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The Ultimate Sinful Cinnamon Rolls

My philosophy when it comes to making or eating cinnamon rolls is “Go big, or go home!”

Why anyone would want anything less than buttery, gooey, tender cinnamon sweetness from a beautiful cinnamon roll? If you’re on a diet, or if you want a “low fat” cinnamon roll recipe, you’re on the wrong damn blog. Scurry along if you’re offended by the amount of beautiful buttery calories this treat proudly struts. Of course, this isn’t something you should eat every day. This is pure decadence, pure gluttony, and pure mouth sex. Help yourself to something sinful once in a while.

The Ultimate Sinful Cinnamon Rolls

Please believe me when I tell you that these are the best cinnamon rolls I’ve ever had. They’re even better than those famous cinnamon rolls you get at the mall, which I’ve noticed have decreased in quality over the years 🙁 They are much drier than they used to be, not as good when reheated, kinda tough — blah. Maybe it’s just my mall, they’re still really good, but not as great as they used to be. But these? These? Ma’am…have a seat and listen to what I’m saying…these are EVERYTHING!!!

This is my holy-grail cinnamon roll recipe and ridiculously easy this was to make. Not a whole lot of unnecessary steps at all. Another thing I absolutely love about this recipe is the texture of the dough. It’s incredibly rich, buttery, and tender, yet it holds up very well due to the cornstarch. The cornstarch ensures a soft and tender dough because it helps reduce the protein in the all-purpose flour. So you get the softness of the cornstarch, and the durability of the AP flour. When baked, the rolls don’t bake into each other making them difficult to separate, which is a huge plus and has something to do with the high-fat content, I’m sure lol. This recipe uses a buttery brioche dough, for starters. What does that mean? Well, there’s so much butter in this dough, that you can roll these on a barely floured surface and not run into too much sticking. That also means your dough will bake up less “floury” tasting, and therefore less tough. These will melt in your mouth and leave your kitchen smelling like pure awesomesauce. I used Vietnamese cinnamon which is stronger and more flavorful, but regular cinnamon will be just fine if that’s all you have.

You are more than welcome to use your very own icing recipe for these, because although the dough recipe is something I’ll always keep, I know I’ll switch up the icing because that’s just how I roll. However, this time, I wanted to do something decadent and sinful…so I whipped up a vanilla bean cream cheese glaze (technically, a runny buttercream). Oh, man…so good. I will warn you, this glaze recipe is super rich, maybe too rich for some of you. I don’t eat these often, so I went for the gusto. Don’t worry if you don’t have a vanilla bean, I just have so many lying around that I will throw them into just about anything to use them up. You can make the glaze as thick or thin as you want, just vary the amount of milk to suit your tastes. There is an alternate glaze recipe posted below if you’re looking for something lighter and less rich. It’s still incredibly delicious, but definitely more practical 😉

These will wow you…I promise. If you have any questions, or if something isn’t clear, please don’t hesitate to ask me. I’m here to help!

The Ultimate Sinful Cinnamon Rolls
The gang’s all here (except the cinnamon, not pictured lol).

The Ultimate Sinful Cinnamon Rolls
This is what your dough looks like as you’re pouring the yeast and egg mixture into the flour mixture.

The Ultimate Sinful Cinnamon Rolls
After 10 minutes of stand-mixer kneading, and a tablespoon of extra flour added to help it from sticking to the sides of the bowl, this is what the dough looks like. Super soft and super buttery.

The Ultimate Sinful Cinnamon Rolls
I kneaded this dough just for a few seconds to form in into a ball. I used a super light sprinkling of flour on the surface.

The Ultimate Sinful Cinnamon Rolls
I warmed my oven to 200 degrees, turned it off, then put this bowl of dough in there to help it proof. It took exactly two hours to double in size.

The Ultimate Sinful Cinnamon Rolls
Meanwhile, I mixed the cinnamon, salt, and brown sugar together as evenly as I could and broke up all large lumps.

The Ultimate Sinful Cinnamon Rolls
I used a rolling pin to stretch the dough out into a large rectangle.

The Ultimate Sinful Cinnamon Rolls
I spread softened unsalted butter all over the surface.

The Ultimate Sinful Cinnamon Rolls
Then I sprinkled the cinnamon/sugar mixture over the butter, and lightly pressed it into the dough to minimize fall out when rolling up.

The Ultimate Sinful Cinnamon Rolls
Roll her up!

The Ultimate Sinful Cinnamon Rolls
Pinch the ends together so that you don’t have any of the filling oozing out.

The Ultimate Sinful Cinnamon Rolls
Place the dough log seam side down, and cut in half right down the middle. Then cut that half in half, and so on until you have 8 large rolls. Or, you could cut them into smaller rolls, its up to you.

The Ultimate Sinful Cinnamon Rolls
Place them in a buttered baking dish. I buttered all sides of this dish, and placed a small sheet of parchment paper on the bottom so that they’d be easier to fish out later.

The Ultimate Sinful Cinnamon Rolls
Just giving you a close up 😉 These are ready to proof for an additional hour before baking.

The Ultimate Sinful Cinnamon Rolls
about an hour later, doubled in size

The Ultimate Sinful Cinnamon Rolls
Make your glaze. You can use my super rich recipe, or create your own. If you want to make my recipe, but a less-rich version, simply leave out the butter and halve the cream cheese.

The Ultimate Sinful Cinnamon Rolls
Pop’em in a 350 degree oven and watch the magic happen. I let mine bake for 35 minutes. You may need between 35 and 40 minutes of total baking time, depending on your oven. Keep these on the middle rack, btw.

The Ultimate Sinful Cinnamon Rolls
30 minutes later, look at how happy they’re getting! They’re almost ready to come out, about another 5 minutes.

The Ultimate Sinful Cinnamon Rolls
35 minutes later, candied surface, tender, gooey centers…begging for the glaze!

The Ultimate Sinful Cinnamon Rolls
Pour it on, baby…

The Ultimate Sinful Cinnamon Rolls

The Ultimate Sinful Cinnamon Rolls
Look at her…

The Ultimate Sinful Cinnamon Rolls
Look at her buttery layers…

The Ultimate Sinful Cinnamon Rolls
She’s beautiful. She’s soft. She’s sinful. She’s about to get devoured.

The Ultimate Sinful Cinnamon Rolls
But…you can just see the butter…but don’t be alarmed, these aren’t “oily” at all. Just very soft, and very rich. The way a cinnamon roll should be.

The Ultimate Sinful Cinnamon Rolls

The Ultimate Sinful Cinnamon Rolls

The Ultimate Sinful Cinnamon Rolls

The Ultimate Sinful Cinnamon Rolls
Yo, you have to make these…I’m serious.

The Ultimate Sinful Cinnamon Rolls
Last bite

Alternate Glaze

The Ultimate Sinful Cinnamon Rolls
This version is much lighter and equally tasty!

The Ultimate Sinful Cinnamon Rolls
Use the recipe for this glaze if you want something as delicious but not as rich

The Ultimate Sinful Cinnamon Rolls

The Ultimate Sinful Cinnamon Rolls

The Ultimate Sinful Cinnamon Rolls
Soft, pillowy, buttery brioche layers

The Ultimate Sinful Cinnamon Rolls
Still incredibly rich, gooey and soft after chillin uncovered for several hours

I’m full. These were worth the wait, and so very easy to make, even for a novice. Prepare yourself for the ultimate sinful cinnamon rolls, they will change your life.

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The Ultimate Sinful Cinnamon Rolls


Recipe adapted from Cooks.



For the dough:

  • 3/4 cup whole milk, heated to 110 degrees
  • 1 envelope (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant or rapid-rise yeast
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
  • 4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces and softened

For the filling:

  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar (don’t use dark, it will be too heavy a molasses flavor)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

For the glaze:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup whole milk (to thin it out, use more or less, it’s up to you)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 vanilla bean, split (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • tiny pinch of salt


To prep:

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees. When oven reaches 200 degrees, shut off. Line the bottom of a 13- by 9-inch baking pan with foil or parchment paper. Grease foil or parchment paper and sides of the pan. Also, grease a medium bowl to hold the dough when it’s completed.

For the dough:

  1. Whisk heated 110 degree milk and yeast in liquid measuring cup until yeast dissolves, then whisk in eggs and vanilla extract. In bowl of stand mixer fitted with dough hook, mix flour, cornstarch, sugar, and salt until combined. With mixer on low, add warm milk mixture in steady stream and mix until dough comes together, about 1 minute. Increase speed to medium and add butter, one piece at a time, until incorporated. I added my butter in 4 second intervals. Continue to mix until dough is smooth and comes away from sides of bowl, about 10 minutes. if after mixing for 10 minutes the dough is still wet and sticky, add up to ¼ cup flour (one tablespoon at a time) until the dough releases from the bowl. Turn dough out onto clean surface and knead to form a smooth, round ball. Transfer dough to prepared bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place in warm turned off oven. Let rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours.

For the filling:

  1. Combine brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in small bowl using a fork or your fingers to break up any large lumps. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Roll dough into 18-inch square, spread with 5 tbsp of softened butter, and sprinkle evenly with filling. Lightly press the filling into the dough. Starting with the edge nearest you, roll dough into tight cylinder, pinch lightly to seal seam, and cut into 8 pieces using either a serrated knife or bench scraper. It’s easier to cut the dough in half, then cut each side in half until you have 8 large rolls. For smaller cinnamon buns, cut the dough into 12 pieces. Transfer pieces, cut-side up, to prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

For the glaze and to bake:

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk cream cheese, butter, ¼ milk, vanilla, vanila bean and confectioners’ sugar in medium bowl until smooth. If mixture is too thick, add a little more milk, up to ½ half cup. Discard plastic wrap and bake buns until deep golden brown and filling is melted, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool for about 5 minutes then pour over some of the glaze. You may not have to use all of the glaze, I didn’t. I stored the rest of the glaze in the freezer for later use. Serve immediately.
  2. *Make Ahead: After transferring pieces to prepared pan in step 3, buns can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for 24 hours. When ready to bake, let sit at room temperature for 1 hour. Remove plastic wrap and continue with step 4 as directed.
  3. *Reheat any leftover rolls in the microwave for 10 to 20 seconds.


For a richer glaze: 1½ cups powdered sugar
¼ cup half & half or whole milk, plus more if needed
2 tbsp softened butter
½ tsp vanilla extract

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Recipe rating

  1. Tiffany says:

    First off, I LOVE your recipes, all of them, you NEVER MISS!

    For this recipe, I was making for a function where several people were dairy-free. I subbed the milk out for extra creamy oatmilk and the butter for dairy-free butter. BAAAYYYYBBEEEEEE……SLAPPED. You hear me? It was so freaking good, no one even knew or questioned the difference. I had to run back here to tell you this recipe is versatile and was such a crowd pleaser. Thank you for creating it!

  2. Billy bob says:

    Love your recipe, the ads on EVERY SINGLE PICTURE were a pain in my butt, especially when you scroll back and have to wait again to reference the picture. Whatever, glad people do this for ad revenue now instead of love of the art. At least the recipes work

    • Chef Resha says:

      Hey, I’m actually glad you pointed this out because I had no idea that was happening. That’s annoying even for me, so I went ahead and contacted the company to fix it. And yes, it’s true that us bloggers have to make a living somehow (with ads) in order to not charge for every recipe, but the ads on every pic is not cool. So thanks for your feedback!

  3. Lori Skubal says:

    Best cinnamon rolls ever! I’m not kidding. I’ve wrapped and frozen them individually to keep from eating all of them in one day. They are the ultimate comfort food. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  4. Dawn says:

    I made these for Christmas morning and they tasted AMAZING. OMG. So rich and full of flavor. And the frosting was perfect. Not TOO overly sweet but still rich. I’ll be making this again for sure!

  5. Donna says:

    Looking forward to making this recipe! Just wanted to let you know the scaling button on this recipe is not working. When I said to 1X the recipe it is not doing it correctly.

  6. James says:

    Mine ended up being a bit crunchy on the outside, what do I need to do different?

  7. This came out so well!

  8. Jordyn says:

    I heard you on The Read and have become obsessed with your blog ever since. I bought a stand mixer on Black Friday and used it for the first time on this recipe. I felt like I followed the instructions and ingredient proportions very closely but unfortunately the rolls turned out very “bready” and kinda dry/tough. They weren’t gooey and soft like your pictures.

    I for sure want to try again but I’m not sure where I went wrong, do you have any insights on what happened? I don’t bake enough bread to know where I messed up.

  9. Sade says:

    I made these twice in the past week.Both times, they disappeared before I could take a picture. So delicious, 3 people told me they’re better than that place in the mall.

  10. Faith Baker says:

    Girl, girl, girl!!! I’m over here singing!! Hallelujah! These are better than the one’s at the mall!! They are definitely worth the wait. Mmm mmm mmm! I can’t say enough about them! This is how I will FOREVER make and devour my cinnamon rolls. Do you hear me?!! Now in case I ever have any leftovers (which is most likely impossible), do you have any storage and reheating suggestions? Thank you for this UNCTUOUS, DECADENT, TO-DIE-4 recipe. God bless you!

  11. marshay says:

    I need to thank you for this recipe. I have been searching high and low for years and testing out a plethora of cinnamon rolls in order to get the exact texture that these have. All of the others were basically baking like bread, with a large holey crumb. These are perfect and have the feathery texture of the ones you get at the grocery store. Thanks again!

  12. Charlie says:


  13. OneJenO says:

    I’ve made these a few times now, and they are totally foolproof. These are THE most awesome rolls ever! Thank you for sharing this recipe!
    to all those thinking about it, they are easier then it seems to be from all the “steps” and “pictures” my 15 yo son made them one day while I was gone, so they are easier then they seem to be.
    definately awesomely gooey and good! better then cinnabon ever thought of being! the tip about the cornstarch in the flour is good, can’t wait to try that with my bread recipes to help “lighten” them a bit.

  14. […] first was for Cinnamon Buns from Heidi Swanson’s 100 Cookbooks blog and the second was for The Ultimate Sinful Cinnamon Rolls from Carnal Dish, a blog I happened upon and am certain to use again when the situation calls for a […]

  15. Paulette says:

    Oh My: Each picture reminds me of myself actually taking a bite along with you. I have got to try this over the holidays. Yummy to my tummy.

  16. […] moist, and delicious. They’re also very huge. This recipe is just an altered version of the Ultimate Sinful Cinnamon Rolls. I literally just added chopped granny smith apples and toasted pecans on top of the cinnamon/sugar […]

  17. nik says:

    yep! my mouth just orgasmed! and i scratch n sniffed my mac screen… smmfh!!! can’t wait to try them!

  18. hsiek says:

    Are you secretly trying to make me fat? lol

  19. These will Definitely be made this weekend! They look wonderful!