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4.85 from 13 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



  • 3 tbsp active dry yeast
  • 2 c. warm milk (can also use 2 cups warm water + 2/3 cup powdered milk)
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 1/3 c. melted butter, unsalted
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 6 c. flour


  • 1 c. packed brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened


  • 1/3 c. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 1/2 - 3 1/2 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 6-8 tbsp milk, as needed



  1. 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. 

  2.  Gradually add the remaining flour and mix until just combined.  

  3. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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!)

  3. 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. 

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  1. 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.

  2.  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

  1. Follow all instructions above through rolling the dough into a vertical log and cutting the rolls and placing on a greased baking sheet.

  2. 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.

  3. Place in the fridge overnight, up to a day.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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).

  7. When the cinnamon rolls are lightly browned on top they are done. Remove and frost immediately! 

  8. *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!