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1-Hour Soft Cinnamon Rolls

If you haven’t made homemade cinnamon rolls, this easy recipe only takes 1 hour from start to finish, and is almost fool proof. The soft, pillowy dough utilizes instant yeast, so you don’t have to let the yeast “bloom”, and if you don’t have a fancy mixer, you can make this recipe by hand(you will just get a bit more of a workout 🙂 ).

I love homemade cinnamon rolls, and homemade bread in general, but don’t always feel like I have the time to wait for bread dough to rise. That’s why I created this 1-hour cinnamon roll recipe. Cinnamon rolls have always been a favorite of mine, and while I did not grow up on homemade cinnamon rolls (because my mom did not enjoy cooking, quite as much as me), I still have fond memories of the delicious treats.

Here’s what you need to know…

Let’s start with the basics. This cinnamon roll recipe uses instant yeast. You may be wondering what is the difference between instant and active yeast? Well, instant yeast, literally means it’s instant. You can mix the yeast immediately with all the ingredients in the recipe and it will do it’s job. It also rises quicker than active dry yeast in a short amount of time. Active dry yeast, on the other hand, needs a warm liquid and sugar source mixed with it. It needs a 5-10 minute activation time before it is ready to go.

This cinnamon roll recipe uses instant yeast, and here’s a tip for you. Don’t mix the salt directly on top of the yeast. It will deactivate the yeast. I always add flour on top of the yeast, then add the salt. Make sure the milk is warmed to 110F (it can be a degree or two cooler or warmer, but not much past that), this will cause the yeast to “wake up”.

Rolling and Rising the dough

Once the dough is mixed and kneading time is done, you allow the dough to rise for 20 minutes. Next, you’ll roll out the dough, spread butter and sprinkle brown sugar cinnamon mixture on dough, roll up into a cylinder, then cut into 9 rolls. You can use either a serrated knife, or a piece of unflavored dental floss to cut the rolls. This will help the rolls to not get “squished” and retain their nice appearance. This next step is key to helping the rolls rise. You’ll preheat an oven to 200F, then turn the oven OFF. Place the rolls, covered with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap, into the oven and allow to rise for 15 minutes.

It’s time to bake the rolls!

Now, the cinnamon rolls are ready to bake. To make these rolls extra soft and remain moist (no one likes a dry cinnamon roll), you’ll pour milk, or heavy cream on top of the rolls prior to baking. Either works. I used milk in this recipe, because most people have milk on hand.

Preheat the oven to 350F. This allows the rolls a few extra minutes to rise as the oven comes up to temperature. Bake the rolls in the preheated oven until golden brown. Allow the rolls to cool a few minutes before spreading icing on the rolls. Now make sure you grab one before they’re gone!

If you make this cinnamon roll recipe, let me know what you thought of it in the comments and rating below. I enjoy getting feedback from you, because it helps me improve my recipes. Also, find me on instagram, and tag me with your creation. I love seeing you make and enjoy my recipes. You can find the baking video for these cinnamon rolls on my instagram page.

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1-Hour Soft Cinnamon Rolls

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5 from 3 reviews

  • Author: Jolene
  • Total Time: 1 hour 22 minutes
  • Yield: 9 1x


If you haven’t made homemade cinnamon rolls, this easy recipe only takes 1 hour from start to finish, and is almost fool proof. The soft, pillowy dough utilizes instant yeast, so you don’t have to let the yeast “bloom”, and if you don’t have a fancy mixer, you can make this recipe by hand (you will just get a bit more of a workout 🙂 )


Units Scale


  • 1 cup warm whole milk (warmed to 110F)
  • 1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

After Rising:

  • 1/3 cup heavy cream


  • 4 tablespoons salted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon


  • 6 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar


1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, or a large mixing bowl, add all ingredients. Since you are using instant yeast, there is no need to let the yeast bloom. Mix the dough until a dough ball forms on low speed, then increase to medium speed and knead for 5 minutes. Alternatively, you can knead by hand if you do not have a stand mixer. Add in softened butter and knead on medium-low speed until dough is smooth, shiny and elastic.

3. Transfer dough to a lightly greased bowl. Spray top of dough with nonstick spray, then cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise for 20 minutes.

4. Meanwhile preheat oven to 200F and make filling. In a medium bowl, stir together brown sugar and cinnamon.

5. Roll dough on a lightly floured surface into a 12×18 inch rectangle. Spread 4 tablespoons softened butter over dough. Sprinkle brown sugar cinnamon mixture over butter and rub gently with your hand to evenly distribute the mixture over the entire rectangle.

6. Roll dough, starting at short edge, into a cylinder. Using dental floss or a serrated knife, cut into 9 rolls. Place in lightly greased 8×8 pan. Cover pan with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel, then place in preheated oven (plastic wrap’s melting point is 220 to 250F). Turn oven OFF.

7. Allow dough to rise for 15 minutes, then remove from oven. Remove plastic wrap, or kitchen towel. Pour the heavy cream over top of each cinnamon roll (this helps them get ultra soft).

8. Preheat oven to 350F. Once the oven is preheated, bake rolls for 22-26 minutes, or until the rolls are golden brown.

9. While the rolls bake, make the frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually and slowly add in powdered sugar until combined. Beat until frosting is fluffy.

10. Allow rolls to cool a few minutes before spreading frosting over rolls. Enjoy!

  • Prep Time: 60
  • Cook Time: 22
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

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  1. Does the recipe only make 9 cinnamon rolls? They look so yummy! Do you have a recipe for orange rolls?

    1. Yes it only makes 9! Although, you could cut them into 12. I did that once by accident. They just won’t be as big and puffy. I do not have a recipe for orange rolls, but that sounds delicious! Perhaps I will work on that recipe next :).

      1. I have had a terrible time with yeast dough and ruined many a batch of cinnamon rolls over the years! These were excellent and so easy. They were nice and fluffy and got rave reviews from my family!

  2. Hi! These look delicious! I was wondering if you have a plain frosting that isn’t cream cheese that could be used instead?

    1. I hope you enjoy the recipe! Yes, here is a recipe that doesn’t use cream cheese. You simply mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, then drizzle over the rolls. Let me know if you have any questions!
      1 ¾ cups powdered sugar
      3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
      2 tablespoons milk or cream
      1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  3. How would I do this recipe with active dry yest? I’m a keen cook, but baking / making dough… not so much. Would I still use milk or just water? If you have any tips I would so appreciate it. Xx

    1. Hey Brooke, thanks for reaching out! Of course, I’m happy to help! So, if using active dry yeast, keep the recipe exactly as it is. The difference will be that when you make the recipe, you’ll want to combine the warm milk (heated to 110 degrees Fahrenheit), active dry yeast (same amount, so 2 1/4 teaspoons) and sugar. Whisk to combine, then allow to sit for 5-10 minutes, or until the surface looks sort of foamy. This means it is ready to go. If it is not foamy, it means the yeast is not active and perhaps died in the process, or perhaps the yeast was old. After you do this step, proceed as usual, but active dry yeast does rise slower, so I would add an additional 15-20 minutes rise time to each of the rising times in the recipe. Let me know if you have any other questions. I hope this helps!

    1. Shelley,

      That is a great question! The plastic wrap doesn’t melt, because the melting point of plastic wrap is 220 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. You can also cover the rolls with a kitchen towel. I’ll add this to the recipe. Hope you enjoy!


  4. These look delicious. Quick question, your post say put into COLD oven and heat for 375. But in the recipe portion it calls to pre-hear to 350, which is right?

    1. Iris,

      Thanks for pointing that out! The recipe portion is correct. I’ll change the portion in the post now! Thanks again and I hope you enjoy them 🙂


  5. I have made the quick 1 hour recipe & it is absolutely amazing, the whole family loved it. My question is can this recipe be baked the next day? Would there be any changes? We always have cinnamon rolls Christmas morning and would love to have them prepped & ready the night before. Thank you!

    1. Heidi,

      I am so glad to hear that you and your family loved these rolls! In terms of baking these the next day, to be honest I haven’t experimented with an overnight recipe yet, so I can’t say for certain what recipe changes would work. Since you would like these for Christmas, how about I work on an overnight cinnamon roll recipe and share before Christmas, that way you can use that one! Also, if you choose to use this recipe, you can certainly bake these the day before, then just warm them in the microwave and put icing on them prior to serving.


  6. Hi Jolene, I was wondering if you have tried using gluten free flour to make the cinnamon rolls. I made them using regular flour and they were delicious! But we have a few gluten free members of our family so thought I would ask.
    Thank you,

    1. Nancy,

      Unfortunately I haven’t tried making these with gluten free flour. I’d love to try to get into gluten free baking and find a good recipe, but just haven’t had the time yet. Sorry I’m not of any help! I’m just not entirely sure how the gluten free flour would work in these. I’m thrilled to hear you enjoyed them 🙂


  7. These rolls are delicious! Made them for Christmas morning and they were a hit! They didn’t even need frosting! So good! Thank you for the recipe!

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