This 1-Hour Cinnamon Rolls recipe is quick and easy to make, drizzled with a heavenly cream cheese icing, and absolutely delicious!
Cinnamon Rolls Ingredients:
- 1 cup milk (I used 2% milk)
- 1/2 cup butter, softened and divided
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 envelope (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant (“rapid rise”) yeast
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
Cream Cheese Icing Ingredients (Option 1):
- 4 ounces (1/2 cup) cream cheese, softened
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1–2 tablespoons milk (if needed)
Traditional Icing Ingredients (Option 2):
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1–2 tablespoons milk
- Heat the milk and butter. Combine milk and 1/4 cup butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat on high for 1 minute, then remove and stir. Continue heating in 20 second intervals, pausing after each to stir, until the butter is melted and the milk is warm to the touch but not hot. (It should be around 110°F — I recommend measuring the temperature with a cooking thermometer.) If the mixture is too hot, just wait a few minutes for it to cool.
- Combine dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together 3 cups flour (not all of the flour), 1/4 cup granulated sugar and salt until combined.
- Mix the dough. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough-hook attachment, add the warm milk mixture and sprinkle the yeast on top, then give the mixture a brief stir. Add the flour mixture and egg, and beat on medium-low speed until combined. If the dough is sticking to the sides of the bowl, add the remaining flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until the dough begins to form a ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. (Use no more than 3 1/2 cups of flour total.) Continue beating for 5 minutes on medium-low speed. Remove dough and form it into a ball with your hands. Place it in a greased bowl and cover with a damp towel. Let rest for 10 minutes.
- Mix the cinnamon-sugar filling. While the dough rests, make your filling by whisking together the remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar and ground cinnamon together in a small mixing bowl until combined.
- Roll the dough (1st stage). Once the dough is ready, turn it out onto a floured work surface. Use a floured rolling pin to roll the dough out into a large rectangle, about 9 x 14 inches in size. (If you want all of the edges to be even, you can use a pizza slicer to cut the dough into an even rectangle.) Use a knife or an offset spatula to spread the remaining 1/4 cup of softened butter out evenly over the entire surface of the dough. Then sprinkle the dough evenly* with the cinnamon and sugar mixture.
- Roll out the dough (2nd stage). Beginning at the 14-inch edge, tightly roll up the dough and give the final seam a little pinch so that it seals. Use a piece of dental floss or a knife to slice off the two ends of the roll (just 1/2-inch or so on each end, which you can discard) so that the ends are even. Cut the remaining dough into 11 or 12 equal pieces. (11 rolls fit well in a pie plate, whereas 12 rolls fit in a rectangular pan.)
- Let the dough rise. Place each of the cut cinnamon rolls into a greased 9-inch pie plate or 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Cover the dish with a damp towel, and leave it in a warm place to rise for 25 minutes. Heat the oven to 350°F.
- Make the icing. While the dough is rising, whisk together either the cream cheese icing or traditional icing ingredients in a mixing bowl until smooth. If it seems too thick, add in an extra tablespoon of milk at a time until it reaches your desired consistency. If it is too thin, add in extra powdered sugar.
- Bake. Once the rolls have risen, uncover the dish. Place on the center rack of the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the rolls are golden and cooked through. Remove and let cool on a wire rack for at least 5 minutes.
- Frost. Drizzle with the prepared icing and serve warm.
To Make The Dough By Hand: If you do not have an electric stand mixer with a dough attachment, you can simply stir the ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Then turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead by hand for 5 minutes.
Dental Floss Dough-Cutting: Simply break off a piece of floss about 12 inches long. Then carefully slide the floss under the dough to the exact location you want to “cut”. Pull the ends of the floss up and cross over the top of the dough. Then give the floss a gentle tug to cut all the way through the dough. (See the video above for a visual.) This is the best method I’ve found to make a clean slice through the dough — although the standard knife method still works too.