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I can’t even begin to count the number of times I’ve made these Bread Machine Cinnamon Rolls. My kids cheer when they find out I’m making them. You’ll be the one cheering when you realize how easy it is to make homemade cinnamon rolls in the bread machine! Overnight and non-bread machine instructions are included. Let’s get baking!
Mom’s Cinnamon Rolls
There is one thing my kids can agree on: Mom’s cinnamon rolls are the bomb.
We’ve tried all sorts of variations of cinnamon rolls over the years: canned, sourdough, store-bought, farmers market, etc. Despite the hefty competition, this cinnamon roll recipe rises to the top. The kids love to watch the dough dance around in the bread machine and I always have lots of help when it comes to rolling out the dough.
My hope is this Cinnamon Roll recipe finds a permanent place in your home like it has ours. Serve it up with our Spinach and Bacon Quiche for a delicious meal!
P.S. If you value made-from-scratch baked goodies but lack the time, consider trying a Wildgrain Subscription! We have written a thorough Wildgrain Review here.
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Why Use a Bread Machine to Make Cinnamon Rolls?
Yes, there are thousands of recipes out there that don’t require a bread machine. And I’m sure they are delicious. But, I assure you, you are not compromising flavor or texture when using a bread machine to do the hard work of making the dough for your cinnamon rolls. In short, it’s a no-brainer approach that has served me well for years!
While you still have to roll and bake, the dough setting on a bread machine will ensure you have amazing dough to work with before you even begin!
Here is the bread machine I personally use. Many bread machines will have a yeast dispenser at the top. If yours has it, go ahead and use it. Mine does not but I’ve found my dough to turn out fine when I nestle the yeast in right on top of the ingredients.
What If I Don’t Have a Bread Machine?
I’ve gotten this question a lot so I tested out this exact recipe without using a bread machine. And guess what? It worked!
If you don’t have a bread machine, use a stand mixer to combine all of the dough ingredients. Using a dough hook, let it knead the dough for 7-8 minutes. Transfer the sticky dough to a grease-lined bowl. Cover with a towel and let it rise for about 1-1.5 hours (or until twice its size.) It will be sticky so use lots of flour when rolling it out.
What Is The Difference Between Instant and Active Dry Yeast?
Quick Rise (aka Instant) and active dry yeast are essentially the same ingredients. They are just slightly different in forms and applications.
The main differences between the two are:
- Active yeast needs rehydration. Active dry yeast must first be dissolved and rehydrated in warm water. I like to think of it like, “It needs to be activated!”
- Quick Rise Yeast needs less time to rise. Since instant yeast has a finer texture than active dry yeast, it’s possible to skip the initial rise time that Active Rise Needs. This is why it works great for bread machines!
I’ve tested both types of yeast with this recipe in my bread machine and the Quick Rise Yeast works much better! Active yeast will work. In fact, I use it in our Ham and Cheese Crescent Roll recipe. It will just need more time and more warmth to rise.
Be sure to keep opened packets/jars in the refrigerator!
How to Make Bread Machine Cinnamon Rolls
1. Make the Dough
Place the ingredients for the dough in your machine in the order listed in the recipe below. If you don’t have a yeast dispenser, just nestle the yeast on top of the flour.
Run your machine on a dough cycle. (Mine takes around 45 minutes but times will vary on this.)
After the dough is done, take it out and split the dough into two mounds.
Roll one of the dough mounds out into a rectangle shape. To get it flattened out, it might take a few minutes of working with it, but it will get there.
2. Make the Filling
Spread half of the melted butter out on your dough and then top it with half of the cinnamon-sugar mixture. This is a great job to have kids help with and it can be far from perfect.
3. Roll and Slice Them
With the long edge in front of you, begin to gently roll the dough.
Starting at one end, slice the dough into about 1-inch thick pieces. The result will be a pinwheel-shaped form when turned on its side.
Place pinwheels on greased baking sheet. I like mine touching each other so they all are soft and not too browned on the outside but if you want them not touching, spread them apart on the sheet.
Repeat the steps above with the second mound of dough.
4. Let Them Rise
Cover assembled dough with a lightweight hand towel and let rise for another 25-30 minutes. If it’s cooler weather, I turn on my oven for just a minute or two and then turn it off in order to get it a little warm. I then let it rise in there.
5. Time to Bake
Bake at 350°F for 17-20 minutes or until lightly brown on top (they will need longer if you’re baking them in a casserole dish instead of a sheet pan). Tap the middle of the roll to see if it bounces back. If it does, it’s probably done!
How to Make the Icing
I keep my icing pretty simple. While there are many variations out there, here is what I use:
- 3-4 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 4-5 tablespoons milk + more if you want it thinner
Mix all of this together until it forms the desired consistency. Drizzle it over the cinnamon rolls.
Can I Refrigerate or Freeze Cinnamon Rolls Before Baking?
Another beauty of this recipe is you can prep the cinnamon rolls ahead of time. I’ve done this a lot when I know we will be feeding guests for breakfast or for holidays. The biggest tip I can give you on this is to make sure they come back to room temperature and have time to rise before you bake them.
If you want to prepare the rolls ahead of time, assemble them as normal, let them rise, and then refrigerate for 24-48 hours. Make sure to let them come back to room temperature and rise back up again before baking.
If you want to freeze the cinnamon roll dough, assemble them as normal, let them rise as directed and then wrap them tightly or place them in an airtight container with a lid and freeze. Just make sure you let them thaw and warm up to room temperature and rise a bit before baking.
What to Serve with Bread Machine Cinnamon Rolls
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- 1 1/3 cups lukewarm water (110-115°F is perfect)
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) room temperature butter, cut into small chunks
- 5 tablespoons sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon quick rise yeast
- 1 1/2 cups sugar (brown sugar works great too!)
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, melted
- 3–4 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 4–5 tablespoons milk, plus more if you like it thinner
Note: This recipe was changed slightly in 2021. I removed 1/4 cup powdered milk from the ingredient list. I made these once when I didn’t have it on hand and couldn’t tell the difference. But, it’s up to you if you use it or not! I also opt for quick rise yeast vs. active yeast now.
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- Place the ingredients for the dough in your bread machine in the order listed. If your machine doesn’t have a yeast dispenser, just nestle the yeast in on top of the flour (don’t let it touch the wet ingredients).
- Run your machine on a dough cycle.
- After dough is done, take it out and split the dough into two mounds.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll one mound of your dough out into some sort of a rectangle.
- Spread half of the melted butter over the rolled-out dough.
- Sprinkle half of the cinnamon sugar over the melted butter making sure to cover as much surface with the filling as you can.
- Starting at one long ends of your rectangle of dough, roll it up.
- Using a sharp knife, slice the dough into about 1 inch pieces. The result will be a pinwheel shaped form when turned on its side.
- Place pinwheels on greased baking sheet or in a casserole dish. I like mine slightly touching each other so they all are soft and not too browned on the outside but if you want them not touching, spread them apart on the sheet pan.
- Repeat the steps above with the second mound of dough.
- Cover assembled rolls with a lightweight hand towel and let rise for 25-30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake for 17-20 minutes or until lightly brown on top (add a few extra minutes if using a casserole dish). Tap the middle of the roll to see if it bounces back. If it does, it’s probably done!
- Combine ingredients to make icing and spread over warm rolls so it melts into them.
Every bread machine is a bit different. The dough setting on mine is 90 minutes. This is the first rise.
The second rise will be after you assemble the rolls.
If using a glass baking dish, allow for a few extra minutes when baking.