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corner cut shot of cinnamon rolls

Small Batch Cinnamon Rolls

  • Author: Erin Clarkson
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours
  • Yield: 9 Rolls 1x
  • Category: Cinnamon rolls
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Small Batch Cinnamon Rolls are made by hand and do not need a mixer. This small batch brioche recipe is easy and versatile. These no mixer cinnamon rolls are finished off with a cream cheese cinnamon roll frosting.



Brioche Dough

  • 290g all-purpose flour
  • 30g granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp (3.1g) instant yeast
  • ½ tsp (2g) salt
  • 120g whole milk 
  • 1 tsp vanilla 
  • 1 large egg (60g), lightly whisked
  • 60g unsalted butter, at room temperature

Cinnamon Roll Filling 

  • 95g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 140g light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cardamom (or you can use 1 tsp more cinnamon)
  • Pinch of salt

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 60g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 110g cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 125g powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla (optional)
  • Pinch of salt



  1. Place all ingredients except for the butter into a medium bowl. Bring together into a rough dough, then turn out onto a work surface (do not add more flour).
  2. Knead the dough for 8-10 minutes. It will start off as very rough, then will come together and become smooth and elastic, and when pressed lightly with a finger, the dough should spring back slightly.
  3. Flatten the dough out into a rough rectangle and add the butter to the surface of the dough. This part will get sloppy, so make sure that you have a bench scraper nearby. Incorporate the butter into the dough by squeezing it and kneading it in. Keep scraping any excess butter back onto the dough and kneading it in. Don’t freak out. It will all work together.
  4. Once the butter has incorporated into the dough, knead for a further 2-3 minutes.
  5. Shape the dough into a ball and then transfer to a lightly buttered bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Leave to sit on the counter for about 20 minutes to kick start the rising process, then transfer to the fridge to rise for at least two hours, and up to overnight. 


  1. Grease and line an 8” (20cm) square or 9” (23cm) round baking pan with parchment paper. Combine the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon cardamom and salt in a bowl until it forms a paste.
  2. Remove the dough from the fridge. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured work surface, squaring off the edges often as you go. Roll it into a 14” x 14” (35cm) square. Spread evenly with the filling.
  3. Roll up the dough into a tight sausage. Trim the ends if you like, then using a sharp knife, cut the log of dough into 9 even buns - to do this I like to cut it into thirds then cut each section into three.
  4. Lightly cover the pan with plastic wrap, and leave to rise in a warm spot for 45 minutes to an hour, or until puffy, and a small indentation is left when poked gently with your finger.
  5. While the rolls are rising, preheat the oven to 350°f / 180°c.
  6. Bake the rolls for 25 to 30 minutes, or until deeply golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to stand for 15 minutes or so before icing with the cream cheese frosting.


  1. Cream together the butter and cream cheese in a bowl with an electric hand mixer until creamy. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla and salt, and mix to combine. Spread over the warm cinnamon rolls.

Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature. Refresh briefly before eating leftovers if desired.

Keywords: Cinnamon Rolls, Small Batch, Cinnamon Buns, Cream Cheese Frosting, Brioche