These small-batch soft cinnamon rolls are so easy to make. Pillowy-soft bread filled with cinnamon sugar and glazed cream cheese frosting. Make 6 large or 9 medium size rolls in 90 minutes (or less) from preparation to frosting! Tips and video instructions are included.
Cinnamon Roll Recipe
Hello home bakers! This is another highly requested recipe that I'm so excited to be finally sharing with you.
I know deep in my heart that you will absolutely love this delicious cinnamon rolls recipe:
- The dough is so easy to make. It only requires one proofing; no second rise! Note that rising time can take about 20 to 30 minutes depending on the room temperature.
- It's a small-batch recipe. It only requires 2 cups of flour that yields 6 large rolls or 9 medium-sized rolls.
- The bread is pillowy-soft, gooey, and buttery. Made of my favorite ingredients that never fail to make the best softest yeast bread!
- The cinnamon-sugar filling and the cream cheese frosting are less sweet making it more irresistible.
To make the pillowy-soft dough for cinnamon rolls, you will need:
- Flour - using equal amounts of all-purpose flour and bread flour is a favorite technique of mine to create that lovely soft bread texture.
- Instant Yeast - or rapid-rise yeast is needed which helps the dough rise faster. Note that this recipe has not been tested with active dry yeast.
- Milk - use full fat or low fat for that milky bread flavor.
- Egg Yolks - the secret to a luscious, plush, and pillowy soft. Don't tell anyone (wink!).
- Butter - use pure unsalted butter for the good-tasting dough.
- Brown sugar - Brown sugar is best for cinnamon roll fillings because its distinctive molasses flavor complements the cinnamon.
- Cinnamon - Use ground cinnamon powder. You can find this in most grocery stores or online.
- Butter - Use good quality pure butter for the best results. You can use salted or unsalted alternatively.
How to make Cinnamon Rolls in 90 minutes!
So here's my workflow for homemade cinnamon rolls in 90 minutes! From preparation, making the dough, rolling, dividing, and frosting.
Part 1: Make the Dough
- Start with proofing the instant yeast in warm milk and sugar. This is the key step to making a quick-rise dough. It should take 5 to 10 minutes until it froths.
- Meanwhile, measure the dry ingredients and combine them in a large bowl of your stand mixer. You will still have enough time to measure the butter and separate the egg yolks.
- When the yeast has proofed, add it to the dry ingredients along with the egg and butter. Knead for 8 minutes. While kneading, make the cinnamon sugar filling.
Part 2: Shaping and Filling
Shape the cinnamon roll dough into a rectangle, spread the butter on top then sprinkle the cinnamon filling. Carefully roll into a log as tightly as you can then divide into 6 large pieces or 9 medium-sized rolls.
You can use a sharp knife to cut the dough or a dough cutter or scrapper cutter.
Part 3: Rising and Baking
Arrange rolls in the baking dish. Cover with a damp kitchen towel or plastic wrap. Let them rise for 20 to 30 minutes, preferably in a warm place. While waiting you can start preheating the oven at 350F/ 180c. Bake the rolls until lightly golden brown.
While baking, make the cream cheese glaze. This should take about 5 minutes. You will still have enough time to sit, relax, and enjoy the smell of your kitchen while waiting for the rolls to bake.
Cream Cheese Frosting
To make the frosting, you will just need three simple ingredients: cream cheese, butter, and icing sugar. You can also add vanilla extract if preferred.
In the recipe below, I've included 2 sets of recipes for the frosting. One is for lightly frosted cinnamon buns and the second is for heavily frosted buns.
You're welcome 🙂
Shelf-life and Storage
These fluffy cinnamon rolls should last in the fridge for up to one week. For the best texture, store in an airtight container and consume within 3 days.
To reheat, place it in a microwave and cover it with a damp paper towel. Microwave in 10-second increments until it's warm.
Watch How to Make it
Small Batch Soft Cinnamon Rolls (quick and easy)
- ⅓ cup brown sugar (packed)
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon powder
- ¼ cup butter (softened)
Cream Cheese Frosting (see note 5)
- 2 tablespoon cream cheese (softened)
- 1 tablespoon butter (softened)
- ¼ cup powdered sugar (sifted, add more if preferred)
- 1 tablespoon milk (add more as needed)
Proof instant yeast to activate quickly
- Place milk and 1 teaspoon sugar in a microwave-safe cup. Heat for 30 seconds. Check if the temperature is LUKEWARM by dipping your finger or a kitchen thermometer. If it's still cold, heat for another 10 seconds until it reaches 40c/104f.
- Add yeast, stir and let it proof for 10 minutes until it froths.
Prepare other ingredients
- Meanwhile, prepare the rest of the ingredients. In the bowl of a stand mixer combine flour, salt, and sugar. Whisk to combine.
- Separate egg yolks from the egg whites. Set aside.
Knead the dough and prepare the filling
- Add milk-yeast to the flour mixture. Stir in egg yolks and ¼ cup softened butter. Attach the dough hook and set the mixer on medium speed. Beat for 8 minutes, add additional flour as necessary. Start with 1 tablespoon. The dough should be slightly sticky and pulling away from the sides of the bowl. Be careful not to add too much flour. Let it rest in the bowl for 10 minutes (see note 4).
- Prepare the filling. In a small bowl, combine ⅓ cup brown sugar and cinnamon powder. Whisk to combine and set aside.
Roll out and divide the dough (watch the video, it's helpful)
- Wipe the work surface with oil. Roll the dough 28 x 35 cm / 11 x 14" rectangle with a rolling pin. Spread softened butter all over.
- Sprinkle cinnamon-sugar spread evenly with a spatula. Roll up firmly and gently into a log. Pinch the seam down to seal.
- Trim the ends for even slices and cut into 6 pieces for large rolls or 9 pieces for medium-sized rolls. Arrange in a lightly grease 23 x 33cm / 9 x 13 " baking dish. Cover with a damp towel and allow to rise for 20 to 30 minutes (see note 3).
Baking and Frosting
- While rising, pre-heat oven to 180c/350F. Meanwhile, make the cream cheese frosting. Place all the ingredients in a bowl. Whisk or beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Add enough milk until it reaches a spreadable consistency.
- Uncover the rolls and bake for 20 to 22 mins until lightly golden. Cool slightly. Spread frosting. Serve warm and enjoy!
Recipe Notes and Tips:
- Milk temperature should be 30c/86f to 40c/104f. If it's too hot the yeast will die. If it's too cold, the yeast will not froth.
- I find that combining 2 types of flour makes a soft yet chewy bread. You can use pure bread flour or just all-purpose flour if one or the other is not available.
- Proving dough in colder months: Place a heatproof dish on the bottom rack of the oven and fill it with boiling water. Put the dough in the middle or top rack and shut the door. The steam and heat from the boiling water will create a warm environment to help raise the dough. You can also do this in an empty kitchen cabinet/cupboard so you can start pre-heating the oven while the rolls are rising.
- For heavily frosted cinnamon rolls (just like in the video), increase cream cheese to ¼ cup, butter to 2 tbsp, and milk to 2 tbsp.
- For a full batch recipe - follow my Quick and Easy Dinner Rolls recipe for the base dough then just multiply the ingredients of the cinnamon filling and frosting by two.
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