Finally! It is here! The cinnamon rolls recipe my friends go crazy for! Ladies and gentlemen, here are my Cinnamon Rolls With Cream Cheese Frosting. They are unlike any cinnamon rolls you have had before. Fluffy, soft, filled with amazing cinnamon flavor and a whipped cream cheese frosting with just the right amount of sugar that will allow you to savor all the lovely flavors of the rolls.
Homemade yeast bread is one of the pleasures of life! I love them all from cinnamon rolls to hot cross buns, to sweet dinner rolls.
Almost every year I make cinnamon rolls for either Thanksgiving or Christmas morning. My kids absolutely love it. A tray of homemade cinnamon rolls also makes a great gift to friends and family!
Easy Cinnamon Rolls With Cream Cheese Frosting
There's a reason why my friends swoon over these cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting. They are simply the best! I hadn't considered them that special until I took them to a few people and they contacted me after to request the recipe!
I figured they loved it because it wasn't just overwhelmed with sugar like other cinnamon rolls I have tried. They are sweet but you can still taste all the lovely cinnamon flavors in the sweet bun and the tangy vanilla-y cream cheese frosting.
So this is for you my friends both in real life and online! Make this recipe exactly as directed and you will have the best cinnamon rolls ever.
The cream cheese frosting really does something to these cinnamon rolls. Tangy with that enticing cream cheese flavor and just the right amount of sweetness!
You do not need any special equipment to mix the dough. It can totally be made by hand and I have included instructions for that in the recipe.
If sweet rolls are your thing also check out my favorite Hot Cross Buns. They are to die for!
Cinnamon Rolls are perfect for Christmas, Easter, Mother's Day, or any day when you feel like having a really really special breakfast!
Here is the cast of ingredients for cinnamon rolls. For the cinnamon rolls dough you need:
- Whole milk. Use whole milk instead of reduced-fat milk for richer rolls. For even more richness, replace the whole milk with evaporated milk.
- Instant yeast or active dry yeast. The yeast helps the dough rise, giving the rolls their coveted fluffiness.
- Butter. For rich flavor and a soft dough.
- Egg. For richness.
- Sugar: You need just enough granulated sugar to slightly sweeten the dough.
- Salt: Salt helps balance all the flavors.
For the cinnamon rolls filling you need:
- Butter. I love using a high quality rich-flavored butter here. My favorite is Kerrygold (not sponsored but I would love to work with them!) The butter should be at room temperature so it is easily spreadable.
- Brown sugar. For the rich brown color. Dark brown sugar or light brown sugar would work here.
- Ground Cinnamon. Because these are cinnamon rolls and you need cinnamon in them.
For the cinnamon rolls cream cheese frosting, you need:
- Cream Cheese. Use full-fat block cream cheese if possible and not those sold in the tub. The cream cheese sold in tubs makes frosting that is runnier than block cream cheese but if that's all you've got use it.
- Butter: Adds butteriness and tampers down the tang of the cream cheese.
- Vanilla Extract. Use good quality vanilla extract so that vanilla flavor can shine through. I used my homemade vanilla extract and the flavor intensely good!
See the recipe card below for quantities.
How To Make Cinnamon Rolls With Cream Cheese Frosting
First, mix all the ingredients for the dough together to form a nice soft dough. Knead the dough until smooth. A soft dough ensures soft fluffy rolls.
Let the dough rise until doubled in size then punch the dough to take out extra air. Roll the dough into a rectangle.
Next spread butter on the dough.
Then sprinkle brown sugar and ground cinnamon over the dough.
Roll the dough into a log and trim the ends so each roll will have neat edges.
Once the ends are trimmed, cut the log into 12 equal pieces. First cut the log into 4 equal pieces then cut each of the 4 pieces into 3 pieces to make 12. You could also cut the dough into 16 pieces.
Place the rolls into a buttered baking dish.
Let the rolls rise for a second time then bake.
Whip together the ingredients for the frosting and as soon as the rolls come out of the oven, spread the frosting over them so the frosting can slip into the crevices. Pure heaven!
Can You Freeze Cinnamon Rolls With Cream Cheese Frosting?
Yes, you absolutely can freeze cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting. Just allow the rolls to cool completely, wrap them with plastic wrap then freeze.
How To Store Cinnamon Rolls With Cream Cheese Frosting
Store cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. Reheat each roll in the microwave for about 15 seconds before serving. The rolls get fluffy again when reheated in the microwave but be careful not to microwave them for too long or they will get tough.
You can also store cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting in the freezer. Wrap the rolls with plastic wrap and store them in the freezer for 1 to 3 months.
Do You Refrigerate Cinnamon Rolls With Cream Cheese Frosting?
Yes, you can refrigerate cinnamon rolls. Place the rolls in an airtight container and keep them in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
You could switch up these rolls by trying these variations:
- Lemon Rolls - To make lemon rolls, swap the ground cinnamon in the filling for lemon zest then swap the vanilla extract in the cream cheese frosting for freshly squeezed lemon juice.
- Orange Rolls - To make orange rolls, swap the ground cinnamon in the filling for orange zest then swap the vanilla extract in the cream cheese frosting for freshly squeezed lemon juice.
- Pumpkin Spice Rolls - To make pumpkin spice rolls, swap the ground cinnamon in the filling for pumpkin spice.
Make Ahead Tip
To make cinnamon rolls ahead make the rolls, place them in a greased pan then cover them with plastic wrap and leave in the fridge to rise overnight. The next morning remove the rolls from the fridge, bring them to room temperature then bake.
There is no need to let the dough rise the first time if you choose to make your cinnamon rolls ahead. They should only be made to rise once, overnight in the fridge.
Important Tip: If the middle parts of some rolls rise above the other parts of the rolls while baking, gently push them back in once the rolls are out of the oven.
More Great Breakfast Recipes
- Easy Quiche Recipe
- My Favorite Hot Cross Buns
- Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits
- Banana Bundt Cake
- Potato Frittata
- Challah Bread Pudding
Watch How To Make Cinnamon Rolls
Here is a step-by-step video on how to make Cinnamon Rolls With Cream Cheese frosting. Please subscribe to my YouTube channel if you haven't done so yet.
If you make this recipe please consider leaving a star rating and a comment below. I love hearing from you!
Cinnamon Rolls With Cream Cheese Frosting
- Stand Mixer or Bread Machine For mixing dough
- 1½ cups whole milk
- 2¼ teaspoons instant yeast or active dry yeast
- 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 4 cups all-purpose flour Plus more
- Butter to grease pan
- 8 Tablespoons butter softened at room temperature and spreadable
- ¼ cup dark brown sugar or light brown sugar
- 2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
- 8 Tablespoons butter, room temperature
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Proof the yeast. Heat the milk for about 1 minute in the microwave to be slightly warm. It should be about 110° F. Pour the milk into a large mixing bowl (if mixing by hand), or the bowl of a stand mixer, or the bowl of a bread machine (I use the dough function of my bread machine.) Add the yeast to the milk, stir to combine, and let it rest for 2 minutes.
- Make the dough. To the milk/yeast mixture add the granulated sugar, melted butter, egg, salt, and flour. Mix everything using a stand mixer, bread machine, or with your hands to form a dough. If making the dough by hand knead the dough on a clean and floured working surface until smooth and elastic while sprinkling on tiny bits of flour as needed. If using an appliance like a stand mixer or bread machine let the appliance mix the dough until smooth and elastic. Add more flour as needed so the dough isn't too sticky but it's okay for the dough to be a little sticky as that is going to yield soft cinnamon rolls.
- Let the dough rise. Butter a large mixing bowl and place the dough inside. Keep in a warm place to rise until doubled in size. It takes about 1 hour. I love turning on my oven for about 2 minutes, then turning it off. Then I'll place my dough in the oven to rise. It works perfectly every time!
- Grease pan. While the dough rises, butter a 9 by 13 baking dish.
- Roll out the dough. Once the dough has risen, punch it in the middle to remove excess air. Flour a clean working surface. Place the dough on the floured working surface and shape it with your hands into a rectangle. Use a rolling pin to further roll out the rectangle to be about 10 by 18 inches.
- Fill the dough, roll, and divide it into rolls. Dot the dough with the butter for the filling. Spread the butter over the dough using a butter knife, ensuring that it is evenly distributed across the dough while leaving a 1-inch border around the dough. Sprinkle the brown sugar and ground cinnamon as evenly as possible over the spread butter. Roll the dough into a log. Trim the ends of the log so the ends look neater (save the trimmed dough to bake later). Cut the log into 12 equal-looking portions,
- Place the 12 portions into the buttered baking dish. Let them rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes until about doubled in size,
- Preheat oven. While the rolls rise, preheat the oven to 350° F.
- Bake. Place the risen rolls into the preheated oven and let them bake for about 25 minutes until golden brown.
- Make the cream cheese frosting. While the rolls bake, place all ingredients for the cream cheese frosting into a medium mixing bowl. Whip them together using an electric handheld mixer on medium speed until well combined and smooth.
- Frost the cinnamon rolls. As soon as the cinnamon rolls are out of the oven, evenly spread the cream cheese frosting on them.
- Serve. Enjoy cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting warm. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. Reheat each cinnamon roll in the microwave for 15 seconds.
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