Cinnamon Rolls

Jump to Recipe

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!

cinnamon rolls
best cinnamon rolls recipe
how to make the best cinnamon rolls perfect for breakfast and brunch
the best cinnamon roll recipe perfect for holidays
best cinnamon rolls with frosting great for breakfast and holidays

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.
Get the best of the best!

4 Recipes Guaranteed to be New Favorites

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!
Read More

CommentsLeave a reply

  1. I made this today. I’m in the UK and it’s the first time I have followed a recipe using cups .

    They are lovely. Iv had two already. Mine took about 35 minutes to cook.

  2. 5 stars
    Just made these this morning..Great recipe. I let the KitchenAid do the kneeding for me tho. Sharing with family and friends. Thank you!

  3. 5 stars
    Delicious! Makes a lot, but I followed the instructions to bre-bake slightly and freeze some of them. Worked out perfectly when I defrosted and cooked that second batch weeks later. Double YUM!

  4. I’m looking forward to making these! They look delicious and I haven’t made cinnamon rolls in years. I love your photos and the yellow Tupperware flour container your Dad is using!!!

  5. 5 stars
    I’ve been making these for quite a while anf serving for company… I now have the reputation of making “the best” cinnomon rolls ever! I do use a different frosting but this recipe is amazing!

  6. 4 stars
    These were delicious, but I almost wasn’t able to make them — the dough was SO sticky, I could hardly work with it! I added several extra cups of flour, and it got a little better, but was still like glue. Like, when I was rolling it into a log I had to use a knife to separate it from the (well-floured) surface whenever I rolled it another centimeter. Then when I put them in the pan, they didn’t keep their shape, just kind of collapsed on one another. Any idea what I did wrong? They turned out DELICIOUS (if a little deformed), so I definitely want to make them again. But it’d be so much easier if I didn’t have to fight the dough every step!

    1. Sounds like too much liquid. Because everyone else’s seemed to work out I’d try it again paying strict attention to the amounts. Good luck

  7. 5 stars
    We made these using a questionable yeast packet and they tuned our great! Love the recipe! Thanks a lot for sharing. It’s my first time baking something From scratch and the rolls were all different sizes! It started to look like a flop, but they gave us a surprise and turned out delish!

  8. 5 stars
    I’m making these for the third time now! Excellent recipie, I’ve shared them with family and friends now they have a standing order every week! Better than any cinnamon roll I’ve tried from a commercial bakery! Thanks for the recipe!

  9. 5 stars
    Thank You for sharing this recipe. I’ve tried cinnamon rolls in the past and I’ve never been pleased with the results. But this recipe works for me. I’ve always wanted to be able to make cinnamon rolls when I’ve gotten a craving. And now, thanks to you and your dad’s generosity, I have a recipe that I can use.
    Thank you! thank you!thank you!!

  10. The picture looks like two pans of rolls/ 12 rolls per pan (total 24rolls) but recipie says it makes 30 rolls…can you clarify? Thanks!!

  11. 4 stars
    I have made this recipe twice now. The first time I followed it exactly and it was good but there wasn’t enough filling For my families taste. The second time I made it I am more than doubled the amount of butter brown sugar and cinnamon and it was absolutely delicious. I shared them with several people and everybody raved about them!

    1. Me too I love lots of filling. So good.
      I’ll double it The filling next time. The dough was fantastic. So so good.

  12. DELICIOUS!!! OMG these cinnamon rolls are great. I just used a basic powdered sugar/water/vanilla frosting/glaze on them and halved the recipe since it was just for two of us. I also refrigerated overnight before the 2nd rise and let them come to room temp for 2 hours. I’ll definitely be making these again.

  13. Hi

    If I’m using instant yeast, do I totally skip the water and sugar used to activate the yeast from the recipe or just add in with everything else?

    Thanks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *