Soft Buttermilk Cinnamon Rolls

How to make Cinnamon Rolls

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Soft tender flaky buttermilk cinnamon rolls full of chopped pecans, sugar and ground cinnamon.


Units Scale

Cinnamon Roll Dough:

1 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup granulated sugar + 1 tablespoon

1/4 cup water, 110-115 degrees

1 package .25 ounce Active Dry Yeast ( 2 1/4 teaspoons)

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, reserve 1/2 cup

1/4 teaspoon baking soda, baking powder

1/2 teaspoon sea salt


6 tablespoons butter, melted

1/2 cup granulated sugar

3 tablespoons dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

1 cup chopped toasted pecans

Creme Bouquet Buttercream Frosting

2 cups confectioner’s sugar

4 tablespoons butter, softened

1 teaspoon creme bouquet extract or vanilla

2 tablespoons half n half or milk


1. In microwave safe measuring cup fill with 1/4 cup water. Microwave 30 seconds or until temperature is between 110-115 degrees.  Add 1 tablespoon sugar and yeast. Stir to dissolve. Set aside for 5 minutes while it proofs.  If the yeast does not bubble up after 5 minutes, throw it out and begin again. Watch your temperature of water, if it is too hot it will kill the yeast, if it is not warm enough it will not activiate.

2..In small saucepan add buttermilk, vegetable oil and sugar, heat over medium heat stirring until temperature reaches 95-100 degrees.

3.In large mixing bowl, add 2 cups of all purpose flour, add warm buttermilk, oil, sugar mixture and proofed yeast. Stir with wooden spoon or dough whisk.  Cover this sticky dough with a tea towel and allow to sit in warm place for 60 minutes. This is the dough sponge that helps activate the flour and yeast for soft rolls.

4. With reserved 1/2 cup flour, add baking soda, baking powder and salt, sift over sticky dough sponge with dough whisk or wooden spoon blending the flour in the dough completely.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill the dough overnight or at least 8 hours. Note: you can refrigerate this dough for up to 3 days. But do not freeze.

Making the Cinnamon Rolls:

1. Lightly coat 2- 9 ” baking pans with cooking spray or butter. Line bottom of pans with parchment rounds, lightly spray the parchment paper rounds. Set aside. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Racks in middle of oven.

2. Flour work bench/counter. Punch down chilled dough and knead a few minutes to relax the dough and keep from sticking. Flour rolling pin and roll dough into a large rectangle 9 x 13 inches.  Melt butter and spread over dough,  mix cinnamon and sugar together and sprinkle over butter, add chopped pecans.

3. Starting at wide or 13″ side roll dough into a log. Slice log into 1″ pieces.  Place rolls with swirl side up in baking pan leaving 1/4″ space between rolls. Place rolls in warming drawer or cover with tea towel at room temperature until rolls rise to double size about 30-40 minutes. Rolls will be puffy and risen in the pan.

4. Place rolls in center of oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. Once removed from oven, transfer pans to cooling rack to cool while preparing frosting. Note:  There is no egg wash brushed over unbaked rolls to help with browning as most recipes. The rolls will brown beautifully without egg, butter or milk wash.

Making Buttercream Frosting

In small bowl  add softened butter, whip on low speed to smooth, add confectioner’s sugar, extract and half n half. Mix until smooth and creamy somewhat thick but spreadable.  Generously spread frosting over warm rolls. Serve immediately. If you have any left over, cover with plastic wrap and alum. foil at room temperature.





Recipe adapted from Saving Room for Dessert and Pioneer Woman.

Recipe can be doubled.

Rolls can be frozen after baking and before frosting. Thaw to room temperature before frosting and serving.

This is the best soft tender cinnamon rolls ever!