Classic Cinnamon Rolls

There’s nothing like the smell of fresh-baked cinnamon rolls drifting from the kitchen. Why do you think so many candles use this scent? But, since you can’t eat a candle, we think it’s much better to make this recipe instead.

Prep Time
1 hour
approximately 1 hour 30 minutes rising time
Bake Time
25 to 30 minutes
A round baking dish lined with parchment and full of cinnamon rolls, half of them iced, shown with a bowl of icing and a bowl of Dark Brown sugar

Liquid measuring cup 


Scale OR dry measuring cups

Microwaveable bowl 

Stand mixer with paddle attachment and hook attachment OR large bowl 

Rubber spatula x 2 or wooden spoon

Plastic wrap OR lint-free kitchen towel

Measuring spoons

Baking pan (9 x 13-inch)

Parchment paper

Small microwave-safe bowl

Small bowl

Small whisk OR fork

Rolling pin


Small offset spatula OR rubber spatula x 2

Paring knife

Pastry brush

Dental floss (unflavoured) OR thread

Wire cooling rack

9 servings
For the dough:
  • 1 cup (250 ml) milk
  • ¼ cup (57 g) butter, cubed
  • 2½ tsp (9 g) instant yeast
  • ¼ cup (54 g) Redpath® Dark Brown Sugar, packed
  • 3¼ cups (390 g) bread flour
  • 1 egg, large, lightly beaten
  • ½ tsp (3 g) salt
For the filling (see Chef’s Tips):
  • ⅓ cup (76 g) butter
  • ⅔ cup (145 g) Redpath® Dark Brown Sugar, packed
  • 1 tbsp (8 g) ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp (2 g) salt
For the icing:
  • ½ cup (114 g) cream cheese, brick-style, cubed
  • 3 tbsp (43 g) butter, cubed
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp (2 g) salt
  • 1 cup (120 g) Redpath® Icing Sugar
For the dough:

Step 1

Warm milk and butter together in a microwave-safe bowl (or liquid measuring cup). Heat on high at 15– to 20–second intervals until milk is at least 110°F (43°C) but no higher than 115°F (46°C). Cool to 110°F (43°C) if milk gets too hot.

Step 2

Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or to a large bowl. Sprinkle in the instant yeast and stir to dissolve. Let sit until mixture is foamy; 5 to 10 minutes.

Step 3

Add the Redpath® Dark Brown Sugar and mix on low speed (or stir with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon); 5 to 10 seconds.

Step 4

Add 1 cup (120 grams) of bread flour, lightly beaten egg, and salt, and mix on low speed. Once fully combined, add the next cup of flour and mix until combined before adding the third cup of flour. Once the dough becomes difficult to mix, switch to a dough hook. If the dough is still wet, add the last ¼ cup (30 grams) of flour. Cover the bowl and let dough rest; 15 minutes. This allows the flour to hydrate and relax, making it easier to knead the dough.

Step 5

Knead the dough (or lightly flour your work surface and transfer dough to the floured surface to knead with your hands) until it’s soft but tacky; 5 to 10 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball.

Step 6

Lightly oil the stand mixer bowl or the large bowl used when mixing the dough. Place the dough rounded side down first, and flip it over to ensure the dough is lightly greased; this prevents the dough from sticking to the plastic wrap or damp, lint-free kitchen towel placed over the bowl. Allow the dough to bulk ferment by placing the covered bowl in a warm, draft-free location to rise until doubled in size; approximately 45 minutes (see Chef’s Tips).

Step 7

Lightly grease a 9 x 13-inch pan and line with parchment paper.

For the filling:

Step 1

Place butter into a small microwave-safe bowl. Heat for 10 seconds until butter is very soft and spreadable; do not melt.

Step 2

In a small bowl, whisk together the Redpath® Dark Brown Sugar, ground cinnamon, and salt.

To assemble:

Step 1

Punch down the dough, and transfer it to a lightly floured work surface. Roll into an 18 x 10-inch rectangle (dough should be an even thickness; about ¼-inch thick). If the dough keeps contracting while rolling, cover with plastic wrap and allow the gluten in the dough time to relax (see Chef’s Tips).

Step 2

The long edge (18-inch) of the rolled-out dough should be parallel to the edge of your work surface. Spread the butter onto the rolled-out dough, leaving about ½ inch free of butter at the furthest end.

Evenly sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the surface of the butter. Gently rub and pat the sugar mixture into the butter, being careful not to tear or stretch the dough. After sprinkling the surface with cinnamon sugar, lightly brush the free edge with some water before rolling dough into a tight log. Pinch the seam together when you reach the dampened edge (see Chef’s Tips for how to make into heart-shaped rolls).

Step 3

With the seam side down, slice the log using a length of unflavoured dental floss (or thread). Slide the floss under the roll 2 inches from one of the ends, cross the two ends at the top of the roll and pull tightly in opposite directions until the floss cuts through the roll. Repeat the process at 2-inch intervals until the entire roll is cut.

Step 4

Arrange the 9 rolls in the prepared baking pan, spaced evenly apart. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel. Place in a warm, draft-free location to proof until almost doubled in size; about 30 to 35 minutes. To check if the rolls are ready for baking, perform the poke test (see Chef’s Tips).

Step 5

Halfway into the proofing time, preheat oven to 350°F (177°C).

Step 6

Place cinnamon rolls into the preheated oven; 25 to 30 minutes. Rotate pan halfway through the baking time. Continue baking until a thermometer reads just below 190°F (88°C) at the centre of the pan. Do not overbake, or the rolls will be dry.

Step 7

While the rolls are baking, make the icing.

For the icing:

Step 1

In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream together the cubed cream cheese and butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add in the vanilla extract and salt. Mix to combine thoroughly. Add the Redpath® Icing Sugar and mix on low speed until just combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and increase speed to medium, and beat until fluffy; about 3 minutes.

Step 2

Remove the finished rolls from the oven and place onto a wire cooling rack to cool slightly; 5 minutes.

Step 3

Use a small offset spatula to spread ⅓ cup of the icing over the tops of the warm cinnamon rolls. Cool cinnamon rolls to room temperature; 20 minutes. Spread or pipe the remaining icing over the cinnamon rolls. Serve immediately.

Step 4

Any leftover rolls can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days at room temperature, a week in the fridge, or up to 2 months in the freezer (see Chef’s Tips).

A cinnamon roll drizzed with icing on a brown plate, with a second roll on a plate in the background