The Dough Diaries: Easy Cinnamon Rolls


Friends, welcome! I have two exciting things to share today & I can’t wait to hear what you think. Firstly, this is the start of a new series of posts in which I try to use up my fast going out of date yeast. Every new venture needs some catchy nickname, & ours has the most wonderful title of them all: The Dough Diaries. This series is going to take us on a little tour of the breakfast bread world, starting with these Easy Cinnamon Rolls. If cinnamon rolls aren’t your thing (if this is the case, I’m not sure we can be friends), then stay tuned for some Mini Challah Loaves, Chocolate Babka, Cinnamon + Brown Butter Pull-Apart Bread, & some Cinnamon Knots. Now that you’ve seen the line-up, aren’t you as excited to kick off The Dough Diaries as I am? Let’s do this!

I was originally toying around with the idea of naming these Lazy Cinnamon Rolls, but that wouldn’t be entirely correct. There is a small bit of effort involved, but it is nothing compared to the effort you put into making the type of cinnamon rolls that have to rise & rest for hours. These cinnamon rolls are like a walk in the park when compared to that, hence the Easy in the title. Basically this recipe allows you to go from -0.1 to 6 (on the scale of cinnamon rolls) in just over 1.5 hours, which is pretty good by brunching standards. I know that I can’t be the only one out there who gets hit by the deadly cinnamon roll craving entirely out of the blue. There I am, barely awake & filling the kettle for coffee, & BAM – I need a cinnamon roll. It’s rough, but I like to think we’ve all been there.

The second piece of exciting news is something I’ve wanted to share with everyone for ages, but I didn’t want to jinx anything or tell people in case (for some random reason) it didn’t actually happen. As of Monday the 21st of August, I am officially a contributor for Hungermama – a food blog I’ve been crushing on for over a year now. Bethie, who heads up the Hungermama team, and I have been talking for a few weeks & it is finally a reality! The blog is filled with heaps of easy, family-friendly recipes, so I’ll be bringing some of my less complicated bakes over there to share. Can you believe it? I have no idea how I was able to keep it a secret for so long. I’m thrilled!

Now that we’ve got everything out in the open, let’s talk cinnamon rolls. First up: taste & texture. I’ve tested these babies three different times, & each time I swear they got fluffier & softer & more pillow-like than before. They’re squishy perfection. On top of this, they taste incredible. They’re spiked with just enough cinnamon sugar to make you come back for a second roll, but not too much so as to make you feel a bit sick. Added bonus: if you grease the pan with a good layer of butter before popping the rolls in, it caramelizes ever so slightly in the oven & brings breakfast to a whole different level. Yeah. We’re talking serious brunching here.

These Easy Cinnamon Rolls (which you definitely will love) are my first ever post over on the Hungermama blog, so click here to grab the recipe & read Bethie’s lovely intro!

Or – print this recipe!

Makes 6 Cinnamon Rolls | Recipe by passionate baker


  • ½ cup (125ml) full fat milk
  • 2 tablespoons (28g) salted butter
  • 2 tablespoons (25g) granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 ½ cups (192g) plain flour
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 4 tablespoons (56g) salted butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
  • ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup (32g) icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon full fat milk


  1. Over a medium heat in a small saucepan, stir together the milk, butter, and sugar until the sugar has dissolved & the butter has melted. Remove from heat & transfer the liquid into a large mixing bowl and allow to cool to just warm (yeast doesn’t like the heat, so make sure it cools way down, I popped mine into the fridge for a few minutes).
  2. Sprinkle the yeast over the cooled liquid and stir to incorporate. Leave to sit for 5 minutes in order for the yeast to activate.
  3. Add the flour and the egg yolk to the milk mixture. Use a wooden spoon to stir together until incorporated. If the dough feels slightly too wet, add more flour (a tablespoon at a time).
  4. Using your hands, bring the dough together into a ball and knead slightly.
  5. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave to rest in a warm-ish area for 10 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, make the cinnamon sugar by combining the sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Set aside. Also, prepare your pan: grease the bottom and sides of an 8×8-inch baking dish and set aside.
  7. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured work surface and use a rolling pin to roll into a roughly 9 x 12-inch rectangle.
  8. Spread the dough with the melted butter and then generously sprinkle over the cinnamon sugar (it will seem like a lot, but don’t skimp).
  9. Starting at the longer edge of the dough, roll it into a tight coil and keep going. Slice this into six large even pieces.
  10. Place the rolls into the prepared baking dish and leaving about ½ inch of room between each. Cover the dish with cling film and leave to rise for 30 minutes in a warm area.
  11. While the rolls rise, place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat it to 180C.
  12. Remove cling film and bake the rolls for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown, puffed, and bubbling. Leave to cool ever so slightly.
  13. In a small bowl whisk together the icing sugar & the milk. Drizzle over warm rolls and enjoy with several cups of coffee.

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