Cinnabons Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnabons Cinnamon Rolls – a cinnabon copycat recipe, about the closest you’ll get to the real thing. Super easy to make.


Who doesn’t love the cinnabons at the malls? Just walking by their stores and smelling these cinnabons baking, drives me up the walls. It’s very hard to keep on walking and not stop and spend $5 on a cinnabon.

Not to worry my friends! I have found the precious cinnabon recipe. I came across this book, More Top Secret Recipes: More Fabulous Kitchen Clones of America’s Favorite Brand-Name Foods, and inside it I found the copycat recipe for cinnabons. This book is great, it has a lot of copycat recipes of popular food items and this recipe for cinnabons was one of them.


I have to admit I was a bit skeptical at first, but as I was making them they were looking like the real thing. I have to tell you, they are about as close to the real thing as you’re going to get.


Unbelievable! They are out of this world, and they cost a whole lot less. They’re huge, and they taste exactly the same. I felt like I hit the jackpot. Although they’re not as big as the ones you buy because I wanted to make a dozen with this recipe, so I cut each roll so that’ it’s 1 1/2 inch in height whereas the original ones are 2 1/2 inches.


As these cinnabons were baking, the house smelled amazing, just like it does at the mall when you walk by the cinnabon store. I was so excited. And of course, you cannot have cinnabons without the yummy cream cheese icing.


You will want to try these. I’m so glad I came across this book, I’ll definitely have to try some other recipes from there. I hope you try them and let me know if you liked them as much as I did. Oh and by the way, if you can’t eat them all in one day they last quite a while in the fridge, even 5 days later, just microwave them for 30 seconds and they taste like you just pulled them out of the oven.

I have made this recipe many times over the years and have used both butter and margarine. I believe Cinnabons are originally made with margarine, so if you want to have a true copycat recipe use margarine. Honestly they taste the same to me so it’s your choice, butter or margarine.


I know you want one!


Cinnabons Cinnamon Rolls
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 12
  • 1 (1/4 ounce) package dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup margarine (I used butter)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp cinnamon
  • ⅓ cup margarine, softened
Cream cheese icing
  • 6 tbsp margarine (I used butter)
  • 1½ cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup cream cheese
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  1. For the rolls, dissolve the yeast in the warm milk in a large bowl.
  2. Add sugar, butter, salt, eggs, and flour to the bowl of a mixer and mix well.
  3. Pour the milk/yeast mixture in the bowl and using the dough hook, mix well until well incorporated.
  4. Place dough into an oiled bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place about 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
  5. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface, until it is approx 16 inches long by 12 inches wide.
  6. It should be approx ¼ inch thick.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  8. To make filling, combine the butter, brown sugar, margarine and cinnamon in a bowl.
  9. Spread the mixture evenly over the surface of the dough.
  10. Working carefully, from the long edge, roll the dough down to the bottom edge. My roll ended up being 18 inches in length, allowing me to cut each roll so that it's 1½ inches in height.
  11. Cut the dough into 1½ inch slices, and place in a lightly greased baking pan. You might find it easier if you use a piece of floss vs a knife. Place them in a baking pan, I used a 9x13 inches and cover them with a damp towel. Let them rise again for another 30 minutes until they double in size.
  12. Bake for 20 minutes or until light golden brown. Cooking time can vary greatly!
  13. While the rolls are baking make the icing but mixing all ingredients and beat well with an electric mixer until fluffy.
  14. When the rolls are done, spread generously with icing.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 roll

From the Jo Cooks recipe archive originally posted September 29, 2012, but made them again for my sister’s birthday. Original picture below:


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  1. Linda says

    Did you forget to add a second rise? It states that after slicing rolls to bake…i have never done this as I always do a second rise.

    • says

      Hi Tanya,
      I’ve never tried so I can’t tell you for sure, but I know others have and it was fine. The dough should continue to rise in the fridge, so I think it should be fine.

  2. Donna Atkinson says

    For those not wanting to use eggs: I use lecithin granules in my bread instead of eggs. I haven’t used it in sweet roll dough, so I don’t know how well it would work, but it’s worth a try! I use 1/4 Tablespoon for 2 loaves of wheat bread. It makes the bread so moist! I buy lecithin granules at my local food co-op.

  3. IrIs says

    i have made these several times…we are in love with these rolls! Wondering if you could have the rolls sit in the pan in the fridge overnight and bake them in the morning?

  4. Kathryn engracia says

    I made it this morning and hey! Everybody loved it! Thank you for this recipe! I gave everyone and my daughter said, “don’t give every piece of that mom, i’ll save some for later.” I’m so happy my daughter and my husband loved it so much!

  5. says

    Jo I looked through alot of recipes and then i came across yours, it stood out to me above all others. I just wanted to say thank you very much from my family to yours. this is the best recipe i have ever used and my family loves them they don’t stay on the plate for very long and that is doubling the recipe, since ive started making them my family wants them all the time. god bless jo thank you

    • says

      Julie thank you so much! I love to hear this and it makes me very happy to know you guys enjoy these rolls so much. :)

  6. says

    I have made cinnamon rolls similar to this using frozen bread dough. For people that can’t have eggs the bread dough I used does not contain eggs but you might want to check the ingredients. This would be a shortcut to your dough recipe.

    • says

      Sure you can Sue, but I can’t guarantee they will taste the same. The Pillsbury buttermilk biscuit dough might work, maybe even the Pillsbury bread dough.

  7. says

    I make Cinnabon cinnamon rolls all the time – try buying the Makara cinnamon from any Cinnabon place and trust me, it makes all the difference in the world – pricey but worth it to use good cinnamon – a 2 ounce (57g) bottle will run you between $6.00 – $7.00> It is by far the best cinnamon I have ever used. You will taste and smell the difference

  8. mistakesweremade says

    Um, wow. These were amazing! I made mine the night before and baked them in the morning, which was good because my yeast was a little old and not rising very well. They turned out perfectly though. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

    PS I don’t have a cute loaf pan like you do, and after a few guesses I found this works just fine in a 9 x 9″ baking pan. Helpful to know! ;-)

  9. lura says

    hi…i really liked your recipe..thx alot for sharing it with have no idea how much i like the cinnamon roll from cinnabon bakery..
    any way ..i did the exact recipe maybe for three times till now..and every time i failed..i don`t want to give up untill i make it right,,,
    the cinnamon became almost Crispy like biscuit and almost nothing like cinnabon ,,,,any idea in what is the exact mistake…
    plz help..i really truly adore cinnabon cinnamon roll

    • says

      Hmm, maybe the dough is too tough not enough wet ingredients, remember the dough needs to be a bit sticky so if it’s not, try adding a bit more milk. Also make sure you don’t bake them for too long, each oven is different. Let me know if you make any progress.

  10. asma says

    hi ,how are you? This recipe looks amazing. I keep having problem with finding recipes without eggs. Me and my son are allergic to eggs .Is there a way we could not put eggs in the recipe?

    • says

      Hi Asma,
      Good question, you can skip the eggs in this recipe, and I think the cinnabons would still turn out great. Let me know if you try them. :)

      • Shruti says

        I am trying this recipe today without eggs, fingers crossed, it should work. Thank you for posting this!

    • lm says

      You can use an egg replacer or ground flax seed in place of eggs. 1tbs ground flax plus 3 tbs hot water= 1 egg (mix and will become gooey like an egg)

  11. says

    I have been looking for an amazing cinnamon roll recipe, and this is it! They really did remind me of the ones I get from cinnabon. From the comment Cherrish left, I spread a little bit of butter over the dough before I put the filling on, put the rolls into the oven and then turned it on to let them somewhat proof as it warms. I also flipped the rolls over into another pan after they were done cooking before I put the icing on. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, it is a keeper!

  12. Vicky says

    Have made these 3 times in the last 2 weeks and they are delicious! Was a little worried about not raising the dough the second time before baking, but they turned out just like your pics. For me though, the cook time was 40 minutes. Followed the recipe just as posted here and had many raves and empty pans were readily available to refill. Thanks so much for this recipe.

  13. Izn says

    hello. your recipe looks great but when i made it, my dough was toooo messy to handle although i followed the exact recipe but don’t know what happened. im so disappointed that i want to make the icing :( they are in the oven at the momentt. please help.

    • says

      I’m not sure what you mean by messy, too wet or too dry? If it’s too wet, just add more flour, if it’s too dry add more liquid. Let me know how they turned out. :)

  14. Michelle says

    I find im not able to get my dough to rise when making this recipe. Any tips on how to get the dough to rise?

    • says

      Hi Michelle,
      Well there could be multiple reasons for this, main one being your yeast is expired. Also make sure you place the dough in a warm place, covered up either with a damp towel or plastic wrap.

  15. Addy says

    These are absolutely amazing! I prepared them the night before and baked them in the morning and it came out perfect. This is such a great recipe, my Dad said they were “the best” cinnamon rolls he has ever had! Thanks so much!

  16. Lien4424 says

    To the people having problems with the dough being cake-y, if you don’t have a stand mixer you have to make sure to knead the dough for at least 10 minutes to build gluten in the flour. You know when your dough is done kneading when you get a golf ball sized piece and you can stretch it to almost transparent without it tearing. Good luck!

  17. Sarah says

    Made these today! My kitchen smelled so good. They were a little dry and maybe it’s because I don’t have a mixer or a hook. Had to do mix by hand. Any suggestions to make them not dry? We have enjoyed them.

  18. Nancy says

    I would like to know if these can be made ahead. I was thinking of making them to take to friend’s and baking in the morning for a yummy breakfast. I was passed this recipe by a co-worker that brought them to work. Very Cinnabon like:))))

    • says

      Hi Nancy,
      I think they would be ok, just put them in the baking dish and cover with plastic wrap and then refrigerate until morning, they should be fine. Merry Christmas.

  19. Bree says

    So I have made these twice now, and although they turn out great. I always have a problem with rolling it out, and making them look neat. Any tips? Or does it just come with practise?

    • says

      Hi Bree,
      Hmm, I would suggest maybe chilling the dough a bit before rolling it out, so that it’s easier to handle. Also when you roll them roll from the edge farthest from you and roll towards you. Hope this helps.

  20. tmichelle says

    Hi ,

    Just wondering if you just used regular all-purpose flour or do you recommend a bread flour (i.e. King Arthur)

  21. Debbie says

    Absolutely wonderful!!! I made these for my husband and son today and they both were raving about how good they were. Hands down best homemade cinnamon roll recipe. Definitely worth the time to make.

  22. Jenna says

    These are amazing!! Mine turned out a bit too cakey rather than doughy. Any ideas what I may have done wrong? I do not have a mixer or dough hook, so I had to do it all by hand. Maybe that’s why? Also I noticed when I took the dough out of the warmth it felt a little dry. Normal? Maybe the oven was a bit too warm?

    • says

      Hi Jenna,
      If you’re dough is too dry, you can avoid that by rubbing some oil over it. Not sure why they turned out cakey, the only thing coming through my mind is maybe too much butter or margarine. Well as long as they were delicious, that’s all that really matters. :)

  23. Leigh says

    in the UK we don’t use ‘cups’ so had a hard time converting. Yeast we used didn’t work-no rising at all-was incredibly sticky too BUT they look a bit of a mess but taste and smell amazing :)

  24. Kristinna C says

    I’m pretty sure this is the Holy Grail of copycat Cinnabon recipes. This is the closest recipe in texture and taste that I ‘ve tried. It is absolutely wonderful and foolproof! I even used my bread machine to make the dough. Thank you for sharing! I’m going to have to hunt down that “More Top Secret Recipes” book and try the rest!

  25. Heather says

    These look amazing! I am new to baking though and I see that the recipe calls for a dough hook. I don’t have one of those :/ Is there anything I can use instead or perhaps another method?
    My final question is, where may I store the dough in a warm dry place? Would an oven set to a low temperature work? Thanks!!

    • says

      Hi Heather,
      You can always mix the dough by hand, using a wooden spoon, the dough is a bit sticky so I wouldn’t recommend using your hands. Usually I turn on the oven to 200 F degrees for 2 minutes then turn it off, and then I put the dough in there to rest and rise, but make sure you turn the oven off. :)
      Good luck.

    • says

      That’s what the original recipe calls for, but I used butter, so feel free to use butter as well, they turned out great regardless.

  26. Sandy says

    Love it, just took mine out the oven and mind you i suck at baking lol! they smell delish! cant wait to taste them thanks so much for the recipe :)

  27. Kellie says

    I always mess up my yeast bread recipes because of the liquid temperature. I would really like to make these but I am scared about the warm milk. Can you tell me how to warm it and how warm it should be before I add the yeast?

    • says

      Hi Kellie, it just needs to be warm to the touch, not sure about the temperature exactly. Usually what I do is microwave it for about 45 seconds.

  28. Emma says

    The instructions for the filling say to use milk, but I don´t see it listed in the filling ingredients. How much should I use?

  29. Gina says

    These look delish!! I have all of the “Top Secret” cookbooks and most of the recipes I have tried turned out great. I made these cinnamon rolls years and years ago once. They were great but I just never made them again and then moved on to Pioneer Woman’s. I always used this icing recipe though!! I like it better. I think I’ll make this recipe again though! :)

  30. Cherrish says

    I used to work at Cinnabon.

    They use margarine in their recipe. You roll out the dough first, then spread a layer of margarine on it, then put the cinnamon/brown sugar filling over then, roll the whoel thing up, then cut into 1 inch sections. You’re then supposed to ‘proof’ it (since most people don’t have a proofer, I recommend putting it in an oven set on the lowest setting above a pan of water) to let it rise (don’t let it rise beforehand, as this makes the rolls harder/stickier to cut, plus you end up with a ton of dough). After they’ve proofed, then pop them in the oven. When they’re golden brown, take out, and flip into another pan so the filling on the bottom gets to drizzle over the buns. Ice with cream cheese icing while still hot and voila!

    • says

      Wow, there you go. This recipe calls for margarine as well, just not a margarine fan here, but now we know how the pros do it. Thanks. :)

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