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Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing. Plus Bonus Recipes for Maple Nut and Caramel Pecan Variations.

Updated on October 10, 2012
4.9 stars from 13 ratings of Cinnamon Rolls

When it comes to "breakfast pastry" (I put in quotations because I feel it's more a dessert than a breakfast food) you can't beat a sweet and cozy, fresh from the oven cinnamon roll slathered in butter and cream cheese icing. Equally enticing are the variations I've included. Maple nut and caramel pecan both come out delightfully sticky with a bonus texture from the nuts they're covered with. These variations are found after the base recipe at the end of the hub.

I asked my younger brother to make these with me when he was visiting. He's only recently discovered an interest in cooking and has never made any sort of pastry or bread. His came out tasting delicious... although not as pretty as mine ^_^ We still can't agree on who "won" our cinnamon roll making contest and my husband refuses to vote.

Cook Time

Prep time: 45 min
Cook time: 2 hours
Ready in: 2 hours 45 min
Yields: Makes 24 rolls about 7 centimeters in diameter

Cream Cheese Icing Ingredients

  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • milk, enough to reach drizzling consistency

If you are anything like me you'll want to double the icing.

Yeast Dough Ingredients

  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs

Cinnamon Filling Ingredients

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened


  • Add 2 cups of the flour and the yeast to a large mixing bowl, set aside.
  • In a small saucepan combine the milk, sugar, butter and salt. Heat just until warm (120-130'F) and the butter is almost completely melted.
  • Add the milk mixture and the eggs to the flour. Beat with an electric mixer on low until combined. Then beat on high for 3 minutes.

  • Using a wooden spoon stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.
  • Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead in any flour you couldn't stir.

  • Continue kneading until smooth. Total knead time shouldn't exceed 5 minutes.
  • Lightly grease a mixing bowl. Shape dough into a ball and put into bowl turning once to coat.

  • Cover bowl with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until it doubles in size. This could take an hour to an hour and a half.

Dough after rising

  • Punch dough down, I don't know why but I find this part very fun ^_^
  • Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide in half and cover with the kitchen towel. Let rest for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, grease two 9 inch cake pans. If you're wanting to try one of the two variations you would do so now.
  • In a medium mixing bowl combine the brown sugar, 1/3 cup of flour and ground cinnamon. Using a pastry blender incorporate the soft butter into the dry ingredients until it looks like coarse crumbs. If you don't have a pastry blender you can run butter knives together. Hold knives in an X shape then pull them against each other so they make a V shape.
  • Once the dough has been resting for 10 minutes you can roll it out. On a lightly floured surface roll each dough half into a 12 x 8 inch rectangle. It's ok if it's not perfect. Try not to have to reroll. The more you mess with the dough at this state the tougher it will get.
  • Sprinkle each rectangle with half of the crumbly filling. Leave about one inch filling free at the top of the rectangle as shown in the picture.

After resting..

  • Starting from the bottom (bottom according to the picture above) carefully roll the dough into a log. Pinch dough together at the seams .
  • Lay the log seam side down and cut about a half inch off each end. Then cut each log into 12 equal pieces as shown.
  • Arrange 12 pieces into each prepared pan. Cover with a towel and let rest about 30 minutes.
  • Pre-heat oven to 350'F
  • Once 30 minutes has passed bake the cinnamon rolls for 20-25 minutes or until golden.
  • While rolls are baking prepare icing. In a medium mixing bowl use electric beaters to combine the cream cheese, butter and vanilla extract.
  • Gradually beat in the powdered sugar, beating well after each addition.
  • Beat in milk, one tablespoon at a time until icing is drizzling consistency. It should slowly run in a thick stream from a spoon.
  • Remove rolls from oven after 20-25 minutes or until golden. If desired spread hot rolls with butter. This will prevent any tough crust from forming.
  • Let cool at least 5 minutes before removing from pan.
  • Spread rolls with cream cheese icing and serve warm.

Maple Nut and Caramel Pecan Variations

After greasing the cake pans add one of these two sets of ingredients. Then after baking don't butter the buns. Let cool only 1-2 minutes. Loosen edges from pan and invert the entire pan of rolls onto a serving dish. All the gooey goodness you put into the bottom of the pan should now be all over the top of the rolls. ^_^ These are truly worth trying. Sorry I don't have pictures of the variations yet. As soon as I make them again I will upload those photos as well.

Amounts are for each pan.

Maple Nut

1/3 cup maple syrup

2/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Caramel Pecan

1/3 cup caramel ice cream topping (I like smucker's brand for this)

2/3 cup coarsely chopped pecans.

Sister vs. Brother

Nothing like some freindly competition between siblings ^_^

Who makes the better rolls?

See results


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    • oliversmum profile image

      oliversmum 3 years ago from australia

      Mama Kim 8 Hi. I can,t imagine having these for breakfast, but any other time they would go down well. They look absolutely delicious. Thank you for sharing your recipe. Thumbs up. :) :)

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      Thank you Sup!

    • profile image

      Sup 5 years ago

      This looks awesome!!!

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      Thank you Moonlake! Your comment, pin and vote are greatly appreciated ^_^

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 5 years ago from America

      These look so good and one of my favorite sweets. Will have to pin it. Voted uP!

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      Thank you Michelle ^_^ I've always wanted to open a bakery! Although I don't think I'd want to get up at 4 in the morning like most bakers have to... So I'll stick to cooking for family and friends ^_^ Thank you so much for your share and pin!

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 5 years ago from Singapore

      Sasha, Sasha, you are about to give bakeries a little run for the money with these. Wonderful. Sharing and pinning!

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      ^_^ thank you!

    • abbyw1989 profile image

      Abby 5 years ago from Ireland

      That's so cute!! :D

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      Abby, lovely seeing you again. Thank you for your kind comment ^_^ lol om nom nom... hehe My son says that every time I wear a cookie monster shirt ^_^

    • abbyw1989 profile image

      Abby 5 years ago from Ireland

      I agree - I don't think I could stomach these first thing in the morning! Look absolutely divine though, om nom nom :D

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      Amber, The caramel ones are my favorite!! This will be a great treat for dealing with braces ^_^ Congratulations for nearing the finish line! Thank you for your nice comment!

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      Ishwaryaa, Oh no... You've never had a cinnamon roll?! Well you must! They are amazing ^_^ I'm so glad this hub has inspired you to try them. Thank you so much for your very generous comment/shares/votes!!

    • amberld profile image

      Amber Dahnke 5 years ago from New Glarus, WI

      Yummy hub! Your rolls look absolutely delicious, will need to try your caramel version when I get my braces off next spring!

    • ishwaryaa22 profile image

      Ishwaryaa Dhandapani 5 years ago from Chennai, India

      Wow! I have heard about them but have not tried them. Reading this well-explained recipe hub of yours made me want to try this tasty dessert! The photos are drool-worthy! I voted for the 'sister' rolls as they really looked very delicious! Well-done!

      Thanks for SHARING. Useful & Awesome. Voted up, socially shared & pinned

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      Thank you Keith your comment and shares are lovely^_^ There's always room for dessert!

    • profile image

      KDuBarry03 5 years ago

      This looks so good, Mama Kim! I just had a late dinner but I gotta try this, haha! Just shared and tweeted :)

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      MelChi, My stomach can't tolerate that much sugar first thing... I'm jealous yours can ^_^ I'm so glad you like the recipe! Your comment and votes are greatly appreciated ^_^

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 5 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      YUM!! I am definitely going to give this one a try out soon. I think it classifies as a breakfast / brunch meal! :)

      Thanks for sharing your recipe! Voted up and useful.

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      Wonderful Docmo! Thank you ^_^ We love cinnabon too, especially the caramel pecan ones... but I also love making things myself. Your kids are going to be so happy! Thank you again, your comment made my day.

    • Docmo profile image

      Mohan Kumar 5 years ago from UK

      Oh Mama ( sorry! couldn't resist it) these cinnamon rolls are heaven rolled up. On our recent visit to Orlando, we always walked out of Universal city walk with a dozen of 'Cinnabon' both plain and pecan variety. They are absolutely delicious especially I like them served warm. This recipe is superb- easy to follow, well illustrated and explained. I'll check the cupboards for ingredients... I think the kids are in for a treat this weekend! voted up/tweeted.

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      Carly, Always a joy to hear from you ^_^ Thank you for voting mine, I can't wait to let my brother know I'm winning! I've never tried Ikea cinnamon rolls, but I love cinnabon. Oh how I wish computers/tvs had scent adapters! That would be awesome... I think I'd have the food network on all day! Thank you for your wonderful comment and vote!

      Pamela, Thank you for your very nice comment ^_^ Cinnamon rolls are such yummy comforting foods. I'm so happy a cinnamon roll lover like yourself approves of my recipes.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

      I think I could smell those rolls baking. I love cinnamon rolls and yours look fantastic. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

    • CarlySullens profile image

      CarlySullens 5 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

      Those look so goooooood. I voted for the sister cinnamon rolls because they looked more gooey. I like them gooey and warm with a glass of milk. Ikea makes really good cinnamon rolls, but your hub to do it yourself looks even better.

      I wish we could smell them through our computer. Better yet, I wish I could reach in and grab one. Voted up

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      Thank you Barbara! Cinnamon rolls every week? You have one lucky family ^_^ Thanks for stopping by and pinning!

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Badder 5 years ago from USA

      When I was younger, I baked cinnamon rolls every week. You have such yummy looking recipes on here. I'll pin this one too.

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      lol, thank you TRR! I'll let my bro know ^_^ Good choice with the caramel pecan, that one is my favorite.

    • Top Rated Recipes profile image

      Top Rated Recipes 5 years ago

      Yum! I can't wait to make the Caramel Pecan variation. Your photos have my mouth watering! I agree with you that your rolls look nicer than your bro's!

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      Thanks for stopping by Vespa! I forgot to post a picture of my brother's rolls... the comment about them not being as pretty as mine was to tease him when he reads this ^_^ I almost posted a video of him I took while he was making the cinnamon rolls as well... Maybe I still will.

      Oh those bonus recipes are delicious, I almost didn't make the plain ones if it wasn't for the benefit of the hub. Thank you for the votes!! Always good to hear from you ^_^

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 5 years ago from Peru, South America

      These sounds fabulous and I agree that you make beautiful rolls! I like the idea of the bonus recipes: maple nut and caramel pecan. yum! Voted up!

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      Thank you Marina! I'm sure your sweetheart will love these. What a nice birthday treat from you ^_^

      Tammy, Thank you for you nice comment ^_^ These go sooo well with coffee ^_^

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Wow... that makes me very hungry. I have a big sweet tooth and these look wonderful. I haven't made these before but I really want some with a hot cup of coffee. Well constructed with beautiful photos. Excellent!

    • profile image

      Marina Lester 5 years ago

      Thank you Kim! This looks amazing, I'm gonna try and make it for my sweetheart's birthday :)

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      Georgie, Thank you for stopping by! My suggestion would be to make them for dessert like I do ^_^ I'm not really a breakfast person, but I'm all for breakfast for dinner or dessert! They're probably not the best thing to eat in the morning anyways. If you do make these... try one of the variations... they're amazing!! ^_^

      Marlene, HA! Isn't it so much fun ^_^ lol. Thank you for your nice comment. I adore cinnamon too!

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 5 years ago from USA

      Oh, like you, I live for the part when I get to punch down the dough. Your cinnamon rolls are really pretty and look so delicious. I love things made with cinnamon. Great recipe.

    • Georgie Lowery profile image

      GH Price 5 years ago from North Florida

      I want those right now! Seriously. And I just ate.

      I've been thinking about making some cinnamon rolls, but I'm usually the last person up and I think they'd want them for breakfast, not lunch. I've read recipes that say you can put the dough in the fridge to rise over night, but that's definitely not ideal. Do you have any suggestions?

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      Thanks for stopping by Alexandria ^_^

    • Alexandria Joy profile image

      Alexandria Taberski 5 years ago from Loveland, CO

      These look great!

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      Thank you Mhatter for your nice comment ^_^

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Wow... could it really be this simple to be in heaven? thanks

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      Thank you Traci! I just love making kids smile ^_^

      Meldz (I hope it's ok to call you that), Thank you for your wonderful comment! It's a lot of steps and seems like a lot of time but my 15 year old brother with very little cooking experience was able to make them with me. I know you can do it and you'll feel so good doing it ^_^

      Bill, LOL I love your comments ^_^ Although now that you mention it I think I do hear some tummy rumblin...

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I could feel myself gaining weight looking at the pictures! I love cinnamon rolls and these look scrumptious! Thank you for making me hungry. LOL

    • profile image

      ignugent17 5 years ago

      I am not sure I can make this but I am very much interested in baking. I love cinnamon rolls and with cream cheese wow! Thanks Mama Kim 8 for sharing this. Voted up and more!

    • Traci21 profile image

      Traci 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Looks great!!! My daughter would love those :)


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