Mini Cinnamon Rolls

If you’re looking for a little bite of sweet with your morning coffee, try these mini cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting. They’re soft and fluffy!

Have you tried our cinnamon roll monkey bread or cinnamon roll pie crust yet? I hope you’re not sick of that sweet cinnamon flavor yet, because today we’re making little baby cinnamon rolls from our best ever homemade cinnamon rolls.

overhead view of mini cinnamon rolls

The same day we made our GIANT cinnamon rolls that you requested, we also decided to make mini cinnamon rolls. Little two-bite size sweet rolls that are perfect when you don’t want to eat your whole days calories in one sweet roll.

Who invented cinnamon rolls?

If you love reading the history of where foods came from like I do, be sure to check out this article. Although cinnamon itself comes from Sri Lanka, the cinnamon sweet roll is thought to have originated in Sweden. The British created the Chelsea Buns…the Germans made the schnecken. And the Swedens took their own take on sweet roll dough and made cinnamon buns. This was over 300 years ago!

Celebrate National Cinnamon Roll Day on October 4!

How do you make mini cinnamon rolls?

The recipe for these mini cinnamon rolls is the same recipe as our traditional rolls. The only difference is in the technique of rolling the rolls.

I will say that because you have the same amount of dough and make small rolls, you end up with a lot of mini cinnamon rolls. But. They freeze well. And you can share with friends, right?!

If you’re looking for techniques on mixing the dough, visit this post.

spreading frosting on mini cinnamon rolls

For this post we’ll stick with the technique of rolling the dough.

  • Sprinkle a pastry mat generously with flour. Turn out the dough onto the pastry mat and sprinkle the top of the dough with additional flour.
  • Flour a rolling pin and roll the dough to about a very long rectangle (about 28″x16″ if you can get it that big).
  • Use a rubber spatula to smooth the cinnamon filling over the whole dough rectangle.
  • Use a pizza cutter to cut the rectangle in half lengthwise.
  • Then use the pizza cutter to cut thin strips. Make the strips only about an inch thick so that the rolls will stay small. You will get between 40-48 strips, equaling almost 4 dozen mini cinnamon rolls.
unrolled cinnamon rolls
  • Roll each little strip into a small cinnamon swirl.
rolling cinnamon rolls on counter
  • Place the cinnamon rolls in 2 9×13 greased baking pans.
unbaked cinnamon rolls
  • Cover the pan and allow the rolls to rise for 20 minutes or until nearly double.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Warm the heavy cream until the chill is off. Don’t make it hot…you just don’t want it cold. It should be warm to the touch.
  • Once the rolls have risen, pour the heavy cream over the top of the rolls, allowing it to soak down in and around the rolls.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, until the rolls are lightly golden brown and the center rolls are cooked through.

How do you know when cinnamon rolls are done?

I like to tap on the top center of my cinnamon rolls. If they don’t feel “dough” underneath the top, they should be done. They’ll be golden brown and risen all over the pan of rolls.

The internal temperature should be about 190º Fahrenheit with an instant read thermometer.

**We LOVE our Thermoworks ThermaPen to quickly test bread and cake temperatures. This probe thermometer is AMAZING.  Get it here.**

fork cutting a cinnamon roll

Can I bake mini cinnamon rolls in mini muffin tins?

Well, you can, but I don’t recommend it for two reasons.

  1. It is hard to pour the heavy cream on this way. It will run all over as the sweet rolls bake.
  2. The dough rises so much during baking that they end up looking like this:
cinnamon rolls in mini muffin tins

We laughed quite a bit when these came out of the oven! If you are going to use muffin tins, you want to make sure you make really, really small dough rolls so they don’t overflow the pans while baking.

We find a 9×13 pan is just easier.

How do you store cinnamon rolls?

Cinnamon rolls are safe to store at room temperature for about 48 hours. After that you’ll want to refrigerate them.

Be sure to keep the rolls covered so they don’t dry out.

A close up of a cinnamon roll with a bite out

How do you soften hard cinnamon rolls?

We find that the easiest way to reheat day old cinnamon rolls is to microwave them for 15-20 seconds depending on the size.

If the rolls are not frosted, you could cover them with foil and reheat in the oven, but frosted rolls will get quite melty as you warm them so beware of that.

Other Cinnamon Roll Recipes

frosted cinnamon rolls with one missing

What You Need to Make Sweet Rolls

  • Stand Mixer: Ok, you don’t 100% need this, but it does make life easier.
  • Red Star Yeast: My favorite yeast! It’s so forgiving and I have perfect baked goods, every time.
  • Saigon Cinnamon: The best flavored cinnamon.
  • Pastry Mat: This makes clean-up a breeze.
  • Dough Cutter: I JUST got one of these. What have I done without it all these years? Works as a scraper too, to get stuck-on dough off surfaces.
  • Baking Pan 9×13 or 10×15, depending on what you need.

Remember…we like to celebrate with GIANT CINNAMON ROLLS!

cut open cinnamon roll
cut open cinnamon roll

Mini Cinnamon Rolls

4.88 from 8 votes
If you're looking for a little bite of sweet with your morning coffee, try these mini cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting. They're soft and fluffy!
Servings 48
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Rise Time 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients
 

For the Dough:

  • 1 cup warm milk (about 115 degrees F**)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons instant dry yeast (I like Red Star Platinum Baking 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 (almost melted)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon

To pour over rolls:

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (for pouring over the risen rolls)

For the Frosting:

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

Instructions
 

  • Pour the warm milk in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast overtop.
  • Add the eggs, butter, salt and sugar.
  • Add the flour and mix using the beater blade just until the ingredients are barely combined. Allow the mixture to rest for 5 minutes so the flour has time to soak up the liquids.
  • Scrape the dough off the beater blade and remove it. Attach the dough hook.
  • Beat the dough on medium speed for 5-7 minutes or until the dough is elastic and smooth. **The dough will be tacky and will still be sticking to the sides of the bowl. That’s ok! Don’t be tempted to add more flour at this point.
  • Spray a large bowl with cooking spray.
  • Use a rubber spatula to remove the dough from the mixer bowl and place it in the greased large bowl.
  • Cover the bowl with a towel or wax paper.
  • Set the bowl in a warm place and allow the dough to rise until double. I like to turn on the oven to the lowest setting for 1-2 minutes. Then turn off the oven and place the dough to rise in there. It normally takes about 30 minutes for the dough to rise. Do not allow the dough to rise too much or your cinnamon rolls will be airy.
  • While the dough is rising, prepare the cinnamon filling. In a medium bowl, combine the soft butter, brown sugar and cinnamon, mixing until well combined. Set aside.
  • Sprinkle a pastry mat generously with flour. Turn out the dough onto the pastry mat and sprinkle the top of the dough with additional flour.
  • Flour a rolling pin and roll the dough to about a very large rectangle (about 26″x18″ if you can get it that big).
  • Use a rubber spatula to smooth the cinnamon filling over the whole dough rectangle.
  • Use a pizza cutter to cut the rectangle in half lengthwise.
  • Then cut 1" strips in the opposite direction. You should end up with about 40-48 strips.
  • Roll up each strip into a small roll, jelly roll style.
  • Place the rolls in 2 greased 9×13 baking pans.
  • Cover the pan and allow the rolls to rise for 20 minutes or until nearly double.
  • Warm the heavy cream until the chill is off. Don’t make it hot…you just don’t want it cold. It should be warm to the touch.
  • Once the rolls have risen, pour the heavy cream over the top of the rolls, allowing it to soak down in and around the rolls.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, until the rolls are lightly golden brown and the center rolls are cooked through. If the rolls are getting too browned on top, cover loosely with a piece of foil.
  • While the rolls are cooling, prepare the cream cheese frosting.
  • In a large bowl, combine the softened cream cheese and butter using a hand mixer. Blend well.
  • Add in your favorite extract and the powdered sugar. Beat until combined.
  • Spread the frosting over the cooled rolls.
  • Store in an airtight container.

Notes

The calories shown are based on the recipe making 48 mini rolls, with 1 serving being 1 mini frosted roll. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information.**

Nutrition

Calories: 155kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 107mg | Potassium: 37mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 243IU | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 1mg
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Calories 155
Keyword best cinnamon roll recipe, cinnamon roll breakfast, how to make cinnamon rolls
spreading frosting on cinnamon rolls

About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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Alli
6 months ago

If I wanted to make this dough ahead of time and freeze, when is the best time to wrap/freeze them? How much will they need to rise when I want to bake them?

Shannon
6 months ago

5 stars
I made these for Christmas morning — prepped and in pan on Xmas eve, in the fridge overnight, let rise for 1 hour before baking. Subbed Half and Half for heavy cream. Delicious!!

Mary P
1 month ago

5 stars
Hi

Love these cinnamon rolls! The dough came together perfectly and the dough is easy to work with. I want to make them for my daughters graduation party – how far ahead can i make and freeze?