The best Texas Roadhouse cinnamon butter and rolls copycat recipe

Texas Roadhouse is known for great steaks, free peanuts, and house-made bread. In fact, when you think of Texas Roadhouse, you probably think of their rolls before you think of their steaks. We don't blame you. 

It's impossible to visit their restaurant without chowing down on more than a few of their signature house-made rolls, and their cinnamon butter is crave-worthy good. It seems like their free bread is almost impossible to replicate, but we knew there had to be a way. After all, their soft, fluffy, buttery rolls are fairly similar to homemade rolls we've made in the past; surely we could make them happen in our home kitchens.

After several test batches, we are certain we've nailed down a recipe that's at very least close to the original. How did our homemade rolls fare? Read on to learn how to make Texas Roadhouse cinnamon butter and rolls that are almost identical to the restaurant's version.

Gather your ingredients for Texas Roadhouse cinnamon butter and rolls

There are hundreds of dinner roll recipes out there, but we wanted to make our copycat Texas Roadhouse cinnamon butter and rolls recipe was as authentic as possible. Unfortunately, Texas Roadhouse provides very little information about their bread. In a factsheet that's no longer available on their site, they wrote that their bakers make the yeasted rolls in house every day — sometimes as often as every five minutes! So, really, the only thing we know about the roll recipe is that it contains yeast.

We put on our investigative hats and tried to identify all the flavors in the roll as we tasted them. First, we tried the rolls without the butter. They were sweeter than most dinner rolls, so we knew they contained sugar. We were also pretty sure they contained eggs, butter, and milk, based on their soft, fluffy texture and rich flavor. From there, we added all-purpose flour and a touch of salt to balance out the flavor, and we had our recipe.

The cinnamon butter was easier to figure out by making a test batch and adjusting the quantities. We started with softened butter and whipped it with powdered sugar to give it sweetness, honey for depth, and cinnamon for spice. After a few tests, we had our quantities dialed in. 

You'll find a full list of ingredients, quantities, and step-by-step instructions, at the end of this article.

Can you make Texas Roadhouse cinnamon butter and rolls in advance?

The best thing about this recipe for Texas Roadhouse cinnamon butter and rolls is that it's easy to make in advance. That means you don't have to stress about the dinner roll component of your dinner party! 

You can store the dough in the refrigerator overnight, or you can place it in the freezer for longer storage, but the rolls may sometimes overproof. That means the yeast creates too much air inside the dough, which weakens the strength of the bread and causes it to fall flat in the oven.

The most foolproof way to make rolls in advance is to bake them ahead of time. Follow the entire process all the way through and let the rolls cool on the kitchen counter. When they're cool to the touch, pack them in a single layer in airtight, freezer-safe bags. Place them in the freezer where they will stay good for up to six months

When you're ready to eat them, pull the bag out of the freezer and place it on the counter. Once the bread is fully thawed and reaches room temperature, you can pop them in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for about 10 minutes to warm them up.

What's the best type of yeast for Texas Roadhouse cinnamon butter and rolls?

There are several different types of yeast available at the grocery store: active dry yeast, rapid rise, or instant yeast. We chose active dry yeast for the Texas Roadhouse cinnamon butter and rolls because it's the most common type at the store, and it's easy to use, taking just a few minutes of wait time to proof.

If you want to use instant yeast, you can skip the proofing step. Instant yeast is ground into finer granules than active dry yeast, so it will activate just fine during the mixing process without having to do the extra step. Rapid rise yeast, on the other hand, is specifically designed to rise faster and more efficiently than other types of yeast. You can certainly use it for this recipe if you want to speed up the rising time.

The only thing you absolutely must do when choosing a yeast is check out the expiration date. Believe it or not, yeast is one of those expiration dates you should definitely pay attention to. If the yeast is expired, it won't rise at all, and all your effort in mixing and forming the dough will be for nothing when they fall flat in the oven.

We recommend using a stand mixer to make Texas Roadhouse rolls

If you don't have a stand mixer, you can feel free to mix this Texas Roadhouse cinnamon butter and rolls recipe by hand. All you really need to make bread is a large bowl, a large mixing spoon, time, and patience. That said, a stand mixer makes things significantly easier, especially for this recipe. Because we want these Texas Roadhouse rolls to turn out soft and fluffy, we made the dough with butter, eggs, and milk. It results in a very sticky dough that will cling to your hands or the spoon as you mix it.

When you use a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment, things get much easier. This appliance is specifically designed to work with all types of breads, from soft and sticky doughs to dry and dense ones. It also makes it easy to mix all the ingredients together without accidentally under kneading or overmixing the dough, which can cause all kinds of problems in the finished product. A stand mixer with the whisk attachment is also the easiest way to make the Texas Roadhouse cinnamon butter, so using one for this recipe is win-win!

Proof the yeast for Texas Roadhouse rolls

Now that we've walked through all the ingredients and equipment for making Texas Roadhouse cinnamon butter and rolls, it's time to get cooking. 

The first step is to proof the yeast. This sounds like it could be a complicated step, but proofing yeast is really just a fancy way of saying to wake it up. 

When you combine the dried yeast granules with warm water and a little bit of sugar, you'll notice the solution starts to bubble and froth. It should only take about 10 minutes to notice this (if it doesn't happen, your yeast has probably expired and you should try again with a new packet). 

It's important to heat the water to 110 degrees Fahrenheit, but not any warmer. Yeast is a delicate organism, and it's actually living! If you mix it with with super hot water, it can kill the yeast, preventing it from creating the carbon dioxide that lifts the bread in the oven. Sounds okay if you want flat bread, but not if you want light and fluffy rolls. 

If you don't have a thermometer to measure the temperature of the water, the Spruce Eats suggests running the water over your wrist. If it feels warmer than your body temperature but not hot, it's likely in the right range between 100 and 110 degrees.

Scald the milk for Texas Roadhouse rolls

While we're waiting for the yeast to wake up, it's a good time to scald the milk for your Texas Roadhouse rolls. This might seem like an annoying extra step that you can skip. Truth be told, if you don't scald the milk, the bread will still turn out delicious. 

It's a bit of an old-school technique that's held over from the days when people used raw milk. Raw milk contains bacteria along with an enzyme that causes thickening. Today's milk is pasteurized, which means that it's already been heated and those conditions no longer apply.

There is a compelling reason to still scald milk when it comes to bread making. According to the Kitchn, milk contains a protein that can weaken gluten and prevent the dough from rising during later steps. 

It's pretty easy to do, too. Simply place the milk in a small saucepan and heat it on the stovetop until it reaches 180 degrees Fahrenheit. If you prefer, you can also heat the milk in the microwave. It should take anywhere from 30 to 45 seconds for the milk to reach the desired temperature. 

When the milk is heated, add the melted butter and stir until the mixture is well mixed. Set the milk aside to cool until it becomes lukewarm.

The next step to making copycat Texas Roadhouse rolls is to form the dough

After all that preparation, it's finally time to bring it all together for those perfect copycat Texas Roadhouse rolls. 

Add the cooled milk to the yeast mixture along with the remaining sugar and about half the flour. You don't want to add all the flour at once because you may not need it all. Turn the stand mixer on to medium speed and stir the mixture using the dough hook. After a few minutes, the dough will be well combined and it should vaguely resemble muffin batter.

Turn off the mixer and add the egg, salt, and another cup or so of flour. Mix the bread for four to five minutes, adding extra flour as you go until the dough pulls away from the side of the mixing bowl. 

At the end of the mixing time, the dough should form around the dough hook. It will be soft and slightly sticky. Turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead the dough for about a minute, forming it into a ball. Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover it with a damp kitchen towel.

Let the dough rise for Texas Roadhouse rolls

This step is the hardest part of the Texas Roadhouse rolls copycat recipe: letting the dough rise. It's an essential part of the baking process, though, and it can't be sped up or skipped. 

The good news is this particular dough is pretty quick-rising; it only needs about an hour to double in size, and you don't have to let it rise for a second round, so you only need to find an hour's worth of tasks to keep you busy. You can skip ahead and make the cinnamon butter during this time, do some prep work for dinner, or find some chores to do around the house.

Dough rises best between 80 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, so you may have trouble getting the dough to double in size if your kitchen runs cold. If the room isn't warm enough, you can heat the oven to 200 degrees and turn it off as soon as it's preheated. Place the bowl with the dough inside the oven, where the temperature will be ideal for rising.

Assemble and shape the Texas Roadhouse rolls

When the dough has doubled in size, it's time to shape your Texas Roadhouse rolls. We imagine they probably weigh out the dough at the restaurant, which is the most accurate way to ensure that every roll turns out the exact same size. 

Many home cooks don't have kitchen scales, so we wanted to find an easier way to divide the dough. Our test batches turned out perfectly by rolling the dough into a precisely-formed rectangle and dividing it into equal portions, so that became our recommended technique.

Using a rolling pin, form the dough into a large rectangle that's 12- by 8-inches and roughly 1/2 inch thick. Cut the rectangle in half lengthwise to form two long rectangles. Then, make six slices to create 12 rectangles that measure roughly 2- by 3-inches each. 

Pick up the rectangles one at a time and tuck the short edges underneath the middle, meeting on the bottom to form a round-shaped roll. Place each roll on a greased baking sheet — you can use butter or baking spray — and cover them with a clean kitchen towel. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and let the rolls rise and double in size while the oven preheats, about 15 minutes.

Bake your Texas Roadhouse rolls

The only step left in making Texas Roadhouse rolls is baking them in the oven. Once each roll has doubled in size, place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the rolls are fluffy and the tops are golden brown. If the rolls are a little pale for your liking, turn the sheet pan around and bake the rolls for an extra five minutes. You'll know when the rolls are done cooking because the room will be filled with the most intoxicating aroma.

As soon as the rolls come out of the oven, brush them with the rest of the melted butter. If you really like a buttery roll, feel free to melt an additional tablespoon to give each roll a little extra love. If you don't have a pastry brush, you can spoon the butter over each roll and use a paper towel to mop up the extras that might pool around the roll. 

Serve these rolls immediately — they're fantastic straight out of the oven — or place them in a basket lined with a clean kitchen towel.

Make the cinnamon butter for Texas Roadhouse rolls

While your rolls bake, you can whip up the Texas Roadhouse cinnamon butter. We like using a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, but this step is very easy to do by hand if you don't have one. 

You absolutely must start with room temperature butter. Melted butter won't whip at all, and cold butter is very difficult to whip. If you forgot to pull your butter out of the refrigerator in time, we'll let you in on a little trick: You can grate the butter using a microplane or a cheese grater. It gets a little messy, but it will work just fine.

Whip together the butter, powdered sugar, honey, and cinnamon. Give the butter a taste to see if it's to your liking. Some people like their butter sweeter than others, although this one starts out pretty sweet. 

You can also add a pinch of salt to the butter, if you like, to give it a slightly savory finish. Keep the butter at room temperature if you're planning to serve it within the next few hours. You can also double the batch and store any extra butter in the refrigerator for the next batch of rolls.

How did our Texas Roadhouse Cinnamon Butter and Rolls taste?

Our copycat recipe for Texas Roadhouse Cinnamon Butter and Rolls turned out exactly how we were hoping. 

The rolls were soft, light, and fluffy. They had a slightly sweet flavor and they were super buttery and tender, exactly like Texas Roadhouse. The cinnamon butter was equally perfect, balancing the strong spice of the cinnamon with a honeyed texture and sweet finish. 

We only planned to eat one roll, but we have to admit we couldn't stop there and we ruined our appetite for dinner!

The frozen and reheated rolls didn't quite turn out the same. They were still good, with all the flavor of the original, but they became a little dense during the cooling and reheating process. They were still better than any rolls we can buy at the grocery store, but if you want the true Texas Roadhouse experience, you'll want to cook these rolls just minutes before serving dinner.

Texas Roadhouse Cinnamon Butter and Rolls directions

Prep time: 15 minutes (plus 1 hour 15 minutes of rising time)

Cook time: 15 minutes

Makes: 12 servings

Ingredients

(For the rolls)

  • 1 package active dry yeast (about 2-1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar, divided
  • ¼ cup warm water (no warmer than 110 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted and divided
  • 3 to 4 cups AP flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

(For the Cinnamon Butter)

  • ½ cup room temperature butter
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

  1. In a stand mixer bowl, combine the yeast, 1 teaspoon of the sugar, and the warm water. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes, until it becomes frothy and bubbly.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the milk to 180 degrees on the stovetop in a small pot. Alternatively, you can place the milk in a microwave-safe bowl and cook it for 30 to 45 seconds. Add two tablespoons of the melted butter to the milk mixture and stir until it's well mixed. Let the milk cool until it's lukewarm.
  3. Add the warmed milk, remaining 1/4 cup of sugar, and 1-1/2 cups of flour to the mixing bowl. Stir the mixture in a stand mixture using medium speed using the dough hook attachment until the mixture is well combined.
  4. Add the egg, salt, and another 1-1/2 cups of flour. Continue to mix the bread on medium speed for 4 to 5 minutes, adding the remaining cup of flour as you go, as needed, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the mixing bowl and forms a soft, slightly sticky dough.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gently knead for 1 minute. Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover it with a damp kitchen towel. Let it rise until it doubles in size, about an hour.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a baking sheet with butter or baking spray.
  7. Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll it into a 12- by 8-inch rectangle that's roughly 1/2-inch thick. Cut the rectangle in half lengthwise and make six slices to create 12, 2- by 3-inch rectangles.
  8. Working with one rectangle at a time, fold the short edges underneath the dough, meeting in the middle to form a round-shaped roll. Place each roll on a greased baking sheet and allow them to rise until they double in size, about 15 minutes.
  9. Bake the rolls for 10 to 15 minutes, until the tops are golden brown. 
  10. Remove the rolls from the oven and brush them with the remaining tablespoon of melted butter.
  11. Meanwhile, make the cinnamon butter by whipping together the butter, powdered sugar, honey, and cinnamon until the mixture is light and full of air.
  12. Serve the rolls warm with the cinnamon butter. You can also store the rolls in a freezer-safe bag in the freezer.