These homemade mini cinnamon rolls are perfectly soft, fluffy and ooze with delicious cinnamon sugar filling and a vanilla frosting. This recipe will be your go-to cinnamon roll recipe because it is easy to make and yields lots of delicious, fluffy mini cinnamon rolls for your family and friends to gush over!

There is something so warm and indulgent about cinnamon rolls. I make my big cinnamon rolls recipe every year for Christmas, general conference and Easter. However, when I adapted the recipe to make the cinnamon rolls mini, it’s been so fun to have them in a smaller size! If you love this indulgent treat as much as me, you’ll also love my orange rolls recipe and be sure to try my cinnamon roll popcorn!

A spatula holding up a mini cinnamon roll with a baking sheet full of others in the background.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Soft dough. I love this recipe because the cinnamon roll dough is super soft and doesn’t dry out or harden in the oven.
  • Perfect size. These mini cinnamon rolls are the perfect size for parties and gatherings. The smaller size makes it fun and easy to make lots of rolls for an event or family gathering. If you’re looking for a large cinnamon roll recipe, check out my homemade cinnamon rolls that are nice and big and delicious!
  • Easy to make. These cinnamon rolls are easy to make and don’t take hours to rise. The mixing, rising and baking time is all done in less than 2 hours!

Ingredients

Ingredients used to make mini cinnamon rolls.
  • Buttermilk: The buttermilk not only makes the dough moist and adds flavor, but the acid also helps give us additional rise in the dough.
  • Yeast: The amount of yeast we use helps give us a really good rise in these mini cinnamon rolls without having a prominent yeast flavor.
  • Sugar: Adding sugar to the dough helps give us the sweet roll flavor. Without it, the cinnamon rolls will taste more dinner roll-like and less sweet roll-like.
  • Almond Extract: I really wouldn’t skip this! It’s amazing how much better the filling flavor is with a bit of almond extract. It gives it a nice depth of flavor and dimension to the filling.
  • Powdered Sugar: You’ll notice that the icing isn’t a cream cheese icing. I’ve tried cream cheese icings and it just isn’t as good on cinnamon rolls. This simple, vanilla cinnamon roll icing the by far the best!

Step-By-Step Instructions

Make the Cinnamon Roll Dough

  1. In a stand mixer, fitted with the dough hook, add the water, buttermilk, sugar, melted butter and yeast. Mix. Let sit for 10 minutes or until the yeast is bubbly.
  2. Once the yeast is bubbly, add the salt, eggs, and flour. Mix for 8 minutes on medium/low speed.
  1. The dough should come away from the sides and bottom of the bowl but should still be tacky to the touch.
  2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough to rest for 20 minutes in a warm area. The dough should puff up slightly, but it won’t double in size. If your kitchen is cool you may need the dough to rest for 30 minutes. 

Make the Cinnamon Roll Filling

  1. While the dough is rising, add the brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and almond extract to a small bowl and stir to combine. 

Roll the Cinnamon Roll Dough

  1. Spray a rimmed jelly roll pan (15.5”x10.5”inches) with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Lightly spray a clean countertop with nonstick cooking spray. (I use the spray instead of flour so the dough doesn’t incorporate any additional flour.)
  3. Roll the dough into a 24×8-inch rectangle (see notes). Using the back of a spoon, smear the softened butter over the top of the dough.
  4. Sprinkle the cinnamon brown sugar filling evenly over the softened butter. 
Cinnamon roll dough rolled out into a rectangle, brown sugar mixture covering the dough.
  1. Roll the dough up, lengthwise. Cut into 24 cinnamon rolls, about 1 inch wide. 
Two images showing a tube of dough rolled up and the bottom photo shows the dough cut into 24, 1 inch pieces.
  1. Place the cinnamon rolls on the prepared jelly roll pan, 4 across and 6 down. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes or until puffed up. The rolls will be touching each other, but that’s what we want! We want that pull-apart effect for the cinnamon rolls.
A raw mini cinnamon roll against a white background.

Make the Cinnamon Roll Frosting

  1. While the mini cinnamon rolls are puffing up in the pan, add the butter, powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla to the bowl of an electric mixer (or using hand beaters) and beat until smooth. (You may only need to add 4 tablespoons of milk. You want the frosting thick, but not super dry either. Add more or less milk to get that consistency.)

Bake the Mini Cinnamon Rolls

  1. Once the rolls are quite puffy bake them in a 400-degree preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown on top and cooked throughout. 
  2. When the cinnamon rolls are finished baking, remove them from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Frost the rolls while warm. 
A metal spatula holding up a mini cinnamon roll in front of a baking sheet full of frosted cinnamon rolls.

Recipe Tips

Buttermilk: If you forget to pull out the buttermilk to bring it to room temperature, you can heat it in the microwave. Simply place the buttermilk in a microwave-safe bowl or cup and microwave for 10-15 seconds or until slightly warmed and no longer cold. Don’t overheat. Stir with a whisk or fork (as buttermilk can get clumpy when you heat it). 

Almond extract: I’m not the biggest fan of almond extract, however, I love using just a tiny amount in my cinnamon roll filling because it adds a nice warmth to the cinnamon rolls. It’s not overpowering at all, I promise! If you love almond extract and are a huge fan, you can add a little more to accentuate the taste of it if you’d like. 

Powdered Sugar: I like to sift my powdered sugar before making any kind of frosting or icing because I want it to be very smooth with no clumps. This step isn’t necessary, just one I like to incorporate. If you’re short on time, you do not have to sift the powdered sugar. 

Rolling the dough into a rectangle: When I roll out the dough into a 24×8-inch rectangle, I tend to roll it more towards 25” inches in length just to give myself a margin of error. This isn’t necessary, but something I’ve done to help ensure my cinnamon rolls are each 1” inch round. So if you go beyond the 24″ inch length, no worries!

When cutting the cinnamon rolls I use thread or floss. I’ve found that it doesn’t pinch the edges as much and the cinnamon rolls stay intact.

Use softened butter in the filling. Melted butter will ooze right out of the rolls. Softened butter sticks to the dough and holds onto the cinnamon sugar filling better, too.

Frost the cinnamon rolls while they are still warm. This allows the frosting to melt into the crevices and permeate all areas of the cinnamon rolls!

Variations

If you like raisins in your cinnamon rolls, you can sprinkle them on top of the sugar filling before rolling.

Feel free to adapt the spices. On a pumpkin spice kick? Use some of that in addition to the cinnamon. Add some nutmeg and cloves, too to make it more holiday-esque if you would like.

If you prefer a cream cheese frosting, feel free to add cream cheese to the frosting recipe.

Storing

Store leftover mini cinnamon rolls in an airtight container or wrap them tightly in plastic wrap. They will keep at room temperature for 2 days or in the refrigerator for one week.

Freezing

You can freeze cinnamon rolls before you bake them or parbake the cinnamon rolls. This website has great information about how to freeze cinnamon rolls.

A mini cinnamon roll on a white plate that's on a lilac linen napkin.

FAQs

Why do you spray your counter top rather than use flour? 

Flour tends to dry out the dough and it doesn’t prevent sticking as well as cooking spray.

How long do cinnamon rolls last? 

They are best when eaten the same day they are made. However, you can keep them in an airtight container, or covered with tin foil, or plastic wrap for 2 days. They can also be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Why didn’t my cinnamon rolls rise?

This could be due to a few reasons. 1. Is your yeast old or expired? Using fresh yeast will help get a good rise. 2. Did you use room temperature buttermilk? Using room temperature wet ingredients in baking helps dough ingredients incorporate better together and therefore helps get an even bake. 3. During the rising time, is the dough rising in a warm environment? This will help the dough rise better. 4. Be sure to bake the cinnamon rolls in a preheated oven. Give your oven a good amount of time to heat up fully. You can even use an oven thermometer to make sure the internal temperature is right.

A mini cinnamon roll on a plate with the tail of the roll unraveled.

More Cinnamon Recipes

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A metal spatula holding up a mini cinnamon roll in front of a baking sheet full of frosted cinnamon rolls.
Print Review
5 from 2 votes

Mini Cinnamon Rolls

Easily the BEST cinnamon rolls you will ever have! This easy recipe makes 24 mini cinnamon rolls that will be gobbled up before you know it!
Prep Time: 35 mins
Cook Time: 12 mins
Rest Time: 1 hr 10 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 57 mins
Servings: 24 servings

Ingredients
 

Cinnamon Rolls

  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk - at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter - melted
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 1/2 – 3 cups bread flour - will vary depending on your climate and elevation

Cinnamon Sugar Filling

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter - softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar - packed
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract

Cinnamon Roll Icing

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter - softened to room temperature
  • 3 cup powdered sugar - sifted, see notes
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3-4 tablespoons milk

Instructions
 

Make the Dough

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, add the water, buttermilk, sugar, melted butter and yeast. Mix. Let sit for 10 minutes, the yeast will get nice and bubbly. Once the yeast is bubbly add the salt, eggs, and flour. Mix for 8 minutes on medium/low speed. The dough should come away from the sides and bottom of the bowl, but should still be tacky to the touch. After mixing, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rest for 20 minutes in a warm area. The dough should puff up slightly, but it won’t double in size. If your kitchen is cool you may need the dough to rest for 30 minutes to give it a chance to puff up some. 

Cinnamon Sugar Filling

  • In the meantime, prepare the filling. In a small bowl add the brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and almond extract. Stir to combine. 

Roll the Dough

  • Spray a rimmed jelly roll pan (15.5”x10.5”inches) with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  • Lightly spray a clean countertop with nonstick cooking spray. Roll the dough into a 24×8 inch rectangle (see notes). Using the back of a spoon to smear the softened butter over the top of the dough. Sprinkle the cinnamon brown sugar filling evenly over the softened butter. 
  • Roll the dough up, lengthwise. Cut into 24 cinnamon rolls, about 1” inch wide. 
  • Place the cinnamon rolls the prepared jelly roll pan, 4 rolls going across and 6 rolls going down. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes or until puffed up. 

Bake the Cinnamon Rolls

  •  Preheat the oven to 400°F. Once the rolls are quite puffy bake them for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown on top and cooked throughout. 
  • When the cinnamon rolls are finished baking remove them from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Frost the rolls while warm. 

Cinnamon Roll Icing

  • In the bowl of an electric mixer or with hand beaters beat the butter, powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla until smooth. 

Notes

Buttermilk: Use room temperature buttermilk. If you forget to pull out the buttermilk to bring it to room temperature you can heat it in the microwave in a microwave-safe bowl for 10-15 seconds or until slightly warmed and no longer cold. Don’t overheat. Stir with a whisk or fork (as buttermilk can get clumpy when you heat it). 
Powdered Sugar: Sifting powdered sugar before making any kind of frosting or icing will help it be very smooth with no clumps, although it’s not a necessary step.
Rolling the dough into a rectangle: when I roll out the dough into a 24×8 inch rectangle, I tend to roll it more towards 25” inches in length just to give myself a margin of error.
The blog post associated with this recipe has great step-by-step photos if you have questions or need more visuals. 

Nutrition

Calories: 250kcal (13%)Carbohydrates: 45g (15%)Protein: 4g (8%)Fat: 6g (9%)Saturated Fat: 4g (20%)Trans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 22mg (7%)Sodium: 108mg (5%)Potassium: 52mg (1%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 24g (27%)Vitamin A: 181IU (4%)Vitamin C: 1mg (1%)Calcium: 21mg (2%)Iron: 1mg (6%)
Course: bread, Dessert
Cuisine: American
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