These Quick & Easy Cinnamon Rolls are the BEST simple cinnamon rolls to make in only 1 hour – with my pro tips and tricks! Fluffy, sweet and delicious with an easy cream cheese frosting!
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Aren’t cinnamon rolls just the BEST!?!? In my opinion there’s nothing better than a soft, fluffy cinnamon roll fresh from the oven, packed with fragrant cinnamon sugar filling and topped with a delicious cream cheese frosting. If you’re a cinnamon roll lover like me you’ll definitely know the struggle – baking homemade cinnamon rolls is a lot of work and takes hours! But not anymore!! These Quick and Easy Cinnamon Rolls are ready in only ONE HOUR and they’re some of the BEST cinnamon rolls you’ll ever taste!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not always a fan of taking shortcuts in the kitchen – sometimes the best recipes are those cooked or baked low and slow with classic techniques, but these Quick and Easy Cinnamon Rolls use a few absolutely fantastic shortcuts and simple tricks that create the most fluffy and delicious cinnamon rolls in less than half the time it usually takes to bake up a batch of cinnamon rolls from scratch. Trust me, you’re going to LOVE them!
Ingredients for Quick and Easy Cinnamon Rolls
To make these Easy Cinnamon Rolls in one hour, you’ll need:
- Warm milk
- Instant yeast
- Granulated sugar
- Melted butter
- All purpose flour
- Brown Sugar
- Powdered Sugar
- Cream Cheese
- Lemon Juice
Kitchen Equipment for Making Quick and Easy Cinnamon Rolls
To make these Quick and Easy One Hour Cinnamon Rolls you’ll need these kitchen tools (affiliate links):
- Measuring Cups (liquid and dry) and Measuring Spoons
- Stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment (OR you can make them by hand with a wooden spoon and a large mixing bowl)
- Plastic wrap for covering the bowl
- Another larger mixing bowl (make sure the first bowl fits inside it)
- Rolling Pin
- Oven-safe skillet or baking dish or pan
- A large chef’s knife for slicing the rolls
- A pastry brush (optional)
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5 Pro Tips for Quick and Easy Cinnamon Rolls in ONLY 1 Hour!
- Pro Tip #1: Use Warm Milk
In order to achieve a fluffy dough that rises well, the temperature of the wet ingredients when they hit the yeast is critical: too cold, and the yeast won’t be able to grow; too hot and the liquid will kill the yeast. Both of these situations will cause your dough to be tough and dry, and you’ll be lucky if it rises at all.
To help these rolls rise quickly, use warm milk that feels like the temperature of a baby’s bath water (not too hot!).
- Pro Tip #2: The Dough Should Be Sticky
Cinnamon bun dough should be tacky to the touch, but not so sticky that it’s very messy. It should pull away from the sides of the mixing bowl easily and the bowl should appear fairly clean. If the dough appears too sticky, continue kneading and add flour one tablespoon at a time until the dough reaches that tacky texture.
Too little flour and the dough will be too sticky and will result in dense buns. Too much flour and the dough will be tough, resulting in dry, crumbly buns.
- Pro Tip #3: Use my Warm Water Trick for a Quick Rise
The BEST way to get your dough to rise quickly is to use warm water to warm up the mixing bowl as the dough rises. Once you’ve made the dough, place the bowl inside another larger bowl and pour very warm (almost HOT) water into the larger bowl (between the two bowls- just until the water gets at the same height as the dough is in the initial bowl) so the heat from the warm water is absorbed by the first bowl and warms up the dough inside – just be sure you don’t get any water inside the bowl with the dough! Warm dough rises much faster, and with this warm water trick you’ll be able to cut the rise time from the typical 60 or 90 minutes to only 20 minutes!
Placing your dough in a metal bowl to rise when you use this trick helps the dough rise even faster since metal conducts the heat from the water more than a glass or plastic bowl would. If you’re short on mixing bowls you can also place the bowl with the dough in your kitchen sink and fill the sink with warm (almost hot) water to just below the top of the mixing bowl. Again, just be sure you don’t get any water inside the bowl with the dough!
- Pro Tip #4: Forget the Flour – Grease is Great
Turn the dough out onto a very lightly greased work surface rather than flouring the work surface. This makes the dough easy to roll out and it helps the surface of the dough to remain soft instead of drying it out like adding more flour would do. I like to spritz my counter top with a little bit of vegetable oil to make sure the dough doesn’t stick and it works like a charm!
- Pro Tip #5: Rise the Rolls in the Oven While the Oven Preheats
There’s no need to let the rolls rise a second time – simply place them in a cold oven and set the oven to the correct temperature. The rolls will complete their final rise as the oven preheats, and this will cut down the baking time too!
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I hope you love this recipe as much as we do! Let me know in the comments below, what’s your favourite sweet breakfast for entertaining? I’d love to know!
Kitchen Products I recommend:
Looking for more holiday recipes? You’ll LOVE these:
- Easy Crock Pot Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- Easy Vegan Green Bean Casserole
- Roasted Garlic Butter Carrots
- Apple Walnut Spinach Salad
- Roasted Beet Salad with Greens
- Maple Rosemary Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- Winter Berry Cocktail (Alcohol Free Version Included)
- Rosemary Dill Roasted Potatoes
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Watch the video below to see exactly how I make this recipe. You can find more delicious recipe videos on my YouTube channel
Quick and Easy Cinnamon Rolls (One Hour Cinnamon Rolls)
For the dough:
- 1 1/4 cups warm milk just above body temperature
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon instant dry yeast (active dry yeast also works)
- 1/3 cup butter melted
- 1 egg
- 3 2/3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
For the filling:
- 1/4 cup butter melted
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 - 1 tbsp cinnamon to taste
For the frosting (optional):
- 1/3 cup full fat cream cheese at room temperature
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Into the bowl of your stand mixer (or in a large mixing bowl), add the warm milk, the sugar and the yeast. Mix together with a fork.
- Add the melted (and cooled) butter to the milk mixture. Be sure the melted butter isn't too hot or it will kill the yeast.
- Add the egg to the milk mixture.
- Add the flour and salt to the bowl on top of the milk mixture and set the mixer to low speed (use the dough hook for this). If making by hand, mix with a wooden spoon.
- After about a minute you should see a sticky dough starting to come together. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if necessary.
- Turn up the mixer speed slightly and allow the mixture to knead the dough for about 2-3 minutes. The dough should be tacky to the touch, but not so sticky that it's very messy. It should pull away from the sides of the bowl easily and the bowl should appear fairly clean.
- If you don't have a stand mixer, you can knead the dough by hand on a lightly floured work surface for 3 minutes after the wet and dry ingredients are combined.
- Cover the bowl with some plastic wrap and place it inside another large mixing bowl. Pour some hot water (from the tap or recently boiled kettle) between the two bowls to gently heat up the dough. This will help it rise very quickly. Be careful not to use water that's too hot as this will cook the dough that's touching the mixing bowl. Also, be careful not to get any water into the bowl with the dough (See the information in the blog post for more tips on how to do this!). Let the dough raise for 20 minutes.
- While the dough raises, grease a large cast iron skillet (or a 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish also works) with butter.
- In a separate bowl, combine the brown sugar and the cinnamon. I use 1 tbsp of cinnamon, but feel free to use a little less if you'd prefer a more subtle taste.
- Turn the dough out onto a work surface that's been very lightly greased with vegetable oil. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough evenly until you have a rectangle that's approximately 18 inches wide and 12 inches deep. Brush the dough with the melted butter. Spread the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture evenly over the dough.
- Roll up the dough from the long side until you've got one long roll. Cut the long roll in half, then in half again, and then each of those sections into 3 pieces until you have 12 cinnamon rolls. Try to cut the rolls to an even thickness as this promotes even baking. You don't want some rolls to be overdone and others to be raw in the middle.
- Arrange the 12 pieces in the pan you've greased.
- Place the cinnamon rolls in a cold oven and set the oven to bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. The cinnamon rolls will rise for a second time in the oven as it preheats.
- Set the oven timer for 23 minutes. When the oven timer goes off the cinnamon rolls should be baked to a golden brown colour. If 2-3 more minutes of baking are required, allow the rolls to bake for a few additional minutes (every oven preheats differently, so watch them around the 20-minute mark if your oven preheats very quickly!).
For the frosting:
- While the cinnamon rolls are baking, mix together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and lemon juice in a bowl until smooth.
- Remove the pan from the oven and let the buns cool in the pan for about 15 minutes before smearing the frosting over the warm buns.