These Cinnamon Buns are big, fluffy, and full of delicious gooey cinnamon flavor. These cinnamon rolls are the absolute best irresistible breakfast treat!
This cinnamon roll recipe makes the most amazing melt-in-your mouth Cinnabon like cinnamon buns. If you are not close to a Cinnabon store or simply want to make homemade cinnamon rolls, this recipe is for you!
At home, we love the warmth of the cinnamon, the softness of the bun and the gooey sweet glaze. My oldest son asks for these buns every Christmas and on his birthday. These decadent cinnamon rolls are his favorite!
Cinnamon Buns Ingredients
There are 3 parts to this recipe, the yeast dough, the filling and the sweet and creamy glaze.
The Yeast Dough
- Milk: I prefer whole milk. The milk should be lukewarm to allow the yeast to bloom.
- Active Dry Yeast: I always make sure my yeast is alive before proceeding with the recipe. Just mix the warm milk with the yeast and wait about 5 minutes to make sure the yeast foams (blooms/bubbles).
- Granulated Sugar
- All-Purpose Flour
- Butter: I prefer unsalted butter for baking but I have used salted butter as well.
- Egg Yolk: From large eggs.
- Salt, Nutmeg and Vanilla Extract
- Butter: I prefer unsalted but you can use salted if that is all you have at home.
- Sugar: I use granulated sugar.
- Cinnamon: Use your favorite ground cinnamon.
- Sugar: Confectioner’s sugar.
- Heavy Cream: Or whipping cream.
How To Make Cinnamon Buns
Make The Dough:
- First proof your yeast. Proof your yeast by combining the warm water, yeast and some sugar. You can read more about Proofing Yeast below.
- Mix the flour, sugar, salt and nutmeg in the bowl of an electric mixer.
- Pour the yeast mixture, melted butter, egg yolk and vanilla and mix until the dough comes together. It usually gathers in a ball away from the sides of the mixing bowl. The dough should be smooth.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and form into a ball. Place in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise for about an hour or until the dough doubles in size.
Assemble, Fill The Rolls and Bake
- Mix the cinnamon-sugar filling ingredients.
- Roll the dough into a rectangular shape.
- Spread the butter on top of the sweet dough.
- Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar on top.
- Roll up the dough tightly into a cylinder, starting with the long side, pinching the edges to seal.
- Cut into 6 even rolls and arranged in a greased baking pan cut side down.
- Let the cinnamon buns rise.
- Preheat the oven and bake. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 to 15 minutes. In the meantime, make the glaze.
Make The Icing and Glaze
- Combine the confectioner’s sugar with the heavy cream, add the butter and mix until the glaze is smooth.
- Drizzle the glaze over the cinnamon buns.
Can I Make These Cinnamon Rolls Ahead Of Time?
Yes, you can! You can make, fill, roll, cut and place the rolls in the baking pan. Cover and place the pan in the refrigerator overnight. Remove from the refrigerator and let them rise in a warm environment for about 1 to 1.5 hours. Proceed to bake.
Can You Freeze Cinnamon Buns?
Yes, cinnamon buns can be frozen. Prepare the dough, fill the rolls, roll and cut them and place them on a greased baking pan. Wrap the pan with at least two layers of plastic wrap. I like to add a layer of foil paper or place the whole baking pan in a jumbo resealable bag.
Thaw them out in the fridge overnight. Follow the next steps in the recipe.
Cinnamon Rolls Recipe Tips
- Make sure your yeast is alive by proofing it before continuing to mix the dough ingredients.
- If your dough seems a bit warm, you can refrigerate it for about 20 minutes before cutting it into rolls. A chilled dough is much easier to slice.
- You can substitute Half and Half for the whole milk.
- This recipe yields 6 large rolls (think Cinnabon big). You can make the rolls smaller. Make 9 or 12 smaller ones if you prefer.
Proofing yeast means to proof that your yeast is alive and active. This task is as simple as combining 2 to 3 ingredients and waiting 5 to 10 minutes!
Add the yeast into a container filled with warm milk (or water). The liquid temperature should be lukewarm like a baby’s bath – between 110 and 115 degrees F. In some recipes, sugar is added to the mixture as it helps to activate the yeast.
After 5 to 10 minutes, the mixture should be foamy. Expect some bubbles, not a foam fest!
If you don’t see any bubbles, simply toss the mixture and start over. Your yeast may be expired, or perhaps the liquid was too warm (or cold) and killed the yeast. There are other factors that can possibly kill yeast as well.
Did You Know?
Do you know what is the difference between a cinnamon roll and a cinnamon bun?
Take a look at these Kolaches Recipe!
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The Best Cinnamon Buns
For the Dough:
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 (1/4-ounce) packet active dry yeast (2 1/2 teaspoons)
- 1/4 cup plus 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour plus more if needed
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted, plus more to grease the mixing bowl
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the Filling:
For the Glaze:
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1/3 heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
Make The Dough
- In a small pan over medium-low heat or in a microwave safe bowl, heat up the milk to about 100 -110 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from the heat (or from the microwave) and sprinkle in the yeast and 1/4 teaspoon of sugar. Set aside for about 5 minutes or until foamy.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the hook attachment (if using a regular mixer use the beaters), mix in the flour, the 1/4 cup of sugar, salt and nutmeg. Pour in the yeast mixture, the melted butter, egg yolk and vanilla and mix on low speed for about 1-2 minutes or until the dough is well combined. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl. Beat on medium speed for about 5-6 minutes or until the dough gathers together into a ball and no longer clings to the sides of the bowl. (if using the hook attachment, the dough will cling to the hook). The dough should be smooth and soft. If your dough is too wet, add additional flour in small increments (about a tablespoon at a time).
- Remove the dough from the mixer and shape into a ball. Place the dough into a mixing bowl greased with butter. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
Fill the Roll
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 12 x 14 inch rectangle. Spread the softened butter on top. Mix together the cinnamon and sugar. Sprinkle it all over the dough. Roll up the dough tightly into a cylinder, starting with the long side. Pinching the edges to seal. Cut into 6 even rolls and arranged in a greased 9 x 13 baking pan, cut side down, leaving space between each roll.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let them rise until doubled (about 35 minutes).
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Bake the cinnamon rolls for about 35 minutes or until golden on top. Remove from the oven and let them cool in the pan for about 10 – 15 minutes. Meanwhile make the glaze.
Make the Glaze
- To make the glaze, whisk together the confectioners' sugar, heavy cream and melted butter.
- Drizzle the glaze over the cinnamon buns (while still warm) and serve.
- If the yeast doesn’t get bubbly, that means the yeast is dead. You need to start again with new yeast.
- Make sure you don’t overheat the milk. Milk (or any liquid) that is over 110 degrees will kill the yeast.
- If heating the milk in the microwave, heat it in 20 second increments to prevent the milk from overheating. If the milk overheats, quickly cool it in the fridge.
- MAKE AHEAD INSTRUCTIONS: You can make, fill, roll and cut and place the rolls in the baking pan. Cover and place in the refrigerator overnight. Remove from the refrigerator and let them rise in a warm environment for about 1 to 1.5 hours.