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  • Sheena Philipose

Cinnamon Rolls (Cinnabon Copycat)

Who doesn't love warm, gooey, fresh-out-of-the-oven cinnamon rolls? Good days, bad days, there is really not a wrong time to have one, and it's hard to compete with the cream-cheese frosted rolls from Cinnabon. This recipe from blogger 'Jo Cooks' will satisfy any sweet tooth and is just as good as ordering straight from any Cinnabon. Don't let these rolls intimidate you: just follow the steps, check out my how-to video, and give it a try. You won't regret it.

This recipe is broken down into 3 parts. Here's what you'll need:

For the Dough:

Active dry yeast – You can use instant yeast if that’s what you have. If you use instant, you won’t need to let it grow, but it’s a good idea to test if it’s still alive. If it doesn’t foam up, it means the yeast is dead and the bread won’t turn out

Milk – make sure the milk is lukewarm

Sugar – granulated

Butter – unsalted

Salt – the trick to bringing out the best flavour in baked goods

Eggs – use large eggs for this recipe

Flour – all-purpose

For the Filling:

Brown sugar

Cinnamon – the key ingredient in cinnamon rolls!

Butter – unsalted, and softened at room temperate

For the Cream Cheese Icing:

Butter – unsalted, softened

Powdered sugar – also known as icing sugar or confectioner’s sugar

Cream cheese – room-temperature, I always use Philadelphia cream cheese.

Vanilla extract



  • Make sure your yeast is not expired- my recommendation is to test the yeast first before wasting ingredients and time. Try and bloom it and if it doesn’t get foamy, your yeast is no good.

  • Don’t overheat your milk! Using milk that is too hot will kill the yeast and this will also prevent your dough from rising.

  • Use softened butter, for both the dough and the filling.

  • These cinnamon rolls can be made ahead of time. Prepare everything as stated in the recipe up until you place the rolls in the baking pan, then cover tightly with plastic wrap and store them in the fridge overnight. The rolls should continue to rise in the fridge overnight, but if they have not doubled in size by the morning, turn your oven on to 200 degrees F until it warms up, then turn it off. Place the pan in the oven for about 30 minutes until they double in size, then you can bake them as instructed.

  • These rolls can be stored in the fridge and when they're ready to eat, reheat them for a warm treat.


Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls

Prep: 20 minutes

Rising time: 1.5 hours

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Serves: 12



  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast or instant yeast

  • 1 cup milk, lukewarm

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/3 cup or 75g butter, unsalted and softened

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 2 eggs

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour


  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed

  • 3 Tbsp cinnamon

  • 1/3 cup or 75 g butter, unsalted and softened

Cream cheese icing

  • 6 tbsp butter unsalted, softened, or margarine

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar also known as icing sugar, or confectioner's sugar

  • 1/4 cup cream cheese at room temperature

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1/8 tsp salt

Chocolate sauce (optional)

  • 1/4 cup whipping cream

  • 1/4 cup or 50 g dark chocolate chips


  1. For the dough, dissolve the yeast in warm milk with a teaspoon of sugar and let it sit for about 5 minutes. If the yeast is good, it will start to froth up.

  2. To the bowl of your mixer, add the sugar, salt, flour, and mix.

  3. Once the yeast has bloomed, add the eggs and butter to this. Using the dough hook, add the wet ingredients to the dry mixture and mix until well-incorporated. If it's too wet, continue adding a little bit of flour until the dough comes clean off the side of the bowl and forms a ball. Take it out of the bowl and knead for a few minutes by hand until a soft dough forms.

  4. Proof the dough: Place the dough in a bowl and leave it to rise in a warm place for about 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray or butter and set aside.

  5. While the dough is proofing, make the filling by combining the brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.

  6. Once the dough has risen, punch it to release the air inside and knead it again for a few minutes. Roll the dough out into a rectangle, about 1/4 inch in thickness.

  7. Spread the 1/3 cup of butter evenly over the dough, then sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar filling evenly on top. Working carefully, from the long (horizontal) end, roll the dough down to the bottom, keeping it as compact as possible.

  8. Cut the dough into 1-inch slices, and place in the greased baking pan. Cover with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let the rolls rise for another 30 minutes, or until doubled in size for the second proofing.

  9. Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F). Once ready, place the baking pan in the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

  10. While the rolls are baking, make the icing by beating together the icing ingredients in an electric mixer until fluffy and smooth.

  11. For the chocolate sauce, heat the whipping cream in the microwave for 40 seconds or until the cream is bubbling, tip in the chocolate chips, and stir until it reaches a sauce-like consistency.

  12. When – the trick to bringing out the best flavor in baked goods drizzle with chocolate sauce. Enjoy!

Here's a short video

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