Cinnamon Rolls are a favorite in our house. We seem to always get the cravings on Sunday afternoons, so after church when we’re all home being lazy, I’ll often whip up a batch. There have been lots of times where I would have loved to make them for breakfast, but who wants to get up at the crack of dawn so they’ll actually be ready in time for breakfast?? Even if you don’t mind, by the time they’re ready to eat, you’ve got a kitchen full of dirty dishes. I’ve tried putting my everyday cinnamon roll recipe in the fridge over night and I haven’t had any luck. Actually, I’ve tried a few different recipes and none of them really turn out all that well. So when I saw a recipe for overnight cinnamon rolls in my new favorite cookbook, it instantly caught my attention. I tweaked the dough just a little and then used my own filling recipe. The cinnamon rolls were were just as I imagined they would be: soft, fluffy, full of flavor, and mouthwateringly delicious. The dough takes a bit longer than my other recipes, but it works out perfectly since you can whip them up up after dinner and pop them in the fridge before bed. In the morning, they just need to sit out for about an hour (so you can either sleep in some more or take a shower and get dressed!) and then pop them in the oven.
Overnight Cinnamon Rolls
Recipe from Family Meals, Williams-Sonoma
1 T active dry yeast
1/2 C warm water (105 deg F)
4 1/2 C all-purpose flour (22 1/2 oz)
1t kosher salt
4 large eggs
1/4 C sugar
1/2 C (1 stick) real butter at room temp
1/2 C (1 stick) real butter at room temp, divided
3/4 C packed brown sugar
1 T cinnamon
1 C powdered sugar
2 T butter, melted
2 T milk or cream
1 t vanilla extract
In the bowl of a stand mixer, sprinkle the yeast over the water, allow to bloom for a few minutes, then whisk until smooth. Whisk in 1/2 C of the flour. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm spot for about 30 minutes.
Add the eggs, sugar, butter, salt, and remaining 4 cups flour to the yeast mixture. Fit the mixer with the dough hook and knead on medium speed until smooth 10-12 minutes. Add a bit more flour to reduce stickiness if needed.
Cover with plastic wrap, set in a warm spot and let rise until doubled, about 2 hours.
While dough is rising, prepare filling. Take 2 T of the stick of butter and set aside. Beat remaining butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon together until combined and slightly fluffy, about 1 minute. It will be rather thick.
Butter a 9×13 baking dish. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface. Roll out into a rectangle about 15×10 in. Spread filling onto dough. Use a spoon (or your fingers) to spread it out evenly and then roll up length-wise.
Do you all know the trick to cutting cinnamon rolls? If not, go grab your dental floss! A piece of thread works fine too.
First score the rolls so you know you’re going to cut evenly. Then slide the thread underneath the rolls, cross over the top and pull. You’ll get razor sharp cuts without smashing your pretty dough.
Place cut side up in baking dish. Melt the reserved 2 T butter and brush on top of rolls. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight.
The next morning, remove from refrigerator and let rise until half again as high, about 1 hour.
Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes. If you get impatient and wait about 47 seconds like I did then your glaze will instantly melt and fall into the crevices between the rolls. Then you’ll stick your finger in the little well so you can taste it and you’ll burn yourself and possibly let out an expletive. You’ll be so hurt you’ll have to stuff a cinnamon roll in your mouth to comfort yourself. And possibly another one because the first one was too hot to enjoy. Not that I have experience with any of this. Just trust me and let the rolls cool off a bit.
Then spread the glaze over them and serve.
Don’t have time for overnight cinnamon rolls? Try my “every day” quicker version instead!