Cinnamon Rolls

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These homemade cinnamon rolls are the BEST! Everyone that makes them falls in love! They are great for breakfast, brunch, and holidays. 

Best Cinnamon Roll Recipe

This cinnamon roll recipe is a family favorite. It was my grandmother’s recipe, but my dad has perfected it over the years. We refer to them as “Parry Rolls.” Everyone knows about these rolls and they are the most often requested. My dad likes to share the recipe, but he would rather just bake up a big batch for anyone and everyone. His are the BEST!

I shared this recipe when I first started my blog, before I even knew it would be a food blog and the cinnamon rolls have been the most popular recipe on our site since day one! I have updated the photos and I am sharing some additional tips! These really are the BEST cinnamon rolls! You HAVE to make them!

Yeast

A lot of people are intimidated by baking with yeast but I’m here to tell you that you CAN do it. It isn’t hard, I promise!

  • First, check the date on your yeast to make sure it hasn’t expired. You always want to start with fresh yeast. 
  • We use active dry yeast, which needs to be mixed with water. Sprinkle the yeast over lukewarm water and wait. Your yeast will start to activate. It will get frothy and start to smell…well, yeasty! Pro tip-if you want to give the yeast a little help, you can add a pinch of sugar to help it grow. 
  • If you want to use instant yeast, you can, but don’t mix it with water. Instant yeast has a finer texture and can be mixed right into the dry ingredients. 
  • Your water should be right at 110* for yeast to activate. Water at this temperature feels hot, but it won’t burn your hand if you hold it under the stream. If the water is too hot it will kill your yeast, so be careful.

Shortening or Butter?

The original recipe calls for shortening, but we have started using unsalted butter and both ingredients work well. Use your favorite!

Mixing the Dough

I like to use a KitchenAid Stand Mixer to mix together the dough. If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can knead the dough by hand, it will just take longer. You will get a good arm workout:) 

Cinnamon Roll Recipe

First Rise

The cinnamon roll dough has to rise twice. Once after you form the dough and once after you cut the dough into cinnamon rolls. Find a warm place in your house so the dough can rise nicely and cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel. 

Rolling Out the Dough

This recipe makes two 9×13 pans of cinnamon rolls and that may sound like a lot but I guarantee they won’t last long. If you want to half the recipe, you can, but if you are going to go to all the trouble to make cinnamon rolls, make a bunch and share with family and friends. 

Divide the dough in half and roll half of the dough into a rectangle, about 22×13-inches, on a lightly floured surface. Make sure you flour the area before rolling or the dough will stick.

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

The Filling

When you spread the “goods” onto the dough, make sure you go all out. My dad never holds back! You want the cinnamon rolls to have lots of flavor and the flavor comes from the filling. So be very generous with the:

  • Softened Butter
  • Brown sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Raisins

If you don’t care for raisins, you can leave them out, but our family loves them. 

Best Cinnamon Rolls

Cutting

Once the filling is spread on the dough, carefully roll the dough into a long log.  Now, it’s time to cut the log into cinnamon rolls. 

My dad uses unflavored floss to cut the dough into rolls! This is the secret to perfectly sliced rolls that hold their shape. Pull up the ends of the floss and loop them together as though you were going to tie a knot. Tightly pull the floss until it slices through the dough. You can also use a sharp knife to cut them. 

Second Rise

Place the cut cinnamon rolls in greased 9×13-inch pans, leaving about 2 inches in between each roll. The rolls will get bigger when they rise so you want to make sure you leave room for them to expand. 

Cover the pans with clean kitchen towels and place in a warm place to rise. 

Let the cinnamon rolls rise until doubled in size. This will take about one hour or 1.5 hours. 

How to Make Cinnamon Rolls

Baking

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake the cinnamon rolls for 20 to 30 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and the centers are soft, but not gooey. Every oven is different so check at 20 minutes. Ours usually take right around 30 minutes to bake. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature before frosting.

Cinnamon Roll Icing

Icing

Making my dad’s cinnamon roll icing is as easy as beating the butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and whole milk together! Just make sure your butter is softened. Drizzle generously over warm cinnamon rolls and ENJOY.

If you prefer a cream cheese frosting, you can make a cream cheese frosting for the cinnamon buns. 

Making in Advance

You can refrigerate the rolls overnight and bake in the morning. Don’t let the dough rise a second time if you are going to do this. Put the rolls in pans and cover with plastic wrap, then refrigerate overnight. In the morning, let them come to room temperature and give them time to rise. This will take 2-3 hours, depending on the temperature of your house. Then bake as directed!

How to Freeze

Cinnamon rolls freeze beautifully and you can freeze them a few different ways. 

  • You can freeze unbaked cinnamon rolls. If I am going to freeze unbaked cinnamon rolls, I like to put them in aluminum foil disposable pans so I can put them in the freezer. After the second rise, bake the cinnamon rolls for 12 minutes. You want them to be raised and set, but not golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool completely. Cover the pans tightly with plastic wrap and aluminum foil and freeze for up to 2 months. When ready to bake, remove the pans from the freezer and place in the refrigerator to defrost. Once thawed, finish baking for 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown and frost. 
  • Baked cinnamon rolls can be frozen for up to 2 months. Place completely cooled cinnamon rolls in a freezer container or bag. Remove from the freezer the night before and thaw in the refrigerator. Warm up the cinnamon rolls in the microwave or oven. You can freeze frosted or unfrosted cinnamon rolls. 

More Sweet Roll Recipes:

Parry Rolls

These are a few of the original photos of my dad, Parry, making cinnamon rolls. He is the master! I am so glad he shared his famous cinnamon roll recipe with our family and the world:) I hope you enjoy them as much as we do! They really are the BEST cinnamon rolls!

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How to Make Cinnamon Rolls Video

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Best Cinnamon Rolls

My dad's famous cinnamon roll recipe. They are the BEST cinnamon rolls ever! We call them Parry Rolls!

4.83 from 275 votes
Prep Time
1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Total Time
1 hour 50 minutes
Cuisine
American
Servings
24 cinnamon rolls

Ingredients

For the Cinnamon Rolls:

  • 4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast (2 packets)
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, to proof the yeast
  • 6 tablespoons shortening or unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 9 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (more if the dough is sticky, up to 10 cups)
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 cup softened butter, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, divided
  • 1 cup raisins, optional
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon, divided

For the frosting:

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 tablespoons milk, more if necessary
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, combine the yeast and a pinch of the
    granulated sugar with the lukewarm water and set aside for 5 minutes or until
    the yeast bubbles up. It will smell “yeasty.”

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add shortening or butter, sugar, and salt to the 2 cups of hot water and beat for 30 seconds, using the beater blade. Let cool to lukewarm temperature. Stir in 2 cups of flour and mix until smooth. Add yeast mixture and mix until well combined. Mix in the beaten eggs.

  3. Gradually stir in the remaining flour and mix with the dough hook for about 2 minutes. Remove dough from the bowl and place on a lightly floured counter. Knead by hand, add a little flour if the dough is still sticky. Knead until dough feels satiny and smooth.

  4. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes. After the dough has doubled in size, remove it from the bowl and divide it in half. With a rolling pin, roll one half of the dough into a rectangular shape, about 22 X 13 inches. Spread dough evenly with half of the softened butter, about 1/4 cup. Sprinkle dough with half of the brown sugar, raisins, and cinnamon. You can omit the raisins, but my family loves them.

  5. Roll up dough into one long roll. Cut rolls, using a piece of dental floss or thread, about two inches thick. Place rolls in greased 9X13-inch baking pans, leaving about 2-inches between the rolls so they have room to rise. Now follow the exact same steps with the other half of the dough.

  6. Cover the pans with a clean kitchen towel. Let the rolls rise until double in bulk. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until cinnamon rolls are golden brown on top and cooked in the middle. Every oven is different so check at 20 minutes to be safe, but it might take longer. You don't want them to be doughy in the middle. Time will also vary based on how big they get during the second rise. Ours take closer to 28-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the rolls cool to room temperature.

  7. While the rolls are cooling, make the frosting. In a medium bowl, whisk together butter, sugar, milk, and vanilla. Frost the cooled cinnamon rolls generously!

Nutrition Facts
Best Cinnamon Rolls
Amount Per Serving
Calories 444 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 6g30%
Cholesterol 37mg12%
Sodium 364mg15%
Potassium 151mg4%
Carbohydrates 84g28%
Fiber 3g12%
Sugar 42g47%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 289IU6%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 35mg4%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Thanks for Sharing!

If you make this recipe, please leave a star rating and comment below! You can also share a picture on Instagram! Tag @twopeasandpod and use the hashtag #twopeasandtheirpod.

Cinnamon Rolls with Frosting are perfect for breakfast, brunch, and the holidays. Everyone that makes this recipe says they are the BEST! #cinnamonrolls #breakfast #holidays #Christmas Visit twopeasandtheirpod.com for more simple, fresh, and family friendly meals.
These homemade cinnamon rolls are the BEST! Everyone that makes them falls in love! They are great for breakfast, brunch, and holidays. #cinnamonrolls #breakfast #holidays Visit twopeasandtheirpod.com for more simple, fresh, and family friendly meals.
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Maria Lichty

I’m Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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CommentsLeave a reply

  1. Made this two years now, love it! Two questions- have you tried substituting one of the cups of water with whole milk? And have you ever tried dripping warm heavy cream over them right before you bake? It gives them that gooey blend with the cinnamon- so good! And I find we need more of the cinnamon mixture- so I create 50% more than listed. Our family loves it!

    1. Tara,

      So instead of doing 2 cups of hot water you do 1 cup of hot whole milk and 1 cup hot water?
      Also, do you pour the heavy cream over the cinnamon rolls right before putting them in the over or do you just brush the heavy cream on top?

    1. Place them in the warmest spot in your house. By a sunny window, in a small room and close the door with the heat on.

    2. Before starting I set my oven to 175 degrees and once it reaches temp I turn it off. I then put the dough in a covered bowl and let it rest in the warm oven. Works great!

    3. Preheat the oven for like 5-10 minutes then stop the oven and put your bowl in, I personally like adding a damp towel over the bowl

  2. These are delicious. Made a batch for the kids last night for school this morning. They are always so excited to wake up to this recipe. Been making these for a few years now and they never disappoint. I do add pecan dust to the brown sugar for a nutty vibe, other than that the recipe is spot on and needs no tweaking!

  3. instruction 4 states roll to 22 X 13 inches and roll up. later it states cut into 2 inch thick slices. if the roll is 22 inches long and you cut it in 2 inch slices you get 11 slices not 15.
    i tried making this and after mixing with the dough hook i had an mixture like water. i added more flour to get the dough to the point that the dough hook was cleaning the standmixer bowl and the dough was sticking to the dough hook. i then turned the dough out onto a lightly floured worktop and it was still very very damp and sticky. i added more flour until it was kneadable.in all i put in 35 ounces of flour. my yeast pack (7 grammes) says it is enough for 500 grammes of flour. first prove in a room at 27 degrees C took 100 minutes. second prove took 60 minutes. the rolls were so large they wouldnt all fit in the 9 X 13 tin. if the instruction had said use half a cup of hot water this might be about right. i found all sorts of weights for a cup of flour on the internet but used 5 ounce per cup.what weight of flour per cup do you use. i also used a medium egg as this equals an american large egg.

    1. I want to make the whole amount of the recipe, but half the dough, then put that half of the dough in the freezer for another batch. Does anyone have any suggestions? Will it rise alright? Thanks. Looking forward to some yummies.

  4. 5 stars
    I have made many different cinnamon roll recipes but I always come back to this one. It’s so easy and sooo yummy!! The ingredients and the measurements are spot-on. I’ve had perfect batches every single time. Thanks for this awesome recipe.

  5. How do you manage to cut 15 2 inch rolls from a 22 inch wide log? This recipe will result 11 rolls from each half of the dough if you follow the instructions. To get 15 rolls from each log, you’d have to cut the rolls less than an inch and a half thick.

  6. I made this cinnamon rolls 2year ago. Forgot to save the recipe. Been searching since. Now I found it again. Thank God! Ready to make again and make sure I’ll safe it this time. The BEST cinnamon rolls ever. Thank you for sharing. My family love it with pecand/walnuts filling .

  7. I tried making this, and my dough came out too dry.. i don’t know what I am doing wrong 🙁 and I did the instant yeast, maybe that was the problem? help!

  8. 5 stars
    Made these today, while mine don’t look as pretty as the pictures, they tasted fabulous. I used less brown sugar than the recipe called for, about 1/2 cup on each. Sweet enough for us, not too sweet.

  9. 5 stars
    Our friends and family love my cinnamon rolls which are actually ours ( yours and mine) thank you for sharing with us and I want to try with Apple sometime; my husband likes chopped pecans mixed in with the icing and I add alittle maple flavoring to the icing as well❤️

  10. 5 stars
    These rolls came out fantastic. I halved the recipe and the measurements worked out great. The recipe recommends allowing rolls to rise at room temperature for 2-3 hours if you chill them overnight before baking. I found that 10 hours in the fridge was a great amount of time for the dough to cold proof. They only took about 20 mins to finish proofing on the counter while the oven heated and puffed up beautifully in the oven. 10/10 would make again.

  11. Have made these many times always turn out great —- have found some interestingly things
    1. Two huge Tbs of either miracle whip or mayo works great if you don’t have any eggs( got caught short once after I had set the yeast
    2. This also makes great dinner rolls and hamburger buns ( I don’t do very well shaping hot dog buns)
    3. Have switched out brown sugar for the white with excellent results (in both the dough and the filling)

    Thank you for a great recipe!!!!

  12. hi! I was thinking about making these for my siblings for breakfast and was wondering if I could leave the dough in the fridge overnight and cook them in the morning. would I let it rise the second time in the morning or before I put them in the fridge.

  13. 5 stars
    I have used this wonderful recipe on several occasions, without any modifications. They are amazing everytime!

  14. 5 stars
    These turned out SO WELL! I didn’t have raisins, but otherwise followed your recipe as is. My husband and kids loved them, and this will definitely be our family’s go to recipe for cinnamon rolls. Thanks so much for sharing. Love the pictures of your dad making them – my dad cooked every night for my family growing up and I have some similar photos I cherish! Just the best to think how many kitchens he’s inspired.

  15. 5 stars
    First time making cinnamon rolls, and these turned out amazing! Used vegan butter and oat milk for the frosting, I’m so excited to finish them all off tomorrow wooohoo

  16. Planning on making these tonight for tomorrow morning. Do you think I could bring them to room temp by putting them in the oven on proof?

  17. 5 stars
    These are always my go to for cinnamon rolls. A fave for sure. Can I use rapid rise yeast instead? I don’t have the regular. Thank you!

  18. 5 stars
    I’m not much of a baker, but make cinnamon rolls from time to time. Am so impressed by this recipe, I halved it, used slightly less sugar, and even used some whole wheat flour. It came out better than I could’ve imagined. Super soft, fluffy, and not too rich. This recipe is a keeper.

  19. Does altitude make a difference? I’m
    At 5500 feet and it’s cold. My dough didn’t rise, I used the rapid yeast as that’s all I had and the shelves at both stores were empty. The taste was perfect, bread was more like a soft pretzel. My daughter enjoyed making this together. This is the first time we’ve used the Kitchen Aid and she made 2nd half batch.

  20. 5 stars
    When the rolls were rising, brownish liquid was coming out of the bottom. Is this normal and do you think it will affect my cinnamon rolls?

    1. Oh My Gosh! That’s the Best part. There are even recipes that call for buttering and sugaring the bottom. So enjoy!

  21. Hello! If I use instant yeast instead on active yeast do I have to add more water? Because you added water to the active yeast I’m afraid the dough would be dryer when using instant yeast…I can’t wait to make these!!

  22. 2 stars
    This cinnamon rolls stuck out to me after googling “best cinnamon roll recipe” however they were far from it. The dough came out hard and flaky almost like bread when done and it’s ridiculous you have to “invert” them to keep all the cinnamon inside! By the time they when finished they looked like a brown mess. The only thing that saved this recipe was the cream cheese frosting, but you can only put some much frosting on something that deserves to go in the trash.

  23. 5 stars
    I have tried so many cinnamon roll recipes over the past few years trying to find the perfect one… and I finally found it. Wow, these were amazing! I send out care boxes to all our family around the ranch and they were all amazed! Thank you so much for sharing this!

  24. 5 stars
    Great recipe. Thank you! I made this recipe years ago and loved it. I used the active yeast the last time. If I use the instant yeast, should I omit the cup of lukewarm water leaving only the 2 cups hot water for the recipe? Or should I still need the added moisture from the cup of lukewarm water?

  25. If I use INSTANT yeast, how many total cups of water do I need for the recipe….The active yeast requires 1 cup to activate. So do I add the instant yeast to the dry ingredients and then 3 total cups of water or just 2?

  26. The wording of your instructions, in creating the dough is great to making the rolls. Thank you, for sharing your treasureable (not in the dictionary) recipe.

  27. 5 stars
    Wow! These cinnamon rolls are delicious, and they were fun to make. So glad that I followed the optional steps to partially bake a few (12minutes) along with the others that I fully baked for my family to eat right away. Now we have an easy treat to defrost, bake, and ice on another day!

    1. Can I ask what steps you took to freeze them? I’m wondering if using a foil pan would be best, or did you take them from the pan and place into a freezer bag? Thanks!

  28. 5 stars
    Just made these and they turned out wonderfully! Thank you for the great recipe! Yeast intimidates me but no stress with these.

    1. Yes, you can put them in the fridge tonight. I like to let them come to room temperature so they can rise a little before baking in the morning.

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