Soft and buttery overnight cinnamon rolls with a brown sugar cinnamon filling and rich cream cheese frosting. Prep them the night before and wake up to freshly baked cinnamon rolls in the morning!
I have been testing and retesting this recipes for years and finally feel confident in sharing it with you! These are my FAVORITE cinnamon rolls! I used the base dough from my orange roll recipe (which are another family favorite) and they turned out fantastic!
These cinnamon rolls are soft, buttery and tender with the perfect amount of brown sugar and cinnamon filling. They are topped with the best frosting. I add a little bit of cream cheese to make these absolutely perfection.
I love this recipe because you can do all the prep work the night before and then have freshly baked cinnamon rolls in the morning. Honestly, who really wants to wake up at 4am on the holidays to make cinnamon rolls? Not me!
And nothing beats a warm fresh cinnamon roll on Easter and Christmas morning in my opinion. If you’re looking for a quick cinnamon roll recipe you can try my 1 hour cinnamon rolls.
How to make overnight cinnamon rolls
Make the dough
Add yeast, 1 Tablespoon sugar and warm milk in a small bowl. Let sit until it starts to foam, about 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk the egg and then whisk in the sugar and salt. Then add the melted butter and yeast mixture. Mix in two cups of flour until smooth, then add the remaining flour in 1/2 cup increments. Knead the dough until it’s soft, about 5 minutes. You can add a Tablespoon or two more flour if the dough is still sticky, but make sure not to over do it.
Then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot to rise.
Add the filling
Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.
Roll and cut
Starting at the shorter side, roll the dough up tightly and pinch the sides together at the end. Then use floss or a large serrated knife to cut the dough into 1 inch pieces.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then place the dough rolls onto the sheet about an inch apart.
Cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 16 hours. Then pull them out onto the counter the next morning to rise until they’ve doubled in size, usually about 1 to 2 hours.
Bake in oven
Once they’ve doubled in size, bake the cinnamon rolls in the oven at 350°F until the tops are lightly golden, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for about 10 minutes before topping with frosting.
Spread frosting on top
To make the frosting, beat together the ingredients with an electric mixer until smooth (add more or less milk if needed). Then spread the frosting evenly on top of the rolls with a spatula. If you prefer a drippier consistency, you can drizzle on a cream cheese glaze instead.
- Make sure you are starting with fresh yeast.
- Check the milk temperature to make sure it isn’t too hot. It should be at 105-110°F (bath water temp).
- To help the dough rise faster, preheat the oven to 175°F and then turn it off. Then place the covered bowl of dough in the oven along with a small bowl of hot water.
- Line your baking sheet with parchment paper so the bottoms don’t brown too fast.
- This recipe makes about 15 rolls, however the baking sheet usually fits about 12. I put the larger sized rolls on the baking sheet and then add the smaller end rolls in a smaller pan.
- Once the cinnamon rolls are baked and out of the oven, wait about 10 minutes before frosting. You don’t want it to melt too much.
These cinnamon rolls can be frozen after they’ve been baked and cooled. Simply add them to a freezer bag or container and store in the freezer. Let thaw overnight, then warm back up in the microwave or oven the next morning.
More sweet breakfast ideas:
- Overnight French Toast Casserole
- Chocolate Chip Pancakes
- Best French Toast Recipe
- Fluffy German Pancakes
- Cinnamon Roll Pancakes
Overnight Cinnamon Roll Recipe
For the Dough:
- 1 1/4 cups warm milk (105-110°F)
- 1/4 ounce package active dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
- 1 large egg (room temp)
- 1/2 cup sugar (divided)
- 1/2 cup butter (melted)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 cups all-purpose flour (more or less as needed)
For the Filling:
- 6 Tablespoons butter (barely softened, NOT melted)
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
For the Frosting:
- 6 Tablespoons salted butter (softened)
- 2 ounces cream cheese (softened)
- 1 1/2- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- milk or heavy cream (for consistency)
Make the dough:
- In a small bowl add the warm milk, yeast and 1 Tablespoon sugar. Let sit for about 5 minutes, until bubbly.
- In a large bowl, whisk the egg. Then whisk in the sugar, and salt. Next add the melted butter and then the yeast mixture. Add two cups of flour and stir until smooth. Add the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time. Knead for 5 minutes. If the dough is too sticky, you can add a Tablespoon or two more flour, but the dough should be soft. Don't over do it with flour.
- Once dough is nice and soft, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot. I like to turn my oven to 175°F and then turn it off and place in there with a small bowl of hot water to help it rise faster.
Make the filling:
- Mix together brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.
- Once your dough has doubled in size, punch it down and roll out on a floured surface. You want to form a rectangle approximately 15x20 inches. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Spread softened butter onto the dough with a brush and then sprinkle the cinnamon sugar on top. Gently press the sugar down into the butter. Roll the dough up tightly starting at the shorter side. Pinch the sides together at the end.
- Cut the dough in half and then in half again. From this point cut into 1 inch pieces with floss or a large serrated knife. You can make 12 big cinnamon rolls or 16 medium size. Place dough rolls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, about 1 inch apart. I like to put the 12 big ones on a baking sheet and the ends in a small pan. At this point if you wanted to bake, you can let the rolls sit for another hour or until rolls have doubled in size.
- Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap and then place in the refrigerator for up to 16 hours. Then the next morning, pull them out onto the counter and let them rise until doubled, about 1-2 hours. I like to turn my oven to 175°F and then turn it off and place in there with a small bowl of hot water to help them rise faster.
- Bake at 350°F for 15 minutes or until lightly golden brown on top. Remove from oven and allow to cool about 10 minutes before frosting.
Make the frosting:
- Beat together the frosting ingredients in a large bowl with an electric beater. You can add more milk or powdered sugar to reach your desired consistency. Spread over the cinnamon rolls with a spatula.