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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

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Granny's Easy and Delicious Cinnamon Rolls

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The Comments

  • Beth Levenstein
    November 20, 2017

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

    • Sarah
      > Beth Levenstein
      November 20, 2017

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

  • Turner Trish
    November 20, 2017

    So making these for Christmas morning!!

    • Sarah
      > Turner Trish
      November 20, 2017

      Perfect!!

    • Viktorija Prysock
      > Turner Trish
      December 9, 2019

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

  • Michelle
    November 20, 2017

    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!! 😉

    • Sarah
      > Michelle
      November 20, 2017

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

    • Katie Stanko
      > Michelle
      December 21, 2019

      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!!

  • Diane
    November 20, 2017

    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!

    • Sarah
      > Diane
      November 20, 2017

      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: https://rstyle.me/n/cuiq5ib6hgf Good luck Diane!!

      • Diane
        > Sarah
        November 25, 2017

        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 Amazon.com 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 Amazon.co.uk 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.

  • Sherry
    November 20, 2017

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

    • Sarah
      > Sherry
      November 20, 2017

      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?

  • Patty From Colorado
    November 20, 2017

    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

    • Sarah
      > Patty From Colorado
      November 20, 2017

      Yay I hope you love them Patty!! xoxo

  • Dina
    November 20, 2017

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

    • Sarah
      > Dina
      November 20, 2017

      Let me know how you like them Dina!!

    • Jo
      > Dina
      November 8, 2020

      I love that you are making these ‘defiantly’! I’m sure it was a typo, but just like the image. Thanks for the smile today!

  • Lorri Rauscher
    November 20, 2017

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

    • Sarah
      > Lorri Rauscher
      November 20, 2017

      Yay! I hope you give them a try Lorri!

  • Sherri
    November 20, 2017

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

  • Julie Briones
    November 22, 2017

    Definitely trying these for Christmas! Thanks, Sarah!

  • Chels
    November 23, 2017

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

  • Hailee
    December 2, 2017

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

    • Sarah
      > Hailee
      December 2, 2017

      Yep, that should work!

  • Donna L.
    December 17, 2018

    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.

    • Sarah
      > Donna L.
      December 18, 2018

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

  • Lori
    December 17, 2018

    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 ??

    • Sarah
      > Lori
      December 18, 2018

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

  • Lisa
    December 9, 2019

    Sarah-
    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??

    Thanks!!

    Lisa

  • Denise
    December 9, 2019

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

  • Theresa
    December 12, 2019

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

  • Denise
    December 17, 2019

    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.

  • Gina
    December 19, 2019

    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