Granny’s Easy Cinnamon Rolls

Can you believe we are just a few away from Thanksgiving now?! It sure doesn’t seem possible, but somehow we’re almost there. So in preparation for the big day, I’m getting my stretchy pants ready and gearing up for lots of yummy food. And I have to admit, my favorite part of Thanksgiving isn’t the turkey, mashed potatoes or pumpkin pie. Nope. My favorite part is the hot cinnamon rolls we’d always eat on Thanksgiving morning when I was a little girl. Really, is there anything better in this world than an ooey-gooey cinnamon roll? It’s one of my most cherished Thanksgiving traditions, so today I thought it would be fun to share my Granny’s easy cinnamon roll recipe. This is the recipe she made for years and years and it’s absolutely amazing. Plus it’s SO easy anyone can do it. But let me warn you now, once you make these cinnamon rolls for your people they’ll probably ask you to make them again and again for years to come. Really, this one is a keeper.

Granny's Quick and Easy Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Roll Dough:

  • 1 yellow cake mix
  • 5 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 heaping teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 1/2 cups warm water

Combine the yellow cake mix and flour together. Stir the yeast into the warm water and combine well to activate the yeast, then pour into the flour mixture. There’s no kneading necessary with this recipe, just mix well with a wooden spoon! Once it is combined throrougly, cover with a clean dish towel and let the dough rise for 20 minutes or so. Once the dough has risen up, punch it down and let it rise once more. (Any standard yellow cake mix will work!)

Granny's Quick and Easy Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Roll Filling:

  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 1/4 cup brown suger
  • 1 cup sugar
  • cinnamon

Once the dough has risen a few times, sprinkle some flour on a flat surface and roll out the dough into a large rectangle shape that is about 1/4 inch thick. Melt butter and pour over the dough evenly. Then sprinkle with brown sugar, sugar, and cinnamon. Use as much or as little as you like depending on how sweet and gooey you want the rolls to be. (I say go big, but it’s totally your call!) Once you have the filling spread evenly on the dough, roll it into a long jelly-roll shape. Using a serrated knife or dental floss (which is what I use) cut into small sections, about 1 to 1.5 inches wide or so. Then you’re ready to start placing the rolls onto a buttered baking sheet.

Granny's Quick and Easy Cinnamon Rolls Granny's Quick and Easy Cinnamon Rolls

Evenly space the rolls on your baking pan. Cover with a clean dish towel and let rise for another 20 minutes or so. Then they’re all ready for the oven! Bake at 350 for 25 mins or until tops of rolls are lightly browned. Then it’s time for the icing!

Granny's Quick and Easy Cinnamon Rolls

The Best Maple Icing: 

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon maple flavored extract
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup half & half

Now for the best part–the delicious icing! It’s best to pour the icing over the rolls when they’re still hot, so mix this up while they are baking. Simply combine all ingredients together, adding more half & half or powdered sugar as necessary until the consistency is nice and runny. You want it to drip off your spoon. Immediately drizzle over the rolls when they’re still hot out of the oven!

Granny's Quick and Easy Cinnamon Rolls

Look at all that ooey-gooey goodness! GET IN MY BELLY.

Granny's Quick and Easy Cinnamon Rolls

It’s actually required that you eat these while they’re still warm from the oven–ideally with a cup of coffee. You just gotta do it.

Granny's Quick and Easy Cinnamon Rolls

Granny's Quick and Easy Cinnamon Rolls

 These cinnamon rolls are so delicious and this is about the easiest recipe ever. Using the yellow cake mix really saves a ton of time and makes for the sweetest dough. This is perfect for Thanksgiving morning, Christmas or really any day of the week. And I promise, whoever you make these for will love you forever. You’ll probably be their favorite person. Their hero. Their idol. You’ll get all the praise. Trust me!

 A few other recipes you might enjoy:

The Best Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Easy and Delicious Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chia Seed and Honey No Bake Protein Balls

save for later

Granny's Easy and Delicious Cinnamon Rolls

Leave a Comment!


  1. Beth Levenstein wrote:

    My mouth is watering, will try these very soon. Thank you, I really enjoy your blog. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

    Posted 11.20.17 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      They’re definitely mouth watering good! I hope you give them a try. Thanks for stopping by Beth!!

      Posted 11.20.17 Reply
  2. Turner Trish wrote:

    So making these for Christmas morning!!

    Posted 11.20.17 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:


      Posted 11.20.17 Reply
    • Viktorija Prysock wrote:

      These look delicious! I’ll be making them for Christmas Morning.

      Posted 12.9.19 Reply
  3. Michelle wrote:

    Awesome, Sarah!! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe! I’ve been waiting for it and was so excited this morning to see in my email that your post was the rolls!! Woohoo! Now time to bake! Think I’m going to make them Thanksgiving morning, but I might need to do a practice run first!! 😉

    Posted 11.20.17 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Yay I’m so happy to hear you’ll make them on Thanksgiving! Let me know how it goes! 🙂

      Posted 11.20.17 Reply
    • I can’t wait to make these!! If I wanted to make them a day ahead and then serve them on Christmas morning where would be the best place to stop? Could I wait to bake them? Or should I bake them and then refrigerate and warm them slowly Christmas morning and add the icing? Also how many rolls (approx) does one recipe make? Thanks for sharing!!

      Posted 12.21.19 Reply
  4. Diane wrote:

    Great recipe and I would love to make these…I have made them once using my breadmaker…but here is my problem with this recipe…the cake mix when you say yellow cake mix how much would this cake mix weigh…I live in Portugal so I have no idea what you are talking about…Portuguese cakes are heavy and quite dry, I think they bake them from scratch! I could probably get something like this “Duncan Hines Classic Butter Golden Moist Cake Mix 432g”. There is an American shop in London but I can them to ship it to a UK shippers address and then get them to ship it down here to Portugal (I know a bit of a stretch to get American cake mix but if that’s what it takes), however would this be the correct amount or would I want less or more?

    Also I have found some maple syrup food flavourings on amazon for the frosting! Hopefully you can help me out here because my husband who is Canadian loves these and would love it if I could make them at least once a year!

    Posted 11.20.17 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Yep, that cake mix you mentioned should work just fine! The 432g is the size you need for this recipe. And the maple extracts you found on Amazon will work too. Something like this would be perfect: Good luck Diane!!

      Posted 11.20.17 Reply
      • Diane wrote:

        Hi Sarah, thank you for replying so quickly with the answer to my question. I did look at the link for maple syrup extract you mentioned but it was from the site which meant its coming from the USA and apart from having to deal with Portuguese customs that’s a whole other story, it is easier to purchase from because I don’t have to pay customs if I purchase from inside the EU and its quicker. Although the one i found is different I am hoping it will have the same effect.

        Posted 11.25.17 Reply
  5. Sherry wrote:

    Is there a way to easily print this? I’d love to make for the holidays.

    Posted 11.20.17 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Hmm I don’t know if I could have formatted a recipe card in the post that would have been easy to print. Sorry about that! I need to figure out how to do that. Maybe just write it on a recipe card?

      Posted 11.20.17 Reply
  6. Patty From Colorado wrote:

    WOW👍 These look ‘absolutely amazing’ and truly do sound like they are easy to make👏👏👏👏👏
    THANK YOU Sarah…..I will be making these for sure! HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY! ❤️
    God Bless, Patty

    Posted 11.20.17 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Yay I hope you love them Patty!! xoxo

      Posted 11.20.17 Reply
  7. Dina wrote:

    Yumm those look delicious Sarah!!!! I’m defiantly going to make them. Have a wonderful Blessed Thanksgiving.

    Posted 11.20.17 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Let me know how you like them Dina!!

      Posted 11.20.17 Reply
  8. Lorri Rauscher wrote:

    Sarah…you had me at Cinnamon rolls….mmmmmmmm.Will definetely have to try these.😍

    Posted 11.20.17 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Yay! I hope you give them a try Lorri!

      Posted 11.20.17 Reply
  9. Sherri wrote:

    These look AMAZING Sarah! Thank you for sharing your granny’s recipe ❤

    Posted 11.20.17 Reply
  10. Julie Briones wrote:

    Definitely trying these for Christmas! Thanks, Sarah!

    Posted 11.22.17 Reply
  11. Chels wrote:

    These look fantastic! Love family recipes like this. 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving!

    Posted 11.23.17 Reply
  12. Hailee wrote:

    Quick question – Could you make them the night before but stick the pan in the fridge and bake them in the morning?

    Posted 12.2.17 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Yep, that should work!

      Posted 12.2.17 Reply
  13. Donna L. wrote:

    Sarah, your Double Chocolate Cookie recipe has become a real family favorite. My granddaughter and I are making a batch tomorrow. I love them because they are not overly sweet and yet so chocolatey! Next, I think we will try your recipe for the cinnamon rolls. They look yummy! Love your blog. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

    Posted 12.17.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      oh yay that’s awesome Donna! So glad you like them.

      Posted 12.18.18 Reply
  14. Lori wrote:

    Hi Sarah, Would love to try these I was wondering if theses rolls were made a day ahead… could you microwave a few for the next day? Would they be doughy tasting ??

    Posted 12.17.18 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Yes definitely! We will microwave them for several days and they’re still good.

      Posted 12.18.18 Reply
  15. Lisa wrote:

    When you say use the cake mix –
    Do you prepare the cake mix as stated on the box – then add all of the other ingredients??



    Posted 12.9.19 Reply
  16. Denise wrote:

    DEFINITELY making these ♥️ How much cinnamon do you use?
    Thanks so much for sharing this!!!

    Posted 12.9.19 Reply
  17. Theresa wrote:

    Hi Sara! These look so good! Can you please send a link to print this recipe out – it looks like a keeper!! 💕

    Posted 12.12.19 Reply
  18. Denise wrote:

    These look so yummy! (Just found your blog.) Can you tell me if you use self-rising or all purpose flour in these wonderful looking cinnamon rolls?

    Thank you.

    Posted 12.17.19 Reply
  19. Gina wrote:

    What do you think of usuing GF cake mix and almond flour or GF flour? I have some people coming for xmas brunch that are GF

    Posted 12.19.19 Reply

Hi, hello! Sarah Joy here. I'm a self-proclaimed home-body + lover of all things cozy. I'm sarcastic, overly caffeinated + usually at Target. This blog is my happy place, where I enjoy sharing fun things like home decor tips, affordable fashion, + life as a mama of three.


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