Cinnamon Rolls

Recipe by PJ Hamel

Warm cinnamon rolls are available at every airport, every mall, and many fast-food outlets. So why make your own? Because YOU control what's in them, using your own butter, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and other natural (not chemical-laden) ingredients. And besides, there's nothing like pulling warm rolls right out of your own oven!

25 mins
20 mins
3 hrs 45 mins
16 cinnamon rolls
Cinnamon Rolls


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  1. To make the dough: Weigh your flour; or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. Combine the flour, dry milk, potato flour, sugar, salt, and yeast in a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and lesser amount of water then mix and knead everything together—by hand, mixer or bread machine set on the dough cycle—to form a smooth, elastic dough, adding more water if necessary. If you're kneading in a stand mixer, it should take 7 to 10 minutes at second speed, and the dough should barely clean the sides of the bowl, perhaps sticking a bit at the bottom. In a bread machine (or by hand), it should form a smooth ball.

  2. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl. Cover the bowl, and allow the dough to rise, at room temperature, until it's nearly doubled in bulk, about 1 to 2 hours. Rising may take longer, especially if you've kneaded by hand or if your kitchen is cool. Give it enough time to become quite puffy.

  3. While the dough is rising, lightly grease two 9" round cake pans.

  4. Transfer the risen dough to a lightly greased work surface, and pat or roll it into a 16"x12" rectangle. It's a nice, soft dough, and pats out easily.

  5. To make the filling: Combine the sugar, cinnamon, and flour.

  6. To assemble the rolls: Brush the dough lightly with milk. Sprinkle the filling evenly over the dough, covering the entire surface

  7. Roll the dough into a log the long way; it'll stretch to about 20" long as you roll. Using a bench knife or a serrated knife, cut the log into 16 slices. 

  8. Space eight rolls in each of the prepared pans. Cover the pans and let the rolls rise until they're noticeably puffy, about 1 to 2 hours; they should spread out and start to crowd one another.

  9. While the rolls are rising, preheat the oven to 375°F.

  10. Bake the rolls until they're brown around the edges and beginning to turn golden brown across the center, about 20 minutes.

  11. Remove the rolls from the oven and place the pans on a rack. Wait 5 minutes, then transfer the rolls from the pans to a rack.

  12. To make the glaze: When you're ready to serve the rolls, combine the sugar, vanilla, and enough cream or milk to make a spreadable glaze.

  13. Spread the glaze on top of the warm rolls and serve immediately.

  14. Store rolls, well wrapped, at room temperature for a couple of days; freeze for longer storage.

Tips from our Bakers

  • When making anything with yeast, including these rolls, let the dough rise to the point the recipe says it should, e.g., "Let the dough rise until it's doubled in bulk." Rising times are only a guide; there are so many variables in yeast baking (how you knead the dough; what kind of yeast you use) that it's impossible to say that bread dough will ALWAYS double in bulk in a specific amount of time.

  • You can also bake these rolls in a 9" x 13" pan. Prepare the recipe as instructed through step 7. Divide the log into 12 equal slices, and arrange them in the lightly greased pan. Let the rolls rise as instructed, then bake in a preheated 375°F oven for about 20 minutes. Finish the rolls as instructed.

  • Want to prepare these rolls ahead of time, freeze or refrigerate them (unbaked), then bake fresh? To freeze, see our blog post, Freeze! Time-savers for the holidays. To prepare the night before, place the shaped buns in the pan, cover the pan, and refrigerate overnight. Next morning, let the buns warm at room temperature for about an hour, covered. Uncover and bake as directed.

  • Want to bake the rolls, but serve them later in the day (or within a few days)? Allow the unglazed rolls to cool completely, then wrap in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to three days. Fifteen minutes before you're ready to serve the rolls, preheat the oven to 350°F. Unwrap the rolls, place them on an ungreased baking sheet, and tent lightly with aluminum foil. Bake the rolls for 10 to 15 minutes, until they're nicely warmed; make the glaze while the rolls are warming. Spread the glaze on the rolls when they come out of the oven.