Joyce’s Delicious Homemade Cinnamon Rolls


Mia’s grandmother Joyce always shared her delicious homemade cinnamon rolls and I was able to convince her to share her recipe with me before we lost her. Now I am sharing it with you to spread the goodness! These cinnamon rolls and ooey, gooey, dripping with cinnamon and topped with a scrumptious cream cheese frosting! They take a little time to make but they are worth every.single.minute!

a pan of homemade cinnamon rolls resting on dish towel

Joyce’s Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Yield: 12 rolls


1 cups whole milk, (warmed to about 100°F)
2/3 cup granulated sugar, divided
1 and 1/2 Tbsp active dry yeast
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed for hands/work surface
2 teaspoons neutral oil for bowl (corn, canola, grapeseed, etc.)

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2/3 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
1 and 1/2 Tbsp ground cinnamon

2 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
3 Tbsp heavy cream or milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract


  1. Prepare the dough: Whisk the warm milk, 2 Tbsp sugar, and the yeast together in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a dough hook or paddle attachment. Cover and allow mixture to sit for about 5 minutes or until foamy on top.
  2. On medium speed, beat in the remaining sugar (which should be 1/2 cup) and the softened butter until it is slightly broken up. Add the eggs and salt and beat on medium speed until combined. The butter won’t really be mixing into the mixture, so don’t be alarmed if it stays in pieces. Switch the mixer down to low speed and with it running, add 1 cup of flour at a time, making sure it’s fully incorporated before adding the next. After 4 cups have been added, add the last 1/2 cup and beat until the dough comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 3 minutes. Dough will be soft.
  3. Knead the dough: Keep the dough in the mixer and beat on low speed for an additional 3 minutes or knead by hand on a lightly floured surface for 3 minutes.
  4. For the 1st Rise: Lightly grease a large bowl with oil or use nonstick spray. Place the dough in the bowl, turning it to coat all sides in the oil. Cover the bowl with aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or a clean kitchen towel. Allow the dough to rise in a relatively warm environment for 2 hours or until double in size.
  5. Grease the bottom and sides of a metal or glass 9×13-inch baking dish or line with parchment paper.
  6. Roll out the dough: Punch down the dough to release the air. Place dough on a lightly floured work surface and using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll dough into a 12×18 inch rectangle. Make sure the dough is smooth and evenly thick. If the dough keeps shrinking as you roll it out, stop what you’re doing, cover it lightly, and let it rest for 10 minutes to relax the gluten. When you return to the dough, it should stretch out much easier.
  7. For the filling: Spread the softened butter all over the dough. The softer the butter is, the easier it is to spread in this step. In a small bowl, mix the sugar and cinnamon together. Sprinkle evenly over the butter. Tightly roll up the dough to form a log. With an extra sharp knife, cut into 12 even rolls, about 1.5 inches each. Arrange in the prepared baking pan.
  8. For the 2nd Rise: Cover the rolls tightly and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  9. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake for about 25–28 minutes or until they are lightly browned on top. After about 15 minutes, tent a piece of aluminum foil over the top of the pan to prevent the tops from browning too quickly and baking unevenly. Remove pan from the oven and place pan on a wire rack for about 10 minutes as you make the icing.
  10. Make the icing: In a medium bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the confectioners’ sugar, milk, and vanilla. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then switch to high speed and beat for 1 minute.
  11. Spread the icing over the warm rolls and serve immediately.

These cinnamon rolls are the perfect treat for breakfast or brunch and pair well with your favorite coffee drink. For more yummy breakfast recipes, check out the Best (Easy) Coffee Cake (also Joyce’s recipe) and this tasty Blueberry Baked Oats recipe that is perfect for colder mornings.

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