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The BEST Cinnamon Buns Recipe + VIDEO

Prep Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Servings 12 servings

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These are the best Cinnamon Buns you’ll ever make! They are soft, fluffy cinnamon rolls, and have the best gooey caramel sauce in the bottom of the pan. They’re easy to make ahead and freezer friendly!

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cinnamon buns overhead

Cinnamon buns, cinnamon rolls, cinnamon roll bites…. these are a few of my favorite things.

A few of my favorite things that I rarely ever make, because I know all too well what happens when they’re in my house. I could sit down and eat a dangerous amount of these Cinnamon Buns!

They are perfectly soft and fluffy, and my family’s top secret (not really) cinnamon bun sauce coats the bottom of the pan, taking them over the edge. The sauce really is the key to making these the best cinnamon buns you’ve ever had!

I’ve made some cinnamon roll recipes that have a simple butter and sugar mixture in the pan, and the end result is just sticky, and it firms up as it cools and it sticks all over your teeth and is, dare I say, almost an unpleasant experience.

This sauce is not like that. I know it’s an extra step, but let’s face it — you’re already spending a few hours committed to making cinnamon buns. Don’t start cutting corners now!

cinnamon buns frosted unfrosted overhead

How to make Cinnamon Buns:

  • Start with your dough: take your time, and read through the instructions carefully. You want to make sure that your water isn’t too warm or too cold, or it won’t activate the yeast. Thankfully, you can see if your yeast is blooming before you add it to your dough. If it doesn’t bubble and froth, then you may want to start again with a fresh packet of yeast.
  • Let it rise: you don’t want to skimp on the rise time, as this is what makes your Cinnamon Buns fluffy and soft. I like to place my dough, covered, in the oven with the light on. It provides a warm, draft-free environment that is optimal for proofing dough.
  • Roll it up tight: You want to try to keep the dough tight when you’re rolling so that alllllll of that sugary cinnamony goodness will stay inside and not leak out.
  • Use the right knife: I prefer to use a serrated knife for slicing cinnamon rolls as there will be less squishing and your rolls will be rounder and hold in more of that cinnamon sugar filling.

cinnamon buns cream cheese frosting

How to store Cinnamon Buns:

On the counter:

The baked Cinnamon Rolls can be stored on the counter for 3-4 days without frosting. Because I use a cream cheese frosting, that can’t be left out. If you want to store them at room temperature, simply leave the frosting in a container in the fridge and frost them only when serving.

In the refrigerator:

You can place your pan of rolled, unbaked cinnamon buns in the fridge, covered in plastic wrap, up to 24 hours before baking. When ready to bake, simply leave on the counter for 20-30 minutes while your oven preheats, then bake as directed.

You can refrigerate the baked cinnamon buns up to 1 week with frosting in the fridge. But I bet they won’t last that long 😉

How to freeze Cinnamon Buns:

You can freeze the prepared pan of unbaked cinnamon buns for up to 3 months, but I actually don’t recommend this because I’ve never found them as fluffy as baking them right away.

You can freeze the baked cinnamon rolls, with frosting, covered tightly, up to 3 months. This is the way I prefer to freeze them! You can also leave the frosting off, and reheat them gently in the oven at 225 degrees F for 20 minutes, and they will taste fresh out of the oven!

Frosting for Cinnamon Rolls or Cinnamon Buns:

There is really only one answer here: it’s gotta be cream cheese. The way the tanginess of the cream cheese complements the sweet, sticky, gooey sauce…. it’s just unreal. Crazy good.

If you want it to sink into all of those crevices, be sure to spread it on while the cinnamon buns are still warm and let it get a little melty all up on those rolls.

Since these are so ridiculously good, you can skip the frosting and just eat them as is, and I’m pretty sure you’ll have no complaints 😉

The Best Cinnamon Buns

5 from 12 votes
These are the best Cinnamon Buns you'll ever make! They are soft, fluffy, and have the best gooey caramel sauce in the bottom of the pan. They're easy to make ahead and freezer friendly!
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Rising 2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Cuisine American
Course Bread and Baked Goods
Servings 12 servings
Calories 487kcal

Ingredients

Dough

  • 1/2 cup warm water (between 105 and 110 F is best)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 package)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar 100g
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg room temperature
  • 3-4 cups all purpose flour 500g

Sauce

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar 85g
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Filling

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar 128g
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 oz cream cheese room temperature (1/4 package)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Instructions

Cinnamon Bun Dough

  • Dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside for 5-10 minutes until frothy.
  • In a medium bowl, combine milk, butter, sugar, and salt and microwave on high for 45 seconds. Whisk until butter is melted. Set aside until it is lukewarm in temperature.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer (or you can mix and knead by hand), combine milk mixture and yeast mixture. Stir in egg (be sure it is not cold!).
  • With the mixer on low speed and the dough hook on, gradually add in just enough flour so that a soft dough ball forms. It should be soft and slightly tacky, but not sticky. 
  • Drizzle some oil over a large glass bowl. Place dough ball in bowl, and turn so that the dough is lightly coated in oil. Cover with plastic wrap and a towel if desired. Let sit in a warm, draft-free place for 1.5 hours or until doubled in size (the inside of the microwave or the oven with the light on are great options!)

Cinnamon Bun Sauce

  • Just before your dough is ready to roll, make the sauce.
  • In a medium saucepan, combine cream, corn syrup, sugar and butter. Heat over medium-high heat until it comes to a boil. Reduce heat slightly and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  • Lightly grease a 9x13" pan and pour prepared sauce into the bottom. Set aside.

Cinnamon Bun Filling

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Once the dough has risen, remove from the bowl onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a roughly 12" by 18" rectangle (you can really make them as large or small as you want -- a wider rectangle or square will give fewer, larger rolls. A long skinny rectangle will give more, smaller cinnamon buns).
  • Spread butter over the dough and sprinkle evenly with brown sugar and cinnamon
  • Roll the rectangle up tightly, starting at the long end. Pinch the dough together to form a seam at the end.
  • Trim the ends and slice log in half. Slice each half in half, so you have 4 equal pieces. Cut each piece into 3 equal sections so you have 12 buns. Place in prepared pan on top of sauce.
  • Cover the pan with a clean kitchen towel or piece of plastic wrap, and allow to rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  • Bake at 350 degrees F for 23-27 minutes, until light golden brown on top and bubbling at the edges.
  • If desired, turn out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and let the caramel sauce run down into the buns. (If you are frosting them, I recommend leaving the gooey sauce at the bottom).

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer until smooth.
  • Add the vanilla and sugar and beat until combined and fluffy. If desired, add a touch more sugar for a thicker frosting. 
  • Spread over cinnamon buns. Serve warm.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 487kcal | Carbohydrates: 76g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 63mg | Sodium: 241mg | Potassium: 131mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 43g | Vitamin A: 600IU | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 2.3mg
Keywords cinnamon rolls, cream cheese frosting, easy cinnamon rolls

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Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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Comments

  1. Heather says

    Ive made cinnamon buns off and on for years and this is by far the easiest best recipe I’ve ever come across. The sauce stays goey and doesn’t turn to hard candy. The buns are soft and don’t dry out. The flavour is balanced and yummy! I didn’t have corn syrup so used maple syrup instead. Now I use the maple trip every time. I did reduce the sugar a wee bit for our personal taste and I don’t ice. Thanks for this recipe.

  2. Afnan says

    Hi there,
    I always hear and see cinnamon rolls but I never wanted to try them out. I personally don’t like the spice cinnamon that much as it’s too strong for me.
    But one day in lockdown haha I was scrolling down insta and I saw your video. I was forced to give a try and my my my !!! They were the best thing I had in a long time. So fluffy, yum and tasty and oh the baked smell was just heaven ?
    My family and I loved it and it became a star overnight. Can’t wait to try again !
    Thank you so much for recipe and such elaborate explanation and spreading such lovely and heartwarming recipe ?
    Thank you once again. Lockdown days just got better .

  3. Emma Green says

    I just tried these and they were excellent!! I made a vanilla glaze instead of a cream cheese frosting. They turned out wonderful. However, your recipe was a little misleading as you listed all the timings which add up to 3 hours and 50 minutes. The total time listed on the recipe is an hour and 20 minutes. It’s a little misleading but the recipe is delicious!

  4. Laura Sisco says

    Just waiting for my buns to finish baking. Very fast and easy recipe to follow. I didn’t make the sauce, just put butter and brown sugar in bottom of pan, won’t do the cream cheese icing either. We just like cinnamon buns plain. They taste delicious. The dough is so soft. Thank you, will make them again.

    • Ashley Fehr says

      Hi Donna! Milk should work, but your caramel sauce may not be as thick. Evaporated may work slightly better if you have it, but if not you can substitute milk or skip the caramel sauce if you prefer it that way

  5. Ramona says

    Easy to follow recipe ~ and DELICIOUS buns! I have used this recipe three times, it is now entered in my collection of permanent recipes. Once I used maple syrup when I was out of corn syrup and it worked great as well. Thank you!

  6. Brooke Garvin says

    This is the first time I’ve ever reviewed. I make a lot of your recipes from desserts, main meals, instant pot.. etc and have loved every one. My mom has been making cinnamon buns for years and years and has always used a bread maker to make her dough, so I was completely intimidated to try this.
    I’m happy to say it turned out perfectly! They are ooey gooey amazing. They are the best cinnamon buns (sorry mom) I have ever ate, and the recipe is very straight forward.
    Just wanted to say hi and thank you from Quebec City!

    • Ashley Fehr says

      You can really do either way, as they will rise slightly in the fridge but not a lot. I would let them rise on the counter for an hour or so, then pop them in the fridge, covered

  7. Tess says

    Don’t you have to kneed this dough after adding the flour? I’ve read through the recipe and blog several times and don’t see anything mentioned.

    • Ashley Fehr says

      You will have it in the mixer on low as you gradually add the flour. You can knead by hand if you prefer or don’t have a stand mixer, but a stand mixer with the dough hook is my preferred method as it is very easy!

  8. Bethany says

    Fabulous recipe. Made these for my husband and now I think I’ll be stuck making these forever:) Great instructions for non bakers like me.

  9. Jill Moore says

    Hi Ashley!! I stumbled across your site looking for a new cinnamon roll recipe. So glad I did! I’d like to make these soon and need to know if you would recommend doubling, maybe even tripling, the recipe? I have a very large family… ?. Or would it be better to make each batch separately?

    • Ashley Fehr says

      You can definitely double or triple, as long as you have a big enough bowl for the dough to rise! If you’re using a stand mixer, I think doubling might work but it will be pretty full. Tripling I think would be over the top once it’s risen! I’d love to hear if you try them!

      • Jill Moore says

        Ashley!! These are amazing!! So easy to make. After reading your comment about the dough rising, I made one batch at a time just to keep it simple and manageable. I will definitely be making these again! The whole family enjoyed! They were circling around the stove like sharks impatiently waiting.

          • Jill Moore says

            Ashley! Help! So I’ve made a couple more batches since we’ve spoke and I need help. My carmel sauce just isn’t right. The one time I think I over cooked it and it turned pretty hard after cooling. Not paying attention. Then today it seems like its all been absorbed into the rolls. I have not got the carmel running down and throughout the cinnamon rolls yet. It’s just there. Today I followed the instructions to the letter. I do live in Colorado might it be an altitude issue Suggestions?? I took a pic but dont see anywhere I can attach.

          • Ashley Fehr says

            Hi Jill! I’m so sorry to hear that they haven’t turned out quite right! Overcooking it can definitely make it hard once cooling, or not having high enough fat percentage. If the buns rise quite a bit before/during baking, they might be larger and absorb more of the sauce than usual, but I think they would still be delicious! Unfortunately I don’t have any experience with high altitude baking!

  10. Michelle says

    After rolling up the rolls and placing them in the pan do they need another rise before placing them in the oven? I don’t think I’ve seen a roll recipe that doesn’t call for a second rise but maybe this recipe is different. They look yummy! I want to make them for Christmas.

  11. Larraine Adamally says

    Hi my dear , my name is Larraine, and I am from SriLankan, And iam a big fan of Your recipes, and you, iam a home baker and I would love you to check out my page of fb and Instagram and please let me know what you thing of it..
    thank you , and God Bless .. Larraine

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