Quick and Easy Cinnamon Rolls

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Quick and Easy Cinnamon Rolls are delicious and effortless, perfect for beginners!  Fluffy, tender rolls are filled with cinnamon and sugar and iced with a creamy melt in your mouth cream cheese frosting. These are so good!

Cinnamon Rolls are a classic combination of flavors that are a favorite among many. Try this popular flavor  in Baked Cinnamon Roll Oatmeal, Cinnabon Cinnamon Roll Cake, Delicious Cinnamon Roll Pancakes or Cinnamon Roll Cookies. So Scrumptious!

Cinnamon Rolls on a white plate.

Quick and Easy Cinnamon Rolls

I love this dough recipe because it is so quick and easy it is great for beginners. Any form of cinnamon roll dripping with cream cheese glaze is going to be a guaranteed hit at your house.

When you need a delicious breakfast, these can be in the oven within 45 min. Warm gooey cinnamon rolls are ready to eat in no time and will be loved by your entire family!

Quick Cinnamon Roll Ingredients

This looks like a long list but it comes together quickly, so don’t worry. You’ll have these in no time!

  • Flour: All purpose or unbleached flour are the best to use for rolls.
  • Sugar: This feeds the yeast
  • Yeast: Dry active or instant
  • Salt: This brings balance and flavor
  • Egg: Large
  • Water: Make sure it’s warm
  • Milk: Any percentage of fat will work
  • Butter: Softened


  • Brown Sugar: This creates a richer flavor in the filling
  • Cinnamon: The star spice
  • Butter: Creates the tender filling and lets it the sugar and spice adhere to the dough.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • Cream Cheese: Softened
  • Powdered Sugar: Adds the sweetness
  • Butter: Softened
  • Half and Half: Creates a richer frosting
  • Vanilla: Adds ideal flavor

Making Easy Cinnamon Rolls

These will be in the oven in no time and you’ll soon be feasting on luscious frosted buns!

To Make the Dough: 

  1. Melt: In a small saucepan melt the butter in the milk over medium heat. Once melted remove from heat to let cool to lukewarm temperature.
  2. Mix: In a stand mixer whisk together 2 ¼ cups flour, yeast, sugar and salt. Using the dough hook add the egg and water and mix until just starting to combine. Slowly pour in the milk mixture and 1 cup of flour until the dough starts to form and becomes smooth.
  3. Rest: Let it rest for 10 minutes
  4. Roll: On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a large 9×15 square. About 1/4-½ inch thick.
  5. Spread: Spread the softened butter onto the dough keeping it about ½ inch away from the edge. Sprinkle the cinnamon and brown sugar on top of the butter.
  6. Roll: Roll up the 15 inch side into a log and pinch the seams. Cut into 9-12 slices depending on how thick you want your cinnamon rolls. Place in a greased 9×13 pan and cover with a damp cloth and let rise for 30 min.
  7. Bake: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake for 30 min or until just golden brown on the tops.
  8. Frosting: Beat the cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar until smooth. Add the half and half, and vanilla until combined. Frost over warm cinnamon rolls!

Working with Yeast

Making anything with yeast can seem intimidating but it really isn’t. There are just a few things you need to remember so you’re successful every time. And this recipe is the perfect one to practice with and be successful.

  • Kinds: There are two main kinds of dry yeast that are used in baking. Active Dry Yeast, and Instant Yeast. Instant is also called Fast Rising Yeast or Fast Acting. These can be interchanged in recipes 1:1. The Instant Yeast, as the name suggests will rise faster than the Active, which is the only difference, so keep an eye on it.
  • Freshness and Testing: Using fresh yeast will give you the best rise. If you’re worried about your yeast you can test it by having it bloom. put a teaspoon of yeast with a pinch of sugar in a bowl of warm water and stir. If it bubbles and foams it’s good to go.
  • Storing: To ensure your yeast stays fresh store it in the fridge or freezer. It will keep longer.
  • Salt:  Salt kills yeast, but in recipes it’s often called to add at the same time as the yeast. Make sure you place the salt on the opposite side of the bowl as the yeast. You can even add the salt with the second scoops of flour to help it avoid direct contact with the yeast. Even though it kills it, salt is essential to bread. Don’t leave it out!

Tips and Variations for the Best Quick Cinnamon Rolls

These are hard to mess up, but there are few tips and variations to make them perfect.

  • Raising: If you want to speed up the rising of your rolls, make sure they are in a warm place. You can turn the oven on to 120 degrees. Once it’s heated turn it off and place the rolls in the oven to rise. Keep them covered. Once risen remove the damp towel and turn the oven on to bake.
  • Spice it: Add a mixture of spices to create new flavors. Add nutmeg, coriander or cloves, or just extra cinnamon.
  • Add: Add in dried fruit, or nuts to the filling as desired.
  • Flavoring: Instead of vanilla add maple flavoring to the cream cheese frosting for a maple drenched cinnamon roll.
  • Freeze: Like any bread, these freeze fantastically. I recommend that you not frost them before freezing. Either make the glaze once your ready to eat them or freeze the glaze separately. These stay fresh like in the freezer for up to 3 months. Bring to room temp on the counter or over night in the fridge. Warm in the oven or microwave.

More Roll’n Recipes To Try

Anything with the word rolls in it is going to be amazing! Here are a few to try.

Quick and Easy Cinnamon Rolls

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Delicious and easy cinnamon roll recipe that is great for beginners!
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Author Alyssa Rivers
Servings: 8 Servings


Dough Ingredients:

  • cups flour
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¾ cup milk
  • cup butter softened

Filling Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar packed
  • 2 Tablespoons cinnamon
  • 5 Tablespoons butter softened

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 4 ounce cream cheese softened
  • 3 Tablespoons butter softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup half and half
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  • To make the dough: In a small saucepan over medium low heat add the milk and butter. Stir until the butter has melted and remove from heat. Let stand until luke warm temperature.
  • In a large mixing bowl whisk together 2¼ cups flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. Add to the stand mixer with dough hook attached. (You can also make this by hand, just knead until smooth once all of the ingredients are added.) Add the egg and water and mix until just starting to combine. Slowly add in the milk mixture and 1 cup of flour until the dough starts to form and become smooth. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a large 9×15 square. About ¼-½ inch thick.
  • In a small bowl combine the cinnamon and brown sugar for the filling. Spread the softened butter onto the dough keeping it about a ½ inch away from the edge. Sprinkle the cinnamon and brown sugar on top of the softened butter.
  • Roll up the 15 inch side into a log and pinch the seams. Cut into 9-12 slices depending on how thick you want your cinnamon rolls. Place in a greased 9×13 inch pan and cover with a damp cloth and let rise for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake for 30 minutes or until just golden brown on the tops.
  • To make the glaze: Beat together the cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar until smooth. Add the half and half, vanilla, until combined. Frost over warm cinnamon rolls and enjoy!


Serves: 8

Calories604kcal (30%)Carbohydrates84g (28%)Protein8g (16%)Fat27g (42%)Saturated Fat16g (80%)Cholesterol92mg (31%)Sodium387mg (16%)Potassium167mg (5%)Fiber3g (12%)Sugar43g (48%)Vitamin A870IU (17%)Calcium101mg (10%)Iron3mg (17%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Keyword breakfast cinnamon rolls, cinnamon roll recipes
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic


Alyssa Rivers

I am Alyssa and the blogger behind The Recipe Critic. I started my blog in June of 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family.

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  1. Can you start these overnight and put in the fridge after step 5? I know these are quick, but they aren’t quicker than a 3 yr old, 2 yr old, and 5 month old all at the same time. 🙂 xoxo

  2. These look amazing, Alyssa! I have been running into a lot of cinnamon roll recipes that either take a long time to make or don’t look as soft, but yours look fabulous! Definitely going to try making these!!

  3. I have always avoided baking with yeast – it terrifies me! But this sounds like something I might actually be able to to! I’m going to pin, and attempt on a day I’m feeling brave:) My other problem is that cinnamon buns are a weakness of mine, and I don’t know how I wouldn’t eat them all in one sitting!

  4. Do you know if you could make these the night before and pop in the oven in the morning. If so how could I go about that? Thanks!

  5. These are fabulous and will be my new “go to” cinnamon roll recipe! My husband says they taste like a Cinnabon but not as heavy. (Of note, I decreased the butter in the dough to 1/4 cup and used only 2 tablespoons to spread on the rolled dough.) Thanks so much.

  6. I just wanted to say that these cinnamon rolls were AMAZING! I am the worst baker ever and these turned out perfect! I even got them to rise LOL. I don’t normally make reviews but, these were worth raving about! The only thing I did differently was covered the pan with butter and sprinkled brown sugar and cinnamon over it before laying the cinnamon rolls down on top. Delicious!! Thank you for the recipe 🙂

  7. I am so confused. I have loved a recipethat I THOUGHT was this one for months. SOmehow I lost my bookmark to it and now thepage looks different? So I’m afraid to make it as it may not be the same one… *sigh* Did you just change your page?

  8. In the ingredients it says 3 1/4 cups of flour then in your instructions says use 2 1/4 . What is the other cup for ? Maybe you could clarify what that is for? Its kinda frustrating to have to jump around in recipes trying to figure out what is what.

    1. According to the instruction (step2), you add 2 1/4 cup “before” adding egg and water, then add remaining 1 cup “after” egg and water.

  9. LOVE these! I hardly ever make cinnamon rolls because it takes all day and who wants them at 3 in the afternoon? These are PeRfEcT! I added chopped cinnamon almonds (Trader Joe’s) with butter to the bottom of pan and flipped them over when they came out of the oven. This is my FOREVER Cinnamon Roll recipe. Thank you for posting it.

  10. This is the easiest Cinnamon rolls that I ever make!!
    Easy, fast and sooo yummyyyy.
    Thank yu so much for share with us

  11. These cinnamon rolls are amazing! I found your blog on Pinterest. I had never made cinnamon rolls from scratch before, so I was a little nervous. But your recipe was straight forward and the result was delicious! I made them for a co-worker’s birthday the night before and heated them up in the morning. I’ll definitely make them again!

  12. delicious recipe. I prepped it the night before, put in fridge and then let it sit out for an hour before baking the next morning.

    1. How far did you prep the night before? I want to make these for work, but I have to be in at 7 – I’m not sure how committed I am to surprising my coworkers if I have to get up and make the entire recipe in the a.m. If I could get much of it done the night before, that would be amazing!

  13. I’m curious if anyone has made these ahead (the night before) and refrigerated them. I’d like to take a pan to my SIL and her family on Christmas Eve for Christmas morning, but I’m afraid they’ll be flat. Advice?

    I have made these before and they are ah-mazing!

    1. No worries at all. The conversion is 180ml per 1cup. So 1/4 cup would be approx. 45ml

      Half and half is a mixture of half cream/half milk. It is marketed and sold like that in the US.

      Good luck and look forward to hearing how it works out for you!

  14. quel genre d efromage utilisez vous pour le glacage? un genre “philadelphia” ou du fromage blabc battu?

  15. I’ve never made cinnamon rolls before. I used this recipe, added raisins and reduced the cinnamon to 2 teaspoons. It was easy and delicious. No need to look for any other recipes. Perfect! Thank you.

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