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Why Are My Cinnamon Rolls Hard?

Cinnamon rolls are a favorite in most American households. They are usually, sweet, fluffy, and flavorful. There is nothing better than a warm, fluffy cinnamon roll on a Saturday morning.

Cinnamon rolls are made with a lot of care and precision, which is why they are super delicious with the perfect texture.

Unfortunately, there are instances when your cinnamon rolls turn out hard despite following a recipe to the latter. If this happens to you, you may wonder: “why are my cinnamon rolls hard?”

There are four possible reasons why your cinnamon rolls are hard. They include;

  • Using excess flour
  • Failure to raise the dough in a warm bowl that is lightly oiled.
  • Not using softened butter.
  • Overcooking them.

In this article, we will discuss the above reasons in detail. We will also look at a few tips for making soft, fluffy cinnamon rolls.

Also, Check out: Apple Pie Cinnamon Rolls With Cream Cheese Icing Recipe.

Reasons why they are hard

Here are the possible reasons why your cinnamon rolls are hard.

  • You used excess flour.

Excess flour is the biggest culprit of hard cinnamon rolls. If you use too much flour, the dough will dry out, and consequently, your cinnamon rolls will be hard.

The key to fluffy cinnamon rolls is having the perfect dough. While making your dough, always use the exact amount you’re your recipe calls for. Don’t use too much or too little. 

  • You didn’t raise the dough in a warm bowl that is lightly oiled.

It is essential that you let the dough rise in a warm bowl that is lightly oiled. This way, the dough stays moisturized. If you don’t, the dough may dry out resulting in hard cinnamon rolls. 

  • You did not use softened butter.

More often than not, people use melted butter instead of softened butter. Although melted butter seems like a decent choice, it won’t give you the fluffy texture that softened butter gives you.

Softened butter has a rich butter quantity that results in soft and fluffy cinnamon rolls. Additionally, it makes the rolls super delicious.

  • You overcooked them

If you want your cinnamon to turn out soft and fluffy, you should bake them at 375 degrees. 375 degrees is the ideal temperature for baking cinnamon rolls.

Using a higher temperature will result in unpleasantly hard cinnamon rolls that you won’t enjoy eating.

It is also crucial that you keep the temperature even. This way, you can be sure that your rolls will be soft and fluffy.

Tips for making soft and fluffy cinnamon rolls

Regardless of whether you are a beginner or a pro-baker, the tips below will ensure that you make perfect cinnamon rolls every time. Let’s dive in.

  • Don’t kill the yeast.  

To activate the yeast, the milk temperature needs to be between 110 and 115 degrees Fahrenheit. If the milk temperature is over 115 degrees, you may kill the yeast before it helps the dough rise.

  • All your ingredients should be at room temperature.

It would be best if all the ingredients you use are at room temperature. This includes butter and eggs.

Using ingredients at room temperature will ensure that the dough remains at room temperature for ideal yeast activity. Additionally, the ingredients will combine more easily. 

  • Use the right amount of flour

As discussed above, using excess flour results in hard and tough cinnamon rolls. Likewise, if you don’t use enough flour, the dough won’t rise as it should hence the rolls will be dense and soggy. 

Use the exact amount of flour that your recipe requires. If by chance the dough still feels sticky, add one tablespoon of flour at a time until it gets to the right consistency.

  • Don’t overmix the dough

You need to mix the dough just enough. It should not be weak, but it shouldn’t be tough either. To tell if you’ve mixed the dough enough, check the consistency. It should be tacky, but not sticky.

  • Let the dough rise in a lightly oiled bowl.

As discussed, you should slightly oil a warm bowl before placing the dough in it. This way, the dough stays moisturized and rises higher since it doesn’t work against the bowl.

  • Place the bowl in a warm spot.

After kneading the dough and placing it in a lightly oiled bowl, cover it and place it at a warm spot in the kitchen.

You can place it anywhere in the kitchen as long as the temperature is between 75 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Alternatively, you can place the bowl in your refrigerator and let it rise overnight.

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  • Flour the surface before rolling out the dough.

You should flour your work surface slightly to prevent the dough from sticking to it. This way, you can easily roll your dough to the ideal rectangle shape.

  • Roll the dough to the ideal thickness.

How thick you roll your dough plays a significant role in how they turn out. Ideally, the dough should be ¾ inch thick. This thickness ensures that the rolls turn out fluffy.

  • Use softened butter.

A common mistake most people do is using melted butter. 

Although it seems like a good option, it won’t give you fluffy cinnamon rolls the way softened butter does.

  • Roll the dough tightly 

It would be best if you rolled the dough as tightly as possible. This way, the rolls will maintain their shape while baking and you will have several delicious cinnamon layers.

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How to store cinnamon rolls.

For cinnamon rolls to maintain their soft and fluffy texture, you need to store them properly.

Always place the rolls in an airtight container and seal tightly. Place the container at room temperature. The rolls will retain their quality for up to three days.

I don’t recommend storing cinnamon rolls in the refrigerator because they will harden.

 If for some reason they dry up, place a piece of apple in the container. The apple will help them regain their moisture.

Alternatively, you can microwave them, one by one. Place a cup of water in the microwave as you warm the rolls to moisten them.


Made correctly, cinnamon rolls are soft, fluffy, and super delicious. If your cinnamon rolls are hard, you may be doing something wrong.

Avoid the mistakes discussed above for your cinnamon rolls to turn out great.

I highly recommend following the tips discussed above to perfect the art of making soft, fluffy, and delicious cinnamon rolls that everyone will love.

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