When you can’t wait for fluffy, delicious cinnamon rolls, make this one-hour cinnamon rolls recipe! These easy cinnamon buns are perfect for weekend mornings, or any time you need a quick cinnamon roll fix, from scratch!
I think I went a solid 6 months without making overnight cinnamon rolls after working out this recipe, darlings. At first, it was for testing, and then for practicality. Turns out, my oldest loves cinnamon rolls. And on weekends where we had family in town or just wanted something extra special for breakfast, this was an easy recipe to whip up on a whim. I’ve actually timed this recipe and it’s ready in a little under an hour. Nevertheless, I’m leaving the hour limit so we include a few minutes for setup and the (minimal) cleanup.
These one-hour cinnamon rolls use instant yeast – or pizza yeast – for a nice quick rise and fluffy texture. If you need a no-yeast recipe, I have a fabulous one for you here. It’s also a from-scratch recipe, like this one. The final textures are just slightly different though, because of the yeast.
What is instant yeast?
Instant yeast, sometimes called rapid rise or quick rise yeast, is a type of yeast you can find in most grocery stores. You’ll find it sold in packets typically in the baking section.
The difference between instant yeast and active dry yeast is that you don’t need to activate the instant yeast. Activating yeast is when you sprinkle active dry yeast over some warm water to “bloom” for about 10 minutes. Instant yeast doesn’t require this. You just mix the yeast right into your dry ingredients.
With rapid yeast (the best option for this recipe), the yeast is milled finer. Not only do you not need to activate the yeast, you don’t even need to give the dough two rises.
This is key to give you the best results for this recipe because there’s almost no rising time. You mix the dough, then allow it to rest for just a few minutes before shaping and rolling. That’s all you need for fabulous and quick cinnamon rolls though.
A few recipe notes for these one-hour cinnamon rolls…
I almost feel like I shouldn’t point this out, but this recipe is a slight modification on my super easy pizza dough! It’s an old recipe, but it’s pretty amazing if you haven’t tried it. It was curiosity that led me to mess with it and see what changes I could make to create a sweet dough.
At some point, I think I told the Godfather I was going to make a dessert pizza. The blog archives will tell you that clearly didn’t happen. But these cinnamon rolls did, and cinnamon rolls outrank pizza in my dessert hierarchy. One day it’ll happen. Good thing, the dough is already on point!
When making this recipe, I recommend using a big food processor if you have one. You can mix the dough by hand or mixer. I’ve just found that a food processor is easiest and fastest for this recipe.
I also highly recommend the cream cheese frosting. A basic powdered sugar and water or milk glaze will also work, but cream cheese frosting on just baked cinnamon rolls is incredible!
Otherwise, I don’t have any other huge tips for this recipe. It’s really straightforward and simple. Simple is wonderful nowadays, darlings.
The last note I’ll leave you with has to do with baking and storage. If you don’t want to bake up all 12 cinnamon rolls, freeze some! Place the rolls you don’t intend to bake on a parchment lined baking sheet and freeze until solid. Then you can store them in a freezer ziploc bag for up to a month.
Bake the frozen cinnamon rolls straight from the oven, add an extra couple minutes to the baking time. While this recipe is easy, it’s easier to prep a dozen, then store what you don’t need.
I hope you love these easy one hour cinnamon rolls from scratch, darlings! Happy baking!
For the Dough
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
- 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons instant dry yeast (RapidRise or QuickRise is best)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup of milk
For the Pan and Filling
- 4 tablespoons butter, softened
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
Cream Cheese Glaze
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pulse together the dry dough ingredients in a large food processor until combined. This takes about 4-5 pulses. Alternately, you may whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the dough hook.
- With the food processor running, slowly pour in the milk, butter, and vanilla extract until a shaggy dough forms.
- Continue to mix for about 2-3 minutes until the dough forms a smooth ball. If you have some dry ingredients not being incorporated, stop the processor and scrape the sides with a spatula. The dough should be a smooth, not too sticky ball.
- Transfer to a lightly floured surface and shape the dough into a large rectangle. Use your fingers to make little indentations throughout.
- Fold it in thirds by folding in one side and then the other. Cover in plastic wrap and allow to rest 10-15 minutes while you preheat your oven to 350 F and prepare your filling.
- In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar and cinnamon, set aside.
- Use a pastry brush or square of parchment paper to spread the softened butter around the bottom and sides of an 11x7 inch baking sheet. Use this size if you'd like the rolls to touch, if you prefer the rolls don't touch, use a 9x13 inch baking sheet.
- Once your oven has come to temperature, roll out the dough into a 9x13 inch rectangle. Spread the filling evenly over the dough, leaving about an inch up top for sealing.
- Starting at the long end closest to you, roll the dough into a log, being sure to not roll too tightly.
- Cut the log into 12 even sections and arrange on your baking sheet.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until the tops are just starting to color at the edges and the rolls are baked through. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack.
- Once the rolls have been removed from the oven, it's time to make the cream cheese frosting!
- Beat together the softened butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl and stir in the powdered sugar and vanilla.
- Spread onto the still-warm cinnamon rolls. Enjoy!
- These are best the day they are made but will keep up to 3 days.
- Store extra cinnamon rolls loosely covered in the refrigerator and reheat before serving.
- I've made these cinnamon rolls with nondairy milk, non-dairy butter, and vegan cream cheese. They are amazing either way! So use what you need for your people. Happy baking!
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