Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

Breakfast, Spring

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

I am currently writing this while it is hailing outside (!!) while a very vintage (circa 2011) episode of Real Housewives of New York plays on in the background. I guess you could say it’s a splendid, wonderful day filled with positivity and bright light to discuss these Overnight Cinnamon Rolls with you all!

These overnight cinnamon rolls are sooooo good. I’m not gonna lie, cinnamon rolls are a labor of love. They require two rises, making three separate components (the dough, the filling and the glaze), assembling, chilling, slicing, etc.

That’s why I am a firm believer of dividing the work in half. It’s like an interest-free loan when buying a high-ticket item, you know? If you do/pay a little at a time, it doesn’t sting as much!

I Like To Do Three Things The Night Before:

  • Make the dough
  • And then make the filling
  • Make the glaze

Assembled Cinnamon Rolls

It makes it SO much easier the next day. You’ll still have work to do the next day, but dividing it by half makes it a breeze!

The Next Day You’ll Have This On Your To-Do List:

  • Assemble the rolls
  • Slice up the rolls and place them cut side up in a baking pan (assembly and slicing them will take about 30 minutes)
  • Let the rolls rise in a greased bowl in a warm place
  • Bake them
  • Make the cream cheese frosting and glaze with room temperature butter/cream cheese. It’s super easy and delicious
  • Smother them with the cream cheese frosting


Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

See! So much better. Doing this all in one day (if you’re not a pro-baker and used to projects), might be a bit aggressive. If you do make these straight through, here’s how the steps will go:

How Do You Make Cinnamon Rolls Soft?

For cinnamon rolls you really want–what is called–“an enriched dough.” This means that instead of just combining yeast, flour and water (think: baguettes, boules, etc.), you want to add things that will make it soft and billowy. To achieve a soft cinnamon roll, we add butter, milk and sugar. These three ingredients will give you that soft dough that is oh so lovely in a cinnamon roll.

This dough is super versatile and I love using orange juice as the liquid. But of course, you can use milk, too.

For the glaze, I love using vanilla paste. It makes it so you can see the little speckles of vanilla and for some reason seeing vanilla speckles just makes me so happy.

Tips For Making Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

  • If you’ve never used Active Dry Yeast before and you’re a bit scared or hesitant to use it, then use Instant Yeast (also known as Rapid Rise). You can add the Instant Yeast to the dry ingredients (flour and salt) and proceed with the recipe. No need to activate it!
  • Activating yeast can be tricky! You want to wait until it gets nice and foamy. If no foam or bubbles form, you’ll have to start again to ensure activation.

Can You Put Cinnamon Rolls In The Fridge Overnight

  • If you like, you can assemble the cinnamon rolls, put them in the baking dish you’re using and cover tightly with plastic wrap and transfer to the fridge to rise overnight until they’re doubled in size. That way, when you wake up in the morning, all you have to do is bake them off and then smother them with the cream cheese frosting!

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

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5 from 5 votes
Overnight cinnamon rolls that are ooey and gooey and soft. Make the dough the night before and allow it to rise in the fridge overnight. Assemble the next morning! 
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Rising Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Serving Size: 16 cinnamon rolls
Calories: 405kcal

Ingredients

Dough:

  • 1/4 cup lukewarm milk
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons white granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 large eggs, beaten in a bowl
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or vanilla paste
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into cubes

Cinnamon Roll Filling:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons white granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or vanilla paste
  • Pinch kosher salt

Cream Cheese Glaze:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or vanilla paste
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream

Directions

To Make the Dough:

  • To the bowl with of a stand-up mixer (alternatively, you can do this in a large bowl by hand), add the lukewarm milk. Mix in the active dry yeast and allow to stand and activate, about 8 minutes, until foamy and alive! 
  • To a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt. To the bowl with the yeast mixture, add the beaten eggs and vanilla extract; then all at once, add the flour mixture. Attach the dough hook to your mixer and mix on low until the dough starts to become cohesive. With the mixer running on low, slowly add the cubes of butter. 
  • Knead on medium speed for about 5 minutes. Alternatively, if you’re doing this by hand, you’ll need to knead the dough for about 10 to 15 minutes. The dough will go from crumbly and separate to completely cohesive and smooth. The dough shouldn’t be sticky. Remove the dough from the hook and the bowl and form it into a ball. 
  • Transfer the ball of dough to a clean, lightly greased bowl (I used the flour bowl and just wiped it clean with a kitchen towel and then greased it). Cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and transfer to the fridge to rise for at least 2 hours or overnight. 

To Make the Filling:

  • To the bowl of a stand-up mixer (with the paddle attachment) or using a medium bowl and a fork, add the butter, cinnamon, brown sugar, white sugar, vanilla and salt. Mix and mash until the filling is completely smooth. 
  • *If you’re looking to save yourself a step in the morning, you can make this filling let it sit on the counter overnight so it stays softened. 

To Assemble the Cinnamon Rolls:

  • The following morning (or after the 2-hour mark), remove the dough from the fridge. Lightly flour your work surface and place the dough into the center. Lightly flour your rolling pin and roll the dough into a 1/8-inch thick rectangle that measures 15“ x 22“ If it’s not a perfect rectangle, then that’s totally ok. 
  • Add the filling to the dough and spread into a thin layer, using a butter knife or offset spatula. I smeared the filling pretty close to the edges. Starting from the edge furthest from you, roll the dough towards you, horizontally, into a firm log. 
  • Slice the dough into two and transfer and carefully transfer them to a cutting board. Place them in the freezer to chill for 10 minutes. I find that slicing cold dough is WAY easier. 
  • Remove from the freezer and slice the rolls into 1 1/2-inch rolls, about 12-16 rolls, trimming the ends off. 
  • Transfer to a greased 9 x 13 baking sheet (or something comparable). Cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rise for an additional 45 minutes. 
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes. 

To Make the Cream Cheese Icing:

  • To the bowl of a stand-up mixer (or a large bowl) with the paddle attachment, mix together the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugars, vanilla paste, salt and heavy cream. Beat for about 20 seconds. 

To Serve:

  • When the cinnamon rolls come out of the oven, pour the icing over the cinnamon rolls and smother them with icing. 
CourseBreakfast, Dessert
CuisineAmerican, Breakfast
Keyword3 leches cake, cinnamon buns, cinnamon roll recipe, cinnamon rolls, homemade cinnamon rolls, make-ahead cinnamon rolls, overnight breakfast, overnight cinnamon rolls, sticky buns
Nutrition Facts
Overnight Cinnamon Rolls Recipe
Amount Per Serving (12 g)
Calories 405 Calories from Fat 84
% Daily Value*
Fat 9.3g14%
Saturated Fat 5.3g33%
Cholesterol 67mg22%
Sodium 264mg11%
Potassium 81mg2%
Carbohydrates 25.7g9%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 3.5g4%
Protein 5g10%
Calcium 140mg14%
Iron 0.4mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @acozykitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #acozykitchen

For more roll recipes, look no further:

Orange Chocolate Morning Rolls! 

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Chocolate Cardamom Rolls 

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

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23 Comments

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  • Reply Overnight Cinnamon Rolls – Site Title March 20, 2019 at 7:57 pm

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  • Reply CJ | A Well-Read Tart March 21, 2019 at 10:28 am

    I love whenever you post about breakfast rolls.Your photos make me salivate, and I love how perfect each roll turns out! I’m so glad you have an overnight version of a roll recipe. I made your Orange Chocolate Breakfast Rolls for Christmas this past year, and I turned it into an overnight recipe, lol. It worked, but it was a bit of a gamble since I wasn’t sure how the dough would fare (it was fine, btw). I’m looking to make cinnamon rolls for a few holidays this year, so being sure that I can prep them largely in advance is awesome. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme March 22, 2019 at 9:27 pm

      Ahh I love those orange chocolate breakfast rolls! Oh that’s so good to hear that it worked as overnights haha.

  • Reply Celia Becker @ www.AfterOrangeCounty.com March 21, 2019 at 11:37 am

    You always tempt me with such wonderful goodies, especially as it is snowing here in Lake Arrowhead on this 2nd day of Spring. I wish I had this rolls baking in my oven right now.

  • Reply Kim March 21, 2019 at 2:14 pm

    1/3 cup of cinnamon?!?!

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme March 21, 2019 at 4:47 pm

      It seems like a lot but it’s the correct measurement. It’s for the whole filing and it’s actually pretty comparable to other recipes you’ll find out there. 🙂

  • Reply Nancy k March 21, 2019 at 7:26 pm

    I am wondering if I can make the recipe all the way through cutting the rolls and then put them in the ‘frig overnight. I would take them out in the morning, let them rise about an hour of so and then bake. What do you think?
    They look so delicious and I would love to make them with minimal work in the morning…just a rise and bake.

  • Reply Nancy k March 21, 2019 at 7:26 pm

    I am wondering if I can make the recipe all the way through cutting the rolls and then put them in the ‘frig overnight. I would take them out in the morning, let them rise about an hour of so and then bake. What do you think?
    They look so delicious and I would love to make them with minimal work in the morning…just a rise and bake.

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme March 22, 2019 at 9:26 pm

      Yes, this would absolutely work! If you want, you can skip the fridge for the first rise and just let the dough rise for an hour. Should be double in an hour!

  • Reply The {Cozy} Minimal List March 23, 2019 at 6:11 am

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  • Reply Vivian Dsouza March 25, 2019 at 2:41 am

    5 stars
    I just loved it, I’m not only going to give it 5 stars. But, I’m going to share it with all my website’s followers on the social media. Thank you for giving me something useful to share it today!

  • Reply Sam April 4, 2019 at 3:04 am

    5 stars
    These Cinnamon Rolls just looks delicious. Seriously want to try them. Hope you share more interesting blogs with us.

  • Reply Lauren April 19, 2019 at 5:55 pm

    5 stars
    I have made these twice in 3 weeks and I wish I never had because my husband won’t shut up about them and they are SO GOOD! Perfect recipe and A++ for a proper filling ratio as well.

  • Reply Rachel Shimon April 20, 2019 at 1:58 am

    5 stars
    These rolls were Perfect!
    I’ve been making overnight cinnamon moves for quite a long time and attempted such a significant number of formulas, but this recipe was easy to follow and they turned out amazing!

    so happy I found your site and this formula particularly!

  • Reply Karly April 21, 2019 at 2:45 pm

    These are mouth-watering!! Can’t wait to make these!

  • Reply Keke May 11, 2019 at 6:18 pm

    5 stars
    These look so good but I’m sad I can’t eat them! Do you have any suggestions for a gluten-free version of this? Do you think gluten-free flour could work as a substitute?

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme May 13, 2019 at 3:16 pm

      Hi Keke, This should work with a gluten-free flour blend. I hear cup4cup is a good brand and bob’s red mill!

  • Reply Jami August 26, 2019 at 7:47 am

    My dough came out sticky and I added more flour and hoped that it would help, it did sorta but was still pretty wet. I only added the 1/4 c of liquid but maybe I did the wrong measurement. It’s it 1/4 c fluid or 1/4 c using dry measuring cups?

  • Reply Marcela Garcia December 3, 2019 at 11:55 am

    if I’m using instant yeast, is it the same amount as active dry yeast?

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme December 3, 2019 at 2:11 pm

      It would be the same amount but you can just add it to the dry ingredients vs. activating it with the warm milk.