You can’t go wrong with a classic chocolate chip cookie, but sometimes it’s fun to mix things up. The addition of maple and pecan make this chocolate chip cookie extra special. You have to try them. The cookies are soft, chewy, buttery, and…
These chocolate crinkle cookies are a must-have Christmas cookie and the perfect companion to a cup of coffee or hot cocoa!
It wouldn’t be Christmastime without cookies, and these Chocolate Crinkle Cookies are one of the best. Their fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth texture is to die for and the powdered sugar coating really gives them that snowy, wintry feel. Chocolate Crinkle Cookies are an absolute must on any Christmas cookie platter!
What Are Chocolate Crinkle Cookies Like?
I love chocolate crinkle cookies because they have a fairly unique texture. They’re light and cakey, but they kind of melt into a rich and fudgy texture in your mouth. The powdered sugar instantly dissolves on your tongue, giving them an almost cooling wintry effect. They’re SO GOOD!
Ingredients for Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
The ingredients for these cookies are super basic, making them really easy to make without much planning. Here’s what you’ll need to make chocolate crinkle cookies:
- Butter: All cookies need a good dose of butter for that rich, dessert-like finish! A lot of chocolate crinkle cookie recipes use oil, but I wanted that all-butter flavor. We use salted butter because we always have that on hand.
- Sugar: The combination of butter and sugar is what makes cookies so irresistible. You’ll need granulated sugar for the batter and some powdered sugar to get that cool crinkle effect.
- Eggs: Eggs help the cookies puff up in the oven and give them strength to stay that way once baked.
- Vanilla: Vanilla extract always helps chocolate taste much richer.
- All-Purpose Flour: Flour gives the cookies body and strength to hold their shape.
- Baking Powder: A little baking powder gives the cookies extra power to puff up in the oven, giving them that nice airy, cakey texture.
- Cocoa Powder: Unsweetened cocoa powder gives these cookies all the chocolatey goodness they need.
- Salt: A little salt helps the individual flavors in the cookies stand out so every bite is delicious!
What Else Can I Add?
This chocolate crinkle cookie recipe can be modified in several different ways. Try adding a ½ tsp peppermint extract to make a chocolate peppermint cookie, or rolling the cookies in some crushed candy canes after rolling in powdered sugar. You can also stir some mini chocolate chips into the batter for a double-chocolate crinkle! Or, add a Tablespoon or two of instant coffee to the batter to make cafe mocha-flavored crinkles!
Make them Ahead
You can make the dough for these chocolate crinkle cookies and refrigerate up to 2 days before portioning, shaping, and baking, making them a great option if you have several types of cookies you want to bake for Christmas!
How to Store Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
Allow the cookies to cool to room temperature, then store them in an air-tight food storage container at room temperature for about 5 days, or you can freeze them for up to three months.
Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
- Beat the butter an granulated sugar together on high until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Add the eggs and vanilla extract and beat on high again until the mixture is light and creamy (another 2 minutes).
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt until evenly combined.
- Pour half of the flour mixture into the butter mixture and beat on low until incorporated. Add the remaining flour mixture and beat or stir until incorporated again. The dough should be very thick.
- Cover the bowl of cookie dough with plastic and refrigerate for two hours or up to two days.
- Once ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350ºF. Place the powdered sugar in a bowl for rolling and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop the cookie dough in 2 Tbsp portions, roll into a ball, then roll to coat in powdered sguar. Place the rolled and coated cookies on the baking sheet 2-3 inches apart. You'll likely need to cook in batches, so keep the remaining dough chilled until ready to roll and bake. Avoid coating the cookies in powdered sugar until just before they go into the oven.
- Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, or until they're puffed and the powdered sugar is cracked on top. Allow the cookies to cool, then enjoy!
See how we calculate recipe costs here.
How to Make Chocolate Crinkle Cookies – Step by Step Photos
In a large bowl, cream together 8 Tbsp salted butter and 1 cup granulated sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add two large eggs and 1 tsp vanilla, and beat together again until the mixture is light and creamy.
In a separate large bowl, whisk together 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 1 tsp baking powder, ¼ tsp salt, and ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder.
Add half of the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and beat on low speed until combined, then add the remaining half and beat again over low until a batter forms.
The batter should be very thick and fairly stiff. Cover the bowl with plastic and refrigerate for 2 hours. This will stiffen the batter even further, making it much easier to shape and it will help the cookies bake without flattening out so much.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350ºF and place ½ cup powdered sugar in a bowl. Take the chilled dough out of the refrigerator and, working quickly, scoop it up in 2 Tbsp portions rolling each portion into a ball, then rolling in the powdered sugar.
Place the rolled sugar-coated cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet with 2-3 inches between each (they will spread quite a bit when baked). You’ll likely need to bake them in two batches, so keep the dough chilled between each batch. Do not roll the cookies in powdered sugar until just before they go into the oven
Bake the chocolate crinkle cookies for 10-12 minutes, or until they’re puffed and the powdered sugar has “cracked” all over their surface. Allow the cookies to cool before serving and enjoying.
More Cookie Recipes
If you like my brown butter salted caramel snickerdoodles, the best cookies on the planet, you will LOVE these blondies! I decided it was time to make a bar version of my all-time favorite cookie recipe. And let me tell you, these snickerdoodle blondie…
You can’t beat a homemade cookie, but I do love Oreos. They are nostalgic. I also love using them to make homemade desserts: Oreo Brownies, Oreo Balls, Oreo Rice Krispie Treats, and homemade Peppermint Oreos. I also LOVE these Cookies and Cream C…
This Cranberry Orange Bread recipe is a sweet dessert loaf featuring tart cranberries, sweet orange, and a citrus zest glaze.
Cranberry Orange Bread is a wintertime classic. The tart cranberries and sweet citrus are both in season and they offer such a bright and welcome contrast to the usually heavy foods of winter. In our house, this was a staple every Thanksgiving and Christmas morning, but it’s great to have a slice with coffee any day of the year. And since this Cranberry Orange Bread freezes beautifully, you can take a slice out and warm it up whenever you need a little taste of sunshine. :)
If you love to have a little sweet baked treat along with your homemade cup of coffee, this cranberry orange bread recipe is going to be your new fav. The loaf is sweet, rich, filled with orange essence, and dotted with fresh tart cranberries. The sweet glaze on top makes the perfect juxtaposition to the tart cranberries and the whole thing is absolutely addictive!
Ingredients for Cranberry Orange Bread
Here’s what you’ll need to make a loaf of this delicious cranberry orange bread:
- Butter: Butter keeps the loaf rich, moist, and dessert-like. We use salted butter because it’s easier to keep just one kind of butter in your fridge!
- Sugar: This recipe uses granulated sugar in the bread to sweeten everything up, and powdered sugar to create the thick orange glaze on top.
- Eggs: Eggs help leaven the loaf and give it strength so it doesn’t collapse after baking.
- Sour Cream: Sour cream is added to give the loaf moisture, richness, and even more flavor.
- Orange: We use both the orange juice and zest in this bread, in the batter and in the icing that is drizzled over top.
- All-Purpose Flour: Would it be “bread” without flour? Regular all-purpose flour is used to give the loaf body and strength.
- Baking Powder & Baking Soda: Because of the acidic ingredients in the batter (sour cream, orange juice, and cranberries), we use a combination of both baking powder AND baking soda to leaven the bread.
- Salt: A little salt always helps make the individual flavors pop and allows you to taste every element.
- Cranberries: You can use fresh or frozen cranberries for this bread. If using frozen, allow them to thaw before folding into the batter.
How to Store Leftovers
This cranberry orange bread will stay good in the refrigerator for about five days, or you can freeze it for longer storage. To freeze, slice the bread and then stack the slices with parchment between each slice. Place the stacked bread in an air-tight container, like a freezer bag, and then store it in the freezer. You can take out one or as many slices as needed and thaw at room temperature for about 30 minutes before serving or microwave until warm.
Cranberry Orange Bread
- 1 orange $0.99
- 8 Tbsp salted butter, room temperature $1.00
- 1 cup granulated sugar $0.36
- 1 large egg $0.09
- 1/2 cup sour cream 0.63
- 2 cups all-purpose flour $0.38
- 1 tsp baking powder $0.06
- 1/2 tsp baking soda $0.02
- 1/2 tsp salt $0.03
- 2 cups fresh cranberries $1.33
- 1 cup powdered sugar $1.02
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Zest and juice the orange. You'll need about ⅓ cup juice (divided) and a ¼ tsp zest for this recipe. Wash and slice the cranberries in half.
- In a large bowl beat together the butter, sugar, and ¼ tsp orange zest with a hand mixer or stand mixer on high until the mixture is soft and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Add the egg and beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy (about 2 minutes).
- Add the sour cream and ¼ cup of the orange juice to the batter and beat again for about 2 minutes. Save the remainder of the orange juice to make the glaze later.
- In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
- Add about half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat with low speed until combined. Add the rest and beat until combined again. Finally, fold the sliced cranberries into the batter.
- Grease an 8.5 x 4.5-inch bread pan and then dust lightly with flour. Spread the cranberry bread batter into the bread pan and smooth out the surface.
- Bake the cranberry orange bread for 60 minutes in the preheated 350ºF oven, or until it is browned on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (a few crumbs are okay, just no wet batter).
- Allow the bread to cool in the bread pan while you make the glaze. Combine the powdered sugar with just enough orange juice to create a thick glaze (about 1.5 to 2 Tbsp). You can add a pinch of orange zest to the glaze, if desired.
- When the bread has mostly cooled, use a knife to loosen the edges, then remove it from the bread pan. Drizzle the glaze over top, then slice and serve.
See how we calculate recipe costs here.
How to Make Cranberry Orange Bread – Step by Step Photos
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Zest and juice one orange. For the bread batter and icing you’ll need about ⅓ cup juice (divided) and about ¼ tsp zest (or more if desired). Wash and slice 2 cups of fresh cranberries in half.
Use a hand mixer or stand mixer to beat together 8 Tbsp room-temperature salted butter, 1 cup granulated sugar, and ¼ tsp orange zest on high until soft and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Add one large egg and beat together until smooth and creamy (another 2 minutes).
Add ¼ cup orange juice and ½ cup sour cream, then beat together until smooth and creamy once again.
In a separate bowl, whisk together 2 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 tsp baking powder, ½ tsp baking soda, and ½ tsp salt.
Add about half of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat them together on low speed until incorporated. Add the remaining dry ingredients and beat on low speed until a smooth batter forms. Do not overmix.
Fold the sliced cranberries into the batter.
Grease an 8.5 x 4.5 inch loaf pan, then dust it lightly with flour. Spread the bread batter into the loaf pan.
Bake the bread in the preheated 350ºF oven for 60 minutes or until it is golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (it may have a few crumbs but should not have wet batter coating it). Allow the cranberry bread to cool in the pan.
When the bread is mostly cool, prepare the icing. Stir together 1 cup powdered sugar with 1.5-2 Tbsp orange juice, and a pinch of orange zest if desired. Add just enough orange juice to create a thick glaze. Remove the bread from the pan, then drizzle the glaze over top.
Slice, serve, and enjoy!
More Cranberry Recipes
Every holiday season I love making cookie boxes to gift to family, friends, and neighbors. I love including a variety of cookies: Andes Mint Cookies, Snickerdoodles, Peanut Butter Blossoms, Easy Sugar Cookies, Chocolate Crinkle Cookies, and more! I als…
During the holiday months, I bake A LOT of cookies. One of my favorite holiday flavor combinations is chocolate and peppermint. I love making Andes Mint Cookies, Peppermint Bark Chocolate Chip Cookies, Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Cookies, and Oreo Whit…
This recipe for Gingerbread Cookies makes plenty of soft, chewy, ginger-spiced molasses Christmas cookies that are perfect for decorating!
I don’t know if anything can get me in the holiday mood more than baking (and decorating) a batch of Gingerbread Cookies. Their warm, spicy aroma just smells like Christmas, and decorating them is SO. MUCH. FUN. This recipe for gingerbread cookies will make plenty of soft, chewy, spiced cookies for you and your friends and family to decorate, so bookmark this Gingerbread Cookie recipe and make them this weekend. And don’t forget to take a photo and show us your creations on social media!
What Are Gingerbread Cookies?
Gingerbread cookies are a cookie made with rich molasses and plenty of warm spices, like ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. The gingerbread cookies are often cut into the shape of a man (aka gingerbread men), but can also be cut into a variety of holiday-themed shapes. Decorating gingerbread cookies is a popular holiday activity and my personal favorite!
Ingredients for Gingerbread Cookies
Gingerbread cookies have many of the same ingredients as most basic cookies but include a variety of rich and warm spices. Here’s what you’ll need to make gingerbread cookies:
- Butter: Butter is the base for many cookies. It gives the cookies plenty of richness and creamy buttery flavor.
- Brown Sugar: Brown sugar gives these cookies a deeply rich sweetness, and helps keep the cookies soft.
- Molasses: Molasses sweetens the cookies, adds an amazingly deep flavor, and gives the cookies a rich brown color.
- Egg: Egg helps give the cookies structure and helps them rise just a little bit while baking.
- Vanilla: Vanilla adds to the warm flavor profile of the cookies.
- Baking Soda: A small amount of baking soda helps the cookies rise so they are nice and soft.
- Flour: All-purpose flour gives the cookies structure and bulk.
- Spices: A mix of cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and salt gives the gingerbread cookies tons of warm flavor in every bite! Cinnamon also helps deepen the cookie’s classic brown color.
How to Decorate Gingerbread Cookies
While you don’t have to decorate gingerbread cookies, I think that’s half the fun. I like to keep things simple with a basic powdered sugar icing. To make the icing, mix 1 cup powdered sugar with 1-2 Tbsp water, or just enough for it to form a thick icing. You can make multiple batches of the icing and color each one separately with a couple drops of food coloring, for even more decorating fun. Then just spoon the icing into a plastic bag, cut off just a sliver of the corner of the bag to create a piping tip, and then decorate away!
You can also add tons of other fun items to the gingerbread cookies, like sprinkles, red hot candies, peppermints, or any other type of small candy. These extras will take your gingerbread cookies to the next level!
Storing Gingerbread Cookies
Once cooled and decorated (and once the icing has dried), the gingerbread cookies can be stored in an air-tight container at room temperature for about one week. …But I’m sure they’ll all get eaten before then!
- 12 Tbsp salted butter, room temperature $1.31
- 3/4 cup brown sugar $0.39
- 1/2 cup unsulphured molasses (not blackstrap) $1.53
- 1 large egg $0.09
- 1 tsp vanilla extract $0.59
- 3 cups all-purpose flour $0.42
- 1 tsp baking soda $0.02
- 1/2 tsp salt $0.02
- 1 Tbsp ground ginger $0.30
- 2 tsp cinnamon $0.20
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves $0.05
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg $0.05
- 1 cup powdered sugar $0.32
- 1-2 Tbsp water $0.00
- Add the butter and brown sugar to a bowl and use a mixer to beat them together until light and creamy. Add the molasses, vanilla, and egg, and beat until creamy again.
- In a separate large bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.
- Add about ⅓ of the flour mixture to the butter and sugar mixture, then beat on low speed until incorporated. Repeat until all of the flour has been added to the batter. It should form a very soft cookie dough.
- Transfer the cookie dough to a large piece of plastic, shape it into a ball, and wrap it tightly. Refrigerate for at least two hours, or up to one day.
- When ready to make the cookies, preheat the oven to 350ºF. Divide the cookie dough in half to make it easier to work with (keep the other half in the refrigerator until ready to use). Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface until it's about ⅛-inch thick. Cut the dough into your desired shapes and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, at least one inch apart.
- Bake the cookies for 8 minutes, or until slightly puffed in the center and they are just beginning to brown on the outer edges. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool completely.
- While the cookies are cooling, place the powdered sugar in a bowl and add 1 Tbsp water. Stir to combine, then continue to add water, a very small amount at a time, until it forms a thick icing (about 1-2 Tbsp total).
- Place the icing in a plastic bag and cut a very small piece off the corner to create a piping tip. Pipe the icing onto the cooled cookies in your favorite design!
See how we calculate recipe costs here.
How to Make Gingerbread Cookies – Step by Step Photos
Using a mixer, beat together 12 Tbsp (¾ cup) room-temperature salted butter and ¾ cup brown sugar until light and creamy. Add ½ cup molasses, one tsp vanilla extract, and one large egg, then beat until smooth again.
In a separate bowl, stir together 3 cups of all-purpose flour, 2 tsp cinnamon 1 Tbsp ginger, ½ tsp cloves, ½ tsp nutmeg, and ½ tsp salt.
Add about ⅓ of the flour mixture to the butter and sugar, then beat on low speed until combined. Repeat until all of the flour and spices have been added to the cookie batter.
When all of the flour and spices have been added, you’ll have a very soft cookie batter.
Place the cookie batter on a large sheet of plastic wrap, shape it into a ball, and wrap it tightly. Refrigerate the dough for at least two hours (it can stay refrigerated for up to a day).
When you’re ready to make the cookies, preheat the oven to 350ºF. Divide the dough in half to make it easier to work with and place the other half in the refrigerator until ready to roll. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface until it’s about 1/8-inch thick, then cut into your desired shapes.
Place the cut cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet with at least 1 inch between each cookie (they will expand a little). Gather up the dough scraps, roll again, and cut more until there is little or no dough left. Keep any unused dough in the refrigerator so it stays chilled.
Bake the cookies in the preheated 350ºF oven for 8 minutes, or until slightly puffed in the center and the outer edges are just beginning to brown. Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool.
While the cookies are cooling, prepare the simple powdered sugar glaze. Add 1 cup powdered sugar to a bowl and add 1 Tbsp water. Stir to combine. Continue to add water, a little at a time, until it forms a thick glaze (1-2 Tbsp total water).
Spoon the icing into a plastic bag and cut off a very small piece of the corner to use as a piping tip, then have fun!
More Cookie Recipes
These incredibly delicious homemade cinnamon rolls have soft, buttery layers of cinnamon and sugar topped with a rich cream cheese frosting.
This cinnamon roll recipe almost did me in. They were so good with their buttery, cinnamon-filled layers and gooey cream cheese frosting that I just couldn’t stop eating them. And since I tested this cinnamon roll recipe several times over the course of a few weeks, my diet was probably 50% cinnamon roll there for a while. 😅 But hey, it was worth the sacrifice. (#sarcasm) After all the hard work and dedication of eating cinnamon roll after cinnamon roll, I’m now ready to teach you how to make the absolute best homemade cinnamon rolls ever. Your Saturday mornings will never be the same.
These incredible homemade cinnamon rolls have a super fluffing and soft brioche-like dough that is slightly sweet. The dough is slathered with a mixture of butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar, then rolled up and sliced into perfect little pinwheels. They bake up fluffy and cloud-like and then are topped with the most deliciously sweet and tangy cream cheese frosting. They’re cinnamon roll perfection!
Ingredients for Cinnamon Rolls
Here’s what you’ll need to make your own homemade cinnamon rolls:
- Yeast: Yeast is what gives these cinnamon rolls their airy, fluffy texture. You can use active dry yeast, instant yeast, or bread machine yeast for this recipe.
- Sugar: We use regular granulated sugar in the cinnamon roll dough, brown sugar to make the filling, and powdered sugar in the cream cheese icing. Make no mistake, this is a sweet treat!
- Flour: Regular all-purpose flour is the base for the soft and fluffy cinnamon roll dough.
- Salt: Adding a little salt to the dough really makes the flavor pop instead of being a bland, floury flavor.
- Butter: Butter is used to help keep the dough tender, to make the rich cinnamon-sugar swirl filling, and to soften the cream cheese icing.
- Milk: Milk also helps tenderize the dough, keeping it super soft and moist. We also add just a touch to the cream cheese frosting to help it whip up nice and soft without being too thick.
- Cinnamon: There is no shortage of cinnamon in these cinnamon rolls! We use a full tablespoon in the filling, which gives the rolls a warm and cozy flavor.
- Cream Cheese: The tangy flavor of cream cheese in the frosting helps balance the sweet and rich flavor of the cinnamon rolls.
- Vanilla: A splash of vanilla extract gives the frosting more flavor and richness.
Make Them Ahead
I know, not everyone wants to bake a full-blown batch of cinnamon rolls first thing in the morning. If you’re more of a night owl or prefer to do the majority of the work the night before, simply prepare the cinnamon rolls as directed below and as soon as they’re cut and in the baking dish cover them with plastic and refrigerate. They’ll rise slowly while they refrigerate overnight. The next morning, take them out of the refrigerator and let them sit at room temperature while the oven preheats, then bake as usual!
How to Store Cinnamon Rolls
The un-frosted baked cinnamon rolls can stay at room temperature for about two days. Frosted cinnamon rolls can be kept in the refrigerator for about four days. And since these little cinnamon bombs are super rich, you can also freeze them for later! Just pull apart each roll, place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and freeze until solid (about two hours). Then wrap each one tightly and place in a freezer bag. The frozen cinnamon rolls can be thawed at room temperature for about 30 minutes before enjoying.
Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
- 1/2 cup hot water (100-110ºF) $0.00
- 2 tsp dry yeast* $0.20
- 2 Tbsp granulated sugar $0.04
- 2 Tbsp salted butter, melted $0.25
- 1/3 cup whole milk $0.16
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (more or less as needed) $0.38
- 1/2 tsp salt $0.02
Cream Cheese Icing
- 4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature $1.10
- 2 Tbsp salted butter, room temperature $0.25
- 1 Tbsp whole milk $0.03
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract $0.30
- 1.5 cups powdered sugar $0.54
- Stir together the hot water, yeast, and sugar until the yeast is mostly dissolved. Let the mixture stand for about 5 minutes, or until a thick layer of foam develops on the surface.
- Once the yeast is activated (as indicated by the foam on top), whisk in the milk and melted butter.
- In a separate large bowl, stir together 1 cup of flour and the salt. Pour the liquid ingredients into the bowl with the flour and stir until smooth.
- Begin adding more flour, ½ cup at a time, until a sticky ball of dough forms and it becomes difficult to stir with a spoon. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
- Knead the dough for 3 minutes, adding a small amount of flour as you go to prevent the dough from sticking. After kneading for a couple of minutes, the dough should be very soft, fairly smooth, and just slightly tacky. Do not over-knead the dough or add too much flour, as this will make the dough stiff. You'll use about 2 cups of flour total from the beginning in the bowl to the end of kneading.
- Place the kneaded dough back into the mixing bowl and cover loosely with plastic. Let the dough rise for one hour, or until it's double in size.
- Punch the dough down to deflate, then scrape it out onto a floured surface. Roll the dough out into an 8×13-inch rectangle, sprinkling with flour as you go to prevent sticking.
- To make the filling, stir together the room-temperature butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt until it forms a smooth paste. Spread the paste over the dough from edge to edge.
- Roll the dough up (long side toward long side) to create a 13-inch long log. Do not roll tightly, or this will make the center of your cinnamon rolls pop up while baking. Slice the roll into 9 pieces, about 1.5 inches wide each.
- Place the slices into a greased 9×9-inch baking dish (or a round pie dish). Let rise for 10-15 minutes as you preheat the oven to 350ºF. The rolls will rise quite a bit in the oven, so don't worry if they're still quite small after 10 minutes of rising.
- Once the oven is preheated, bake the cinnamon rolls for 30 minutes, or until they are golden brown on top.
- To make the icing, beat together the room-temperature cream cheese, butter, milk, and vanilla until smooth. Begin stirring in the powdered sugar, ½ cup at a time, until it is all incorporated.
- After the cinnamon rolls have baked, let them cool for 5-10 minutes before spreading the cream cheese icing on top. Enjoy warm or wait until cooled, then dig in!
See how we calculate recipe costs here.
How to Make Cinnamon Rolls – Step by Step Photos
Stir together ½ cup hot water, 2 Tbsp granulated sugar, and 2 tsp yeast. Let the mixture sit until a thick froth forms on the top of the liquid (about 5 minutes). If it does not become frothy, your yeast has likely expired and your dough will not rise.
Melt 2 Tbsp of salted butter and stir it into the yeast water along with ⅓ cup whole milk. In a large bowl, stir together 1 cup all-purpose flour and ½ tsp salt. Pour the yeast mixture into the flour and stir until well combined. Continue to add flour, about ½ cup at a time, until it forms a sticky ball and becomes difficult to stir with a spoon.
When the dough forms a ball in the bowl and you can no longer stir it with a spoon, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for only about three minutes, adding a little flour as you go to keep it from sticking to your hands. After about three minutes you should have a very soft ball of dough that is slightly tacky and you will have used about 2 cups of flour total (in the bowl and while kneading).
Shape the dough into a ball and place it back into the mixing bowl. Loosely cover it with plastic and let it rise for one hour, or until doubled in size (pictured above after rising). Punch the dough down to deflate and turn it out onto a floured surface.
Roll the dough out into an 8×13-inch rectangle, sprinkling with flour as you go to prevent it from sticking.
Mix together 6 Tbsp softened butter, ½ cup brown sugar, 1 Tbsp cinnamon, and ⅛ tsp salt. Spread the mixture onto the rectangle of dough, spreading it from edge to edge.
Roll the dough up into a 13-inch long roll (long side toward long side), making sure not to roll tightly (this makes the center of the cinnamon rolls pop up while baking). Slice the roll into nine pieces. I find a serrated knife works best for this because you can slice horizontally without using so much downward pressure that it squishes the roll.
Place the sliced cinnamon rolls into a greased 9×9-inch baking dish. Let them rise for 10-15 minutes while you preheat the oven to 350ºF. They should have risen just enough to be touching each other when they go into the oven (pictured above). They will rise quite a bit more as they bake.
Bake the cinnamon rolls for 30 minutes or until they are nicely golden brown on top and the filling is bubbling up through the top.
While the cinnamon rolls are baking, prepare the cream cheese icing. Beat together 4oz. room-temperature cream cheese, 2 Tbsp room-temperature butter, 1 Tbsp whole milk, and ½ tsp vanilla extract. Once those ingredients are fully combined, stir in 1.5 cups of powdered sugar. It’s best to add the powdered sugar ½ cup at a time to prevent it from flying everywhere as you stir. After the cinnamon rolls have baked, let them cool for about 10 minutes before adding the icing so it doesn’t completely melt into the rolls.
Enjoy the soft, fluffy, buttery, cinnamon-licious homemade cinnamon rolls warm, or wait until completely cool to devour! (My vote is to enjoy while still slightly warm!)
More Breakfast Baked Goods
This homemade dinner rolls recipe makes incredibly soft and fluffy rolls that are perfect for Thanksgiving or any family dinner.
If you want to wow your friends and family at Thanksgiving this year, you’ve got to try this recipe for homemade dinner rolls. They are the softest and fluffiest rolls I’ve ever made in my life and they’re absolutely divine with butter slathered over top. Not to mention, the cost of homemade yeast rolls comes in at roughly half of what you’d pay for frozen store-bought or bakery rolls, making them totally worth the effort. …You know what? Forget Thanksgiving and just make this dinner roll recipe tonight. You won’t regret it!
If you’re a fan of Hawaiian bread or brioche, I think you’re going to love this dinner roll recipe. While these rolls aren’t quite as sweet and delicate as brioche or Hawaiian rolls, the dough is made with milk, butter, and egg, which yields an incredibly soft, fluffy, and slightly sweet roll that pairs perfectly with savory foods.
Ingredients for Dinner Rolls
The reason homemade bread is so affordable is because you only need a few very basic and inexpensive ingredients to make them. Here’s what you’ll need to make your own homemade dinner rolls:
- Yeast: This is a yeasted bread, which means yeast is used to help the roll rise instead of baking soda or baking powder. You can use rapid rise, fast acting, or bread machine yeast for this recipe. If you plan to do a lot of bread making, look for the small 4oz. jars of yeast at the grocery store, which are much more economical than the single-use packets, and can be stored for many months in the refrigerator.
- Sugar: Sugar helps wake up the yeast and gives these rolls a slightly sweeter flavor.
- Milk: Adding milk to the liquid in the bread dough helps create a softer, more tender roll. The milk also adds a touch of natural sweetness.
- Butter: Butter helps soften the roll by slightly inhibiting the formation of the gluten matrix.
- Egg: Egg helps to both soften and leaven the dough, making the roll extra light and fluffy.
- Flour: You don’t need any fancy flour to make an extraordinary dinner roll. We used regular all-purpose flour. You can substitute up to half of the flour for whole wheat flour, although this will produce a slightly less fluffy and more dense roll.
- Salt: Without a little bit of salt, bread tastes very bland, so don’t skip this ingredient!
Make Ahead Rolls
If your schedule doesn’t allow for the full prep of these dinner rolls before dinnertime, you can prep them ahead. Prepare the rolls all the way through the shaping stage, then stash them in the refrigerator (in the baking dish) for a few hours or until the next day. Then simply allow them to come to room temperature before baking.
You can also freeze the rolls after they are shaped. The frozen rolls can be stored in the freezer, wrapped air-tight, for a couple of months. Allow the rolls to thaw at room temperature, then bake once completely thawed and they have risen slightly.
Tips for Making Soft Fluffy Rolls
Here are some tips and tricks for making sure your dinner rolls are as soft and fluffy as can be:
- Make sure your yeast is still active. If the yeast doesn’t get frothy after a few minutes of being combined with the sugar and warm water, it’s no longer good.
- Don’t add too much flour. While kneading the bread dough, don’t add too much flour. Adding too much flour will make the dough dense, tough, and unable to expand well while in the oven. The dough should be soft and pliable, but not sticky.
- Don’t over-knead the dough. Soft bread dough like this doesn’t need a ton of kneading. You’ll only need to knead this dough for 2-3 minutes, as opposed to tougher bread, like a baguette, which you’d want to knead for about 10 minutes.
How to Store Leftover Rolls
To store the baked dinner rolls, make sure to allow them to cool completely to room temperature, then place them in an air-tight food container. You can keep them at room temperature for about a day, or refrigerated for 2-3 days.
- 1/2 cup hot water $0.00
- 2 Tbsp sugar $0.04
- 2 tsp dry yeast* $0.20
- 1/3 cup whole milk $0.16
- 2 large eggs, divided $0.18
- 2 Tbsp salted butter, melted $0.25
- 2.5 cups all-purpose flour (more or less as needed) $0.48
- 1/2 tsp salt $0.02
- Add the sugar and yeast to the hot water (about 100-110ºF) and stir to dissolve. Let the mixture sit for about five minutes, or until it becomes very frothy on top.
- Once frothy, whisk in the milk, 1 egg, and the melted butter.
- In a separate bowl, stir together 1 cup of flour and the salt. Pour the yeast mixture into the bowl of flour and stir until smooth.
- Continue adding more flour, about ½ cup at a time, until a ball of dough forms that begins to pull from the side of the bowl (about 1 cup flour).
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough for 2-3 minutes, adding only as much flour as needed to keep it from sticking to your hands (about ½ cup more flour).
- After kneading the dough, shape it into a ball, place it back into the mixing bowl and cover loosely with plastic or a damp towel. Let the dough rise for one hour or until doubled in size.
- Punch the dough down, then remove it from the bowl. Divide it into 12 pieces, then shape each piece into a small ball. Place the dough balls into a greased baking dish.
- Let the rolls rise for 15 more minutes. While the rolls are rising, preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- To achieve a glossy golden brown color on the rolls, lightly whisk 1 egg and gently brush the whisked egg over the surface of the rolls.
- Bake the rolls for 25 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Let the rolls cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.
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How to Make Dinner Rolls
Combine ½ cup hot water (about 100-110ºF), 2 Tbsp sugar, and 2 tsp yeast (active dry, rapid rise, or bread machine yeast). Stir to dissolve the sugar and yeast, then let it sit for about 5 minutes, or until it’s very frothy on top. I usually just use hot water from my tap without measuring the temp, but if you have your water heater set very high, you may want to use a thermometer.
Once the yeast has woken up (as indicated by the thick layer of froth), whisk in ⅓ cup milk, one large egg, and 2 Tbsp melted butter.
In a separate large bowl, stir together 1 cup flour and ½ tsp salt. Pour the yeast-water mixture into the flour and stir until smooth.
Continue adding flour, about ½ cup at a time, until a ball of dough forms and it begins to pull away from the bowl (about one more cup of flour).
Transfer the dough from the bowl to a clean surface lightly dusted with flour. Begin to knead the dough, adding only enough flour to keep it sticking to your hands. Knead the dough for 2-3 minutes, adding only as much flour as needed to keep it from sticking. The dough should be very soft and pliable. I usually add about ½ cup more flour while kneading, bringing the total to about 2.5 cups of flour.
Place the kneaded ball of dough back into the bowl and cover loosely with plastic or a damp towel. Let the dough rise for one hour, or until it’s double in size (the time needed will depend on the room’s temperature). Once risen, punch the dough down to deflate.
Divide the dough into 12 pieces (I usually divide it into quarters first, then each quarter into three). Shape the dough pieces into balls, then place them in a greased baking dish. You can use a round or square baking dish. I used a standard 9-inch glass pie plate.
Let the rolls rise for another 15 minutes. They’ll probably not touch when they first go into the baking dish, but after rising for a short 15 minutes, they’ll probably be touching. They will puff up much more while they’re in the oven. While the rolls are rising, preheat the oven to 350ºF.
If you want your rolls to have a beautiful golden brown glossy finish, lightly beat an egg and gently brush the egg over the tops of the rolls.
Bake the rolls for 25 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Let the rolls cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.