Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

Breakfast, Spring

This Overnight Cinnamon Rolls recipe are the perfect make-ahead breakfast item. These rolls are soft and buttery. They have have a punchy cinnamon flavor and are topped with a fluffy cream cheese frosting. The best part about this recipe is that you can split up the work, dividing it into two days.

overhead shot of cinnamon rolls in pan

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!

These 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.

cinnamon roll dough rolled out and filling on top

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!

How to Make Cinnamon Rolls Ahead: 

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

Assembled Cinnamon Rolls

warm cinnamon rolls with frosting poured on top

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!

warm cinnamon rolls with frosting poured on top

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

warm cinnamon rolls with frosting being smothered on
warm cinnamon rolls with frosting being smothered on

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.

warm cinnamon rolls with frosting with center roll removed

Tips and Tricks

  • 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. They might NOT rise very much in the fridge; that’s ok! Allow them to rise on your counter for 1 hour (until doubled in size) and then proceed with baking them.  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!

overhead shot of cinnamon rolls

Looking for more breakfast roll recipes? Here are some favorites: 

And here are some other my favorite breakfast recipes:

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

5 from 21 votes
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
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! 



  • 1/4 cup lukewarm milk , (you can also use orange juice for an added tang)
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast, (see below for instructions on using *instant* yeast)
  • 2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons 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


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, or until doubled in size.
    *If you're house is particularly cold, it may take longer for the rolls to rise. I like to place my cinnamon rolls by the oven because it's usually warmer in that part of my house.
  • 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. 
    *See below for instructions on assembling the rolls and then allowing them to rise overnight in the fridge.


Using Instant Yeast: 
Instant yeast is different than active dry yeast. Active dry yeast has to be activated in liquid until it's foamy and alive. Instant yeast can be added to dry ingredients. You can use instant yeast with this recipe. To do that, mix into the dry ingredients (you can skip activating it). 
You Have Other Overnight Options: 
If you like, you can assemble the rolls (don't bake them), place them in a baking dish or baking sheet, cover them with plastic wrap and place them in the fridge overnight. 
In the morning, let them come to room temp (about 1 hour) and then bake them. 
Pyrex Bowl with Lids | Quarter Baking Sheet | KitchenAid Stand-Up Mixer 
CourseBreakfast, Dessert
CuisineAmerican, Breakfast
Keywordcinnamon buns, cinnamon roll recipe, cinnamon rolls, homemade cinnamon rolls, make-ahead cinnamon rolls, overnight breakfast, overnight cinnamon rolls, sticky buns
Serving: 12g | Calories: 405kcal | Carbohydrates: 25.7g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 9.3g | Saturated Fat: 5.3g | Cholesterol: 67mg | Sodium: 264mg | Potassium: 81mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3.5g | Calcium: 140mg | Iron: 0.4mg
Did you make this Recipe? Tag me Today!Tag @acozykitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #acozykitchen
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Leave a Reply

Recipe Rating

  • Reply Allison April 6, 2020 at 7:55 pm

    What if I have fresh yeast? Any instructions?

  • Reply Lindsay April 5, 2020 at 11:34 am

    Making these this morning, but there are only two of us. Could I freeze half of them for a later date?

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme April 5, 2020 at 11:50 am

      yes absolutely! I would bake them off and then freeze them. I would freeze half of the cream cheese frosting separately. You can thaw both of them in the fridge overnight and heat up the rolls in a 200F degree oven.

  • 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.

  • 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 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 Karly April 21, 2019 at 2:45 pm

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

  • 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 Ayana April 11, 2020 at 3:54 am

        Hi! Any chance I could add other spices like nutmeg/allspice to the cinnamon to sort of bulk it up? I’ve foolishly realised I only have about 1/4 cup just as I finished making the dough!

        • Reply Adrianna Adarme April 11, 2020 at 9:14 am

          sorry just seeing this. i would skip the nutmeg. but you could do 1 tablespoon of allspice! and another tablespoon of all-purpose flour. that should work great.

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