Easy Cinnamon Rolls

Quick and Easy Cinnamon Rolls_5 on Whisk Together


Book:  No books!  Just running lights and baking cookies this week.  🙂  The kids and I are reading the Harry Potter series, so I won’t bore you with those reviews.

Photography:  I have started to update my photography business cards and websites.  The youngest is going to school in August, so I thought I would update my indoor studio lighting and props.  This indoor studio shot is still one of my favorite photographs.  I love the age and “writing” on the “chalkboard”.

Juliana with Chalkboard copy

Catchy color, huh?
Front Business Card Etsy


Recipe:   Do you love gooey delicious cinnamon rolls in the morning as much as I do?  These are among my favorite breakfasts on days that we won’t have a heavy meal.  I really don’t like making them on “special” days like Christmas and Thanksgiving because we’ll have so much food later.  I DO love making them the day after Thanksgiving when we decorate for Christmas and grab some gooey rolls with a hot cup of coffee.  Or the day after Christmas when we all lounge around in our new Christmas jammies and play with our new toys.  Toys meaning possible photography or food equipment 🙂

Did you SEE how high that roll was on the first photo???  YUM-O!

Quick and Easy Cinnamon Rolls_2 on Whisk Together

This recipe is a little different than my tried and true bread machine cinnamon rolls.   That recipe is quite a favorite among Whisk Together readers.   The rolls need about three rises – two in the machine and one after forming the rolls.  These easy cinnamon rolls just need ONE rise time.  You can whip them up while going to take a shower.  Or whip them up the night before!  Then, all you have to do is take them out for about an hour and bake for a short 15 minutes.  So easy even the kiddos can do it.  So let’s get started!

Quick and Easy Cinnamon Rolls_1 on Whisk Together

A word about yeast:  I really do like the Red Star Platinum Yeast.  But any *instant* or *bread machine* yeast will work.  Same thing —  different names.

Quick and Easy Cinnamon Rolls_3 on Whisk Together

Easy Cinnamon Rolls
Author: Mary Ellen P. Riley / Whisk Together
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 11 rolls
  • 2 and 3/4 cups (345 g) all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tb. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 package instant yeast (2 and 1/4 tsp.)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 and 1/2 Tb. butter
  • 1 egg
  • For Filling:
  • 2-3 Tb. butter, soft
  • 1 Tb. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • For icing:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2-3 Tb. milk, cream, half and half, or coffee
  1. For the dough: In a stand mixer with paddle attachment or in a mixing bowl, whisk together 2 and 1/4 cups of flour, sugar, salt and yeast.
  2. Melt the butter in the microwave. Mix it with the milk and heat in the microwave until warm, but not too hot. Add warm water. Whisk in the egg.
  3. Add all the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix together until dough becomes less sticky. It will hold itself on the bottom of the bowl and pull away from the sides. Add the extra flour little by little as needed to get the right consistency.
  4. Now, change to the bread dough hook if using the stand mixer. If not, knead by hand for 3-4 minutes. Knead in the mixer for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Rest the dough for 10 minutes.
  6. On a floured surface or non stick silicone mat, roll the dough out into a 14″ by 8″ rectangle.
  7. Spread the 2-3 Tb of soft butter onto the dough. You might not need it all. *Leave the top 1″ empty and do not butter it*
  8. Mix the 1 Tb. of cinnamon and 1/4 cup sugar together. Sprinkle onto the buttered dough. Slightly pat the sugar mixture into the dough with your hands. Slowly, roll of the dough on the long side into a log. Pinch the top where the unbuttered part of the dough meets. It will stick nicely since it has no butter on it.
  9. To cut the rolls: use a piece of dental floss or serrated knife to cut the rolls into 11 pieces – about 1″ thick.
  10. Spray a 9″ pie pan with baking or cooking spray. Lay the cinnamon rolls cut side down into the pan. Cover with plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray. Let rise for 60-90 minutes. Any room temperature will work. The rolls will be puffy and double in size when they are ready to bake.
  11. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and pop the rolls into the oven on the middle rack for about 18 minutes. The rolls will be golden brown on top and the middle not raw. Place on a wire rack to cool slightly.
  12. While cooling, mix the powdered sugar, vanilla and milk together. Add milk as needed just a little at a time. It is much easier to add a little milk than to keep adding sugar. Drizzle all over the rolls and serve warm.
  13. Cover with plastic wrap and store at room temperature for 1 day or in the fridge for 2-3 days.
  14. For overnight rolls: Put the rolls into the pie pan and cover with plastic wrap. Store in the fridge overnight. Pull them out and let them sit out at room temperature for 45-60 minutes and bake as usual.
  15. For freezing rolls Put the rolls in a disposable pan. Cover with plastic wrap and foil. I try to seal mine in a freezer bag if possibly by putting the whole pan into the bag and sealing it. This will give you 1 month to thaw the rolls and bake at your leisure. It is similar to using the frozen Rhodes rolls in the grocery store.
Recipe adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction


One Hour Cinnamon Rolls

One Hour Yeast Cinnamon Rolls_3 on Whisk Together

Book Update:  I finished “Secret Daughter” by  this week – it was really good.  The book was an international bestseller and on the NY Times bestselling list.  The book follows two families:  an American couple wanting to adopt (the husband is from India and the wife is from California) and an Indian couple.  The wife of the Indian couple gave birth to two girls.  The first girl was murdered after she was born because she was a girl.  The second girl was whisked away before the husband found out and the mother gave her up at the orphanage.  The girl is adopted and grows up in America and moves to India for a year to learn about Indian culture and write a story for the newspaper about the poor in the urban area of Mumbai.

One Hour Yeast Cinnamon Rolls_5 on Whisk Together

Recipe Update:  We were craving cinnamon rolls, but not the 3 hour wait.  My daughter and I did indeed start eating cinnamon rolls in an hour.  Of course, the yeast flavor I love wasn’t there as much as I’d like since there wasn’t time for the flavor to develop.  But, if you want puffy, delicious cinnamon rolls in an hour – this will fit the bill.  Just make sure to double the recipe.  I wish I had!  

One Hour Cinnamon Rolls


  • Roll Dough (feel free to use for regular rolls!):
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast or bread machine yeast
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (7.5 oz.) AP flour or bread flour
  • Filling:
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3-4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • Frosting:
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk


  1. Preheat oven 400 degrees.
  2. Butter or spray with baking spray or cooking spray a pie plate or 9x9" or 8"x8" pan
  3. In a large bowl or your mixer's bowl: gently stir the water, sugar and yeast. Let stand 10-15 minutes. There should be a lot of bubbles (see photo below). If it looks nothing like my photo, the yeast is probably dead and you need new yeast.
  4. During the waiting period, in a small bowl, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together in the filling ingredients.
  5. Add salt, butter, and flour. Knead for 5 minutes with your hands or use the mixer with the dough hook. The dough will stick a little to the bottom and come clear of the sides when it is ready.
  6. Using a roller, rolling pin, or wine bottle: roll out the dough to about 9x11" rectangle.
  7. Spread the melted butter from the filling ingredients on the dough. Sprinkle the brown sugar mixtures. Press lightly with your fingers into the dough. Make sure NOT to put sugar at the top 1/2" of the dough to seal it later.
  8. Roll the rolls up starting on the long end. Pinch to seal. Cut with dental floss or a serrated knife into 6 rolls.
  9. Put in the pan and sit 5 minutes.
  10. Bake 13-14 minutes. The tops will be light brown.
  11. In another small bowl, add the powdered sugar. Add a little less than 1 tablespoon of milk and stir. Add milk a tiny bit at a time until it looks like the consistency of honey - or thicker if you like. Feel free to add cream cheese or vanilla extract. Spread on rolls and enjoy!

One Hour Yeast Cinnamon Rolls_1 on Whisk Together

One Hour Yeast Cinnamon Rolls_2 on Whisk Together


Recipe adapted from Crazy for Crust

Oatmeal Cinnamon Roll

Oatmeal Cinnamon Roll on Whisk Together

Book Update:  I’m still plowing through “How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk” and agree with almost everything.  Except they mention how parents don’t listen to what their kids are saying like “I’m hungry” even when the child just ate.  Indeed, they could still be hungry.  But sometimes kids are just plain wrong.  Like “I’m not tired” and then they fall asleep 2 minutes later!  I guess everything in moderation, but overall this book really rocks.

Recipe Update: This is a desperate cinnamon roll.  I’m a cinnamon roll lover – but the problem is that one, they are so good I eat like 3 or 4 in one day.  And two, they aren’t that good for you.  This recipe solves both problems.  You only make one at a time and the main ingredient is whole grain oats.  Now, it doesn’t quite taste like a cinnamon roll per se.  But, I think some fruit on the bottom would be very tasty.

Now, if you want real cinnamon rolls, then I have LOTS of those recipes!

Bread Machine Cinnamon Rolls
Light Cinnamon Rolls
Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
Apple Cinnamon Rolls

Oatmeal Cinnamon Roll
serves 1

1/4 cup fresh or frozen fruit (optional)
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup milk (regular or almond)
1/4 cup applesauce
1 Tb. chopped pecans (optional)
1/2 Tb. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
dash of cloves if you like those

2 oz. Greek yogurt, plain
1 Tb. powdered sugar or maple syrup

1.  Preheat oven to 375 or convection oven to 350.  Spray a ramekin with baking or cooking spray.  The ramekin should be about 8 oz.  Or you could even use a coffee mug that is oven safe.
2.  Add your fruit if you are using it.
3.  Mix your oats, milk, applesauce, pecans, brown sugar, cinnamon and cloves in a bowl.  Pour those into your ramekin.
4.  Bake for 15-20 minutes.  Cool.  Flip onto plate after a couple minutes.
5.  To make the “frosting”, mix your yogurt and powdered sugar together.  I think next time I might try maple syrup, or just use syrup and skip the yogurt!  It was fun though and made it more like a cinnamon roll.

Oatmeal Cinnamon Roll_1 on Whisk Together

Recipe adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie

Blueberry Sweet Rolls with Lemon Icing

Blueberry Rolls with Lemon Icing on Whisk Together Title

Life Update:  I had an amazing turnout for the Wildtree party and it took me TWO hours just to put the orders in.  Best party I have ever had – even after selling Pampered Chef!  Who doesn’t need groceries?  I bought a few extra things from Wildtree that I wanted and they were REALLY good.  Maybe some time I can reverse engineer them and have a whole stash.  Since it is all natural, it is all made out of the stuff I make from scratch anyway!  Sunday Morning Cinnamon Rolls took 10 minutes to put together and were really good.  Everyone ate them.  (I have made this type of roll in the past, but even America’s Test Kitchen’s recipe wasn’t as good or easy.)  I made a sweet dip out of the Lemon Lime Cheesecake Blend and it was to die for!  Totally just like the Lime Cheeseball you see in packets or sold by Tastefully Simple – but without yellow #5 or hydrogenated oils.  Stuff some strawberries with it and you’re ready to party.

Here is a photo of the order I placed.  Most of the stuff on the sides and back left are several items deep.  My photography studio was a grocery store for a while.  But there is a huge sale on backdrops, so I am buying some fabulous ones and getting my studio back soon!


Recipe Update: Ooh, do I ever love sweet rolls!  But if you are looking for the preservative filled ones coated with sugar out of the vending machine, these won’t do.  They are not overly candy-like sweet, but just enough blueberries to feel like it’s healthy.

In the overall shot, you’ll notice the rolls are a little rough…  I forgot about them and also used Red Star Platinum yeast.  Excellent product, but it rises fast and so thankfully the rolls still tasted amazing and did not collapse.  If your yeast bread collapses when you put it in the oven, it could be from over-proofing. This is when the yeast has made so much carbon dioxide that the flour cannot hold the structure and causes the loaf to collapse.

I am sure you could also use the dough from our light cinnamon rolls made here and just use the blueberry filling and icing instead to cut a few calories.  That recipe uses AP flour instead of bread flour, so you can use it if you are out of bread flour!

Blueberry Rolls with Lemon Icing_1 on Whisk Together

Blueberry Sweet Rolls with Lemon Icing
makes 12 rolls

1 cup warm milk (110 degrees)
2 eggs, room temp
1/3 cup margarine or butter, melted
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sugar
4 1/2 cups bread flour
2 1/4 tsp. or 1 packet of Bread Machine yeast (or Red Star Platinum)

2 cups frozen blueberries (if they aren’t frozen, you’ll have a gooey mess later)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. cornstarch

1 cup powdered sugar
1 Tb. lemon juice
1-2 Tb. milk

1.  Add the bread dough ingredients to your bread machine per their instructions.  My Oster Bread Machine states to add all the liquids first.  Then, pile the flour on top, poke a small hold in the top of the flour to add the yeast.  Put bread maker on “Dough Cycle”.
2.  Mix your filling together in one bowl:  frozen berries, sugar and cornstarch.  This needs to be done about 10-15 minutes ahead of time to let it marinate.  Cover and rest dough 10 minutes.  Roll into a 16″x21″ rectangle.  Sprinkle the filling onto the dough except for the top 1 inch.
3.  Roll the dough into a log and cut into 12 rolls.  (I also gently squeeze the log together to keep it together.  Then cut in the center.  Cut each of the 2 logs in half.  Then cut each one of those 4 logs into 3 rolls.  This gets me perfect-sized rolls each time.)  Place rolls into a greased 9×13″ pan.  I use pyrex.  You can also use 2 – 9″ round pans.
4.   Cover the rolls for 30 minutes to rise.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden brown.  (**Note: This was originally baked at 400 degrees for 12-13 minutes, however, I often got my rolls golden on the outside and not done on the inside.  I believe lowering the temperature will alleviate this problem.  But I’ve made them 10 times at 400 degrees as well and it does work.  You just have to keep a good eye on them.)
5.  For icing, mix all the icing ingredients together.  Ice slightly cooled rolls.

Blueberry Rolls with Lemon Icing on Whisk Together

Bread dough recipe adapted allrecipes.com
Filling and Icing recipe adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

Pizza Rolls!

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I grew up on Totino’s pizza rolls.  This Super Bowl Sunday I figured I could try making something similar myself.  I only needed a little pizza sauce for these rolls and thought it would be a waste to open up a whole jar.  Dierbergs had tomato sauce on sale for 25 cents per can last week, so I transformed that into a pretty tasty marinara!

Pizza Rolls
Yield 16 rolls

3 tsp. yeast
1 Tb. sugar
1 cup hot water
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cups flour
8 oz. mozzarella shredded, whole or sticks
1/3 cup marinara or pizza sauce

1.  Easy way:  Dump your sugar, hot water, salt, garlic powder, oregano and olive oil into your bread machine.  Dump the flour on top.  Make a little hole in the flour and add the yeast.  Select “Dough” cycle and hit “On”.  Boom, you’re done with the dough.

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2.  The harder way:  Add your yeast, sugar and hot water to the stand mixer with the dough attachment on it.  Allow the yeast to eat the sugar for about 10 minutes.  Add your garlic powder, oregano, salt and olive oil.  Mix on low.  Add 1 cup of flour, mix to incorporate.  Add 1 cup flour, mix.  Add last 1 cup of flour, mix and let the mixer “knead” the dough for 5 minutes.  Grease a bowl and allow the dough rise until it doubles in size – about an hour.  Keep covered with a towel.

3.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Cut up your cheese balls or sticks if using them.  Remove the dough and divide it in to 16 pieces with a bench knife or pizza cutter.

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4.  Roll the dough ball flat and place about 1 tsp. of the sauce in the middle.  Add about 1 Tb. of cheese.  You could add some pepperonis in there at this point, too.  Now, bring up the sides and crimp the edges until the ball looks like the photo below.

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5.  Once you do all the rolls like this, you can park them (covered) in the fridge for 24 hours before baking.  Or go straight into the oven for 12-15 minutes.  The bottoms will be golden brown.

6.  Brush the tops with olive oil if you like.  I liked dipping mine in the extra sauce.  Yum!

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Recipe from Heather Cristo

Pizza Sauce
yield 8 oz.

8 oz. tomato sauce
1/2 tsp.  salt (plus more to taste)
1/4 tsp. black pepper (plus more to taste)
1/2 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning

I mixed that all up.  I think it needed a tad more salt and then it tasted perfect.  So, use your fingers or spoons to tell, but I thought it was pretty tasty for pantry pizza sauce.

pizza rolls_1CR

Cinnamon “Roll” Biscuits with Icing

These remind me of Hardee’s cinnamon rolls without the raisins. These cinnamon biscuits are like a cinnamon roll without waiting for the yeast to rise, kneading the dough, etc. etc. I ate almost the whole batch the first day. Oops. Which is why I now weigh 1.5 lbs. heavier probably.

Cinnamon “Roll” Biscuits with Icing

2 c. flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
6 Tbs. butter or margarine, divided
3/4 c. milk
1/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/2 Tbs. butter or margarine, melted
2-3 tsp. milk
1/8 tsp. vanilla

1.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Combine flour, baking powder, and salt.  Cut in 4 Tbs. of butter into mixture to form crumbs.
2.  Stir in milk just until the dough comes together.  Do not overstir.
3.  Knead 8-10 times.  Roll into a 11×8″ rectangle approximately 1/2″ thick.
4.  Melt remaining 2 Tbs. butter and brush half of it onto the rectangle of dough, but leave about 1/2″ on the long end without butter for sealing.
5.  Combine the sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle over the butter.  Press the mixture into the dough lightly with your fingers.
6.  Starting with the long side towards you that has the cinnamon mixture on it and the 1/2″ without cinnamon away from you – roll up the biscuits like a jelly roll.  Seal with dough with your finger tips.
7.  Cut into 12 slices with a serrated knife or use unflavored dental floss.
8.  Place biscuits into a greased 8×8″ square or 8-9″ round pan.
9.   Bake for 16-20 minutes or just until golden brown on the edges.
10.  Combine the powdered sugar, butter, milk and vanilla.  Pour onto slightly cooled biscuits.  Serve while warm.

Feel free to double the icing ingredients.  I don’t like a whole lot of icing on mine.

Honey Wheat Rolls (Using Bread Machine)

I think the best dough I ever make is in the bread machine.  It gets the temperature just right and kneads perfectly.  Plus… well it’s less work for me!  These rolls can be made large for sandwich buns or small for dinner rolls.  They contain whole wheat and honey for the sweetener and no high fructose corn syrup or the millions of other ingredients the manufacturers include in what should be a simple loaf of bread.  I LOVE them with honey butter on top all melted and gooey.  You can freeze these as well – just thaw at room temperature.

Honey Wheat Rolls
yields 12 large sandwich size rolls or 24 small dinner size rolls

1 1/4 cups warm milk
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 cup honey
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 3/4 cups bread flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/4 teaspoons bread machine yeast

1.  Place the ingredients into your bread machine according to its directions.  My Oster brand bread machine has me add all the wet ingredients (basically everything but the flour) first.  Then, pile on the flour into a heap.  Poke a hole in the heap of flour and add the yeast into the hole.  Put on the “Dough” cycle.

2.  You can tear the dough apart for the rolls.  You can roll it and use a pizza cutter.   Place your rolls on a greased cookie sheet and let rise for 1 hour.

3.  Bake at 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes for large rolls.  Bake 7-10 minutes for small rolls.

4.  Brush with melted butter when finished.

Honey Butter

1 stick butter (4oz.)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp. cinnamon

Mix together and serve with rolls.
For a large quantity, Alton Brown has an awesome recipe here for Honey Butter.

Bread Machine Cinnamon Rolls

What’s better than homemade cinnamon rolls?  Easy to make ones!  This recipe not only tastes delicious, but the dough is also made in the bread maker.  No kneading, waiting, kneading more.

I would also personally like to add that this recipe is very “oops proof”.  I tried measuring the bread flour by weight instead of volume thinking it would be easier.  No way!  You must measure out 4 1/2 cups – if you weigh it like I did you get too little flour and a very sticky, high rise dough.  But I used it anyway.  Then, I forgot to hit “start” on the oven to bake them so the temperature never got over 350 degrees.  They weren’t the prettiest batch I’ve made, but they still tasted wonderful!  So a few mess ups, you can still eat them.  Follow the recipe below and they will be delicious AND taste great!

Bread Machine Cinnamon Rolls
yield 12 rolls

1 cup warm milk (110 degrees)
2 eggs, room temp
1/3 cup margarine, melted
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sugar
4 1/2 cups bread flour
2 1/2 tsp. bread machine yeast

1 cup brown sugar
2 1/2 Tbs. cinnamon
3 Tbs. butter, melted

3 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
1/4 cup butter, room temp.
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1.  Add the bread dough ingredients to your bread machine per their instructions.  My Oster Bread Machine states to add all the liquids first.  Then, pile the flour on top, poke a small hold in the top of the flour to add the yeast.  Put bread maker on “Dough Cycle”.
2.  Cover and rest dough 10 minutes.  Roll into a 16″x21″ rectangle.  Mix brown sugar and cinnamon.  Brush butter onto the dough.  Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar onto the butter and press into the dough.
3.  Roll the dough into a log and cut into 12 rolls.  (I also gently squeeze the log together to keep it together.  Then cut in the center.  Cut each of the 2 logs in half.  Then cut each one of those 4 logs into 3 rolls.  This gets me perfect-sized rolls each time.)  Place rolls into a greased 9×13″ pan.  I use pyrex.  You can also use 2 – 9″ round pans.
4.   Cover the rolls for 30 minutes to rise.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden brown.  (**Note: This was originally baked at 400 degrees for 12-13 minutes, however, I often got my rolls golden on the outside and not done on the inside.  I believe lowering the temperature will alleviate this problem.  But I’ve made them 10 times at 400 degrees as well and it does work.  You just have to keep a good eye on them.)
5.  For icing, beat cream cheese and butter on medium high.  Add vanilla and salt.  On low, add powdered sugar little by little.  Ice cooled rolls.


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