No-Knead Cinnamon Rolls
These incredibly soft and delicious no-knead cinnamon rolls with vanilla frosting may be the easiest you’ll ever bake!
Chilly fall and winter mornings are made for cinnamon rolls, don’t you think? There’s nothing finer on a lazy morning, or more perfect for a special occasion or holiday— pulling a batch out of the oven, adding a slather of frosting, and devouring them while they’re still warm.
These cinnamon rolls are my very favorite recipe. They’re soft and tender, sweet and cinnamon-y, and topped with the fluffiest vanilla icing.
And best of all, they’re no-knead and so quick and easy to make! You literally add all of the ingredients to a big bowl, give it a good stir until you have a very wet, smooth dough, and that’s it! The whole process takes less than 5 minutes. It’s like magic!
Table of Contents
- The easiest homemade cinnamon rolls
- Ingredients you’ll need
- How to make these no-knead cinnamon rolls
- Turn these into overnight cinnamon rolls
- FAQs for this recipe
- Other sweet roll recipes to try
- Get the recipe
The easiest homemade cinnamon rolls
These no-knead cinnamon rolls are made with the same dough as my mom’s famous no-knead fairy crescent roll recipe. In fact, growing up these are the very cinnamon rolls she’d make.
Here’s why you’ll love these cinnamon rolls as much as I do:
- There’s no kneading required! The dough comes together by hand in just a matter of a few minutes.
- They’re every bit as soft and tender as traditional cinnamon rolls.
- If you use instant or quick rise yeast, they’re done in about 1 hour!
- You can let them do their final rise overnight in the fridge if you want to prep them in advance.
Ingredients you’ll need
How to make these no-knead cinnamon rolls
- Combine everything in a large bowl. Whisk together the warm water with the yeast in a small bowl and let it sit for a few minutes until foamy. Then, add to a large bowl along with melted butter, sugar and egg. Add the flour and salt and use a dough whisk, spatula or wooden spoon to combine everything into a wet shaggy dough. It won’t be smooth and that’s okay.
- Let the dough rise. Cover and let it rise for about 1 hour (or 30 minutes if you used instant/quick-rise yeast). See below for tips on how to help your dough rise faster during colder months!
- Add cinnamon filling & slice into rolls. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out into a large rectangle roughly about 12 x 17 inches. Brush it with melted butter and sprinkle with a cinnamon sugar mixture. Starting at one long end, roll dough up tightly, then trim off the edges and slice the dough into 12 equal rolls.
- Let the rolls rise in the pan. Place the sliced rolls in a grease or parchment paper-lined 9×13-inch baking pan. Cover and let rise for another 30ish minutes until they’re puffy.
- Bake. Bake the rolls in a 350°F oven for 30-35 minutes until golden brown.
- Add frosting. Use an electrical mixer to make frosting, then spread over the cinnamon rolls. Adding frosting to warm cinnamon rolls will cause the frosting to melt and look more like a thick glaze. Waiting till the cinnamon rolls are cooled will keep the frosting fluffy. These cinnamon rolls are delicious either way!
baking tip:How to help your dough rise faster
Oven: Heat your oven to its lowest setting for a few minutes, then turn it off. Place the covered dough on the center rack and close the door.
Microwave: Heat 1 cup of water in your microwave for 2 minutes. Remove water and place the covered dough in the microwave and close the door.
Other: I’ve also risen bread on top of a warm oven, running dryer machine, and even on a chair set over a heater vent.
Turn these into overnight cinnamon rolls
Looking to get a head start on these cinnamon rolls and prep them the night before? It can definitely be done!
After you’ve placed the shaped rolls in the pan, cover with plastic wrap and set in the fridge for up to about 12 hours. Take them out of the fridge about 1-2 hours before baking. They need to completely come back to room temperature and even rise a little more before baking. So make sure you plan for that.
FAQs for this recipe
You can use active dry-yeast or “instant”/”quick-rise” yeast for this recipe. They will both work the same, except that the instant/quick-rise yeast will have a shorter rise time.
If your dough is resisting and springs back as you’re rolling it, cover it with a towel and walk away for 10 minutes. That gives the gluten time to relax and the dough should be much easier to work with.
You can use a very sharp knife or unscented floss (my preferred method) to cut the dough into individual rolls. Here’s a quick video to see how to use floss.
While cinnamon rolls will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for several days, they are at their best when enjoyed the day they’re baked. After that they progressively start to dry out and are a little less fresh and delicious each day afterwards.
Other sweet roll recipes to try
Get the recipe
No-Knead Cinnamon Rolls
For the dough:
- 1 cup (227 grams) warm water
- 2 ¼ teaspoons (7 grams) Active-dry yeast
- ½ cup (113 grams) butter , melted and slightly cooled
- ⅓ cup (66 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 4 cups (480 grams) all-purpose flour , measured correctly
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
For the filling:
- 3 tablespoons (40 grams) butter , melted
- ¼ cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
For the frosting:
- 5 tablespoons (70 grams) butter , softened to room temperature
- 2 cups (227 grams) powdered sugar , sifted
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
To prepare the dough:
- In a large bowl, combine the water and yeast and allow to sit for five minutes.
- Add butter, sugar, and egg and stir until combined. Add flour and salt and stir thoroughly until it forms a wet shaggy dough.
- Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Dump out onto a floured surface and shape dough into a ball. Roll dough out to a rough 12×17 inch rectangle. No need to be exact.
Add filling and shape:
- Brush dough with melted butter. Combine cinnamon and sugar together and sprinkle over the dough.
- Starting at one long end, tightly roll dough into a long log. Use a sharp knife or unscented floss to cut off the ends so you have clean edges, then slice into 12 even rolls.
- Place in a greased or parchment paper-lined lined 9×13-inch pan. Cover and let rise again.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake cinnamon rolls until golden brown, about 30-35 minutes.
- Let cool slightly or completely, per your preference.
Top with frosting:
- Beat butter, powdered sugar, cream, vanilla and salt with an electric mixer until light and creamy, 3-4 minutes. Scrape the bowl down once or twice.
- Spread frosting onto warm or cooled rolls and serve immediately. (Adding frosting while the cinnamon rolls are warm will cause it to melt and turn into a thick glaze, while adding frosting to cooled cinnamon rolls keeps the frosting light and fluffy.)
- These cinnamon rolls are best the day they are baked but will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for a few days.
- Use “quick rise” or “instant” yeast to make these cinnamon rolls even more quick and easy.
- To make ahead: Cover shaped rolls with plastic wrap and let rise in the fridge for up to about 12 hours. Take them out of the fridge about 1-2 hours before baking so they have time to come to room temperature and rise a little.