Soft Cinnamon Rolls

These Soft Cinnamon Rolls are an absolute no-fail easy homemade recipe filled with cinnamon and covered with cream cheese frosting. Vanilla pudding in the dough keeps the whole roll soft not just the center. Although yeast is involved, I promise you can do it!
Soft Cinnamon Rolls - no-fail cinnamon rolls that are so soft and covered with cream cheese frosting.

I’m not one for surprises. I remember when I was nine months pregnant with my second son I had spent the afternoon making soft cinnamon rolls for a friend. My love for cooking and my huge belly never played well together.

If you’ve seen me pregnant you know that my babies like to lay Superman style in my abdomen. Don’t make me show you a picture. By the end of the day my belly was covered in whatever I was making that day in the kitchen.

Soft Cinnamon Rolls - no-fail cinnamon rolls that are so soft and covered with cream cheese frosting.

Most of it I tried to wash off but considering I couldn’t see under my belly, the treasures of the day’s adventures hid on the underside. On this particular day I had tons of flour all over my belly. I don’t know why I didn’t have an apron on but I had tried to kind of pat the flour off my blue shirt.

Changing clothes wasn’t an option because if you’ve been 9 months pregnant you know that there are about two shirts that fit you those last couple of days.

So I headed out the door with my flour dusted belly, scarce makeup, and cinnamon rolls in hand to give to my friend. I hollered to my husband that I would be home in a half hour. He said something along the lines of aren’t you going to change?

I should have known something was up then because my husband has never, except for that instance, said anything like that regarding my appearance in our marriage (although I’m sure there were many times he wanted to).Soft Cinnamon Rolls - no-fail cinnamon rolls that are so soft and covered with cream cheese frosting. the-girl-who-ate-everything.comI headed to my friend’s and walked into a house filled with people for…MY surprise baby shower. And boy was I surprised. As I excused myself to the bathroom I was horrified to see my appearance.

It was then that I realized I don’t like surprises. I don’t like all of the attention on me (which is why I struggled with my cookbook release). I don’t like feeling like I have to react in a way everyone expects me to. I like to know what’s going on.

So now every time I make soft cinnamon rolls I throw a little flour on my belly for good luck and think about that moment.Soft Cinnamon Rolls - no-fail cinnamon rolls that are so soft and covered with cream cheese frosting.

I know many of you love these Cinnabon cinnamon rolls and I do too! They’re fabulous. But I’m a food blogger and I’m always looking for another fabulous version of everything. I found these soft cinnamon rolls recipe on Allrecipes and then noticed my friend MelsKitchenCafe had the same recipe so I knew it would be good.

You know how the middle of a cinnamon roll is the best part? Well these rolls stay so soft – the entire roll. I ate about a dozen which was fine because it made two. These are divine!

Soft Cinnamon Rolls
Servings: 24 rolls
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding (and milk called for to prepare it)
  • ½ cup butter , melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 cups flour (plus more as needed)
  • Filling:
  • 1 cup butter , softened to room temperature
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • ½ cup butter , softened to room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk
  1. In a small bowl combine water, yeast and sugar. Stir until dissolved. Set aside.
  2. In large bowl, make pudding mix according to package directions. Add butter, eggs and salt to the pudding mixture and mix well.
  3. Add the yeast mixture and mix together. Gradually add flour; knead until smooth. Add additional flour until dough is soft but not sticky (I added 7 cups total).
  4. Place in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled.
  5. Roll dough onto a floured surface about 34 X 21 inches in size. Take 1 cup soft butter and spread over surface. In bowl, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over the top. Roll up very tightly starting with the long end. With knife put a notch every 1 1/2 inches. Cut with thread or serrated knife. Place on lightly greased baking dish 1 inch apart. Cover and let rise until double again. *If making ahead of time cover and refrigerate instead of letting rise. When ready to bake remove from the fridge and allow rolls to rise.

  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Remove when they start to turn golden brown. Do not overbake! Frost rolls after rolls have cooled just a couple of minutes (directions below). You still want to frost them while they're warm just not super hot! Makes about 24 very large rolls.
  7. Frosting: Mix together cream cheese, butter, vanilla extract, confectioners' sugar and 2 tablespoons milk. Add more milk as needed.
Recipe Notes

Source: Allrecipes and Mels Kitchen Cafe; increased the cinnamon.
Freezing Instructions: To freeze rolls, place them on a baking sheet after they have been rolled and cut. Wrap in plastic wrap and foil and freeze. Thaw rolls at room temperature and allow to rise. Bake as directed.

Soft Cinnamon Rolls - no-fail cinnamon rolls that are so soft and covered with cream cheese frosting.

Soft Cinnamon Rolls - no-fail cinnamon rolls that are so soft and covered with cream cheese frosting.

Speak Your Mind



  1. Wow these look incredible! I definitely think I will have to try them and they don’t sound too hard to make either!

  2. Sorry to ask a question that probably has an answer obvious to everyone else, but is this self-rising flour or all purpose?

  3. Morning! Sure wish I had one or two (or more) of these warm delicious cinnamon rolls sitting in front of me right now for breakfast! I love your story about the flour on your belly. I hope that works for me when I try to make these little beauties!

  4. Ha! That is a funny story! And these rolls look oh so good!! yummy for my tummy!!

  5. I absolutely adore the sweet story of your big belly and suprise baby shower. 🙂

    I’m going to have to try these! But I might have to halve the recipe to justify making it just for me. I LOVE cinnamon rolls, but I’ve never been a fan of the outside crust of the roll because they are too crusty for me! Soft is the way to go. 🙂 Thank you!

  6. Oh my word, I would have hidden on the toilet as well! When I was 9 months pregnant I’m not even sure if I even had 2 shirts fitting me and there were always kitchen leftovers all over my belly… What we do for our babies 🙂 The cinnamon rolls look absolutely divine, I need to try this recipe!

  7. I haven’t made cinnamon rolls in forever. Man, am I craving them now! These look divine!!

  8. OMG! Fluffy and gorgeous, what more can one ask for? Pinning it right now 🙂

  9. I have been making this exact recipe from Allrecipes for years! It’s always a favorite!

  10. first time to bake a cinnamon rolls..i absolutely nailed it…its sooooo delicious..thanks for sharing ur recipe…

  11. These look heavenly!!

  12. Would these work with Bob’s Gluten Free Flour?

  13. Great story!! I don’t like surprises either. For my 50th, my children planned a noon potluck for me…..surprise. Planning for family for lunch, I was cooking away when a daughter called from town for me to come pick her up at this certain place as her car supposedly had quit. It was almost lunch time, I groaned, turned off the stove burners, put on old shoes and went looking half a mess. Low and behold I arrived at my birthday party. I wasn’t as happy as I could have been!! Love your blog and try many of your recipes!

  14. Hey these look yummy! However I have just one question. You said to prepare the vanilla pudding as directed in its instructions. These puddings call u to heat the milk then add the pudding powder, then cook a bit and then refrigerate. So we have to make the pudding by cooking it like this? If yes, then do we have to wait for it to cool down to add the other ingredients? Please explain as i am confused. Thanks!!

  15. I made these yesterday and they were the best cinnamon rolls I have ever had! The recipe was super simple to follow and they were easy to make. My four year old helped me and we had a blast. The only part that I messed up on was the butter instructions. I accidentally put a whole cup of butter IN the dough . They still turned out just fine though. Good job with this recipe.

  16. Is it okay to use already made vanilla pudding instead of the powder?

  17. I’m halfway through making these, the dough is DELICIOUS! The recipe makes a ton of dough, I ended up having to knead it in two separate batches so as not to overload my Kitchenaid. Prepping my kitchen now for what I’m expecting to be a big job of dough rolling! So excited to see how the finished product turns out.

  18. At the risk of sounding dumb!….what are the notches for you mentioned? I’ve never made cinnamon rolls before, but these I must try!

  19. Linzy Estrada says:

    I literally just made these yummy rolls & all I have to say is “Ahhh” I’m speechless! I can believe how great they turned out & how amazing they taste. This was my first attempt on making cinnamon rolls so I was pretty skeptical when it came down to choosing a recipe. I didn’t want to expect anything great but I also didn’t want to make a ton of rolls and be disappointed. I chose this recipe because it was pretty convenient(I had all the ingredients on hand), it didn’t look too time consuming and I have to admit the pictures looked pretty tasty. And Wow! am I glad I chose this recipe! Please if you haven’t tried these cinnamon rolls you have no idea what cinnamon rolls are suppose to taste like! Move over Cinnabun! These have litterly knocked Cinnabun down on my list of favorite cinna rolls. & just to think that they are homemade makes it number one on my list! These are hands down THE BEST CINNAMON ROLLS I have ever tasted!! Thanks for sharing:)

  20. These sound awesome. I’ve never tried cinnamon rolls with pudding in them.

  21. I want to make these Thanksgiving morning but make night before – about how long does it take for them to rise? Just trying to get an idea of timing. Thanks!

  22. 2tablespoons of yeast? I have never put that much in. Was wondering if that’s supposed to be teaspoons??

  23. 2 tablespoons yeast or 2 teaspoons?

  24. Can I cut the recipe in half ?

  25. Can I cut the recipe in half

  26. LaShel R in Texas says:

    I made this recipe yesterday. I also used 7 cups of flour. I ended up with 25 cinnamon rolls. They were incredibly delicious & the pudding absolutely made the WHOLE cinnamon roll soft, not just the middle!! There are only 5 cinnamon rolls left today!! This is a must try for all recipe! Delicious.

  27. Just have a quick question about the pudding. I have the instant mix and it asks for 2 cups cold milk. would that be to much pudding for the rolls?

  28. I made these for my husband to take to his shipmates to celebrate a birthday. My recipe also made 25 so I made the 24 in foil pans for travel and 1 inside a muffin tin for me to taste test! I made 1 tray with pecan pieces on top too 😉 It was soooo good! Not to mention the feeling I get when I make something like this from scratch- something to be proud of!!

  29. Absolutely love this recipe! It sure is my go-to recipe for cinnamon rolls! (I keep copious amounts of boxed pudding in my pantry for those desperate cinnamon roll moments…)

    Love the blog!

  30. I made these this morning and words can not describe how amazing they are!! I love the Cinnabon ones you can get at the mall (I admit I can’t leave without getting one) and these taste just as AMAZING!! And definitely no more buying Pillsbury-they are not even that great and my husband isn’t a fan but these he went back for more!! Only thing I think I need to do is next time add more flour so they aren’t so sticky when I go to roll it up (had a hard time doing that) but I only used 6 1/4 cups. But again they were INCREDIABLY DELICIOUS!!!!

  31. I have made this dough twice now, and it is the best cinnamon rolls EVER! The rolls come out so soft and every bite taste just like the center of a Cinnabon Cinnamon Roll. The last time I made the dough, I used half for cinnamon rolls and froze the remainder. A week or so later I thawed out the dough and made butter dinner rolls with it. I have never had a better dinner roll! Soft and tender, not at all sweet, perfect! My husband said they reminded him of the yeast rolls that all of us had when in elementary school. This recipe is now my go to for not only the best cinnamon rolls, but the best dinner rolls.

  32. Just made these this morning and they are THE best rolls ever! The roll itself is soft and delicious, and the frosting is sweet and just the right amount of gooey-ness! The recipe makes 24 huge rolls and could easily be cut in half. You’ll just have half a box of pudding for the next time! I have a favorite pecan roll recipe that I think I’ll replace with this one and just add pecans. Try it! You’ll love it!!

  33. just came across your recipe and was wondering can the dough be frozen and used later if you only want to use half?

  34. I have never made cinnamon rolls before because I thought they were too complicated and time consuming although this was not complicated it was time consuming but well worth it they were a BIG hit and they were soft and oh so taste. Thank you for the recipe it is a keeper.

  35. These sound fantastic, instant pudding just got put on the shopping list. I was wondering with all the sugar in the instant pudding are TWO tablespoons of sugar really needed?

  36. Jamie Burdick says:

    I just made these for the second time. First time they were OK but something was off. The second time these were amazing!!

  37. Wondering about making them the night before? Can I just put them in the fridge after slicing and putting in the pan? They won’t continue to rise? How would you do this? Thanks in advance!

    • I personally would leave them on the counter all night. You can also slice them, put them in the fridge, then take them out in the morning, put them on the counter in a warm place, and let them rise.

  38. I’ve never made cinnabons rolls and I made them for Mother’s Day! These are the best rolls I’ve ever tasted! I must say they are better than Cinnabons! These are soft and moist all over where as Cinnabons are only soft and moist towards the middle! This is my go to recipe for cinnamon rolls from now on! I can’t click on stars to rate it but I give it a 5 star!!

  39. I’ve tried many cinnamon rolls from Pinterest and cookbooks and these beat all. I add 1T lemon juice to my frosting and it makes it even better!

  40. Linda Hatcher says:

    Hi I live in the UK what would be equivalent of instant vanilla pudding please ???

  41. This recipe sounds amazing! I’ve never made cinnamon rolls before, so this may sound silly, but can/do you kneed the dough by hand (i don’t have a stand mixer), and do you place in a warm spot to rise?

  42. Since it’s not good to keep checking on dough while it’s rising, how long should I wait to check the dough as it doubles in size?

  43. I don’t have a stand mixer and I’ve never made cinnamon rolls before. When I add the flour do I mix the dough with a spoon until the flour is incorporated then knead it? I’m lost!

  44. I have made this recipe before and they turned out GREAT!! The only thing is, I’m making them for my primary class in a few days and they don’t need something so huge! Have you tried making them smaller? I was thinking about cutting the dough in half lengthwise after rolling out and so they’ll be half the size. Any suggestions?

  45. I have just recently started getting comfortable making cinnamon rolls. The recipe I have been using I really loved and hated to stray, but decided to give yours a try. SO glad I did!!!! These are awesome!! I did use a few “techniques” from the other, but seriously did not do anything very different. Thanks for sharing this! I love everything of yours.

  46. I made these cinnamon rolls a few week back and they are the best i have ever had. absolutely delicious!

  47. The directions state to bake them on a cookie sheet but the photos show them in a glass baking dish. Which works better? Of using a baking dish, what size baking dish is best? Recipe also calls for allowing the dough to rise twice. How long does the rising typically take both times? Just to get an idea of how long it would take start to finish. Thank you!

  48. Hi
    Can i use 1 package(1.85 oz) of the instant vanilla pudding?

  49. Rachelle Cothren says:

    These looked too good not to try. The problem was, even though I’ve been baking gluten free for 12 years, I’ve never tackled converting a yeast recipe to GF. I went for it and the only substitute I made was using Namaste Perfect Flour Blend. Cup for cup, I ended up using just 6 cups. These are the best cinnamon rolls I’ve ever had. Brings me back to high school when the lunch lady made giant, ooey, gooey rolls on Friday mornings. These will most definitely replace my tried and true recipe!

  50. The best cinnamon roll in history!
    I added more cinnamon and sugar to my mix! I also added a few dashes of nutmeg and ground ginger! Perfection!

  51. These look so good.. I’m thinking these will be on our menu for breakfast next Sunday morning lol

  52. Not at all hard to make and delicious! Only got 6 per 9 X 13 pan! Not complaining at all!

  53. I made these rolls and have one suggestion: follow what you see in the picture rather than what is suggested in the recipe with regard to the pan to use. While the recipe says to use a lightly greased cookie sheet, my experience was that it was a BAD IDEA. They spilled way over the edge of my extra large cookie sheet and flattened out. Next time (and there will be a next time!) I will use two 9X13 pans with one dozen rolls in each.

  54. I made these Christmas morning. They were amazing!

  55. Richard Cosby says:

    I made these with all purpose flour and they came out great, I did another batch and I used bread flour, and they turned out better than the all purpose. I take them to work and sell them and my co workers are going crazy over them.

  56. These are just too good! Accidentally bought Cook and Serve Vanilla Pudding, could I substitute it or not? Very annoyed with myself.

  57. I made these last night and everyone loved them! I wanted the icing to be thinner to pour over but more milk didn’t help. I would post a pic if I could. Not an option 😟

  58. I’m going to try this recipe today instead of my normal “go to” cinnamon roll recipe. I do have question though, you instruct to spread the butter over the rolled out dough and then sprinkle the cinnamon/brown sugar mixture on top of that. Have you ever tried making a paste type substance by mixing the softened butter with the cinnamon/brown sugar mixture and then spreading it over the rolled out dough?

  59. These are by far the best ever ! Have made many different recipes and this one is a keeper. Definitely a 5 star recipe