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Homemade Cinnamon Rolls With Raisins

These glazed Homemade Cinnamon Rolls With Raisins are sweet, soft, moist, fluffy, and easier to make than you might think. They’re a yummy, indulgent treat that’s perfect for breakfast, brunch, special occasions, and holidays!

Mmm…there’s nothing quite like a warm and gooey cinnamon roll that’s fresh from the oven. Pair it with a big mug of coffee or tea, and I’m one happy girl!

Yes, they do take a little time (most of it is hands-off rising time), but it’s so worth it to learn how to make them from scratch right in your own kitchen.

Sure, it’s easier to pop open a can of cinnamon rolls and bake them up or to run out and get some at your local bakery.

But those versions just can’t hold a candle to these glorious pillows of deliciousness that are a zhuzhed-up adaptation of David’s grandma’s cinnamon buns recipe, which is a favorite in his family.

The dough is lightly sweet and bakes up soft, moist and fluffy. The filling is made up of butter, cinnamon, dark brown sugar, and lots of plump, juicy raisins. And it’s all topped off with a very generous drizzle of vanilla powdered sugar glaze.

When enjoyed while still warm, they practically melt in your mouth. And it’s really hard to keep from wanting to eat a few more.

Oh, and there’s a bonus: These cinnamon raisin rolls freeze well, so you can save some to enjoy later!

unglazed baked cinnamon rolls in a baking pan with a bowl of powdered sugar glaze on the side

Ingredients You Need

  • Whole milk
  • Salted butter
  • White granulated sugar
  • Salt
  • Eggs
  • All-purpose flour
  • Instant yeast
  • Cinnamon
  • Dark brown sugar
  • Raisins
  • Cooking spray
  • Powdered sugar
  • Vanilla extract

Note: Ingredient amounts are in the recipe card at the end of the post.

Special Equipment Needed

  • Electric stand mixer with dough hook attachment
  • Kitchen thermometer

How to Make Homemade Cinnamon Rolls With Raisins

1: Put milk, butter, sugar, and salt in a small to medium saucepan. Heat over low heat, stirring, just until the butter has melted.

2: Remove the pot from the heat; allow the mixture to cool, stirring occasionally, until it reaches a temperature of 110°F.

3: Add eggs and whisk until combined.

3 numbered images; number 1 is of milk, butter, sugar and salt in a pot on the stove and then the mixture in the pot with a spoon after the butter has been melted, number 2 is of the milk mixture in the pot on a pot holder on the counter with a spoon on the side, and number 3 is of eggs added to the milk mixture in the pot and then being whisked into the mixture

4: Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the dough hook.

5: Add the flour and the yeast.

6: Mix on low speed until you get a soft and smooth ball of dough that no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl. A little bit of sticking at the very bottom of the bowl is okay. If needed, add more flour, one tablespoon at a time, until the desired consistency is reached.

3 numbered images; number 4 is of the milk mixture in the bowl of a stand mixer, number 5 is of flour and yeast added to the mixer bowl with the mixer fitted with the dough hook, and number 6 is of the finished dough in the mixer bowl

7: Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size, about 1 to 1½ hours.

8: Towards the end of the rising time, place the raisins in a bowl and cover them with hot water. Let them soak for 10 to 15 minutes to plump them up, then drain.

9: Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface.

3 numbered images; number 7 if of the mixer bowl covered with a kitchen towel and then the dough in the bowl doubled in size, number 8 is of raisins soaking in a bowl of water, and number 9 is of the dough on a floured work surface

10: Roll the dough out into a 12×18-inch rectangle.

11: Evenly spread softened butter over the dough.

12: Evenly top the dough with cinnamon, then brown sugar, and then raisins.

3 numbered images; number 10 is of the dough rolled out into a large rectangle, number 11 is of softened butter being spread on the dough, and number 12 is of the dough covered with cinnamon, brown sugar and raisins

13: Starting with one of the longer sides, gently but tightly roll up the dough to make a log shape, leaving the seam at the bottom.

14: Using a very sharp knife, slice the log into 12 equal pieces.

15: Put the pieces, cut-side-up, into a lightly sprayed 9x13x2-inch baking pan (arrange them in 4 rows of 3).

3 numbered images; number 13 is of the dough and fillings rolled up, number 14 if of the rolled up dough sliced into 12 pieces, and number 15 is of the rolled pieces of dough and filling in a baking pan

16: Cover the pan with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until the rolls have doubled in size, about 30 to 45 minutes.

17: While the rolls are rising, preheat the oven to 350°F and place the oven rack in the next position above the center.

18: Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or just until the dough is cooked through. Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire cooling rack.

3 numbered images; number 16 is of the pan covered with a kitchen towel and then it shows the risen rolls in the pan, number 17 is a graphic of an oven with text that says 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and number 18 is of the baked cinnamon rolls in the pan on a wire cooling rack

19: Make the glaze: In a medium bowl, mix together the powdered sugar, vanilla extract and as much milk as is needed to reach your desired consistency.

20: Once the rolls have been out of the oven for 10 minutes, evenly drizzle the glaze over them and then continue allowing them to cool.

21: Enjoy (best when served while still warm)!

3 numbered images; number 19 is of powdered sugar glaze being mixed in a bowl with a spoon, number 20 is of the glazed cinnamon rolls in the pan on a wire rack, and number 21 is a close up of a cinnamon roll being lifted out of the pan with a spatula and text that says enjoy

Note: This is just a brief overview of the steps. For the full printable recipe with ingredient amounts and detailed instructions, please go to the recipe card at the end of the post.

Recipe Tips & Tidbits

  • Be sure to use room temperature eggs so they don’t cool down the milk mixture too much. To quickly warm up cold eggs, put them in a bowl of warm water (not hot) for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Make sure your yeast is fresh and not expired. Dead yeast = no rising!
  • Getting the dough right is important. It will be softer and looser than a bread dough.
    • The dough ball should pull away from the sides of the bowl, but a little bit of sticking at the very bottom of the bowl is totally fine.
    • When you lightly press on the top of the dough with clean, dry fingers, it should feel slightly tacky but it should not stick to your fingers.
    • Adding too much flour and making a drier dough will result in dry cinnamon rolls.
  • If you don’t have an electric mixer, you can mix and knead the dough by hand.
  • To easily make even slices when cutting the rolls, I first cut the log in half right in the middle. Then I cut each half in half, so now I have 4 quarters. Finally, I cut each quarter into 3 equal pieces.
  • Rising times given in the recipe are just a guideline. Actual rising times can vary depending on the conditions in your kitchen on any given day. You should always judge the dough by its size rather than going by a particular amount of time.
    • A warmer place that is free from drafts is preferred. The ideal temperature is around 80°F (cooler temperatures will increase the rising time).
  • I recommend using a lighter-colored baking pan; darker pans could result in the sides and bottoms of your rolls getting too brown.
  • Avoid over-baking to prevent dry cinnamon rolls.
close up of a spoonful of powdered sugar glaze being drizzled on a pan of cinnamon rolls

Substitutions & Variations

  • Golden raisins can be used instead of regular raisins.
  • If you’re not into raisins, just leave them out.
  • You can use dried cranberries instead of raisins (soak them first just like you would raisins).
  • Try adding chopped nuts to the filling, such as pecans or walnuts.
  • A cream cheese glaze, such as the one I use on my Pumpkin Streusel Sheet Cake, would also be delicious on these rolls!
close up of a cinnamon roll being lifted out of the pan with a spatula

Storing & Freezing

Storing

To store leftover cinnamon rolls, once completely cooled, wrap each roll individually in plastic wrap (covering the pan or putting them in a storage container allows too much air exposure, and they will dry out much quicker). Store the wrapped rolls at room temperature for 1 to 2 days, tops.

  • Because cinnamon rolls can dry out rather quickly, I suggest immediately freezing any that you know you’re not going to eat within a day or two. This preserves their quality so much better.
  • When enjoying a leftover cinnamon roll, I recommend unwrapping it and heating it in the microwave for a few seconds to warm it up just a bit. This will soften it up and make it taste more like it was when fresh from the oven.

Freezing

To freeze cinnamon rolls, once completely cooled, wrap each roll individually in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil. Place the wrapped rolls in a freezer bag and freeze for up to 2 months (the sooner you enjoy them, the better).

  • When ready to eat, remove the foil and leave the plastic wrap on; allow to thaw at room temperature. Remove the plastic wrap and heat in the microwave for a few seconds until warmed through for that fresh-from-the-oven texture and flavor.
two cinnamon rolls with raisins on a white plate with one opened up so you can see the filling inside and another plate of cinnamon rolls in the background

I hope you try this Homemade Cinnamon Rolls With Raisins recipe and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!

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If you make this recipe, I’d love to know how it went! Please leave a star rating and comment below. Thanks!

iced cinnamon rolls in a pan with a spatula on the side

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls With Raisins

These glazed Homemade Cinnamon Rolls With Raisins are sweet, soft, moist, fluffy, and easier to make than you might think. They're a yummy, indulgent treat that's perfect for breakfast, brunch, special occasions, and holidays!
Print Pin Save Rate & Comment
Author: Michelle / Now Cook This!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Rising and Cooling Time (approximate): 3 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 12 Rolls
Estimated Calories: 459

Ingredients

Dough

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ cup salted butter, (1 stick), cut into 8 pieces
  • ½ cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 4 to 4½ cups all-purpose flour
  • teaspoons instant yeast, 2 (¼-ounce) packets

Filling

  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup raisins

Glaze

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons whole milk, or as much as is needed to reach the desired consistency of the glaze

Other

  • cooking spray

Special Equipment

  • electric stand mixer with dough hook attachment
  • kitchen thermometer (one that you would use to take the temperature of meat or liquids)

Instructions

  • Put the 1 cup of milk, ½ cup of butter, white granulated sugar, and salt in a small to medium saucepan (I use a 1-quart pot). Heat over low heat, stirring, just until the butter is melted.
  • Remove the pot from the heat; allow the mixture to cool, stirring occasionally, until it reaches a temperature of 110°F.
    To speed up the cooling process, you can transfer the mixture to a large measuring cup or bowl.
  • Add the eggs to the warm milk mixture; whisk until combined.
  • Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the dough hook.
  • Add 4 cups of the flour and the yeast.
  • Mix on low speed until you get a soft and smooth ball of dough that no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl. A little bit of sticking at the very bottom of the bowl is okay and is actually preferred. The dough should feel just slightly tacky, but it should not stick when you lightly press down on it with clean, dry fingers.
    After 2 to 3 minutes of mixing and once the flour has been completely incorporated, if the dough is too loose or sticky, start adding more flour, one tablespoon at a time and mixing after each addition, just until it reaches the desired consistency. Be careful of adding too much flour, as this can cause your cinnamon rolls to be dry and tough.
  • Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place that is free from drafts until the dough doubles in size, about 1 to 1½ hours.
  • Towards the end of the rising time, place the raisins in a bowl and cover them with hot water. Let them soak for 10 to 15 minutes, then drain.
  • Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface. Using a rolling pin or your hands (the dough is very soft and easy to work with), form the dough into a 12×18-inch rectangle.
  • Evenly spread the 6 tablespoons of softened butter over the top of the dough, going all the way to the edges.
  • Evenly sprinkle the cinnamon over the butter, then the brown sugar, and then the raisins, going all the way to the edges.
  • Starting with one of the longer sides, gently but tightly roll up the dough to form a log shape, leaving the seam on the bottom.
    If the dough is sticking at all when you roll it up, use a bench scraper or a flat spatula to gently lift it up.
  • Using a very sharp knife, slice the log into 12 equal pieces.
  • Lightly spray a 9x13x2-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Place the rolls in the pan, cut side up, arranging them in 4 rows of 3.
  • Cover the pan with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place that is free from drafts until doubled in size, about 30 to 45 minutes.
  • While the rolls are rising, preheat the oven to 350°F and place the oven rack in the next position above the center.
  • Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or just until the dough is cooked through. The tops of the rolls will still be relatively light in color and may be just starting to turn lightly golden in spots, and the edges should be golden brown.
    Be very careful not to over bake, as this will make your cinnamon rolls dry. Since all ovens are different, I suggest starting to check them at the 20-minute mark.
  • Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire cooling rack.
  • Make the glaze: In a medium bowl, mix together the powdered sugar, vanilla extract and as much of the milk as is needed to reach your desired consistency (I start with 2 tablespoons and add more if needed to get a semi-thick glaze that drizzles easily with a spoon).
  • Once the rolls have been out of the oven for about 10 minutes, evenly drizzle the glaze over them and then continue allowing them to cool.
  • Enjoy (best when served fresh from the oven and still warm)!

Notes

  • Whether or not you need to add more flour to the dough will vary depending on the ingredients (such as the size of the eggs) and the conditions in your kitchen (temperature, humidity, etc.).
    • Generally, I might have to add 2 to 3 tablespoons, but you really just have to go by the look and feel of the dough.
  • Rising times given in the recipe are just a guideline. Actual rising times can vary depending on the conditions in your kitchen on any given day. You should always judge the dough by its size rather than going by a particular amount of time.
    • A warmer place that is free from drafts is preferred. The ideal temperature is around 80°F (cooler temperatures will increase the rising time).
  • I recommend using a lighter-colored baking pan; dark pans could make the bottoms and sides of your rolls get too brown.
  • You can check for doneness using a kitchen thermometer (this is how I prefer to do it). Insert it into the center of one of the rolls in the center of the pan. They are done when the temperature reaches 190°F.
    • Because there will be some carryover cooking and the temperature will continue to rise for a few minutes after they are out of the oven, I take them out at about 185°F so they don’t overcook.
  • See the post for additional recipe tips, substitutions and variations, and for info on storing and freezing.
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