Copycat Cinnabons Cinnamon Rolls

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Fluffy homemade cinnamon rolls filled with a combination of butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon topped off with a decadent cream cheese frosting taste just like Cinnabons!  This recipe originally published June 2011.
A plate with a cinnamon roll topped with frosting and two forks on the plate and a coffee cup behind the plate.
If you know me then you know I’m not a big breakfast eater.  I usually grab a piece of toast or have a bowl of Cheerios.   I’m not talking Cheerios and milk, I just like a big bowl and dry Cheerios in the morning.
However, sometimes on the weekends I like to make something a little different.  Whenever there is a choice I prefer sweet breakfast items to savory and this week I decided on cinnamon rolls.
A rolled out sheet of dough spread with sugar and cinnaamon on aa cutting board.
You can either make the dough the night before and refrigerate it or you can make it first thing in the morning.   It takes several hours for the dough to rise so I prefer making them the night before if we are actually going to have them for breakfast.


  • milk
  • yeast
  • sugar
  • egg
  • butter
  • flour
  • salt
  • brown sugar
  • cinnamon
  • cream cheese
  • powdered sugar
  • vanilla

To make the rolls I combined warm milk, sugar, and yeast and let it sit for 5 minutes to help activate the yeast.   Then I added in the egg, butter, salt, and mixed well.

After that I added in the flour.  I want to add in a note that the dough may be a little bit sticky at this point but you want a soft, pliable dough so that you are able to make and roll the cinnamon rolls.  I’ve actually added a little more flour to the updated version of the recipe because the original was super sticky.

Once you have the dough together turn out onto a floured surface and knead.   Put in a bowl and cover until the dough has doubled in size. 

A baking dish with 5 unbaked cinnamon rolls in it.

Once the dough has doubled turn it onto a floured surface.  Roll the dough out into a rectangle shape.   Spread the dough with softened butter then sprinkle with a combination of brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt.

Then roll the dough up tightly and slice into 6 pieces.   Place the pieces into a baking dish and cover to rise again.  Let the dough rise for 1-2 hours.

Bake the rolls until they are golden brown.  Once the rolls are out of the oven mix the frosting ingredients together for the cream cheese frosting.  Place a large amount on each cinnamon roll and serve them warm.

What if my rolls don’t rise after they are rolled and cut into pieces?

Don’t worry about it.  I’ve made these 4 times and twice they rose nicely, once they only rose a bit, and another time they didn’t rise at all.   It didn’t matter as once they hit the oven they did rise.

Can I add in fruit or nuts to the filling?

Yes!  You can add in a half cup of finely chopped nuts such as pecans or walnuts.   You can also add in a half cup of dried fruit such as dried cranberries, dried blueberries, or dried apricots.

Do I have to make cream cheese frosting?

No!   You can leave the rolls plain on top or you can make an easy glaze with powdered sugar, water, and vanilla.   You could also make a thick buttercream frosting and put it on top.

Can I make the dough ahead of time?

You can actually make the dough the night before and let it do it’s first rise in the refrigerator for 8-10 hours.   In the morning remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature before rolling it out and spreading with the filling.

Pin image: A baking dish with 5 golden brown cinnamon rolls in it, text, A plate with a cinnamon roll topped with frosting and two forks on the plate.

I’ve made these rolls several times for my family and they’ve been a hit every time.  The cinnamon rolls always come out of the oven smelling heavenly and dripping with brown sugar and cinnamon.

We always add the fluffy cream cheese frosting because it’s a nice contrast to the spiced cinnamon rolls.  Plus if you put it on while the rolls are warm you have the chilled frosting paired with a warm roll which is really nice.

These cinnamon rolls taste very similar to the ones I’ve had before at Cinnabon.  They were warm, gooey, and sweet.  They are delicious for brunch or breakfast but they can even be eaten for dessert.

More Cinnamon Roll Recipes:

A close up of a cinnamon roll cut in half with two forks on the plate and a coffee cup behind it.

If you’ve tried my Almost Cinnabons Cinnamon Rolls or any other recipe on Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks please take a minute to rate the recipe and leave a comment letting me know how you liked it. I love hearing from you! You can FOLLOW ME on:

A plate with a cinnamon roll topped with frosting and two forks on the plate and a coffee cup behind the plate.

Almost Cinnabons Cinnamon Rolls

Yield: 6 cinnamon rolls
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 50 minutes


  • 1For the Dough:
  • 1/3 c. warm milk (110 degrees)
  • 1 package of dry active yeast
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 medium egg
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 c. flour

For the Filling:

  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the Frosting:

  • 3 Tablespoons cream cheese
  • 1 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. In a medium bowl combine the warm milk, sugar, and yeast. Mix and let stand for 5 minutes to activate the yeast.
  2. After 5 minutes add in the salt, egg, and butter.  Mix well to combine. 
  3. Slowly add in the flour and mix well.
  4. Sprinkle a surface with flour and turn the dough out. Knead for 4-5 minutes.  Form into a ball, return it to the mixing bowl, and cover with a towel. 
  5. Sit in a warm place for 1-2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size.
  6. Once the dough has doubled, turn it out onto a floured surface.  Using a rolling pin roll it into a large rectangular shape. 
  7. Mix together the cinnamon, sugar, and salt then set aside. 
  8. Spread the softened butter onto the dough covering it to the edges.  Sprinkle the buttered dough with the cinnamon and sugar mixture. 
  9. Starting at the narrow end roll up the dough tightly.
  10. Slice into 6 pieces and place in a dish sprayed with cooking spray.  Cover with a towel and allow the rolls to rise for 1-2 hours.
  11. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Bake the rolls for 25-30 minutes or until the cinnamon rolls are golden brown and cooked all the way through. 
  12. Remove from the oven and spoon any filling that came out over top of the cinnamon rolls.
  13. To make the frosting beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla together until it comes together as a thick frosting. 
  14. Top the warm cinnamon rolls with the frosting and serve.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 404Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 55mgSodium: 634mgCarbohydrates: 70gFiber: 2gSugar: 40gProtein: 6g


A plate with a cinnamon roll topped with frosting and two forks on the plate.




  1. My kids are straight-up obsessed with cinnamon rolls. These look like perfection and we’re going to try them out this weekend!

  2. Warm, straight out of the oven…I bet these are almost impossible to resist! HEAVEN!!!

  3. It’s been so long since I’ve made cinnamon rolls. I really need to again!! I’ll be trying these.

  4. These homemade cinnamon rolls look absolutely fantastic! I’ll definitely be making these often.

  5. Obviously, the best rolls ever! I love that you included info about adding to the filling. Totally saving this recipe!

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