Better Than Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls

12.23.2017

Are you ready for the best cinnamon rolls you’ve ever eaten?? These Better Than Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls are my all time favorite, as in this is it! This is the best cinnamon roll recipe!

They’re super soft and fluffy, perfectly chewy with a hint of gooey, they’re jam packed with cinnamon flavor and they’re covered in a luscious cream cheese cinnamon roll icing. You’ll never need another cinnamon buns recipe. I’m hanging on to this one for life!

Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

Years ago I posted a cinnamon roll recipe but these are definitely my new go-to.

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These have the perfect amount of butter (no oil or margarine because why? Butter is always better!)

They are unbelievably soft – especially when you eat one warm from the oven. These little pillows of deliciousness just melt in your mouth.

Better Than Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls

How To Make Cinnamon Rolls

They have the perfect amount of sweet between the dough, the filling and the icing.

Then the buttermilk in the dough and the cream cheese in the frosting perfectly compliments the sweetness.

And the abundance of cinnamon is a must. I highly recommend Saigon cinnamon if you can afford it, it really is the best. If you are going to add this much cinnamon to something and it’s the main flavor you may as well go for it.

Better Than Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls

So here’s a quick picture how-to. It should go something like so. Try to roll the dough as even as possible, I also like to pull the corners out a little as I’m rolling.

Better Than Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls

I like to first cut the log in half, then cut those halves in half, then those quarters into thirds. If that makes sense. Either way just work to get them equal in size so they cook evenly.

Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

Then really let them puff up. This is the hardest part of cinnamon rolls is all the waiting for the dough to rise – but it’s so worth it in the end.

Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

And finally bake to golden brown puffy perfection and drench with the frosting.

Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

These are all of my dreams come true! I’ve made them twice this week and look forward to when I get to make them again. It’s a serious love affair.

Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls

One that obviously worthy of your Christmas breakfast. Sorry I didn’t get these shared sooner, I had way too many treats I wanted to share this season but hopefully you’ve already got everything on hand to make these.

Best Cinnamon Rolls

I did also list a method for overnight cinnamon rolls in the recipe. Really the only changes are refrigerating immediately after you transfer them to the pan (rather than proceeding with the second rise). Then you chill overnight and remove and finish that second rise the following day (which will likely take 30 – 60 minutes longer than the original method since they are cold).

Better Than Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls

Then please please please serve these warm from the oven. A cold cinnamon roll versus a warm from the oven cinnamon roll is a night and day difference.

They do rewarm well too but there is just nothing quite like a freshly baked cinnamon roll.

Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls Copycat

Served with an ice cold glass of milk…first thing in the morning. Sugar highs for breakfast were made for holidays :).

The second time I made them this week I tried to eat just a few bites but then it quickly turned into trying to just eat a few bites of the second cinnamon roll.

These things are dangerous!

Cinnamon Rolls

I hope you love these Cinnamon rolls as much as my family does! I think this will be my cinnamon roll recipe for life. I just love unwrapping each of those irresistable layers.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays everyone! I hope you have such a great weekend filled with lots of good food!

Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

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Better Than Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls

5 from 16 votes

My all time favorite cinnamon rolls! So soft and fluffy, and perfectly chewy with a hint of gooey. Their sweetness is perfectly paired with a hint of buttermilk flavor and a cream cheese icing. And they are jam packed with the best cinnamon flavor! A recipe you won't want to lose.

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 35 minutes
Servings: 12

Ingredients

Roll Dough

  • 1/4 cup (60ml) warm water, 110 - 120 degrees
  • 1 Tbsp active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) buttermilk, at room temperature*
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature**
  • 1/2 cup (100g) + 1/2 tsp granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 Tbsp (85g) unsalted butter, diced into 1 Tbsp pieces and melted
  • 3 1/2 - 4 cups (17.5 oz - 20 oz) bread flour (I recommend King Arthur)

Cinnamon Filling

  • 6 Tbsp (85g) unsalted butter, well softened
  • 1 cup (210g) packed light brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp (13g) Saigon cinnamon

Cream Cheese Icing

  • 1/4 cup (56g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups (190g) powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Pour water in a the bowl of an electric stand mixer, pour in yeast and 1/2 tsp sugar and whisk well. Let rest 5 - 10 minutes to proof (if it doesn't puff up your water was either too hot or the yeast is bad and the rolls won't rise).   

  2. Add in buttermilk, eggs, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, salt, vanilla and 6 Tbsp melted butter. Fit mixer with whisk attachment and blend mixture until combined. 

  3. Pour in 2 1/2 cups of the flour and mix until well combined. Switch to a hook attachment then add another 1 cup flour. Knead mixture until combined. 

  4. Continue to knead on moderately low speed about 5 - 6 minutes while adding a little more flour as needed to reach a soft and moist dough (Dough shouldn't stick to the sides of the bowl but does stick to the bottom. I ended with 3 3/4 cups or 18.75 oz, but I am in a fairly dry climate so in a humid climate you may need a little more. Also note I use the scoop and level method when measuring in cups).

  5. Transfer dough to an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 1/2 hours. 

  6. Butter a rimmed 15 by 10-inch jelly roll pan then line with parchment paper (a 13 by 9-inch baking dish works as well I just like the result of the slightly bigger pan better). Butter parchment paper and set aside.

  7. Punch dough down. Dust a working surface lightly with flour and turn dough out onto surface. Sprinkle top of dough with a little flour then roll dough out into an 20 by 18-inch rectangle.

  8. Spread 6 Tbsp butter evenly over entire surface (just use your hands). In a small mixing bowl whisk together brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle and spread brown sugar mixture evenly over butter layer (try to leave about 1/2-inch border uncovered along all edges). 

  9. Beginning on an 18-inch side tightly roll dough into a cylinder. Pinch the seam to seal (brushing a little egg white underneath helps if needed). 

  10. Cut into 12 equal portions using a large sharp knife (they should be 1 1/2-inch each). Arrange rolls, spacing evenly apart on prepared baking sheet. 

  11. Cover with plastic wrap (leave plastic it a little loose but be sure it fully encloses to keep air out. Also see notes for overnight method as this would be the point to chill***).

  12. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 1/2 hours. Preheat oven to 375 degrees near the last 20 minutes of rolls rising. 

  13. Bake rolls in preheated oven until centers are no longer doughy, about 18 - 22 minutes (center should be 185 degrees on an instant read thermometer). If needed during the last 5 minutes of baking you can tent with foil to prevent excess browning, all ovens vary. 

  14. While rolls are baking in a medium mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer whip together butter and cream cheese until smooth and fluffy. Add in vanilla and powdered sugar and whip until light and fluffy. 

  15. Spread icing over hot from the oven rolls. Rolls are best served warm. If you have leftover rolls store in an airtight container once cool and rewarm individually on a plate in microwave for about 15 seconds or until soft and warm.

  16. *You can also warm buttermilk gently in the microwave to bring it to room temperature. Heat it on 30% power in a microwave safe cup, in 20 second increments stirring between each, until it registers about 75 degrees on an instant read thermometer (no more than 90 degrees or it will curdle!). 

  17. **To quickly bring eggs to room temperature place them in a bowl and cover with warm water. Let rest 10 minutes. 

  18. ***For the overnight method, immediately after you've cut rolls and placed them in pan wrap with plastic wrap and chill overnight. Then following day remove from fridge, keep covered and let rest at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 2 hours. Continue to bake as directed.

  19. Recipe source: inspired by Allrecipes

Better Than Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls - The best cinnamon rolls I've ever tasted! You'll be savoring each and every bite! And yes indeed they are better than Cinnabon's. They have the best texture, an incredible flavor and the cream cheese icing makes them sing. #cinnaboncinnamonrolls #dessert #christmas #breakfast #cinnamonrolls

58 comments

  • Mary L: Thank you for all the wonderful recipes, I love your blog and eagerly await the next fabulous recipe. Merry Christmas! December 23, 2017 at 8:41am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Mary! Merry Christmas! December 23, 2017 at 10:20pm Reply

  • Sherina THOMPSON: can these be frozen after second rise? December 23, 2017 at 8:26pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I haven’t tested yet but I guessing it would be fine to freeze them after the first rise and once you’ve shaped them, then I’d do the second rise after thawing. December 24, 2017 at 2:37pm Reply

  • jennifer collins: When will I added pecans. My family loves cinnamon rolls with pecans. December 24, 2017 at 4:30pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’d sprinkle some over the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture then a few over the top after frosting. December 26, 2017 at 11:52pm Reply

  • Mike: What is that paper you use between the rolls and the pan? December 26, 2017 at 3:22pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Just parchment paper. It helps prevent all the sugary filling form sticking. December 26, 2017 at 11:50pm Reply

  • Jessica R: Literally the best cinnamon rolls I have ever had, so good! Thank you for the recipe! December 28, 2017 at 5:17pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad to hear they’re the best you’ve had :)! Thanks for your review Jessica! December 28, 2017 at 6:34pm Reply

  • Amanda Bevill: Delicious! We made these for Christmas with a blend of cinnamons and Montana huckleberries. The recipe was spot on. Will make again for sure. December 28, 2017 at 7:02pm Reply

    • Amanda Bevill: Five Star! December 28, 2017 at 7:03pm Reply

      • Jaclyn: And thanks for your review :)! December 29, 2017 at 9:47am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I love huckleberries! So glad you enjoyed them Amanda, thanks for leaving a comment! December 29, 2017 at 9:46am Reply

  • Carolyn Dean: Can’t wait to try this ! Love that the dough is a sweeter that most doughs . My mother made something like this when I was young in1940’s . Been looking for this forever . Thank you C. December 29, 2017 at 1:41pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I hope you love these as much as my family does Carolyn! December 29, 2017 at 4:49pm Reply

  • Sarah: I am a huge cinnamon roll fan and I cannot stand the canned stuff from the dairy aisle but have yet to find a recipe that truly hits the spot. Made these today with my husband and they are perfection!!! SO so worth all the wait time. I had never used the Saigon cinnamon before but there is no going back now, it’s just so sweet and fragrant and takes this recipe over the top.

    Thanks for sharing this recipe Jaclyn!! I don’t think i’ll be able to eat cinnamon rolls without comparing them to these from now on. December 29, 2017 at 5:25pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so happy to hear you thought they were perfect Sarah :)! Thanks for leaving a review! December 30, 2017 at 12:12pm Reply

  • Mandie: I made these for Christmas morning and they were delicious! I’ve always been nervous to make cinnamon rolls from scratch because of all the work involved but these were easy to make December 30, 2017 at 2:02pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Glad you found them easy to make and so happy you enjoyed them Mandie! Thanks for your review! December 31, 2017 at 8:46pm Reply

  • Donna M: Made these today! Absolutely Devine!! December 30, 2017 at 4:42pm Reply

  • Laura | Tutti Dolci: So stunning, these rolls are perfection! January 2, 2018 at 7:18pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for the compliment Laura :)! January 3, 2018 at 5:28pm Reply

  • Barbara: Made these rolls yesterday and totally agree these are the best cinnamon rolls I have ever made. Having one this morning after heating in microwave and they taste like they just came out of the oven. Thanks again you never disappoint me with your recipes. January 5, 2018 at 6:16am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Barbara! So glad you like them! January 5, 2018 at 11:25am Reply

  • Sara: Does it have to be bread flour or would all-purpose flour work? January 13, 2018 at 12:46pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Bread flour does give these the best texture but all-purpose flour will work too. January 13, 2018 at 8:05pm Reply

      • Ramya: Could we use cake flour instead of bread flour? January 29, 2018 at 5:00pm Reply

        • Jaclyn: For best texture I recommend bread flour here, the next best thing would be all-purpose flour. February 6, 2018 at 10:58am Reply

  • Sandra Henslee: Where can I find Saigon Cinnamon? January 16, 2018 at 11:46am Reply

    • Jaclyn: They sell it at most grocery stores just with the other spices. I buy it at the Kroger grocery stores and Walmart carries it too. January 17, 2018 at 4:32pm Reply

  • Rose: This looks so good! I love your blog. January 16, 2018 at 5:00pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so happy to hear you love my blog Rose! Thanks for letting me know! January 16, 2018 at 9:19pm Reply

  • Jamie: Can I use regular cinnamon ? will it work ? January 19, 2018 at 6:16am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes definitely. I just think the Siagon cinnamon is superior in taste but regular will work fine. January 23, 2018 at 6:14pm Reply

  • Kd cinch: Maybe it’s better than cinnabon, maybe it’s not. “Better” is a matter of personal preference. One thing for sure, if it is “better” it’s NOT a clone. I am a cinnabon fan and am looking for a match to cinnabon. February 21, 2018 at 10:33am Reply

  • Hal: one of the BEST! February 23, 2018 at 6:43pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Hal! February 23, 2018 at 9:09pm Reply

  • John R. Coleman: These look amazing ! We’re going to make these for the team at our welding class at ASU ! Arkansas State University ! Hope they like them ! March 5, 2018 at 6:11pm Reply

  • Deklin’s mom: Perfection!! Thank you!! March 7, 2018 at 7:19pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Glad you think so :)! March 7, 2018 at 10:42pm Reply

  • Tammy: These are one of the best cinnamon rolls I’ve made. My husband and son loved them. I did add pecans to the filling and next time I’ll double the icing. It was enough but just barely. I think the bread flour is the key. March 8, 2018 at 4:02pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for your feedback Tammy! March 12, 2018 at 10:18am Reply

  • Wernich: ran out of flour so used cornstarch to try and get it right (ran to the shop to get more flour for the rolling out later), discovered i had about 50ml of icing sugar (used a pestle&mortar to get the castor sugar fine enough) and our oven needs to be watched with a thermometer otherwise it trips the main circuit breaker when it reaches the set temperature and it needs to turn the element off. i also don’t have a stand mixer, so my “dough hook” was me using a sturdy dessert spoon.

    despite these “minor” setbacks, these things came out really nice and everyone who tried one was super impressed. yesterday was the second time i made this and i remember the first time was awesome too. April 9, 2018 at 5:31am Reply

  • Lisa Kelley: OMG, These Cinnamon buns are dangers. Just like the cinnabons Burger King sells.
    They are now my favorite reciepe, I give this reciepe a 5 stars April 23, 2018 at 9:24pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad you like them! :) April 24, 2018 at 11:36am Reply

  • Nitti: This is by far the best recipe I made so far. And I’ve tried my fair share of cinnabun recipes. I even came to give a rating, which I rarely do. Thank you for sharing it. April 27, 2018 at 11:53pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks so much Nitti! May 1, 2018 at 12:24pm Reply

  • Melissa: What’s the temp of the oven to cook them? April 28, 2018 at 8:24am Reply

  • embecmom: One of the best bread doughs Ive ever made, will be using it often! May 11, 2018 at 10:52am Reply

  • Rose: I have not yet made them, but intend to start them tonight.
    I just want to comment on the cinnamon in the meantime. Cinnabon uses Makara cinnamon, which you can buy at their outlets in 2 oz (57 g) bottles. I buy it by the case, and use it for all my recipes. Good quality cinnamon really does make a difference. May 13, 2018 at 7:12pm Reply

  • annie: These look so amazing!!!! i am a cinnabun fan and these look just like them. i was just wondering, can i use regular milk instead of buttermilk? if not, can i make my own buttermilk using milk and vinegar/ lemon? thanks for posting this! June 2, 2018 at 2:58pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes you can use the buttermilk substitute here with the milk and vinegar or lemon. I hope you love these! June 9, 2018 at 1:05pm Reply

  • Natasha: These are amazing I bake every week Bieber and the family devour them immediately. How do I buy your vanilla bean:) June 8, 2018 at 8:30pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Unfortunately I’m no longer selling it :(. I’m so glad you enjoyed these cinnamon rolls though! June 9, 2018 at 1:01pm Reply

  • Dee: It’s amazing!!!! One of the best I’ve ever made. June 19, 2018 at 1:17pm Reply

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