Easy Cinnamon Roll Recipe

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Simple Cinnamon Rolls make a sweet treat for breakfast or dessert.
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12 rolls SERVINGS


  • 1 cup plus 1 to 2 tablespoons milk, divided
  • 1 cup butter, divided
  • 3 to 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/4 cup plus 1/3 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 envelope rapid rise yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar


  • Combine 1 cup milk and 1/4 cup butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute; stir. Continue cooking and stirring in 20-second intervals until the butter is melted and the milk is warm. (Note: If you get the milk hot, it won’t activate the yeast. If this happens, let the milk stand at room temperature until it’s lukewarm — 105 to 115 F.)
  • In another bowl, mix 3 cups flour, 1/4 cup granulated sugar and salt with a whisk until combined.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook attached, add yeast and lukewarm milk mixture; stir by hand to combine. Add flour mixture and egg; beat on medium speed until mixed. If dough sticks to the sides of the bowl, add remaining flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until dough begins to form a ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Continue beating on medium speed for 5 minutes. Cover dough with a clean, damp towel and let rest for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, mix remaining 1/3 cup granulated sugar with brown sugar and cinnamon until combined.
  • When dough is ready, turn out onto a floured board. Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough out to a 14-by-9-inch rectangle. Spread 1/2 cup butter, which has been softened, evenly over the dough, spreading all the way to the edges. Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture.
  • Beginning at the 14-inch edge, roll the dough tightly and pinch the seam to seal it. Use a knife or unflavored dental floss to cut off both ends of the roll; cut remaining roll into 12 equal pieces. Place rolls in a greased 9-by-13-inch baking pan and cover with a damp towel. Let rise in a warm place for 25 minutes.
  • Heat oven to 350 F.
  • Bake the rolls on the center rack of the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until centers are no longer doughy and tops are golden brown.
  • Meanwhile, make icing by melting the remaining 1/4 cup butter in the microwave. Whisk in vanilla and confectioner’s sugar until combined. Add  1 to 2 tablespoons milk if icing is too thick. Continue mixing until mixture reaches desired consistency. If icing  is too thin, add a little more confectioner’s sugar to thicken it slightly.
  • Cool rolls on a wire rack for 5 to 10 minutes before drizzling with icing. Serve warm or cold.Note: If you don’t have a stand mixer and/or a dough hook, you can stir the ingredients together until a dough forms, then knead dough on a floured board for 5 to 7 minutes before letting it rest.Looking for more out-of-the-ordinary Christmas recipes? Try some of our other Non-Traditional Holiday Recipes.