How to Make Cinnamon Rolls

DIY-ing is easy when you follow our step-by-step guide, complete with detailed photos.

February 17, 2022

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Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

By Fraya Berg for Food Network Kitchen

Fraya is a chef and a contributing writer at Food Network.

When you’re making fresh cinnamon rolls, you can literally taste them when they’re in the oven. There is nothing that comes close to the smell of cinnamon buns baking— a fact that Cinnabon capitalizes on when they vent the ovens in their mall bakeries (while we're on the topic, check out our copycat Cinnabon recipe). And if you're looking to make luscious, pillowy cinnamon rolls at home, keep reading. DIY-in has never been clearer, thanks to our step-by-step instructions complete with photos.

The Best Cinnamon Rolls

The secret to our rolls is the wet, buttery dough and double rising time. Once baked, they will be light and pillowy and full of buttery cinnamon goodness on the inside.

How to Make Cinnamon Rolls: a Step-By-Step Guide

Right this way for yeasty, cloud-like buns with sticky-sweet exteriors and perfect glaze. Follow along with our steps and photos, and check out the full recipe for Cinnamon Buns too.

CINNAMON BUNS, Food Network Kitchen, Food Network, Bread Flour, Unsalted Butter,
Powdered Milk, Fresh Yeast, Salt, Light Brown Sugar, Honey, Light Corn Syrup, Cinnamon,
Sugar, Powdered Sugar, Milk

CINNAMON BUNS, Food Network Kitchen, Food Network, Bread Flour, Unsalted Butter,Powdered Milk, Fresh Yeast, Salt, Light Brown Sugar, Honey, Light Corn Syrup, Cinnamon,Sugar, Powdered Sugar, Milk,CINNAMON BUNS, Food Network Kitchen, Food Network, Bread Flour, Unsalted Butter, Powdered Milk, Fresh Yeast, Salt, Light Brown Sugar, Honey, Light Corn Syrup, Cinnamon, Sugar, Powdered Sugar, Milk

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

1. Start the Dough

In a mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine all the ingredients for the dough: 1 cup water, 3 cups bread flour, 5 tablespoons softened unsalted butter, 1/4 cup powdered milk, 5 teaspoons sugar, 1 ounce fresh yeast (or two 1/4-ounce packets dry yeast) and 1 3/4 teaspoons salt. Mix at low speed for 2 minutes, then increase the speed to medium and mix for another 6 minutes.

CINNAMON BUNS, Food Network Kitchen, Food Network, Bread Flour, Unsalted Butter,
Powdered Milk, Fresh Yeast, Salt, Light Brown Sugar, Honey, Light Corn Syrup, Cinnamon,
Sugar, Powdered Sugar, Milk

CINNAMON BUNS, Food Network Kitchen, Food Network, Bread Flour, Unsalted Butter,Powdered Milk, Fresh Yeast, Salt, Light Brown Sugar, Honey, Light Corn Syrup, Cinnamon,Sugar, Powdered Sugar, Milk,CINNAMON BUNS, Food Network Kitchen, Food Network, Bread Flour, Unsalted Butter, Powdered Milk, Fresh Yeast, Salt, Light Brown Sugar, Honey, Light Corn Syrup, Cinnamon, Sugar, Powdered Sugar, Milk

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

2. Test the Dough

To see if the dough is ready, stretch a small piece of dough between your hands into a thin sheet and hold it up to the light. If you see a web-like pattern, the dough is developed; the webs are the strands of gluten. If you do not see them, mix the dough at medium speed 2 minutes more, then test again.

CINNAMON BUNS, Food Network Kitchen, Food Network, Bread Flour, Unsalted Butter,
Powdered Milk, Fresh Yeast, Salt, Light Brown Sugar, Honey, Light Corn Syrup, Cinnamon,
Sugar, Powdered Sugar, Milk

CINNAMON BUNS, Food Network Kitchen, Food Network, Bread Flour, Unsalted Butter,Powdered Milk, Fresh Yeast, Salt, Light Brown Sugar, Honey, Light Corn Syrup, Cinnamon,Sugar, Powdered Sugar, Milk,CINNAMON BUNS, Food Network Kitchen, Food Network, Bread Flour, Unsalted Butter, Powdered Milk, Fresh Yeast, Salt, Light Brown Sugar, Honey, Light Corn Syrup, Cinnamon, Sugar, Powdered Sugar, Milk

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

3. Let the Dough Sit

Transfer the dough to a bowl, cover with a damp cloth, then refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

CINNAMON BUNS, Food Network Kitchen, Food Network, Bread Flour, Unsalted Butter,
Powdered Milk, Fresh Yeast, Salt, Light Brown Sugar, Honey, Light Corn Syrup, Cinnamon,
Sugar, Powdered Sugar, Milk

CINNAMON BUNS, Food Network Kitchen, Food Network, Bread Flour, Unsalted Butter,Powdered Milk, Fresh Yeast, Salt, Light Brown Sugar, Honey, Light Corn Syrup, Cinnamon,Sugar, Powdered Sugar, Milk,CINNAMON BUNS, Food Network Kitchen, Food Network, Bread Flour, Unsalted Butter, Powdered Milk, Fresh Yeast, Salt, Light Brown Sugar, Honey, Light Corn Syrup, Cinnamon, Sugar, Powdered Sugar, Milk

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

4. Prepare the Honey Schmear

In a mixer, mix 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar, 4 tablespoons softened unsalted butter, 2 tablespoons honey, 2 tablespoons light corn syrup and 1 teaspoon cinnamon until smooth. Add 1 tablespoon water and mix until smooth, adding more water as needed to make the mixture spreadable.

CINNAMON BUNS, Food Network Kitchen, Food Network, Bread Flour, Unsalted Butter,
Powdered Milk, Fresh Yeast, Salt, Light Brown Sugar, Honey, Light Corn Syrup, Cinnamon,
Sugar, Powdered Sugar, Milk

CINNAMON BUNS, Food Network Kitchen, Food Network, Bread Flour, Unsalted Butter,Powdered Milk, Fresh Yeast, Salt, Light Brown Sugar, Honey, Light Corn Syrup, Cinnamon,Sugar, Powdered Sugar, Milk,CINNAMON BUNS, Food Network Kitchen, Food Network, Bread Flour, Unsalted Butter, Powdered Milk, Fresh Yeast, Salt, Light Brown Sugar, Honey, Light Corn Syrup, Cinnamon, Sugar, Powdered Sugar, Milk

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

5. Get the Muffin Tin Ready

Butter 10 cups of a large muffin tin. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the honey schmear into the bottom of each cup.

CINNAMON BUNS, Food Network Kitchen, Food Network, Bread Flour, Unsalted Butter,
Powdered Milk, Fresh Yeast, Salt, Light Brown Sugar, Honey, Light Corn Syrup, Cinnamon,
Sugar, Powdered Sugar, Milk

CINNAMON BUNS, Food Network Kitchen, Food Network, Bread Flour, Unsalted Butter,Powdered Milk, Fresh Yeast, Salt, Light Brown Sugar, Honey, Light Corn Syrup, Cinnamon,Sugar, Powdered Sugar, Milk,CINNAMON BUNS, Food Network Kitchen, Food Network, Bread Flour, Unsalted Butter, Powdered Milk, Fresh Yeast, Salt, Light Brown Sugar, Honey, Light Corn Syrup, Cinnamon, Sugar, Powdered Sugar, Milk

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

6. Mix Cinnamon and Sugar

In a small bowl, mix 1/2 cup sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon.

CINNAMON BUNS, Food Network Kitchen, Food Network, Bread Flour, Unsalted Butter,
Powdered Milk, Fresh Yeast, Salt, Light Brown Sugar, Honey, Light Corn Syrup, Cinnamon,
Sugar, Powdered Sugar, Milk

CINNAMON BUNS, Food Network Kitchen, Food Network, Bread Flour, Unsalted Butter,Powdered Milk, Fresh Yeast, Salt, Light Brown Sugar, Honey, Light Corn Syrup, Cinnamon,Sugar, Powdered Sugar, Milk,CINNAMON BUNS, Food Network Kitchen, Food Network, Bread Flour, Unsalted Butter, Powdered Milk, Fresh Yeast, Salt, Light Brown Sugar, Honey, Light Corn Syrup, Cinnamon, Sugar, Powdered Sugar, Milk

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

7. Cover Rolled-Out Dough with Cinnamon-Sugar Mixture

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 10-by-10-inch square about 1/4 inch thick. Brush with the melted butter and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar.

2013130_FoodNetwork_Classic0269.tif

Photo by: Johnny Miller

Johnny Miller

8. Roll the Dough

Using your hands, firmly roll up the dough like a jelly roll. Transfer to a sheet pan and refrigerate 30 minutes.

2013130_FoodNetwork_Classic0284.tif

Photo by: Johnny Miller

Johnny Miller

9. Slice the Dough

Using a sharp knife or a taut length of dental floss, cut the dough into 10 slices, each about 1 inch thick. Place one slice (on its cut side) in each muffin cup.

CINNAMON BUNS, Food Network Kitchen, Food Network, Bread Flour, Unsalted Butter,
Powdered Milk, Fresh Yeast, Salt, Light Brown Sugar, Honey, Light Corn Syrup, Cinnamon,
Sugar, Powdered Sugar, Milk

CINNAMON BUNS, Food Network Kitchen, Food Network, Bread Flour, Unsalted Butter,Powdered Milk, Fresh Yeast, Salt, Light Brown Sugar, Honey, Light Corn Syrup, Cinnamon,Sugar, Powdered Sugar, Milk,CINNAMON BUNS, Food Network Kitchen, Food Network, Bread Flour, Unsalted Butter, Powdered Milk, Fresh Yeast, Salt, Light Brown Sugar, Honey, Light Corn Syrup, Cinnamon, Sugar, Powdered Sugar, Milk

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

10. Bake the Cinnamon Buns

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes.

CINNAMON BUNS, Food Network Kitchen, Food Network, Bread Flour, Unsalted Butter,
Powdered Milk, Fresh Yeast, Salt, Light Brown Sugar, Honey, Light Corn Syrup, Cinnamon,
Sugar, Powdered Sugar, Milk

CINNAMON BUNS, Food Network Kitchen, Food Network, Bread Flour, Unsalted Butter,Powdered Milk, Fresh Yeast, Salt, Light Brown Sugar, Honey, Light Corn Syrup, Cinnamon,Sugar, Powdered Sugar, Milk,CINNAMON BUNS, Food Network Kitchen, Food Network, Bread Flour, Unsalted Butter, Powdered Milk, Fresh Yeast, Salt, Light Brown Sugar, Honey, Light Corn Syrup, Cinnamon, Sugar, Powdered Sugar, Milk

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

11. Flip the Baked Buns

While the buns bake, line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Let the buns cool in the pan for 2 minutes, then flip the pan over onto the sheet pan. Carefully lift off the muffin pan, leaving the buns and toppings on the sheet pan. Let cool.

CINNAMON BUNS, Food Network Kitchen, Food Network, Bread Flour, Unsalted Butter,
Powdered Milk, Fresh Yeast, Salt, Light Brown Sugar, Honey, Light Corn Syrup, Cinnamon,
Sugar, Powdered Sugar, Milk

CINNAMON BUNS, Food Network Kitchen, Food Network, Bread Flour, Unsalted Butter,Powdered Milk, Fresh Yeast, Salt, Light Brown Sugar, Honey, Light Corn Syrup, Cinnamon,Sugar, Powdered Sugar, Milk,CINNAMON BUNS, Food Network Kitchen, Food Network, Bread Flour, Unsalted Butter, Powdered Milk, Fresh Yeast, Salt, Light Brown Sugar, Honey, Light Corn Syrup, Cinnamon, Sugar, Powdered Sugar, Milk

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

12. Drizzle with Glaze

Meanwhile mix together 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar and 1/4 cup milk to make a glaze. With a spoon, drizzle the glaze over the buns.

Fresh  homemade Cinnamon rolls or Cinnamon buns

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Fresh homemade Cinnamon rolls or Cinnamon buns

Photo by: roman tohtohunov/Getty Images

roman tohtohunov/Getty Images

How Ensure Your Cinnamon Rolls Are Fluffy

Achieving giant cinnamon rolls depends on the recipe and technique. Here are a few tips and tricks:

  • Things to look for in a recipe: Choose a recipe that has butter and milk or milk powder (or both) in the ingredient list.
  • Let the dough ball rest overnight: Make the dough and let it rise as directed in the recipe, punch it down and then refrigerate it overnight. Roll it out, fill it, cut it and place in the baking pan.
  • Let the shaped buns rise again: Cover the rolls and let them rise again. The last rise can also be in the fridge overnight (just let the rolls sit in a warm place and come to room temperature and rise a bit more before baking).

How to Make Cinnamon Roll Icing

There are three ways to go when making cinnamon roll icing, but all lean on confectioners' sugar. Each one varies in consistency and flavor, read on to choose which one is best for you. You can flavor any of them with an extract other than vanilla or try citrus zest (orange is a great choice for warm cinnamon flavors).

Cream Cheese Icing for Cinnamon Rolls

This type of frosting is thick and spreadable. Smear it over the tops of your cinnamon rolls like buttercream frosting.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:

Beat the cream cheese and butter with a mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add the confectioners' sugar and vanilla and beat until combined. Spread a thin layer on the warm cinnamon rolls; serve warm rolls with the remaining icing.

Buttery Icing for Cinnamon Rolls

This version is thinner and more buttery in flavor than cream cheese icing.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions:

Whisk the confectioners' sugar, melted butter, milk, vanilla and salt in a bowl until smooth. Drizzle over the warm rolls.

Creamy Icing for Cinnamon Rolls

This variety is thin enough to drizzle over cinnamon rolls.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions:

Whisk the confectioners' sugar, cream, vanilla and salt in a small bowl until smooth and creamy, adding more cream if necessary. Drizzle over the warm rolls.

Cinnamon Roll Recipes

Description: Food Network Kitchen's Air Fryer Mini Cinnamon Rolls. Keywords: Crescent Roll Dough, Cinnamon, Dark Brown Sugar, Confectioners’ Sugar, Milk, Vanilla Extract.

Description: Food Network Kitchen's Air Fryer Mini Cinnamon Rolls. Keywords: Crescent Roll Dough, Cinnamon, Dark Brown Sugar, Confectioners’ Sugar, Milk, Vanilla Extract.

Photo by: Matt

Matt

Thanks to the trusty air fryer and a can of store-bought crescent dough, you’ll have these cozy classics on the table in 20 minutes.

If you’re looking for a cinnamon roll that’s soft and tender, this is it. The milk powder in the dough adds tenderness.

FN Flat Recipe: Instant Pot Cinnamon Rolls, Instant PotGooey Cinnamon Rolls

FN Flat Recipe: Instant Pot Cinnamon Rolls, Instant PotGooey Cinnamon Rolls

Photo by: Armando Rafael

Armando Rafael

If you’ve got an Instant Pot and want to use it for more than stew, try these cinnamon rolls. They’ve got the same flavor, tenderness and gooey cinnamon filling as a batch you’d bake in the oven.

Food Network Kitchen’s Sheet Pan Cinnamon Rolls.

Food Network Kitchen’s Sheet Pan Cinnamon Rolls.

Photo by: Matt Armendariz

Matt Armendariz

Sheet Pan Cinnamon Rolls is the recipe you need for a crowd: it will fill two half sheet pans with cinnamon rolls. Or make them for yourself and freeze individually wrapped cinnamon rolls in plastic-wrap.

No Roll Cinnamon Rolls

No Roll Cinnamon Rolls

Photo by: Teri Lyn Fisher

Teri Lyn Fisher

Fresh pizza dough makes an excellent dupe for the rich dough traditionally used for cinnamon rolls, and this time-saving preparation means you'll be able to whip up a homemade glaze too.

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