Better-Than-Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnabon's got nothing on these cinnamon rolls! These are the fluffiest, gooey-est, most perfectly spiced cinnamon rolls you wil ever have! With a thick layer of cream cheese frosting, these better than Cinnabon cinnamon rolls will have you sneaking one after another out of the pan!

Monday August 3, 2020

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Cinnamon Cream Cheese

Better-Than-Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls

Table of Contents

  1. Recipe

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I know it's a bold claim, but I would take these cinnamon rolls over a Cinnabon any day. They are by far my husband's favorite dessert. Literally any time I ask him what he wants me to make he replies "Cinnamon buns?" with such a hopeful glint in his eyes. It's gotten to the point where I have to ask "What do you want for dessert that ISN'T cinnamon buns?". These cinnamon rolls are so, so amazing. 

So, what makes these rolls so good? The bread is light, moist, and fluffy, and there's tons of gooey cinnamon filling throughout. The cinnamon in this isn't overpowering, it's the perfect ratio of sweet and spiced. They are completed with a thick dollop of cream cheese frosting, spread on while the rolls are still slightly warm so it can really get into all the nooks and crannies.

Making cinnamon buns may seem intimidating at first, but it is actually really very easy. If you haven't worked with yeast before I have some helpful tips on my Classic Burger Buns Recipe. First thing is to make your dough, because it needs to rise about an hour. While the dough is rising you can pass some of the time by mixing together the ingredients for the filling. This filling uses melted butter, corn syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon, and some vanilla. Once the dough has finished rising, simply roll it into a large rectangle about 18 inches by 14 inches or so, and spread the filing over it, then starting at the longer edge of the dough roll it up into a log shape.

Cutting the log into 12 equal rolls is probably the trickiest part of this whole thing. I use a very sharp bread knife (I will always recommend my Zwilling knives, they are easily one of the best purchases I have ever made), and I sometimes (depending on how hot it is in my house, and how much time I have) allow my rolled up log of dough to chill in the freezer about 15-20 minutes to firm up and make the cutting easier. To get them equal you can measure it out (about 1.5 inches per roll) or you can just cut into quarters then divide each of the quarters into 3 pieces. I normally do the latter. Once the rolls are cut I place them cut side down into the pan and allow them to rise another 30 minutes or so while I preheat the oven. Just look at all that cinnamon goodness waiting to get baked!

You will know the rolls are done when they have puffed up, and have a bit of a golden tinge to them. You want to make sure they are fully cooked, so make sure you look at the middle of your spirals, as that is the last part to get fully cooked. The cook time can vary slightly, depending on the dough consistency, how long I let them rise for (sometimes I forget to pop them in the oven!), the shape/height of my rolls and how close together they were in the pan, as well as oven temperature fluctuations. My best recommendation is to check them after 25 minutes, and then watch them like a hawk. Normally I am in the 28-30 minute range for cooking time.

These rolls are best served fresh from the oven, but they will last a few days on the counter if wrapped up well. I always microwave for 10 seconds or so before serving them again to warm them up a bit. If you can't finish the tray in a few days, then these rolls freeze beautifully. We often freeze them in packs of two and then heat them up whenever we get a craving. Do yourself a huge favor and add these to your baking list! 

Better-Than-Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls

Better-Than-Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls

Yield: 12 rolls
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes


For the dough:

  • 1 cup milk, warm (about 110 F)
  • 1 packet yeast, or 2 1/4 tsp
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 cups flour, divided

For the filling:

  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup golden corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

For the frosting:

  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk


For the dough:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook attached, add milk, yeast, brown sugar and white sugar, and stir until yeast blooms and is floating at the top
  2. Add eggs, butter, salt, and vanilla, and 1 cup of flour, and mix on low speed.
  3. Continue adding flour about 1/2 - 1 cup at a time, until dough is a smooth elastic ball
  4. Transfer dough to large oiled bowl and cover; allow to rise for an hour or until about doubled in size

For the filling:

  1. While the dough is rising, in a small bowl combine butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, cinnamon, and vanilla and stir well, set aside.

For the frosting:

  1. In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter, until light and fluffy
  2. Add the icing sugar 1/2 cup at at time, and beat well after each addition
  3. Add the milk until a spreadable consistency is achieved.


  1. Once the dough has risen, roll it out on a floured surface into a 18 inch by 14 inch rectangle
  2. Spread the filling over the rectangle in an even layer
  3. Starting at the longer edge, roll dough into a spiral
  4. Cut dough into 12 equal rolls and place into 9 x 13 baking dish evenly spaced apart 
  5. Preheat oven to 350 F, and cover and allow to rise about 30 minutes
  6. Bake in preheated oven 25-30 minutes, until rolls are puffed and golden
  7. Remove from oven, allow to cool for 20 minutes or so, then spread icing evenly along the top
  8. Serve warm

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Portrait of natalie

Natalie Kollee

Hi I’m Natalie. I live in Ontario, Canada with my husband, daughter and our cat. Since I was little, I have always enjoyed discovering new recipes and sharing food with loved ones. When I’m not in the kitchen you’ll probably find me crocheting, reading, or crafting.

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