Best Cinnamon Bun Recipe

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Easy to make Cinnamon Buns that are perfectly fluffy with a delicious cinnamon sugar filling and decadent cream cheese icing top. Every bite is as good as the last!

Frosted cinnamon bun on plate with smear of icing on the side

First Published: January 2016 Last Updated: May 21, 2020

If you are looking for a super yummy treat you can prepare the day before then these are for you! A good cinnamon bun recipe requires time to rise, this is what makes it nice and fluffy and not hard and dense.

I know it can be hard to wait for the yeast to do its magic but I promise it’s worth it! We first made them Christmas Eve and plopped them in the oven in the morning for when we opened our gifts.

More recently we decided to make a batch to deliver to our local ICU team who have been working tirelessly over the last couple of months, I mean who deserves it more than them!?

Ingredients

Don’t be afraid of the long list of ingredients and directions! Once you get going it is super simple! The best part of these homemade cinnamon buns is that you DON’T need bread flour to make them!

  • 1 package dry active yeast (not the quick rise)
  • 2 tbsp warm water
  • 1c milk warmed
  • Stir in sugar and beaten egg.
  • 1/4c granulated sugar
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 2c flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp butter (just over 1/4c)
  • Additional 1 1/2c flour

Filling

  • 1/2c butter softened
  • 1/3c granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp ground cinnamon

Frosting

  • 4 tbsp butter softened
  • 8 oz softened cream cheese (I used a yummy greek spreadable cream cheese from PC which gave the icing a nice tang)
  • 2c powdered sugar
  • 1/4c heavy cream

Be sure to PIN these Cinnamon Buns so you have the recipe for later!

This recipe makes a bakers dozen (13) or more depending on how big you cut them, and they keep well un-frosted in a sealed bag or container (so you can enjoy them for a few days…assuming you don’t devour them all!).

Step by Step Directions

Printable recipe below.

Put yeast in large bowl (personally I prefer my Stand Mixer … it takes less time and there is no kneading by hand!) and add the warm water. Stir to dissolve. Pour the warm milk over yeast (making sure it is NOT BOILED just warm as it can kill the yeast). Stir in sugar and beaten egg.

Stainless steel mixing bowl with liquid dissolving yeast

Add 2 cups of flour and the salt, mix well (using dough hook) or by hand.

Cinnamon bun dough mixed in bowl

Pour in the melted butter (again making sure it is not too hot). Add additional 1.5 c flour and mix until the dough is sticky and pulls away from the sides of the bowl to form a ball.

Sticky cinnamon bun dough in stainless steel mixing bowl

Cover the bowl and allow dough to rise for 1.5 hours.

Cinnamon bun dough in mixing bowl after first rise with marble rolling pin in background

Turn the dough out of the bowl onto a well floured surface…add some flour to the top as well to prevent it from sticking as you roll it out.

Roll to about 1/4″ thick, try to have it approx. 12×18″. I swear by my Marble Rolling Pin for any kind of baking, nothing sticks to it and it has enough weight to really roll out your dough!

Dough rolled out on counter top

Cover the surface of the dough with the softened butter, sprinkle with the sugar and cinnamon (right to the edges).

cinnamon sugar sprinkled on dough surface

Now, starting with the longer edge, roll up the dough. Use a sharp serrated knife to cut the dough into sections about 1″ thick (so you have 13 equal rolls).

Roll of cinnamon buns cut into sections

Place each piece into a greased pan (I used a Spring Form which made it VERY EASY to get them out afterwards). It also made them more of a pull-apart style which we loved! Cover the baking tray and put in the fridge overnight.

Cinnamon rolls rising in spring form pan

Frosting: Ever wondered how to make cinnamon bun icing like the pros? Here you go! I made this the day before as well as I knew I wouldn’t want to do anything but hit a button in the morning!

Place the softened butter and cream cheese into your stand mixer. Whisk until smooth and then add powdered sugar.

Beat on low speed until mixed in, add in vanilla and beat for another minute on high speed…Now, dip your finger in and taste the most delicious icing you have ever made!

Large stainless steel bowl with cream cheese frosting

When you are ready to bake the rolls turn the oven on for about 1 minute and then turn off. Place the uncovered rolls inside to continue rising for 1 hour – this is the “proofing” stage that makes them nice and fluffy!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place dish on center rack. Bake for 25 minutes, until tops are golden brown. Allow to cool ten minutes and smother in icing…ENJOY!

Fresh baked cinnamon rolls in springform pan

Did you make this recipe? Please be sure to rate it 5 stars and leave us a comment below and let us know what you thought!!

Easy Homemade Cinnamon Buns

An easy to make cinnamon bun recipe with cream cheese frosting that everyone will devour!
Course Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert
Cuisine American, Comfort Food, Holiday Meals
Keyword Cinnamon Buns, Cinnamon Rolls, Cream Cheese Frosting
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Rise Time 12 hours
Servings 13 buns
Author Melissa

Ingredients

Buns

  • 2 ¼ tsp Active Dry Yeast NOT instant yeast
  • 2 tbsp Warm Water
  • 1 cup Milk, warmed
  • ¼ cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Egg, beaten
  • 3 ½ cups All Purpose Flour
  • ¼ tsp Kosher Salt
  • 6 tbsp Unsalted Butter it works out to just over ¼ cup

Filling

  • ½ cup Unsalted Butter, softened
  • cup Granulated Sugar
  • 3 ½ tbsp Ground Cinnamon

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 4 tbsp Butter, softened
  • 8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
  • 4 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla extract

Instructions

Buns & Filling

  • Put yeast in large bowl and add the warm water. Stir to dissolve. Pour the warm milk over yeast (making sure it is not boiled).

  • Stir in sugar and beaten egg.
  • Using dough hook attachment add in 2 cups of the flour and the salt, mix well.

  • Pour in the melted butter (again making sure it is not too hot). Add additional 1.5 c flour and mix until the dough is sticky and pulls away from the sides of the bowl to form a ball. Cover and allow to rise 1.5 hours before rolling.

  • Turn the dough out of the bowl onto a well floured surface…add some flour to the top as well to prevent it from sticking as you roll it out .Roll to about 1/4″ thick, try to have it approx. 12×18″ rectangle.

  • Cover the surface of the dough with the softened butter, sprinkle with the sugar and cinnamon being sure to go right to the edges.

  • Ready to roll? Starting with the longer edge, roll up the dough making sure to keep it tight and the seam on the bottom. Use a sharp serrated knife to cut the dough into sections about 1″ thick (so you have 13 equal rolls).

  • Place each piece into a greased pan, cover and put in the fridge for 12 hours, or overnight.

  • When you are ready to bake the rolls turn the oven on at 350°F setting for about 1 minute and then turn off. Place the uncovered rolls inside to continue rising for 1 hour then remove.

  • Preheat oven to 350° F and place dish on center rack. Bake for 25 minutes, until tops are golden brown.

Frosting

  • Place the softened butter and cream cheese into your stand mixer and beat until smooth. Add in sifted powdered sugar. Beat on low speed until mixed in, add in vanilla and beat for another minute on high speed
    *If you find your icing too thick you can add a little milk (1 tsp at a time)

  • Allow cinnamon buns to cool before icing.

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