I’ve been waiting for quite some time to share this recipe with you. I couldn’t just share these overnight cinnamon rolls at just any old time. I saved them for a special occasion. These rolls make an appearance in our house for occasion like Christmas, birthdays and Valentine’s day. This weekend we have both a birthday and Valentine’s day.
This is not just any ordinary Cinnamon Roll recipe. These are Mamagirl Overnight Cinnamon Rolls. I am at least the fourth generation to be baking these cinnamon rolls.
Mamagirl, my great grandmother was from the south, Alabama to be specific. She passed this recipe to my grandmother, Edwina who taught my mom, who taught me. If it has lasted this long, you know it much be good!
Every major holiday my mom makes Mamagirl Rolls, which are served with dinner. So we started doubling the recipe and using the leftover dough to make cinnamon rolls the next morning.
My boyfriend LOVES cinnamon rolls, specifically Cinnabon. So during our first Christmas together, I wanted to share my family tradition with him- Mamagirl Rolls on Christmas morning. I’ve made them every Christmas since we started dating, and a few Valentine’s days too.
When I made this batch of rolls, I specifically searched for a copy-cat recipe for Cinnabon icing. Their recipe is a cream cheese icing with a touch of lemon. The recipe I used was from The Slow Roasted Italian. We loved it! I frosted these cinnamon rolls as soon as they came out of the oven so that the frosting has time to melt over the hot rolls.
Now don’t be intimated by the time and steps involved in these rolls. I always prepare them the night before because they take about 6 hours in total and I am too impatient to wait. Let’s walk through a few key points.
- These rolls need to rise for a total of 4 hours before the dough is refridgerated. The first rise is an hour and the second rise is 3 hours.
- The third rise is right before baking- which is an hour.
- If you live in a cold temperature, I suggest to turn on the oven until it reaches 100°F and then turn it off. When you place the dough in the oven, leave the door open for the first several minutes. This provides a warm place for the yeast to expand.
- I provided suggested temperatures in the recipe. I have found that it is most successful when I use a candy thermometer to ensure that I don’t kill the yeast. If your milk mixture or water is to hot, it the yeast will not expand.
- After the second rise, the dough should be refrigerated overnight. Mamagirl’s original recipe only called for the dough to be refrigerated. We determined this was because it would be easier to roll out the dough if it was cold.
- The recipe I provided is a HALF batch, which is enough for 4-6 people. I usually double the batch. You can save the dough and make two batches.
I think Mamagirl would be so proud of my for carrying on her tradition. It is just so satisfying to see these beautiful rolls come out of the oven and be slathered with icing. They don’t last long!
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- 1 C Milk
- ½ C Shortening (Crisco)
- ¼ C Sugar
- ¼ C Lukewarm water (100-110°F)
- 1/4 tsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp yeast or 1 package of yeast
- 1 ½ C Flour, sifted
- 2nd Rise:
- 1 1/2 cups Flour, sifted
- 1/2 tsp Baking soda
- 1/2 tsp Baking powder
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- For the rolls:
- 3 tbsp Butter, melted
- 2/3 C Brown sugar
- 1–2 tbsp Cinnamon
- Top with your favorite icing recipe. I use this one.
- Heat 1 cup milk over medium heat until boiling. Remove from heat and stir in shortening and sugar. Stir until completely melted. Remove from oven and allow to cool until mixture reaches about 110°F.
- Microwave water for 15 seconds. Water should be lukewarm, about 100-110°F.
- Dissolve sugar and yeast in water and allow yeast to activate until bubbly and frothy, about 10-15 minutes.
- Once the milk mixture has cooled, pour in activated yeast and stir. Add 1 ½ C sifted flour and stir vigorously until well mixed.
- Cover with a wet towel and place in a warm place for one hour to rise.
- Next, stir in the following: 1 1/2 cups sifted flour, 1/2 tsp baking soda,
- /2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt. Stir and knead the mixture until it is soft and pliable.
- Cover again with a wet towel and put in a warm place for at least three hours.
- Refrigerate overnight.
- Remove dough from refrigerator and turn onto a gently floured surface.
- Roll dough out until 1/4-1/2” thick. Melt butter and brush over dough.
- Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon.
- Roll dough into a log. Cut roll 1-1.5” thick.
- Place in a greased 9”x13” baking pan.
- Cover with paper towels and let rise for 1 hour before baking.
- Bake at 425°F for about 10-12 minutes.
- Spread icing on immediately.
You can cut out and freeze rolls in a pan for up to a week.
This recipe is for a half batch which is perfect for 2-4 people.
If you live in a cold temperature, I suggest to turn on the oven until it reaches 100°F and then turn off the oven. When you place the dough in the oven, leave the door open for the first several minutes.
I provided suggested temperatures in the recipe. I have found that it is most successful when I use a candy thermometer to ensure that I don’t kill the yeast.
Other recipes you might like:
Other recipes you might like:
Strawberry Cinnamon Rolls from Grandbaby Cakes
Cinnamon Roll Coffee Cake from Diethood
Lemon Sweet Rolls from Simply Gloria
Cinnamon Roll Whoopie Pies from The Gunny Sack