Soft Brioche Cinnamon Rolls

Here’s a recipe for deliciously tender brioche cinnamon rolls. They’re fluffy, filled with cinnamon sugar, and iced with a vanilla cream cheese glaze. 

Brioche cinnamon roll side view.

Sue says – “I made these rolls last night…the dough came together beautifully and these were hands down the BEST cinnamon rolls I have ever made. Definitely in our recipe rotation!”

A brioche dough makes the best homemade cinnamon rolls. They are so soft and fluffy with a great, rich flavor. Brioche dough isn’t overly sweet, so it pairs very well with the cinnamon sugar filling and the sticky, sweet cream cheese glaze. It’s a very enriched dough with a large amount of butter and eggs. It undergoes multiple proofing times, including a cold refrigeration period, bringing extra flavor to the dough. 

It’s a trickier dough than regular cinnamon rolls because it’s very soft, but it’s worth it. 

Brioche cinnamon roll being torn in half.

Key ingredients

Find the ingredient amounts for this recipe in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post. Here is a rundown of a few of the key ingredients.

  •  All-purpose flour—This recipe uses all-purpose flour with a protein level of around 11%. This protein content is enough to develop the gluten but not too much that the bread becomes chewy.
  • Large eggs, milk, and lots of butter – All this added fat and protein makes a wonderfully enriched dough. You can use salted or unsalted butter.

Baker’s schedule

For the best flavor and texture, you’ll need to allow enough time for the dough to knead properly and to undergo multiple rising times. You can shorten the fridge time though, feel free to play around with the schedule to suit your own times.

Day 1 

  • Knead the dough for around 20 minutes. 
  • Let it rise for approximately 2 hours at room temperature until doubled in size.
  • Refrigerate the dough for 8-12 hours overnight. 

Day 2 

  • The next morning, roll, shape, and cut the dough
  • Let the rolls rise at room temperature until doubled in size
  • Bake the brioche cinnamon rolls
Brioche cinnamon roll side view, piece missing.

Equipment

  • A stand mixer. The brioche dough is a very sticky dough to begin with. A large number of eggs and butter are present, and this extra fat and moisture means gluten development in the dough is slow.  Use a stand mixer for best results, as the dough needs 15-20 minutes of mixing to create the gluten structure necessary for a strong and elastic dough.
  • A 9 x 13-inch/ 23x33cm baking dish to bake the rolls.

Here’s how it’s done!

  1. Mix yeast, warm milk and a little sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer.
5 eggs and flour in a bowl.
  1. Add in the rest of the ingredients except for the butter.
dough in a mixer.
  1. Mix into a dough for around 5 minutes to start developing the gluten.
adding cube of butter to dough.
  1. Add in the butter a few cubes at a time, and let them become mixed in before adding the next.
brioche dough in a mixer.
  1. The butter will make the dough very sticky, keep on mixing and don’t add any extra flour.
brioche dough in a mixer.
  1. Keep mixing for around 15 minutes until the dough pulls cleanly away from the bowl.
window pane test dough.
  1. You should be able to stretch it super thin. (This is the windowpane test. This shows proper gluten development.)

Mixing by hand

Mixing this dough by hand is possible, but you’ve gotta be prepared to use a lot of elbow grease. For a wet dough like this, using a slap-and-fold method is easiest – slap the dough down hard on the bench, pull it forward quickly, and repeat. Quick motions can stop the dough from sticking to your hands too much.

It will be very sticky, but do not be tempted to add more flour. Use a bench scraper to gather the dough back together if it gets too messy. after a while, you will feel strength in the dough.

It can be tiring, so that you can take breaks in between kneading the dough will respond well to it. Come back to it with clean and slightly damp hands. 

a ball of dough.
a bowl of dough.
  1. Shape the glossy dough into a ball.
  1. Place in a large bowl and let rise at room temperature until doubled.
  1. Then, punch it down, reshape it into a ball, and cover it tightly. Cold-proof overnight (or at least a couple of hours to stiffen the butter.

Shaping

rolled out cinnamon roll dough.
  1. Take the cold dough and roll it into a rectangle.
cinnamon sugar spread on brioche dough.
  1. Spread with butter and cinnamon-sugar.
  1. Roll into a log.
brioche dough spirals on a white bench
  1. Cut into equal slices.
rising cinnamon rolls.
  1. Lay in a lined baking tray.Let them rise until they double in size.
baked Brioche cinnamon rolls.
  1. Then bake until golden brown.
icing spread on cinnamon rolls.
  1. Let the rolls cool for 10 minutes before glazing.
forkful of Brioche cinnamon roll
  1. Yum!

Storing

Leftover brioche cinnamon rolls can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days. On the following days, they will stiffen up because of all the butter in the dough. You can soften them by gently rewarming them in the microwave.

side view of cinnamon roll.

Soft Brioche Cinnamon Rolls

Elien Lewis
This recipe for brioche cinnamon rolls makes the softest cinnamon rolls. They’re super fluffy, filled with cinnamon sugar and iced with a vanilla cream cheese glaze.
4.97 from 127 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 12 hours
Total Time 13 hours
Course Bread, Breakfast
Cuisine American, French
Servings 12
Calories 521 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • 125 g lukewarm milk (95-104°F / 35-40°C)
  • 2 ½ tsp instant yeast active dried yeast
  • 50 g granulated sugar
  • 600 g all-purpose flour
  • 5 large eggs approx. 260g-270g excluding shell.
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 230 g unsalted butter room temperature and cut into cubes

Cinnamon Filling

  • 75 g unsalted butter softened
  • 100 g soft brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon

Vanilla Cream Cheese Icing

  • 60 g cream cheese room temperature
  • 150 g confectioners sugar
  • 2 Tbsp milk at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, add the milk and stir in the yeast and one tablespoon of sugar. Leave it to sit for 5-10 minutes until foamy.
  • Add to it the remaining sugar, eggs, flour, and salt. Turn the mixer on low and combine until it forms a thick but slightly sticky dough. Mix this dough for around 5 minutes to begin developing the gluten.
  • Add in the cubed butter, a few pieces at a time. Incorporate each cube before the next addition.
  • Turn the mixer on medium and keep it mixing until the sticky dough starts to strengthen and come together and pull away cleanly from the sides of the bowl. Mix the dough for the best gluten development and brioche crumb for at least 15 minutes. Proper gluten development will allow you to stretch the dough so thin you can almost see through it. This is called the 'window pane' test.
  • Pull the dough from the bowl onto a bench and form it into a ball. Place the dough ball into a clean bowl and cover it. Let it proof at room temperature for 1- 2 hours until doubled in size. The rising time will depend on room temperature.
  • Deflate the dough gently and reshape it into a ball again. Cover it with an airtight lid or plastic wrap and place it in the fridge overnight. This step can be shortened, but 8-12 hours long cold proof gives the best flavor.

Shaping

  • Pull the cold dough from the bowl and tip it onto a floured bench. Roll the dough out into a 12×18-inch (30×45-cm) rectangle.
  • Spread softened butter over the dough. In a bowl, mix together the brown sugar and ground cinnamon. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the butter.
  • Tightly roll the dough to form an 18-inch/45cm long log. Slice the log into 12 even-sized pieces. The unraveling end parts of each roll can be tucked under to keep them tight.
  • Line a 9×13 inch/23x33cm baking dish. Place the rolls in and cover them with a lightweight, slightly dampened kitchen towel (to stop the tops drying out). Let them rise at room temperature, puffy, and double in size.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C.
  • Bake the brioche cinnamon rolls for approximately 28-30 minutes until puffed up and browned on the tops. If the tops are browning too fast, cover them with aluminum foil halfway through baking.
  • After baking, let them cool for 10 minutes before frosting.

The frosting

  • Beat the cream cheese in a mixer until smooth and creamy. Add the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and milk. Beat it together until creamy.
  • Spread the icing over the still-warm cinnamon rolls and serve.

Notes

Measurements – Both grams and US cup sizes are provided. Use the toggle on the recipe card to switch between the two.
More information – See my brioche bread recipe post for more details on making brioche dough.
Yeast If you want to test the viability of your yeast before beginning, warm the milk (to around 95-104°F / 35-40°C) and mix in the yeast with one tablespoon of the sugar. Leave it to sit for 10 minutes first. If it becomes foamy, it’s good to go.
Flour. This recipe works best with flour with around 11% protein. All-purpose flour protein levels can vary between brands, and the name of the flour itself can vary between countries. It’s best to check protein levels rather than just the name of the flour
Kneading by hand. Brioche dough can be made without a stand mixer. It can be kneaded by hand, although it may take longer and require more effort. It’s a sticky wet dough, so don’t be tempted to add more flour, or it will ruin the texture.
Storing. Brioche cinnamon rolls can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days. Rewarm them gently in the microwave over the following days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1rollCalories: 521kcalCarbohydrates: 65gProtein: 9gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 15gPolyunsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 138mgSodium: 59mgFiber: 2gSugar: 25g
Keyword brioche bread, cinnamon rolls
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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38 Comments

    1. Hey yes you can refrigerate the dough up to 2 days, but I wouldn’t fill and shape the dough that far in advance. You can refrigerate the bowl of dough, but I’d wait to do the shaping and last rise until the evening before you need them (and then they can rise again slowly overnight in the fridge).

  1. These are the best cinnamon rolls I have ever tasted. I did increase my sugar in the dough to a half a cup and I also increased my butter in the filling to one stick and one cup of brown sugar. I guess I just have a sweet tooth but this dough is amazing.

  2. These rolls were delicious. Almost as good as my grandmothers (can anyone beat grammy’s baking?) Will absolutely make them again with one change, lower the oven temp. My browned too quickly even though I covered them. Still great and not dried out.

  3. This is a fantastic dough! The cinnamon rolls were perfect, better than the “chain store”. I’m going to use this dough to make all kinds of goodies! Thanks for the recipe!

  4. I made these rolls last night…the dough came together beautifully and these were hands down the BEST cinnamon rolls I have ever made. Definitely in our recipe rotation!

  5. You have very good recipe!
    I did have good laugh though, the part about the weight of the eggs excluding the shell 🙂
    About thirty years ago I went to culinary school. During the baking section of the program, I had a classmate that had a hard time following recipes.
    When the recipe called for eggs, he would put the entire egg in the mixer.
    When it called for bananas, he would put the whole banana in the mixture.
    Again, you recipe is a very good recipe!
    Thank you for sharing.

  6. I had a couple issues. I think the oven temp was a bit too high for my gas oven. Very brown on top, even when covered, and center not completely baked! The flavour was awesome!! I will make it again with a couple tweaks. I also will add a bit more cream cheese to the icing for a bit more tang!

  7. How long can the iced rolls be left out at room temp? With cream cheese in the frosting, do they HAVE to be refrigerated if not consumed that day? Thanks!

  8. I am trying out this recipe for the first time. I was wondering if I can use a glass pan instead of using a cast iron?

  9. is it possible to overnight proof filled and cut? If they will go in the oven very early in the morning?

    1. Yes you could – I would shorten the first fridge rise of the dough to just a couple of hours, then shape the rolls in the evening, tightly cover, and let the shaped rolls rise in the refrigerator overnight 🙂

  10. I discovered brioche a couple years ago and have been obsessed with the texture. These turned out better than any store brought brioche. Well worth all the butter!! and eggs. Amazing!! Looking forward to switching up the fillings. Maybe a savory version would be yum. Thankyou for the recipe.

  11. Beautiful recipe! If we don’t do an overnight proof can we still make these? What do you suggest? Thanks!

  12. Hi! If I say put the dough in the fridge for the second proof at 12pm (Sunday), is it ok to let it sit in the fridge for 24 hours (until 12 pm Monday) before shaping and baking it on Monday afternoon? Will the dough be overproofed ?

  13. What will be the texture of the cold proofed dough? is it normal to be hard? Should i let it out for few hours at room temperature before shaping it?

    1. Heya, you can double this recipe! You can double the yeast as well, or use a bit less to slow the rise. Either works! 🙂

  14. 5 stars
    I made these.
    I used active yeast and only proofed for 1 hour.
    I skipped flouring the counter top because my dough Was not sticking to the counter at all…… how ?
    Less butter.
    1/4 cup in dough.
    1/4 cup in cinnamon filling.
    I created vanilla brioche dough by using 1-1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract.
    To the cinnamon filling I added splash of cream and instant espresso. Instead of butter onto the rolled dough, I used enough heavy cream to make the filling stick. Then instead of a frosting. I made a thick caramel sauce that I used over the tops of the baked cinnamon rolls. The result was amazing and very non-traditional flavors.
    Will make again for sure. I only got 9 big rolls.

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