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.
You can cut the rolls to your liking. This will make 12 small rolls, 10 medium ones, or 8 large rolls. I made 10, but put 2 in a little dish to cook separately.
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.
While rising mix glaze ingredients until combined.
Preheat the oven to 350. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes.
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!
I have a question, instead of putting them in the fridge, could I put it in the freezer? I’m thinking of doing the whole recipe and then putting half in the freezer and when I need it, putting it in the fridge the night before to drefost it
ok…. I reply to myself, haha, after reading another post! I would definetly make the whole recipe and freeze half. (The only problem is that if I know that they are in the freezer, ready to be baked they will only last a day or two!!!)
Yeah, I’ve never done that- you’d have to experiment 🙂
These are very easy and good, I did use some whole wheat flour about 2 cups as I try to use half and half, they turned out very good, I think I would double the glaze recipe next time, we love sugar.
These turned out so good! I don’t have an electric stand mixer so I kneaded the dough by hand and it worked out just fine. I also only made 7 medium rolls and froze the rest to make sometime later this week. Will definitely be using this recipe again! Thanks!
Wanted to let you know we just ate these for Christmas morning! They were wonderful. Thanks for the great recipe. I love that they were made ahead and just needed to rise and bake this morning. Couldn’t have been easier.
Mine are in the oven right now! I can’t handle it, I want them noooow!
Just so you know, these have become our standard holiday breakfast. Thanks so much for the recipe!
I made your overnight cinnamon rolls and they were by far the best I have ever tasted. Wowsers! My husband (who thinks cinnamon rolls are a “girl dessert” even gobbled them up!) Anyway, I’ve been volunteered to make them for a church Christmas breakfast… problem is I will be out of town. I was wondering if they could stay in the fridge for more than just overnight… like maybe 2 or 3 nights???
I just wanted to thank you for sharing this amazing recipe. I craved cinnamon rolls when I was pregnant and I searched everywhere for some soft, homemade ones like grandma used to make and couldn’t find any….so I decided to make them myself! They totally satisfied my craving and for that I am eternally grateful! I am no longer pregnant, but still crave these rolls all the time (as does the rest of my family who was lucky enough to try them).
I think someone asked you what would happen if you baked these right away? Well, since I love these so much, I usually cut two big rolls from the batch to bake right away for me and my hubby. We just can’t wait until morning sometimes! I brush them with butter like the rest of the batch, but then instead of putting the two jumbo rolls in the fridge, I just let them rise for about half an hour while the oven is heating up and while I make cream cheese frosting and then bake them as usual and they turn out perfect!
Looking forward to making these for Christmas morning and to finally sharing some with my family.
Just curious….why wait 30 min for the yeast/water/flour mixture?
Because that’s what the recipe says? lol I’m not sure of the technical side of it all, I just did what it says in the book 🙂
I just finished making these, they are currently in the fridge and will be baked for our Sunday breakfast tomorrow (woot for afternoon church!)I just wanted to say thanks for this awesome recipe! I made the dough in my bread machine and it came our perfect, not sticky in the least. I also loved using a softened butter spread, which I have NEVER thought to do before, you girls are genius! I have tried recipes from other food blogs and the filling they all used was out. of. control. Every time I would go to roll up the dough, the melted butter/sugar/cinnamon concoction would be oozing out all over my counter and dripping off on to the floor. Clean-up was awesome to say the least…anyway I am happy to say that I had my batch rolled out, filled, cut, in the pans, into the fridge, and everything cleaned up in about a half an hour, because of your easy to work with dough, and your awesome idea to use softened and not melted butter made it a breeze! Thanks again!
Ok – I tried these. The dough looked amazing! So soft & raised so well – but then I rolled it out. I think I rolled it too much/pressed too hard or something. They didn’t really raise the second time (after taking them out of fridge). When I baked them the tops of all of them and the outsides were all really hard and dry. I thought the middles still tasted amazing but still on the dry side. I really don’t have the knack for cooking/baking…Any pointers? Yours look so light and fluffly. I love love love your blog.
I’m not sure, it’s hard to give dough pointers when I can’t see it. But I would say to make sure it’s covered well in the fridge so it doesn’t dry out, and make sure not to add any extra flour so the dough stays tender. And then just practice!
This is the best cinnamon roll recipe! The dough was super easy to work with. I love the convenience of doing the hard stuff at night and just baking in the morning. We will definitely have these on Christmas morning! The only thing I will change is to use a thicker icing and more of it. Thank you! We love your recipes!! 🙂
I love, love, love your everyday cinnamon rolls! FAB-u-lous! 🙂 But, I am wanting to make these for a big family brunch so I can do them the night before. I need to make lots. Have you had success making a bigger batch before? I’d need to like 5x it. Any tips?! Thanks 🙂
I’ve never made more than one batch at a time so I’m not sure- sorry!
How would these turn out if you did not put them in the fridge overnight but cooked them right away. Would they taste the same? same consistency? Do I let them rise 3 hours or 2? I made them the overnight way and they were awesome!!
Thanks for great recipes!!
No idea, never done it!
These were amazing. Soooo good! The dough was beautiful and easy to work with. I used instant yeast and skipped the 2 hour raising. It worked great. I cut them into 8, and they were huge and delicious. I used some leftover homemade cream cheese frosting instead of the glaze….mmmmm. Thanks for the wonderful (and dangerous!!) recipe!
I made these yesterday and had them for breakfast this morning. They looked wonderful before and after they were cooked. However, they tasted like yeast! It was very strong. Did I do something wrong?
I can only assume something went wrong, because they shouldn’t taste like yeast 🙂
A co-worker gave me a recipe over 25 years ago for overnight cinnamon rolls, and I have lost it. They were wonderful and easy to pop in the fridge and bake the next morning. So I searched and found this recipe, which sounds pretty close to the one I had. Anxious to try these!! Thanks for sharing your recipe!!
Oh my gosh, these puffed up SO MUCH the next morning, they were amazing! Thank you so much!
I don’t have a mixer with a dough hook.Can you use a bread machine to do the mixing and kneading for you?
I suppose Kit- but I don’t have a bread machine so I’ve never tried it. Let us know!
I just made these by hand and the dough is very easy to work with. I also didn’t need to knead for the full 10 minutes recommended but I’ve got pretty strong hands. I got the right gluten development in about 6-7 minutes of kneading but I went by feel. The dough is in the fridge chilling right now.
These look delicious! Can you make them with instant yeast instead?
I've just made this recipe for the second time and I can assure you…these are some seriously yummy cinnamon rolls. My family likes a cream cheese frosting instead of the traditional glaze, and I would compare these cinnamon rolls to anything you can buy in the mall. Better than Cinnabon any day.
Excellent recipe ladies! I have NEVER had a better cinnamon roll. They were fluffy, not too sweet, and they came out just as I'd hoped. I made them for a get together and everyone loved them (not a piece was left on their plate!) Thanks again for sharing this amazing recipe.
Foster Clan- Sure you could bake them the same day. The fridge slows the rising process so I'm sure you could leave them out until they rise enough to bake. Although if you're looking for something quicker- I suggest trying this recipe: https://ourbestbites.com/2010/06/everyday-cinnamon-rolls.html
can I bake these the same day?? Do I have to stick them in the fridge??
These are truly THE BEST cinnamon rolls I have EVER had (and I've had a lot in my short 24 years)!!!
I've never been much into making bread, pizza dough, cinnamon rolls, etc because I always get afraid of adding too much flour or not enough, etc. But I decided to try my luck on these guys and they were FABULOUS! And my hubby (who said he had never "had a homemade cinnamon roll that was sweet enough")LOVED these!!!:) So, ya, that made me super happy and what also made me happy was how EASY these were to assemble and make!! The dough was SO SO easy to roll out and work with and even though I had to use my hands to knead it (I don't have a mixer), I was surprised and delighted at how pliable it was. 🙂
I passed this recipe onto my mom and a friend and they were both really excited to try it. My friend has made them and said that I was right~they are the best cinnamon rolls ever! 🙂 My mom hasn't made them yet, but I know she is going to~especially after all my 'raving.' 🙂 Thanks for such a delicious and easy recipe! You guys are great!! 🙂
Ok, thanks for responding Sara! I was in disbelief last night as I was trying to make these for Father's Day, and I ended up just using 1 cup of water and 3 eggs because I was in egg-rationing mode. You know how it is when you get to Sunday and don't want to run out of eggs and milk 😉
Yup, correct Jen. It also has 4 large eggs and a stick of butter, so that makes up for the low water content.
Am I reading this recipe right? Only 1/2 cup of water? Surely that can't be right.
I made these Cinnamon rolls and they are great. I will make them again, and again. I added raisins to my second batch and both with and with out the raisins was great.
haha, good Lisa! I'm glad that did the trick!