Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls – A Copy Cat

Here’s my version of a combination of a few recipes claiming to be Cinnabon™ Cinnamon Rolls. It’s close. Enjoy!



  • 1 package of dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 cups of flour


  • 1½ cup packed brown sugar {I use dark brown}
  •  3 ½ tablespoons cinnamon


  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 1½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Warm up milk so that when you touch it, it feels like a warm bath, not scolding. If you have never dissolved yeast in milk before, please read about it here. Set aside somewhere out of a draft, like the microwave. Yeast should start to bubble and rise after a few minutes. If it doesn’t refer to the link above. But, while the yeast is doing its thing…

In your Kitchen Aid mixer, add Flour, sugar and salt. Mix on slow speed until well mixed. Take out 1 cup of flour mixture and set aside.

Using your “paddle” attachment, mix in butter and eggs slowly. Mix on speed “2” or low for 2 minutes.

Switch out and use your “dough hook” attachment.

Slowly add your bubbly yeast while continuing to mix. SLOWLY. Try not to let the yeast “puddle” in the mixture. Mix on “2” or low for another 2 minutes. Add remaining flour mixture that you set aside adding 1/2 cup at a time. Let the mixer “knead” the dough for another 4-6 minutes. Once dough reaches the top of the hook turn off.

Oil a large bowl and place dough in it. Cover with a towel and set aside out of any drafts. I place mine in a un-heated oven to protect it from the cold. Let rise for 1 hour or more. Usually until the dough has doubled in size.

While your dough is rising, you can work on your filling.

Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and mix until well combined. Set aside.

Once dough has doubled in size your instincts will want to “punch down” the dough… DO NOT DO THAT! I, too, used to punch it down, but have learned from some experts that doing so is not a good thing. You have created Gluten, and Gluten keeps memory shape, so this is why we don’t want to punch the dough down. Just lightly scrap around the edges of the bowl and pull out your dough. The air will go out on its own.

Oil the bottom of a two cookie sheets and place dough in the middle of one and put the other aside. With your clean hands, press the dough all around the cookie sheet {staying with the rectangle shape}. Once you have a rectangle shape of the whole cookie sheet get a spoon and spread your brown sugar and cinnamon mixture and sprinkle over the top. Spreading evenly.

***I know what you are thinking…

“Where’s the butter?!”

I know how you feel. You remember those “experts” I was talking about? Well they had said that the butter does nothing but push your “roll” away from its self. Butter contains water. When the butter gets heated up in the oven it creates stem from the water in the butter and thus making your nice roll push away and not be tight and eventually will just fall apart. But hey, I say do whatever you like. BUT – after making cinnamon rolls for years, I have finally stopped using butter and they came out amazing! Try it. You will see. AND, of course if you want that butter flavor, just melt some after they have baked and drizzle some over the top. boom.***

Roll your dough starting from one side, making a tight roll.


Once rolled slice the rolled dough in 9-12 pieces {depending on how big you want your rolls}


Place each roll onto the other oiled cookie sheet you had set aside.


Once all rolls are on your oiled cookie sheet, place towel over them and set somewhere out of a draft to let the rolls rise for about an hour or more, again.

Note: Place rolls closer together on pan, about one inch apart for more of a soft edged cinnamon roll. Spread rolls out more if you like a crusty cinnamon roll.

Rolls after 2nd rise, doubled in size!

Rolls after 2nd rise, doubled in size!

Rolls should double in size and be ready to bake!

Bake at 400° for 10 minutes or until brown

While your rolls are baking, get your icing ready!

Icing: Beat butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add vanilla and salt and beat more. Then lastly beat in the powdered sugar slowly. Beat until fluffy and spread on warm rolls. OR – place in an airtight container and use later, simply by warming up your cinnamon roll and spooning on a scoop of refrigerated icing on top and let melt.

Note: Yields 9-12 rolls per recipe. I double my recipe, because I love them that much.


Freezing Option: Yes, you can prepare these bad-boys and freeze them for later. After you have sliced your cinnamon rolls, place them in a gallon Ziploc bag, you can usually fit 9 in one bag. Suck out as much air as you can and seal bag. Lay rolls flat in the freezer for about 2 hours before you move them elsewhere in the freezer, if needed. To eat, bring rolls out of the freezer and place them out on an oiled cookie sheet. After placing rolls on cookie sheet, cover them with a clean towel and let thaw and rise for about an hour or more, until doubled. Then bake as usual!


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