Cinnamon Rolls

There are lots of cinnamon roll recipes and I’ve tried quite a few of them through the years.   This is our current favorite.

Cinnamon Rolls

1 package yeast (or 2-1/4 tsp. if using bulk yeast)
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
6 Tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon (heaping) baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
3-1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 to 1/2 cup cream (optional)

Cinnamon/Sugar Filling:
5 Tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons cinnamon

1/2 stick butter, melted
3 cups powdered sugar
4 Tablespoons Half & Half (or milk)
Vanilla extract to taste

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water.

In a large bowl, combine 3 cups flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda and sugar.

In a microwave safe bowl or measuring cup, place butter and milk and heat til the butter is softened or barely melted.

Stir the milk/butter mixture into the flour mixture.  Add the egg and the yeast mixture.

Stir until the consistency of a sticky bread dough.

Turn out onto a floured surface and continue adding flour and kneading until dough is smooth.

Place dough in an oiled bowl and let rise until doubled in size.  This totally depends on the temp in your kitchen.  In the winter, it takes several hours in my kitchen.  In the summer, sometimes barely an hour.

Butter a baking dish and set aside.

Once the dough has risen, punch it down and knead a couple of times.  Roll it out on a floured surface until it’s about 10″ x 15″.

Mix the 1/2 cup sugar and 2 T. cinnamon.  I prefer to have the 5 T. butter very soft and spread it on the dough but in the winter, it will not get soft enough so I have to microwave it and it usually ends up melted.  Spread the butter on the dough and if the butter is totally melted, let it sit for a few minutes so the butter hardens a bit.  If the butter is completely melted, it, along with the cinnamon and sugar will all pour out when you slice the dough.

Once the butter is a bit harder, sprinkle the cinnamon/sugar mixture over the dough, keeping it away from the very edges of the dough.

Beginning with the long edge, roll the dough up as tightly as possible.  Using a bit of water, dampen the long edge and pinch it together to seal it.

Slice the dough into about 3/4″ to 1″ slices.  Place the rolls in the buttered dish with edges touching.  Some of the cinnamon/sugar will fall out but I sprinkle all that back over the top of the rolls once they’re all in the pan.

Let the rolls rise til doubled in height.  Again, the amount of time this takes will depend on the temp of your kitchen.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Caution!  Stop!  Take a breath!  Remember  . . cinnamon rolls are meant to be delicious and luscious and fattening!  If you’re looking for low fat, low calorie . . grab a carrot stick!

Pour 1/4 to 1/2 cup of cream around the cinnamon rolls.  I pour it around the edges but don’t pour it right over their tops!  If you don’t want to use cream, you don’t have to.  The cinnamon rolls will still be great but they’ll be greater with the cream!  🙂

Bake for 25 – 30 minutes.

Once the rolls are almost completely cool but just a tad warm, make the icing and spread over the rolls.

I like to use the clear vanilla so the icing stays nice and white.  Vince detests this vanilla.  He says it isn’t really vanilla at all.  I do not know what he’s talking about and I love using it .  . because it keeps my icing white and because every time he sees it, he goes through his entire speech about how it isn’t really vanilla.  He told my friend the same thing and she said “He might as well have told me there was no Easter Bunny!”



  1. 5


    I finally got my bread book today. Artisan Bread in five minutes a day. I don’t know what I want to try first.

    But your cinnamon rolls look pretty darn inviting!

    Have a great super bowl weekend.

  2. 6

    Glenda in Florida says

    This looks great–the cream was a surprise–never heard of adding that before. Could you tell us the size of that baking dish, please. I first guessed 9 by 13, but it looks larger than that.

  3. 7

    Rita says

    Thank you for taking the time to write out the recipe. It looks wonderful. My husband LOVES cinnamon rolls. I think I’ll make these for Valentine’s Day.

    • 9.1

      Mel Meister says

      I dabbled in perfume making for a couple of years. Coumarin is considered a hazardous material. Tonka beans are used in some perfumes/scents, etc. but the coumarin has become one of those “health debates” within the FDA because of the cancer properties of coumarin.

      I usually err on the side of safety and stay away from Tonka Beans/coumarin.

      • says

        For several years, the vanilla from Mexico say “coumarin free”. I’ve been using their vanilla since the early 80’s and I’m still around.

    • 9.2


      Vince, being the engineer that he is, did research on the clear vanilla when I first bought it and decided it wasn’t “real” but the vanilla I’ve gotten from Mexico for the past 5 or more years says “coumarin free” on it.

      • says

        I use the same vanilla. Had a friend buy me a CASE of it the last time she went to Progresso. It smells heavenly and makes everything taste so good.

        DH always says he can tell when I get the Mexican vanilla out, ’cause I smell like it!

  4. 10


    For we who aren’t used to making yeast-y things (but totally are going to try these!) about how long does one knead the dough? What if I use the dough hooks on my big Mixmaster?


  5. 11

    CindyC says

    I remeber mom making cinnamon rolls like that. Boy were they good. And Darcy is my favorite vanilla. I usually get the regular kind, not the clear. The flavor is outstanding. It makes everything taste great. One of my secret ingredients for flovorful baked goods!

  6. 12

    Rose says

    The rolls look delicious. I will make a “sacrifice” and not use the cream so I can top rolls with a cream cheese icing. Yum!

    • 13.1


      I do not like raisins at all! My grandma always made cinnamon rolls and made them without pecans. I guess that’s why in my head . . pecans just don’t go with cinnamon rolls. Even when I buy them in a bakery, I won’t buy them with pecans but I know lots of people love them with pecans.

  7. 14

    Jane says

    Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!!!!! Wouldn’t even want to think about how many Weight Watcher points they are!!!!! HAHAHA But you did warn us…..I WILL make these….and eat them with a carrot stick! 😀

  8. 15

    Becky Burney says

    They look yummy! If I can get someone to go to town and get me some cream before Sunday morning, I will be making these!

  9. 16

    Mel Meister says

    The Artisan Bread book is AWESOME! For several months I had three containers of dough in the fridge. I got lazy though and stopped making it. I need to get started again.

    I read this little tip somewhere and it does work: if you don’t wash out the dough container in between batches, the older dough will “sour” a bit and turn the batch into sourdough bread. It is VERY good!

    I’ve never made rolls with the cream like that. I will definitely try this over the weekend! Thanks, Judy!

  10. 17

    Donna says

    How high are ya’ll’s cholesterol and blood sugars? Mine jumped 50 points just reading the recipe. (lol) I’ll still have to try these for my husband’s sake. Yeah…right!!!

    Thanks for the recipe.

  11. 18


    “Caution! Stop! Take a breath! Remember . . cinnamon rolls are meant to be delicious and luscious and fattening! If you’re looking for low fat, low calorie . . grab a carrot stick!” ….love this!

    Those look amazing, going to have to give this recipe a try!

  12. 19

    Sandy says

    The cinnamon rolls look soooo gooood!! Thank you for sharing your recipe, Judy. I am going to have to try these. Mmmmmm.

  13. 20


    Cream? I am going to try that. I have been trying to duplicate the cinnamon rolls I remember from our school lunch room when I was in elementary school. Back when they cooked from scratch! Thanks for the recipe.

  14. 22

    Darlene S says

    OK, you’ve finally done it. NOW I will have to stop quilting for a bit and make these cinnamon rolls. I don’t have any cream on hand, but maybe they will still be edible (ha ha). That will give me an excuse to make another batch soon so I can compare — with and without cream, right??? Right! Thanks for sharing. Dar in MO

  15. 23


    I have never heard about the cream being poured around the raw dough. I am going to try that the next time I make cinnamon rolls. My DH and I both like our rolls bearly done, so they are soft and doughy.

  16. 25


    Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe…’s perfect for tomorrow’s Super Bowl activities…..hehehehehehehe

  17. 26


    I couldn’t resist, Judy. I made your cinnamon rolls–2nd time in my life I’ve used a recipe with yeast/kneading–and my husband said “they’re the best things I’ve eaten in 40 years!” See, we used to get these amazing, huge cinnamon rolls at school every day for 25 cents and we’ve tried to find ones as good ever since. Until today, we’ve failed. THESE though. . . my husband is delighted! And I’m proud of myself for succeeding!

    I’m thanking you, once again, for sharing your knowledge with us, Judy!

  18. 27


    Judy I’m off to make these this morning! I’m wondering if I could freeze half of them after baking and before icing?

    Having this many ready to eat in our house is not a good thing:) But spreading them out over a week or two, well, then I can justify baking!

    Thanks for a great recipe. Your tip about waiting for the butter to harden before rolling is invaluable – a problem I’ve had the last few times I tried to make cinnamon rolls.

  19. 28

    Diane W says

    AWESOME! I made these rolls yesterday to surprise my husband. We were both surprised at how moist and great they taste. This is truly a winning recipe…thanks for sharing it with us. I also appreciate the fact that you have included your tips for various stages of the recipe…that was a big help to me. Thanks again Judy.

  20. 30

    Jeanne in KC says

    Hubby already told me this is what he wants for Valentine’s Day, nothing else! He saw the picture and started drooling!

  21. 31

    Brandy M. says

    Judy, I’m SO glad you shared this recipe! LOL
    I love cinnamon rolls, but hate it when they’re really dry. I’m imagining that the cream makes them really moist and can taste them already! LOL. I’m SOOO baking these, and soon!

    Thank you for sharing!

    BLM 🙂

  22. 32

    Laurel from Iowa says

    These look so good that I might be convinced to bake some at the tender age of 54. I have never made homemade cinnamon rolls – ever !