Quick and Easy Cinnamon Rolls

Yield: 12 cinnamon rolls

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook: 1 hour

Quick and Easy Cinnamon Rolls take just 1 hour from start to finish and are unbelievably ooey, gooey, and sticky and overloaded with sweet cinnamon flavor! You are going to love this one!

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: SO MUCH perfect sweet cinnamon flavor!! Most cinnamon rolls you buy are just sickeningly sweet but these are as much cinnamon as they are sweet.
Texture: Ooey, gooey, and sticky.
Ease: The name doesn’t lie, these are ridiculously quick and easy. Who needs canned cinnamon rolls when you can have fresh homemade ones in an hour??
Appearance: Swirly goodness, cinnamon rolls of any kind are positively mouthwatering.
Pros: Quicker and easier without sacrificing beauty or taste. Especially perfect for Christmas morning!
Cons: None!
Would I make this again? 100% yes.

I’m always excited to share new recipes with you guys because I only share the ones that I think are amazing. However, sometimes I leave the kitchen with something particularly amazing on my hands that is just screaming to be shared. This Quick and Easy Cinnamon Roll recipe falls exactly into that category!

Perfect in under 1 hour?! PIN this one!

Some other quick and easy cinnamon roll recipes I’ve tried were either made with awfully sticky and difficult to shape dough, which just made a mess (hello, not “easy!”) and resulted in homely looking rolls. Or other quick and easy recipe variations left you feeling like you were just eating pizza dough baked with cinnamon sugar and butter, not bad but not exactly what you want in a cinnamon roll. This recipe, however, is the answer to any and all of those problems.

1 hour for homemade cinnamon rolls!? These look PERFECT.
If you can make pizza dough you can make this dough, however it’s so much more tender and rich tasting thanks to the milk and sugar. Those two ingredients are basically the only difference from my favorite pizza dough recipe and we knead this cinnamon roll dough until it’s perfectly smooth. The only difference I noticed from traditional cinnamon rolls is that these are just slightly less fluffy. Hardly noticeable and a perfectly acceptable sacrifice for 1 hour gratification in my book!

Quick and Easy Cinnamon Rolls in just 1 hour
I also absolutely overload these rolls with as much butter-cinnamon-sugar filling that can possibly fit. Literally. There’s 3 (!) tablespoons of cinnamon and it may all look like too much filling but it’s what’s going to give these rolls unparalleled taste and texture. Just trust me here!

Doesn't get better than cinnamon rolls in less than an hour!!! PERFECT.
P.S. – these Quick and Easy Cinnamon Rolls would be especially perfect for Christmas morning. In our family it isn’t Christmas morning without presents, Christmas music, and cinnamon rolls baking away perfuming the entire house in their intoxicating aroma. ‘Tis the season!

How to make
Quick and Easy Cinnamon Rolls

Recipe By Tessa Arias, Handle the Heat
Yield: 12 cinnamon rolls
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook: 1 hour

To ensure these cinnamon rolls really are quick and easy, stick with the instant yeast (or sometimes called rapid-rise yeast) called for in the recipe.

Ingredients

For the dough:

1 cup lukewarm milk
1/3 cup lukewarm water
1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 1/2 cups (15.75 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon fine salt

For the filling:

3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon fine salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

For the icing:

3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 cup powdered sugar

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

For the dough:

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine all the dough ingredients and stir until combined. Turn the mixer on medium speed and knead for 5 minutes, or until smooth. Remove the dough to a floured work surface, cover, and let rest for 10 minutes.

For the filling:

In a small bowl combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt.

After the dough has rested, use a floured rolling pin to roll it out into about a 9 by 15-inch rectangle. Brush all over with melted butter. Sprinkle evenly with the cinnamon sugar mixture, leaving a 1/2-inch border at the far edge. Roll the dough up, pinching with your fingers to keep it tightly rolled. Press the seam to seal before positioning the log seam side down.

Use a very sharp knife to cut off the ends then cut the dough into 11 to 12 equal pieces. Place in greased pie pan or 9 by 13-inch baking pan. At this point you could cover and refrigerate the rolls overnight then let them come back to room temperature for 1 hour before baking. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack for at least 5 minutes.

For the icing:

While the rolls cool, whisk together the icing ingredients until smooth. Drizzle all over the warm rolls and serve.

About Tessa...

Tessa is a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. She loves to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. She's on a mission to make the world a more unapologetically DELICIOUS place. Tessa lives in Phoenix, Arizona.

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48 Responses to “Quick and Easy Cinnamon Rolls”

  1. #
    Baby June — December 19, 2014 at 3:50 am

    Those look awesome! I just love how easy they are 🙂

  2. #
    Tori@Gringalicious.com — December 19, 2014 at 4:40 am

    Fast cinnamon roll? This is my kind of recipe; yummy and quick! Yay, more time for last minute Christmas stuff!

  3. #
    Megan — December 19, 2014 at 5:55 am

    Perfect timing! I’ve really been wanting to make homemade cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning and these look perfect! Christmas Eve is always really busy for us, too, but this looks so fast that I’m sure I can squeeze in enough time to prep them! Thanks, Tessa! 🙂 I picked up some awesome tips from your cinnamon roll video yesterday, too!

  4. #
    Tim Roberts — December 19, 2014 at 5:59 am

    Tessa,
    Why do so many recipes use unsalted butter, then add salt? Does salted butter work or not?

    • #
      Tessa — December 20, 2014 at 4:43 pm

      Hi Tim, Robin has a great answer for you. To explain it a step further, there are no guidelines or rules for how much salt manufacturers put in salted butter. It can actually vary greatly from brand to brand so like Robin said by using unsalted you can better control the salt content. Plus unsalted butter is usually fresher since salt acts as a preservative.

  5. #
    Dana @ 3boysunprocessed — December 19, 2014 at 6:10 am

    Beautiful! What a delicious Christmas morning treat!

  6. #
    Kathy — December 19, 2014 at 6:28 am

    I already get your emails but would love your cookbook
    Thanks

  7. #
    Robin M. — December 19, 2014 at 6:36 am

    Tim Roberts, cooking and baking with unsalted butter allows the cook/baker to control the salt content rather than the butter manufacturer. You can use salted butter and omit the salt from the recipe. Merry Christmas!

  8. #
    Irene — December 19, 2014 at 6:49 am

    I’ve already made them! Really quick AND really easy!!

    • #
      Tessa — December 20, 2014 at 4:41 pm

      That’s amazing!! Hope you enjoyed!

  9. #
    susie — December 20, 2014 at 9:00 am

    A thumbs up! A little under the weather so needed a boost. They are easy enough to make in the haze of a won’t-go-away-cold and tasty enough to break through the can’t-smell-or-taste-anything fog!

    Will def make again.

    • #
      Tessa — December 20, 2014 at 4:38 pm

      Sorry to hear about your cold but what wonderful feedback – thank you!

  10. #
    susie — December 20, 2014 at 9:12 am

    One more thing – I would not use the Penzeys cinnamon again – or any good cinnamon that is hot. It’s too hot for this recipe.

  11. #
    Gaby — December 20, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    Cinnamon rolls this gooey and delicious that are ready in a hurry? YES, PLEASE!!!

  12. #
    natahsa — December 21, 2014 at 12:08 am

    oh my gosh, I’ve been looking for something to make for my christmas party!

  13. #
    Wafa — December 21, 2014 at 11:01 am

    made these yesterday for my family and they LOVED them! would absolutely make these again!

  14. #
    Rosemary Ortiz — December 22, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    I love your recipes. I’m gonna try to make the cinnamon buns recipe for Christmas. Thanks!

  15. #
    Laura Witte — December 24, 2014 at 4:45 am

    Can these be made the night before and popped in the oven Christmas morning? They sound perfect!

    • #
      Tessa — December 24, 2014 at 8:39 am

      Please read the recipe, “At this point you could cover and refrigerate the rolls overnight then let them come back to room temperature for 1 hour before baking.” 🙂

  16. #
    Kira — December 28, 2014 at 10:13 am

    Made this morning and the dough recipe is excellent! Super quick and easy. I will definitely make again, but will change the filling as it was too much cinnamon for our taste. I think 1 tablespoon of cinnamon would be plenty.

  17. #
    Elena — January 1, 2015 at 8:19 pm

    These were great! I love how easy they are, considering that I’ve been intimidated by cinnamon rolls for years. I’ve made them twice – once right away and the other where I pulled them out in the morning. I think making them ahead of time and pulling them out in the morning is better. They rose a bit in the fridge and so there weren’t any gaps between rolls which kept them all nice and soft around the edges. Great recipe – thank you!!

  18. #
    April — January 11, 2016 at 7:58 pm

    So I totally did most of the recipe wrong, but they’re still awesome& WICKED EASY! I don’t have a mixer, so I mixed it by hand (while my 1.5yr old played in the sink). I accidentally did WAY too much sugar, my measuring spoons were in the dishwasher but I had 1 random teaspoon. I’m a CPhT, but also a stay at home mom exhausted right before bedtime so I did 15t instead of 9 (I think I did it right with the cinnamon, got interrupted by daughter reaching in for a handful of flour & sugar in the other bowl. I was measuring all the dry stuff so DD could “wash” the dishes I used- love any recipe without raw egg/meat/poultry!). I only have salted butter & dry activated yeast. I omitted the salt in the cinnamon mixture since I read that stuff in the comments about not knowing how much salt is in salted butter. Once everything was mixed & I had a big ball of dough, DD was “all done” (& drenched) so I covered the dough & put her in bed which took a little over an hour between potty time, changing clothes, etc. (she ALWAYS wants to try going potty when I say it’s bedtime). Hubby “taste tested” the dough for me (snacking on it because he loves dough of any kind) & said it was really good. I tried rolling it out in a rectangular shape (I have a lot of experience with play-doh). I used too much butter in the cinnamon mixture because I didn’t want to leave just a little bit in the dish. I remembered to pinch the one side after cutting it up& one started falling apart on me, so they look great 😉 I doubled the icing because I think there’s never enough in the packaging when you get premixed stuff (once I looked at it I realized it might be overkill & I’ll probably be diabetic after tonight). I’m so glad I didn’t settle on another recipe that came up in my search before yours. Other recipes SAY easy in the title but have more ingredients & steps (or even need to be used with a bread maker). I’m really just a beginner with cooking/baking, I pretty much just started learning after having my daughter (just the last couple months everything I’ve made has been edible, LOL- gettin’ there!), my mom never taught me anything except how to use the microwave. I have allergies to “food additives” (MD’s diagnosis) & all artificial sweeteners- including high fructose corn syrup, so I can’t just go get a package of pillsbury at the market (well I can, but I’d have a swollen tongue, blistered mouth& eczema flare-ups just to name a few symptoms). I can use immaculate baking company, but very few stores near me carry their products & nobody has the cinnamon rolls (I’ve found them on vacation in VA & FL so I know they exist). Thank you again for this amazing recipe& sorry for rambling!

  19. #
    Amy — February 15, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    This is such a great recipe!! I wanted to make heart-shaped cinnamon rolls for Valentine’s Day breakfast, and the recipe I normally use takes hours, so I had been planning to prepare them the night before, but of course I completely forgot to do so. I found this recipe in the morning and figured they wouldn’t be as good since they’re so much quicker, but I was definitely wrong! They were delicious and my boyfriend said he liked them even better than the other recipe. Thank you so much!!!

    • #
      Tessa — February 16, 2016 at 4:46 pm

      Fabulous, Amy! Thanks for taking the time to comment 🙂

  20. #
    Welitehat04 — March 12, 2016 at 2:30 pm

    For the dough can you use the thawed bread dough?

  21. #
    Welitehat04 — March 12, 2016 at 2:31 pm

    Can you use the thawed frozen bread for the rolls then add the filling?

    • #
      Tessa — March 13, 2016 at 1:43 pm

      I have no clue, I’ve never used those. Homemade is always better in my book!

  22. #
    michelle — March 23, 2016 at 7:39 pm

    I understand the dough ingredients but I am confused as to the order they should be mixed together. Most recipes I have say do not let the yeast hit the warm water before they mix with the dry. Then some say dissolve the yeast in the water with the sugar. Can you please explain the layering. Thank you

    • #
      Tessa — March 24, 2016 at 3:39 pm

      Hi Michelle, because this recipe uses instant yeast (specified in the recipe headnote) it doesn’t require proofing with warm liquid before using. It can be added directly in with the other dry ingredients. That’s part of what makes this recipe quick and easy 🙂 IF you’re using active dry yeast, then you will need to add the yeast to the warm liquid in the recipe to proof for about 5 minutes before adding into the other ingredients.

      I have a free quick guide to bread baking that you might find helpful here: https://handletheheat.leadpages.co/quick-guide-to-bread/

  23. #
    Nicola — April 2, 2016 at 3:12 am

    Hi love your instagram!! quick question with American all purpose flour is that equivalent to strong bread flour here in the UK?Thanks

  24. #
    Destiny King — April 8, 2016 at 7:27 pm

    Hi Tessa! We didn’t make the frosting but the overall recipe was pretty good. They taste DELICIOUS, out the WAZOO!!! I was a little worried at first, but you made me proud! Thanks!!!

    • #
      Tessa — April 9, 2016 at 6:14 pm

      Glad to hear it, Destiny!

  25. #
    Libbi — April 29, 2016 at 9:22 am

    Hi Tessa! This recipe looks terrific, but I have little experience with instant yeast, so wanted to verify that the 10 minutes rest is enough rise time for the dough (or does it rise while baking?). Thanks!

    • #
      Tessa — May 1, 2016 at 8:02 pm

      It rises during baking 🙂

  26. #
    Rodella — August 6, 2016 at 8:55 am

    Hello,
    I dont’t have all purpose flour would plain or self raising do?

    • #
      Tessa — August 7, 2016 at 8:57 am

      Don’t use self-raising! Plain should work.

  27. #
    Julie — August 7, 2016 at 6:47 am

    These didn’t work well for me at all. The dough was really sticky and didn’t come together well. I ended up having to add a lot more flour. Where did I go wrong?

    • #
      Tessa — August 7, 2016 at 8:48 am

      Hi, Julie! I’m so sorry to hear that. I’ve made this recipe many times, and it’s gotten positive feedback from nearly everyone who’s made it, so I’m thinking there could have been an error in measuring the ingredients? OR, do you live in a really humid climate?

  28. #
    Angelica — August 21, 2016 at 10:03 am

    Great recipe!!
    I was looking for an easy and quick recipe and this is Super!!!
    Thanks

  29. #
    Mary — September 17, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    NOT GOOD. Total wet dough. I have made rolls before. I followed the measurements exactly. Excited to try something faster. After waiting ten min. for dough to rest. It was still very wet, had to add a lot of flour even with barely sprinkling lightly with flour each time. It never set up. I had to use a metal flat shelf to roll it into a roll. Cooked and turned out like cinnamon swirl bread. Will not make this again.

    • #
      Tessa — September 18, 2016 at 12:44 pm

      Hi Mary, I’m sorry to hear that! However, I’ve personally made this recipe countless times and it’s gotten positive feedback from most of my readers who have made it. As you can see by my step-by-step photos, the dough is certainly not meant to be very wet. Did you weigh the flour? Do you live in a humid climate?

  30. #
    Shanna — September 22, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    We tried these the other day, and much to our dismay they didn’t turn out :(, I believe due to there not being a rising period after shaping/cutting if you choose not to do the refrigeration overnight as we did. I should have assumed that they would need a rising period :/ what would you suggest/how long etc..
    Thank you, and looking forward to trying them again 🙂

    • #
      Tessa — September 23, 2016 at 9:16 am

      Hi Shanna, these do not require a rising period but they do require instant yeast. Did you use instant yeast?

  31. #
    Shanna — September 30, 2016 at 8:56 pm

    Thank you for your response, we did use instant yeast :|, but I think I’ll try again tomorrow and let them sit in warm oven for a bit and see if that does the trick 🙂
    Thanks again

  32. #
    Stan Perreault — October 9, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    Hi Tessa I’ve tried several recipes in hopes of finding a truly easy to make Cinnamon roll . Trust me, i’ve tried several without much luck. I can’t honestly blame all the recipes i’ve tried because i’m not a verthat y skilled baker or cook when it comes to anything that is made from scratch. My wife , who i’m no longer with used to control everything that went into and came out of the oven .I remember years ago , my mom used to make these incredible cinnamon buns . when they were in the oven baking, the smell was truly something that will stay with me till i’m gone. when they came outta the oven and sat on the table under a clean tea towel cooling, I never left the kitchen until she handed me one of those truly unforgetable ,mouth watering ,sticky, soft,and chewy Cinnamon buns. My mom is still with us and the recipe , although it hasn’t been used since i can remember will one day be shared with you and your many friends. She guards all her recipes but i,m hoping one day she’ll unlock the secrets and i can share it with everyone. Keep up the awesome recipes. The ones i’ve tried have came out as beautiful as you look. Thanks Tessa

  33. #
    Cristal — December 21, 2016 at 9:36 am

    Will this recipe work if you use almond milk or soy milk in place of good ol’ fashioned milk?

  34. #
    Jen — January 21, 2017 at 8:10 am

    These are wonderful! I found the recipe when I didn’t feel like going to my usual, time consuming standby. This dough is simply velvet, and uncomplicated to make. Not at all what you would think of a “quick” recipe. I plan on adding this to my regular baking. Thank you, Tessa, for simplifying something that’s usually an all day process.

    • #
      Tessa — January 22, 2017 at 11:48 am

      So happy to hear that, Jen! Thanks for taking the time to comment 🙂

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