The Best Cinnamon Rolls

Soft and fluffy giant cinnamon rolls made with a rich cream cheese frosting.  The perfect breakfast for Christmas morning or for special occasions. 
Course Breakfast & Dessert
Prep Time 4 hours
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 20 minutes
Servings 12
Author Jessica (


  • 1 package (2 1/4 teaspoon) instant yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (120 degrees F)
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 lemon rind, grated
  • 1 cup warm 2% milk
  • 4-5 1/2 cup all-purpose flour


  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 12 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 8 tablespoons (1/2 cup) butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 5 ounces (3/4 cup) white chocolate, melted
  • few splashes lemon juice


  • Heat water to 120 degrees F.  Dissolve yeast in water then stir in 2 teaspoons sugar; set aside.
    Cream butter and sugar on high, about 4 minutes; add eggs one at a time, salt, lemon rind, the dissolved yeast, warm milk, and the flour.  
    Knead until smooth and elastic. 
    Cover and let rise in a large glass or metal bowl in a warm place, until double in bulk. Place a wet tea towel or kitchen towel over the top of the bowl. I heat the oven to 125 degrees F.  occasionally and place bowl on cookie sheet then heat intermittently until doubled in size.  May take 1-2 hours or longer if warm spot is cooler.
    Butter or grease a 13x9 casserole dish; set aside.
    Toss dough on lightly floured surface, roll out into large rectangular shape until dough is 1/4 inch thick. 
    Melt 1/4 cup butter then brush dough well.  Mix 3/4 cup sugar and 1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon together.  Evenly sprinkle over the top of melted butter.
    Tightly roll dough like a jelly roll.  I started the roll at the less wide end which will result in large rolls. Cut into 12 even pieces.  Brush sides with additional butter then place into baking pan.  Let rise again until dough has filled in spaces.  Bake in 350 degree F oven for 15-25 minutes or until light golden color.  Careful not to overbake! 
    To make the Cinnamon Roll Frostingin a large bowl combine cream cheese and butter. Beat with mixer until light and fluffy.
    Add confectioner's sugar 2 cups at a time, beating to combine. Beat in vanilla extract, and salt. Turn mixer to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
    Melt white chocolate chips in microwave on power level 4 until melted or melt over stove top. Add white chocolate to mixture then beat 3 minutes.  Beat in lemon juice.  This will remove some of the sweetness. 
    Frost cinnamon rolls.