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Homemade Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing

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  • Author: Tandra Nicole
  • Total Time: 1 hr 45 minutes
  • Yield: 12 rolls 1x


There’s nothing quite like a homemade warm fluffy cinnamon roll topped with the perfect cream cheese icing.



Cinnamon Roll Dough

  • 4.55 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 packets of Instant Yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into thin slices
  • 1 large egg


  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (room temp)
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon

Cream Cheese Icing

  • 4 oz cream cheese (room temp)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (room temp)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract


**Before starting make sure you have your butter and cream cheese at room temperature.

Cinnamon Roll Dough

  1. In a large mixing bow, whisk together 2 cups of flour, sugar, yeast, and salt.
  2. In a heat-safe bowl, combine the water and butter (cut into thin slices). Heat in microwave for 30-60 seconds until warm but not too hot. Water will be warm to touch but your butter will not be fully melted, this is to be expected.
  3. Pour heated water and butter into dry ingredients, add egg, and mix with a wooden spoon.
  4. Add in 2 more cups of flour and mix. At this point your dough should be thick and sticky. 
  5. Add in 1/4 cup of flour and mix again. You’ll continue adding 1/4 cup of flour to your mix until your dough becomes “shaggy” and difficult to stir. 
  6. Once your dough has become shaggy, you’ll hand kneed the dough. It may still be sticky, if so, add another 1/4 cup of four and continue to kneed by hand. It should turn into a smooth dough.
  7. Stick your finger into the dough, if you finger is sticky add another 1/4 cup of flour, if you finger is clean, you can shape your dough into a ball and let it rest for 10 minutes.
  8. After 10 minutes, the dough should have risen. It won’t have doubled but it should look larger.
  9. Lightly flour your work surface and pat your dough into a rectangle.
  10. Use your rolling pin to shape your dough into roughly a 10 x 15 inch rectangle.
  11. Spread your room temperature butter into a thin and even layer, you’ll want to leave about 1/2 inch border all around your dough.
  12. Sprinkle your brown sugar and spread it even with your hands over the butter. Then top your mixture with cinnamon.
  13. Start at the 15 in side of your dough and roll it up into a log and squeeze the ends in to push your log tightly together.
  14. Next we will cut our rolls. If you have unflavored dental floss, this will give you the best results. However, you could also use thin sewing string as a second option. Lastly you can use a sharp knife by pushing back and forth to cut your rolls but not a straight push down as this will smash your rolls.
  15. If you are using floss or string, slide it under the roll and cross the string over the top. Pull the strings tight to create a cut through your dough.
  16. First, cut off the two ends. You can use these but they’ll mainly be just dough and not a perfect cinnamon roll shape.
  17. Once you have your ends cut off, slide the floss to the center of your log and split it in two. Then cut these two in half so that you now have 4 logs.
  18. Cut each of the 4 logs into 3 pieces for a total of 12 cinnamon rolls.
  19. Prep your 9×13 dish with grease and then place cinnamon rolls into the dish. 
  20. Cover with towel and allow to rise for 1 hour. You’ll want your rolls to fill up the pan. If rolls are not rising, see note 1.
  21. Preheat oven to 350F for baking. Once oven is heated, place inside for 25-20 minutes, until rolls are golden brown. Remove and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes. 

Cream Cheese Icing

  1. Place room temp cream cheese icing and room temp butter into a mixing bowl (see Note 2 if not room temp). Mash with a fork until they combine. 
  2. Add powdered sugar and vanilla extract, use fork to combine. Once the texture starts to transition to a smoother texture, switch to a whisk and continue to mix until you reach desired consistency of icing.
  3. Pour over cinnamon rolls and enjoy!


  1. Cinnamon Rolls Rising: If your cinnamon rolls aren’t rising because you live in an area with colder temperatures. Set your oven to the lowest temperature, mine is 200F, once oven reaches temp, turn off, and place rolls inside. Watch rolls rise until they have doubled in size and take up your entire pan. **Remove from oven before preheating for baking.
  2. Icing Lumpy: If your butter and cream cheese are not at room temp you icing may come out is lumpy. Our kitchen is on the cooler side and even being room temp it was still slightly lumpy. The taste will be the same but the texture will be different.
  3. If you’d like to make the cinnamon rolls before, stop once you place them into the baking dish, cover them with plastic wrap and place into the refrigerator. Before you bake the next day, they will need to rest at room temperature while covered for roughly 30-45 minutes. Then bake as normal.
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking