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I love making a homemade cinnamon roll recipe, but I’m impatient and hate waiting. That’s why this recipe is perfect. If you’re as impatient as I am, these quick cinnamon rolls are made in less than one hour. These are the perfect easy cinnamon rolls for ANY day of the week!

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cinnamon rolls in pan
Table of Contents
  1. Best Quick Cinnamon Rolls in under ONE Hour
  2. The SECRETS to my Fast Cinnamon Roll Recipe
  3. What yeast is Best for Cinnamon Rolls?
  4. What do you need to make Quick Cinnamon Rolls?
  5. How to make Cinnamon Rolls in under 1 Hour
  6. Easy Frosting for Quick Cinnamon Rolls
  7. PRO TIPS for making this Quick Cinnamon Roll Recipe
  8. Variations for Easy Cinnamon Rolls
  9. Making Ahead Instructions
  10. How to Store Cinnamon Rolls
  11. Can you freeze cinnamon rolls baked or unbaked?
  12. Quick Cinnamon Rolls FAQ
  13. Other Favorite Cinnamon Roll and Breakfast Recipes
  14. Quick Cinnamon Rolls {small batch} Recipe

Best Quick Cinnamon Rolls in under ONE Hour

If you know me, you probably know I’m suuuuuuuuper impatient. My mom tried to teach me to crochet about 1.2 million times before she gave up. Same with sewing. I want what I want and I want it NOW.

That’s why these cinnamon rolls are perfect for me. And if you’re like me and totally hate waiting alllllllll day for yeast to rise, this quick cinnamon roll recipe is for you.

From start to finish these rolls are made in under one hour. Yup – one hour. If you want, you can actually make them for breakfast without getting up at 3am or working all day the day before!

cinnamon rolls in pan with one missing

The SECRETS to my Fast Cinnamon Roll Recipe

Have you made my small batch dinner roll recipe? That one was derived from this 45 minute dinner roll recipe. I’ve wondered for awhile if that method could be used to make cinnamon rolls. Guess what? It can!

What yeast is Best for Cinnamon Rolls?

Option 1: Lots of Active Dry Yeast

Like in the 45 minute dinner roll recipes, this yeasted dough has lots of yeast to make it rise fast. You add a full tablespoon of ACTIVE DRY yeast, sugar, and warm water (think bathwater) to the bowl of your stand mixer and let it sit for 15 minutes. It’ll get all frothy and awesome. Using the extra yeast makes it rise quicker.

Option 2: Use INSTANT Yeast

I will list both options in the recipe – because they require different methods – but the rest of this post details how to use instant yeast, because you only need one packet and it cuts out a bunch of rise time. Instant Yeast requires only a 10 minute rest and then a rise time, cutting the time to make cinnamon rolls down a ton. Each brand of yeast has different names for their instant yeast but I always use Rapid Rise Yeast from Fleischmann’s Yeast.

Learn all about using yeast and the different kinds of yeast!

cinnamon rolls in pan without icing
Ingredients in cinnamon roll recipe

What do you need to make Quick Cinnamon Rolls?

Yeast: Instant or Active Dry (be sure to know which one you have, because it matters)

Sugar: You’ll need a bit of sugar for the dough to help activate the yeast, plus brown sugar for the filling.

Salt: For flavor

All-Purpose Flour: Be sure to measure it correctly

Butter: For the dough and the filling

Water: Instead of using milk, this recipe uses water. But you could use milk if you want.

Cinnamon: For the filling

We’ll talk about the frosting later!

collage showing how to make cinnamon rolls

How to make Cinnamon Rolls in under 1 Hour

These directions use INSTANT YEAST. Be sure to read the recipe fully and know which you’re using.

  1. Whisk your yeast, 1 cup flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. No mixer needed!
  2. Add your water and butter to a measuring cup or microwave safe bowl. Heat until between 120-130°F (I love using an instant read thermometer for this).
  3. Add the hot liquid to the dry ingredients and stir until smooth.
  4. Add more flour and stir until you can’t anymore.
  5. Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Let sit 10 minutes.
  6. While the yeast is proofing, you make your filling: stir together brown sugar and cinnamon. Melt your butter.
  7. Once you roll out your dough and spread it with filling, you roll the cinnamon rolls up and cut into how ever many you want (6-10).
  8. Place them in the pan and let them sit for 5-10 minutes before baking until they puff up a bit. Then pop them in the oven and make your frosting.

Easy Frosting for Quick Cinnamon Rolls

Let’s talk about the frosting for a second? Anyone else agree it’s the best part of the roll besides the gooey center? You have some options for making frosting:

  • The original: This frosting is made with cream cheese and melted butter and maple syrup. It’s the bomb and super easy to make.
  • Use vanilla buttercream or cream cheese frosting – both of which I love on cinnamon rolls.
  • Make these even quicker and use a can of frosting – your choice!

These rolls are so good. And they’re fast!! Perfect for you impatient people like me.

hand holding cinnamon roll

PRO TIPS for making this Quick Cinnamon Roll Recipe

  • Be sure to pay attention to what kind of yeast you’re using!
  • No mixer needed – but you can use one if you prefer – and using the dough hook on a stand mixer means you don’t have to knead the dough.
  • To help them rise faster, place them on the stove top or near the oven while it’s preheating.
  • EASIEST SLICING TIP: To slice your cinnamon rolls use dental floss! This is quicker and easier than using a serrated knife – they won’t collapse!
  • Small Cinnamon Rolls rise faster! I like making these smaller so they’re more manageable in size – plus they’ll rise faster.
cinnamon roll on plate

Variations for Easy Cinnamon Rolls

  • Add nuts in the center – walnuts or pecans would be awesome!
  • Use buttercream or cream cheese frosting, or use a can of icing for ease.
  • Add chocolate chips in the center!
  • Use milk in the dough for an even more fluffy cinnamon roll.

Making Ahead Instructions

Turn these into overnight cinnamon rolls by covering tightly with plastic wrap after you’ve placed in the pan. Store in refrigerator overnight. Allow to come to room temperature before baking.

How to Store Cinnamon Rolls

Store these lightly covered. I like to store them on the counter because they never last longer than a day. Storing them in the refrigerator will make them last longer.

Can you freeze cinnamon rolls baked or unbaked?

You can freeze the unbaked rolls or the baked and frosted ones, for up to a month.

sliced open cinnamon roll on plate

Quick Cinnamon Rolls FAQ

What type of yeast is best for making fast cinnamon rolls?

I prefer using instant yeast because you just need one packet – but you can use active dry yeast (you’ll need to use more of it).

What flour is best for making yeasted dough?

All-Purpose flour is the easiest one to use, although you can substitute bread flour in this recipe.

Why didn’t my active dry yeast get bubbly?

Chances are the water was too hot (or too cold) or the yeast might be old.

Why is my dough sticky? Why is my dough too dry?

If your dough is too sticky that means you should add a bit more flour – things like altitude and humidity can affect how much is needed. If your dough is too dry, you perhaps added too much flour.

Why didn’t my cinnamon rolls rise?

This happens when the yeast doesn’t activate. Chances are the water was too hot (killed the yeast) or too cold (didn’t wake it up) or your yeast could be old, or expired.

Why do cinnamon rolls fall after baking?

This happens when they are not done in the center. Make sure the dough is all the way done in the center – if the edges brown too much rotate the pans or cover lightly with foil.

How do you know when cinnamon rolls are done baking?

They’ll be golden brown and not doughy in the center.

How big should I make quick cinnamon rolls?

I recommend making these smaller, because they’ll rise faster.

Should I store leftover cinnamon rolls in the refrigerator?

You don’t’ have to but you can if you want them to last longer than a day or two.

How to thaw cinnamon rolls and how to reheat them:

Thaw them in the refrigerator if they’ve been frozen. Reheat them in the microwave on 50% power so the icing doesn’t melt.

Other Favorite Cinnamon Roll and Breakfast Recipes

Have you made this recipe?

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cinnamon rolls in pan

Quick Cinnamon Rolls {small batch}

4.38 from 24 votes
Cinnamon rolls in one hour, yes it can be done! And this recipe makes a perfect 6 rolls – great for when you need a small batch.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Yield 12 small rolls or 6 larger
Serving Size 1 roll

Ingredients
  

Dough using Active Dry Yeast

  • ½ cup (118ml) warm water (30 seconds in the microwave; think hot bathwater)
  • 1 tablespoon (13g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast (measured out from 2 packets)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons (42g) unsalted butter (very soft but not melted)
  • 1 ½ cups (186g) all-purpose flour

Dough using Instant Yeast

  • 1 ½ cups (186g) all-purpose flour , divided
  • 1 packet (7g) instant yeast (Rapid Rise Yeast)
  • 1 tablespoon (13g) granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (118ml) water
  • 3 tablespoons (42g) unsalted butter

Filling

  • 2 tablespoons (28g) melted unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup (50g) packed brown sugar
  • 2 ½ teaspoons cinnamon

Frosting

  • 2 ounces (56g) cream cheese very soft
  • 2 tablespoons (28g) unsalted butter melted
  • 1 ½ cups (170g) powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray a small 7” pie plate (or other similar sized pan) with cooking spray.

Active Dry Yeast Instructions

  • Place the water, sugar, and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Let the mixture rest for 15 minutes. It will be very frothy when your timer rings!
  • Mix in the salt and butter using the paddle, until the butter breaks up into the mixture. Switch to the dough hook and add the flour. Start on “Stir” for a few seconds, until the flour starts to incorporate. Switch to “2” for about 30 seconds and then kick it up to “3” until the dough completely comes together. You know it’s done when all of the dough will join to form a ball and the sides of the bowl are almost clean (no dough left). If your dough is too wet, add an additional tablespoon or two of flour.

Instant Yeast Instructions

  • Whisk 1 cup flour with yeast, sugar and salt. Add water and butter to a measuring cup and microwave until it's between 120-130°F (the butter won't completely melt).
  • Add the wet ingredients into the dry and stir to combine. Add an additional 1/2 cup flour and mix. By hand: mix until a shaggy dough forms, then turn out onto a floured cutting board and knead until smooth and elastic. Mixer: Mix until dough comes together in a ball, then turn out onto a floured cutting board. You shouldn't need to knead it much. You'll know the dough is ready when it bounces back when pressed with 2 fingers. Cover and let rest 10 minutes.

Filling the Rolls

  • Whisk the cinnamon and brown sugar together for the filling.
  • Roll out dough to a rectangle that’s about 9×11” or so. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle evenly with filling
  • Roll up the dough into a tight roll. Cut into 6 equal slices with a serrated knife. Place in prepared pan.
  • Let the dough rest for 5-10 minutes on the stove top while oven is preheating.
  • Bake for about 13-15 minutes, until the tops start to get golden.
  • While baking, make the frosting. Place cream cheese and melted butter in a small bowl. The cream cheese needs to be soft enough to stir into the butter. You can microwave it for a few seconds if it’s not soft enough. Whisk the cream cheese and butter together, then whisk in powdered sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Frost rolls, serve warm.
  • The rolls will last at room temperature for 2-3 days. The frosting can also stay on the counter for the same amount of time, or you can refrigerate it.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

  • I have updated the recipe to use both kinds of yeast. This is your choice depending on what you have. You’ll need about 2 packets of active dry yeast or 1 packet of instant yeast. Rise time is different too – but they’re both pretty quick to make.
  • Originally this recipe called for soft butter and flour in the filling. I have since found that melted butter sprinkled with cinnamon sugar is much easier, but if you liked the old filling, here is the recipe: 3 tablespoons soft butter mixed with 1 tablespoon all purpose flour, 3 tablespoons brown sugar and 2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix with a fork then spread in a thin layer all over the dough.
  • The frosting listed is amazing, but if you want an easier recipe, use my buttercream frosting recipe. Or make a simple glaze with 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1-2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream.

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1roll | Calories: 219kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 115mg | Potassium: 41mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 269IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 1mg
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Author Dorothy Kern
Keyword cinnamon roll, yeast

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Sweets from friends:
One Hour Cinnamon Rolls by Averie Cooks
Cinnamon Rolls by Something Swanky
Cinnamon Roll French Toast Bake by Kitchen Meets Girl
Easy Cinnamon Roll Recipe (gluten-free option) by Love from the Oven

cinnamon rolls in pan with words on photo

 Quick Cinnamon Rolls in one hour! This easy cinnamon roll recipe is done quick and makes the perfect sized small cinnamon rolls – these are done in under an hour. Whenever you want cinnamon rolls fast THIS is the recipe to use!

Last Updated on April 12, 2022

Dorothy Kern

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57 Comments

  1. These rolls are incredible! I have made them many times. Don’t fall into my mistake of skipping rising before placing the rolls in the oven – it’s definitely noticeable!

  2. Made these when we received 9” snow and gusting winds…all we can say is YUMMY! Every recipe we have made from Dorothy has been delicious. Many thanks for sharing with us.

  3. Omg. I have been a fan of your recipes for a long time and was craving cinnamon rolls today. These are airy, soft, pillowy cinnamon rolls really simple to make and SO good. This will be my go to recipe for sure. It made 9 rolls for me

  4. Simply amazing. My husband and I both sighed at first bites. The rolls were so pillowy and tender. I had doubts about maple syrup in the frosting but am now convinced by that little tangy accent; used just 1 cup of powdered sugar and it still spread beautifully. Thank you for an excellent job on a winner recipe. How would you best reheat these?

  5. I’ll be honest, I was a bit skeptical about a recipe for “quick” cinnamon rolls. But I was craving them hardcore and wanted cinnamon rolls FAST, so I decided to give this recipe a go! OMG. They were so amazing!! I did sub 2% milk for the water in the first step, and I let the dough rise for like maybe 10-20 minutes, but they still came together so quickly, and it was so easy! I didn’t even use a stand mixer! Also- this was my first time making cinnamon rolls from scratch- for whatever reason they’ve always intimidated me so, but so glad I give this recipe a chance because I will be making them again!