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

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 Cinnamon Rolls

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 cinnamon roll 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 the Cinnamon Rolls

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 the cinnamon rolls. 

Second Rise

Place the cut cinnamon rolls in greased 9×13-inch pans, leaving about 2 inches in between each cinnamon 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 Cinnamon Rolls

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 the cinnamon rolls cool to room temperature.

Cinnamon Roll Icing

Cinnamon Roll 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 Cinnamon Rolls 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

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

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!

4.82 from 268 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.
Keyword

baking

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. 5 stars
    I wanted to make cinnamon rolls to leave for my parents for Easter breakfast tomorrow since we can’t all be together this year. I made these today. Had a couple rolls left over that didn’t fit in the pans so I greased up muffin tins and baked them today. So good! Can’t wait to enjoy again in the morning, frosted and with a cup of coffee! ❤️

    1. Can you make the dough today and refrigerate the rolls to bake tomorrow? If so, what’s the process?

  2. 5 stars
    These are the best cinnamon rolls I’ve ever made. I think it’s the hot water rather than the typical scalded milk. They were such a delicious treat while we are in Covid-19 quarantine, that I made another batch today! Love them!

  3. If I’m using instant yeast, how much do I need to use? Also when do I put it in and will it need to rise like regular yeast? I tried it but they didn’t get fluffy at all 🙁

    1. I made these yesterday with instant yeast. I used it in the exact same way as the recipe described. No issues, they came out perfect. I did use my oven to proof since my kitchen was cold.

  4. 5 stars
    These cinnamon rolls were so good, my family and neighbors loved them! They will definitely be a regular around our house!

  5. 5 stars
    Thank you for a yummy cinnamon recipe. I also did not have dry milk powder so I tried the substitution of 2 cups milk (instead of water) and they turned out great.

    1. There is no dry milk powder listed in the ingredients..are you commenting on the right recipe? Using hot water is integral to the success of this recipe not sure why you would sub in milk.

  6. It works…. I was a bit nervous but they came together. I used my silicone flour mat to help roll. Worked like a charm.
    Thank you.

  7. Hi, if I make the dough the night before and refrigerate the rolls; what would be the process of taking the rolls out the fridge to bake the next morning?

  8. 4 stars
    I made these today but split the batch and did 12 cinnamon rolls and 12 orange rolls. They were so very good. My kids loved them. It’s a definite A+ recipe.

  9. 5 stars
    Made half the recipe for Easter using Instant Yeast. Simple addition to other dry ingredients. I did include the extra water that I would have used to proof regular yeast. (1/2 cup for 1/2 recipe) I found the thirty minute rise time was not enough and let it rise for 60 minutes (hint your dough should be almost double in bulk if not let it continue rising, your kitchen could be too cold, drafty, old yeast etc) I had very fresh yeast and a cozy rising area, thirty minutes is not enough time.
    I made the rolls (twelve huge bad boys) and let them have a second rise overnight in the fridge covered with plastic wrap which is important or the dough will dry. I guess you could also use a clean,well wrung out tea towel. NB do make sure you leave a good space between rolls in the pan, they rise a lot! Took them out the next morning and let them sit on the counter for 30 minutes and let the oven preheat. Popped them in for the required time, they then had a cool down and were slathered with cream cheese icing made with browned butter. Divine!!
    I really like this recipe and I have been making cinnamon rolls for years. Very, very good.

    1. Thank so much for this recipe!
      Momcat your added notes were very helpful in making this recipe a success. I used the instant yeast and ALL of the water listed in the ingredients. This certainly is a keeper and I will be making more in the future. The entire family loved it and I blown away with the results. Oh soooo good. Thank you!

  10. I’m a little confused between the butter and shortening. The ingredient lists both butter and shortening, but the directions only include the incorporation of one. Which is it!? Thanks!!

    1. In the dough you can use shortening OR butter. You need softened butter to spread on the rolls with the brown sugar and cinnamon.

  11. 5 stars
    I made these today as part of my Covid-19 baking frenzy and they were delicious. Definitely will be making these again!

  12. 5 stars
    Made these for Easter brunch and they were delicious! Recipe was super easy to follow. Refrigerated the night before and set out on counter to rise in morning. Also loved that they made two pans so I could give one to the neighbor:) thanks!

  13. Hi!
    I have a question regarding yeast: I only have fresh / instant yeast at home – what quantity shall I use?
    Thank you!

  14. 5 stars
    Made these yesterday! So easy and quick. Other then rise time. I made a half batch and it turned out perfect. I made sure to “bloom” the yeast mixture until it was nice and “yeasty”. I did use my kitchen aid which does the work for you. I kneaded the dough only for 2-3 minutes adding a bit of flour until I got a dough I thought felt right. I lightly oiled my bowl and rolled the dough in it before I let it rise like I would with all yeast doughs. It doubled in 30 minutes easy.
    It was so soft and easy to roll unlike some others I’ve tried. I made the full filing recipe for the half batch rolls. I also cream the butter and cinnamon sugar to spread on my dough. The dough rolled nicely and I used a serrated knife to cut exactly 12 rolls. I used the 2 not so round end pieces to make one large roll like the rest. I let it double about and hour. I just peeked once or twice until I liked how they looked. Mine baked about 35 minutes.
    I used a spray on my pan, lined it with parchment and then buttered it before placing the rolls.
    The rolls came out so delicious. Soft, great cinnamon taste. Because I used the full filling they also had a delicious soft caramel like bottom. I made a batch of cream cheese icing because I believe that is the only type of frosting that belongs on cinnamon rolls.
    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! ❤️

  15. 5 stars
    Was looking for the perfect COVID baking adventure and found this recipe, and I’m so glad I did! These cinnamon rolls are AMAZING! My loved them so much that I am preparing to make them for a second time in one week! I didn’t have powdered sugar to make this frosting so I found a cream cheese frosting recipe online and it worked out perfectly. Thank you so much for sharing!

  16. Am making these delicious looking cinnamon rolls right now they’re in the rising stage now but I intend to add a guava paste in the dough and in the sauce I’ll let you guys no how it turns out.

  17. 5 stars
    I wish I could show you guys how soft and light they were and the guava shell pieces were added on top of the sugar and cinnamon then rolled. For the sauce I added some of the guava syrup and pieces of the shell along with cream cheese and powder sugar mix well and spread it over the top ones done it was beyond good. Thank you for sharing I will definitely be making this again.

    1. Yes my kitchen was warm. Yeast bubbled up really good. They didn’t even raise when I baked them.

    2. Yes my yeast was good it foamed up really good. Kitchen was warm dough raised the first time. Let them raise for a good couple hours.

  18. 5 stars
    Maria – Thank you for publishing the recipe and please thank your dad Parry for sharing his recipe! I just made these tonight, all by hand, and they turned out absolutely AMAZING!!!

    Followed the recipe just as written, used butter rather than shortening, mixed and kneaded by hand because I don’t have my stand mixer at the moment (recently moved). So anyway… to those of you thinking you can’t try this because you don’t have a mixer… YOU CAN (just takes more time and some work ha ha)!

  19. 5 stars
    These are the best cinnamon rolls! So fluffy and amazing flavor. I did have to go with the full 10 cups of flour due to the dough being sticky. I froze half after par baking, as suggested and that worked out well too. Would definitely recommend to anyone.

  20. 5 stars
    Pretty easy to make. I made half a batch since this was my first time using this recipe. I gave the first rise an hour just because I thought 30 min. was too short and I saw some reviewers did the same. The dental floss didn’t work for me, just got messy. Used my usual pastry scraper. I made 12 huge, yummy rolls. Thank you for sharing your dad’s recipe!

  21. 5 stars
    Just made these two days ago while living quarantine life over here!

    My husband and mother in law said they are the best cinnamon rolls they have ever had in their life!

    Made me feel like a baker! I especially enjoyed the kneading process, when you said it should feel silky and smooth. I remember thinking (I think this is too dry and lumpy but just keep kneading and then all of a sudden I was like THIS IS IT!) that was fun!

    Also I think you should edit where the sugar is added to the yeast, one area said a pinch and then I saw a couple minutes later it was a teaspoon…that made me nervous.

    I will defiantly make these again!

  22. 5 stars
    These are absolutely AMAZING!! So good, soft and fluffy. They were an instant favorite. I only made 1/2 the recipe but I’d like to make the full recipe if there is a good way to store them so they don’t dry out. Any tips for storing them is appreciated. Thank you!!! Happy baking

    1. We store them covered on the counter. Our pan has a lid. We reheat them in the microwave.

  23. 5 stars
    Every summer, I visited my grandparents at their farm in Saskatchewan. I grew up watching my grandmother making cinnamon rolls to perfection but could never quite master it myself. Yesterday, after much encouragement ( nagging..LOL ) from my grown kids to make them cinnamon rolls, I searched for a recipe that most resembled my grandmother’s and stopped at yours! Although my grandmother also added 2 cups of warm water, I subbed it for 2 cups of warm 2% milk and I have to say they turned out AMAZING! your recipe is easy to follow and this will definitely be my goto recipe from now on! Thank you for sharing.

  24. 5 stars
    Every summer, I visited my grandparents at their farm in Saskatchewan. I grew up watching my grandmother making cinnamon rolls to perfection but could never quite master it myself. Yesterday, after much encouragement ( nagging..LOL ) from my grown kids to make them cinnamon rolls, I searched for a recipe that most resembled my grandmother’s and stopped at yours! Although my grandmother also added 2 cups of warm water, I subbed it for 2 cups of warm 2% milk and I have to say they turned out AMAZING! your recipe is easy to follow and this will definitely be my goto recipe from now on! Thank you for sharing.

  25. 5 stars
    First time making cinnamon rolls and they came out amazingly. Very simple and went down a treat. They made so many, so next time I will half all the quantities, but for now I will freeze half of them.
    100% recommend this recipe, thank you so much

  26. 5 stars
    This recipe is super easy to follow and turned out GREAT. It made a lot of rolls, 24 I think, so we shared some with our neighbours who were delighted. Decided to use a cream cheese frosting. The inside of the cinnamon rolls was soft, chewy, warm. Total perfection, thank you for this recipe!

  27. Honestly the recipe was super confusing. It might be because it was my first time doing it but the little video and the steps don’t match. The butter was mentioned a few Places and I didn’t know the quantities. Overall, I wished it was a little more clear.

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