You haven't tried cinnamon rolls until you've tried these sticky homemade cinnamon rolls. These rolls start with the softest, fluffiest, most tender dough, which is loaded up with cinnamon sugar and topped with a super sticky glaze. Good luck stopping at just one!
Ingredients in Sticky Cinnamon Rolls
For the Dough
- Milk: I use dairy milk. You can use any plant-based alternative, if desired.
- Heavy (pouring) cream: this is the secret to soft and fluffy cinnamon rolls.
- Substitute: to replace heavy cream, a suitable substitute is equal parts melted butter and milk,
- Caster sugar / superfine sugar: this finer form of sugar dissolves easily into the dough and is easier for the yeast to consume.
- Plain / all-purpose flour, plus extra to knead
- Corn starch / cornflour: this keeps the rolls extra light and fluffy by imitating cake flour.
- Dried active yeast: these dry 'grains' of yeast are easy to activate and guarantee a fluffy and well-risen scroll. Make sure your yeast is in-date.
For the Cinnamon Filling & Glaze
- Unsalted butter: you can use salted if that's all you have
- Brown sugar: brown sugar gives you a rich flavour in the centre of your scroll. Replace with an equal amount of caster / superfine sugar if necessary but this will change the texture.
- Ground cinnamon
- Icing sugar / powdered sugar: don't substitute with regular sugar. To make your own icing sugar / powdered sugar, blend regular white sugar in a high-speed blender until powdery.
- Milk: or any plant-based alternative.
How to Make Sticky Cinnamon Rolls
Although the prospect of making these may sound daunting, the recipe is straight forward if you break it down into manageable parts. The key components are:
- Making the dough: add the ingredients to a mixing bowl (electric mixer is easiest) and mix to form a shaggy dough. Knead on a clean and floured surface until smooth.
- Allow the dough to rise: place in a clean, greased bowl (I wash out the mixing bowl) and cover with cling film or a damp tea towel. Leave in a warm place until doubled in size.
- Make the filling: mix all filling ingredients together until you have a smooth paste.
- Cut and shape the dough: punch out the excess air from the dough and roll into a large rectangle. Spread generously with the filling. Roll up and cut into scrolls.
- Bake and top with glaze: place tightly together in a deep baking dish and bake until golden. While they're baking, make the glaze. Spread the glaze on top of the warm cinnamon rolls and serve!
Store the glazed cinnamon rolls un-refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days. If you are making the rolls in advance, only glaze them just before serving.
Tips & Substitutions
My cinnamon roll dough is too dry or too sticky
If your dough is too dry to handle and knead properly, slowly add milk (or water) one tablespoon at a time and knead in well.
If your dough is too sticky, you should first continue kneading the dough as it will get less sticky as the gluten develops. However, if it's still sticky after extensive kneading, sprinkle over a tablespoon of flour and knead well. Repeat until dough is at desired texture.
My cinnamon roll dough isn't rising
If your dough isn't rising, then your house is likely too cold. You can either leave the dough for longer or find a warmer spot to put it - I like putting the bowl of dough in my oven on the minimum temperature (40c / 105f) and keeping the door ajar. On colder days, you may have to leave the dough to rise for as long as 2 hours until it doubles in size.
My cinnamon rolls are dense
This usually signals a problem with either the yeast or the rising process. Make sure your yeast is in-date and you have measured it correctly. Also ensure that the dough is allowed to rise for the appropriate amount of time.
- Nutella: Replace the cinnamon filling with Nutella or chocolate spread, and add chopped hazelnuts or other nuts.
- Apple: Add finely chopped apples and ground cinnamon to the filling, and drizzle with caramel sauce or cream cheese frosting.
- Spicy: replace the cinnamon in the filling with mixed spice or pumpkin pie spice for a delicious and fragrant twist.
Nothing beats these rolls fresh out of the oven. However, they'll still be delicious cold or reheated the next day. You can also serve them with a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream for an indulgent dessert.
For the Dough
- 1 cup (250 mL) milk
- ⅔ cup (165 mL) heavy (pouring) cream
- 1 large egg
- ⅓ cup (80 g) caster sugar / superfine sugar
- 3 ½ cups (525 g) plain / all-purpose flour, plus extra to knead
- ¼ cup (35 g) corn starch / cornflour
- 2 teaspoon (1 sachet / 7 g) dried active yeast
- 1 teaspoon (6 g) salt
For the Cinnamon Filling
- 125 g (4.5 oz / ½ cup) unsalted butter, very soft
- 1 cup (220 g) brown sugar, packed
- 2 tablespoon (24 g) ground cinnamon
For the Glaze
- 1 ½ cups (210 g) icing sugar / confectioners sugar
- 2-3 tablespoon (40-60 mL) milk
- 1 teaspoon (5 g) vanilla extract
For the Dough
- Add all of the ingredients (in the order listed) to a large mixing bowl. Stir together until a shaggy dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured benchtop. Lightly dust the top of the dough with flour.
- Knead the dough for 8-10 minutes by stretching it out with the palm of your hand then folding it back over itself (see notes for using a dough hook). Slowly incorporate more flour as required, but don't add more than an extra ½ cup total. As you knead the dough more, it will become smoother and more elastic.
- Rinse out the mixing bowl and grease well. Shape the dough into a ball and place in the bowl. Lightly grease the top of the dough ball. Cover with clingwrap or a damp teatowel and leave in a warm place (ideally 40-45°C / 105-115°F) for 1 hour or until doubled in size. I put my dough in the oven on the lowest temperature.
Filling and Shaping the Rolls
- Meanwhile, make the cinnamon filling: stir together soft butter, brown sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl until well combined. It should form a soft paste. If it's too thick to spread easily, microwave for 10 seconds to soften.
- Turn the risen dough out onto a lightly floured benchtop. Punch out the excess air from the dough. Roll into a rectangle approximately 30 x 40 cm (12 x 16 inches). Spread the cinnamon filling evenly over the dough, making sure to spread it right to the edges.
- Roll up tightly from the long edge, finishing with the seam-side down. Trim about 1-2 cm (½ inch) from each end of the log. Using a very sharp knife, slice the log into 12 even pieces. You can also use unflavoured dental floss to slice through the dough.
- Grease a large rectangular casserole dish (approx 24 x 30 cm / 9 x 12 inch) and dust lightly with flour, tapping out the excess. Place the cinnamon rolls swirl-side-up in 3 x 4 rows in the casserole dish.
- Cover with clingwrap or a damp teatowel and allow to rise in a warm place (40-45°C / 105-115°F) for another 1 hour or until doubled in size. Once again, I put my rolls in the oven on the lowest temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C / 355°F. Remove the cover from the risen rolls and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Please note: if your rolls are rising in the oven, remove the cover and put them back in the oven, then immediately increase the temperature to 180°C / 355°F.
For the Glaze
- While the rolls are cooling, make the glaze: sift the icing sugar into a medium bowl. Add 2 tablespoon milk and vanilla essence. Whisk well to combine. Add another tablespoon of milk, if required, to thin out the glaze.
- Pour evenly over all the cooled rolls. Tear apart and enjoy!
- Please note that my recipes are measured in metric cups and spoons which are larger than US cups and spoons. Most recipes will be fine if measured in US cups and spoons, but please use the weight (grams) measurement for the most accurate result.
- Store the glazed cinnamon rolls un-refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days. If you are making the rolls in advance, only glaze them just before serving.
Substitutions & Tips
- Using a dough hook: place all ingredients into the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix on low speed with a dough hook attachment for about 1 minute or until a shaggy dough forms. Resume mixing on low speed, while slowly adding up to ½ cup of extra flour (no more) or until a smooth and elastic dough ball forms. This should take about 4 minutes.
- Sugar: you can substitute the caster sugar with an equal amount of white sugar.
- Cinnamon filling: for a spicier filling, try substituting 1 tablespoon of cinnamon for 1 tablespoon of mixed spice. You can also sprinkle 1 cup of finely chopped walnuts or pecans over the cinnamon filling.
- Why isn't my dough rising? If your dough isn't rising, then your house is likely too cold. You can either leave the dough for longer or find a warmer spot to put it. On colder days, you may have to leave the dough to rise for as long as 2 hours until it doubles in size.
Nutrition Information:Serving Size: 1 Glazed Cinnamon Roll
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 424Total Fat: 13.6gSaturated Fat: 8.1gTrans Fat: 0.2gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 37.6mgSodium: 206.5mgCarbohydrates: 70.1gFiber: 2gSugar: 40.6gProtein: 5.4g