Thick and Fluffy Cinnamon Rolls

These cinnamon rolls were like stepping back into my childhood and eating one of my Dad’s homemade cinnamon rolls. When my Dad was young, he worked in a bakery for a hot moment (he hated the hours, though). When we were little, he and my Mom sometimes made a big batch at night. Over the years, I have tried to make cinnamon rolls but have never been happy with them. Too small. Not fluffy. They just were not what I wanted.

This recipe, though, was what I craved. It’s a true treat. And it wasn’t a lot of hands-on work. And did I mention only one rising? You can be eating them in under 2 hours.

Baked cinnamon rolls.

Thick and Fluffy Cinnamon Rolls

Dough Ingredients:

  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 4½ tsp (2 packets) rapid-rise yeast or quick-rise yeast
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1½ cups water
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 egg, whisked


  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, soft enough to spread (in theory, room temperature)
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract


Mix 2 cups of flour, sugar, yeast, and salt in a large mixing bowl.

In a 2-cup glass measuring cup, add the butter to the water—microwave for 45 seconds or until the water feels warm and the butter is starting to melt.

Add the wet to the dry, then add the egg. Mix with a wooden spoon until smooth.

Add in 2 more cups of the flour, beating in.

Add in ½ cup more flour; the dough will be very thick.

Using your hands, knead in the remaining half cup of flour, a quarter at a time, in the bowl. The dough should be smooth, soft, and just slightly tacky.

Shape it into a ball, and let it sit uncovered for 10 minutes. (Due to how cold my house is, I turn a heating pad onto medium and use it to keep the dough warm)

Meanwhile, butter a 9″x13″ glass baking pan.

Lightly flour a work surface and knock the dough out.

Shape into a 10″x 15″ rectangle, gently rolling as needed.

Spread the softened butter over the top. Sprinkle brown sugar on, then the cinnamon.

Roll the dough on the 15″ edge. Use a bench scraper as needed if the dough sticks. Gently pressing the dough on each turn. Seal the ends.

Cut in half using a long, skinny, and sharp knife. Then, cut the two sections in half again. Each of those sections is cut into thirds, for 12 sections total.

Place them in the buttered pan.

Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise for an hour. (See above for instructions on using a heating pad if your home is cold.)

Preheat oven to 350° for the last 15 minutes.

Bake for 30 minutes or until the rolls are golden brown.

Place on a cooling rack.


Add the cream cheese and butter to a stand mixer bowl. Beat until smooth, then add in vanilla extract.

Add powdered sugar and beat smooth.

Spread frosting on warm rolls, and let set up a bit before enjoying.

Makes 12 cinnamon rolls.

Cinnamon roll dough rising.

Dough rising.

Frosted cinnamon rolls.