These easy no-knead cinnamon rolls are made with a killer no-need-to-knead dough. Despite the shortcut, these rolls come out ultra-fluffy & perfectly sweet.
Easy cinnamon rolls are your new go-to when you have a sweet tooth but are short on time. You can whip these rolls up in minutes! This recipe is perfect for meal-prepping. That’s right — not all meal-preppers are stowing away boiled chicken and broccoli for the week! We like to have something naughty on hand too. That way I know that when a craving for junk food strikes, I have something less processed to turn to.
Our 3-Ingredient Cinnamon Roll Icing
There’s much debate surrounding what frosting is best for cinnamon rolls, but we are wholeheartedly on team cream cheese frosting. To make our simple 3-ingredient icing, combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract using a hand mixer or stand mixer until luscious and fluffy. Just like that, you have the perfect cinnamon roll icing!
Making No-Knead Cinnamon Rolls from Scratch
The road to perfect cinnamon rolls is paved with just a few easy steps. Here’s an overview…
- Make the Dough: First, whisk the lukewarm water, instant yeast, salt, eggs, and melted butter together in a large bowl. Next, stir in the all-purpose flour and place the dough in the fridge for at least 12 hours.
- Prepare the Filling: Next, whisk the sugar and cinnamon together and melt the butter in a small bowl.
- Roll the Dough Out: On a well-floured surface, roll out the dough into a rectangle with a rolling pin.
- Assemble the Rolls: Next, pour the melted butter on top and then sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar filling over the dough. Starting from the longer side, roll the dough up and cut it into 12 even pieces seam-side down.
- Bake the Cinnamon Rolls: Assemble the cinnamon rolls on a baking dish and cover them with a towel. Allow them to rest at room temperature for an hour. Preheat the oven to 350℉ for 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Make the Frosting: Next, mix the powdered sugar with softened cream cheese and vanilla extract until creamy.
- Frost the Cinnamon Rolls: Finally, frost the cinnamon rolls and enjoy them fresh out of the oven!
3 Tips for Nailing Our No-Knead Cinnamon Rolls
For perfect, bakery-worthy cinnamon rolls, there are a few pointers to follow when using our no-knead dough method.
- Make sure to stir all the lumps out of the flour. Since you won’t be kneading the dough whatsoever, you’ll want to make sure you stir out any dry lumps or clumps before letting it rest in the refrigerator. This is key because you don’t wait to bake any lumps or clumps in!
- Slice the dough roll with a floured sharp knife. To prevent the knife from squishing the rolls as you slice them, dust it with flour first. Alternatively, you can use plain dental floss to get a super clean slice!
- The longer the dough sits, the better the rolls will be. The longer the dough sits, the better tasting the dough will be. You can keep it stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days!
Making Cinnamon Rolls in Advance
Whether you are hosting Sunday brunch or just like to have a dozen on hand for your kids on the weekend, cinnamon rolls can be made in advance to make your life that much easier (and sweeter). Do all the heavy lifting and roll them up the night before. Then, all you have to do is pop them in the oven right before serving.
Storing & Reheating Tips
Baked cinnamon rolls can be refrigerated for 3-4 days in an airtight container. To reheat them, pop them in the oven for a few minutes or in the microwave. Just make sure to store the frosting separate and only spread it on right before you serve them prevent them from getting soggy.
A Few Fun Variations
A classic cinnamon-sugar filling is just one way to enjoy this classic treat. If you are in the mood to experiment, try these other fun variations.
- Sugar Buns: This recipe is a copycat of Starbucks’ beloved morning buns. Made with the same no-knead dough, you can whip them up super quick.
- Poppy Seed Rolls: Our family favorite with poppy seed filling and raisins makes for an AMAZING breakfast treat.
- Nutella Rolls: Spread Nutella on top of the no-knead dough for a chocolate-hazelnut spin on classic cinnamon rolls.
- Nuts: Add some finely chopped walnuts or pecans to the cinnamon, sugar, and butter mixture for that extra crunch.
What’s the difference between cinnamon rolls and cinnamon buns?
Cinnamon rolls and cinnamon buns are quite similar in shape but have differences in their fillings and toppings. Buns will often come with nuts on the inside and are topped with a thick glaze – giving them their signature stickiness. On the other hand cinnamon rolls often feature a simple filling of cinnamon and sugar and are topped with a frosting of some sort.
Why did your cinnamon rolls turn out so dry?
Adding too much flour to your cinnamon roll dough is one of the main reasons they came out dry. Excess flour makes the dough super dense and will cause the wet ingredients to be completely overtaken.
How do you keep baked cinnamon rolls soft?
To keep baked cinnamon rolls soft, you must keep them stored in an airtight container. The more they are exposed to air, the quicker they will turn stale and tough. If this happens to you, simply nuke them in the microwave to soften them up.
Why is your cinnamon roll dough not rolling out easily?
The main reason that your cinnamon roll dough is too difficult to roll out is that you likely added too much flour. Remember, the proper way to measure flour is loosely in a measuring cup, not tightly packed.
Other Pastries to Try
- Fruit Piroshki Recipe – Jam-filled yeast buns
- Blueberry Scones – Blueberry & sour cream scones
- Apple Turnovers – Cinnamon & apple pastries
- Puff Pastry Cheese Turnovers – Sweet cheese pastries
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- 1 tsp instant yeast
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 eggs slightly beaten
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter melted
- 3 3/4 cups flour
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 16 oz cream cheese
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- In a large bowl, whisk together all the ingredients except for the flour.
- Next, add in the flour and stir until you don't see any lumps of flour. The dough doesn't need to look perfect, as it will do it's magic while standing for 12 hours.
- Cover the dough with a towel and place it in the refrigerator overnight (or up to 4 days). The longer you let it sit in the refrigerator, the better tasting the dough will be.
- For the filling, combine the sugar and cinnamon together. Melt the butter in a separate jar.
- Dust the counter with flour and roll out the dough into a rectangular shape using a rolling pin.
- Spread the melted butter and then the cinnamon-sugar filling evenly on the surface of the dough. Starting with the long side, roll up the dough in a spiral.
- Flour the knife and cut the dough roll into 12 even pieces. Place the rolls onto a buttered baking pan, cover them with a towel, and let them rest for 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 350°F and bake the rolls for 35-40 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Combine the powdered sugar with the softened cream cheese and vanilla extract. Mix until the frosting is smooth and creamy.
- Spread the frosting over the cinnamon rolls and serve right away. Enjoy!
So so good and so easy! I used 1/2 of my dough after 12 hours and then made the other 1/2 after the dough had been sitting for 3 days - both were delicious but the 3 day old dough was unbelievably good!
Hi Terri, That is so good to know! Thank you so much for your feedback! I am so glad to hear the recipe was a success! Enjoy!
Hi! Any idea why my dough turned out sticky and therefore difficult to role? I let it proof for about 24 hours in fridge. Thanks for your thoughts!
Hi Robin, no knead dough often times can be sticky, some brands require less and some more of flour. But if you generously flour the working surface, it should help. Please let me know how it goes.
Could I make these in half size for a buffet table?
Hey there Powell, You can always make them smaller. You will end up with more rolls over all and you may need to adjust the bake time. If you give it a try, please let me know how they turned out! Good luck and happy holidays!
What is the size of the baking pan?
Hi Bev, It is a 9x13. Hope this helps!
I love your recipes. I am also of Ukrainian heritage,and have eaten many of your traditional recipes. Are you considering doing a recipe book?
I, myself would purchase 8 for myself, my children and sisters!
I love cookbooks, and prefer books over the web.
Hi Grace! That's so sweet of you to say! I am definitely considering doing a cookbook. One day that will become a reality.
I want to prep them ahead of time to bring them to a dinner party. Do I roll them the night before or early morning, stick them back in the fridge, then take them out to proof 30 min before baking?
Hi Mickal- Yes, you can make the dough the night before, roll them out in the morning, keep in the fridge, and then proof them for an hour before baking. Enjoy!
Can I add raisins when applying the cinnamon mixture?
Hi Sam- you definitely can. Enjoy!
Why are my cinnamon rolls hard after I take them out of the oven
Hi Brendia- too much flour or over baking can lead to hard cinnamon rolls. When measuring flour, I suggest fluffing the flour first and then scooping it into a measuring cup with a spoon, then leveling it off. Keep an eye on the rolls towards the end of the allotted baking time. If they don't seem ready yet but are getting too much color, you can cover them with foil towards the end to prevent them from getting too dark/too hard on top. Hope these tips help! 🙂
I really love how easy this is!! So delicious and amazing!
Thank you, Toni! Glad you enjoyed the cinnamon rolls. 🙂
This was my first time making cinnamon rolls and this recipe was so easy to follow! They turned out perfectly fluffy and sweet and we loved that cream cheese frosting on top. SO delicious!
Hi Taylor- thanks for the feedback. I'm glad you loved them 🙂
Super loved this cinnamon rolls! Thanks a lot for sharing this super easy to make recipe! Fam really loves it! Will surely have this again!
Hi Allyssa- oh i'm so happy to hear that! Cinnamon rolls are always a total hit!
Can I use granulated sugar for the honey or brown sugar?
Hi Ju- I've only used honey, but I think white sugar would work just fine. Let us know how they turn out! 🙂
love cinnamon rolls now I can make tbe. better.tba m you for the recipe.
You're welcome, Margo! Enjoy 🙂
Do I need to proof the dough to rise after taking out from refrigerator overnight? Thanks .
Hi Nicole- no, the dough doesn't need to rise after taking it out of the fridge. The filled rolls will proof for an hour right before you bake them. Enjoy!
Gave me a laugh reading this...."flower" instead of flour.... maybe some checking before posting your recipe.
Hello, Laura. Ah, sorry about that! We do our best to proofread very carefully but mistakes still happen. 😊 It's been updated to the correct spelling, thank you for letting us know!
I don't understand why it took me, or it seem, forever,to make this, when you make it so easy. All I need tight is yeast and cream cheese. It seem like I use to let bread recipes hold me hostage forever. !not anymore.vyoubqte great.
I'm glad you finally gave them a try, Guadalupe. Bread recipes can be intimidating but I try to walk you through every step for success. So glad you enjoyed them!
Can I make the dough in advance and freeze it for later or would you suggest making to the point of cinnamon rolls unbaked and freeze at that point? Or not at all.
Hi Crystal - You can do either - it's up to you! These are definitely great to have on hand in the freezer. Hope you enjoy them!
Hello can i make into mini rolls maybe like 24 instead of 12, would it work? How long do i have to bake it for for minis? Thank you.
Hey there Het - Thanks for reaching out. I actually haven't tried making mini cinnamon rolls yet, but that's such a great idea. Especially for kids or a holiday dessert tray! I'm sure it would work out just fine, but not sure about the baking time. To air on the safe side, I would check them around 15 minutes to see how they're coming along and adjust the time from there. Let us know what time you land on and how they work out! Would love to add a note to the recipe for other folks looking to make mini cinnamon rolls.
Are there any adjustments for high altitude? We're at 5200ft
Hi, honestly I don't know how the recipe would react at high altitude. I would suggest googling for an answer, I think it would give you some good info.
Oh my! I’ve tried so many recipes, nothing beats this one! Love, love love it! I won’t be trying any other recipes! Set for life!
Olga, you made me smile!! Thank you!!!
How many rolls does this recipe make TIA?
Hey Helen, this makes 12 cinnamon rolls. Enjoy!
These cinnamon rolls were perfectly fluffy with a perfectly balanced cinnamon and sugar filling. Our family devoured them within hours. I've made them multiple times and they always turn out perfect.
Diana, thank you for sharing that. I am so happy that your family loved them!
Cinnamon Rolls are my weakness and these ones are so easy to make! You'll love them
I am in on the weakness 🙂 Glad you like this recipe!
This is so awesome!! So easy to make and so good!
Toni, thank you for sharing. I am so happy to hear this!
This is a recipe I will make again and again! These rolls are incredible!
I am so happy to hear this! Thank you for sharing!