Cinnabon cinnamon rolls are fine but they can’t come close to touching these epic cinnamon rolls! Each roll is full of cinnamon brown sugar and slathered in a gooey buttercream glaze. Best of all? They are easy to throw together in your bread machine! 20 minutes of active time for the best cinnamon rolls of your life!
Cinnamon rolls may be my weakness. Actually any warm baked good is probably my weakness but let’s not tell, OK? These days Cinnabon cinnamon rolls seem to be everywhere. Every time I smell one I want one but the few times I’ve bought them they have been horribly disappointing. The texture is mediocre and the flavor is pitiful. Yes, I said it – the flavor of Cinnabon cinnamon rolls is pitiful.
A Really GREAT Cinnamon Roll Needs 3 Things
Anybody who knows me will tell you I have opinions about food! Let’s not call me picky – but selective or choosy might cover it. A really great cinnamon roll needs three things:
3. The PERFECT glaze
If you miss on one the rest is a lost cause. I want the texture to be soft, supple and perfectly chewy. The flavor needs to include enough butter and cinnamon to actually hit the mark and there had better be brown sugar in there to really send it! Finally I want those rolls slathered (while HOT) with a great icing. No powdered sugar/milk/vanilla combo for my rolls. No! I want a buttercream frosting thinned down to a glaze that perfectly coats the rolls. Not too sweet, not too buttery, not too anything! I know I have a bit of a Goldilocks thing going on here but we are talking about cinnamon rolls. Perfection just isn’t too much to ask!
Making Cinnamon Rolls in a Bread Machine
And, at the end of the day I’m a busy girl. I want my cinnamon rolls and I also want my time! I love this recipe because you can actually put out great rolls with about 20 minutes of active work time. Thanks bread machine and of course my little trick with dental floss!
I’ve been using a cost efficient Oster Bread Machine for about 15 years. They do a great job and are simple to use. They also stack up very well against most of the $300 high end machines unless there is a specialty setting you want such as a spout that adds fruit and nuts at a certain time or a folding paddle. I don’t believe in owning a lot of appliances but this one is worth it in time savings. We also make more bread items because I can just prep the dough here and go!
I’m a big fan of using my bread machine to make great dough and then forming it however I like. These Texas Roadhouse Rolls are a bread machine winner that will change your life! Great bread is a life changer right?
Better than Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls with Buttercream Glaze
- 10 oz water
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 Tbsp. salted butter
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp. yeast
- ½ cup salted butter melted
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
- ½ cup salted butter melted (or ½ cup unsalted plus ¼ tsp. salt)
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 Tbsp. milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Bread Machine Instructions (See below to make dough without a machine.)
- Add the dough ingredients to your bread machine, set the machine for the dough cycle and start it. Proceed with the recipe after the dough is ready.
- Spray a 9”x11.5” baking pan with nonstick spray and set by your work area.
- Dust a clean counter with flour. Remove the dough from machine and roll into roll into large rectangle (2’ by 3’).
- Pour the melted ½ cup butter unto the rolled out dough and brush to edges with the back of a spoon. Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon up in a bowl and scatter evenly on the melted butter.
- Starting at one of the long edges, roll the dough into a tight log.
- Cut a piece of unflavored dental floss to about 1 ½’. First cut off about 1” of the log at each end using the dental floss. Slide the floss under the log, bring the two ends together over log, and pull in opposite directions to make nice clean slices. This works way better than a knife. The end pieces can be tucked into the pan or discarded.
- Next use the floss to slice the log in half. Cut each of those halves in half. Then cut each of those four chunks into three rolls each. This makes a total of 12 rolls.
- Place the cut rolls into the pan. If you saved the ends they can be fit next to any smaller rolls.
- Preheat the oven to 350F just for 1-2 minutes and then turn it off. Cover the pan of rolls with plastic wrap and place in the oven for about 30 minutes or until puffed. (Alternately place in another space that is consistently warm and away from any drafts.)
- Remove the rolls from oven and preheat to 350F. When the oven comes to temp remove plastic wrap from rolls and bake for 25-30 minutes until tops are browning and dough is fully cooked. (If you are not sure use a fork to gently lift the center of one of the rolls towards the middle of the pan. If the dough is gooey gently push back down and bake 5 more minutes. If it is cooked, remove rolls and frost.
- As soon as the rolls come out of the oven stir powdered sugar into melted butter until no lumps remain. Add milk and vanilla and stir until the glaze is the consistency of a runny frosting. Use a large spoon to spread / drizzle the glaze evenly over the tops of the hot rolls.
- Eat hot with milk or coffee. Store leftovers in a sealed container at room temperature up to 3 days. Rolls can be warmed gently in the microwave for about 30 seconds each if you want to serve the leftovers warm.
To Make Dough Without a Bread Machine
- In a large, microwave safe bowl heat water and butter in the microwave for 30-60 seconds just until it is pleasantly warm to your finger and the butter is partially melted.
- Whisk in brown sugar, salt, and yeast. Some lumps of butter may remain.
- Whisk in 1/2 cup of flour.
- Use a wooden spoon to stir in the remaining 3 1/2 cups of flour until a dough forms.
- Using a dough hook, knead the dough in a stand mixer for 5 minutes or knead by hand (spray a large wooden board and your hands liberally with canola cooking oil spray. Knead the dough on the greased board for 5 minutes. Set the board aside to use again for rolling the dough out.
- Form the dough into a ball and place in an oiled mixing bowl. Turn dough to coat and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Set the bowl in a warm place until the dough has doubled, about 60 - 90 minutes.
- When the dough is ready go back to #2 at the top follow the directions there to finish the rolls.
PIN FOR LATER
Directions for those that don’t own a bread machine?
Hi Nicki – I updated the recipe today with instructions to make the dough without a machine. I hope that helps! If you have any questions let me know! Enjoy 🙂
Excellent recipe! Better than Cinnabons!
Thank you for telling me! These are a favorite of mine. I’m making a batch this weekend, in fact 🙂 Happy baking and enjoy your Easter!
How did I never think of using the bread machine for cinnamon rolls?! This looks amazing! Question: Is this your base recipe for sticky buns? If so, is there a trick to applying the sauce?
It is genius! So much time saved 🙂 I just had my machine out last night to make a big batch of rolls for company. It was so easy. This is my base for sticky buns. With sticky buns you cook the sauce in a pan on the stove and pour it into the baking dish. Then you add the rolls on top of the sauce, let rise and bake until they are done. When they finish baking you get to juggle… This is the tricky bit. I own two pans the same size so I put a clean pan on top and use it to flip the rolls into. Just be careful – hot rolls in sticky sauce…yeah, keep the kids out of the kitchen for this one! You can also invert the pan unto a cookie sheet which does not contain the sauce as well but really works pretty well. I have often gotten the stick bun sauce on my oven mitts doing the flip. I just toss my mitts into the washing machine if they got sticky.
I just wanted to come back and report that the sticky buns I made using this cinnamon roll recipe and your sticky buns sauce recipe worked FABULOUSLY. They are to die for! I have never met a dough so luxurious and happy to be rolled out. I only used half of the sticky bun sauce and thought it was perfect.
Note: When I first put the rolls in the pan, I was laughing because they were SO tall and skinny and spaced so far apart from each other… I was sure I rolled it from the wrong end. Lo and behold, they filled out beautifully and turned out right!
I love this!!! I think one of my favorite parts of baking cinnamon rolls is seeing how little they start out and how big they get! It just makes me glad down to my toes. I’m so glad this was a win for you! We enjoyed an nice big pan on Christmas morning and I’m trying to convince myself that really I should make this for New Years breakfast too! It just seems like a lovely way to start the year off.
For sticky buns do you have a recipe for your sticky base? And do you then use the regular cinnamon roll recipe with filling to place on top of the cooked sticky base in the pan? Thanks!
Hi Rita! Ah yes…. Sticky buns! I have never posted the recipe on here – I should! It is heaven!!! I use these cinnamon rolls as is but put them over a cooked sticky bun sauce in the base of the pan. My sauce recipe is posted because sometimes I use it as pancake syrup! You can grab the recipe here: https://www.mirlandraskitchen.com/sticky-bun-syrup/ Enjoy!
We made these once and loved them! Only problem was they weren’t ready until lunch time! 🙂
Can these be made the night before?
Hi Angela – they absolutely can! When I do them the night before I roll them out and shape them and then place in the pan. I immediately cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 24 hours. When I’m ready to bake them I remove them and let them rise 2-3 hours until doubled (it takes longer from the fridge than from fresh) and then bake as directed. They come out perfectly!
Hi, thanks for this recipe! Planning on using it for Christmas morning. When letting the rolls rise from the fridge, should it be at room temp? Pardon my ignorance, I’m a beginner baker. 🙂
Christi, we all start somewhere! I love that you are a beginning baker and tackling fun new recipes! It won’t be long at all before you are answering baking questions for other people! “Room temp” is a hard thing in baking because different houses are different temperatures. Also it never fails but you leave something to rise on the counter and then somebody comes and opens a kitchen window! I like to turn my oven on to the lowest setting (200 F) and set a time for TWO MINUTES. Then I turn it OFF before putting the rolls to rise in there. This gives a warm place to rise without cooking the rolls. When they are risen take them OUT of the oven BEFORE preheating. This is my “room temp” solution for consistency that helps with all my yeast baking. I hope it is as magical for you as it is for me!
I really don’t like powdered sugar is there an alternative icing?
Hi Carlie – I haven’t made an icing without powdered sugar before. But there are certainly options you can try that might fit you well. For one – these rolls are sweet and flavorful. You could just brush some melted butter on when they come out of the oven if you would prefer to skip icing the rolls. Another option is to check this recipe: https://foodsguy.com/cinnamon-roll-icing-without-powdered-sugar/ I have not used it but it seems like an option to experiment. The other thing you could try is to make your own powdered sugar out of maple syrup! My friend Victoria at A Modern Homestead has a recipe for that here. She is great if you are looking for recipes that use less sugar.
Can these be frozen?
Hi Vicki – This is a great question! I am not familiar with freezing cinnamon rolls before or after baking. I wish I had better information for you! You could review this article for some more information on freezing before baking: https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-freeze-cinnamon-rolls-and-bake-them-later-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-198123
Thank you, thank you, and THANK YOU!!!!! These are the best cinnamon rolls I have ever had!
Awe, Lisa, you made my day! Thanks for sharing. I’m so glad you enjoyed them! They are on my list for Easter breakfast this year!
I’m back again to share that I tried making 24 instead of 12 for the first time this Easter (not doubling the batch, just slicing the dough in half after spreading the filling to make 24 smaller rolls) and they came out wonderful! Baking time was slightly less, maybe 5 minutes with the smaller size. Perfect for feeding brunch to a crowd!
That is so perfect! When you are having an entire brunch a cinnamon roll can just be too big!!! But a half size is super practical. Love it!
Excellent! I added a diced apple. Yummy 😋
Oh YUM! I have to do that – it sounds perfect! I just made sourdough cinnamon rolls for the first time and went back to this recipe for the glaze – it is my favorite baking glaze for so many things! Maybe it is the butter makes everything better principle 😉 Happy Baking, Carol!