Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing

There’s not much to this post because honestly, these cinnamon rolls speak for themselves. These cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing are a hit any time of year but especially on Christmas morning. So just a few tips and then we will get right to it

cinnamon rolls half with icing

  1. Don’t be intimidated by cinnamon rolls. They are somewhat time intensive, but the actual hands on time is minimal- more time is spent waiting for them to rise. You can make these even if you never bake (trust me i’m with you – see why here). They are beginner friendly and you will be so impressed with the results
  2. Try to let your dough rise in a warm place – I typically try the cabinet over the fridge so it is warm and undisturbed.
  3. When making the icing, do NOT skip the sifting step with the powdered sugar, it makes such a difference when incorporating it all together. If you don’t sift, it will be clumpy (and no one wants that)
  4. iced cinnamon rolls close up
  5. If you are making them the day ahead (ie tomorrow for Christmas morning) Once you get to the second rise, cover the dish tightly with plastic wrap and let them rise in the fridge overnight. In the morning get them out and hour or so before baking
  6. Have fun and embrace their imperfections. If you’re anything like me, you want them to all look perfectly swirled and uniform. BUT I encourage you to embrace their imperfections and know that they taste so good, no one will care (also the icing will cover up any mistake :)) )

cinnamon rolls in a white baking dish

Thats all folks! Enjoy these classic cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing

cinnamon rolls half with icing

Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing

A recipe that you can count on to always be a crowd pleaser. Simple, delicious, and the best addition to Christmas morning (or any morning)!
Servings 12 rolls


For the Dough

  • 1 tbsp/packet dry active yeast
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp softened butter
  • 3 cups flour

For the Filling

  • 1 stick melted butter
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon

For the Icing

  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 package cream cheese (4 oz)
  • 2-4 tbsp milk


  • First, heat the milk until hot and let cool until warm to the touch. Add the yeast, sugar, salt, egg, and softened butter to a bowl and combine. Once cooled, add the milk and combine
  • Add the flour and combine until the dough is not sticky to the touch - add more flour as needed
  • Transfer the dough ball to a floured surface and form into a ball. Place the dough ball into a greased bowl for the first rise. Place in a warm area and let rise for 1-1.5 hours.
  • Once risen, place the dough onto a floured surface and roll into a rectangle (around 1 foot x 1.5 feet or so) around .5 inch thick.
  • Cover the rolled out dough in half of the melted butter. Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and sprinkle over the buttery dough the cover the surface completely.
  • Now comes the fun part :). Roll the dough into a long log (roll with the longer side of the rectangle). Once tightly rolled, cut into 12 individual rolls and place into a greased baking dish. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise once more for another hour. (If you are making the next day, at this step cover tightly and place in the fridge overnight)
  • Once risen a second time, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and let them cook for 15-20 minutes. While in the oven, make the icing.
  • For the icing, add the soften cream cheese and sifted powdered sugar to a bowl. Using a hand mixer, combine until smooth. Add 1-2 tbsp of milk and mix again. This is where your personal preference comes in. I don't love super sweet icing or thin icing, so I stopped here. If you want it sweeter, add more powdered sugar. If you want it thinner, add more milk. Whatever floats your boat 🙂
  • Ice the rolls once they come out and enjoy warm! They can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days and reheated in the oven or microwave. Enjoy!

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