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Sticky Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls

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Sticky Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls

Over the past 15 years I’ve made a lot of different cinnamon roll recipes. I’ve tried different types of dough, some fillings with nuts, some without, different frostings and glazes… this Sticky Cream Cheese Cinnamon rolls recipe is the best recipe I’ve found. The dough is so fluffy and light it rises quickly and makes for the softest pull-apart bready portion of the roll. But the filling is gooey enough that while the outside layers of roll are bready and light, the inside is gooey and dripping with melted cinnamon/sugar/butter mixture. Also a cream cheese frosting is a must, but I’ve found it’s best to make it a little differently than a traditional cream cheese buttercream—so it melts better on the top of each roll. Alright, now that I’m salivating, I’ll get into the recipe.

First off, I start with the Lion House roll recipe for the dough. Of any dough I’ve made this is always the best. It has an egg and melted butter and powdered milk in it so the dough is super soft, and I add extra yeast so it rises quickly and softly. Don’t roll the dough too thin so the cinnamon rolls stay fluffy. And be sure to frost when warm so that frosting runs down into the center. Drooling!

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4.86 from 14 votes

Sticky Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls

The best tried and true cinnamon rolls using the Lion House rolls dough recipe and a sticky and thick filling. Topped off with delicious cream cheese frosting, you cannot go wrong!
Servings 16
Author Shannon Lyon | Plum Street Collective



  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 2 cups warm milk (can also use 2 cups warm water + 2/3 cup powdered milk)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup melted butter, unsalted
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 egg
  • 5 1/2 -6 cups flour


  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened


  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 package cream cheese, softened (8 oz. package)
  • 2 1/2 – 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 6-8 tablespoons milk, as needed



  • Warm milk in microwave, until just bathwater warm (not scalding). Dissolve yeast in warm milk for 2 minutes.  Add all ingredients except 3-4 cups of flour in a stand mixer, and mix with dough hook until smooth. 
  •  Gradually add the remaining flour and mix until just combined.  Add just enough flour for it to come together.
  • Turn dough out onto floured surface and knead gently until dough is soft and incorporated. Place dough in a greased bowl, cover with a towel or plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled, about an hour. 

Making the Rolls

    • After dough has risen, punch down and knead into ball. Roll out onto floured surface. Roll into a large rectangular shape.
      *Many recipes tell you to roll the dough as thin as possible to get as many layers of cinnamon roll as possible, however I’ve found that by leaving the dough a little thicker it rises much better and stays much fluffier throughout the 2nd rise and baking process. Leave a little thickness to it.
    • Spread the very soft butter (can be melted) over the dough. In a separate bowl mix brown sugar, and cinnamon. Sprinkle the the cinnamon mixture over the dough evenly. Roll dough firmly into vertical log.
      (A cheese knife works great at cutting them without pinching the dough down!)
    • Cut dough at approximately every 1 inch to make 12-18 rolls depending on how big each roll is. Place in a baking sheet or pan that is coated with cooking spray or parchment paper. 
    • Cover and let rise for 15 minutes on top of stove. Meanwhile set oven to 200 degrees F to keep the area around the rolls warm.
    • After they’ve risen, place them in the 200 degree oven for 5 minutes, then turn the temperature up to 350 degrees F and bake for 15-18 more minutes (don’t open the oven door when you raise the temp). When the cinnamon rolls are lightly browned on top they are done.  (If they aren't a little brown on top, they won't be cooked enough inside.)
      Remove and frost immediately!

    Cream Cheese Frosting

    • While the rolls are baking, prepare your frosting. In a stand mixer whip butter and cream cheese as hard as the beater will go. Cream cheese is finicky and you have to beat it hard to get the lumps out and make sure it’s fully incorporated into the butter and whipped.
    •  Then turn down the speed and add the powdered sugar slowly, alternating with a bit of milk. Add vanilla. Continue adding powdered sugar and milk until you get a smooth consistency, slightly thinner than traditional buttercream. You want the frosting to melt easily on the rolls so it will be a cross between an icing and buttercream frosting—not too thin but not too thick.

    Instructions for Preparing the Night Before

    • Follow all instructions above through rolling the dough into a vertical log and cutting the rolls and placing on a greased baking sheet.
    • Once you’ve done this, spray the tops of the rolls with cooking spray. Cover with saran wrap and seal well around the edges. Make sure no air gets in there so the rolls don’t dry out.
    • Place in the fridge overnight, up to a day.
    • Remove from fridge 2 hours before you’d like to bake them. Keep them covered, but let them sit on the counter untouched. They need to get to room temperature, and the dough needs to start to rise a little more before they go in the oven.
    • Once they’ve come mostly to room temperature (they can be a little cold, but not freezing), and have risen slightly, follow the baking instructions.
    • Place them in a preheated 200 degree oven for 5 minutes, then turn the temperature up to 350 degrees F and bake for 15-18 more minutes (don’t open the oven door when you raise the temp).
    • When the cinnamon rolls are lightly browned on top they are done. Remove and frost immediately! 
    • *You can make the frosting the night before and store in an airtight container. Then just frost as soon as they come out of the oven!

    Also be sure to click here if you’d like to check out my other recipes.

    Happy baking! Be sure to tag me on Instagram if you make these Cinnamon Rolls!

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    1. 5 stars
      Holy wow! That’s the kind of thing that I can eat my weight in. I love some sweet, stickybun goodness!

    2. 4 stars
      those look so good!!! Ive been looking for a cinnamon roll recipe but I am horrible at using Yeast so I would have to substitute for frozen dough!

    3. These look delish! One of my favorite comfort foods

    4. My mouth is watering! That frosting looks to die for, I can’t be trusted not to eat the whole pan!

    5. 5 stars
      Just the name itself sounds delicious…. wow!
      I have to try this soon. Sounds incredible!

    6. These look great. I love a good cinnamon roll. I think they are my ultimate comfort food.

    7. 5 stars
      I love cream cheese and i love cinnamon rolls. I am delighted to see this combo. I have to try this.

    8. Monidipa Dutta says:

      5 stars
      I like cheese, So yummy! I can’t wait to give this recipe a try! It left me drooling..!!

    9. 5 stars
      I love cinnamon rolls! I have tried making them at home but with store bought dough. Now I have a new mixer so I should try it again. Your recipe sounds fabulous, especially with that cream cheese frosting.

    10. 4 stars
      I am totally going to make these they look sooo delicious! I love cinnamon rolls!

    11. Tonya Morris says:

      5 stars
      OMG I need these immediately. These sound amazing! I love cream cheese frosting so know I will love these!!

    12. 5 stars
      Who doesn’t love the smell of a cinnamon roll? These look so delicious!

    13. 5 stars
      I’m a big cinnamon roll fan and these look ever so delicious! One of my favourite breakfast treats.

    14. 5 stars
      I was thinking about (and craving) cinnamon rolls last night and then I stumble upon these beauties. I think the universe is telling me something 😉

    15. Oh my good ness! When I saw your featured photo, all I could say was OMghee! Too bad I’m on a keto diet. This will make me look up a keto friendly version of this recipe.

    16. My kids would absolutely love these. This would disappear in no time at our house! This is my kind of weekend treat.

    17. We love making our own cinnamon rolls. These look delicious. Worth trying the recipe.

    18. 5 stars
      Oh, yes! this recipe sounds delicious! what a great idea!

    19. The recipe that was printed and handed out in Dallas at the Pinners conference says to use 4TBS of yeast but this site says 3TBS. HELP! Is it 3 or 4? I have a batch in the oven now made with 4 TBS of yeast. I didn’t see this one until i has mine in the oven.

      1. So sorry I’m just seeing this! I added a TBSP to help the dough rise faster! It won’t affect flavor at all, just rise time! Let me know if they turned out!

    20. Could I sub instant yeast for the active dry stuff? If so, how much instant yeast would you use? And how long would you let it rise for? Thank you so much, these look divine!

      1. Hey there! To sub instant (or rapid rise) yeast for active dry just use about 25 percent less. Let it rise until doubled! hope that helps!

    21. Can you use regular milk in place of powdered? I’m having a hard time finding the dry milk.

    22. GMMillsap says:

      5 stars
      I actually made these cinnamon rolls a couple years ago and the whole family loved them! Delicious!

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