Easy no-rise soft, buttery quick cinnamon rolls made in UNDER ONE HOUR! Made in a 9×13 pan and yielding 12 cinnamon rolls, these make for the perfect weekend treat, special birthday mornings, or neighbor thank you gifts!
Be sure to view images in post above for visuals for each step!
In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt butter for 45 seconds. Pour into a larger, medium-sized bowl. Using that same small bowl you just microwaved the butter in, pour in milk and microwave for 45 seconds. Once done, pour milk in with the butter. Add in yeast and sugar and stir with a whisk until dissolved. Cover with a clean dish towel or plastic wrap and let sit for 10 minutes.
Once your dough starter has been sitting for 10 minutes, remove cover and mix in egg, salt, and vanilla. Once combined, start adding in flour, 1 cup at a time. You should be able to mix this with a spatula until you get to the end of adding the flour. At that point, you will need to use your hands. Keeping the dough in the bowl, gently form it into a ball. If dough is sticky, sprinkle 1 tablespoon of flour to the outside. Cover and let sit for 10 minutes (while waiting, proceed to next step to make filling).
While the dough is proofing, go ahead and mix up the cinnamon filling so it’s ready! To do so, mix together softened butter (if straight from fridge, microwave for 30 seconds to soften), brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. As long as your butter is soft enough, this can easily be mixed by hand with a spatula. If your butter is too cold and isn't mixing well, you can use a mixer to whip it all together. Set aside.
Tip: You don’t want your butter to be super melted (just a little is okay!) or the filling will be more likely to seep through the bottom of the pan and crystallize.
After 10 minutes, remove cover and place dough on a flour-covered surface (about 1/2 – 1 tablespoon flour). I prefer taping down a piece of parchment to my counter, but you can also roll directly on a clean countertop. Sprinkle a little flour on top of the dough and on the rolling pin, then roll the dough until it is approximately a 14×18” rectangle that is 1/4” thick.
Once rolled, spread on cinnamon sugar mixture, making sure to spread to the outside edges.
Now it’s time to roll! It’s important to roll vertically (i.e. start rolling at a SHORT side) so that your cinnamon rolls are nice & thick and so you can yield 12. If you roll it the other way, they’ll be smaller and a bit dinky. You want to roll relatively tight, but not too tight. (See images in post above)
Once rolled, use a serrated edge knife to slightly “score” the tops so you know where to cut. Start in the center, then add slits in the center of those and then divide each of those sections into two parts. (See images in post above for a visual.)
Tip: Using a serrated edge knife and cutting slowly in a sawing motion is important, as a normal knife will likely squish the dough.
Place cut cinnamon rolls in a greased 9×13 baking pan and bake at 350 degrees for 24-26 minutes until the tops are slightly golden brown. Allow to cool for a bit (10-15 minutes) before adding frosting to prevent the frosting from totally melting. If you plan to eat them later, wait to frost until they’re cooled for a prettier frosting presentation.
Add softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt to a medium-sized bowl and use a hand or stand mixer to mix until combined and smooth (about 30-60 seconds). Slather on warm cinnamon rolls and enjoy! (See notes below for a cinnamon roll frosting recipe without cream cheese.)
Pan Size: You can technically split this into two 9-inch round pans, but I prefer 9×13 because you’ll get more soft rolls (as the round pan exposes more edges and the edges will be a little harder). I don’t know about you, but the center rolls are the best ones!
Can I make these the night before? You can, although they will end up being much puffier than what these photos show (which can sometimes mean they bake faster & are more airy & therefore crunchy). To make the night before: prep the recipe up until baking, cover the pan with a clean cloth or plastic wrap, and let sit out overnight until ready to bake (no refrigeration needed).
Freezer Instructions: See post above for 4 methods for freezing.
Storage: For the freshest rolls, cover pan with plastic wrap or place in plastic bag for 1-2 days. If the rolls are frosted and you don’t enjoy them immediately (like within 2-3 hours), cover and place in fridge. But really, do cinnamon rolls ever last that long?
Cinnamon Roll Icing Without Cream Cheese
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened (1/2 stick)
2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-4 T. milk (add 1 tablespoon at a time until it's the consistency you want)
Pinch of salt
Add butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt to a medium-sized bowl and use a hand or stand mixer to mix until combined and smooth (about 30-60 seconds). Add milk, one tablespoon at a time, until it's the consistency you desire.