Home Desserts Paula Deen’s Cinnamon Rolls

Paula Deen’s Cinnamon Rolls

Move over, Cinnabon. Paula Deen’s cinnamon rolls are soft, ooey-gooey, buttery, and highly addictive. 

Just imagine cinnamon rolls baking in the oven and the scent wafting through the air. It’s the perfect way to start the day. 

Cinnamon Rolls with Vanilla Frosting
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Filled with butter, cinnamon, and sugar, every bite gives you the comforting flavors of fall.

Finished off with a sticky vanilla glaze, these rolls will give any bakery a run for its money.

They may require some work, but they’re definitely worth it.

Plus, nothing beats the satisfaction of kneading, rolling, and baking your own cinnamon rolls from scratch! 

Want to impress your loved ones? Paula Deen’s cinnamon rolls will give you endless bragging rights. 

Paula Deen’s Cinnamon Rolls

Out of all the cinnamon roll recipes out there, I find Paula Deen’s to be the best. It’s the fool-proof way of making sweet, melt-in-your-mouth cinnamon rolls! 

The rolls are light and fluffy, with a sweet and buttery cinnamon sugar filling oozing out in every bite. Topped with a sticky sugar vanilla glaze, these rolls are absolutely to die for. 

Plus, they’re also not that difficult to make. Sure, it takes a while, but hands-on prep only calls for about 30 minutes.

The rest of the time is for letting the dough rise, which requires zero effort from you.


  • Yeast. It’s the key ingredient for making the dough rise, giving the rolls their ultra-soft texture. Active dry and instant yeast both work fine. 
  • Warm water. 110 degrees Fahrenheit-warm. Use a cooking thermometer to ensure accurate temperature.
  • Sugar. To sweeten the dough and help activate the yeast.
  • Melted shortening or butter. Because everything Paula makes has butter included.
  • Room temperature egg. For fluffy rolls!.
  • Flour. A basic dough ingredient. Use 3 ½ to 4 cups, based on your home’s humidity.
  • Softened butter. For that rich, buttery flavor.
  • Cinnamon and sugar. It’s the classic cinnamon roll filling.
  • Butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and hot water. For that sweet and ooey-gooey vanilla glaze topping.

Tips for the Best Cinnamon Rolls: 

  • How warm is warm milk? The perfect temperature for activating yeast is 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Any hotter than that will kill the yeast. If the milk is too cold, it won’t activate the yeast well.
  • Use room temperature eggs. This will help make your dough rise. Forgot to take your eggs out of the fridge in advance? That’s okay, just soak them in warm water for a few minutes to warm them faster.
  • Use softened, not melted butter, for the filling. Melted butter will ooze out of the sides as you roll the dough. 
  • Use a sharp chef’s knife when slicing the dough. Cut in a swift, sweeping motion to get plump, unsquashed rolls. If you don’t have a chef’s knife, a serrated knife or an unflavored dental floss make suitable alternatives.
  • Top them with a sweet and tangy cream cheese frosting. All you need are cream cheese, heavy cream, corn syrup, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt.
Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

How Long Does the Dough Take to Rise? 

It takes somewhere between 1 to 1 ½ hours for the dough to double in size. Let your dough rest in a glass bowl. That way, it’s easy to tell how much it has risen.

Apart from checking visually, you can also perform a ripe test to see if your dough has risen enough:

  • Press it with two fingers up to the second knuckle.
  • The indentations to remain in the dough.
  • If not, it needs more time to rise.

After shaping the rolls, you’ll need to let them rise for a second time. It will take about 45 minutes for the rolls to double in size.

Perform the ripe test once again. You’ll want to see a mild indentation after pressing it with your fingers.

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Tip: do not over-proof the dough. If it rises more than necessary, the cinnamon rolls will be too airy and give off a strong yeasty aroma.

Can I Make Cinnamon Rolls in Advance?

Cinnamon rolls are best eaten and served warm from the oven. These guys stale pretty quickly, so you’ll want to consume within a day.

But you can definitely prepare the dough ahead of time and just bake when desired!

Here’s how:

  • Place the pre-baked cinnamon rolls in the pan you’ll bake them in and leave them at room temperature for 30 minutes to kick off the rising process. 
  • Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
  • The dough will continue to rise in the fridge, albeit slowly. 

You may also freeze the unbaked rolls for up to a month. Let them thaw in the fridge overnight before baking. 

When ready to bake, let the rolls rise at room temperature until they double in size.

The duration will depend on how warm your kitchen is and how much the rolls rose in the fridge. This can take somewhere between 20 minutes to over an hour.

More Cinnamon Recipes You’ll Love

Easy Cinnamon Cookies
Cinnamon Raisin Bread
Cinnamon Roll Dutch Apple Pie
Dollywood Cinnamon Bread

Paula Deen’s Cinnamon Rolls



Prep time


Cooking time




  • For Cinnamon Rolls
  • 1 (1/4 oz) package yeast

  • 1/2 cup of warm water

  • 1/2 cup warm milk (110 degrees Fahrenheit)

  • 1 cup sugar, divided, plus more for sprinkling over the pan

  • 1/3 cup melted shortening or butter

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 egg

  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups flour, divided, plus more for dusting

  • 1/2 cup softened butter, plus more for greasing

  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

  • 3/4 cup raisins or walnuts or pecans (optional)

  • For the Glaze
  • 4 tablespoons butter

  • 2 cups powdered sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • 3 to 6 tablespoons hot water


  • In a small bowl, stir the yeast in warm water until dissolved. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, stir together milk, 1/4 cup of sugar, 1/3 cup melted shortening or butter, salt, and egg. Add two cups of flour and stir until smooth. Stir in the yeast mixture. Add the remaining flour until the mixture turns into a dough.
  • Dust a clean, dry, and flat surface with flour. Knead the dough for 5 to 10 minutes. Add more flour if the dough is too sticky. Transfer the dough to a well-greased bowl and let rise until doubled, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  • Punch down the dough to remove air bubbles. With a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 15×9-inch rectangle. Spread the melted butter over the dough.
  • In a bowl, combine 3/4 cup sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle mixture over the dough. Top with raisins, walnuts, or pecans, if using.
  • Roll the dough lengthwise towards you and finish with the seam side down so the filling is sealed in. Pinch the edges to seal the roll. Slice into 12 slices.
  • Grease a baking pan with butter and sprinkle with sugar. Place the cinnamon roll slices close together in the pan. Set aside until the dough has doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
  • Bake the puffy cinnamon rolls in a preheated 350 °F oven for about 25-30 minutes or until browned.
  • While the rolls bake, mix the glaze ingredients – butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla – in a small bowl. Add hot water if it’s too thick. Spread over warm, cooked rolls and serve!
Paula Deen’s Cinnamon Rolls

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Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

4 thoughts on “Paula Deen’s Cinnamon Rolls”

  1. Made these this morning! So tender, soft and delicious! Instead of water in the icing I used half and half, loved the flavor and consistency. Will make again!

  2. I found there were some discrepancies in the recipe. Mainly where list calls for soften butter but actual instructions never mention it. Also the amount in the list mentions 1/2 stick but recipe instructions never mention 1/2 stick only 1/3. If I’m missing something, please let me know.

    • Hi Carol,

      You will use 1/3 cup of melted butter or shortening for the cinnamon rolls, and then 1/2 a stick of butter goes into making the glaze. So I think that’s where the confusion is coming in! Hope this helps.


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