Easy Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing

Fluffy, sweet and covered in frosting? Yes, please!

Do you love reading cozy mysteries that include recipes?

I know I do.

Which is why I included a recipe in each of the Spirited Sweet mysteries. The first one is from Bittersweet Betrayal and is Claire’s Famous Cinnamon Rolls.

In the Spirited Sweets Series, Claire London is a baker with a little bit of a problem–and it’s not that her husband’s a ghost (although she wishes he were still alive!)

No, it’s all the other ghosts that won’t leave her alone. Which means, it’s up to Claire to help them find peace and cross over. When she’s not helping the dearly departed, you’ll find Claire in her bakery on the bay whipping up a fresh batch of these delicious treats.

I love the yeasty taste these rolls deliver, plus they’re easy to make. You can mix them by hand and leave them to rise, or you speed things up and use a bread machine. The choice is all yours.

The other thing I love with this recipe is you can easily change it up and make it dairy-free.

How do you do that?

Substitute the butter for your favorite alternative (we like Earth Balance around here) and same goes for the milk (I like the flavor almond milk adds.)

You can also use an orange glaze to top the cinnamon rolls versus the cream cheese kind (I just mix 2 cups of powdered sugar, a splash of orange juice and a dab of butter together.)

Seriously, this recipe is so versatile. It’s awesome.

Check it out!

Easy homemade cinnamon rolls
Cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing


For the Dough:

  • 1 cup warm milk 
  • 1 packed of instant dry yeast 
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup butter melted
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

For the Filling:

  • 1/2 cup butter (softened)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon

For the Frosting:

  • 6 ounces cream cheese (softened)
  • 1/3 cup butter (softened)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract 



  1. Pour the warm milk into the mixing bowl and sprinkle the yeast and sugar on top. Let the yeast bubble (about 5 minutes)
  2. Add the eggs, butter, salt and flour. Make sure none of your ingredients are too cold.
  3.  Mix well until the dough is elastic and smooth (about 5-7 minutes). The dough will be sticky.
  4. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray and add the dough.
  5. Cover the bowl with a towel.
  6.  Set the bowl in a warm place and allow the dough to rise until it doubles. It should take about 30 minutes. 

**Note: you can also make the dough in your bread machine if you have one. I just throw everything in, turn the machine on, let it mix it, then unplug the machine and let the dough sit for 30 minutes.


  1. Combine the soften butter, brown sugar and cinnamon until well combined.
  2. Set aside.


  1. Sprinkle your counter and rolling pin with flour
  2. The dough will be sticky. Sprinkle a little flour onto the dough and roll into a rectangle. 
  3. Cover the entire dough rectangle with the filling.
  4. Starting on the long end, roll the dough up jelly-roll style. 
  5. Cut into 1-inch slices and place them in a greased 9×13 baking pan.
  6. Cover the pan with a towel and allow the rolls to rise for 20 minutes. 
  7. Bake at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes, until the rolls are golden and the center rolls are cooked through.


  1. Cream together the softened cream cheese and butter.
  2. Add in the vanilla and the powdered sugar. Mix until combined.
  3. Spread the frosting over the warm rolls.
Bittersweet Betrayal Cozy Mystery
Bittersweet Betrayal. Book 1 in the Spirited Sweets Mystery Series.


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