The Best Soft Cinnamon Rolls
These delicious and sweet rolls are everything you could want in a cinnamon roll! They’re light and fluffy, with a decadent cinnamon filling!
As someone who loves a good cinnamon roll, it has frustrated me for years that I haven’t been able to make one myself. When I first learned to cook from scratch (14 years ago or so) one of the goals on my bucket list was to make delicious cinnamon rolls. I’ve accomplished nearly everything else on that list (make perfect French bread, bake a cake that doesn’t fall, make homemade tortillas like my mom, etc.) but somehow the cinnamon rolls have always eluded me! I’ve tried recipe after recipe, and they never turn out the way I’m hoping. They always burn on the bottom, or don’t get cooked all the way through before they’re too brown on the top. Or they just don’t have the right taste and texture. I want that gooey, soft (but fully cooked) Cinnabon-ish cinnamon roll that’s full of flavor and tastes amazing!
Finally, a few months ago, I found a recipe for the cinnamon roll of my dreams! It makes a fairly small batch (only nine cinnamon rolls) but they are over the top delicious. The filling is the perfect balance of brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter, and the rolls themselves are light and fluffy, but still give that delicious ooey-gooey experience that I love. These cinnamon rolls are perfection!
I prefer to bake these rolls in a 9 x 9 square pan, but you could bake them on a sheet pan or in a jumbo muffin tin if you prefer. I wouldn’t recommend using a regular size muffin tin unless you are making the rolls smaller, because I think they would end up being too big for the tin by the time they are baked. Look at those gorgeous cinnamon spirals!
I really like that the filling for these rolls is mixed together before it’s spread on the dough. Somehow it just never works for me to spread the butter, then sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon on top (I fully recognize that this may be a failing that is particular to me – ha ha!). Adding a little touch of vanilla makes the filling extra delicious!
I’ve mentioned this before, but I am not actually a fan of sweetened cream cheese (I know! I am so weird.). Ordinarily I don’t like cream cheese frosting, but the frosting for these cinnamon rolls is totally irresistible. It’s the perfect complement to the cinnamon rolls. I’m sure the rolls are delicious without it, but together they are absolutely amazing!
These cinnamon rolls are the very best on the day they are made, but they will stay fresh for several days. I think the leftovers are best warmed up a little so they get nice and soft and gooey again. These cinnamon rolls are absolute perfection!
The Best Soft Cinnamon RollsPrint Recipe
for the dough:
- 3/4 cup warm milk
- 2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
- 1/4 cup butter melted
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups bread flour more as needed
for the filling:
- 1/4 cup butter softened
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
for the frosting:
- 4 ounces cream cheese softened
- 4 tablespoons butter softened
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the warm milk, yeast, and sugar. Let the mixture sit until foamy and bubbly. Add the egg, egg yolk, melted butter, and salt, and mix to combine. Add half of the bread flour, mix, and continue to add the flour, 1/4 cup at a time, to form a soft dough. Knead the dough for 8-10 minutes until smooth and pliable. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover, and let it rise for 60-90 minutes, until doubled in size.
- After the dough has risen, gently punch it down and roll it out into a 14 by 9 inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface. To make the filling, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla, and beat until smooth. Spread the filling mixture over the dough in an even layer, leaving about one inch uncovered on one of the short sides. Roll the dough up, starting from the opposite short side, and place the roll seam side down to seal it. Cut off the ends of the roll, then cut the dough into nine slices. Place the cinnamon rolls into a greased 9 x 9 baking dish, cover, and let rise for 30-45 minutes.
- Toward the end of the rise time, preheat the oven to 350. Bake the rolls for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool 5-10 minutes while you prepare the frosting. To make the frosting, beat together the cream cheese and butter. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla, and beat until light and fluffy. Spread the frosting over the cinnamon rolls in an even layer.