Better Than Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

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Several weeks ago I took my children out on a lunch date. After lunch the kids noticed a Cinnabon shop and proceeded to coax me over the the counter.

I hadn’t had a Cinnabon roll in a long long time, so gave in rather quickly.

With nostalgic anticipation, a unraveled my first cinnamon roll layer and proceeded to taste what I remembered to be life-changing. Yet what was my reaction?

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Not as good as I remembered.

It was too… something. And not enough, something else.

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In fact, my gut reaction was a prideful confident statement, “We can do better at home.”

In all honesty, you really can do better at home if you know what makes a killer cinnamon roll. So today I want to share my secrets for making “Better Than Cinnabon” Cinnamon Rolls Recipe…

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1) For tender fluffy rolls with elevated flavor, be sure to make the dough with butter, not margarine or shortening. Add plenty of salt to the dough to balance all the layers of sweetness to come. Then give the dough a long knead in your electric mixer with a bread hook.

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2) Let the dough rise twice. Once in a large ball, and again in the roll shape. Don’t be in a hurry! Better Than Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls Recipe takes patience.

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3) Instead of spreading the dough with butter and sprinkling the cinnamon sugar over the top, mix the butter, sugar, and cinnamon into a paste. Then gently spread the paste over the dough sheet. This helps prevent leakage, and also makes it easier to roll the dough tight.

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4) I add a secret ingredient to my cinnamon filling… Nutmeg! Just a touch of nutmeg, boosts the cinnamon flavor without overpowering it. Most people won’t notice the nutmeg flavor, but they will notice the intensified cinnamon appeal.

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5) When spreading the filling over the dough, always leave one long edge bare, without cinnamon filling. Then roll the dough toward that edge, so it’s on the outside of the cinnamon rolls. Once cut, tuck the loose edge under the roll to help prevent leakage and keep the rolls looking tidy.

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6) Glaze twice! While the Better Than Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls Recipe is in the oven, prepare the thick creamy glaze. Once the cinnamon rolls are out of the oven, immediately glaze the hot rolls with one-third to half of the glaze. Give it time to ooze down between the layers. Then if you like your cinnamon rolls well-coated, glaze again a few minutes later so the second coat rests on top.

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Follow these tips and you too can make a Better Than Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls Recipe that your friends and family will go nuts over.

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Consider making this Better Than Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls Recipe for your sweetie this Valentines Day!

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You can make the dough the day before. Roll them, cut them, and place the baking dish in the fridge until morning. Then set them out while the oven warms. Bake and glaze!

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"Better than Cinnabon" Cinnamon Rolls Recipe |
4.97 from 65 votes

Better Than Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

Prep Time
45 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
1 hr 5 mins
Better Than Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls Recipe - Light fluffy layers of sweet roll, packed with cinnamon filling, then slathered with decadent creamy glaze!
Servings: 12 Servings
Nutrition Facts
Better Than Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls Recipe
Amount Per Serving (1 roll)
Calories 588 Calories from Fat 252
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 28g 43%
Saturated Fat 17g 85%
Cholesterol 100mg 33%
Sodium 447mg 19%
Potassium 133mg 4%
Total Carbohydrates 78g 26%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 44g
Protein 7g 14%
Vitamin A 18.3%
Calcium 8.1%
Iron 13.2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


For the Dough:
  • 1 cup scalded whole milk
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp dry active yeast
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4+ cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp salt
For the Cinnamon Filling:
For the Creamy Glaze:
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar


  1. Set the butter, eggs and cream cheese out to warm to room temperature. Place the milk in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil. The moment it reaches a boil, remove from heat. (This process is called scalding, and it ensures the milk doesn't effect the yeast's ability to rise. Don't skip!)
  2. Pour the hot milk into the bowl of an electric mixer and add 1/2 cup butter, to bring the temperature down. Stir and allow the butter to melt completely. Then stir in the sugar. Touch the milk mixture to test the temperature. It should be close to luke warm. If it is not, add 1/2 cup flour and test again. Once it is just above room temperature, stir in the yeast and let it foam for approximately 10 minutes. (Hot liquid can kill yeast.)
  3. Place the bread hook on the mixer and turn on low. Add the eggs, salt, and remaining flour up to 4 cups. Allow the mixer to "knead" the dough until it pulls away from the sides. Run the mixer for approximately 10 minutes to allow the dough to stretch and develop the gluten. If the dough seems too sticky after the first 2-3 minutes add an additional 1/4 cup flour. After 10 minutes, turn the mixer off. Cover the top with plastic, and allow the dough to rise until double in size, approximately 60-90 minutes in a warm kitchen.
  4. For the Cinnamon Filling: Mix the brown sugar, softened butter, cinnamon and nutmeg until smooth. Keep at room temperature until ready to use.

  5. Dump the inflated dough out on a well-floured work surface. Fold into thirds and press flat. Then turn and fold into thirds again and press into a rectangle. Roll the rectangle out into a large 16 X 20 inch sheet.
  6. Using a large flat spreader, spread the cinnamon filling over the sheet into a thin layer. Leave 1 1/2 inches bare (cinnamon-free) on one long edge. Be careful not to gouge holes in the dough. Starting at the cinnamon-covered long edge, roll the dough sheet tightly toward the uncovered edge to form a long tight log. Place a piece of parchment paper in a 9 X 13 inch baking dish. Then cut the log into 12 equal rolls. Tuck the loose end under each roll to secure it, and place them in the baking dish to rise.

  7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Allow the rolls to rise for at least 30 minutes while the oven heats. Then bake for 20-25 minutes, until the edges are barely golden and the center of each roll is puffed high up.
  8. For the Creamy Glaze: While the rolls are in the oven, beat the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar together until completely smooth. The moment the rolls come out of the oven, gently spread half the glaze over the tops and allow it to seep down into the cracks. Five minutes later, add more glaze if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

NOTES: To prep ahead, make the dough the day before serving. Follow the instructions through step 6. Then cover the baking dish with plastic and refrigerate until morning. Set them out on the counter while the oven warms. Bake for approximately 30 minutes and glaze!

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170 comments on “Better Than Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

  1. Nancyposted December 8, 2018 at 9:29 pm Reply

    So I’m new to baking cinnamon rolls and I read you can freeze but I need a little more clarity lol .  So I make completely as directed in recipe and get them in the pan .. let and cover them then freeze ? I 

  2. E. Ericsonposted December 8, 2018 at 9:20 pm Reply

    I also make a good cinnamon roll. I was considering a batch when I saw your post. I agree with your comment about using butter in the dough. (best ingredients is best flavor) I know I have not been putting enough salt in the dough. I will have to watch that. I will try your premixing the Butter/sugar/cinnamon. I will also try adding nutmeg. (my mom put cardamom in the dough) Your glaze looks better than the one I’ve been using.

    Thank you, great post

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  4. Beth Pierceposted December 8, 2018 at 7:24 pm Reply

    These was simply fabulous! Thanks for the scrumptious recipe!

  5. Brittanyposted December 8, 2018 at 10:04 am Reply

    Ive always made my cinnamon rolls with bread flour bc I’ve heard it makes a lighter, fluffier texture. It’s double the cost of all purpose so im anxious to try these! I wonder why the recipe I’ve always followed INSISTS on bread flour??

  6. Victoria Kposted December 7, 2018 at 11:20 am Reply

    I love to bake and would really like to try these, but I do not have a stand mixer yet. Do you think mixing by hand would be possible?

    • vbugposted December 8, 2018 at 5:26 am Reply

      You can make almost any dough by hand, it just takes a little more effort. This recipe says to run the dough in the mixer for 10 minutes. That just means a lot of hand kneading for you. Good luck!

      • Victoria Kposted December 8, 2018 at 9:45 am

        Alright I will see how it goes. Fingers crossed for a mixer this christmas!

  7. Chef Marty Embryposted November 30, 2018 at 12:41 am Reply

    This is my second time making these cinnamon rolls. I changed a few things, not because something was wrong but moreso because that’s how my mind works.

    I added vanilla extract to the dough to give it a caramel type of flavor which was wonderful. I make my own extracts as well.

    I also slightly melted the butter for the cinnamon mixture and added roasted pecans once I spread the cinnamon butter mixture.

    Lastly, for this batch I used caramel frosting and sprinkles roasted pecans on top. These, just as the original recipe came out fantastic. The original recipe is by far one of the best that I’ve had the pleasure of baking. My neighbors also loved them. I prefer to bake and cook what most folks but at shops and restaurants. It’s both my curse and my blessing. This recipe is truly my blessing and I thank you for sharing it with me as well as your other readers.

    All the best to you and continued success.

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  9. Aynsley J Chanecoposted November 28, 2018 at 5:27 pm Reply

    Hello! This recipe sounds amazing and love your tips in the intro! I was wondering, would this recipe work if I made them into mini cinnamon rolls? Thank you!

    • Sommer Collierposted November 28, 2018 at 7:49 pm Reply

      Hi Aynsley,

      Yes! The baking time may vary, just watch for the centers to puff all the way up. :)

  10. Kristi Sanchezposted November 25, 2018 at 10:00 pm Reply

    My family and I love these!! We’ve made them twice in 4 days!! The recipe was very easy to make and we hand no trouble at all. However, I’d like to know how you’d make the glaze without cream cheese. Do you have a recipe for glaze with out cream cheese? We love it with cream cheese, but I’d like to try it without cream cheese.


  11. Louis Leeposted November 25, 2018 at 11:58 am Reply

    Without seeing the recipe title upon my sons first bite he proclaimed these to be “better than Cinnabon cinnamon rolls!” I guess that validated the claim. These were super good! 

    • Sommer Collierposted November 26, 2018 at 9:17 pm Reply

      LOL! I love it! Thanks for reporting back Louis. :)

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  13. Toreyposted November 19, 2018 at 3:05 am Reply

    AH-MA-ZING. If you are reading this comment right now, stop reading and go make these cinnamon rolls. This recipe beat out two other recipes in a contest for the affections of my husbands coworkers. People have been hunting me down for almost a full week now just to tell me how amazing they were. One lady said she thought they came from a professional bakery. Another lady said she cut one in half to share, but after trying it she went back to take the other half for herself too. Yet another person said she didn’t get one (because they disappeared before she got word), but that she kept hearing about them all day and hoped I would make more. Anyway, you get the point. These are amazing. Don’t change a thing.

  14. Lisaposted November 17, 2018 at 10:17 am Reply

    I didn’t have any vanilla for the frosting  so I used scotch that I concentrated on the stove. Absolutely delicious with these rolls. 

    I had never made cinnamon rolls before. I don’t think I’ll be looking for a different recipe. These were fantastic!! 

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  16. Dominiqueposted November 6, 2018 at 10:04 pm Reply

    I’m not much of a baker especially not with yeast, but I really wanted cinnamon rolls today. These were worth the effort..simply amazing. Soft and gooey like I wanted and the perfect flavor. I added pecans to the filling because I love nuts. I could probably do with less sugar but that’s just a matter of taste. This is my first ever review online in my 15 years of online recipe cooking, so that means something. Love love love!

    • Dominiqueposted November 6, 2018 at 10:06 pm Reply

      I clicked before rating..meant to give it 5 stars!

  17. Miriamposted October 20, 2018 at 11:58 pm Reply

    These are best recipe ever!  I’ve tried

    This is by far the best recipe ever!  Easy to make and the results aren’t dense or biscuit like. I have been trying several recipes trying to get these results. They really give Cinnabon a run for their money!!!!  Simply the best

  18. Taylorposted September 28, 2018 at 9:39 am Reply

    I’ve made these once before and they were AMAZING. If I were to make the rolls the night before and refrigerate, would I allow the second rise before going in the fridge or give them some extra time to rise in the morning before I bake?

  19. Lacyposted September 18, 2018 at 6:08 pm Reply

    I first made these by the recipe and instructions  (mix dough for 10 minutes) and it was SO HARD to stretch it out at the end. They were delish but so much work 😩. I made them again today, this time adding vanilla to the dough and using the paddle attachment, not the dough hook!!  I did everything the same except when adding the flour,  I added 2 cups of flour to the wet mixture and made a wet batter and the folded in the last 2 cups of flour. It was so much easier to stretch out at the end!!!  They’re in the oven now. Can’t wait!!! 

    • Lacyposted September 18, 2018 at 6:09 pm Reply

      Also, I omitted the nutmeg both times! 

  20. Joy Nealposted September 14, 2018 at 7:56 pm Reply

    I continually underestimate this recipe. Every time I think I’ve found some new way to ruin it, I end up pulling out a pan of delicious (my friend who first found this recipe calls them “bakery worthy”) cinnamon rolls. Thanks you!!

    • Sommer Collierposted September 18, 2018 at 11:50 am Reply

      Hi Joy,

      Wow, what a complement. You just made my day!!

  21. Vickiposted September 8, 2018 at 12:26 am Reply

    These were easy to make and turned out great but I think next time I will cut out the nutmeg. Only used 1/4 tsp. but the cinnamon flavor was too intense with the nutmeg added. Will definitely make again though.

  22. Sarahposted September 7, 2018 at 9:35 am Reply

    I’m not one to comment on recipes, but these are the most amazing cinnamon rolls I have ever had! They have ruined all other cinnamon rolls for me! My family loves them too!

  23. Rochelleposted September 1, 2018 at 10:17 am Reply

    I made these this morning and they are absolutely amazing! Keeping recipe as a favorite! Thanks so much for sharing!

  24. KristinMposted August 29, 2018 at 8:38 pm Reply

    I just made these and they were too sweet for me. They sure looked good though. I think it also had a big kick of nutmeg also. I am pretty meticulous about ingredients and I bake multiple times each week. So I doubt it was a mistake on my end, however, anything is possible. But woah, heads up on the nutmeg and sugar amounts. Also- my husband loved it but he likes when sugar is crunchy in icing-that’s how much he loves sweets. 

  25. Samanthaposted August 26, 2018 at 8:48 am Reply

    Loved making these! Can they be frozen?

    • Sommer Collierposted September 18, 2018 at 1:11 pm Reply

      Hi Samantha,

      Absolutely! You can freeze them before or after baking. If freezing them before, let them come to room temperature then rise before you pop them in the oven. Happy Baking!