Cinnamon Roll Dough

You can make cinnamon rolls with store-bought bread dough, but making your own cinnamon roll dough is infinitely better.

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Cinnamon Roll Dough

  • Prep Time: 20 m
  • Total Time: 20 m
  • Servings:
    Cinnamon Rolls


  • ½ cup milk
  • teaspoons active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter melted and cooled
  • 1 egg yolk
  • teaspoons vanilla extract
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon salt


  1. Warm the milk and ½ cup of water to take the chill off. Bring the liquid to roughly 100ºF. Sprinkle the yeast on top with a pinch or two of the sugar. Let the yeast “proof” and foam. This will prove that the yeast is indeed active. If there is no foaming, you will need to start again with new yeast.
  2. Add the melted (and cooled) butter, the egg and the vanilla to the yeast mixture.
  3. Combine the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. With the mixer working with the dough hook attachment, poor in the yeast mixture until a sticky soft dough forms. Let the stand mixer knead the dough for about 5 to 10 minutes or until it is soft and elastic.
  4. Shape the dough into a ball and let it rest, covered with plastic wrap, until it has doubled in size (about one hour).
  5. You can use the dough at this stage if you’re in a hurry. Punch the dough down and follow the recipe for Cinnamon Rolls. For enhanced flavor, however, punch the dough down, knead it back into a ball and return it to the bowl. This will re-distribute the yeast in the dough. Cover the dough again with plastic wrap and let it rise for a second time. You could do all these steps a day ahead of time and let the second rise take place in the refrigerator overnight.
  6. Follow instructions for making cinnamon rolls here.
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Comments (21)Post a Reply

    1. No. The water is not listed in the ingredients, just mentioned in the directions – mix ½ cup of water with the milk.

  1. If you let the dough rise for the second time in the refrigerator overnight, how long after taking the dough out the next morning would you have to wait to roll out and cook?

    1. Hi Beverly, I would give it an hour on the counter to take the chill off, but it really depends on your weather (at least the weather inside your kitchen!). When the dough is no longer stiff, give it a roll. If it pulls back immediately, just stop, cover with a clean kitchen towel and give it a few more minutes before trying again.

  2. 5 stars
    BEST recipe everrrrr for cinnamon rolls. Whoever gave you less than 5 stars for these rolls are really out of their mind…
    I have tried countless recipes and YOURS my dear, is the real deal 💗. Lots of love to you for all you do to teach us your recipes and techniques 💗

    1. Hi Coleen. The silicone sheets were available on QVC at one time. I’m not sure if they still have them, but you could search for “customizable silicone liners” there or on Amazon.

    1. You could use bread flour if you wanted to. If you wanted to use whole wheat flour, you could substitute about half of the white flour with whole wheat, but not the entire quantity.

    1. Hi Debra. Rapid Rise yeast is the same as Instant Yeast and it differs from active dry yeast in that you don’t have to proof it first in liquid. You can just mix it in with the dry ingredients. You could keep the quantity the same, since it’s not a large quantity, or you could drop the quantity down to about 2 teaspoons.

  3. HI Meredith, can the rolls be made, then frozen before baking? If so, how long would I need to let them sit out before baking them? Also, is the butter salted or unsalted? (I went with unsalted, as I do for most bake recipes. Making these right now, I’m already assuming they will be great! Love your videos, so helpful.

    1. Hi Julie. Good choice with the unsalted. That’s what I always use, but if you only had salted, it wouldn’t be a disaster. You can make the rolls and then freeze them. Just make sure you let them sit out until completely defrosted and slightly puffy – probably about an hour depending on your room temperature.

  4. I love your recipes but It would be of great help to list water as an ingredient because mixing without the water was dry, So I had to throw out my ingredients and start over. Even though I read the instructions first I questioned the water but it wasn’t listed, so I omitted it.

    1. The first step in the ingredients state to add 1/2 cup of water. Sorry you missed that step and had to start over. We can add it to the list of ingredients.

    1. You can assemble the cinnamon rolls the night before. Wrap them tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Let them sit out for 1 to 2 hours before baking to proof the dough. Bake when they have doubled in size.

  5. Hello and Merry Christmas. Can this recipe for cinnamon roll dough and the subsequent Star Bread with Rum Glaze be made gluten free? If so, could you suggest the appropriate substitutions? Thank you.

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