Best Brown Butter Cinnamon Rolls

Brown Butter Cinnamon Rolls

Brown butter cinnamon rolls are here to change your life. Is it brown butter? Or browned butter? Both seem acceptable and interchangeable. I feel like browned butter is technically correct but most people seem to use just brown. Who knows. These are brown butter cinnamon rolls though so you can see where I landed.

Some cinnamon rolls are perfect little rolls all baked up separately. Kind of like my Chai Sweet Rolls. These are not those kind of cinnamon rolls. These are more tear and share style. The dough is soft and probably a little bit sticky, but they will be like bites of heaven. This dough is super tender as it has milk, and butter, and eggs. It’s not enough egg to be brioche but it’s definitely soft.

Now, the brown butter is not in the dough itself, but honestly the brown butter cream cheese frosting is so insane you won’t be able to tell. The cinnamon rolls are great on their own as well, but the frosting honestly takes the flavor up 10 times, so don’t skip it!

If these cinnamon rolls sound enticing but they also sound like it’s just too big of a batch, I’d recommend my Small Batch Cinnamon Rolls as they are essentially the same recipe, just scaled down to make two or four cinnamon rolls. Personally, I always go for the big batch because the leftovers always get eaten or shared with friends and neighbors. If you have extras, these are a great way to win someone over haha.

We use bread flour in lieu of AP because it helps keep that softness and fluffiness but also imparts some extra chew. If you don’t have access to bread flour, you can totally use all purpose though. Your rolls will be just as fluffy and soft. Regardless of the type of flour you use, these cinnamon rolls are going to feel like little heavenly clouds with every bite.

You may notice there isn’t any sugar in the dough which isn’t a mistake. Sugar is hygroscopic which means it attracts water molecules which can make breads feel drier even when they aren’t. Additionally there is a lot of sugar in the filling and frosting so I promise it can be left out and you won’t miss it. I did not want this recipe to be cloyingly sweet, and I think it strikes the perfect balance of sweetness, spice, and flavorful.

I have baked these brown butter cinnamon rolls in both a metal pan and a glass pan. I would highly recommend a metal pan as it will just bake a little quicker and more evenly. Glass pans stay hot much longer than metal so they will continue baking unless they are removed from the pan, which also will dry out your buns. I recommend a metal 9×13 inch cake pan or maybe even two 8/9 inch round cake pans. I personally use this one for many of my bakes, including these cinnamon rolls, focaccia, and big batches of brownies or blondies.

Brown Butter Cinnamon Rolls Key Ingredients

  • Brown Butter – While it’s not in the dough, the frosting adds so much flavor you won’t be able to tell that it’s not throughout the whole bake. If you don’t want to make the frosting I’d probably recommend browning half the butter in the filling to get that same flavor.
  • Milk – Milk is going to add flavor and tenderize your dough, creating super fluffy and big rolls.
  • Bread Flour – Bread flour has a higher protein count which creates a stronger gluten network. Gluten gives your bread an airiness and chew that makes it so deliciously satisfying.
Brown Butter Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Rolls with Brown Butter Frosting

5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Prep: 40 minutes
Bake: 25 minutes
Proofing: 2 hours 45 minutes
Total: 3 hours 50 minutes
Servings: 12 rolls



  • 480 g Bread Flour 4 cups
  • tsp salt
  • tsp Instant yeast
  • 1 cup Whole or 2% Milk warmed
  • 2 large Eggs Room temperature
  • 1 tsp Pure vanilla extract or paste
  • 4 tbsp Unsalted butter melted
  • 2 ½ tbsp Baker's Dry Milk optional


  • 67 g Dark Brown Sugar ⅓ cup
  • 67 g Granulated sugar ⅓ cup
  • 2 tbsp Cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp Nutmeg
  • 5 tbsp Unsalted butter softened

Brown Butter Frosting

  • 3 tbsp Salted butter
  • 4 oz Cream Cheese softened
  • ½ tsp Pure vanilla extract or paste
  • ½ cup Confectioners' sugar sifted


  • Combine flour, dry milk*, salt, yeast, milk, egg, vanilla, melted butter in bowl of mixer with dough hook attached. Mix dough on low/medium low until you have a smooth, soft dough that is pulling away from the sides of the bowl. Dough will still be sticky.
  • Place dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover for 75-120 minutes to rise or until doubled in size.
  • Line a 9×13 pan with parchment or lightly spray with cooking spray if not nonstick. Set aside.
  • Combine brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl and mix. Try to get out as many sugar clumps as possible.
  • When dough is ready, punch down and move to your counter or workspace.
  • Roll out dough into an 13×16" rectangle.
  • Spread your softened butter over the rolled out dough, leaving a half inch border on the short sides of the dough but going all the way to the edge on the long sides.
  • Spread the sugar mixture over the dough, leaving about a ¼ inch to ½ inch border on the short sides.
  • Starting on the short side side, roll dough onto itself creating a log shape. Try to not roll the dough closely but not rolling too tightly or loosely.
  • Mark and cut your dough into 12 equal size pieces either with a serrated knife or a piece of thread or non-flavored dental floss. I use a piece of thread, slid under the dough that is crossed over and pulled to cut each piece cleanly without compressing the dough down but a knife is also perfectly fine.
  • Place each roll in your prepared pan. Cover and let rise for about 30-45 min. The rolls will have puffed up.
  • While the rolls are rising, place your salted butter in a small saucepan on medium heat and stir until butter has browned. While browning, the butter will bubble and foam, then the milk fats will begin to toast. It is ready when it smells nutty and fragrant and the milkfats are between an amber and deep golden color.
    Pour into a small bowl to cool as soon as it starts to brown as you do not want your butter to burn.
  • While your rolls are proofing, preheat your oven to 350°F.
  • After your rolls have risen, place them in the oven on the middle rack and bake for about 22-24 minutes. The tops and edges should be just lightly golden brown.
  • While the rolls are baking, combine your soft cream cheese and cooled browned butter with vanilla in a small bowl. You can mix by hand but using a stand or hand mixer will be easier to make the cream cheese mixture more fully combined. Mix until combined and then add ½ cup of sifted confectioners’ sugar.
  • When your rolls come out of the oven, I immediately spread about a teaspoon of frosting over the center of each roll allowing the hot rolls to melt that frosting and it to seep into the centers. Then after the rolls have cooled for about 5-10 minute I finish frosting them. Enjoy cinnamon rolls while warm!


*Baker’s dry milk is an optional ingredient but will help your rolls rise and be extra soft.

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5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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