1-Hour Cinnamon Rolls


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These cinnamon rolls are golden on top, tender in the middle, and topped with cream cheese frosting. And the best part? They can be made in an hour. 

overhead image of cinnamon rolls in a round baking pan

I’ve never met a breakfast dish that I didn’t like. Morning foods are my jam (as evidenced by the fact that we have over 50 breakfast and brunch recipes living on the pages of this site), but I’d argue that nothing tops homemade warm-from-the-oven cinnamon rolls. I first shared this recipe for 1 Hour Cinnamon Rolls in 2015 (it’s been updated with new tips and photos to share today). 

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Since 2015, I’ve tried so many other cinnamon rolls including these, these, and these. All are fantastic and absolutely worth the effort, but I find myself coming back again and again to this 1-hour recipe. The quick rise time is just right to create the light, fluffy rolls that cinnamon roll dreams are made of. You can form the rolls quickly and without being too precise, and they still seem to bake up into a beautiful pan of golden rolls all topped with creamy just-sweet-enough frosting. 

The only change I’ve made to this recipe since it was first published is that I now prefer to bake the rolls in two 8-inch round cake pans (you can also use one 9×13 baking dish). One 8-inch pan makes just enough for our family on a Saturday morning and the second pan can be frozen. If we’re hosting or if we know we’ll want to snack on the rolls all weekend, I go ahead and bake the entire batch. 

drizzling icing on top of cinnamon rolls

How to Make 1 Hour Easy Cinnamon Rolls

If you have never made cinnamon rolls from scratch, this is a great place to start. It uses my all time favorite 1 hour dough (also seen in the 1 Hour Light and Fluffy Dinner Rolls) which is the easiest dough I’ve ever worked with. I have abused this dough, forgotten about it, made it by hand and in a mixer, and the results are always great.

The secret, especially if you’ve only got an hour, is not to overthink it. These are the steps for making cinnamon rolls:

  1. Make dough.
  2. Roll out on a floured surface into a square that is approximately 9″x18″
  3. Spread softened butter over dough.
  4. Sprinkle dough with cinnamon sugar.
  5. Starting with the side closed to you, roll into a tube and slice.
  6. Let rise briefly and then bake.
  7. Top with frosting!

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1 hour dough on a floured surface
rolling dough out into a rectangle
spreading cinnamon onto rolled dough
cutting slices of rolled dough
rolled uncooked cinnamon rolls in a round baking pan

Saigon Cinnamon in Cinnamon Rolls

There is one true secret when it comes to great cinnamon rolls. Saigon Cinnamon. Ever wonder what makes those shopping mall cinnamon rolls so fragrant and irresistible? It’s Saigon Cinnamon. The flavor is more intense and exotic than the traditional ground cinnamon that most of us have in our pantry. If you’re going to make homemade cinnamon rolls, this is well worth adding to your spice drawer. 

If you don’t have Saigon Cinnamon, increase the amount of regular cinnamon you use so that you get some extra flavor (see recipe for tips).

To Freeze

To freeze the rolls, cover tightly as soon as they have been transferred to the baking dish. Freeze immediately up to 6 months. To bake, let the rolls come to room temperature and then bake according to recipe instructions.

cinnamon rolls freezer labels

Printable Freezer Label

Print and attach the label below so cooking instructions are ready when you are!

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overhead image of 2 round pans of cinnamon rolls

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4.57 from 16 votes

1-Hour Cinnamon Rolls

Light, fluffy cinnamon rolls in one hour. Thanks to instant yeast to raise the dough fast and Saigon Cinnamon which adds great flavor, this is our all time favorite recipe for cinnamon rolls. This recipe makes 18 small rolls (baked in two round cake pans or a single 9×13 pan).
Prep: 45 minutes
Cook: 16 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Servings: 18 Rolls


  • Microwave Safe Bowl
  • Rolling Pin
  • 2 8" or 1 9×13" Baking Pan
  • Stand or Hand Mixer
  • Large Mixing Bowl



  • 1 1/2 cups Milk (any type will work)
  • 2 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 1 Tablespoon Instant Yeast
  • 2 Tablespoon Granulated Sugar
  • 4 cups All-Purpose Flour, plus more for rolling (500 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon Salt


  • 3 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Saigon Cinnamon


  • 4 ounces Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2-4 Tablespoon Milk (any type will work)


  • Preheat oven to 400 F / 200 C.
  • Spray two 8-inch round cake pans or one 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Heat 1 1/2 cups milk in the microwave until warm to the touch. Combine milk and 2 Tbsp. melted butter in the bowl of a standing mixer. Stir in yeast and 2 Tbsp sugar. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  • To the yeast mixture, add flour, and salt. Mix on low until the ingredients come together. Increase speed to medium and mix for 5 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic and begins to make a slapping sound as it hits the sides of the bowl.
  • Remove the bowl from the mixer and cover the dough with a dish towel. Let dough rise (preferably near the warm oven), until the surface is smooth, about 15 minutes.
  • Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and roll it into a rectangle (approximately 9"x18") with the long side facing you.
  • Spread 3 Tbsp. softened butter over the dough. Combine 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle sugar-cinnamon mixture over softened butter.
  • Starting with the side closest to you, roll up the dough. Slice roll of dough in half. Slice each half into 9 rounds (you should have 18 rolls total). Place the slices in the prepared baking dish(es) and let rise uncovered in a warm place (preferably near the warm oven) until the edges of the rolls are touching, 15 minutes.
  • Bake until light golden brown on top, 15 to 18 minutes.
  • While the rolls are baking, use a hand mixer to beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla. While beating, add milk a little at a time, until the mixture is smooth and pourable.
  • When the rolls come out of the oven, let them cool for 5 minutes before drizzling icing over top.
  • Serve immediately (of course…who could wait!).


Saigon Cinnamon – This variety of cinnamon a more intense flavor than regular ground cinnamon and makes great cinnamon rolls. But regular ground cinnamon will work fine, but increase to 2 tsp.
Knead by Hand – You can easily make this dough by hand if you don’t have a stand mixer. Follow the instructions as written, adding the flour in several increments and stirring it with a wooden spoon or spatula. When the flour is mostly mixed in, turn the dough out on a floured surface and knead by hand until smooth and elastic, 6 to 8 minutes.
Cream Cheese – To soften the cream cheese, either leave it on the counter for about an hour before starting to bake. You can also microwave it on the defrost setting for about 30 seconds, until soft.
Make Ahead – To make the rolls ahead, cover tightly as soon as they have been transferred to the baking dish. Transfer to the refrigerator and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Allow to come to room temperature (about 45 minutes) before baking as directed.


Serving: 1roll | Calories: 205kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 161mg | Potassium: 70mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 203IU | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $3.00
Calories: 205
Keyword: baked breakfast recipe, cinnamon rolls
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About Jess Smith

Jess is the recipe creator and photographer at InquiringChef.com. She spent nearly a decade as the Chief Recipe Developer for the award-winning meal planning app Cook Smarts. Her colorful, healthyish recipes have been featured in popular online publications including Parade, Hallmark, and HuffPost.

4.57 from 16 votes (15 ratings without comment)

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  1. 5 stars
    This is hands-down the best cinnamon roll recipe I have tried! My family and I each devoured two after they had cooled. We made them vegan simply by using vegan butter and almond milk in the dough and filling, and I subbed 3 ish tablespoons in for cream cheese in the glaze recipe, while upping the vanilla. A total winner for us lactose intolerant and vegan folks!

    1. Oh how wonderful to hear! I’m so glad you liked them and that the vegan swaps worked so well!

  2. I have made this recipe so many times and it’s a winner. I make a big batch of dough and mix and match cinnamon rolls, soft dinner rolls and rolls filled with raspberries /pizza sauce even. Love the simplicity of this recipe

  3. Just read over the recipe for the cinnamon rolls and they sound delicious and easy to make! You also have beautiful babies!

  4. Just saw your recipe on FG and made it right away! I also added pecans and made some tiny changes! Wonderful recipe! Thank you and happy new year!

    1. Shadi – thanks so much for your note – I’m so glad you liked it! We had these again on New Year’s morning. Great idea to add pecans – I’ll definitely try that next time.

  5. I love your recipes, Jess! And I always look forward to the pictures of little ones! The brownie elf cookies were a big hit this year for friends I shared with. Chance moment that I connected with you when looking for a cooking class in Bangkok! And what an incredible visit we had to Thailand! Jean

  6. So great to hear your twins had a lovely Christmas. We are doing much the same as you described right now…enjoying family time. : )
    Your cinnamon rolls look amazing and I love the 1-hr factor. Not long ago, I discovered a small-batch recipe from Oh LadyCakes and I’ve been using it ever since. In fact, I have a batch sitting in the fridge for breakfast tomorrow right now! Now that I’ve seen yours, I will have to try it when I need a somewhat bigger batch. Sounds easy and looks incredible! Happy New Year!

    1. Thanks so much, Monica – enjoy the time with your sweet fam! And I love Oh LadyCakes – I’ve got to give her recipe a try!

  7. I have enjoyed your posts and photos immensely this year. You write in a a warm manner and the recipes are well organized for the reader. I hope your new year will be a wonderful one for yourself and your whole family.

    1. Dave – it’s been so great to get to know you through blogging these past years. Sending you best wishes for the new year as well!