Cinnabon? You Bet Your Life


These cinnamon rolls are the closest thing you’re ever going to make at home to the real deal. I say that with absolute certainty and calm. They. Are. It. I’ve held this recipe close to the bone for a long time, mamas, but I will now divulge the secret:


That’s right, you make the rolls with vanilla pudding as your primary liquid. That, and a lot of butter. I have no idea what the nutritional breakdown is, but to be on the safe side, and out of kindness to your heart, I suggest making them only 2 or 3 times a year. Without further ado, I give you,

General Conference Cinnamon Rolls!

  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 packages dry yeast
  • 2 Tbsp sugar

Bloom the yeast with the sugar in the warm water, waiting for froth and bubbles.

  • 1/2 cup instant vanilla pudding powder
  • 1 c warm water
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 2 lightly beaten eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 5-6 cups all-purpose flour

In a large bowl, with a wire whip, mix the pudding powder with the water until well combined and smooth. Add the butter, eggs and salt, whisk to combine well.

Add the bloomed yeast/sugar/water mixture and combine well.

Add flour, one cup at a time, until the dough comes together, and is still soft, but not sticky. Knead until smooth. It will feel like fat baby thighs.

Let rise in a warm, covered and lightly oiled bowl until doubled in size. About 2 hours.

Punch down, and knead again.

With a rolling pin and a lightly floured board, roll out the dough to a 34 x 22 inch rectangle. Keep moving the dough as you roll, to keep from sticking to the board.

  • 1 cup melted butter
  • 2 1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp cinnamon

Melt the butter and pour the whole cup on your rolled out rectangle of dough. (I told you only a few times a year!) In a separate bowl, combine with your impeccably clean hands, the sugar and cinnamon, then cover the butter-drenched dough rectangle in an even and delectable layer of cinnamon sugar.

Starting at the 22 inch side, roll the entire thing into a nice, long cinnamon tube. Seal the edge with a little bit of water on a pastry brush or your fingers.

With a serrated knife, (or even better, a piece of thread or dental floss) cut the log into 2 inch segments, and carefully move your giant cinnamon treasures to a glass pan.  Put no more than 8 in a large glass Pyrex casserole dish.  Do not crowd them- they will rise almost double. Whatever baking dish you use, deeper sides give the rolls a softer exterior = better.

Cover in a warm place and let them rise again until fat and happy- about two hours.

Bake at 350* for 15-18 minutes. Really, only that long. Do not over-bake. You want them to be soft, yet set, in the middle. The house will smell divine.


  • 8 oz. softened cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cream

Whip all ingredients together and smear on top of still warm rolls.

Remember, only a few times a year!! (For us, it’s Christmas and General Conference- the grand-poo-bah of all Mormon meetings) Your taste buds will rejoice, your heart will need a serious, sweat inducing walk afterwards. Enjoy!!

67 thoughts on “Cinnabon? You Bet Your Life

  1. Yum… I thought I had a good recipe, but this one wins. I made cinnamon rolls for conference too… it is the smell of october conference…

  2. Fat baby thighs? Eeehehe. I will be eating something that feels like fat baby thighs. Oh the insanity!

    I don’t even like cinnamon rolls and these look delicious. Now I must think of an excuse to make them. Curse yoouuu!!

  3. My MIL is coming this weekend. She is the queen of cinnamonrolls. Do you think it might be rude to upstage her with these suckers? I don’t care, I might just do it anyway…….

  4. Man alive, I just tried to make out with the computer screen to get a small taste of that deliciousness. It didn’t work. In my version of heaven, cinnamon rolls are what’s for breakfast every single day.

  5. Since I am up here in Canada, today was thanksgiving so no thanks to the buns for today. But the recipe looks yummy!

    Nice to meet you Dandelion Momma, I am Hollie, writer of cheaperthencheap, it is my newest attenpt at blogging.

    I am a solo LDS parent of one child, she has Aspergers, I write from Toronto.

  6. print!
    This is my favorite way to acquire awesome recipes. From real people in my life who are really really happy with the recipe they are sharing.
    It’s gonna rock, I just have to come up with an occasion to try them!

  7. Hmmmm. I think I’ll take the Book of Mormon approach to these rolls. I shall first experiment upon them to see if they are good, followed by feasting upon them after they have proven to be good. 🙂

  8. I’m making them today. It’s as if some unknown force is pushing me to the grocery store, willing me to buy what is needed so that I can make them right now…. this very second. I can hardly wait!!

  9. OK, just finished them. I have a coupla questions.

    1 – How many is this recipe supposed to make? Mine ended up at 18, and easily could have been twenty, if I didn’t reject the end pieces.

    2-Can you seriously fit 8 of these in a Pyrex? I could only do 4, maayyyyybe 5. Mine were seriously HUGE. I just wonder if I did something wrong to make them too big or something (not that anyone here’s complaining. I actually heard my kid ask for HALF a cinnamon roll. That never happens). Maybe I didn’t roll it out thin enough or I let them rise too long? Unsure. Please diagnose without having seen them, tasted them, or even technically, having met me. That’s not too hard, right?

    And finally – not a question –

    They are divine! The icing will kill you, but man oh man, will you die happy. That icing is going on a number of cakes and such from now on.

  10. Hmmmm. Not sure Wizzy, I only get 12 rolls from this recipe- so you hit the motherlode. I do get 8 in a pyrex, but it’s very snug- like sardines- once they’ve risen. (and I’m talking the BIG pyrex casserole pan- like you would make lasagna in…)

    Really happy that you liked them as much as we do. For us, this is the Be All and End All of cinnamon rolls. NO other recipes need apply.

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  14. Silly Goose! That’s not at what I meant! But by all means, go ahead and use them. I look forward to reading some of your fantastic recipes.

  15. WOWOW i really love this buns, thank you for give this recepie. but what i am not sure is that if the oven needs to be preheat or not …i am not sure to do them because i love to bake but all the time something goes wrong and this time i would like to do them without any mistake. thank you so much.

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  17. Ok… Maybe a dumb question. What cream do I put in the icing? Whipping? Heavy? Half ‘n’ half? Makin ’em tmrw for conference… 🙂 can’t wait!!

  18. Hey, everytime i mkae cinnamon rolls they come out not that good, they get burnt from the bottom and still doughy in the middle … but i just love cinnamon rolls and i want to make them really tasety almost like cinnabons … so i wanna ask u if this recipie is really worth it or not? And does get cooked from inside?? plz answer truthly … Thank you!!

  19. This picture of the rolls is not its real pic. I found the same picture on the internet .. so i need a real picture of them to deide!

  20. Sorry George- it is a stock photo, and you can make them or not- but if you click on some of the links above, you can see real pictures. If you opt not to make them, it’s really just your loss- they rock.

    Good luck in your search for the perfect cinnamon roll.

  21. You know what tracy, i AM going to make them whether this is their real pic or not – i dont even care anymore .. but i just got one more question do they look like the pic or not?? Thank you very much =)

  22. Wowowow… thanks to George for bumping this up to the top of the comments. I must have blipped out when you originally posted this recipe. It looks fabulous. I only let my hubby make his cinnamon rolls for me on Mother’s Day. It’s been our tradition for the last five years. But, I may have to amend this rule to allow him to make me THESE cinnamon rolls as they are not his recipe. You know, for scientific purposes only.

  23. i want to sell cinnamon rolls in my shop down here in Brazil was going to try a few recipes . but now maybe I only need yours !! let you know they turn out

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  25. My first time ever making cinnamon rolls and they came out perfect! Thank you for this awesome recipe. My son said they tasted better than Cinnabon. How flattering is that?! I made one change to the recipe and used bread flour. Today was a test run for Christmas, which I have been assigned to contribute to the family Christmas breakfast. It was a lot of work, but well worth it.

    • I will attest to the greatness of these cinnamon rolls. Georgie made these before and we loved them.This year, she made some with raisins, as her grandmother and I love raisins in ours, some with pecans, and some all by themselves. But this time, I believe they were even better than before. She made them a little smaller. Which was a good excuse to have more than one, when you have to ‘sample’. We’ve been drooling since eating them. We started Christmas morning with these prior to opening presents, to hold us off until Christmas Brunch.
      They were great.

  26. Hello, one other question, this time regarding the pudding. It might sound weird, but in Romania we don’t have instant vanilla pudding, or maybe we have it under another name. So i don’t know what to use, or how the instant one you’re using is like.

    The pudding mixes we have here are done stove top, with boiling milk, sugar and the actual mix. I’m guessing it’s not what you use.

    And I don’t think you use the ones that look like whipped cream after you’re done mixing them either.

    One other thing i was considering using is called Creme Ole from the Dr. Oetker brand which is indeed done with cold milk, not water like you used (i guess you can replace the milk with water though) and by actually mixing it for 3 minutes with the electric mixer. Does this sound close to what you are using?

    Please give me more details on this instant pudding thing, I’m really hoping to find a substitution for it.

    Thank you!

  27. I know I’m late to the party here, but a friend just posted this link and I’m chomping at the bit to try them. I want them for Conference morning (tomorrow), but I’m wondering what I can prep the night before so that I don’t have to wake up at 3am.

  28. So, in reality, I could make these for dinner!!
    I’ve never used YEAST in my life…can I manage this??!!
    I am determined to make these TOMORROW!

  29. I can’t believe you just advertised online that you will have freshly baked cinnamin rolls at your place this weekend. Sounds like you just put yourself in danger of being robbed. By a female. About my height. And hair color. Only looking for one thing. And you have a freshly baked big pyrex pan of them. Just sayin. Your safety is on the line here.

  30. Any suggestions as what to use for the vanilla pudding as I live in England, I’m not sure as to what would substitute this? X

  31. Jami, I would try some sort of custard. The egg-y, creamy goodness of the pudding is what you want- and I know in England a pudding is a completely different thing than in the states. I imagine a slightly thin custard would work. Best of luck!

  32. I found this recipe on Pinterest this afternoon and had a couple questions about the recipe. 1. What kind of butter do you use for the dough? Do you use unsalted or salted? and 2. What would be the best type of flour to use for these? Bread flour, All Purpose Flour, or Unbleached All Purpose Flour? I’d love to give this recipe a try this weekend maybe when I’m at my mom’s house! Thanks for the help! 🙂

    • HI Matt- I have always just used what I have on hand- which usually means unsalted butter and all-purpose flour. They really are spectacular. I hope you like them.

  33. thnx for posting ur recipe but i have some annoying quest. 🙂
    # 1. We have a pudding mix in our country that calls for 2 cups milk to be boiled with one sachet..should i use 1 cup intsead for the sachet or 1 cup for have sachet..the casturd thing calls for 2 TB sp. For 1 cup milk what should i use or make.
    # 2. can i divide the recipe to have less buns ?
    # 3. Using the butter in room temp. Or cold.
    # 4. In the cinnabon store they pick the dough from refregirator and roll it …i guess that makes it stands in old recipe got the same taste but the shape flattens ( it calls for 2 tsp. Yeast for 3.5 cups flour ) and it was like the pizza dough ,what to do to make it keep this nice standing shape like cinnabons ?
    Thnx…and sorry for annoying

  34. I’m not sure about the pudding.
    You can divide in half, yes.
    Room temp on the butter
    Letting the dough sit in the fridge overnight helps in taste and texture.
    Good luck!

    • thnxxxxxxxx a million for replying so soon…ok can u tell me the pudding brand name u use, and i will search for it ..thnx again

      • oh and when i roll it after getting it out of fridge..should i leave it to rise for 2 hrs or bake it immediately ??

  35. I just use Jell-O vanilla pudding, but an will work, even one you make at home, honestly. If you’ve rolled them out and let them rise in the fridge overnight, if they are sufficiently risen, go ahead and pop them in the oven. If they need to rise more, bring them to room temp on the counter.

    Good luck!

  36. So disappointed in this recipe….. Wish I didn’t loose my last one it was way better, I used frozen bread dough, less butter, less sugar and it tased like the REAL Cinnabons…. 6 hours after THIS DISASTER I can’t even give them away, they went straight to the garbage.

    • Sorry Amanda- I wonder what went wrong- I’ve never had them be anything but spectacular. I hope you find the recipe you liked better. Best of luck.

      • A tip that i remembered, of course after baking this time, when you roll you dough out and put the butter down you NEED to add flour on top before adding the brown sugar and cinnamon or else, like what happened to mine all the yummy goodness melts outs.

      • Hmm. Well, I never have had to do that, but I know humidity can really effect baking results, so perhaps that’s a difference.

        I’m glad you have a recipe you like better. Cheers!

  37. These are THE BEST! I don’t know how anyone could think otherwise! I just wanted to thank you! My friends think I should open a bakery after trying these yummy buns! Thanks so much..

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