Recipes » Breakfast Recipes » Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing – Cinnabon Copycat

Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing – Cinnabon Copycat

Make your own Cinnabon copycat with this recipe for homemade Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 15 minutes
Two cinnamon rolls on a serving plate with a fork on the side.

Follow my easy instructions to make your own Cinnabon copycat with this recipe for homemade Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing! They’re almost identical to that famous brand and you save so much money by making them yourself.

I have something that will really tempt you today. Fresh hot cinnamon rolls warm from the oven slathered with rich cream cheese icing. Ahhh…. Who can resist that?

Two cinnamon rolls on a serving plate with a fork on the side.

And if you enjoy those luscious Cinnabon cinnamon rolls (who doesn’t?!), you’ll love this easy copycat recipe.

If you’re currently on a diet, I apologize in advance. Maybe you could file this post for future reference.

Or maybe you could make a pan full of these, have one for yourself, and share the rest with your neighbors. On second thought, maybe not. They’d be permanently camped out in your kitchen waiting for the next batch. They’re just that good.

One of the greatest pleasures of cooking for me is working with yeast doughs. In years past I made bread nearly every weekend. I love the whole process – the kneading and the rising. The way the dough feels in your hands and the way it grows while resting – almost like the dough is alive.

There’s something so calming and restful about making bread. Working the dough gives your hands and arms a good workout and gives time for your mind to wander.

❤ Why We Love This Recipe


  • Warm from the oven homemade cinnamon rolls are the epitome of comfort food.
  • Luscious cream cheese icing that melts in your mouth.
  • Tastes just like Cinnabon without the high price.

🥘 Ingredients You’ll Need


  • Milk I recommend whole milk for the best flavor.
  • All-Purpose FlourNo need for any sort of specialty or bread flour for this recipe.
  • Rapid Rise (Instant) YeastYou’ll need one .75 ounce packet of instant yeast (also called “Rapid Rise”). If you’re curious about the different types of yeast, you can get a good overview from my Easy Homemade Bread recipe post.
  • Cream CheeseUse whole, not low-fat, cream cheese for the best results.
  • Confectioner’s SugarAlso called powdered sugar or 10X sugar. I typically use Domino brand.

The remaining ingredients are standard pantry ingredients that you probably already have on hand!

You’ll find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the recipe at the bottom of this post.

🥄 How to Make Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing


Mix and Knead the Dough

Rough dough mixture in a mixing bowl.
  1. Combine all the ingredients for the dough in a large mixing bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook). Stir until the mixture begins to come together (see the above photo – it will look pretty “shaggy” at this point and that’s okay).

To knead by hand, transfer the dough to a lightly oiled work surface and knead for 5-8 minutes or until smooth. To knead in a stand mixer, attach the dough hook and knead for 4-7 minutes at medium speed.

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Let the Dough Rest and Rise

Kneaded dough formed into a ball.
  1. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turning it to grease all sides. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place for 60 minutes or until doubled in size.

👉 PRO TIP: I find that my granite countertops are too cool for dough to rise correctly so I put the bowl in the oven with the light on. It’s just cozy enough in there for the rising to take place.

Roll and Cut the Buns

Photo collage showing dough being rolled out, spread with butter and sprinkled with filling.
  1. Punch down the dough. Transfer to a lightly greased surface (I just sprayed a little cooking spray on my countertop) and roll into a 16×21 inch rectangle.
  2. Leaving a 1-inch border at one of the short ends, spread the dough evenly with the 1/3 cup softened butter.
  3. Sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon evenly over the buttered area of the dough. Be sure to carry the filling all the way out to the edges except on the one-inch border.
Photo collage showing the dough being rolled up and edges pinched together.
  1. Starting at the opposite end from the clean one-inch border, roll the dough into a log. Pinch the end all the way across the log to seal the dough.
Prepared buns in a baking pan.
  1. Cut the dough into 12 equal slices and place the buns in a lightly greased 9×13 pan.

Let the Buns Rise

  1. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let the buns rise for about 30 minutes or until nearly doubled.
  2. While the buns are rising, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Make the Icing

Mixing bowl with cream cheese icing and a wooden spoon.
  1. While the buns are baking, make the icing. In a small bowl, beat together the cream cheese, butter, sugar, and vanilla.

Ice the Cinnamon Rolls

Baking pan with twelve baked cinnamon rolls.
  1. When the buns are golden brown, remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes.
Finished cinnamon rolls spread with cream cheese icing in a baking pan.
  1. Spread with the icing.
Two cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing on a white plate with a fork on the side.

❗ Recipe Tips


  • Have all the ingredients at room temperature (except the milk which should be warmer) for best results. Take any refrigerated ingredients out at one hour before starting the recipe.
  • The milk must be warm enough to activate the yeast but not so warm that it kills it! The ideal temperature range is between 98 and 105 degrees.
  • If you have a stand mixer, it’s great for this dough. You could also knead the dough in a bread machine. Or just do it the old-fashioned way using your best kitchen tools, your own hands!
  • When adding the icing you can do it either when the rolls are still a bit warm or once they’re completely cooled. If adding the icing to warm rolls, remember it will likely melt and run throughout the rolls. If you want the icing to stay on top and not melt, wait until the rolls are completely cooled.
  • Check the date on the yeast packet before using. The main reason that yeast doughs fail to rise is expired yeast.

💡 Options


  • I sometimes add raisins and chopped nuts, either pecans or walnuts, to the filling.
  • Dried cranberries and candied orange peel added to the filling are a fantastic option during the holidays.

🕒 How to Make Ahead


To make ahead, complete the recipe up to the point of the second rise where the rolls are cut and placed in the pan. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the next morning. When ready to bake, remove the pan from the fridge (the rolls will have risen overnight in the fridge) and let it come to room temperature for about 30 minutes. Proceed with the recipe from that point.

🍚 Storage Information


  • Keep any leftover cinnamon rolls in the refrigerator for up to four days. Microwave for about 20 seconds to reheat.
  • Individual rolls may be well wrapped and frozen for up to three months. Thaw and then microwave to reheat.

🧾 More Recipes You’ll Like


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📖 Recipe

Two cinnamon rolls on a serving plate with a fork on the side.

Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing – Cinnabon Copycat

Make your own Cinnabon copycat with this recipe for homemade Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing.
5 from 2 votes
Print It Rate It Save
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 450kcal
Author: Lana Stuart

Ingredients

For the dough:

  • 1 cup milk (98 – 105 degrees)
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • cup butter room temperature
  • 4 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 packet rapid rise yeast

For the filling:

  • cup butter room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar packed
  • 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon

For the icing:

  • 3 ounces cream cheese room temperature
  • ¼ cup butter room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients for the dough in a large mixing bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer). Stir until the mixture begins to come together. To knead by hand, transfer the dough to a lightly oiled work surface and knead for 5-8 minutes or until smooth. To knead in the stand mixer, attach the dough hook and knead for 4-7 minutes at medium speed.
  • Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turn over once to grease all sides. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rise for 60 minutes or until doubled in size.
  • Punch down the dough. Transfer to a lightly greased surface and roll into a 16×21 inch rectangle.
  • Leaving a 1-inch border at one of the short ends, spread the dough evenly with the 1/3 cup softened butter.
  • Sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon evenly over the buttered area of the dough. Be sure to carry the filling all the way out to the edges except on the one-inch border.
  • Starting at the opposite end from the clean one-inch border, roll the dough into a log. Cut into 12 equal slices and place the buns in a lightly greased 9×13 pan.
  • Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let the buns rise for about 30 minutes or until nearly doubled.
  • While the buns are rising, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes.
  • While the buns are baking, make the icing. In a small bowl, beat together the cream cheese, butter, sugar, and vanilla.
  • When the buns are golden brown, remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes.
  • Spread with the icing.

Notes

  • Have all the ingredients at room temperature (except the milk which should be warmer) for best results. Take any refrigerated ingredients out at one hour before starting the recipe.
  • The milk must be warm enough to activate the yeast but not so warm that it kills it! The ideal temperature range is between 98 and 105 degrees.
  • Check the date on the yeast packet before using. The main reason that yeast doughs fail to rise is expired yeast.
  • To make ahead, complete the recipe up to the point of the second rise where the rolls are cut and placed in the pan. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the next morning. When ready to bake, remove the pan from the fridge (the rolls will have risen overnight in the fridge) and let it come to room temperature for about 30 minutes. Proceed with the recipe from that point.
  • Keep any leftover cinnamon rolls in the refrigerator for up to four days. Microwave for about 20 seconds to reheat. Individual rolls may be well wrapped and frozen for up to three months. Thaw and then microwave to reheat.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1 | Calories: 450kcal | Carbohydrates: 81g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 74mg | Sodium: 511mg | Potassium: 135mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 607IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 81mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.

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— This post was originally published on February 15, 2011. It has been updated with additional information.

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46 Comments

  1. Hi I have never used yeast before and I wanted to know how much is in a packet of yeast so I don’t get the wrong one. Thank you they look so good and I want to make them for my family Christmas morning!

  2. Lana,
    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe; my daughters and I made these today and they were awesome (we added raisins too )!

  3. Lana,

    I too want to thank you for the step by step pictures with the recipe. My boys love cinnamon rolls so I used to cheat and buy store brand. Came across recipe and made them. Not only did my boys love them, they will no longer eat store brand ones. Thank you again.

  4. I just made these and they didn’t turn out very well, they didnt rise very much and turned out super dense. What did I do wrong?!

    1. Katie,

      It sounds like a problem with the yeast. Either it was past its expiration date or you got the liquid too warm and killed it.

      So sorry you had a problem with the recipe. It’s a great one that always turns out for me and I hope you’ll try again.

  5. I love this recipe but I do have a question. I plan to make a batch to leave for family to have during the week for breakfast while I am away. We like our cinamon rolls warm. Should I leave the baked rolls in the fridge unfrosted and then warm and frost individually or will they become too hard? Is it better to frost them all at once and just reheat in microwave?

    1. Terri – I have rewarmed the frosted rolls in the microwave very successfully. Just about 6 to 7 seconds (depending on your microwave) per roll is about right. Be careful, though, because overheating will melt the frosting. Sorry, I can’t answer about refrigerating them. Never tried that :-)

  6. I stumbled across this recipe and loved how precise your directions were! Loved the pictures as well. I added walnuts and raisins to the recipe and it came out perfect! Definitely going to use this as my go-to recipe! Thank you so much!