Cinnabon-Style Gourmet Cinnamon Buns

Cinnabons via Sweetapolita

I’m pretty certain that I spent a good portion of my late teens in line at Cinnabon with my friends. At the time, it was all new to us, and definitely “all the rage,” well, rightfully so — they are downright incredible cinnamon buns with the most addictive smothering of snow white frosting. At the risk of stating the obvious, I’ve got a bit of a sweet tooth. For me, cake makes the world go round and pies, cookies, and such certainly do their part, that’s for certain, but cinnamon buns, well for me they are the ultimate. So much so that I often trade the idea of my own birthday cake in for a box of fresh Cinnabon cinnamon buns. Literally. Don’t even worry about singing Happy Birthday; just put a birthday candle in one, and we’re good.

I have to admit, though, that one of two things has occurred since those younger days when I used to eat them so often: 1. The crafty folks at Cinnabon have gradually, as with many food chains, made their product smaller (and smaller), or 2. The cinnamon buns have remained the same huge size, but my appetite and sweet tooth have increased so much that as gargantuan as Cinnabons are, eating one just simply doesn’t cut it anymore. I fear that #2 is the harsh reality, and I find that just a tad disturbing. As seasoned as I was at eating them when I was younger, it would still take me an average of 2 sittings to finish one, and oh the price I would pay in bellyaches, but wow, was it worth it. Always. Remember how amazing that last bite, right in the middle, was?

Cinnabons via Sweetapolita

When I thought about making cinnamon buns this past week, I knew in my heart that I wanted to find a recipe that was as close to the Cinnabon version as possible, but since I’ve never attempted any version before, it was tricky knowing how they would turn out, or how close I could get to the real thing. I spent a lot of time, over the past few weeks, searching for the perfect version, with high hopes of discovering some kind of clone recipe out there, and I’m excited to report that with a little bit of this one and a little bit of that one, these are really, really close!

They could even be exact, it’s hard to know, but I took them out of the oven last night around 11:00pm, and while my little family was sleeping peacefully, I engaged in what was the single-most heavenly dessert experience of my life: warm, buttery, gooey, fluffy cinnamony buns one-minute-old from of the oven. In all of my life I’ve never eaten a gourmet cinnamon bun fresh out of the oven like that. I had my frosting all ready to go (wait until I tell you about the frosting–incredible!),  just moments before I took the tray out of the oven. I placed the tray onto the cooling rack, reached over for my little offset palette knife, and smothered one of them in the creamiest, fluffiest, cream-cheesey, lemony & vanilla-y, frosting ever created.

I’m pretty sure I wound up in a semi-conscious state of bliss-and-being at that moment, but I do recall telling myself that it was the best thing I had ever eaten. As in ever. I also recall repeating steps 1-4 a few more times, then putting everything away, turning off the lights in the kitchen and going straight to sleep. I’m sure that did a world of good for my part in the upcoming bikini season, but honestly, it was a force beyond my control.

Cinnabons via Sweetapolita

Now, I know at first glance you might think that looks like too much frosting for one cinnamon bun, but trust me, this isn’t your average sugary-sweet white frosting. This is, I have to say, the highlight of these cinnamon buns — and that says a lot, considering the insane deliciousness of the buns themselves.

As I mentioned, it’s angelically light, lemony, vanilla-y, cream-cheesey, and overall like nothing that’s ever come out of my mixer in the past. I found a recipe online from the “Gordon Family,” through The Fresh Loaf, that was promised to be an actual clone of the Cinnabon dough, filling, and frosting. I actually ended up using the frosting recipe from them, and the actual dough and filling recipe from another source that vowed it was the ultimate recipe (I modified ever-so-slightly). So, as a result of combining some of the best recipes out there, these were as good as I’d hoped and, dare I say, really simple to make. I don’t know why I had it in my head that they would be complicated, or why I’ve never tried it before.


Call me old-fashioned, but baking homemade cinnamon buns for my little girls and watching them eat them up with glee together, makes me feel that same mommy bliss that folding and putting away little wee clothes gives, and assures me that it’s always worth the effort. That’s a lot of sweetness pouring out of a single photo.

If you would like to make these at home, here is the recipe (oh please, friends, make them!):

Cinnabon-Style Gourmet Cinnamon Buns

Yield: 12 large rolls


    For the Dough:
  • 1 (7 g) package dry yeast
  • 1 cup (237 ml) whole milk, warm
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup (75 g) margarine (or 80% margarine 20% butter spread)
  • 1 teaspoon (8 g) salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3-1/4 cups (410 g) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (105 g) bread flour
  • For the Filling:
  • 1 cup (220 g) packed light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons (36 g) ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup (75 g) margarine (or 80% margarine 20% butter spread)
  • For the Frosting:
  • 1/2 cup (114 g) cream cheese, softened 30 mins
  • 1/2 cup (114 g) margarine, softened 30 mins
  • 1-3/4 cups (220 g) icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla flavour (alcohol-free, if possible)
  • 1/8 teaspoon lemon flavour (alcohol-free, if possible)


    For the Dough:
  1. In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm milk. Add sugar, margarine, eggs salt then flour and mix well.
  2. Knead the dough into a large ball, using your hands dusted lightly with flour. Put in a bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  3. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface, until it is approx 21 inches long by 16 inches wide. It should be approx 1/4 thick.
  4. For the Filling:
  5. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon.
  6. Assemble the Rolls:
  7. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  8. Spread the softened margarine over the surface of the dough, then sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon evenly over the surface, leaving about 1-inch untouched around edges. Gently roll into a fairly tight roll, trying to keep the filling inside.
  9. With a sharp knife, slice into 12 pieces. Place on prepared cookie sheet about 2" apart. Cover with lint-free cloth, and let rise for another hour.
  10. Bake in 400°F on rack just above centrer, for about 10 minutes, or until light golden brown.
  11. Cool on cooling rack and gently place into airtight container when cool.
  12. For the Frosting:
  13. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, blend the cream cheese and margarine for 6 minutes on low speed (#2 on KitchenAid Mixer).
  14. Switch from the paddle to the whisk attachment and whip for 10 more minutes at medium-high (#6)
  15. Add 1 cup (125 g) of the icing sugar and mix for 1 minute on low speed. Add the remaining 3/4 (95 g) cup of icing sugar and mix for an additional minute. Add the flavors and mix for 1 minute on medium-high speed.
  16. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate. Top warm, fresh-baked rolls generously with frosting.


*Microwave for 15-20 seconds to reheat.

[dough & filling recipe slightly adapted from Group Recipes]

[cloned cinnabon frosting source: Gordon Family]

Sweetapolita’s Notes:

  • I came across an 80% margarine 20% butter spread at my local grocer, which is what I used for the dough, filling and frosting. If you can’t find such a thing, go with the recommended margarine or butter.
  • Since this recipe was designed as a scientific mission to clone the Cinnabon frosting, you might enjoy reading it precisely as it was shared by the Gordon Family (here). In their words on the frosting: There are several steps involved in the preparation of the frosting. But it is not difficult, and you’ll be surprised at the wonderful results you achieve. For the fluffiest frosting, use Vanilla and Lemon flavors that do not contain alcohol. A total of 50 minutes is required to prepare the frosting, from start to finish. We normally prepare the frosting while the rolls are rising.

Photo Props: For those of you who have an interest in some of the quirky vintage food props I use on occasion, I wanted to share that the props in this post are my two favourite vintage baking items in my collection. The “Scanlon Bakery” wooden tray was something I found near me, in an antique shop in Orono, Ontario. I did some research on the bakery’s history (my history fascination is always in the back of my mind when antique shopping!), but all I could find at first attempt, was that it was a family-run bakery on Yonge Street in Aurora, Ontario (north of Toronto).

I read that a couple bought it and operated it in the 1960’s, which suggests that it’s been around a lot longer than that. I only discovered this last year (even though I’ve had it for several years) when I read an obituary for that woman. The tray used to sit on my kitchen counter with cookbooks in it, but I’ve since minimized the counter, and was happy to tie it into a photo shoot.  Now who were the Scanlons and when did they open this bakery (which is no longer known as Scanlon Bakery)?  This inspires me to go do more research and learn  more about the original owners and when the bakery was opened initially. If I had more time, I could exercise my genealogy skills, and get to the bottom of it!

*Update: For those of you on the edge of your seats about my Scanlon Baking tray ;), I discovered that in 1950, there were 8 Scanlon Bakery locations across the Toronto area. I wonder which one it was from!

The “Sucre” tin is a gem I found, also in Orono (at a different shop), and is something they picked up from Montreal. Sadly, I don’t know anything else about it, aside from the fact that it rocks my world. It sits on my kitchen counter filled with sugar, next to my huge glass jar of flour. Just in case you were curious!

Good luck & enjoy!


Share the Sweetness!


  1. says

    LOL, this is in my top three fave desserts!!!!!!!!!!! Scones, cinnamon rolls, and panna cotta!!!!!!!!! Okay can you tell I am excited? These are gorgeous, as are the photos…I read your post on how you did it, but I still cannot even come close. Kudos my friend!

  2. Jenny Hank + Hunt says

    Oh….my….push diet start back two days so I can enjoy this blissfully unaware of calories. Yum!

  3. says

    First off, wow, your pictures are the most beautiful things I have ever seen. Second off, thank you for this recipe!. The closest cinnabon closed down and in it’s place is a Red Mango, I’m not dissing the frozen yogurt, I love that stuff, but now I can’t smell the awesomeness of cinnamon baking anymore! These really do look delicious too! YUM!

  4. says

    I haven’t had a Cinnabon for years but I’ll never forget how delicious they tasted. I tend to think that they are probably making them smaller(like so many other things these days) I was afraid to keep reading in case you didn’t post your recipe. Imagine my delight when I saw it all listed for us! Thank you so much. I’m going to make these…maybe for Easter morning! I can definitely see these taking the place of Hot Crossed Buns.

    p.s. I used to love folding my children’s baby clothes. Now I have to live vicariously through my daughter and hope she has a load of my grand-daughter’s clothes waiting to be folded whenever I visit.

  5. says

    Yay!! Trying to replicate the Cinnabon cinnamon buns has been a nearly monthly ritual for me! I’ve come close, but your photos are motivating me to try yet again. Thank you! :-)

  6. says

    Oh Rosie,
    What a beautiful post! I loved reading the whole story! And I love that you included the prop info. I noticed that crate right off the bat, it is SO perfect!! What a find! And oh yes, I do LOVE cinnamon rolls too!! Oh how happy and fat we could be if we were neighbors!! =)

  7. says

    I’m having some *serious* cinnamon bun envy at the moment. It’s 7:19 a.m.- I’ve got my hand wrapped around my first cup of piping hot coffee and now this… off to the kitchen I go, I go.

  8. says

    Oh goodness. Now this could either be really good news or really bad news for us. Good news because oh what a delicious, divine and totally gorgeous cinnamon bun this is! Bad news…? Not sure our metabolisms are quite what they were when we were 16. But we’ll have to test it out anyway right? They’re too good looking – we can’t not make ’em!

    • Lisa says

      I am curious about Andrea’s comment that her grand parent’s owned the Scanlon bakery. My grandparents did in fact own the chain of Scanlon bakeries with the actual bakery in Aurora. My aunt is here as I type this, and it was her parents that owned the Scanlon Bakery. Either we are related or you are mistaken. Email me please.

  9. says

    Tragically I don’t think I’ve had Cinnabon in at least a decade. something about cost v. satisfaction, probably. but I am SO up for making my own. It’s just been way too long. And these look way too fabulous to pass up.

    • says

      Jillian, I’m not 100% sure why they call for margarine over butter, but the majority of the gourmet bun recipes I’ve read, including the actual clone of the Cinnabon, call for margarine. I used a mix of 80% margarine 20% butter, and they are incredible. It would be personal preference, but the consistency may be a bit different with butter, much like a pie crust made with butter over the traditional shortening. Hope this helps. Good luck!

      • says

        These look nothing short of amazing…. and your pictures are mouthwatering! Do you remember the brand of margarine you used? I usually use butter and was curious about trying the margarine…. Does it come in stick form? Thanks so much for sharing this amazing recipe!

      • Helen Bowden says

        I believe it’s because margarine has hydrogenated oil and butter doesn’t, so the margarine lightens the texture of the bread. I’ve read that if you’re out of margarine, you could try using some shortening instead.

        However, when I made the recipe I was out of margarine, so I used 3 Tablespoons butter and 2 Tablespoons shortening (1/3 cup is 5 Tablespoons) and it worked out very well.

        Thanks for the great recipe! I particularly loved the icing too!

  10. says

    Oh my these look wonderful. Cinnabon holds a special place in my heart and you can never have too much frosting. Thanks for sharing.

  11. says

    I’m kind of “cinnamon addict” but I’ve never been able to fing THE perfect recipe… I think I’ll have to try this one which is sooo yummy, especially with the icing (even though I usually prefer my cinnamon rolls without frosting) !

  12. says

    How could you ever say too much frosting? For me, there is no such thing! The way I see it, the cinnamon bun is just a little something extra…the icing is what I am really in it for!

  13. says

    These cinnamon buns are a work of art! Your photos(and children) are gorgeous! Would you like to fold (and put away) my clothes for me(no cute baby clothes though)? :)

  14. says

    I so wish I had one of your amazingly gorgeous cinnamon buns right now! I was in the Charlotte airport yesterday right next to the Cinnabon counter contemplating on whether or not to indulge in one of those cinnamon sweet rolls but I resisted the temptation and now I am kicking myself for it since my mouth is watering after reading your post! Cinnamon rolls are one of my all time favorite sweet treats and I am certainly going to give this recipe a try. In the meantime, I am going to pay a visit to the Cinnabon counter in the Charlotte airport on Thursday for my return trip home! Love the wooden bakery box and Sugar can props in your photos, these are styled just perfectly, and your too little girls sharing a cinnamon bun, it doesn’t get much sweeter than that!

  15. Mellybrown says

    I have made many a cinnamon roll in my time, but have never strayed from my Grammy’s recipe because they are simply perfect. I have never had a cinnabon roll and the margarine in this is freaking me out …….. and yet I can’t stop thinking about these rolls! Pretty sure I will be making them tomorrow, after I get some margarine. I think I’m charmed by how precise the frosting recipe is. I’m new to your site and I LOVE your beautiful cakes and how dedicated you are to flavor over decoration. Plus your girls are super beautiful. Thanks for posting this! I’ll report back with my own results.

  16. says

    Gosh, once you start on a cinnamon bun it is sooooo difficult to stop eating it. Reading this post brings me back to experiences with Cinnabon when I was younger. These days all that sugar would send me to the moon – but girl now I am craving one so bad. Love the vintage pics of your adorable kids :) xo

  17. Isabella says

    I really love cinnamon bun!!! And since I live in Brasil I can`t eat them all the time case here there isn`t a Cinnabon store. When I saw the recipe I was sooooooooooooo happy, I will try to make them right away. Thank you!

  18. Jen Lottman says

    Yummmmmmmy!! Rosie, you’re killing me!! As you probably remember from all our years of bakery going together, cinnamon buns are an easy winner for me every time!! These look scrumptious and again, you are amazing!
    Love you and all your amazing creations!! Keep baking and move closer to Waterloo silly!!! Xo

    • says

      Thanks, Jen! I thought of you as I wrote this. I’m certain you and I ate more Cinnabons together than anyone! I remember thinking about how insane it was that you lived in walking distance of Cinnabon! A dream come true :) You have to make these–you won’t believe how close they are–particularly the frosting. It’s scary. I’m sure I’ve eaten about 5 so far. Off the to the treadmill I go! xo

  19. Mellybrown says

    I was skeptical because of the margarine, but they are incredible! I followed the recipe to the letter and had perfect results. I don’t think they’ll replace my Gram’s but they will mix it up a bit for me. The frosting makes them absolutely delightful. Thanks! Now onto the chocolate marshmallow cake ….

  20. Mary says

    oh no you di-in’t!!!!…you know these are my mortal enemies all wrapped up in cinnamon and frosting! shame! (of course what I mean is…holy deliciousness, they look awesome!) xo

  21. Lorraine says

    I am making these as I type! Thanks so much for the recipe and attention to detail with the frosting. One little question, do you roll them from the 21″ or the 16″ side? Wanted to follow you exactly!

      • Lorraine says

        O M G!!!!!!! These are absolutely THE best cinnamon rolls I have EVER made – and I have made a TON!! SO big, SO soft and the frosting is out of this world. Holy COW!!!!!! I did make the mistake of using tub margarine, which I’m certain affected the thickness of the frosting. Even after being in the fridge a while it wasn’t quite as thick as it appears in the photo. The taste, however, was not affected in the least – it was awesome! Thanks so much for taking the time to post this for us!!

  22. says

    Hi there Rosie. Just wanted say Ive just come across your blog from another friend linking it. I love your baking and food photography.Makes me want to lick my screen! Your family is gorgeous and I look forward to learning some new recipes and techniques. Thanks from NZ

  23. aimeesioux says

    These look awesome! Really tho i just wanted to ask about the frosting and if all the precision and beating-time really changes the outcome? I’m not saying i’m skeptical at all, i’m just truly curious to know if and what difference all the precision and detail makes?

  24. Chelsea says

    Hi! I just finished baking these for a brunch I a going to in the morning. I had to do a “poison check” and they are UH-mazing! I am so excited! Thanks for the recipe!

  25. says

    oh snap.

    i, too, loved cinnabon as a kid… that creamcheese frosting gets me every time… i haven’t had it in so long though, and these look so good… DARE i make these for my hubby and i!? yikes! i’d be hitting the gym pretty hard afterward i think!

    i am loving that old wooden bakery box thingie you have the cinnamon buns in too! so cute, and lovingly styled! PS your daughters continue to be crazy-ridiculous cute…


  26. krista says

    rosie – these are fantastic!!! the icing is divine! i’ve baked my second batch this afternoon since i only go 1 the last time! i’m going to have to find a good hiding spot for them this time… :)

  27. says

    These look de-li-cious! And, if I hadn’t already been convinced, your photography would have done the job. Gorgeous. I especially love the ones of your daughters; beautiful. :) I will definitely try these!
    P.S. I also love your template.

  28. Jonathan says

    Made these to the letter, except with butter instead of the prescribed margarine(I do not use margarine).
    Turned out beautifully!

    • says

      That’s great, Jonathan! I’ll have to try again with butter–you can never go wrong with all butter, but I was curious how it would affect this recipe. Thanks for sharing that and letting me know!

  29. Lailah says

    I will sure try to make them!! me and my sister have been searching for the perfect cinnabom recipe for ages! We love Cinnabom, and live in Brazil where all Cinnabon stores have closed! Loved your post!I really share your love for them!Cute kids too….Thank u!

  30. says

    Those look amazing!! They’re making my mouth water just by looking at them. So happy to have found this. Will definitely give it a try on the weekend. Thanks!

  31. Colleen says

    Wow, I’m drooling right now…I adore cinnamon buns. yay for copycat recipes! I tried looking for one for Beard Papa’s cream puffs, but there’s no luck on that.
    Just a quick question– how much yeast (in tsp/tbsp) would a 1/4 ounce package be? I have mine in a jar.
    Thanks for sharing this!

      • Debbie says

        I am confused with the yeast measurements. Is it one pack of yeast plus 1\4 ounce and that = 1 + 1\2 tsp, or am I reading this wrong. Thanks

        • says

          Debbie, it’s one standard packet of yeast, which is typically about 1/4 ounce or 7-8 grams per packet. In my recipes, when I put any measurements/weights in brackets, it’s simply to offer additional info that may help with accuracy for best results. Hope this helps!

  32. Christine says

    Beautiful post, delicious cinnamon rolls! They were just right for Easter breakfast. Everything turned out perfectly (aside from needing more than just a little flour to keep them from sticking when rolled out). I used Earth Balance spread instead of margarine (a little more healthy) and it worked great. We’ve been enjoying them all day. Thanks for sharing. Happy Easter!

  33. says

    I used butter instead and the rolls are still AMAZING! I love this recipe! And that frosting?? Holy Cow!! I’ve never tasted something so good & fluffy-light! Thank you so much!

  34. Vanessa says

    Just finished making these (with real butter…no margarine in this baking household) and my god, I have never had anything so good! I needed a recipe to bake 4 dozen for my husband’s work tomorrow morning and found yours. I’m so glad I cut off a little piece to bake up in a little cup to have as my own….Might have to do that with each log of dough as I go. :-) These are dangerous! Thank you thank you thank you! I am not just quadrupling the recipe, I’m making each batch a single batch at a time. My oven is too small to accommodate otherwise. Thank you again, you have single-handedly made my husband the most popular man at the office, I’m sure. Planning on warming them before taking them in tomorrow morning….the smell alone should just about slay them.

  35. Wendy says

    I am dying to make them, but wondering if they can be put together the night before and kept in the fridge, then just warmed up on the counter before baking them the next morning? I absolutely love cinnamon buns fresh out of the oven, but it would take me forever to do it in the morning – I wouldn’t be able to wait that long!

  36. Jill says

    I just made these for the first time (first time I’ve actually made anything with yeast as a matter of fact) and I’m in love… I have a month left in this pregnancy and have just decided that they might become a main staple in my diet for the next few weeks ;) Thank you so much for posting, I can hardly believe they turned out so well for me!!!

  37. Hannah says

    I loved baking these for my mom for Mother’s Day! I was a little worried about them being too much for her but the icing makes them so light it’s amazing!

  38. Martin says

    So, I have now discovered what people mean by “food porn”. This is it. What an amazing description and photos. I think i’m going ot try one of the bread machine versions to start off with (never had much luck with hand kneeding, for some reason) – but I’m bookmarking this and may come back.

  39. Hope says

    Wow!! I just made these for the first time the other day and it was such a hit with the family that I made them again today, but today I made a cream cheese frosting instead. thank you for sharing and I look forward to baking your other recipes to.

  40. Rick says

    Thank you! I made cinnamon buns this weekend and they are yummy but not as fluffy as I want; this recipe is on my hit list for the next batch I whip up. For frosting I softened spreadable cream cheese and whipped it with maple syrup and a little brown sugar. The mixture is intoxicatingly good!

  41. Sweets says

    Oh you are so right about the frosting!!!! YUM!! i made these for my “cakesters” (3 boys) and got rave reviews!! as my oldest son put it…”mom! these get 5 out of 4 stars!!” only to have a coworker tell me she would give them 7 out of 5!! so these, as you said they would be, are over the top good!! thank you for sharing!! This afternoon i am going to try making your Mascarpone Meringue Cake!!

  42. ethel says

    really great! i was skeptical at first as always does for online recipes. but this is actually superb! really really great. love it. thanks for sharing the recipe.

  43. Saman says

    I’ve recently discovered your blog and can’t keep away!! Now I have an arm’s length of recipes I have to try – thanks :)

    Quick question about the cinnamon buns (which I made on the weekend and were AMAZING) – do you think I could freeze the unbaked rolls so they are ready to pop in the oven whenever we feel the urge?

      • Saman says

        Just wanted to provide an update – I rolled and sliced the dough and then froze (in greased baking dish) before the second “rise”. Defrosted in the fridge for 24 hours and then pulled them out of the fridge for a bit (just to bring them closer to room temp) before baking. Turned out great! It was a perfect Thanskgiving weekend breakfast – the guests were very impressed.

        P.S. I made them “Minibons” by halfing the width of the dough – this gave me 36 smaller buns instead of 12 big ones. Baking time remained the same.

    • says

      Thanks, Emily! You can definitely make these the night before, and then just warm them up in the microwave for about 20 seconds each at serving time. If you’re wanting to warm the whole tray, you could warm them in the oven on low heat. Hope that helps!

  44. Melanie says

    Hello Rosie, I love your blog and all of the beautiful pictures. I’m dying to try these cinnamon buns out but I have a couple questions is it possible to use quick rise yeast? Also can the dough be made a day or two in advance? Thanks in advance for in help you can offfer.

  45. Ashlee says

    Made these a few weeks ago and I think they are better than Cinnabon, maybe it’s cause these are so fresh :D I am thinking about making them to take to my co-workers, but with all the rise time needed ( & honestly not wanting to wake up @ 5am) I was thinking about making them up to the second rise and then placing the tray of rolls in the refrigerator overnight prior to baking them. That way I can still bake them fresh in the morning. Any thoughts? I am not sure if this will mess with the yeast at all. I still want big fluffy rolls! Thanks for any advice.

    • Autumn says

      Hi Ashlee,

      That is exactly what I did with them. I let them rise on the cookie sheet then popped them in the fridge overnight. They actually ended up sitting out another hour in a very warm room before making it to the oven. They were still perfect. I would just make sure they are fully at room temp before you put them in the oven. Let us know how it goes! Good luck.

      • Ashlee says

        it turned out PERFECT! I let them sit out for an hour too, so that helped … next time I make these, which will be very soon, I am going to add pecans :D

  46. jane says

    I made these last week for a group of girlfriends and they were an absolute hit. So so so nice! I haven’t been in the US for over a decade and midd Cinnabon – these are even better! THANK YOU!! I also decided to cut from the dough roll smaller and place each in it’s own muffin case. They worked out beautifully

  47. Autumn says

    Absolutely delicious! These were as yummy as the ones in the photo looked to be. I used real butter instead of margarine. Now just to figure out how to suck the fat and calories out of these treasures… Thanks for the recipe!

  48. Michelle says

    I am in love! These are so yummy. For the person who asked about the frosting specifications, I too am a bit of a rebel in following detailed directions when baking. I usually dump everything in at once. So, of course I did the same for the frosting. I didn’t switch out any attachments, nor vary the speed at all. And it came out delicious… in about 5 minutes. Of course, I don’t have the original to compare it to, but the icing was creamy, thick, and fluffy. It looked just like the photos here. So, if anyone needs that shortcut to spur them on, I hope that helps. And,since I only had butter in the house, that is all I used as well for both the dough and the icing. FABULOUS! Thanks, Rosie!

  49. Rivkah says

    Rosie! It looks delicious, I already bought the ingredients.. I just need help with high altitude adjustment? (I live in mexico city, 7000ft)

  50. iqra says

    I just made these..its like 3 in the morning right now…just awesome..didnt have the frosting ingredients so just made the buns….they’re pretty awesome on their own……….thanks for sharing:)

  51. says

    So excited to make these!! My 20yr old son will be home for Thanksgiving and LOVES cinnamon buns, so I am going to have these Thanksgiving morning. was thinking of doing dough ahead of time (since I am cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year, could you do dough ahead of time and freeze?? Any suggestions? SO EXCITED!!!!! If I can do that may also make batches for my guests to take home for their breakfast the next morning :)

  52. Kristy says

    Hello Rosie,

    These rolls look delicious, I can’t wait to try your recipe. I tried a Cinnabon clone recipe the other day and they were outstanding, except for the fact they turned out very dense. I’m not sure why? I would like to use my kitchen aid mixer with the dough hook to try your recipe – how long should I knead the dough doing it this way? I want a fluffy roll and yours look perfectly so. Thanks!


  53. Jenn says

    I am attempting these today, I am working through your recipe index one at a time and having fun doing so.
    I have a question regarding the yeast, did you use Active Dry Yeast or Quick Rise Instant Yeast? Which is also dry, that is why I am unclear.


  54. Nikki says

    So I decided to make these, I had a lot of trouble with the yeast in the milk, I tried to dissolve it twice and it never puffed or bubbled or anything, I waited about 15 minutes and my milk just turned brown. I don’t understand what I did wrong can you please help me.

    • Terri says

      Hi Nikki,
      I, too, had trouble the first time and dumped it for nothing. Before last summer when I first discovered this recipe and blog, I had never even used yeast! So, I called my Mom! Just let it dissolve or soften (ensuring milk is at right temp) – there won’t be any bubbling. I’ve made them more times than I want to admit, and they’ve always turned out (with the dough rising and all). And I use butter.
      I’ve made them a few times the night before a brunch. Just take them out of fridge for the last rising session and then bake! Pure heaven.
      Today, I’m going to attempt halving the dough to make “minibons” for brunch tomorrow.
      (Thanks, Rosie)!

    • Bethel says

      Hello Nikki! The only time my yeast has never “worked” was when I used an expired pack of yeast I found in my mother in law’s pantry, so always check the expiration date. In regards to this particular bread recipe, I add a little bit of sugar from the 1/2 cup of sugar required in the recipe into the warm milk and yeast mixture. Don’t let the milk get too hot or else it will kill the yeast and sometimes it helps to just let the sugar/milk/yeast mix sit while prepping the flour. The sugar gives the yeast something to eat, which will give it the growing power necessary for the dough to rise. I have also made this bun recipe more times than I want to admit and my sugar method has yet to fail me! I actually do it for every bread recipe, even if the recipe does not call for sugar…a little sugar never hurts.
      I hope this helps. This bun recipe is the best on the planet!

  55. Kelly says

    YUM I want to make these on Christmas morning! Has anyone tried making these ahead of time? I want them to be warm and gooey but cant take THAT much time on christmas morning! Help!

    • Bethel says

      This reply is a little late but I’ve had great success making them ahead of time. All you have to do is stick the already assembled buns in the the fridge after the second rise. The next morning I just let them sit at room temp for 30 minutes to an hour before I bake them. I have not noticed any differences in the result either way. Hope this helps.

  56. says

    Love these! Making them for breakfast tomorrow! I love the little wooden container you have them in..wish I had something like that! Thanks for sharing. Will be posting to my blog as soon as I’m finished love your site!

  57. Bethel says

    I started making these over the summer and I find an excuse to make them at least every other week. This is the best recipe for cinnamon buns on the planet!
    I don’t use processed spreads much, so I generally stick to butter and I use vanilla sugar in the dough recipe, which adds an extra creamy flavor to the recipe. I’ve also added orange zest to the dough as well and it turns out great.
    This is a family favorite and I share the recipe with everyone!

  58. Monse says

    They just came out of the oven and they are the best cinnamon buns I’ve ever tried! For the dough to double it size it took over two hours, but it was totally worth the time! And the frosting is just delicious. I couldn’t find lemon extract with no alcohol, so I use vanilla paste & bean. It is perfect. I think we are capable of eating the whole tray right now! Thank you!

  59. says

    Yum! Just made these and they were fab! Like some other commenters, my frosting never really thickened up–the more I whisked, the thinner it became! haha! but I didn’t at all follow to the letter. I was mixing by hand and used butter, and, after tasting with the first half of the sugar, I found it was already quite sweet! But the buns were nevertheless awesome with this “glaze” of sorts–and the flavors were spot-on Cinnabon! Thanks for a winning recipe!

  60. Darlana says

    Love these buns! I’ve made them several times and they always turn out fabulous and delicious. I don’t use bread flour…I add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice…dough is perfect. Thank you for sharing!

  61. Nikki says

    So last night I tried it out with the milk and it worked! I’m sorry I doubted this, I don’t know what possessed me to think that yeast has to foam lol The cinnamon rolls were absolutely divine and I plan on having one for breakfast this morning. Thank you for the awesome recipe

  62. Stephanie says

    Should the margarine for the dough be melted softened or something? Or do I just add it and cut it in?
    Looking forward to trying these!!

  63. says

    This is the BEST recipe. I make it all of the time and am constantly asked for it. I am curious though… I cut the filling in half and it is still almost too much. Is that normal or should I be using it all?

    • Fatima says

      I have a question: what do you mean by the filling , is it inside the cinabon or the topping? Plzzzzzzzz answer :?

      • says

        The cinnamon and sugar mixture is what I was referring to. The frosting makes quite a bit too, but its something that you can eat by the spoonfull so having too much is ok :)

  64. Melanie says

    So easy and so yummy! Thanks so much for this recipe Rosie. I can’t wait to try the Krispy Creme Bread Pudding. You’re awesome and I absolutely love your photos!

  65. ivy says

    Hi Rosie, thank you sooooo much for this recipe. My family fell in love with Cinnabon when we used to live in Dubai. Now,we’re here in Uk and the nearest was about 2hours drive away and they closed it!
    I cannot believe my luck when i accidentaly found your website. and there it is a Cinnabon style Cinnamon buns!!! A massive thank you for sharing.:)))
    Love your photos too..

  66. lovestobake says

    your instructions say:

    Knead the dough into a large ball, using your hands dusted lightly with flour.
    Put in a bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place about 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.

    How long do you knead the dough for?


  67. Rey says

    Just Made the Cinnamon Rolls. I was thinking they would be bigger…they never did rise in the pan for the hour after i cut them. i used the rapid yeast. was this a mistake? I was thinking they would cover the cookie sheet fully after baking. I followed the frosting exactly and it turned out so good and fluffy with a hint of lemon. they are still great, but would like to know what i did wrong. i DID sub butter for margarine, which is the only variation i used. thanks. WOW i started at noon and it is now after 5

  68. Laura says

    Hmm… I’m not a fan of cinnamon in my desserts or anything sweet for that matter (I know… I’m one of those weirdos ;)) … but these look so good that I’m tempted to try these soon.

  69. Amanda says

    I plan on making these yummy buns for mothers day brunch.

    Can I use instant dry yeast? if so do i still need to let it rise twice?
    Silly question?


  70. says

    I cannot resist the urge to make cinnamon buns! Thank you for the recipe!

    I do have some questions about the process. You decided to bake at 400F, did you find that the rolls had a tough crust at this high temp? The Gordon family recommends something like 315F, and I’d like to know why you chose 400F.

    Secondly, for the frosting, I don’t have a KitchenAid mixer, although I do have a handy electrical beater, so I don’t really know what 65RPM or 150RPM would feel like, exactly, and all the different attachments! It’s too much! Do you think I’ll fare okay with: first, beating by hand (this can achieve 65RPM), and secondly, using the electrical beater at a good speed?

    I’d really appreciate you answering these questions! Thank you.

  71. Andrea says

    Wow! I just made these last night and they are way better the store made buns! So soft and flavourful!
    I halved the recipe because I had only 1 egg and the yeast didn’t seem to dissolve well, but the turned out beautifully!
    Thank-you Rosie!!!!!!!

  72. Lubna Ashraff says

    Hi Rosie, greetings from down under. I just wanted to let you know that this has been an epic recipe (and baking event) for me. I’d bookmarked your recipe and kept returning to it to read at night almost like a bedtime story. This went on for about a month. I thought I could never achieve something like a true Cinnabon taste here in Australia and had just about resigned myself to having Cinnabon when I returned home to Dubai. After reading your recipe (at least 20 times mind you), I mustered up the courage to try it for myself. Your recipe is so very simple and for me (I’ve never baked with yeast in my life and so I didn’t know whether I was doing it right or wrong), it was so easy to follow. As soon Asia was ready, I scooped up one piece and devoured it within a matter of seconds. And let me tell you that this brought a tear to my eye as i had a flood of memories come back as I ate it in. Even my husband, who usually doesn’t like sweet stuff (I know! I guess opposites attract) said this was almost exactly the same as the real Cinnabon taste. So, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS! Now every time I need a reminder of home, I can bake this amazing treat.

  73. Natalie says

    These are delicious. I’ve tried another cinnamon knock-off recipe, but this one is even better! Thanks, you are becoming one of my most trusted baking resources!

  74. says

    Hi Rosie, total fan of your blog and have tried a few things already. One quick question about the buns. Can you do the rising of the dough the night before or do you have to bake as soon as it has had its second rise.

    Thanks and look forward to more Yummy treats.
    Wendy- South Africa

  75. kaitlyn says

    i just made these and boy were they good!! this is by far the closest clone recipe ive tried, i always can taste the difference in the frosting, but with this frosting, it really did taste like cinnibon! thanks alot for posting:)

  76. erin says

    Wow! I am so making these next week! I live in Australia with my partner, however we are both from Canada. The two things his misses most is cinnabon buns and dq cakes. I have the dq cakes covered as of last year and much internet research! But now i will really be his hero!! Thankyou! Love your blog i grew up with the best homemade themed birthday cakes and with your recipes i get to impress my mom with my creations!

  77. Maly says

    This are THE MOST AMAZING cinnamon rolls ever, I would even dare to say better than cinnabun’s because they’re home made! Do try this with eyes closed! <3 Thank you so, so, so much Rosie!

  78. Faye says

    Thank you, thank you, thank you so much for this delicious recipe. I moved from Canada to Britain when I was 12, and the one thing I still really get homesick for are Cinnabons. Tried this recipe today and I had a huge grin on my face as I smelled them baking…it was that unmistakeable smell….when I tasted them this evening, I assembled my husband and 4 children around the table and we all took a big bite. Wow! I was hyper with excitement, as they tasted so good. I am sooooo pleased, ecstatic, and delighted to be reunited with one of my favourite foods. Thanks a lot Rosie for this recipe!

    • says

      I’m so glad to hear that, Faye! I kind of felt the same way when I first tried them–they were a big part of my childhood, and nothing makes me happier than being able to bake things I love from scratch, rather than buying it store-made. I love that you and your family enjoyed them with such enthusiasm! xo

  79. Mary says

    Thanks for the recipe – I can’t wait to try it. But could you please explain the addition of margarine in the dough….cold in squares, or the whole stick? I’m trying to imagine it and can’t. Thanks so much!

  80. says

    Wanted to let you know that the cinnamon buns turned out AMAZING. I was teaching a friend how to bake and this is what she requested to make! We had a lot of fun and they were delicious. I’m not going to lie, I ate 2… I will definitely be blogging about this one!

  81. Andrea says

    Hi there! If you wanted to make these ahead and freeze them, would you freeze before or after baking? If before, how do u think it would change the bake time? Or what if I wanted to refrigerate the night before the bake the next morning?

  82. Natalie says

    Is there any point during the process that I can freeze them – so as to make ahead if I don’t have time to make them exactly fresh?

  83. frances tabone says

    Hi:-) tried this today…don’t know what I did wrong? Followed the recipe exactly and it didn’t rise at all? Yeast and rising for a hour but they cane out flat and hard like choc chip cookies?? They baked for 10mins.. Also it says for tge filling a cup of sugar tho that was wayyyyy too much, only about 3 tablespoons cinnamon sugar should enough? :-(

  84. says

    I could read your posts over and over Rosie….all such amazing recipes, warm + friendly writing, precision instructions…even a little history, LOVE IT. We made these and they were soooooooooo divine. Scanlon is a very Irish name if you weren’t aware…no doubt an Irish emigrated family bakery. Happy Holidays! Imen x

  85. Heidi Hurst says

    I am making these for dessert today for our family Christmas gathering tonight. can’ Love your blog, love your recipes, love your photos – love it ALL!


  86. Sara says

    I’m going to have to kindly disagree with most of the comments on here. I was disappointed after this recipe turned out a mediocre cinnamon roll at best. They came out looking just like the pictures posted here, so you can bet how excited I was to “test” one. If you are going to claim a “Cinnabon style” description in your title, be ready for some feedback; especially after the somewhat labor-intensive process it takes to make these. Was it a tempting cinnamon roll one would find sitting on a covered cake plate at a diner? Yes. Was it like Cinnabon? Absolutely, hands-down, not even close. The roll itself was a sweet bread that was finished off with cinnamon rolled into it. Sliced up, you could make toast out of these. It was NOT the doughy, gooey roll topped off with decadent frosting found at the original store at the mall. Bottom line: Keep searching Pinterest, and don’t waste your hours and ingredients if you are truly looking for Cinnabon style rolls to make.

    • says

      That’s too bad you feel that way, Sara. As you likely read, this recipe was created by another baker who set out to clone the recipe, and I make it often–to me it’s unbelievably close and worth the effort, which is why I took the time to share it with my readers. I adore this recipe!

    • Ashlee says

      Please keep in mind that everyone’s tastes are slightly different. I, for one, find this roll to beat a Cinnabon roll any day of the week. Also it is Cinnabon-style, not an exact replica, so please be considerate of the blogger who spent a great deal of time working on this recipe, photographing it, and blogging it. Your comment comes off as very rude.

  87. Lori Ernst says

    I have used this recipe many many times for home and as food gifts. It is my favorite cinnamon roll recipe that I’ve come across to date. The icing is hands down the best! I could almost just eat it with a spoon. I take a less labor intensive approach to this recipe though and it turns out perfect every time. I use my bread machine on the dough cycle to make the dough. I also reversed the proportions on the flours. I prefer about 3 cups of bread flour to 1 cup of a-p flour. I never use margarine unless there is a strict reason for doing so. I substituted butter. Since I use a bread machine, I also use the jarred bread machine yeast. With this approach, a batch of homemade cinnamon rolls is a breeze to whip up. And they are never dry or hard. With the bread machine approach, you don’t have to worry about your dough being overworked either. Perfection!

  88. Eleni says

    Can’t wait to try these this week, they look awesome! But I have to ask, is there no Cinzeo in Eastern Canada?!

  89. Claire says

    these are by far the best rolls i’ve ever made. I have used this recipe more 20 times and they never fail to impress :)

  90. says

    Hi! I made this recipe last night and the buns look amazing! The flavors are also great. My only issue is the rolls are kind of dry, not dense and moist as I would hope. Any ideas why this would be?

    Thank you!

    • Marina says

      Livia, brush the tops of the rolls with softened margarine before they head into the oven. I baked my rolls at 335 F for 20 mins, covered with fin foil. Take tin foil off, bake for additional 10 mins or until they are golden brown on top.

  91. Katie says

    I am going to try these this weekend! I always look forward to new posts and recipes of yours. I will let you know how this goes!!

  92. Marina says

    I made these rolls today, they are delicious! The dough is excellent. I made a few slight adjustments (like dissolving yeast in 1/4 cup warm water w/ sugar and then adding milk), used only margarine, and added raisins to the filling. No icing sugar so I have no icing, yet they’re great just the way they are, will make them again. Thank you for the recipe!

  93. Emm says

    Rosie-Do you know why my browm sugar filling didn’t melt much? It was grainy and a bit crunchy but still tasted great.

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