Small Batch Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

Five jumbo cinnamon rolls oozing with brown sugar and cinnamon, topped with a thick cream cheese frosting. You’ll be glad there’s only five – they’re irresistible! 

Small Batch Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting


Today was filled with that. I plowed through THREE new recipes this weekend, in addition to trying out a new breakfast spot nearby. Breakfast verdict? Slightly disappointed, but that might be because it didn’t hold a candle to these cinnamon rolls.

Let’s talk about what’s to love about these: only one 25 minute rise, quick baking time, and a thick cream cheese frosting that’s laced with vanilla. There’s also plenty of butter, as if you needed any more convincing.

Small Batch Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

I stuffed all five rolls into a small square casserole dish, but you could also use a small round cake pan or pie tin. You just want them to cozy up together after they rise so the insides stay nice and soft.

The rolls require a little bit of work like any yeast recipe, but it’s completely worth it. I used rapid rise yeast and let the dough rest for ten, rise for twenty five. To let the rolls rise, I like to preheat the oven to 200 degrees, turn it off, and let the rolls rise with the oven door closed. While they’re rising, go ahead and prep your cream cheese frosting.

Also, note on the frosting: I love frosting. Therefore, I made enough to completely frost the tops of the rolls and sink in to meld with the buttery, cinnamon middle. If you prefer a lighter drizzle of frosting, you can go ahead and halve the recipe. Though, I’ve never met anyone to complain about extra frosting!

Small Batch Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

And by the way? You’ll need a napkin or two for these. They are super soft with gooey cinnamon insides, just the way I like them. Drizzle them with the frosting ten minutes after they come out of the oven and I dare you to try and resist them. Reason #10030203 why I love small batch baking: less cinnamon rolls to resist! I would eat these for breakfast, lunch, AND dinner if I could. I’ll be starting my Monday morning with a cinnamon roll!

Small Batch Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting
Recipe type: Breakfast
Yield: 5

  • Dough:
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon rapid rise yeast
  • 2 tablespoons of a beaten egg
  • 1¼ cups all purpose flour (plus an additional ¼ cup, if necessary)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    Cream Cheese Frosting*:
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups powdered sugar
  1. In a microwave safe bowl, stir together milk, honey, oil, and salt. Microwave 30-45 seconds so milk is warm, not hot. Add yeast and stir. Add egg and gradually add flour (1¼ cups) with an electric mixer until dough starts to form a ball and pull away from the sides of the bowl. Once it gets to this stage, it's easier to use a wooden spoon to mix in the rest of the dough. Add extra flour (2-4 tablespoons) if dough is still sticky. Turn onto a floured surface and knead for five minutes then return to the bowl and let rest for ten minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, stir together cinnamon, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. After dough is done resting, roll out into an 8x10 rectangle on a floured surface. Spread melted butter onto the dough (I used a basting brush) and sprinkle on cinnamon sugar mixture. Gently roll up the dough and pinch the seam so it seals. Using a piece of dental floss* or a sharp knife, cut into (5) two inch rolls and place in a greased baking pan. (See notes for pan sizes) Let dough rise for 25 minutes. I like to preheat my oven to 200 degrees then turn it off and let the let the cinnamon rolls rise in there (I usually crack the oven door after a while).
  3. Meanwhile, make the icing. Beat softened cream cheese, milk, and vanilla in a medium bowl until creamy. Gradually beat in powdered sugar. You can either spread the frosting over the rolls or transfer it to a zip top bag to drizzle it on.
  4. After rolls are done rising, bake at 350 degrees for 8-11 minutes. Rolls will be slightly golden and cooked through. Cool for at least ten minutes and frost.
  5. Store leftovers in an airtight container or in their baking pan tightly covered in saran wrap. Store leftover icing in the refrigerator.
Baking Pan Sizes:
I used a small casserole dish that I picked up at a thrift store (it has sort of an irregular size) but you can also use an 8x8 baking pan, small round cake pan, or pie tin. There really isn't a *correct* pan size, you just want to make sure that once the rolls are double in size after baking, they all touch each other.

- The Cream Cheese Frosting recipe makes enough frosting to completely frost the surface of the rolls. If you prefer a lighter frosting that's just drizzled over the top, you may halve the recipe.

- Cutting cinnamon roll dough with dental floss is the BEST way to achieve perfectly cut rolls that aren't squished. To cut them, break off a 12 inch piece of floss and carefully slide it under the dough to where you want to cut it. Pull the ends of the floss up, cross them, and give it a quick tug to slice through the dough.



Small Batch Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting



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