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Published November 19, 2019. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
These cinnamon rolls are super easy to prepare and absolutely incredibly tasting. Top them off with a homemade cream cheese frosting for the best breakfast in town! If you’re looking for more great breakfast ideas definitely check out my Italian Frittata recipe or my Buttermilk Pancakes.
We have a few food traditions in this family.
We do some really easy chocolate peanut butter balls on Christmas eve and then we do these cinnamon rolls a ton in December and sometimes the night before Thanksgiving.
I know as if we need any more food on Thanksgiving haha. It’s more about me waking up early to wash the brine off the turkey and get the smoker ready.
Do You Put the Dough in the Fridge Overnight
This my friends is exactly what you should do in this recipe. The rising process that will take place from the yeast happens after you roll them up, cut them and let them sit wrapped in plastic for about an hour in a warm dark place.
This method of overnight pretty much eliminates the double rise for a traditional cinnamon roll recipe where you rise before rolling out the dough.
Can the Dough Rise Overnight at Room Temperature
You can absolutely let the dough set out at room temperature to rise overnight; However, I want to caution you a little bit. The dough may start to sour up just a hair from some light fermentation that may happen overnight.
The flavor won’t be incredibly noticeable, but you may get a spark of it. With that being said your dough will surely rise to at least 3 times the original size.
Unless you are using a starter, there is no reason to let it sit out at room temperature overnight.
Can Cinnamon Rolls be Frozen Before Baking
Yes, you can absolutely take the cinnamon rolls straight from the freezer and place them into the oven. My advice would be to not ice them with frosting before freezing them because the sugar content in the icing could cause it to caramelize a bit while in the oven.
The other option would be to thaw them in the refrigerator for 1 day before baking them.
How to Make the Dough
Cinnamon rolls are actually super easy to make, they just require some time so that the yeast can work and help make the dough rise.
- Add the yeast, 1 tablespoon of sugar and warm milk to the standing mixer bowl, give it a quick whisk and let it sit for about 5 to 7 minutes. You’ll notice there will kind of be a foamy raft at the top, that means you’re good.
- Next, you want to add the flour, the remaining sugar, and melted butter and let it knead on medium speed until it is completely combined. It may look a little dry and that is ok.
- While on medium speed add in the eggs 1 at a time until they are mixed into the dough and knead it for 4 to 5 minutes.
- Cover with plastic and place the dough in the refrigerator overnight or you can simply let it rise until doubled in size and make it right away.
I like the milk to be on the hotter side, 115°, before adding it to the bowl of the stand mixer because the bowl is cold and will drop the milk temperature to the perfect degrees.
How to Make the Cinnamon Rolls
1. Once the dough is taken out of the refrigerator you just roll out the dough on a clean surface lightly dusted with flour. I try to roll it out to about 18” inches wide by 24” inches long which allow me to get 12 cinnamon rolls, which is perfect for serving to a group of folks. There are a lot of big cutting boards out there that are exactly that size, just in case you need a reference.
2.: After the dough is rolled out load it up by evenly by adding on the melted unsalted butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. I mean cover the dough. Brush the melted butter with a pastry brush to make sure you cover the dough completely.
3. Starting from the bottom, roll up the dough to for a nice tight roll.
4. Slice the dough roll every 2” inches giving you 12 overnight cinnamon rolls.
5. Now place them 1 inch apart from each other in a prepared casserole dish sprayed with non-stick spray, cover them with plastic and let them sit for 60-90 minutes or until they’ve doubled in size. Here’s a little trick, just put the dang casserole dish onto your floor vent. You’re welcome!
6. Remove the plastic wrap and bake these in the oven at 375° for 25-30 minutes or until they are browned on top and cooked throughout. The bottom side parts to the cinnamon rolls will be a little bit soft and doughy, which is totally normal.
Cream Cheese Butter Frosting
I don’t know what it is, but I just love my cinnamon roll icing recipe. it’s easy, it’s delicious and incredibly complimenting to my overnight cinnamon rolls.
- Simply add your butter and cream cheese to a standing mixer with the paddle attachment and whip on high speed until it is light and fluffy, which takes about 5-7 minutes.
- Next, turn the speed down to low and add in the powdered sugar, and vanilla and whip until smooth.
- Sometimes the frosting is thick so thin it out by adding a bit over whole milk. Simply set it aside until you’re ready to use it.
How to Serve
As soon as the overnight cinnamon rolls are done in the oven, I like to immediately pour the icing all over the top and oh my gosh does it look amazing.
From there do everything you can to not eat the entire casserole dish of overnight cinnamon rolls.
Yes, it’s that delicious.
Reheat and Storage
How to Reheat: To reheat these simply add your desired portion to a casserole dish or pan, cover it and heat it up in the oven at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until hot. In addition, you can simply add them to the microwave and heat until hot.
How to Store: The cinnamon rolls can be stored in the refrigerator covered in plastic for up to 5 days. They can also be frozen covered for up to 2 months. Thaw for 1 day in the refrigerator before cooking and serving.
My Favorite Breakfast Recipes
Here’s a quick list of some of my favorite breakfast recipes!
- Huevos Rancheros
- Homemade Brioche
- Strawberry Blueberry and Banana Oat Smoothie
- Chilaquiles Eggs and Chicken for Breakfast
- Avocado Toast Recipes
- Gravlax Recipe
Be sure to follow me on Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, and Pinterest and if you’ve had a chance to make this then definitely drop me a comment and a rating below!
Overnight Cinnamon Rolls Recipe
For the Cinnamon Rolls:
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons of warm whole milk 115°
- 1 tablespoon active yeast
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 stick melted unsalted butter
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
For the Icing:
- 1 stick softened unsalted butter
- 4 ounces softened cream cheese
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2-3 tablespoons whole milk
- For the Cinnamon Rolls: Place 1 tablespoon of the sugar, warm milk, and yeast in a standing mixer bowl, give it a whisk and let sit for 5 to 7 minutes or until it begins to foam. There will be a raft at the top.
- Next, add in the flour, remainig sugar and 1/2 stick of melted butter and mix with the hook attachment until combined on medium speed.
- Add in 1 egg at a time until combined and then mix on low speed for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Wrap the bowl with plastic wrap and chill overnight.
- In the morning roll out the dough on a clean surface lightly dusted with flour until the dough is 18”x24” in size and then evenly drizzle on 1 stick of melted butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon covering all of the surface areas.
- Roll the dough up and slice 2” slices and place them in a 13”x9” casserole dish, wrap in plastic and let it sit for another hour or until they’ve doubled in size.
- Bake the cinnamon rolls for 25 to 30 minutes at 375° or until they are browned on the top and cooked in the center.
- Icing: While the cinnamon rolls are baking, whip together the butter, cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and whole milk in a standing mixer using the whisk attachment until it is light and fluffy.
- Once the cinnamon rolls are done pour the icing all over the top and serve warm
- This method of overnight pretty much eliminates the double rise for a traditional cinnamon roll recipe where you rise before rolling out the dough.
- Unless you are using a starter, there is no reason to let it sit out at room temperature overnight.
- I like the milk to be on the hotter side, 115°, before adding it to the bowl of the stand mixer because the bowl is cold and will drop the milk temperature to the perfect degrees.
- Be sure to brush the melted butter with a pastry brush to make sure you cover the dough completely.
- Here’s a little trick, just put the dang casserole dish onto your floor vent for a quick rice. You’re welcome!
- When the cinnamon rolls are done, The bottom side parts to the cinnamon rolls will be a little bit soft and doughy, which is totally normal.
- How to Reheat: To reheat these simply add your desired portion to a casserole dish or pan, cover it and heat it up in the oven at 350° for 10-12 minute or until hot. In addition, you can simply add them to the microwave and heat until hot.
- How to Store: The cinnamon rolls can be stored in the refrigerator covered in plastic for up to 5 days. They can also be frozen covered for up to 2 months. Thaw for 1 day in the refrigerator before cooking and serving.
These are easy and out of this world
5+ stars! I have been using this recipe for a few years now – a total family favorite! The kids are always so excited when they find out I’m making this one! True love
Delicious! But one question; the recipe does not include any salt. I added a scant teaspoon of salt. Was this lack of salt intentional?
Should I use bread flour, or does it matter?
yes, it matters because the hydration percentage will change.
These were phenomenal! And I say that in spite of two huge mistakes: the first, I misread the ingredient list and added all the butter to the raw dough. There was no note stating the ingredients were divided. My mistake. The second…I sprinkled a purchased mix of cinnamon/sugar on the flat dough. I did not use the cup of brown sugar for the interior. I was drinking a mimosa Easter morning, my thought process was obviously affected. In spite of all this, they were amazing. Kudos to Chef Billy 🥂
Great recipe. The light fermentation helps to reduce simple starch, which helps reduce the maillard reaction. It makes for a more flavorful, healthier result. Thanks, Chef Billy!
When you say, the cinnamon rolls can be stored in the refrigerator covered in plastic for up to 5 days, do you mean rolled and unbaked? I’d like prepare them 2 days ahead and leave em in fridge. I want to make sure they’ll be fine sitting in my fridge for 2 days.
no, baked and finished. You can only leave uncooked over night.
I made these this weekend. They were yumm-o-licous!! I made them into sticky buns by slathering the dish with butter, adding brown sugar and toasted pecans to the bottom of the dish and then a pat of butter under each roll. It worked well but I think next time I’ll make my caramel sauce and pour it over the toasted pecans. The oven I used is brand new and probably hotter than I’m used to. My rolls were done but my caramel was a little grainy. What do you think Chef Billy?
Instant, or active dry yeast? Does it matter?
I most often use active. If you use instant, no need to wait for a raft to form at the beginning.
If you are using instant yeast do you use less yeast?
the same, just no need for any time at the beginning for the yeast to form the raft.
So soft and delicious😋😋😋 Bobs red mill and your recipe, Perfect 👌
Thank you chef…
Hey Billy –
Great recipe – its my second weekend making these!
Just wanted to bring to your attention that there are a couple inconsistencies between your video and your written steps/recipe:
1. In the video, the butter is melted when spread over the dough.
2. a. You direct a tsp. of vanilla in frosting.
b. You mention it in the written steps, but it is missing from the ingredients list.
Just thought I’d let you know as I almost become very confused making it the first time after watching the video.
Can these be rolled and cut and then into fridge overnight?
These cinnamon rolls are delicious! Great idea to put the casserole dish on the heating vent!! I sometimes turn the oven on low and leave the casserole dish on the stove top so it will absorb the radiant heat from the oven. The cinnamon rolls were delicious, but not being a cream cheese frosting fan, I made a light cinnamon glaze that was really tasty on these great rolls. Love these!
so dang yummy
Mmmm…nothing better than a warm cinnamon roll. Love that there is plenty of icing on these! Soft, comforting, & so delicious!
Totally agree, these are so good!
These came out awesome! Made a double batch for company visiting. Texture was beautiful. Crispy on the bottom , soft and pillowy on the inside. Delicious!