I know I say the “best” a lot, but really, these are the best cinnamon rolls I’ve ever had. It takes a while to make, but theses were SO GOOD!! The middle is really fluffy, and…. it’s just so delicious. For a first time making them, it was a success.
Quick Yeast Cinnamon Rolls
These quick yeast cinnamon rolls are ready in 1 hour, and are soft and fluffy, with gooey centers! They’re frosted with a cream cheese icing that is to so delicious!!
PREP TIME: 15 minutes
COOK TIME: 25 minutes
ADDITIONAL TIME: 20 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour
Quick Yeast Cinnamon Roll Dough
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour + up to 1/2 cup addition flour (added later in process)
- 2 1/4 tsp or 1 packet instant dry yeast (7 grams, 1/4 oz.)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
- 1 egg, at room temperature and beaten
Cinnamon Roll Filling
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
- 2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch (optional, but helps the filling stay in place while the rolls bake)
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1/2 cup full fat cream cheese (4 oz), room temperature
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp heavy cream
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
Cinnamon Roll Filling
- While the dough rises, make the cinnamon roll filling.
- In a medium sized bowl, mix together 1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar, 2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon, and 1 tablespoon cornstarch.
- Set aside.
Cinnamon Roll Dough
- Preheat your oven to 200 degrees F.
- In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine 3 1/2 cups of flour, 1 packet instant dry yeast, and 1 tsp salt.
- In a separate bowl, add 1 cup milk, 1/4 cup softened butter, and 1/2 cup granulated sugar into a microwave safe bowl.
- Heat on high power for 75 seconds, until the mixture is warm to the touch.
- Stir to combine the ingredients.
- Add 1/3 of the warm milk mixture into the flour mixture at a time, mixing on medium speed with a dough hook between additions.
- Add in the beaten egg, and mix on a low speed until a sticky dough ball forms.
- Continue to mix on a low speed for 2-3 minutes, until the dough becomes more elastic.
- As the dough mixes, add additional flour, 1 Tbsp at a time until the dough begins to leave the sides of the bowl. I like to add in a Tbsp at a time, to get just the right amount.
- Cover your bowl with plastic wrap, and set aside to allow the dough to rest for 5 minutes. The plastic wrap should fog up a bit from the warmth of the dough.
- Place the dough on a lightly floured surface, and roll it into a large rectangle 10 inches x 18 inches. Is should be about 1/2 cm thick.
- Spread 1/4 cup of softened butter over the dough, leaving 1 inch of dough on the long side of the rectangle uncovered (this will help you seal off the roll and keep it tight).
- Sprinkle the cinnamon roll filling (instructions above) evenly over the buttered area.
- Tightly roll the dough horizontally, toward the uncovered strip.
- Cut dough log into 9 equal pieces (you can cut it into more pieces if you want smaller/shorter cinnamon rolls), and place in a greased square pan (mine is 8in x 8in).
- Turn the oven off! I REPEAT, TURN THE OVEN OFF.
- Cover the cinnamon roll pan with foil and place in a the oven for about 30 minutes (until the cinnamon rolls have risen).
- Remove from the oven and take off the tinfoil. Turn the oven back on, and heat to 350 degrees.
- Bake for 25 minutes, or until rolls are golden brown.
Cinnamon Roll Frosting
- To make the frosting, stir together the softened 1/2 cup of cream cheese and 1/4 cup of butter with a spoon or stand mixer.
- Add in the 1/2 tsp salt and 1 Tbsp vanilla extract.
- Stir in 1 cup of powdered sugar, then add in the 2 Tbsp of heavy cream. Mix in the remaining 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, and stir until the frosting is smooth.
- Let the cinnamon rolls cool for 5 minutes, then spoon the frosting over each cinnamon roll.
- Serve warm.
Making These Cinnamon Rolls in Advance:
If you want to make these quick yeast cinnamon rolls ahead of time, be sure to use regular yeast rather than instant yeast, and double the amount (some of the yeast may be damaged when frozen, so doubling the amount ensures your cinnamon rolls will rise properly). Freeze the cinnamon rolls after they have been cut and proofed in a greased pan.
Cover the cinnamon rolls with an airtight lid or plastic and freeze for up to a week. To thaw, take them out 2 hours before you plan to bake them, and then follow the recipe to bake.
If you want to make smaller cinnamon rolls, cut the rolled dough into 12 pieces.
Be sure you are using instant yeast! It comes in tiny packets that can usually be found in the refrigerated section of your grocery store.