Shortcut Cinnamon Rolls

When I tell you this is the most epic recipe for Cinnamon Rolls, I'm not even remotely exaggerating. It's perfection. Top to bottom. Left to right. All other cinnamon rolls can't hold a candle to this and BONUS, there is only 1 hour of prep rather than an overnight rest. Jackpot.... Cinnamon Rolls here we go!

a closeup of Cinnamon Rolls ready to serve


 

Why I Love This Recipe

There's an art to the perfect cinnamon roll. It can't be too overpoweringly sweet. It needs to have the right amount of vanilla and frosting. The frosting needs to have some depth to it rather than just straight sugar. And the dough needs to be perfectly fluffy and rip apart easily. Lemme tell you, this recipe delivers all that and more. It's heavenly and we've been testing these for months - thank you Adam! The best part besides the insane taste, is that these Cinnamon Rolls don't need an overnight proof! Less than an hour of prep and you're in the oven and ready to go! If you want a quick video tutorial on how to make cinnamon rolls, we made you one!

Ingredients & Substitutions

  • Light Brown Sugar
  • White sugar
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Instant yeast
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Ground nutmeg
  • Kosher salt
  • Vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • Unsalted butter
  • Whole Milk
  • Heavy Cream
  • Cream Cheese

How to Make

Make the filling and prep the baking dish:

  • Preheat the oven to 350, grease a 10-inch braiser or baking pan. I like to use a larger piece of parchment that will cover the sides, just smash it into the greased pan and press any seams flat to fit, this makes removing it from the pan much easier. Don’t forget to grease the top of the parchment.
  • Combine all ingredients for the filling in a bowl and set aside.

To make the dough:

  • Heat ¼ cup of the milk to about 110 degrees, stir in yeast and a big pinch of the sugar. Let this sit for 5 minutes to activate the yeast, it should be foamy and bubbly. Add the vanilla bean paste to the remaining 1 cup of milk.
  • In a large bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and remaining sugar. Stir in the yeast mixture, 4 tablespoons of the melted butter and the milk. Mix with a wooden spoon until you get a sticky, shaggy dough. Turn dough out into a surface dusted with flour and knead until smooth, 3-5 minutes.

Shape the Rolls

  • Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle that's 9x14 inches. It’s best to keep the long side of the dough facing you. Leaving a ½ inch border at the top, use a brush and coat the dough with 3 tablespoons melted butter. Evenly sprinkle on the cinnamon filling and gently press it down to adhere to the dough. Starting with the long edge closest to you, begin to roll the dough up tightly into a log, be careful not to let the ends get skinny, pinch the seam tightly to seal.
  • Working with the seam on the bottom, use a sharp knife, bench scraper or for a super clean cut use unflavored dental floss and cut the log into 9 equal pieces; about 1.5 inches each and place directly into the baking pan or braiser.
  • Brush the rolls with the remaining melted butter, cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about 30 minutes.
  • Remove the plastic wrap, drizzle the heavy cream over the rolls and place into the oven. Bake until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and let the rolls rest for 10 minutes.
  • While the Cinnamon Rolls cool make the glaze. Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth, adjust the consistency with more powdered sugar or cream if you want a thicker or thinner glaze. When the rolls have cooled slightly, slather on the glaze and serve

Tips & Tricks

  1. Use fresh ingredients: Make sure your yeast, flour, and other ingredients are fresh. Fresh ingredients ensure better flavor and proper rising of the dough.
  2. Knead the dough properly: Kneading develops gluten, which gives the dough its structure and helps it rise properly. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic - the recipe below calls for 3-5 minutes, don't skimp.
  3. Give the dough time to rise: Proper rising is essential for light and fluffy cinnamon rolls. Allow the dough to rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size.
  4. Roll out the dough evenly: Roll the dough into a rectangle of uniform thickness to ensure that the cinnamon rolls bake evenly.
  5. Spread the filling evenly: Make sure to evenly spread the cinnamon-sugar filling over the rolled-out dough. This ensures that every bite of the cinnamon roll is flavorful.
  6. Roll tightly: Roll the dough tightly to create distinct layers in the cinnamon rolls. This helps them hold their shape and prevents the filling from leaking out during baking.
  7. Use dental floss for cutting: To get clean, even slices, use unflavored dental floss to cut the rolled dough into individual cinnamon rolls. Slide the floss under the dough, cross it over the top, and pull to slice through the dough easily.
  8. Leave space between rolls: Place the cinnamon rolls with a tiny bit of space between them in the baking dish. This allows them room to expand as they rise and prevents them from sticking together.
  9. Drizzle with cream before baking: Brushing the tops of the cinnamon rolls with heavy cream before baking adds flavor and helps them develop a golden-brown crust.
  10. Don’t over-bake: Keep an eye on the cinnamon rolls as they bake to prevent them from becoming dry. Remove them from the oven when they are lightly golden brown on top and cooked through.
  11. Add icing or glaze while warm: For extra sweetness and flavor, drizzle the warm cinnamon rolls with a cream cheese icing after baking. This adds a delicious finishing touch to your homemade cinnamon rolls.

FAQ's

Can I make the Cinnamon Roll dough ahead of time?

Yes, you can make the dough ahead of time and refrigerate it overnight. This allows for a slower rise and enhances flavor. But with this recipe, you can also make it day of and have it in the oven within 1 hour.

Can I freeze cinnamon roll dough?

Sure can, you can freeze cinnamon roll dough. After shaping the rolls, place them on a baking sheet to freeze individually, then transfer them to a freezer bag. When ready to bake, let them thaw and rise before baking.

Why didn't my Cinnamon Roll dough rise?

Several factors can affect dough rising, including expired yeast, water temperature that is too hot or too cold, or not enough time given for the dough to rise. Make sure your yeast is fresh and your dough is placed in a warm, draft-free environment.

Can I substitute ingredients in the Cinnamon Roll filling?

Sure, you can customize the filling to your preference. Some common substitutions include using mini chocolate chips and brown sugar instead of white sugar, adding chopped nuts or raisins, or incorporating spices like nutmeg or cardamom.

How do I store leftover cinnamon rolls?

Store leftover cinnamon rolls in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2-3 days. Alternatively, you can freeze them in a freezer-safe bag or container for up to 2-3 months.

Similar Recipes

Shortcut Cinnamon Rolls

Author: Gaby Dalkin
5 from 3 votes
When I tell you this is the most epic recipe for Cinnamon Rolls, I'm not even remotely exaggerating. It's perfection. All other cinnamon rolls can't hold a candle to this and BONUS, there is only 1 hour of prep rather than an overnight rest.
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 9 people

Ingredients
  

For the Filling

  • ¾ cup light brown sugar tightly packed
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter melted plus more for greasing the pan

For the Dough

  • 1 ¼ cups whole milk at room temperature, divided
  • 4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 2 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • ¼ cup heavy cream slightly warm

For the Cream Cheese Glaze

  • 4 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Instructions
 

Make the filling and prep the baking dish:

  • Preheat the oven to 350, grease a 9-11 inch braiser or baking pan. I like to use a larger piece of parchment that will cover the sides, just smash it into the greased pan and press any seams flat to fit, this makes removing it from the pan much easier. Don’t forget to grease the top of the parchment.
  • Combine all ingredients for the filling in a bowl and set aside.

To make the dough:

  • Heat ¼ cup of the milk to about 110 degrees, stir in yeast and a big pinch of the sugar. Let this sit for 5 minutes to activate the yeast, it should be foamy and bubbly. Add the vanilla bean paste to the remaining 1 cup of milk.
  • In a large bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and remaining sugar. Stir in the yeast mixture, 4 tablespoons of the melted butter and the milk. Mix with a wooden spoon until you get a sticky, shaggy dough. Turn dough out into a surface dusted with flour and knead until smooth, 3-5 minutes.

Shape the Rolls

  • Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle that's 9x14 inches. It’s best to keep the long side of the dough facing you. Leaving a ½ inch border at the top, use a brush and coat the dough with 3 tablespoons melted butter. Evenly sprinkle on the cinnamon filling and gently press it down to adhere to the dough. Starting with the long edge closest to you, begin to roll the dough up tightly into a log, be careful not to let the ends get skinny, pinch the seam tightly to seal.
  • Working with the seam on the bottom, use a sharp knife, bench scraper or for a super clean cut use unflavored dental floss and cut the log into 9 equal pieces; about 1.5 inches each and place directly into the baking pan or braiser.
  • Brush the rolls with the remaining melted butter, cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about 30 minutes.
  • Remove the plastic wrap, drizzle the heavy cream over the rolls and place into the oven. Bake until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and let the rolls rest for 10 minutes.
  • While the rolls cool make the glaze. Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth, adjust the consistency with more powdered sugar or cream if you want a thicker or thinner glaze. When the rolls have cooled slightly, slather on the glaze and serve.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 559kcal | Carbohydrates: 77g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 399mg | Potassium: 153mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 49g | Vitamin A: 879IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 174mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @WhatsGabyCookin or tag #whatsgabycooking!

8 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Wow! These were amazing! I made them with my daughter. The dough was a bit wet but all I did was add more flour and they came out perfect! So delicious. Thank you

  2. I don’t think I’ve ever tasted such an unreal cinnamon bun and I’m a terrible baker. Can’t wait to bring these to an event and make everyone drool

  3. Hi! If I want to let these rise overnight in the fridge what should I do? Just put it in a bowl and cover it after making the dough?
    Thanks!!

    1. make them and before drizzling with the cream, cover and fridge. Then drizzle before baking tomorrow

  4. These look amazing. Can I let them rise overnight in the fridge if I want to make and then bake first thing in the morning?

  5. 5 stars
    I cannot stop drooling over these!! I would love these for Mother's Day and every other day!!!

  6. 5 stars
    Never have I ever successfully made cinnamon rolls. This recipe changed that!!! I did it! Can you hear me shouting from the rooftops? My family has never been happier. Haha! Thanks for the easy to follow and delicious recipe, Gaby.

5 from 3 votes

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