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 278 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. I made these on a Saturday afternoon up thru forming them into rolls and placing them in a pan. I then refrigerated them until Sunday morning. I took them out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before I baked them. They turned out fantastic! The dough was beautiful and was easy to work with. I will definitely be making them again. I tried printing off the recipe but when I hit the print button, all that came up was “Parry’s Rolls”, no recipe.

  2. My daughter woke up this morning and reminded me I pinky promised her we would make cinnimon rolls this weekend. The only problem everytime I make them they turn out horrible! So I found this, and I am in the process of making them with the help of my 6 and 4 year old. We are so excited. If my bad luck carries through at least we made a few memories. Thank you.

  3. I am planning to make these for Christmas morning. I want to make sure I plan well enough to have these ready. I am not sure how long it takes for the rolls to double in size before baking. These look wonderful and can’t wait to try them.

  4. Hello! I commented last year about these rolls and have made them numerous times, all to rave reviews!! I also usually use half whole wheat, half unbleached white flour.

    I am wondering, have you ever replaced the shortening with coconut oil? We are no longer eating shortening and i didn tkniw if anyone had thouht son the coconut oil…we really want to keep these as a family Christmas tradition!

    Thank you in advance!!

    1. Holley or Two Peas, Have you tried using coconut oil instead of shortening? We don’t eat shortening either. I’d like to make today. 

  5. Sooooo, so nice your Dad shared his recipe…the pictures of him making them make it that much more awesome! I’ll be making them for our family soon.

    My Dad luved making home made breads and pies. Oh, how I wish I had some photos of him in the kitchen..thankfully I do have many photos of him to enjoy. After seeing these pic.’s it made me think how precious pic.’s really are!
    Merry Christmas to you and your lovely family!

  6. Wow! I made these for Christmas breakfast and was amazed that they turned out even better than I had expected! I switched the shortening with 7 Tablespoons of butter, but other than that, I followed it to a T. I just had one question, can I refrigerate these for longer than one day?

    If anyone has tried to store them either cooked or uncooked for longer than overnight, I would love to hear your results!

  7. I made these on Christmas Eve and then put in the fridge for Christmas morning (2012). They were fabulous. Even my husband who doesn’t really like sweets enjoyed one – he said they weren’t so bready. Next time I will cut the batch in half though. (by the way, it was my first time trying homemade ones and I will not be looking for another recipe – this is it!)

    Thank you!!

  8. I made these and I literally couldn’t stay out of them! They were the best cinnamon rolls that I ever made. I had another recipe that I had made off and on over the years. I threw it in the trash! The only thing that I did differently, I substituted a cup of water for a cup of sourdough starter. To die for!!! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  9. I used this recipe to make a New Orleans king cake (one recipe makes two large king cakes). It came out great! What a great dough, ofcourse I used a different icing and topped it with purple, green, and gold sugar. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Hi, there something stumbled into your World, not A blogger myself. I Would love try making these. But I dó not know what 6T shortening is, Can u explain it somehow to me ? Bg. Pia from Denmark

  11. Oh my Lord! These are the best! My family loves them. I made them for Christmas morning. Thank you so much for sharing your recipie with us.
    Deanna

  12. At 8:30 last night my 17 yo daughter looks at me and says “oh yeah – I forgot to tell you that we’re supposed to bring some sort of treat in for art class tomorrow” (it’s exam week and last day of classes for the semester) After giving her the “are-you-kidding-me?” mom stare I suggested cheese and crackers as it was easy and I had both on hand. “but it’s 1st hour so I don’t know” she says. I happened to be on Pinterest (and in a good mood) so searched for cinnamon rolls and found this recipe. I made them up last night, let them rise over night in the fridge and baked them this morning. She just left for school with these awesome rolls and a huge smile on her face, the house smells amazing, I got a big hug and “thanks mom!” and I think she’ll be the star of the class today! Thanks for the recipe!

  13. Absolutely fabulous recipe! Thank you so much for sharing. I made this for our Christmas brunch this year and everyone said they were the best cinnamon rolls they’d ever had! Just to die for!! I’m already craving them again!

  14. I tried these and they were wonderful. I am making another batch for my daughter to take to her work. But your story brought back memories of my dad making the best ever fudge. He is no cook, burns everything he made, but his fudge he would handle with kid gloves, each and every time it would come out perfect. He always saved a little in the cast iron pan for his three little girls to scrap and sample…..yummmm! Better still are the memories of those happy times.

  15. Many thanks to you and your father for sharing your Grandmother’s recipe. LOVE cinnamon rolls and have been on a mission to find the perfect recipe. Cannot wait to try it. Was just curious as to how much sugar and cinnamon you all are using for the filling…just a general idea.
    Thank you again!!

  16. I just saw now this great cinnamon rolls and will make them this weekend – sorry to ask but what is “6 T of shortening” ?
    thank you 🙂 Eva

  17. These sound awesome and I will try this weekend, or maybe later today, I can’t wait. My only question is what size do you roll the dough out to??? This would help. Thanks,m

  18. Thank you for the recipe – I am making these today since it is cold and dreary. These will be JUST the thing.
    I had to smile at your dad’s measurements because I cook the same way ( by sight, touch, and smell ).
    I added some crushed nuts when I was adding the raisins. I have made this type of roll many times but never with raisins. We love raisins – I don’t know why I never thought to add any before.
    I can’t wait until they are done.

  19. These are some great rolls 🙂 Nice chewy, light, soft dough. However, I recommend typing in the beginning recipe portion that the filling is required to be a generous amount. I didn’t realize until already sliced. I just put some extra cinnamon in my icing. I should have seen the amount in the picture and taken note of that- They still are amazing. Thank you for not keeping your family recipe a secret. 😉

  20. I love these cinnamon rolls. Ever since I found the recipe my husband has me make them all the time!! Thanks for such an awesome recipe!!

  21. Can you please tell me what kind of yeast you use? I would like to make these for brunch. Do you use Active Dry Yeast or Rapid/Instant Rise Yeast? Thank you! These look Ahhhhhhhhmazzzzzing! 🙂

  22. I am so excited to bake these BUT how much butter do you use? The recipe is vague.. How much butter should I use?

    1. My dad never measures the butter. Just spread soft butter over the entire dough, like you are buttering bread. My dad is pretty generous. I hope that helps. Next time I make them I will measure that part:)

  23. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe we would love to drop in when your dad is cooking we will bring our coffee only kidding I will make some of these vey soon and thank you again for sharing

  24. I have the dough for these rising as I type – I can’t wait! I used Trex instead of Crisco (I live in the UK so we don’t have Crisco) . I used half the recipe, since when I started making them, I figured 30 rolls would be way too much. But now I wish I’d done the whole recipe – I could have frozen them for another day! Oh well. I will let you know how they turn out. 🙂

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