How to Bake Cinnamon Rolls

Cheryl Cirelli
Cinnamon Rolls

Baking cinnamon rolls not only gives you something delicious to eat, but makes your house smell wonderful and inviting. Cinnamon rolls are simple to make and only require a few ingredients. They are wonderful to serve as breakfast or brunch and make a great gift for a friend or neighbor.

Basic Cinnamon Roll Recipe

Try this simple recipe for homemade cinnamon rolls.

Dough Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup warmed whole milk
  • 1 packet of instant yeast
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and softened to room temperature

Filling Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

Instructions

  1. Place oven rack to middle position.
  2. Heat oven to 200 degrees F and turn off once heat is reached.
  3. Line a 13 x 9-inch pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. Be sure to allow for excess foil to hang over the sides of the pan.
  4. In a bowl, whisk milk and yeast until the yeast totally dissolves.
  5. Whisk in eggs to the mixture.
  6. Attach the dough hook to your stand mixer or food processor.
  7. In the mixing bowl, add flour, cornstarch, sugar, and salt, and mix until well combined.
  8. With mixer on low, add the milk mixture in a slow and steady stream, making sure to mix until the dough comes together. This takes about one minute.
  9. Increase the mixer speed to medium, and add butter, one piece at a time until it is mixed completely.
  10. Continue to mix on medium until dough is smooth and comes away from the sides of the bowl. This will take about 10 minutes.
  11. On a clean surface, turn out the dough and knead by hand to form a smooth ball.
  12. Transfer the dough to a clean bowl that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and place in warm oven.
  13. Allow the dough to rise for about two hours, or until it has doubled in size.
  14. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt from the filling ingredients list. Set aside, but nearby.
  15. Once dough has risen, turn the dough out onto lightly floured surface.
  16. Begin rolling the dough into an 18-inch square.
  17. Spread the dough with butter from the filling ingredients list, and sprinkle the cinnamon sugar filling evenly over the surface.
  18. Starting with the edge nearest you, roll the dough into tight cylinder, making sure to pinch the end to seal the seam.
  19. Use a sharp knife and cut the roll into eight even rolls.
  20. Transfer all cinnamon rolls, cut-side up, to a prepared pan.
  21. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and allow to rise in warm spot until they have doubled in size. They should be touching each other.
  22. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  23. After the rolls rise, remove the plastic wrap and bake rolls for 35 minutes or until they turn golden brown and the filling is melted.
  24. When cinnamon rolls are done baking, transfer pan to a wire rack and cool for 30 minutes.

Tip: Use the foil overhang to remove the rolls from the pan.

Cinnamon Roll Variations

Cinnamon rolls with pecans

Cinnamon rolls can be filled with a simple mixture of butter, sugar, and cinnamon. For a variation, consider adding the following to your filling:

  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 3/4 cup walnuts or pecans

Add additional ingredients to your filling and spread over the dough.

Recipes for Toppings

Cinnamon rolls can be eaten plain or topped with a tasty glaze, frosting or icing. They can also be sprinkled with powdered sugar or cinnamon.

Cinnamon Roll Glaze

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened at room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 tablespoons hot water

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix until everything is dissolved and smooth. Add more water, if needed, to thin out the glaze.
  2. While glaze is warm, drizzle over cinnamon rolls and enjoy!

Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, add all ingredients and mix until smooth and creamy.
  2. Spread over cooled cinnamon rolls and enjoy!

Brown Butter Icing

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat until browned. This takes about eight minutes.
  2. Pour the butter into a small bowl and begin whisking in the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla until smooth.
  3. Pour the icing over the warm cinnamon rolls and serve immediately.

Serving Suggestions

Cinnamon rolls are a favorite for breakfast and can be enjoyed warm or at room temperature. If you are pressed for time, make the cinnamon rolls the night before and add a glaze just before serving. You can also reheat cinnamon rolls in the oven for five minutes if they are not iced or frosted. Keep in mind that microwaving cinnamon rolls will often make them dry and hard. You can also grill them for a few minutes to get them warm and crisp. Another option is to slightly under bake the rolls for about 10 minutes. Once cool, freeze in a sealed back. Before reheating, bring to room temperature and bake for 10 minutes.

How to Bake Cinnamon Rolls