How to Make Perfect Cinnamon Rolls


Linda explores food facts, folklore, and fabulous recipes, one ingredient at a time.

You just can't beat homemade cinnamon rolls!

You just can't beat homemade cinnamon rolls!

Autumn begins this evening, but our little corner of the world is already knee-deep into fall weather. Leaves are falling and pumpkins are changing from green to glowing orange. In my front yard, squirrels scurry about gathering hazelnuts.

It's time for cinnamon rolls.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

2 hours 30 min

25 min

2 hours 55 min

1 dozen rolls


  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup instant mashed potato flakes
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup granulated (white) sugar
  • 2 pkg. dry yeast
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 cup raisins, (optional)


  1. In a large bowl, mix boiling water and potato flakes. Add milk, oil, salt, sugar, yeast and beat well. Add eggs and mix until blended. Add 4 1/2 cups of the flour, one cup at a time, until all flour is incorporated.
  2. Sprinkle remaining one cup flour on board. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 15 minutes. Put in a warm place and let rise until doubled, about 1–2 hours.
  3. Punch down dough gently. Divide into two equal portions. Roll each into 10x15-inch rectangle. Spread 1/4 cup softened butter on each portion. Combine sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle evenly on each dough rectangle. Add nuts and/or raisins if desired. Roll up, starting at the long edge and cut each roll into 12 cinnamon rolls.
  4. Place cut rolls in a 9x13-inch baking pan or two 8-inch round pans coated with cooking spray. Let rolls rise for 1 hour. Bake at 325˚F for 25 minutes.

How to Knead Bread Dough

How to Shape Cinnamon Rolls

Now that's a big batch of cinnamon rolls!

Changes, Options, Fun Additions and Variations

  • Sprinkle on milk or dark chocolate chips before you roll up and slice the dough.
  • In place walnuts and raisins, use dried cranberries and white chocolate chips.
  • Or substitute pecans and peeled finely diced fresh apple.
  • What about decreasing the cinnamon to 2 teaspoons, add 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom, and add some peeled, finely diced fresh pear?

How About Some Frosting?

Personally, I love to enjoy the sweet, spicy taste of a cinnamon roll, the buttery soft dough, the crispy little bits of caramelized sugar on the bottom of the bun. In other words, I don't care for frosting.

But, Mr. Carb Diva wants gobs of frosting on his cinnamon rolls. So, to keep the peace I leave a few unadorned, and the rest get a slathering of this cream cheese frosting:


  • 4 ounces room temperature cream cheese (1/2 of an 8-ounce package)
  • 4 ounces room temperature unsalted butter (1/2 of a stick)
  • 2 cups sifted confectioner's sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer. With the mixer on low speed, add the powdered sugar a cup at a time until smooth and creamy. Beat in the vanilla extract.

Are There Health Benefits to Cinnamon?

I am not going to pretend that cinnamon rolls are a health food, but here are some interesting nutritional facts about cinnamon:

  • Reduces Blood Sugar Levels: Several studies have shown improved insulin sensitivity and blood glucose control by taking as little as ½ teaspoon of cinnamon per day. Improving insulin resistance can help in weight control as well as decreasing the risk for heart disease.
  • Boosts Cognitive Function: Studies have shown that smelling cinnamon may boost cognitive function, memory, performance of certain tasks and increases one's alertness and concentration.
  • Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties: Cinnamon spice contains anti-inflammatory compounds which can be useful in reducing pain and inflammation associated with arthritis. A study conducted at Copenhagen University, where patients were given half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder combined with one tablespoon of honey every morning had significant relief in arthritis pain after one week and could walk without pain within one month.
  • Works as a Digestive Tonic: Cinnamon should be added to most recipes. Apart from adding flavor to the food, it also aids in digestion. Cinnamon is very effective for indigestion, nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, diarrhea and flatulence. It is very helpful in removing gas from the stomach and intestines. It also removes acidity, diarrhea and morning sickness. It is often referred to as a digestive tonic.
  • Is Full of Nutrients: It is a great source of manganese, fiber, iron, and calcium.

National Cinnamon Bun Day!

Did you know that cinnamon rolls (buns) have their own holiday?

In Sweden, October 4 has been designated "Kanelbullens Dag", or "Cinnamon Bun Day.

Positively Sinful Cinnamon Rolls

Our usual Bible study meeting time is 10:00 a.m. (and we're Lutherans with an ever-present pot of coffee), our gathering centers around the Bible, and brunch. Each of us contributes something—sometimes a homemade coffee cake, or a package of cinnamon rolls from the local bakery, crackers and cheese, or fresh produce from one's garden.

My dear friend Mary was there, and she brought a wonderful treat from a local store—I think it was called "Sin-Dawg" bread—"Sin" for the cinnamon and "Dawg" representing the local nickname for our beloved University of Washington Huskies. How could something advertised as the "healthiest cinnamon roll in the world" (100 percent whole grain) be so amazingly yummy?

The recipe above is the antithesis of Dave's Sin-Dawg bread—a cinnamon roll recipe I've used for years. It's not whole grain, it's not healthy, and although it might show up at next week's Bible study, it certainly isn't manna from Heaven (but it probably has the "Sin" part down pretty good!).

© 2014 Linda Lum


Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on November 20, 2017:

Flourish, I have no way of understanding their criteria. That remind me, I think my "two weeks" is up, so maybe I could use THIS one as my next submission. All of my new articles get moved in a day or two, but the old ones don't budge unless I give them a little push. Thanks.

FlourishAnyway from USA on November 20, 2017:

Why in the world this isn't on delishably, I'll never know. Add frosting and you have heaven.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on May 29, 2015:

RTalloni - so glad that you found my hubs. I look forward to your hub on low carb.

RTalloni on May 29, 2015:

Hmmm, might give this a try. Well, thanks to those pictures, I'll probably have to give it a try, and soon.

We are eating differently and low carb is part of our new way. If we continue to have success with it I plan to write a hub on it and include links to recipes like this one. Remind me if I forget! :)

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on May 29, 2015:

Mary - There is nothing like the aroma of yeast dough. That smell instantly takes me back to my childhood. I admire anyone who takes the time to bake for their family--every weekend. Wow. They are very luck. Thank you for your kind words and support.

Mary Hyatt from Florida on May 29, 2015:

I make cinnamon rolls for my family almost every Sunday. Mine are good, but I never heard of adding potato flakes. I am bookmarking this recipe for later use. I love to make yeast bread!

Voted UP, etc. and shred.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on September 24, 2014:

SusanDeppner - So glad you liked it. Autumn is not my favorite season, but I do love the type of cooking we do--homey warm things, things seasoned with cinnamon and nutmeg, and comforting soups and stews. Thanks for stopping by.

Susan Deppner from Arkansas USA on September 24, 2014:

Oh, I love this time of year, too, partly because I start using the oven again. Now I have a new recipe to prepare and I'll be planning on using cinnamon generously on other things, for health reasons and just because I love it. Had it on baked sweet potatoes for dinner today, in fact. Thanks for sharing more than just a recipe here. Very enjoyable read!

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on September 24, 2014:

bearmom thank you for writing. Yes, there is nothing like the aroma of cinnamon rolls baking in the oven.

Laura L Scotty from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on September 24, 2014:

Cinnamon buns are one of my favorites. Thank you for your recipe and the health benefits associated with eating cinnamon.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on September 23, 2014:

Bill, you are killing me with your comments. I'm in stitches. Let me know when you'll be in town and I will make a batch just for you.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on September 23, 2014:

Oh, you are killing me with this...I want one so badly...no, I want two...no, I want three. :)

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