Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Homemade cinnamon rolls

Gram Irene’s Homemade Cinnamon Rolls with Caramel-Pecan Sauce or Vanilla Icing. Treat your family with warm, gooey cinnamon rolls, fresh from the oven


Units Scale


  • 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast (4 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 1 cup warm milk (110° to 115°)
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 tablespoons butter, lard or rendered poultry fat, melted
  • 1/2 cup pure cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour


  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup pure cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Caramel Sauce

  • 1 cup butter, cubed
  • 2 cups packed brown cane sugar
  • 1/4 cup GMO free corn syrup or honey
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup chopped pecans


  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar)
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (homemade vanilla extract is great if you have it)
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons whipping cream or milk, or more for a thinner glaze


Preparing the dough

  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk.
  2. Add the eggs, butter (or lard or poultry fat), sugar, salt and 3 cups flour.
  3. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
  4. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes.
  5. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top.
  6. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  7. While the dough is rising, prep your caramel sauce or icing.

For caramel sauce

  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan.
  2. Stir in brown sugar and corn syrup (or honey).
  3. Bring to a boil over medium heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish.
  5. Sprinkle with pecans; set aside.

For icing

  1. In a small bowl, blend together powdered sugar, butter and vanilla.
  2. Add cream or milk to thin as much as you like.
  3. Cover bowl with a lid, damp cloth or plastic wrap to keep it from getting crusty while you finish the rolls.
  4. If you are using frosting and skipping the caramel sauce, grease a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish and set aside.

To assemble the rolls

  1. Punch the dough down. Turn onto a floured surface.
  2. Roll into a 17-in. x 15-in. rectangle.
  3. Spread butter to within 1/2 in. of edges.
  4. Combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over dough.
  5. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; inch seams to seal.
  6. Cut into 16 slices. Place cut side down over caramel sauce (or in greased pan).
  7. Cover; let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
  8. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.
  9. Glass pans will take longer to bake, metal pans will go a little faster.
  10. For caramel rolls, let stand 5 minutes; invert onto a serving platter.
  11. For iced rolls, allow to cool slightly in pan, then pour icing over rolls.


  • If you want to prep these the night before to bake fresh in the morning, cover your pan with plastic wrap and place the rolls in the refrigerator overnight.
  • In the morning, remove from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature and finish rising.
  • Don’t put a glass pan straight from the refrigerator to the oven!