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Indulge in the heavenly aroma and irresistible taste of homemade cinnamon rolls with my easy-to-follow recipe.
These gooey homemade cinnamon rolls are perfect for any special occasion, like Christmas morning or a lazy Sunday.
Table of Contents
Fluffy cinnamon rolls
Making perfect cinnamon rolls at home is easy and fun. And although they’re not exactly healthy, homemade cinnamon rolls aren’t full of preservatives like the canned ones.
The base of a good cinnamon roll is a nice, tender, sweet yeast dough. Once you have that down, the rest is just prep work and ooey-gooey sweetness.
The base for this cinnamon roll dough recipe is my recipe for yeast rolls.
The other important factor in cinnamon rolls is the icing. A simple mix of milk and powdered sugar would do the trick. When I developed this recipe, I was out of milk, so I had to experiment.
Instead, I combined a can of sweetened condensed milk with a cup of powdered sugar. It was even better than the standard milk because it gave the rolls a richer flavor.
When you decide to try this recipe, I recommend making the dough one day and the rolls the next morning. The dough is full of butter and will be sticky after it’s first kneaded.
Once you let it rest in the fridge overnight, it is very easy to work with and needs very little flour to roll out.
Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
- 1 Zestuous Yeast Roll Dough
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1 tbls cinnamon
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- Prep: Prepare the Zestuous Yeast Roll Dough according to the recipe. Like the recipe says, allow it to refrigerate for at least six hours, if possible.
- Roll: Once chilled, the dough will be hard. Remove it from the bowl onto a lightly floured countertop. Roll the dough into a large rectangle. The dough should be about ¼ inch thick.
- Cut: Cut the dough in half.
- Mix: In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, white sugar, pecans and cinnamon. Sprinkle the mixture on top of the two halves of dough.
- Roll: From the longest side, roll the dough into a cylinder. If it sticks to the counter as you roll it, use your pastry scraper to get under the dough and lightly flour, as needed. If needed, moisten the end of the dough with a little water, so the roll stays closed. Repeat with the other half of dough.
- Slice: Using the pastry scraper, cut off the ends of the dough roll. Then, continue to slice the roll into ½-inch circles. Place the circles on a silpat-lined pan and allow to rise for 30 minutes.
- Bake: Place in a preheated 400 degree oven for 15 minutes. They should be golden brown.
- Mix: In a small bowl, combine the sweetened condensed milk and powdered sugar. Using a large spoon, drizzle the icing onto the pan of rolls. Using a spatula, remove from the pan and serve on a large platter.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Ingredients for KW
- Zestuous yeast roll dough: I used my signature yeast roll recipe, but feel free to make your own cinnamon roll dough. Yeast roll dough, made with active dry yeast, all-purpose flour, sugar, salt, warm milk, eggs, vanilla sugar and butter, serves as the base for the recipe.
- Brown sugar: Available in the baking aisle alongside white sugar and other sweeteners. Brown sugar contributes a rich molasses flavor to the dough, enhancing its taste and adding moisture. I like using dark brown sugar, but light brown sugar is fine too.
- Granulated white sugar: White sugar sweetens the dough, balancing the flavors and promoting browning during baking.
- Chopped pecans: Typically found in the baking or nuts section. Pecans add a delightful crunch and nutty flavor to the rolls, enhancing the overall texture and taste.
- Cinnamon: Cinnamon is a key spice that imparts warmth and a sweet, aromatic flavor to the dough, creating a signature taste for the yeast rolls.
- Sweetened condensed milk: Commonly found in the baking or canned goods section. Sweetened condensed milk adds sweetness and creaminess to the icing,
- Powdered sugar: Powdered sugar, also known as confectioners’ sugar is needed for the icing.
Substitutions: You can use any kind of nuts you like, such as walnuts. If you want to make cream cheese icing, feel free to use your favorite recipe instead of making the icing in this recipe. If you don’t have sweetened condensed milk, use heavy cream or whole milk.
See the full recipe card for servings and a full list of ingredients.
How to make homemade cinnamon rolls
- PREP: Prepare the Zestuous Yeast Roll Dough according to the recipe. As the recipe says, allow it to refrigerate for at least six hours or overnight, if possible.
- ROLL: Once chilled, the dough will be hard. Remove it from the bowl onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a large rectangle using a rolling pin. The dough should be about 1/4-inch thick.
- CUT: Cut the dough in half.
✔️ PRO TIP
Letting the dough chill in the fridge gives helps it firm upand makes it easier to cut them.
- MIX: In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, white sugar, pecans and cinnamon. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar filling on top of the two halves of dough.
- ROLL: From the longest side, roll the dough into a cylinder. If it sticks to your work surface as you roll it, use your pastry scraper to get under the dough and lightly flour as needed. If needed, moisten the end of the dough with a little water so the roll stays closed. Repeat with the other half of the dough.
✔️ PRO TIP
Use silpat, parchment paper or nonstick spray to line the bottom of the baking dish or pan. This will prevent the bottom of the rolls from sticking to it.
- SLICE: Using the pastry scraper or a sharp knife, cut off the ends of the dough roll. Then, continue to slice the roll into 1/2-inch circles. Place the circles on a prepared pan, cover with a clean kitchen towel and allow them to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.
- BAKE: Place the prepared baking pan in a preheated 400F degree oven for 15 minutes. They should be golden brown.
- MIX: In a small bowl, combine the sweetened condensed milk and powdered sugar. Using a large spoon, drizzle the icing onto the pan of warm rolls. Using a spatula, remove from the pan and serve on a large platter.
How to serve homemade cinnamon rolls
Serve up these gooey cinnamon rolls by themselves or as part of a brunch buffet filled with other breakfast dishes like eggs and bacon. If you’re not super hungry, a cup of coffee, milk or juice also pairs well with these.
Leftover cinnamon rolls can be stored in an airtight container on the counter for up to 2 days and in the refrigerator for up to one week. They can also be frozen for up to 2 months.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. Make the recipe up until letting the dough rise. Then, cover with plastic wrap and aluminum foil and place in the freezer. Before baking, let them come to room temperature, then rise for 30 minutes. Bake as directed.
Yes. Make the recipe up until letting the dough rise, cover in plastic wrap and chill for up to 2 days. When you’re ready to bake them, let them rise for at least 30 minutes before baking as the recipe instructs.
Yes. Follow the same instructions as the question above.
Place the cinnamon roll on a plate and microwave for at least 10 seconds, adding more time as needed.