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Cinnamon rolls in a pan, some with whipped cream cheese frosting on taupe cloth.
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5 from 3 votes

Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting (Copycat Cinnabon)

Perfected to taste just like a Cinnabon! Big, gooey dough layers swirled with buttery, cinnamon brown sugar; then slathered with whipped cream cheese frosting.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Rise Time1 hr
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cinnabon, cinnamon roll, cream cheese frosting
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 525kcal
Author: Erin

Ingredients

  • 1 cup buttermilk or whole regular milk
  • 2 large eggs + one egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ cup salted butter softened (½ stick)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ⅓ cups flour all purpose
  • 2 ½ teaspoons instant yeast

Cinnamon Filling

  • ½ cup salted butter softened (1 stick)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon flour all purpose
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon

Frosting

  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened (1 package)
  • cup heavy whipping cream
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar

Instructions

  • Combine dough ingredients in a mixer using the dough hook (or by hand with bowl and spoon) until dough forms.
  • Knead for 5 minutes by hand on a floured surface or 1-2 minutes using dough hook attachment on mixer.
  • Grease a 13x9 inch baking baking pan with butter, or line with parchment paper.
  • On a large, lightly floured work space, roll dough out into a large 10x15 inch rectangle.
  • Combine the cinnamon filling ingredients (stick of softened butter, brown sugar, tablespoon flour, and cinnamon) in a bowl with a fork until it resembles the consistency of wet sand.
  • Sprinkle mixture evenly over dough. 
  • Starting at long edge, roll the dough, until completely rolled up like a log. If desired, trim off the end inch of uneven dough roll.
  • Make marks using the knife or string first in the middle. Then mark those two halves in half. Mark each of those fourths into 3 equal portion to yield 12 sections of equal thickness.
  • Using a piece of unflavored floss, pull the string around each mark as if trying to tie it, but go all the way through so that it cuts. If you don't have floss, use a very sharp knife and light sawing motions so that you don't smash the rolls.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Place rolls evenly spaced apart in the baking dish, cover lightly with saran wrap, and let rise again, until doubled in size (about 60 minutes). You can also allow them to rise in the fridge overnight.
  • Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until just barely golden brown. 
  • Beat the softened cream cheese, heavy whipping cream, salt, vanilla, and powdered sugar until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Spread over cinnamon rolls.

Notes

  • if using active dry yeast instead of instant yeast, dissolve it into the ½ cup lukewarm water first for 5-10 minutes before adding to mix to "activate" it. Instant yeast can be added as is. 
  • You can substitute regular whole milk for butter milk, or make "faux" buttermilk by adding a teaspoon lemon juice to the milk and letting it stand for 5 minutes until thickened. 
  • Soften cream cheese and butter completely at room temperature before incorporating. 
  • String or floss is preferred to cut the rolls, because it makes a perfect cut and leaves the cinnamon rolls round. 
  • If a knife is used, the sharper the better.
  • If desired, the uncooked cinnamon rolls can go through their second rise overnight in the fridge, in the pan that they will bake in, and then baked the next day for the same amount of time (they won't need to rise further on the counter). 
  • Store unused frosting in the fridge, as it has heavy cream in it. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 525kcal | Carbohydrates: 73g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 90mg | Sodium: 422mg | Potassium: 165mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 778IU | Calcium: 82mg | Iron: 3mg