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Made with Love Cinnamon Rolls

The warm, inviting aroma of cinnamon rolls baking in the oven has a way of stopping time. It’s an aroma that welcomes you like an old friend, wrapping you in a comforting hug of sweet, spiced, buttery goodness. For me, this smell holds a special place in my heart, intertwining with memories from my adolescent years, when I worked part-time at a bakery called “Cinnabon”.

Working at Cinnabon was an experience that was as delightful as the name of the bakery itself. Every day, the space was filled with the sweet scent of cinnamon and brown sugar that would emanate from the oven as we baked fresh batches of buns. Walking into that fragrant warmth each morning was nothing short of therapeutic.

Fast forward to today, and the joy of baking cinnamon buns has only grown. It’s no longer about the part-time job or the early morning rush at the bakery. It’s about the joy and excitement that light up my boys’ faces when they walk into the kitchen, the warm aroma of cinnamon greeting them at the door.

This is more than a recipe; it’s a cherished ritual, a nostalgic journey, and a labour of love. Every time I prepare these buns, I remember the bustling bakery, the youthful excitement, and the sweet-scented mornings that shaped my love for baking.

And now, I get to pass this love on to my boys, filling our home with the same comforting aroma that welcomed me all those years ago. What could be more delightful than baking these heavenly cinnamon buns, watching them rise and brown in the oven, and finally witnessing the joy they bring to my family?

Whether you’ve baked before or this is your first time, I promise you, there’s no joy quite like pulling a tray of homemade cinnamon buns out of the oven. Let’s create some warm, aromatic, and delicious memories together with this cinnamon bun recipe.

Basic Ingredients for Cinnamon Rolls

For the Dough:

All-purpose Flour: This is the base of the dough. It gives the structure of the bun and creates a soft, fluffy texture.

Instant Yeast: Yeast helps the dough to rise, creating a light and airy cinnamon bun. Instant yeast is great for this recipe as it doesn’t need to be activated in warm liquid first.

Caster Sugar: Sugar not only sweetens the dough but also feeds the yeast, aiding in its growth and helping to brown the buns.

Salted Butter: Butter adds richness to the dough and contributes to a tender crumb.

Hand-warm milk: Milk helps to bind the ingredients together, and its fat adds to the richness of the dough.

Eggs, at room temperature: Eggs contribute to the structure of the buns, add richness and help with the golden colour.

Salt: Salt enhances the other flavours and also helps control the yeast activity so that the buns rise properly.

For the Filling:

Brown sugar, Light or Dark: Brown sugar provides a sweet caramel-like filling when the buns are baked. The molasses in the brown sugar also adds a depth of flavour.

Cinnamon Powder: The defining spice of cinnamon buns, it gives them their signature warm, sweet-spicy flavour.

Butter, room temperature: It helps the sugar and cinnamon stick to the dough and also adds richness.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

Cream Cheese: The base for the frosting, cream cheese gives it a smooth and creamy texture.

Butter: Adds richness and helps to make the frosting spreadable.

Icing sugar: Sweetens the frosting and contributes to its smooth texture.

Vanilla Extract: Adds a hint of vanilla flavour that complements the cinnamon and cream cheese beautifully.

alternative ingredients

Flour: If you wish to make your cinnamon buns gluten-free, you could replace the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free blend.

Dairy-Free: For those who are lactose intolerant or vegan, the milk can be replaced with non-dairy milk such as almond or soy milk, and butter can be replaced with a dairy-free butter alternative or coconut oil. The cream cheese in the frosting can be replaced with a dairy-free cream cheese substitute.

Sugar: For a healthier alternative, the caster sugar in the dough and the brown sugar in the filling can be replaced with coconut sugar or a sugar substitute suitable for baking, like Stevia. Please note that the flavour might differ slightly.

Yeast: If you can’t find instant yeast, you can use active dry yeast. Just remember to activate it in warm milk before adding it to the flour.

Preparation Tips for Cinnamon Rolls

  • Temperature: The milk should be warm to the touch, not hot, to activate the yeast properly without killing it.
  • Rolling the Dough: Roll the dough as tightly as possible when forming the buns to ensure they keep their shape during baking.

Serving Tips for Cinnamon Rolls

  • Warmth: Cinnamon buns are best served warm. The icing melts slightly over the warm buns, making them extra delicious.
  • Extra Frosting: You can always serve extra cream cheese frosting on the side for those who love a little extra sweetness.

storage tips

Refrigerate: Store leftover cinnamon buns in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week.

Freeze: If you want to keep them longer, you can freeze the baked, unfrosted cinnamon buns. When you’re ready to eat them, defrost in the fridge overnight, then warm in the oven or microwave, and apply the frosting.

Pre-made: If you want to prepare the buns ahead of time, you can make the dough, fill, roll, and cut the buns, then cover and refrigerate them overnight. In the morning, let them come to room temperature before baking.

Cinnamon Rolls (Full Video)

Cinnamon Rolls

Servings: 11 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Resting Time: 2 hours



  • 3 ½  cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 pack instant yeast
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • ¼ cup salted butter, melted
  • ¾ cup milk, hand warm
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • ¼ tsp salt


  • ¾ cup brown sugar, light or dark
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon powder
  • cup butter, room temperature

Cream Cheese Filling

  • 1 cup cream cheese
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • ¾ cup icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • In a stand mixer bowl combine the flour, instant yeast and sugar; mix ingredients together. Form a little well in the middle of the dough and add the melted butter, milk, eggs and salt. With a dough hood attachment combine the ingredient together until the dough pulls together. If the dough is too sticky and is stuck to the bottom of the bowl, simply add a couple tablespoons of flour and this should do the trick.
  • Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with a kitchen towel or cling wrap and allow to rest for 1 ½ hours, or until the dough has doubled in size.
  • Dust your counter with flour and roll the dough into a rectangular shape (approximately 14 inch by 9 inches). Spread the soften butter in the dough.
  • In a small bowl combine the brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the buttered dough, and with you had pat down the mixture to make sure it is evenly spread.
  • Gentle roll the dough into a log shape. Cut the long into 1 inch sectons with a knife or a floss thread. You should get between 9 to 11 pieces.
  • Place the cinnamon rolls in a 9 inch baking pan coated with butter. Cover the pan with cling wrap or a kitchen towel and allow it to rest for an additional 30 minutes.
  • Pre-heat your oven at 180 degrees Celsius. Bake the cinnamon rolls for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until they are slightly browned on the edges.
  • To prepare the frosting, in a stand mixed bowl combine the cream cheese, butter, icing sugar and vanilla essence until the mixture is smooth and fluffy.
  • Remove the cinnamon rolls from the oven and apply a generous about of the frosting and enjoy warm.

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @cookingwithzahra on Instagram and hashtag it #cookingwithzahra so we can see all the deliciousness!

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