Amazing Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
Breakfast, Desserts

Amazing Homemade Cinnamon Rolls (No Mixer)

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One of the greatest smells is the smell of freshly baked amazing homemade cinnamon rolls. And this recipe for cinnabons from scratch is incredible! Everyone that tries them loves them!

They are one of my favorite things to make and eat. I first learned how to make them back in my 8th-grade cooking class. They are awesome, you can eat them for breakfast, brunch, as a snack, or pretty much whenever you want. If you want to eat them for dinner, I won’t tell anyone.

These amazing homemade cinnamon rolls are super tasty, super easy to make, and super cheap, and no mixer is required to make them.

Let’s dive into the fantastic world of baking and learn how to make some crazy awesome Cinnamon Rolls from scratch. If I can do it, you can do it, let’s get baking!

grey pan filled with cinnamon rolls topped with glaze

Step 1: Gather ingredients and tools

First, we need to gather up our ingredients and tools. For these amazing homemade cinnamon rolls from scratch you will need the following:

Dough

  • Flour – I generally use all-purpose flour (plain flour) for these but bread flour works really well too. I have used both many times and they turn out great either way.
  • Sugar – White granulated sugar for a hint of sweetness
  • Butter – The butter adds a bit of flavor to the dough but also helps to control the texture. You may use oil instead if you like. You can use unsalted or salted butter.
  • Egg – The egg will help in the rising process and make the dough softer and make the texture lighter.
  • Yeast – You may use active dry yeast or instant yeast. The yeast is what makes the dough rise and gives it a light texture. Yeast based doughs are my favorite!
  • Water – The main moisture element in the dough.
  • Milk – The milk will help to make a richer and softer dough.
  • Salt – The salt will add to the taste and bring out the flavors of the other ingredients. It also will help the dough after it is baked to not get stale.

Filling

  • Brown sugar – You can certainly use white granulated sugar in the filling too if you like.
  • Butter – oh yeah gotta have butter! This adds tons of flavor to the cinnamon rolls. You may use salted or unsalted butter.
  • Cinnamon – Can’t have cinnamon rolls without ground cinnamon.
  • Vanilla extract – The vanilla will add flavor to the rolls.

Vanilla Glaze

To glaze or not to glaze that is the question. I make a glaze 50 percent of the time and a nice cream cheese frosting the other 50 percent of the time. It just depends on who I am making them for and what their preferences are.

If you want a cream cheese frosting recipe check out this no-knead cinnamon rolls recipe.

  • Powdered sugar – the main sweet element in the glaze
  • Butter – This will add flavor to the glaze and help thicken it up
  • Vanilla extract – another flavor element
  • Milk – The main moisture element will add flavor as well as control the consistency.

Step 2: How to Make Amazing Homemade Cinnamon Rolls Without a Mixer

Batch of cinnamon rolls in a pan with glaze on them.

Combine the water and milk in a microwave-safe bowl and heat the liquid up to around 105 to 115 degrees F (40 to 44 C). Generally, it only takes 30 seconds or so. Optionally you can certainly heat up it in a pot on the stovetop. The active dry yeast needs warm liquid to active it.

Some people prefer to use rapid rise yeast or instant yeast which is totally fine you can just add it to the dry ingredients. I will ALWAYS active my yeast first however because I want to make sure the yeast is not bad or old and this is a full-proof way to know the yeast is good.

Step 3: Add Warm Liquid to Bowl

Now, add the warm liquid to a large bowl and sprinkle the yeast on top. Add in about a teaspoon of your white granulated sugar, it will provide some food for the yeast. While not absolutely necessary I always add it in. I need my yeast happy! Set the yeast mixture aside and allow it to do its thing for 5 to 10 minutes.

Step 4: Activated yeast and melted butter

Next, combine the flour and salt together in a separate bowl you can use a whisk or a sifter if you like. Then melt the butter in the microwave for a few seconds or heat it up on the stovetop. Notice the yeast how it goes nice and foamy, this is exactly what you want.

Large glass bowl with foamy yeast sitting on top of white counter with other ingredients.
(This is what the activated yeast should look like.)

If after 5 or 10 minutes the yeast didn’t get foamy then it means the yeast is bad, old, or the liquid was too hot and killed it or it was not warm enough to activate it. You will need to start again. Once you have the activated yeast add the melted butter to it along with the rest of the sugar.

Step 5: Egg and Completing the Homemade Cinnamon Rolls Dough

After adding in the rest of the sugar whisk in the egg. If you don’t eat eggs you can leave the egg out. Now start to add the flour mixture in a little bit at a time.

Continue using the whisk until it gets too thick or you could be doing this all with a stand mixer. Switch to a wooden spoon and continue adding the flour until you get a tacky dough consistency.

After that add a bit more flour and knead the dough a little bit in the bowl making sure to get the flour that has stuck to the sides of the bowl. Then pour the dough out onto a floured surface to knead.

Hand holding glass bowl of flour over a large glass bowl of dough.

Step 6: Knead the Cinnamon Rolls Dough and Cover

It’s time to knead the dough. Why do we knead dough? Kneading the dough develops the gluten in the flour and makes the dough more light, airy, and chewy.

In order to knead the dough take the dough and fold it over onto itself and then push down and out with your palm stretching the dough then turn the dough a quarter turn and repeat. Knead the dough for 8 to 10 minutes the resulting dough will be nice and smooth.

Now just place the kneaded dough into a large bowl that has been sprayed with kitchen spray and cover it with a damp towel. Then allow the dough to rise on the counter or in a dough proofer for at least an hour or until doubled.

You don’t need a stand mixer to make amazing homemade cinnamon rolls

Hands kneading dough on a counter top with flour.

You can certainly use a stand mixer like a Kitchen Aid with a dough hook to knead the dough. Can you believe it that I still hand knead all of my doughs? I actually really enjoy it, burn a few calories doing it, and it is pretty therapeutic.

If you enjoy making homemade dough make sure to check out this homemade white bread recipe.

Ball of risen dough sitting in a large glass bowl on top of a white counter.

Step 7: Roll out the Dough and Add Butter, Sugar, and Cinnamon

After the dough has risen and is about double in size, roll out the dough into a rectangle. I generally roll it about a little less than half of an inch thick close to a quarter inch.

Now time to create the filling. Place the cinnamon, brown sugar, and vanilla extract in a bowl and combine them with a whisk or spoon.

After that take a couple of tablespoons of softened butter and baste the top of the dough. Then just sprinkle on the filling until it covers the whole thing.

Hand with metal spoon placing cinnamon and sugar on buttered dough.

Step 8: Roll up the dough and cut out the homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Time to roll up the dough. It is a good idea to roll it fairly tight, if you roll it too loose it may fall apart in the pan depending on how tight they fit together.

Hand rolling up dough on a counter topped with brown sugar and cinnamon.

This time for a cool little trick to cutting homemade cinnamon rolls dough I learned 30 years ago in my 8th-grade cooking class. Take some dental floss and pull out about 3 feet of it. Then place it under the dough and then go over the top and cross each end and pull. This will cut the dough perfectly without smashing it.

Sometimes when a knife is used it can smash the dough, try it out next time and see how you like it. Next, just place the cut rolls into a greased 9x13 inch baking pan.

Hand using dental floss to cut cinnamon roll dough on counter top.

Step 9: Cover and Let the Cinnamon Rolls Rise

Once the pan is full of rolls and ready to go, cover it with plastic wrap or a damp cloth and let the rolls rise for another 45 minutes to an hour, or until doubled. You may also put it back in your dough proofer if you happen to have one of those.

Step 10: Baste and Bake Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Next, we brush on butter to the tops of the cinnamon rolls, which will add flavor and help them get a nice golden brown color. Bake the rolls in a preheated at 375 degrees F (190 C), for around 15 to 20 minutes. When they are done they will be a nice golden brown on the tops.

Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool for 10 to 15 minutes before adding the glaze or cream cheese frosting on top.

A batch of cinnamon rolls sitting in a pan on top of a stove.

Step 11: Make Homemade Cinnamon Rolls Glaze or Cream Cheese Frosting

While our freshly baked homemade cinnamon rolls are cooling. We can make our glaze or if you like you can make a cream cheese frosting. To make the glaze add the powdered sugar, melted butter, and vanilla extract, plus about 2 Tablespoons of milk to a small bowl and mix them together.

You may wind up adding a bit more milk if you like the glaze runnier. All that is left to do is to add the glaze to the tops of those yummy cinnamon rolls. Then you are done and ready to enjoy them! 🙂

Cinnamon rolls with white glaze on top sitting in pan on top of a counter.

Like this recipe? Check out my other recipes here.

Can I make the homemade cinnamon rolls the night before?

Yes! You absolutely can make the dough the night before. After you form your rolls and put them in the pan instead of allowing them to rise the second time cover them with plastic wrap and place in your fridge overnight.

In the morning, take them out and let the unbaked cinnamon rolls come to room temperature, usually about 30 minutes. Then you can preheat the oven and bake them. This way you can have fresh homemade cinnamon rolls in the morning without having to wake up too early!

How long do homemade cinnamon rolls last?

The cinnamon rolls will last about 2 days if stored in an airtight container at room temperature. They will last for about 7 days if stored in the fridge.

Can I freeze the cinnamon rolls?

Yes you can freeze them before adding the icing. Place the cinnamon rolls on a baking sheet and add to the freezer for a few hours. Once they are frozen, remove them from the baking sheet and add to a freezer bag. They will last 2 to 3 months.

Then thaw them out and place them in a preheated oven, 350 F/176 C for 10 minutes or so to heat them up. Make the glaze and put it on top.

Amazing Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
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4.97 from 117 votes

Amazing Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Rolls are one of my favorite treats. You can eat them for breakfast, you can eat Cinnamon Rolls for a snack or as a dessert! These cinnamon rolls are super tasty, super easy to make, and super cheap. Let's dive into the fantastic world of baking and bake some crazy awesome Cinnamon Rolls.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time2 hrs 40 mins
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cinnamon, cinnamon rolls, easy, rolls, yeast
Servings: 12
Calories: 308kcal
Author: In the Kitchen with Matt

Equipment

  • 13x9 baking pan
  • Bowls
  • Whisk
  • Wooden spoon
  • Basting brush

Ingredients

Dough

  • cups all-purpose flour 330g
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar 56g
  • 2 tbsp. butter, unsalted or salted 30g
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 package instant yeast or 2¼ tsp. (7g)
  • ½ cup water 118ml
  • ¼ cup milk 59ml
  • 1 tsp. salt 4g

Filling

  • cup brown sugar 149g
  • ¼ cup butter, unsalted or salted 56g
  • 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon 15g
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract about 5 ml

Vanilla Glaze

  • cups powdered sugar confectioner'sugar (180g)
  • ¼ cup butter 56g
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract 5ml
  • 2-3 tbsp. milk 30 to 45ml

Instructions

  • Add milk and water in a small bowl and heat to 105 to 115 F (40 to 44 C.) Add a teaspoon of the sugar along with the yeast. Set aside for about five to 10 minutes until the mixture gets foamy/frothy. This is how you know the yeast is activated and is good.
  • In a medium bowl combine the flour and the salt and set aside. Then melt the butter, I usually just do it in the microwave. Add the melted butter (make sure it isn’t very hot) to the activated yeast along with the rest of your sugar. Whisk to combine. 
  • Add the yeast mixture to a large bowl. Whisk in the egg to the yeast mixture. Once combined add our flour little by little, switch to a wooden spoon when it gets thick. Or use a stand mixer. Add the flour a little at a time until you get a nice tacky dough. After that knead the dough a little bit in the bowl with some extra flour, this will help get the dough off the sides of the bowl. Then pour it out onto a lightly floured surface.
  • Knead the dough for 8 to 10 minutes, using your hands or a stand mixer with a dough hook. Use a bit more flour if the dough gets too sticky. Add the dough to a bowl with a bit of oil or that has been sprayed with kitchen spray. Then cover the dough with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and allow it to rise for 1 hour or until doubled. Next, roll out the dough and baste the top with softened butter. Then mix together the cinnamon, brown sugar, and vanilla extract. If you don’t have brown sugar, you can use white sugar. Sprinkle that on top of the butter, then roll up the dough tightly. 
  • Using dental floss or a knife, cut about 12 rolls from the dough and place them in a 9×13 inch baking pan which has been sprayed with cooking spray. Cover with plastic wrap or a cloth and let the cinnamon rolls rise for 45 minutes to an hour. 
  • Remove the plastic wrap or cloth and baste the tops with butter then bake the rolls in a preheated oven (375 F/190 C) for 15 to 20 minutes until the rolls are golden brown. Once they are done allow them to cool.
  • While the rolls are cooling make the glaze. Add the powdered sugar, melted butter, and vanilla extract, plus the milk, you can add another Tablespoon of milk if you want your glaze runnier. Then add the glaze to the top of the cinnamon rolls and they are done! Enjoy!

Video

Amazing Homemade Cinnamon Rolls recipe (No Mixer)

Notes

Cinnamon Rolls Nutrition

Do you like the recipe? Please give it a rating and comment down below, I really appreciate it. 🙂 If you make it tag me on Instagram @inthekitchenwithmatt. Also, sign up for the newsletter so you won’t miss out on any of my new posts and recipes.

Some other breakfast recipes you may enjoy:

Homemade Belgian Waffles

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Chocolate Cake Donuts

Homemade Crepes

Japanese Souffle Pancakes

Amazing Cinnamon Rolls Pin for pinterest with in the kitchen with matt logo
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Do you like this recipe? Share and Pin it! Please give it a rating and comment down below, I really appreciate it. If you make it tag me on Instagram @inthekitchenwithmatt. Also, sign up for the newsletter so you won’t miss out on any of my new posts and recipes.

299 Comments

  1. Marlee Sharpe

    5 stars
    These are fabulous! To expedite the raising of the rolls, I put my oven on the lowest setting with a cookie sheet that has about a cup of water. Let it build up the moisture, and “proofed” them for the same time the recipe said to let them raise. They were the best tasting cinny rolls ever! Thank you!!!

  2. Julie van Rooyen

    5 stars
    Thanks for the best Cinnamon rolls recipe ever, my family and friends love it so much I bake it a lot..

  3. 5 stars
    This recipe is amazing ? definitely the best I’ve had thank you ?

  4. I made this today and it was really easy to follow. I am no pro baker and just started doing basic ones and I was dying to make cinnamon rolls. It was a success! My mom and dad loved it so much my dad said it was perfect and I should make more. Thank you so much!

  5. 5 stars
    These were so so so good! It was the first time I made cinnamon rolls, but I’ve never tasted them this good. Not even at coffee shops. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, love from The Netherlands 🙂

    • Aww thank you so much for the nice compliment, Roos! So happy you gave them a try and liked them. You are so very welcome! Glad you found the recipe in the Netherlands!

  6. 5 stars
    Absolutely wonderful recipe!! My family was speechless and wants me to make it again although we didn’t even finish the first batch ? I’m so grateful I found this recipe and it will definitely be something i will say I make perfectly lol? Thank you so much chef Matt for the softest and most aromatic rolls from heavennn???

  7. 5 stars
    Excited to try this for Valentine’s Day weekend. Can you let the dough sit overnight?

  8. 5 stars
    Just one thing….directions on the thickness and/or dimensions of the rolled rectangle and, how far apart to place them in the pan would be a help. Some recipes say 1 inch apart…others..2 to 3 inches apart. Some say 12×24…others say 18×14. Make sure to read the whole post, not just the printable version. The printable version would get way too long if everything was included there.

    • Hi Janet, the reason why they differ is because it can be different each time. Space them equally apart in a 9×13 pan, as they rise and bake they will bake together anyways. There is no set size that you need to roll it either. But I do mention in step 7 of the post to roll it out between 1/4th and 1/2 inch thick. 18×14 is a good size for this recipe. If if you wanted to roll them thinner or thicker that is totally up to you. You could make like 8 really large ones if you wanted, haha. 🙂

  9. 4 stars
    Hi Matt…I am sure your recipe has been on your site for a long time…and I doubt anyone bothered to tell you that your recipe states mixing the yeast and warm milk and water in a SMALL bowl….then later I am supposed add all that flour to that small bowl…doesnt work Matt…I am printing out your recipe again and changing that…and in ADDITION…you failed to tell the novice baker to turn out the proofed dough onto a lightly floured surface….YOU WOULD THINK EVERYONE WOULD KNOW THAT …. and I DO…however, I came back to your complete guidelines and saw that you DID flour your surface in the photo ! SO THERE YA GO…I hope these turn out as good as it appears they do !

    • Um Kay, you use three bowls, one for the yeast, one for the flour, and one large bowl for the dough. lol Sorry, it wasn’t clear in the printable version, did you watch the video, it is pretty obvious in there? That would have solved all your questions, haha. :). Did you read the post? It clearly says in step 3. “Now add the warm liquid to a large bowl…”And the bowl in the picture is large. Or did you just skip the whole post and use the “jump to recipe” function? In step 5 of the post, it clearly says, “then pour the dough out onto a floured surface to knead.” But yes you are right, it isn’t as obvious in the “printable recipe” but definitely obvious in the actual post. I will change it to make sure it is more clear in the printable version. 🙂 But FYI it is always a good idea to read the full post, because it adds tips, and other things that would make the printable recipe much too long. 🙂 Let me know how they turn out!

      • 5 stars
        Hi Matt ~ ThankYOU for your reply….yes…after I sent the message…I reread your TERRIFIC guide to baking the cinnamon rolls …SO, I apologize for the lengthy comment I made for naught !! SO I BAKED THE RECIPE, and we LOVED these Cinnamon Rolls !! I am a senior and do not have a stand mixer anymore…wore it out ! and never replaced it. SO, I kneaded the dough per your instructions almost 10 minutes…I could feel how strong it got. I am saying this as if anyone reads my reply to you…I want them to know it is critical to knead the bread per your instructions. SO…I HAVE A QUESTION…I am zooming this recipe with my niece in Florida Saturday…I am thinking of cutting the rolls so they are a bit taller …say 8-9 of them rather than 12….in doing so, shall I bake at 350 for about 30 minutes? I will be using a Pyrex pan rather than my oldmetal 13×9 … I will appreciate your feedback ! THANK YOU, again, for rejuvenating my interest in baking Cinnamon rolls..it has been years .. since my husband became GF ! I AM GOING TO CHECK YOUR SITE TO SEE IF YOU HAVE PERFECTED Cinnamon Swirl Bread !!

  10. 5 stars
    The recipe was amazing!! Tasted better than I thought and looked delicious

  11. Hi Matt! Just a quick question about the recipe for the cinnamon rolls. After I have cut the rolls and placed them in the pan to do the final rise, would it be ok to let them rise on the counter overnight? Thanks!

    • Hi Megan! Cover them and place them in the fridge overnight. Don’t leave them on the counter that whole time. 🙂 Then in the morning, remove them from the fridge and let them sit out at room temp for 30 to 45 minutes before baking them. 🙂 I mention that just below step 11 in the blog post. 🙂

  12. 5 stars
    Best breakfast of the Year ?. So delicious even Without the glaze. Will make them again !!!
    Thank you for the recipe and the clear steps to follow.
    Next are the Belgian waffels. Expectations are high as I am Belgian too ?

  13. 5 stars
    I made this recipe since I didn’t have a mixer over the holidays, it came out absolutely perfect!! I poured some cream over the top of the rolls before baking and they were extra soft and gooey. Will definitely make again 🙂

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