90-minute cinnamon rolls

Don’t fear the yeast – this is a simple recipe that makes a tray of soft, sweet cinnamon rolls with less than an hour of active effort. Your family and friends will love you for it. Adapted from allrecipes.com.

Dough ingredients

  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (start with 2 1/4 and add more as necessary)
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg

Filling ingredients

  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup raisins/walnuts/pecans (optional)

Icing ingredients (optional; more for looks than sweetness)

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it just starts to boil, then remove from heat. Mix in butter; stir until melted. Leave to cool.
  2. Heat water to lukewarm (a finger dipped in should feel warm but not at all hot). Add yeast to proof; stir. Mixture will look foamy on top when yeast is activated.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 1/4 cup flour, sugar and salt; mix well.
  4. Add egg to milk mixture (which should now be merely warm) and mix well.
  5. If yeast is not yet foamy on top, add a teaspoon of sugar and mix. This should really get the yeast bubbling.
  6. Add activated yeast and milk mixture to dry ingredients. Mix until dough comes together in a sticky ball.
  7. Add the remaining flour, 1/4 cup at a time, kneading well after each addition until dough is soft and smooth but still a tiny bit sticky. Total amount of flour needed will vary depending on local temperature and humidity, so rely on the feel of the dough and don’t worry if yours ends up needing less or more.
  8. Cover the dough with a damp cloth or domed pot lid (as long as the dough isn’t touching the lid) and let rest for 10 minutes.
  9. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, cinnamon and softened butter.
  10. On floured surface, roll out dough into a 14″x12″ (wider than tall) rectangle. Spread dough with butter/sugar mixture, leaving a 1″ margin at the top to seal the roll. Make sure to spread all the way to the side edges so the end rolls get their share of filling. Sprinkle with chopped nuts or raisins if desired.
  11. Roll up dough, starting from the bottom, and lightly pinch seam to seal.
  12. To make 12 equal size rolls, first cut rolled log in half. Take each half and cut in half again. Finally take each piece and cut in thirds. You can cut the end pieces a bit wider to make up for their thinner girth. Place rolls (end pieces cut side up) in a lightly greased 9″x13″ baking dish.
  13. Cover baking dish and let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes. Or refrigerate overnight in fridge and let pan sit at room temperature 30 minutes before cooking. Don’t be concerned if rolls do not rise too much.
  14. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F when ready to bake.
  15. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until lightly browned.
  16. If using icing, mix powdered sugar, milk and vanilla in a small bowl.
  17. Let cinnamon rolls rest a few minutes to let butter and sugar absorb. Serve warm, drizzled with icing if desired.

Makes 12 cinnamon rolls.


  • I’ve tested 1 cup of whole wheat flour substituted for 1 cup of white flour, which still makes for a light roll.

Here’s the link back to the post and pictures: 90-minute cinnamon rolls.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Brooke 26 December 2014 at 4:55 pm

Best Christmas morning treat ever! Everyone loved them.


cg 14 January 2015 at 4:56 pm

thank you, brooke – so glad they turned out well for you!


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