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How to Make the Best Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

I have had a lifetime commitment to cinnamon rolls. There is something about that cinnamon sweetness all rolled up that just speaks to me. My mother always made whole-wheat cinnamon rolls and I loved them but when I tried my Swedish friend's recipe I really liked the lightness and flavor of her's. This recipe combines the things I liked about both recipes and I have yet to find a cinnamon roll that I would rather eat.

cinnamon rolls on a plate with cinnamon sticks in front of it
Cinnamon Rolls


  • 2 tablespoons yeast

  • 1/2 cup warm water

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 4 cups warm whole milk

  • 3/4 cup warm vegetable oil

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 2 whipped eggs

  • 8+ cups white flour

  • 1 cup gluten

  • 2 cups wheat flour

  • 1 tablespoon salt

  • 1/2 cup melted butter

  • 4 cups brown sugar (approximately)

  • 1/4c cinnamon (approximately)


Begin by combining the yeast, water and 1 teaspoon of sugar. Allow the mixture to rest for 5-10 minutes. It should be nice and bubbly if you have good yeast.

activated yeast in a mixing bowl on a granite counter with Marie Overton holding it
Foamy Yeast

Then add the rest of your ingredients. This recipe makes a hearty breakfast type roll. If you prefer a lighter dough you can trade out the wheat flour and gluten for white flour. Mix the dough either in a large mixer or by hand. Before I had my big mixer I would combine all the liquid ingredients and as much of the flour as would fit in my KitchenAid and then I would pour it onto the counter and mix the rest of the flour in by hand. Add enough flour that it is no longer sticky but still moist feeling.

dough in a hobart mixer with a dough hook and Marie Overton
Mix dough

Cover the dough and allow it to sit in a warm place for 1-2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size.

dough that has doubled in size on a granite counter with Marie Overton spreading flour on the counter and a container that says homemade
Risen dough

Now it is time to roll out the dough. I usually do it on my counter or the table. It rolls out to approximately 3 feet by 2 feet. The thinner the dough the better it is for cinnamon rolls because then that means there will be more layers of cinnamon not just the dough.

rolled out dough on a granite countertop with cinnamon and sugar on the side, a rolling pin in the corner, and Marie Overton pouring butter,
spread butter

Now it is time to add all the goodness to these rolls. Begin by spreading 1 stick of melted butter over the dough. Get it close to the edges but don't go over them. Then you sprinkle the brown sugar over the top of the butter, lightly spreading it so that it sticks to the butter. You want to be pretty generous.

rolled dough on a granite counter with cinnamon and brown sugar on it and Marie Overton sprinkling cinnamon from a wooden bowl
add cinnamon and sugar

The cinnamon is then added, generously sprinkling it over the entire surface. If you drop a concentrated amount in one spot you will want to be sure to disperse it more so it isn't too hot.

rolled out dough with cinnamon and sugar on it, on a granite counter, Marie Overton compressing the cinnamon and sugar with a wooden rolling pin
compress cinnamon and sugar

Use a rolling pin to lightly compress the cinnamon and sugar so that it doesn't fall off as you are rolling up the rolls.

cinnamon roll dough being rolled up by Marie Overton on a pink granite countertop
roll up the dough

Then, I like to cut my dough down the middle so it isn't as wide. You could just roll up the whole thing but they would be massive cinnamon rolls. I then roll them up from the edge to the cut side by working my way up and down the length.

Marie Overton cutting cinnamon roll dough on a granite surface
cut into 1.5 inch sections

When cutting the cinnamon rolls I like them about 1.5 inches wide. I then place them 1 -2 inches apart on a cookie sheet or casserole dish and allow them to rise again for about 45 minutes.

Cinnamon rolls rising on a large baking sheet
allow to rise

After they have risen I bake them for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

cinnamon rolls fresh out of the oven
Bake until golden brown

They are done when the tops are golden brown.

Cinnamon rolls under a glass dome on a woven mat on a granite countertop with cinnamon sticks next to it

As an option, you can add a vanilla glaze to the top.

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