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This is the best homemade cinnamon rolls recipe ever with delicious cinnamon roll icing! The light and fluffy texture, brown butter flavor, and silky cream cheese icing cannot be beaten.
I love making this cinnamon roll recipe at home. These are seriously the best cinnamon rolls I have ever had – better than, even, Cinnabon! I even like to add apples for amazing apple cinnamon rolls.
These have a soft, fluffy texture. The brown butter in the icing, dough, and filling gives them an extra caramel hint. The flavor is totally irresistible.
This is the best cinnamon roll icing I have tasted. It is creamy and silky from the cream cheese, but it also tastes caramel-like from the brown butter.
Start your day off right. Join me in making homemade cinnamon rolls for yourself and your loved ones.
You’ll be licking cinnamon roll icing off your fingers before you know it!
Why this recipe works
- The brown butter in the dough, filling and icing creates a unique caramel-like flavor in the rolls.
- Using cornstarch in the dough breaks down the gluten development and results in soft and tender rolls.
Homemade cinnamon rolls are so amazing. You can taste the difference between premade or store-bought rolls.
What you need
There is a reason these cinnamon rolls are better than Cinnabon! Let’s discuss just a few of the key ingredients:
This is a short overview of the ingredients I used and why I chose them. The full recipe can be found at the bottom of the post!
- Milk & butter: The warm milk activates the yeast, while the butter adds richness to the rolls.
- Yeast: I use instant yeast in this recipe. However, you can use active dry yeast with a longer rise time.
- Eggs: These add moisture and create tenderness in the rolls.
- Flour: I use all-purpose flour in this recipe to create the right texture for the dough.
- Sugar: This ingredient adds the right amount of sweetness to the recipe.
- Cornstarch: I use cornstarch in this recipe to break down gluten development, which results in soft and tender rolls.
- Cinnamon: This spice adds a sweet and woody flavor to the rolls.
- Cream cheese: This gives the icing a rich texture and flavor.
This is a list of tools I used to make the recipe.
- Mixer: I prefer using a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment for this recipe.
- Baking pan: You’ll need a 9×13-inch baking pan to create the rolls.
How to make cinnamon rolls
1. Brown the butter
Making brown butter is a big part of the cinnamon rolls recipe. It goes into the dough, the filling, and the icing to create a caramel-like flavor.
- Whisk the butter frequently in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Then, cook until melted. It’s OK for the butter to foam as it will subside.
- Continue to cook until brown bits develop in the bottom of the pan. The butter will turn a light golden brown.
- Set aside to cool slightly. Remove ⅓ cup to use in the filling. Remove ¼ cup to use in the icing. Then, about ⅔ cup should remain for use in the dough.
2. Make the dough
You’ll create the cinnamon roll dough by combining wet and dry ingredients.
- Add warm milk to a bowl. Then, whisk in yeast until it is dissolved. Next, whisk in the eggs and ⅔ cup brown butter.
- Then, add the flour, sugar, cornstarch and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer. The mixer needs the dough hook attachment.
- With the mixer on low, gradually pour the milk mix into the flour mix.
- Continue to beat on low until flour is incorporated. Stop and scrap sides and bottom of the bowl, as needed.
- Then, turn the speed up to medium. Mix until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the bowl’s sides. This will take about 10 minutes.
- Scrape the dough out into a lightly oiled bowl. It is normal for the dough to be soft, smooth and tacky.
- Brush oil on the top of the dough. Then, cover and set in a warm place to rise for about 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
3. Fill and shape rolls
First, you will make the filling. Then, you will use it along with the dough to form homemade cinnamon rolls.
- Prepare the 9×13-inch baking pan by generously greasing it. Set aside.
- Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Then, roll it into a 25×15-inch rectangle.
- Spread ⅓ cup brown butter over the dough. Then, evenly sprinkle the brown sugar mix.
- Starting on the long side, roll the dough into a log. Then, pinch the seam to seal.
- Place the log, seam-side down, on a cutting board. Slice the log into 12 equal cinnamon rolls.
4. Bake and ice rolls
The rolls will need to bake while you prepare the icing. Then, top with icing to finish the rolls.
- First, arrange the 12 pieces cut side up on the pan. Then, cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 30-45 minutes or until doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. If you have a microwave above the oven, this is a great place to put the rolls to rise while the oven heats.
- Remove plastic wrap. Then, bake the rolls until golden brown and the filling is melted. This should take 24-27 minutes.
- Start on the cinnamon roll icing while the rolls are baking. Beat cream cheese and remaining ¼ cup of brown butter together until creamy.
- Then, beat in the confectioner’s sugar, ½ cup at a time, until incorporated.
- Add the vanilla and the cream to the mix. Blend icing until smooth and spreadable.
- Remove the rolls from the oven. Transfer the rolls to a wire rack and top with ½ cup of cinnamon roll icing.
- Finally, cool for 15 minutes prior to topping the cinnamon rolls with remaining icing.
- Serve warm and enjoy!
Frequently asked questions
Some readers like adding chopped nuts and raisins to their rolls. This works fine. Sprinkle them over the dough after you add the filling in step 4 of “Make the filling”.
Instant yeast and active dry yeast can be used interchangeably. Active dry yeast needs a longer rise time. Follow the proofing instructions on the back of the yeast packet.
I don’t advise it! The recipe was developed using all-purpose flour. This means the ratio of ingredients is based on this particular type of flour. Using anything other than that can affect how the final product turns out.
Jen’s Best tips
- Help the dough rise by turning the oven on the lowest setting for 3 minutes. Then, turn off the oven and place the bowl of dough inside.
- Plan to make the brown butter ahead of time. Allow it to cool, but not solidify, before using it in the recipe.
- If your brown butter solidifies while you are working on the recipe, you can heat it in the microwave for 10-15 seconds until melted.
Storing & Freezing
To store: You can store baked and glazed rolls for no more than 4 days by covering them tightly and storing them in the fridge.
You can partially prepare the rolls, too. Make them through step 5 of, “Make the filling,” of the cinnamon rolls recipe.
Then, cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for no more than 24 hours.
When ready to bake, remove the rolls from the fridge. Partially unwrap and then continue with step 6.
To freeze: The baked and glazed rolls can be frozen for no more than 2 months.
More sweet roll recipes to try
Breakfast is not complete without a sweet roll! These are some of my favorites on the blog:
Did you try this recipe? I would love for you to leave me a 5-star rating or comment. This way, I have a better understanding of which recipes you like and can create more of them.
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Hello! I tried using the make ahead tips for this recipe. Stopped where indicated. The second proof didn’t work the next morning and the rolls kind of melted apart in the oven. Any idea what happened? I covered with plastic wrap and placed in the fridge overnight. The rolls tasted delicious, they were just a hot mess ?
Did you let the rolls proof until doubled in size after removing them from the refrigerator? This may take longer than the approximate time listed.