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5 from 1 vote

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

This homemade cinnamon roll recipe has been passed down for generations in my family. The soft, airy dough is rolled in a cinnamon sugar mixture, tossed with raisins and nuts, and drizzled with icing. 



  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup margarine or shortening
  • ½ cup warm water, 105 degrees
  • 2 packages Active Dry Yeast
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus ½ cup more as needed


  • 6 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup very finely chopped pecans or walnuts, plus more for garnishing
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup raisins


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla


Dough Instructions

  • Scald the milk by bringing it to a near boil, then remove it from the heat. Add the sugar, salt, and margarine/shortening and stir until combined. Let it reduce to lukewarm in temperature, (105 degrees.)
  • Add the warm water to a large bowl and stir in the yeast until dissolved. Add in the lukewarm milk mixture along with the beaten eggs and 1 cup of flour. Beat until smooth, a hand mixer makes this easier.
  • Add 3 ½ cups flour and mix until a soft dough forms. If it is too sticky, you can add up to ½ cup additional flour.
  • Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead for 8 minutes, until smooth and elastic.
  • Grease a large bowl and add the dough to it. Turn the dough so that all sides are greased.
  • If making the dough ahead of time, refrigerate the dough for 3-4 days from here. Then remove the dough once ready to continue and let it come to room temperature before proceeding.
  • Cover the bowl and put it in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, this takes at least 1 hour. *See my dough rising tips in the notes if needed.
  • Punch the dough down, cover, and let it rise again until nearly doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

Assembly instructions

  • Place the dough back onto a floured surface and roll into two individual 16 x 15 inch rectangles. (Each makes about 10 rolls) 
  • Brush the top of the dough with melted butter.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the chopped nuts, sugar, cinnamon, and raisins. Sprinkle it evenly over the top of each rectangle to within ½ inch of the edge and pat it down gently.
  • Locate the 16 inch side closest to you and tightly roll the dough up to form a cylinder. Repeat for the other rectangle. Seal the edges and cut 1 ½ inch slices, placing them onto a greased baking sheet as you do so.
  • Cover and let the rolls rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  • Bake the rolls for approximately 10 minutes, until they are a nice golden brown. Keep a close eye on them as the oven is hot.
  • Let the rolls cool.
  • Combine the ingredients for the icing and use a fork to drizzle the icing over the cooled rolls. Sprinkle with additional chopped nuts if desired. Serve immediately for super fresh results!
  • Dough rising tips:


Dough rising tips: 

Method #1: (I like this method best) Preheat the oven to 315 degrees and place the bowl on top of a warm spot on the oven. For me, the warmest spot is right in the front of the oven between the front two burners.
Method #2: Place a baking tray on the bottom rack in the oven. Remove the top rack. Boil water and pour it into the tray, then place the bowl of dough on top and close the door.
Method #3: Take a new package of yeast and mix it with 1/4 cup of warm water and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar. Let it sit for 10 minutes until it starts to foam. Knead the yeast mixture into the dough, and place it in a warm place to rise.


These prepared rolls can be frozen in an airtight container and are best if used within 3-4 months. 
To serve: Remove them from the freezer, let them come to room temperature, then bake them at 320 degrees for 5-10 minutes prior to serving. 


Calories: 312kcal, Carbohydrates: 44g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 26mg, Sodium: 158mg, Potassium: 136mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 16g, Vitamin A: 140IU, Vitamin C: 0.5mg, Calcium: 25mg, Iron: 1.8mg