A quick yeast-made Cinnamon roll recipe (with a “secret ingredient”). These soft, fluffy, cinnamon rolls are loaded with gooey cinnamon-y interiors and topped off with a simple cream cheese frosting. Less than an hour needed to rise! Recipe includes a how-to video at the bottom of the post!
We love enjoying these cinnamon rolls any time of the day, but they make an especially indulgent breakfast option. Just like my buttermilk pancakes, and sausage gravy, having my favorite cinnamon roll recipe on the Christmas morning breakfast table is non-negotiable.
Whew, we made it through a whole week of candy recipes. I don’t know about you but I am exhausted. Hopefully by now you are ready for something a little different, and I’m pretty excited to be sharing this well-tested recipe for fluffy, perfect cinnamon rolls!
In the past, my most popular cinnamon roll recipe was a yeast-free version. While I still love that one for how simple and quick it is, I’ve been working on overcoming my long-running aversion to working with yeast. I started earlier this year with my easy pizza dough and then threw myself into developing a true, yeast-y cinnamon roll recipe.
Because yeast recipes are a newer territory for me, I had to make sure this recipe worked inside and outside of my kitchen. I had many, many fails (maybe you saw them on my Instagram stories), and when I finally landed on this recipe I was almost shocked by how incredibly perfect it was. The first bite was light and fluffy, the centers were just perfectly gooey, the taste was everything you could ever want in a cinnamon roll.
I then proceeded to test this recipe 5 more times just to be sure and even made my mom try it at home in her own kitchen. This cinnamon roll recipe is a winner.
The “Secret Ingredient” for Perfect Cinnamon Rolls
When you read through the recipe, you’ll notice that I use cornstarch. Cornstarch has been my “secret ingredient” in so many of my recipes (most popularly my chocolate chip cookies) that I can hardly call it a secret anymore. After dozens of recipe fails where I couldn’t manage to achieve the perfect fluffy texture I wanted in my cinnamon rolls, I decided to try adding it to my cinnamon rolls.
Bingo. Once I added the cornstarch, recipe development finally started to move in the right direction. The cornstarch gives these cinnamon rolls a softer texture, helping to give you a tender, light and fluffy roll.
Tips for Making Cinnamon Rolls – Flour & Judging by Feel
You’ll notice in the recipe that these cinnamon rolls call for a range of flour and there isn’t a specified amount of kneading time listed. This is because the specifics will vary in every kitchen, and the best way to know your dough is right is by watching and feeling it.
Your cinnamon roll dough should cling together and form a ball that pulls away from the sides of your mixer bowl. Most likely you’ll need to add more flour to achieve this, but you also don’t want to add too much or you’ll end up with dense and dry cinnamon rolls. I call for up to 1/3 cup in the recipe, but you may need even more, or even less! Add additional flour slowly until it’s clinging together but still slightly tacky to the touch. Watching my video is a good visual if you’ve never made cinnamon rolls before or have any questions about what your dough should look like.
You also don’t need to knead (haha) the dough for a certain amount of time. Some recipes call for 5 minutes of kneading or 10 minutes etc., but all mixers vary so, again, we are going by feel. Over-working this dough can make your cinnamon rolls tough, so once the correct texture is reached, your dough is good to go.
Can I make these Cinnamon Rolls in Advance?
Unfortunately, I found that the quality of the cinnamon rolls degraded after the dough sat for a night in my fridge. For best results, I recommend using the dough as soon as you make it (and it’s had time to rest properly, as per the instructions).
However, I have found that they keep their fluffy texture and soft interiors when stored after baking. I store mine in an airtight container at room temperature. Enjoy within 2 days of baking, and I definitely recommend reheating them before eating. Just popping one in the microwave for a few seconds is sufficient!
I am so excited to hear what you think of these cinnamon rolls once you try them for yourself! Please leave me a comment, tag me on Instagram, or share a pic in my free Facebook Baker’s Club!
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How do You Make the Best Cinnamon Rolls?
1 Hour Cinnamon Rolls
- 1 ½ Tablespoons of butter for greasing pie plate
- 2 ¾ cups all purpose flour 345g plus additional ⅓ cup (45g) flour
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 Tablespoons cornstarch cornflour in UK, shake the jar or box before scooping and leveling your cornstarch
- 2 ½ teaspoons rapid rise/instant yeast I use Hodgson mill fast rise yeast
- 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
- ½ cup whole milk 120ml
- ¼ cup water 60ml
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter cut into 8 pieces
- 1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk lightly beaten, room temperature preferred
- ½ cup light brown sugar tightly packed (100g)
- 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup unsalted butter softened (it needs to be soft enough to easily spread, so pop it in the microwave for a few seconds if it’s still firm at room temperature)
- 2 oz cream cheese softened
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted or salted butter softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup powdered sugar 125g
- 1 Tablespoon milk or heavy cream
- Preheat your oven to 200°F and prepare a 9 ½” pie plate by melting 1 ½ Tablespoons of butter in your pie plate. Set aside.
- Combine flour, sugar, cornstarch, yeast, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and stir until well combined.
- In a small saucepan* combine milk, water, and butter over low heat. Stir occasionally until butter is melted and mixture reaches between 110-115°F (if your mixture gets too hot, just remove it from the heat and allow it to cool back down to the indicated temperature range).
- Turn your stand mixer to low speed and slowly pour heated milk mixture into the bowl, stirring until just combined. Add your lightly beaten eggs and increase speed to medium, continue to stir until completely combined (if needed, pause to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl so all flour is absorbed).
- Switch your paddle attachment out for a dough hook if you have one and continue to stir on medium low speed. Gradually add up to ⅓ cup (45g) additional flour as needed until dough clings together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. It should develop a soft, elastic texture and will be slightly sticky/tacky to the touch.
- Transfer your dough to a lightly oiled heatproof bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Allow to rest in a warm place (I usually place mine on top of my preheating oven) for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare your filling.
FILLING & ASSEMBLY
- Whisk together brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Once your dough has finished resting (it may not have risen very much, this is fine) transfer to a clean, lightly floured surface and use a rolling pin to roll out to a 15x9” rectangle. Spread softened 1/4 cup butter evenly over the dough and then sprinkle evenly with brown sugar mixture, leaving about ½” of dough uncovered around the perimeter.
- Starting with the long end, roll your cinnamon rolls into a tight roll. Cut into 9 slices (about 1 ¾” width per slice) and arrange into prepared pie plate.
- Cover with foil and place in your 200°F oven and turn off the oven. Allow dough to rise for 15 minutes. Once 15 minutes has passed, remove covered pie plate and place on top of your oven. Preheat your oven to 350°F and leave rolls covered, allowing them to continue to rise while your oven preheats.
- Once oven is preheated, remove foil and bake rolls for 18-20 minutes or until lightly golden brown on top.
- While your cinnamon rolls are baking, prepare your icing.
- Use an electric mixer to beat together softened cream cheese, butter, and vanilla extract until creamy. Gradually add sugar until completely combined. Add milk or cream, and stir well until creamy and smooth.
- Once rolls have finished baking, allow them to cool for 10 minutes before covering evenly with frosting. Enjoy!