I love a good challenge. Like making cinnamon rolls, 100% from scratch, in 1 hour. Think it can’t be done?

It can. With soft, fluffy, incredible results.

One-Hour Homemade Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting - It's possible to make soft, light, fluffy cinnamon rolls from scratch in 1 hour! Get the recipe at averiecooks.com

Lots of photos follow. Hopefully they’ll help twist your arm about what you should be doing the next hour.I loathe taking step-shots, but with yeast recipes, everyone says they’re really appreciated. You’re welcome.

The rolls are made with yeast, and while plenty of recipes exist for baking powder-based rolls, they always taste a little bit off to me. A yeast-based dough is really the only way to go for a truly authentic tasting cinnamon rolls.

To make them, I adapted and combined elements from Overnight Buttermilk Soft and Fluffy Cinnamon Rolls and One-Hour Soft Buttery Breadsticks in coming up with the dough and method (to my madness).

One-Hour Homemade Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting - It's possible to make soft, light, fluffy cinnamon rolls from scratch in 1 hour! Get the recipe at averiecooks.com

Buttermilk is one of the main reasons why I like my Overnight Cinnamon Roll recipe so well. It’s instrumental in helping the dough stay light, fluffy, soft, and tender. In that recipe there’s the luxury of letting the dough rise overnight if you want.

However, in this recipe, buttermilk is key in helping the dough rise without actually setting aside any time to rise, and it’s a must-use item, no exceptions.

This is not the recipe to play around with trying to make your own buttermilk with a squirt of lemon juice or vinegar into regular milk or try using Powdered Buttermilk. Use the real thing.

One-Hour Homemade Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting - It's possible to make soft, light, fluffy cinnamon rolls from scratch in 1 hour! Get the recipe at averiecooks.com

When I made the One-Hour Breadsticks, I only allowed the dough to rise for about 20 minutes and they were still soft and fluffy. It got me thinking, maybe I could skip the long, drawn out rising and waiting times typically associated with cinnamon rolls. Turns out, yes, I could skip it.

If you’ve made cinnamon rolls before, you know that typically you’re looking at a 2+ hour initial rise, and after punching down the dough, rolling it out, and shaping the rolls, they rise in the pan for another hour or so, before being baked.

With this recipe, you make the dough, immediately roll it out, put it in the pan, and bake it immediately.

One-Hour Homemade Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting - It's possible to make soft, light, fluffy cinnamon rolls from scratch in 1 hour! Get the recipe at averiecooks.com

To make the dough add everything all at once into your stand mixer, and let it knead for about 7 minutes. You can of course do this by hand with elbow grease. You’ve earned your rolls after hand-kneading.

I bake with King Arthur All-Purpose and sometimes King Arthur Bread Flour. Bread flour creates a chewier, thicker, denser result, more bagel-like. I wanted to keep the rolls softer and fluffier, and opted for all-purpose.

I strongly recommend KA flour because the protein levels are generally slightly higher than in other brands. In baking, this lends more structure, translating to puffier cookies, stronger cakes, and better rising bread.  Cheap flour is cheap flour. Spend an extra two bucks for good flour. The results are worth it.

One-Hour Homemade Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting - It's possible to make soft, light, fluffy cinnamon rolls from scratch in 1 hour! Get the recipe at averiecooks.com

I only use Red Star Platinum Yeast. It’s the best yeast I’ve ever tried and it never lets me down. If you’re new to bread-making or working with yeast, consider this yeast your insurance against goofs because it’s very forgiving. Since it’s an instant yeast, you don’t have to proof it (let it stand with warm liquids for 10 minutes or until foamy). You simply add it with the rest of your dry ingredients.

After kneading, the dough will be smooth and it’s not overly sticky.

Roll it out into a 9×14 size. Grab a 9×13 pan and just eyeball it so the dough is a little longer than the pan.

One-Hour Homemade Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting - It's possible to make soft, light, fluffy cinnamon rolls from scratch in 1 hour! Get the recipe at averiecooks.com

Spread a stick of butter over the dough.

One-Hour Homemade Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting - It's possible to make soft, light, fluffy cinnamon rolls from scratch in 1 hour! Get the recipe at averiecooks.com

Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.

One-Hour Homemade Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting - It's possible to make soft, light, fluffy cinnamon rolls from scratch in 1 hour! Get the recipe at averiecooks.com

Starting with the 14-inch side, roll it up into a tight log.

One-Hour Homemade Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting - It's possible to make soft, light, fluffy cinnamon rolls from scratch in 1 hour! Get the recipe at averiecooks.com

Slice it using dental floss. It’s truly the best way to slice rolls so they don’t get squished and lopsided. I’ve tried fancy bench scrapers, really expensive knives, and two cents worth of dental floss is the best bet.

If you make 1-inch slices, you’ll end up with 14 rolls. Nine rolls comfortably fit in a 9-inch pie dish. You’ll have 5 extra. I baked those in a 9×5 loaf pan.

One-Hour Homemade Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting - It's possible to make soft, light, fluffy cinnamon rolls from scratch in 1 hour! Get the recipe at averiecooks.com

I could have baked everything in a 9×13 pan, but I was obsessed with baking in a round pie dish because that’s how my grandma made her cinnamon rolls, and I have a nostalgic predisposition to wanting my cinnamon rolls baked in a round pan. If you don’t care, using a 9×13 pan is probably easiest.

You can also slice them about 1 1/2 inches each, and bake 9 big rolls in a pie dish. They’ll be Cinnabon-sized, whereas the rolls I made are like premade-dough-in-a-tube-sized.

One-Hour Homemade Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting - It's possible to make soft, light, fluffy cinnamon rolls from scratch in 1 hour! Get the recipe at averiecooks.com

I baked for exactly 20 minutes. Watch them closely so you don’t burn them.

The dough is so white and will fool you into thinking it’s still raw when it’s not.

One-Hour Homemade Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting - It's possible to make soft, light, fluffy cinnamon rolls from scratch in 1 hour! Get the recipe at averiecooks.com

While they’re baking, mix up the (mandatory) frosting. Cream cheese, sugar, splash of cream. Nothing fancy, but I want to eat it by the spoonful. Instead of cream, you could use eggnog, maple syrup, Baileys, Kahlua, orange juice, or whatever strikes your fancy.

I put some frosting in a small sandwich bag, cut the corner, and made swirls. I would have never done this if I wasn’t taking pictures. I would have smeared it on fast and super thick with a spatula. And that’s what I did after the photos.

One-Hour Homemade Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting - It's possible to make soft, light, fluffy cinnamon rolls from scratch in 1 hour! Get the recipe at averiecooks.com

I was told the rolls are my best ever.

The text I received, “Cinnamon rolls should be illegal. The best. I ate all the rolls but one. I am going to get chubby.”

One-Hour Homemade Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting - It's possible to make soft, light, fluffy cinnamon rolls from scratch in 1 hour! Get the recipe at averiecooks.com

They’re soft, light, fluffy, and you’d never know the dough didn’t rise for hours on end.

There’s plenty of cinnamon and spice, and the sweet and tangy cream cheese frosting is a heavenly complement.

One-Hour Homemade Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting - It's possible to make soft, light, fluffy cinnamon rolls from scratch in 1 hour! Get the recipe at averiecooks.com

There’s no reason to buy refrigerated dough-in-a-tube rolls or go Cinnabon for your fix.

DIY is always best. And now, you can DIY in 1 hour.

One-Hour Homemade Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting - It's possible to make soft, light, fluffy cinnamon rolls from scratch in 1 hour! Get the recipe at averiecooks.com

One-Hour Homemade Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting - It's possible to make soft, light, fluffy cinnamon rolls from scratch in 1 hour! Get the recipe at averiecooks.com

One-Hour Homemade Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting
Yield: about 14 med rolls, or 9-10 jumbo rolls

One-Hour Homemade Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

There’s no reason to buy refrigerated dough-in-a-tube rolls or go to Cinnabon for your fix. These soft, light, fluffy rolls are made from scratch in 1 hour. The dough is made, rolled out, sliced, and immediately baked, which eliminates many hours and steps compared to most cinnamon roll recipes. And here’s nothing lost in terms of taste or texture. Buttermilk is essential for the recipe, and read the blog post for flour and yeast recommendations. The easy yet tangy cream cheese frosting is the literal icing on the buttery soft cinnamon rolls.

Ingredients

Dough

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (bread flour may be substituted; rolls will be firmer and chewier rather than softer and fluffier; you may only need 2 1/4 cups bread flour) + extra flour if needed, see directions
  • 1 cup buttermilk, warmed to manufacturer’s directions, see directions
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant dry yeast (one 1/4-ounce packet, I use Red Star Platinum
  • 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, optional and to taste

Filling

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), very soft
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 3 tablespoons cinnamon

Frosting

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, very soft (light cream cheese may be substituted, but it’s runnier and you may want to skip the cream)
  • about 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • about 2 to 3 tablespoons cream, half-and-half, or milk (eggnog, maple syrup, orange juice, Baileys, or Kahlua may be substituted if desired)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare a 9-inch pie dish (holds about 9 rolls) and a 9×5-inch loaf pan (holds about 5 rolls) OR prepare a 9×13 pan by spraying with cooking spray or grease and flour the pan(s); set aside. See blog post for explanation about pan sizes.
  2. Dough – To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook (or large mixing bowl and hand-knead), combine all dough ingredients and knead for about 7 minutes, or until dough is soft, smooth, and has come together in a firm mass. If hand-kneading, you may need to knead a few minutes longer. Note – Based brand of yeast used, buttermilk temperature will vary. Red Star Platinum yeast calls for a warmer temperature than most, 120 to 130F; other brands are much lower, about 95 to 105F. Warm buttermilk according to the yeast manufacturer’s recommendations on the packaging. This takes about 1 minute in a glass measuring cup in my microwave. Taking the temperature with a digital thermometer is recommended, but if you’re not, make sure the water is warm, not hot. Err on the cooler rather than hotter side so you don’t kill the yeast. Note – Dough should be smooth, not overly sticky, and fairly easy to handle. If your dough is very wet, moist, sticky, or gloppy, add flour in 1 tablespoon increments until it comes together easily.
  3. Turn dough out onto a Silpat-lined or cooking sprayed work surface.
  4. Using a rolling pin, roll dough into a rectangle that’s approximately 9×14 inches. Use a 9×13 pan and just eyeball it so the dough is a little longer than the pan.
  5. Filling – Spread butter in an even layer over the surface of the dough, leaving about 1/4-inch margins around edges; set aside.
  6. In a small bowl, add sugars, cinnamon, and stir to combine. Evenly sprinkle mixture over the buttered dough.
  7. Starting with the 14-inch side, roll dough up into a tight log.
  8. Make approximately 1-inch slices using plain (not mint) waxed or unwaxed dental floss. It’s the best way to slice rolls so they don’t get squished and lopsided.
  9. Place rolls into prepared pan(s).
  10. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until cooked through and set. I baked for exactly 20 minutes. Watch rolls closely so you don’t burn them. The dough is so white and will fool you into thinking it’s still raw when it’s not. Rolls continue to firm up as they cool. While rolls bake, make the frosting.
  11. Frosting -Combine all frosting ingredients in a medium mixing bowl, and beat with an electric mixer or by hand with a whisk until smooth and combined. Based on desired frosting consistency, you may need to play with the sugar and cream ratios slightly.
  12. Apply frosting to rolls as desired. I placed some frosting in a small sandwich bag, cut the corner, and made swirls. Smearing it on fast and thick with a spatula is what I prefer to do when not photographing them. Extra frosting will keep airtight for many weeks. Rolls are best eaten warm and fresh but will keep airtight for up to 2 days. Reheat gently in microwave before serving if desired. I’m comfortable storing frosted rolls at room temperature, but if you’re not, frost only the portion you plan to consume immediately. Rolls may be made, cooled completely, put in a Ziplock (don’t frost them) and frozen for up to 4 months. Thaw at room temp, frost, and serve.

Adapted from Overnight Buttermilk Soft and Fluffy Cinnamon Rolls  and One-Hour Soft Buttery Breadsticks – Salted and Cinnamon-Sugar (vegan)

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

10

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 438Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 40mgSodium: 155mgCarbohydrates: 66gFiber: 2gSugar: 38gProtein: 6g

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What’s your favorite cinnamon roll recipe? Links welcome

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