together the seam at the end.
  • With the seam side down begin cutting your cinnamon rolls about 1 – 1 1/2 inches thick.
  • Add a generous amount of melted butter into your baking pans and brush them well, covering them well.
  • Place your cinnamon rolls in your pans. I often use 8" round pans that give me space to put about 7 rolls in each pan. You want to leave space around each roll so that they can rise… trust me they will rise even more!
  • Cover with a towel and let your cinnamon rolls rise for at least 30 minutes.
  • Once the rolls have risen, place pans in a pre-heated oven for about 15 minutes. They should be a light golden brown color.

Make Your Cream Cheese Frosting

  • With a hand mixer, mix the cream cheese and butter until fluffy.
  • Add in the vanilla.
  • Turn the speed to low and slowly add in the powdered sugar one cup at a time.
  • Mix until fluffy.
  • Once your cinnamon rolls have cooled and are barely warm you can pour or spread your frosting over the top.
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2 Comments

  • Reply
    linda hill
    August 27, 2021 at 5:10 pm

    It sure would be nice if we could print off the recipe! I could never copy it by hand as I have had surgery on my hand.

    • Reply
      Donna
      August 28, 2021 at 10:05 am

      Linda, Thanks for your message, it looks like the recipe box was not showing up on the post. I’ve fixed it so now you can print the recipe. (There is a button in the Recipe Card at the bottom of the post. Hope you enjoy these!

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