The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Gordon Family Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls Clone Recipe

dwcoleman's picture

Gordon Family Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls Clone Recipe

I found several postings mentioning their recipe, but their website is down(for good?).

Hopefully we can preserve it here at TFL.


Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls Clone Recipe

Cinnabon's® World Famous Cinnamon Roll

Recipe By: Ron and Shallen Gordon
Serving Size: 15 Rolls
Preparation Time: 3 to 4 Hours
Categories: Baking, Bread, Muffins, Rolls, Sticky-buns

We've worked very hard over the past several years to develop an accurate clone or copy-cat recipe that you can prepare at home for Cinnabon®Cinnamon Rolls. The recipe below is not their recipe, but one we've engineered through extensive research, careful tests and much experimentation.We've improved upon our earlier recipe and after many test batches, we're convinced that this revised copy-cat recipe will enable you to recreate that wonderful taste!

You may wish to visit their Web site, The Cinnabon Experience, and review their wonderful presentation, The Cinnabon Story. There's some interesting information at their site, but alas, no recipe since the actual recipe is proprietary. Although several other Web sites claim to have the real recipe, we hope that you'll find that the one presented here provides the most accurate taste and appearance. We've made every effort to closely reproduce their results and clone that great cinnamon roll flavor!Judging from the many letters we've received from readers around the world who have used our recipe and achieved great results, we've evidently succeeded!

This recipe has been sized so that the dough may be prepared using a large capacity (2 pound) bread machine.



Amount Measure Ingredient and Preparation Method
1/4 Cup Water (2 oz)
1 Cup Whole Milk (8 oz)
1/2 Cup Butter, unsalted sweet cream, melted (0.25 lb, i.e. 1 stick)
1 1/4 ea Egg, Large Grade AA, well beaten
1 tsp Vanilla Flavor (preferably alcohol free)
1/2 tsp Salt (0.0075 lb)
1/2 Cup Sugar, preferably Superfine Granulated (0.224 lb)
4 1/2 Cup Unbleached White Bread Flour (1 1/4 lb)
1 Tbsp Vital Wheat Gluten (0.021 lb)
1/4 oz SAF Perfect Rise® Gourmet Yeast (1 envelope, 7 g)

Remove a large egg from the refrigerator and permit it to reach room temperature. Gently melt the butter. Add the Water and Whole Milk. The resulting liquid mixture should be permitted to cool so that it is between 75°F (24°C) and 85°F (30°C) before proceeding further. Then add the remaining ingredients, in the order listed above, to the bread machine and prepare using the dough setting. (Follow your bread machine instructions for dough preparation.)

To help you achieve the very best results, see also our additional notes on ingredients and preparation.



Amount Measure Ingredient and Preparation Method
1 Cup Light Brown Sugar, firmly packed (0.4255 lb)
5 Tbsp Cinnamon, Korintje Grade AA (0.0745 lb)
1/2 Cup Margarine (0.25 lb, i.e. 1 stick)

Remove the margarine from the refrigerator once you've started the dough cycle and allow it to reach room temperature. In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon.

After the dough cycle has completed, roll and stretch the dough out on a lightly floured surface into a 15" by 24" (38 cm by 61 cm) rectangle.

Cinnabon Rolls, ready to slice!Mark off 1" along the 24" edge of the dough, closest to you. You will not spread any Margarine or Sugar-Cinnamon mixture on this edge so that you can seal the roll. Spread the softened Margarine over the dough with a rubber spatula and then evenly distribute the Sugar and Cinnamon mixture.  Be careful to leave your 1" edge clean. As a final step, use your rolling pin to lightly roll the Sugar and Cinnamon mixture.

Starting at the far edge of the dough, roll it up tightly.  Begin at the far edge and roll up the dough toward the 1" clean edge. The clean 1" edge is used to seal the finished roll. Trim the left and right ends of the roll. The result will be a 24" roll. Trim off the left and right ends of the roll so that you have a flush end at each end of the roll. Then mark the roll every 1 1/2 inches (3.8 cm).  Cut the roll into 1 1/2" long portions. This may be done with a knife, as they do at the store. However we've found it easier to use dental floss. (We use cinnamon flavored dental floss just for dramatic effect!) Cutthe roll by placing the thread under the roll at your mark, crisscross over and pull it to cut. You should get 15 rolls.

Line your baking pans with parchment paper. Place 5 rolls into 8" square baking pans 1" apart. (One roll in each corner, and one in the center.) Cover with a lint free cloth and let rise in a warm, draft free place until almost double, approximately 1 hour. After rising, rolls should be touching each other and the sides of the pan. This is important for best results. This gives the resulting rolls the soft, moist outer edge that most people prefer.

After rising, bake in a convection oven at 310°F for 15 minutes. If you are using a conventional oven, bake at 335°F for 20 minutes. The resulting rolls should be only lightly browned. We bake only one 8 inch square pan of rolls at a time to obtain uniform results.


Cream Cheese Frosting

Amount Measure Ingredient and Preparation Method
4 oz Cream Cheese (0.25 lb)
1/2 Cup Margarine (0.25 lb, i.e. 1 stick)
1 3/4 Cup 10x Powdered Sugar (or Sugar Fondant) (1/2 lb)
1 tsp Vanilla Flavor (preferably Alcohol Free)
1/8 tsp Lemon Flavor (preferably Alcohol Free)

There are several steps involved in the preparation of the frosting. But it is not difficult, and you'll be surprised at the wonderful results you achieve. For the fluffiest frosting, use Vanilla and Lemon flavors that do not contain alcohol. A total of 50 minutes is required to prepare the frosting, from start to finish. We normally prepare the frosting while the rolls are rising.

Generally, we use 10x Powdered Sugar. However, Sugar Fondant yields a smoother frosting. Please refer to our notes.

Remove the cream cheese and margarine from the refrigerator and place it into the mixing bowl. Leave it for about half an hour so that it will not be too cold.

Use the Flat Beater (or Paddle) to blend the cream cheese and margarine for 6 minutes. Use a speed of 65 RPM, or the "slow mixing" speed on your machine. We use setting #2 on our KitchenAid Mixer.

Switch to the Stainless Steel Whip and whip the cream cheese and margarine mixture for 10 minutes. Use a speed of 150 RPM, or the "medium fast whipping" speed on your machine. We use setting #6 on our KitchenAid Mixer.

Add 1 cup of the powdered sugar and mix for 1 minute using the Stainless Steel Whip at 65 RPM. Add the remaining 3/4 cup of powdered sugar and mix for an additional minute.

Lastly, add the Vanilla Flavor and Lemon Flavor and whip for 1 minute using the Stainless Steel Whip at 150 RPM.

Here's an easy to follow table for the preparation of the frosting:

Add Cream Cheese and Margarine to mixing bowl and let stand for 30 minutes.
Mix using Paddle at 65 RPM for 6 minutes
Use Stainless Steel Whip at 150 RPM for 10 minutes
Add 1 Cup Powdered Sugar.
Use Stainless Steel Whip at 65 RPM for 1 minute
Add 3/4 Cup Powdered Sugar.
Use Stainless Steel Whip at 65 RPM for 1 minute
Add Vanilla and Lemon flavors.
Use Stainless Steel Whip at 150 RPM for 1 minute

Transfer the finished frosting to a convenient covered container and refrigerate it. Once the rolls are finished baking, frost them while they're still very warm and serve them immediately. Yum, yum!


flournwater's picture

Thank you so much for including ingredient weights.  That'll make it a lot easier to duplicate your offering.

WayDownSouth's picture

Hi All.

  I've made these 3 times and they are FANTASTIC.

  Does anyone know if the dough can be made a day ahead and refridgerated until you are ready to bake them?  If so, what stage in the process is the best place to stop for the best results?

yy's picture

I've assembled the cinnamon rolls, filling and all, inside the baking dish, put it all in the fridge, and then taken it out the next morning for the final rise before baking. I didn't notice any negative impact on quality. I'm sure it would also work to just refrigerate the dough overnight, and then to take it out for assembly the next morning. I just find it more convenient to do the former.

althetrainer's picture

We don't serve cinnamon rolls at home too often but never know when I need the recipe for a party or gathering.  Thanks for posting it here.


Teshie Cianca-Hampton's picture
Teshie Cianca-H...

Commenting on Cinnamon Clone Buns, I have this exact recipe in my file under key for several years now, lived in Baltimore for 24 yrs., so we have many CB's under our belt at Marley Station Mall.  And when I found this recipe and tried it (many moons/suns ago), they never got a penny from us, let me tell you is the real thing.  Have you tried it? Love the Panama Connection in Dover Ciao

dwcoleman's picture

I tried it last night, I found the bake instructions were not correct though.

It states 10 minutes @ 310, it probably should be more like 30 minutes @ 350.

The buns didn't cook all the way through, I'll post another cinnamon buns recipe that I think is superior to this one shortly.

mrfrost's picture

Actually, the directions say bake, with convection, @ 310 for 15 min.

Without convection, bake @ 335 for 20 min.

Further in their readings, they also explain why they do not bake at highr temperatures, or for too long of a time(harder crust).

But, as with almost any baking recipe, the baking time given can only be a guide. It is always up to each individual baker to determine when the dough is baked/browned thoroughly to his/her own satisfation. Ovens and baking environments/situations, and individuals tastes are not always the same.

bnom's picture

The woman who developed the Cinnabon recipe is came over to my house on the day of my wedding last summer with two dozen warm cinnamon rolls she'd baked.  I was still in a "gotta fit into this wedding dress" mode so I never even tasted one--but they did manage to disappear pretty quickly.

I don't know the secrets of the Cinnabon cinnamon roll but I do know that the clone recipe got the type of cinnamon (Korintje) correct --Vietnamese cinnamon is fabulous.

If interested in knowing a little more about the original cinnabon and the cinnamon used, here's a nice little article:

berley88's picture

How can I adapt this recipe if I don't have a bread machine?


Zenith's picture

Why would one use real butter in the dough and then margarine in the filling and icing?  I hate margarine and never have it in the house, so I wouldn't use it in this recipe unless someone can convince me it's essential!

mrfrost's picture

Keep in mind that this is a "clone" recipe. 

In this case, just maybe, they found out and are using ingredients as used in the "real" recipe. In this case, your question would be for "Cinnabon" to answer.

In a related sense, just maybe the ingredients being used,(supposedly)taste more like the real recipe, and since that is the goal of the recipe...

That being said, and as far as convincing you, I don't think the original poster even convinced himself/herself of the worthiness with his results of this particular recipe.

There are several popular clones out there of the Cinnabon recipe.

hilldad3's picture

I have played around with cinnamon roll recipes trying to find the "gooey" cinnamon as in Cinnabon rolls....the key was the margarine.  Butter melts into the dough when baking,  whereas the margarine keeps it gooey.


Georgia Koko's picture
Georgia Koko

I made these today!  They were soooo good, i'm so happy i came across this recipe.  Thank you very much!!!  Next time though i will not put the lemon extract in the frosting just the vanilla!  Great recipe! By the way i used my Kitchen Aid mixer with the dough hook, following the same steps exactly and they turned out perfect!  Here they are: Once again, thanks alot!

queencafe's picture

I tried it twice already and it is really good. Friends and family raves it and it is the real thing they say and even better.

I subs bakers milk for milk same amount; added 2 tsp of diluted potatoe flakes to the recipe. Dough is super soft and holds up well. Baking time is a bit odd. For my commercial oven you can use at 310 degrees convection I have to bake it for 15 mins and the last five I cover it so it won't  brown too much to make it crusty brown. I was able to make 15-17 pieces each recipe . I added crushed walnuts on one recipe and it was really good. I love nuts. I used small size chafing dish disposable pan with parchment paper on the bottom and able to fit  7 pieces in it and they touched together on the second proofing by the time I baked them. First proofing was about two hours using my kitchen aid oven with bread proofer and second proofing was approx. one hour. I used my kitchen aid oven with the first bunch, the timing of baking is more than 10 mins , it is close to 25 mins to 27 mins. Keep an eye on it first time each oven is different. If it browns too quickly on top just cover it with foil. This recipe is a keeper for sure. Cinnabon clone. No need to pay $3 plus for one. Happy baking:)

Antilope's picture

To prepare recipe at top of page by hand or in a stand mixer.....(instead of a bread machine dough cycle)

Add the ingredients to a mixing bowl as listed in the recipe...then...

If kneading by hand, mix ingredients well in mixing bowl, turn out onto floured board then knead by hand for 5 or 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Form dough into a ball and place in a greased covered bowl and allow to rise at room temperature until doubled in size, 45 to 60 minutes. Proceed with remainder of recipe as written from the line "...After the dough cycle has completed".

If kneading in a stand mixer, after mixing the ingredients, knead with dough hook on Speed 2 for 5 to 7 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic. Form dough into a ball and place in a greased covered bowl and allow to rise at room temperature until doubled in size, 45 to 60 minutes. Proceed with remainder of recipe as written from the line "...After the dough cycle has completed".

(Make sure to use instant yeast for the above instructions. If using Active Dry Yeast, proof in 1/2 cup of warm water for 10 or 15 minutes with 1 tsp of sugar, before adding to other ingredients.)

Here is a link to a Better Homes and Gardens recipe for preparing cinnamon rolls by hand. This should also help in converting the original recipe to preparation by hand: