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Brown Butter Cinnamon Rolls

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Brown Butter Cinnamon Rolls -- unbelieavbly delicious, and ready to go in a little over an hour! |

Just when I thought cinnamon rolls couldn’t get any better, well, two words say it all…

…brown butter.

I mean, come on! I have made my 1-Hour Cinnamon Rolls recipe a zillion times. But it was not until recently that the idea even occurred to me to brown the butter in it. Once I had the idea, though, you’d better believe I made a batch of these stat. But then I didn’t even think to add brown butter to the cream cheese frosting, so then I had to make a second batch. And then I got so frosting-happy that I poured basically a lake of frosting on them which — while heavenly — was not quite photogenic. So alas, I just “had” to make a third batch with a reasonable amount of frosting. And, ahem, taste test them too.

Food blogging is rough, guys. ;)

Brown Butter Cinnamon Rolls -- unbelieavbly delicious, and ready to go in a little over an hour! |

Seriously, though, back to brown butter.

I considered just popping a note in the original 1 Hour Cinnamon Rolls recipe suggesting that people also try it with brown butter. But frankly, this version tasted epic enough that it felt totally worthy of its own super special post. The brown butter changed everything!

Sure, they are still sweet and soft and doughy and cinnamon-sugary as always. But brown butter brings a depth and nuttiness to any recipe that’s unlike any other ingredient. And it’s so easy to make too!

Brown Butter Cinnamon Rolls -- unbelieavbly delicious, and ready to go in a little over an hour! |

I have included instructions in the recipe below for how to make brown butter on the stovetop (classic). But I discovered a few years ago that it’s also super easy to make in the microwave, and have been doing that ever since. Just pop your butter in a very large microwavable bowl. (You need a large bowl because it will bubble up and you don’t want it to overflow.)  Then microwave it for about 3-5 minutes or until the butter turns a nice amber color. You don’t want it too dark, or it will burn. But you also don’t want it too light, because then it isn’t as flavorful. So aim for a nice middle ground.

Brown Butter Cinnamon Rolls -- unbelieavbly delicious, and ready to go in a little over an hour! |

Then mix up your simple dough, let it rise, then roll it out into a large rectangle. Brush some of your melted brown butter on it (and don’t worry if a little spills over the sides of the dough). Then sprinkle it with your cinnamon and sugar mixture, and roll the dough up nice and tight.

Brown Butter Cinnamon Rolls -- unbelieavbly delicious, and ready to go in a little over an hour! |

Cut it into 12 equal pieces and place it in a greased baking dish, and let the rolls rise awhile longer. Then bake them for 15-20 minutes until slightly golden on top and cooked through. And whip up your brown butter cream cheese frosting while they are a-cookin’.

Brown Butter Cinnamon Rolls -- unbelieavbly delicious, and ready to go in a little over an hour! |

Once you pull the warm rolls out the oven, drizzle them generously (even more generously than my photos) with all of the frosting…

Brown Butter Cinnamon Rolls -- unbelieavbly delicious, and ready to go in a little over an hour! |

…and then dive in and grab a bite while they’re still warm.

Brown Butter Cinnamon Rolls -- unbelieavbly delicious, and ready to go in a little over an hour! |

Trust me. Once you try this brown butter version, I’m pretty positive there will be no going back.

Enjoy every last bite! :)

Brown Butter Cinnamon Rolls -- unbelieavbly delicious, and ready to go in a little over an hour! |

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Brown Butter Cinnamon Rolls

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 3 reviews
  • Prep Time: 55 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 75 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x


Brown butter makes all the difference in this delicious (and quick!) Brown Butter Cinnamon Roll recipe.



Dough Ingredients:

  • 1 cup milk (I used 2%)
  • 1/4 cup (melted) brown butter (*see instructions for brown butter below)
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 envelope instant or ‘rapid rise’ yeast (approx. 2 1/4 tsp)
  • 1 egg

Cinnamon-Sugar Filing Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup (melted) brown butter

Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp. (melted) brown butter
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 12 Tbsp. milk (if needed)


To Make The Brown Butter:

  1. Before you begin making the dough and filling, prepare your brown butter.
  2. To make brown butter in the microwave, place butter in a large microwaveable bowl and heat for 3-5 minutes, or until the butter has come to a boil and then turns an amber color. Be careful that the butter does not burn.
  3. To make brown butter on the stove, place butter in a large saucepan and heat over medium-high heat until boiling. Let the butter boil for 2-4 minutes, or until it turns an amber color. Be careful that the butter does not burn.

To Make The Dough & Filling:

  1. Pour the milk into a microwave-safe bowl. Heat on high in the microwave for 30 seconds, then remove and stir in the melted brown butter, and test the temperature with your finger. You want the mixture to be lukewarm, but not hot to the touch. If it is too cool, continue heating the mixture in the microwave for 20 second intervals, pausing after each to stir, until the mixture reaches the correct temperature. If the mixture gets too hot, let it sit out for a few minutes until it has cooled to the lukewarm temperature.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together 3 cups flour (not all of the flour), sugar and salt until combined.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer (**see note below for an alternative method of making this by hand*) fitted with the dough hook attachment, add yeast and lukewarm milk mixture and stir by hand to combine. 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. Continue beating for 5 minutes on medium-low speed. Remove the dough hook and cover the bowl with a damp towel and let rest for 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, make your filling by whisking together sugars and cinnamon in a bowl until evenly combined.
  5. When the dough is ready, turn it out onto a floured work surface. Then use a floured rolling pin to roll the dough out into a large rectangle, about 14 x 10 inches in size. (If you want all edges to be even, you can use a pizza slicer to cut the dough into a perfect rectangle.) Use a knife or pastry spatula to spread the melted brown butter evenly over the entire surface of the dough. Then sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar mixture evenly on top of the melted butter so that the entire surface of the dough is covered.
  6. Beginning at the 14-inch edge, tightly roll up the dough. And then give the final seam a little pinch so that it seals. Use a piece of dental floss*** to “cut” off the two ends of the roll (an inch on each end) so that they are even, then discard the dough that was cut away. Use the floss to cut the remaining dough into 12 equal pieces.
  7. (***To cut dough with dental floss, simply break off a piece of floss about 12 inches long. Then very carefully slide the middle of the floss under the dough to the place where you want to “cut”. Then pull the ends of the floss up and cross over the top of the dough, and give a quick tug to literally cut all the way through the dough. This is the best method for not squishing your dough while cutting it — although the standard knife method still works too.)
  8. Place each of the cut cinnamon rolls into a greased pie plate or 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Then cover again with a damp towel, and leave the dish in a warm place to rise for 25 minutes.
  9. While the dough is rising, make the icing (instructions below).
  10. When the rolls have risen, uncover the dish. Then place on the center rack of the oven and bake at 350 degrees F 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. Drizzle with frosting and serve.

To Make The Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting:

  1. Either in the bowl of an electric stand mixer, or a mixing bowl, whisk the melted brown butter and cream cheese together until combined. Add in powdered sugar and whisk until combined. If the icing is too thick, add a tablespoon or two of milk to thin it out.


**If you do not have an electric stand mixer with a dough attachment, you can simply stir the ingredients together, and then knead by hand for 5-7 minutes.

Brown Butter Cinnamon Rolls -- unbelieavbly delicious, and ready to go in a little over an hour! |

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53 comments on “Brown Butter Cinnamon Rolls”

  1. I was actually totally planning on developing a cinnamon roll recipe today! BUT – I’ve actually never made any from scratch. CRAZY RIGHT?! So I was scared…I think I’ll just make your recipe instead. Brown butter? I am in! Pinned!

  2. These buns look just perfect :) seriously!

  3. This is not something I’d normally make, but I’m thinking my husband will be so surprised and happy if I make these for Father’s Day. I think his happiness will be worth the sugar coma, no? :)

  4. They’re gorgeous Ali and definitely picture perfect! I didn’t know cinnamon rolls could get any better either. :)
    Have a beautiful weekend!

  5. Perfection in a bun and perfect for fathers day!

  6. Oh my, it’s cinnamon rolls like this that make me so glad I’m not a food blogger! I’d be like 400 pounds because I’d have no self control when these came out of the oven.

    Brown butter cream cheese frosting…………oh this is gonna be good!

  7. A bit confused by your instructions in making the dough. You say to heat the milk and butter in the microwave until the butter is melted… but isn’t the brown butter made separately? So should you warm the milk separately as well until it is lukewarm and then combine with the brown butter?

  8. Ali!!! These are incredible. Dooling over here :)

  9. Smudge would eat the whole pan! Exactly the reason to make them.

  10. Cinnamon buns in an hour?? I can handle that. YUP.

  11. Brown Butter makes everything better! These look so good! Cinnamon rolls are the one thing that I haven’t come up with a good gluten free alternative. I think you just need some gluten to make perfect cinnamon rolls! :)

  12. These look so yummy and great photography! My girlfriend is not a fan of cinnamon. That just means more for me :)

  13. Ali…. This is pure genius!!!!
    Love the brown butter idea :)

  14. brown butter & cinnamon rolls are my two favorite things in life. I’m dead.

  15. I need a batch of these this weekend!

  16. A perfect Father’s Day recipe!!!!

  17. This looks beyond yummy. I was secretly hoping to see a picture of the ones with a “lake” of frosting on them.

  18. Oh man these look so good. I love love love cinnamon rolls on weekend mornings. Right out of the oven when they are still steaming hot. I can only imagine how wonderful they would be with browned butter.

  19. Your 1-hour cinnamon rolls are a go-to classic at our house. Can’t wait to try these!

  20. whoaaaaaa awesome!!! these look so yummy!

  21. I COULDN’T AGREE WITH YOU MORE!!!!!!!!!! brown butter is like pure, unadulterated liquid gold and I find myself salivating at the sheer thought of it! Every time I have to use melted butter in my recipes, I always try to go further and brown it!!!!!! It just transformssssss the dish!!!! <3 Just like these cinnamon rolls!!!!!!!!!! I can almost taste it from here!!!! And that frostinggggg!!!!!! This does not get any better! <3 <3 <3

  22. I have saved this recipe so I make sure I actually try making it! How can I not? They look absolutely delicious and so perfect! You must be quite the bread maker.

  23. These look so delicious and perfect! I would love one with a cup of hot coffee. *bats eyes at you innocently*

  24. Brown butter makes the world a better place. I can’t wait to try these!

  25. I love your full disclosure, aka use a lot more frosting than what is pictured. :) Yes, these definitely look picture perfect, and what a great way to improve your I-thought-they-were-already-perfect cinnamon rolls. Gorgeous!

  26. I am obsessed with brown butter, these look incredible!

  27. I dont understand the recipe :D
    do I have to put butter and milk together?
    And do I use the brown butter for the dough or do I just Cover it with it??

    But those look amaaaazing!!!

    • Yes, you will brown all of the butter first. Then heat the brown butter with the milk. And you will use some of the brown butter for the dough AND the topping. Lots of brown butter! :) Enjoy!

  28. Super delicious!! Best cinnamon roll recipe ever…

  29. Hi, can I make the brown butter cinnamon rolls ahead of time and then put them in the oven the morning after.

  30. Hi Ali – these look incredible. I’m planning on making these for Valentine’s Day – do you think I can prep them the night before and then just put them in the oven next morning? Thanks x

  31. Your Last edit fully omitted the brown butter in the instructions for the dough portion, the 1/4 cup. 

    Great recipe btw!!!

  32. Made these today, and they were a total hit! Although I’ve got to say, I’m really impressed with your cinnamon bun making skills, because they took me a solid 2 and a half hours from when I started to when we finally ate. My lack of a stand mixer/dough hook definitely didn’t help. That said, I’m still probably going to make them again, which is definitely saying a lot about how wonderful they are!

    • Thanks Kim! They definitely take some doing, and some time, but are so worth it in the end! And having a dough hook really does help. I’m so glad you enjoyed them, thanks for giving the recipe a try!

  33. These look amazing! I’ve made many cinnamon roll recipes trying to recreate something close to my grandmother’s. Unfortunately, her amazing recipe went with her. 

  34. Hi Ali, I’ve made these before and they were AMAZING! I would like to make them for Christmas, but do you have any recommendations on how to make them mini? i.e. I’d like to get more than 12 servings, and make the portion smaller.

    • Thanks Kelly, we’re so happy you love these! Hmmm, we think if you just slice the rolls thinner, that might work (so you can try and get 24 instead of 12). We hope this helps!

  35. Making these for Christmas morning!! Have you tried making them the night before so they’re ready to be popped in the oven the next morning? Do you think they would turn out the same?

    • Hi Ariana, you could definitely make these the night before (they’ll proof more in the oven over night), then you can just pop them in the oven in the am. We hope you enjoy! :)

  36. Hi!  I’ve made this recipe several times and it’s ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS!  I was curious what size pie dish you use, standard 9″?  I’ve only used a 9×13 pan and the rolls seem to fill it up completely once baked.  I’m a bit concerned the pie dish doesn’t have enough space.  Thanks!

  37. Not sure why I have not thought of making my cinnamon rolls with brown butter before, but glad I saw this!  They look great and will be making the next batch with brown butter!  BTW, I also put 1-Tablespoon of cinnamon into my dough…after all they are cinnamon rolls!

    • Thanks, Gregg — we hope you enjoy (we definitely think the brown butter’s a game changer)! :)

  38. Just made theses for New Year’s Eve breakfast, and I just had to post to say they are absolutely delicious!

    I will make them the night before next time, and there will be a next time. They weren’t ready until noon because I am not exactly a morning person. Oh well, plenty left for tomorrow, and I think theyll reheat just fine in the toaster oven.

    For those who are wondering, the total amount of butter you need is about two tablespoons shy of two sticks.

    I messed up and mixed the butter with the sugars for the filling. It worked out since the butter was still melted, but I’ll try the other way in the future. Thanks for the amazing recipe!

  39. Oh my gawd best cinnamon rolls ever! I thought you’d get better flavor with a slow rise with regular yeast but rapid rise version taste just as good! Also I put 1 tablespoon of white vinager in the milk to make it Buttermilk amd the rolls turned out tender and fluffy! The brown butter really makes these rolls so flavorful. I’m only gonna make brown butter cinnamon rolls from now on! Thanks for the recipe!

  40. Can you make these the night before and cook them the next morning?

  41. I have not tried it yet but reading the recipe made me hungry so it won’t be long ,maybe Easter

  42. I just made them and they are so easy and good! I used the browned butter for the dough and the icing but not the filling. Mine needed as bit longer in the oven which surprised me because I thought my oven runs hot, but whatever. My new go-to cinnamon roll. Thank you!

  43. made it loved it