Easy Bread Machine Cinnamon Rolls with a Secret Ingredient

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Sneak Preview: These easy bread machine cinnamon rolls are traditional cinnamon rolls frosted with cream cheese icing. They have a secret ingredient that will remind you of pecan twirls.

bread machine cinnamon roll on a plate with fork

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Do you remember the pecan twirls we used to have for breakfast sometimes as kids? They came in a foil pan with round molded cups for each roll. When you slowly unrolled them, the pecans would fall out everywhere. What fun–unless you are the person who sweeps the floor.

I think I figured out the flavor profile that made those twirls so delicious. 

Adding the tiniest bit of ground cloves to the filling of these cinnamon rolls makes them memorable and reminds me of those old-fashioned pecan twirls.

This recipe is designed for mixing and kneading in a bread machine. However, you can also use a stand mixer or do it by hand. See the recipe notes.

This recipe is a variation on my classic dinner rolls. I always make them in my bread machine but never bake in it. 

How to roll out bread machine cinnamon rolls:

getting the dough ready to roll out

After the dough rises, remove it from the bread pan, punch down gently and divide it into two balls. On a generously floured surface, roll each half into a rectangle size.

rolling out cinnamon rolls

Spread each rectangle with approximately 2 tablespoons of softened or melted butter, then the filling and chopped nuts, if using.

rolling and cutting bread machine cinnamon rolls

Roll up the dough the long way. Slice the roll into 8 equal pieces. Place each piece cut-side down in a greased 8 or 9-inch pan or glass dish.

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How long will these cinnamon rolls stay fresh and can they be frozen?

Homemade cinnamon rolls are best the day you bake them. However, they can be frozen and taste pretty good when zapped briefly in the microwave and eaten immediately.



How to make a homemade flour shaker:

homemade flour shaker

How do you like my homemade flour shaker–or at least that’s what I call it. The next time you have an empty glass jar leftover with a secure lid, poke holes in the top. 

I used an awl (I think that’s what it’s called–I’m not Tim, the tool man.)  This flour shaker is handy whenever you make bread, pie crusts, or rolled cookies.

If you have questions or suggestions, email me privately to Paula at saladinajar.com. Hope to see you again soon! Paula


Bread Machine Cinnamon Roll Recipe

My Best Cinnamon Rolls are traditional cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing. Written for mixing in a bread machine.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Mix and Rise Time 2 hrs 15 mins
Total Time 3 hrs
Course Bread
Servings 16 rolls

Ingredients

Dough

  • 1 cup warm milk - 227 gr
  • 1 teaspoon table or sea salt - 6 gr
  • 1 large egg - 50 gr
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar - 37 gr
  • ¼ cup butter (chopped into small pieces) - 57 gr
  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour - 360 gr or 13 oz
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons bread machine or instant yeast - 7 gr

Filling

  • 4 tablespoons softened butter for the filling - 56 gr
  • 1 cup brown sugar - 213 gr
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon - 5 gr
  • A pinch of ground cloves - (the secret ingredient)

Icing

  • 2 cups powdered sugar - 227 gr
  • ¼ cup cream cheese - 30 gr
  • 2 tablespoons coffee - 28 gr

Instructions
 

Dough:

  • Place all dough ingredients into the bread maker in the order listed. Select the DOUGH cycle and press START.
  • Check the dough at least twice during the mixing and kneading phase by lifting the lid to take a peek. The first time, look immediately after the machine starts mixing to ensure the paddles are engaged correctly. 
    Look again 15 minutes into the DOUGH cycle to assess the consistency of the dough. For most recipes, the dough should stick to the side, then pull away cleanly.
    If your dough is too wet, add flour one tablespoon at a time.
    Conversely, if the dough is too dry, add one tablespoon of liquid at a time until the dough looks just right. Read more about this surprising secret to success with a bread machine here.
  • When the DOUGH cycle is finished, if the dough has doubled in size, remove it from the pan to a floured surface. If the dough has not risen enough, leave it in the machine until it does before proceeding.
  • After the dough has risen, remove it from the bread machine pan, push down gently and divide the dough in half. On a generously floured surface, roll each half into a rectangle shape. The bigger the better because it provides more surface to layer the good stuff, like butter, sugar, and cinnamon. Be careful not to roll it too thin, however, or it will tear and cause you all kinds of frustration.

Filling:

  • Spread each rectangle with approximately 2 tablespoons of softened or melted butter.
  • Mix brown sugar, cinnamon, and cloves.
  • Distribute half of this mixture over the first rectangle and half over the second. Sprinkle about 1/4 c. chopped, toasted, pecans over the brown sugar-cinnamon layer.
  • Roll up the dough the long way. Slice into 8 equal pieces. Place cut side down in greased 8 or 9-inch pan or glass dish.
  • Cover and let rise till double in a warm, moist place.
  • Preheat oven to 375˚F. Bake rolls for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. The internal temperature should reach 190˚F.

Frosting:

  • Combine the powdered sugar, cream cheese, and coffee. You may need more or less coffee depending on how thick you like your icing. Milk will substitute for coffee.

Video

Notes

Directions for making bread with a stand mixer or by hand:
  • To make this recipe in a heavy-duty stand mixer:  Add ingredients to the bowl in the same order. Turn on LOW to mix until all ingredients are moistened. Then, using a dough hook, turn the speed to 2 or 3. Continue beating/kneading until dough becomes smooth and elastic (about 5-10 minutes). Cover and allow to rise in a warm place. Deflate dough gently and shape as indicated in the recipe.
  • If making by hand: Combine all ingredients into a shaggy ball in a large bowl. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead with your hands until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. Kneading will likely take 10-20 minutes, depending on your experience. Place the dough ball into a greased bowl. Cover and allow to rise until double. Deflate the dough gently and shape as indicated in the recipe.
  • Please note: If you only have active dry yeast, use 1/4 teaspoon more than called for in the recipe. It no longer needs to be dissolved first, but you can if you prefer.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Bread Machine Cinnamon Roll Recipe
Serving Size
 
1 roll
Amount per Serving
Calories
 
287
Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
8
g
12
%
Saturated Fat
 
5
g
31
%
Trans Fat
 
1
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Cholesterol
 
31
mg
10
%
Sodium
 
223
mg
10
%
Carbohydrates
 
50
g
17
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
31
g
34
%
Protein
 
4
g
8
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Author: Paula Rhodes
Course: Bread
Cuisine: American
Keywords: bread machine cinnamon rollscinnamon rolls with cloves in the fillinghomemade cinnamon rolls
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36 Comments

  1. Kathy Stephenson says:

    I just found your blog through Pioneer Woman, and I love it! I love your homemade flour shaker. It’s on my “Honey-Do List”!

    1. Thanks for stopping by Kathy. Are you a baker? If so, you are going to enjoy your shaker–and probably use less flour in the process. Less mess and better product.

  2. Hello there!

    I LOVE your site and enjoyed reading about you and your fresh salad ideas and this flour shaker! How awesome is that???

    I would love to have one too, so the next time I have a jar with a nice lid, I will ask my husband to make me one too!

    Thank you for the great ideas!

  3. Another Foodie says:

    Love your site. Great pictures as well!

  4. Just found your site and love it – I love to bake and have a sweet tooth which doesn’t help the waistline. I keep finding more of your recipes that I want to try! And I really like your philosophy towards the bread machine… we have one gathering dust and I am now determined to take it out and give it a try this week to make some pizza!! Thanks for sharing with all of us 🙂

    1. Thanks for stopping by louboo. Pizza is a great place to start with a bread machine.

  5. I’m going to try to make your cinnamon rolls, but the recipe for the filling doesn’t seem to have enough cinnamon (2 tsp). Should the amount be 2 tbsp or am I missing something?

    “Mix 1 cup brown sugar with 2 teaspoon cinnamon and a pinch of cloves (secret ingredient).”

  6. this recipe looks very good, can’t wait to make them, thanks!

  7. Can you make these the night before up to the point before the last rise and then refrigerate them? I love them – but do not love getting up at the crack of dawn to have them ready for my little ones.

    Pam

  8. Paula,
    I am extremely new to making bread and am going to also use my bread machine that a friend gave me to make dough and then bake in the oven. I found a recipe i want to try for sweet white bread that supposedly is really good like hawaiian bread. My questions are, my bread maker apparently beeps once after kneading and then 8 times after it is completely done in bread maker i guess after it has risen. When do i take the dough out? Also, u say let dough rise in a warm, moist place. My thermostat is usually always on 75-77 and where do i set it to rise? i also have a small portable heater in my bathroom if need be (although that sounds kinda weird to put bread dough in the bathroom lol). I just have no idea what i’m doing so some direction would be great. Thanks!

  9. oh and if i leave it in the bread machine till the very end, when i take it out do i let it rise again or go straight to the oven? *sigh* this is confusing.

  10. Hi!

    I just made this recipe and it worked wonderfully! Thank you so much! So happy to have home-made cinnamon rolls! 🙂

    I would like to know if I can freeze the rolls unbaked. If yes, can i put them on the oven straight from the freezer?

    Thank you 🙂

    Karla.

    1. Yes, you can freeze them unbaked but I don’t think they are quite as good. However, you must let them thaw and rise before baking which can take up to a couple hours depending on the ambient temperature.

      I prefer to bake the rolls, then freeze. If you want to make rolls the day before and bake the next morning, I recommend the “Super Convenient Potato Cheese Rolls” without the cheese of course.

      Make the dough and roll out like cinnamon rolls, cover and refrigerate. In the morning, it won’t take as long to warm up and rise compared to frozen dough. Something about potatoes in the dough gives them more staying power and I think you will find them equally delicious.

  11. Cindy Goodwin says:

    Hi!
    I stumbled upon your website on Pinterest! It has been years since I have had cinnamon rolls! This is the first time I have made dough with my breadmaker though. I usually bake a loaf of bread, unlike you. I live in Australia and the flour isn’t as forgiving here. My loaves have come out fairly solid (unlike the Canadian flour) I have since discovered a Bread Improver that is safe to use. It is getting towards summer here and the house is a nice warm temperature so I thought of giving it a go (during my exercise course, LOL!) I noticed that Butter isn’t added to your Filler, but is mentioned as something to do. I used 1/4 C butter and 1/4 cup white sugar, at least 2 cups of brown sugar, and probably close to 3TBSP cinnamon (like I remember my Mom doing). I sprinkled at least 1 1/2 cups of sultanas on the baking paper and placing my 24 rolls on that( I rolled really thin as my Mom used to do). So very yummy!

    1. Hi Cindy,
      Your rolls sound delicious! Thanks for the heads-up about the butter. Enjoy that warm weather.

    2. Hi Cindy,
      Rolling your dough thin makes a much more decadent cinnamon roll as you have figured out. But if you do that, (and increase the butter and sugar amounts) you may have to lengthen that exercise course you were talking about. 🙂

  12. Elaine Sipos says:

    Hi Paula,
    Just made the Cinnamon Rolls, so delish! I will share some with the neighbors, can’t leave these out, too tempting. I like the coffee in the icing, cuts down on the sweetness of the sugar. My husband ate two while I was in exercise class this morning and they were not iced yet. Delicious without icing also. Thanks for the great recipe.

  13. Lenora Hammond says:

    Hi there! Just wanted you to know that your rolls are just so so successful each time….unlike many other bread machine recipies I have tried! Yesterday I hosted a committee meeting for my cancer group….and made these rolls with a twist: I added in finely chopped red onion that I had sauteed with fresh tomatoes….plus of course the cheese! Yum! Today, I will try the Cinnamon rolls…..thank you for such an enjoyable website 🙂 Blessings……Lenora, Cape Town South Africa

    1. Hi Lenora,
      Your variation sounds absolutely wonderful! Thanks for sharing.

  14. Thanks for posting pictures. They do help a lot .

  15. Instead of poking holes in a jar, I rinse and dry an empty Parmesan cheese container & fill it with flour. Love your blog!

    1. Good idea, Sunshine. Haven’t bought canned Parm in years but great way to recycle.

  16. MamaToMany says:

    Wow!!… I’m so excited to try your method of “don’t bake in the bread maker unless you want to single-handedly bring on an apocalypse”- the regular rolls are on my list for tomorrow, and if I can get those the way they should be then these cinnamon rolls! Yay! My kids will thank me profusely… but I have you to ‘blame’ 🙂
    And that flour shaker?! Genius!!!!!!
    Thank you for sharing!!!

  17. So this recipe makes 16 rolls essentially right? Can I cut it in half to just make 8? I don’t need that many.

    1. I have never made just half of this recipe so can’t say for sure. You could just divide the dough into 8 rolls instead of 16. They would be nice and big. 🙂

  18. WOW, WOW, WOW… my family just loved these! Made the sweet milk white bread so I knew I could not go wrong trying another recipe 🙂 I was SO right! Amazing! I think my bucket list shall include making all recipes from “Salad-In-A-Jar”.
    Thanks again! From the newest Happy Baker!

  19. Hi, newbie here. Came across your recipe and I made the cinammon rolls last night and it was yummy when hot. However, the base will tend to burn before the roll is done… how do I avoid that?
    Also, when eaten the next day, it tends to be a little dry and slightly hard when eaten. How do I avoid that? (I toasted it slightly the next day)

    Thanks for your great recipe but please help with my problems

  20. Do you leave the flour in it? If so, how do you keep from getting moisture in it? I love your recipes-you inspired me to get my first bread maker! Used the dough cycle for first time today…bread is rising now so we shall see!

  21. MerryChristmas Claus says:

    It’s too long of a story but I have a special bread maker which belonged to a now-deceased friend of my mother’s. I am 61 and my mother passed away in 1985, her friend in 2004. I use her bread machine sparingly to preserve it and found your website while looking up a question on Yogurt starter and have spent several hours glued to your site. This is the last recipe for tonight but tomorrow I will pull it out and make one of your bread recipes, maybe cinnamon rolls in her honor, maybe the dinner rolls which would have been my mom’s favorite. Either way, thanks for an enjoyable evening.

    Even Santa was happy with the Salad in a Jar idea. Thanks. I have now bookmarked your site so I can remember where I found all these fabulous recipes.

    Mrs. Claus

  22. Can I sub the butter with oil? Thanks.

  23. I made these yesterday and they were really yummy, in fact, my husband ate three of them straight away….and he never puts on any weight, lol!
    I followed your excellent instructions and pics, and was so delighted with the result, that I can see these cinnamon rolls becoming a sticky favourite in our house. Thanks again. 🙂

    1. Hi Elaine,

      I’m so envious of your husband!!! #1 because he never puts on weight, and #2 because he has you to make these cinnamon rolls for him.

  24. Hello Paula , my question is I have my mother in laws bread machine which is a zojirushi, with your recipe and selecting the dough options quick or basic ? I ve used the recipe in the manual for cinnamon buns before but would like to experiment with others .

    1. Hi Maureen,

      You ask a good question. I always use the regular DOUGH cycle which would be the basic one. The longer bread rises, the better the flavor. That’s a basic principle of yeast bread making. I have been making this recipe for many years. I predict it will make you famous for your cinnamon rolls, too.