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 rolls with cream cheese frosting

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.
recipe for quick cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting

Dough Ingredients

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.

Cinnamon Filling

  • 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.
quick rise cinnamon dough rolls

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.

Here’s how:

Part 1: Make the Dough

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Re-heating

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

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Small batch Soft Cinnamon Rolls recipe

Small Batch Soft Cinnamon Rolls (quick and easy)

4.84 from 18 votes
Pillowy-soft bread rolls 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 included.
Makes (tap to scale):9 rolls
Prep Time:1 hour
Cooking Time:22 minutes

Ingredients
 

  • ¾ cup fresh milk + 1 tsp sugar (lukewarm, see note 1)
  • 2 ¼ tsp instant yeast (or rapid rise yeast)
  • 1 cup bread flour (see note 2)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (see note 2)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter (softened)
  • 3 tbsp white sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks (room temperature)

Cinnamon-Sugar Filling

  • cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon powder
  • ¼ cup butter (softened)

Cream Cheese Frosting (see note 5)

  • 2 tbsp cream cheese (softened)
  • 1 tbsp butter (softened)
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar (sifted, add more if preferred)
  • 1 tbsp milk (add more as needed)

Instructions

Proof instant yeast to activate quickly

  • Place milk and 1 tsp 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.
    proofing yeast photo
  • 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.
    dry ingredients cinnamon rolls
  • 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 1/4 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).
    dough kneading in stand mixer
  • Prepare the filling. In a small bowl, combine 1/3 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.
    spread butter in dough
  • Sprinkle cinnamon-sugar spread evenly with a spatula. Roll up firmly and gently into a log. Pinch the seam down to seal.
    rolling dough of cinnamon rolls
  • 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).
    cutting cinnamon rolls dough

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.
    cream cheese frosting photo
  • Uncover the rolls and bake for 20 to 22 mins until lightly golden. Cool slightly. Spread frosting. Serve warm and enjoy!
    baked cinnamon rolls

Recipe Notes and Tips:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3.  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.
  4. For heavily frosted cinnamon rolls (just like in the video), increase cream cheese to 1/4 cup, butter to 2 tbsp, and milk to 2 tbsp.
  5. 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. 
  •  
Jump to Video
Author : Mella
Course : Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine : American-Western
Keyword : 90 minute cinnamon rolls, soft dough cinnamon rolls
Nutrition Facts
Small Batch Soft Cinnamon Rolls (quick and easy)
Amount per Serving
Calories
298
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
14
g
22
%
Saturated Fat
 
8
g
50
%
Cholesterol
 
75
mg
25
%
Sodium
 
204
mg
9
%
Potassium
 
77
mg
2
%
Carbohydrates
 
38
g
13
%
Fiber
 
2
g
8
%
Sugar
 
15
g
17
%
Protein
 
5
g
10
%
Vitamin A
 
452
IU
9
%
Calcium
 
33
mg
3
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?I love hearing how you went with my recipes! Tag @rivertenkitchen or leave a comment below!

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54 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Mella.. this was one of the tastiest cinnamon rolls I’ve ever had– very simple recipe and not too much waiting time to dig into these absolutely delicious rolls. The frosting came out just fantastic.Thanks for sharing the recipe

  2. I do not have bread flour. If I use ALP what will be the measurements?
    Do I have to adjust the liquids as well?

  3. My sister shared this recipe with me. I tried and it turned out really soft and tasty. Family and friends loved it! I have made it multiple times and it never failed me. I have also doubled the recipe since the single recipe wasn’t enough 🙂
    Thank you for sharing this recipe.

    1. You’re welcome, Emma! So happy everyone loved this recipe. I’ve added a link to the full batch recipe of the dough in the recipe notes. Feel free to use it 🙂
      – Mella

  4. 5 stars
    I tried this recipe and its amazing! It is easy and delicious. My wards loved it. Thank you for sharing❤❤❤.

    1. Could it be just the icing sugar? Sift it in a mesh to remove the lumps of sugar before adding it to the frosting.
      -M

  5. 5 stars
    Thank you for this wonderful recipe, I’ve made them about 6 times since finding it (a month ago).They are perfect for a small family and when you just want a quick cinnamon roll. I’ve got some in the oven as I type this. My husband is a huge fan!!!

    1. You’re welcome, Cara! Glad you and your family enjoyed this. I bet your house smells so good right now 🙂
      – Mella

  6. Hi! Can I make this using a breadmaker to mix and rise? Because I don’t like the manual kneading part. I also use red star platinum yeast.

  7. 5 stars
    Made this recipe thrice. It was so good, my family and friends loved it so much. Waiting for your full batch recipe.. thank you ms. Mella.😊

  8. Hi! Mella yung dough bkit 10mins lang rest. Diba po pinapa rise ng 1hour. Yung nagawa ko maliit sya. Yung iba nkita ko pinapa rise nila 1st rise ska 2nd rise.

    1. Hi Jeremy, quick rise dough recipe ito using instant yeast or rapid rise with just 2 cups flour. Ung second rise ang matagal 20-30mins depende sa room temperature. See recipe notes for more details.
      – Mella

  9. 5 stars
    Love this recipe- easy to follow. Mine turned out perfect and delicious following this one with a little bit/slight modifications and added ingredients. Thanks. I have been looking for a good recipe and I finally found one.

    I added some sour cream on my dough though.

    1. Sorry bella this is only for a small batch recipe. I will need to make a completely different recipe for a huge batch of dough.
      – Mella

      1. 4 stars
        I just made this cinnamon roll today, thank your for this recipe, which is so delicious, soft and easy to do. We will wait for your double portion on this recipe. Thank you again for sharing.

        1. You’re welcome, Loreen! Glad you enjoyed this Cinnamon rolls recipe. I’ll be working on the full batch recipe soon.

  10. 5 stars
    So delicious. This dish is one of my favorites. I was able to make it myself according to your recipe. Its taste is great and looks very nice. Thanks for sharing this recipe. Hope you will have many good articles like this one.

    1. Sorry this is only for a small batch recipe. I will need to make a completely different recipe for a huge batch of dough.
      – Mella

  11. Wow! This looks delicious. I can’t wait to try this over the weekend. I’ve made your pandesal and Spanish bread and my kids loves it. Question for you – do you happen to have a recipe for Empanada bough? Thank you so much ?