Fluffy and sweet Overnight Cinnamon Rolls are prepared ahead of time for a less stressful morning! An easy homemade cinnamon rolls recipe with cinnamon sugar and creamy frosting.
- 1 cup (236ml) milk (whole milk preferred)
- ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter
- ¼ cup (48g) granulated sugar
- ¼ cup (15ml) lukewarm water (100-110°F)
- 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1 large egg
- 1 ¾ cups (210g) all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1 ¾ cups (210g) all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Additional ½ cup (60g) flour as needed, see notes
- ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ⅔ cup (147g) light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons (7.5g) ground cinnamon
- ½ cup (113g) full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons (28g) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) milk
- 1 teaspoon (5ml) pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup (130g) powdered sugar, sifted
- In a small saucepan, heat the milk over medium heat just until it starts to bubble. Remove from heat and stir in butter and sugar until both are dissolved. Remove from the stovetop and allow the mixture to cool until it reaches about 110°F or less. The milk mixture can be refrigerated to help speed up the cooling process.
- Microwave the water for 10-15 seconds until it reaches 100-110°F. Stir the sugar and yeast into the water and allow the yeast to activate until the foam grows to 1 cup, about 8-10 minutes.
- Whisk the egg into the milk mixture once it has cooled, and then whisk in the yeast mixture.
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine the flour with the milk mixture. Whisk until the mixture is combined, it will be a thick liquid consistency.
- Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm place to rise for 1 hour.
- Combine the remaining dry ingredients: 1 3/4 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the dough and stir until all the flour is incorporated and a ball of dough is formed. If the dough is wet, add additional flour 1 tablespoon at a time. Continue until the dough comes together in one ball and does not stick to the bowl.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead the mixture gently until the dough is soft and pliable in one consistent ball. Add additional flour if needed only to prevent the dough from being sticky.
- Place the dough in a large clean bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and put it in a warm place for three hours until the dough is doubled in size.
- Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface. Knead the dough back into a large ball, then use your hands to press the dough into a rectangle. Then use a lightly floured rolling pin and roll the dough into a rectangle, about 14×18 inches. It should be at least ¼-inch thick.
For the Filling
- Spread the softened butter onto the dough from edge to edge. Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl, and mix to combine. Pour the sugar mixture over the butter and press into the butter. Leave at least ½ -inch of the buttered dough uncovered with sugar on one of the long edges. This is the side you’ll use the seal the log after it’s rolled.
- Tightly roll the dough along the longer edge to form a log, and use the buttered edge to pinch it closed. Use a sharp knife or floss to cut the rolls into 12 even rolls.
- Place the rolls in a well-greased (or parchment paper lined) 9×13 inch pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
3rd Rise and Bake
- Remove the cinnamon rolls from the refrigerator, remove the plastic and cover with a lightweight towel. Let it rise for 1-2 hours in a warm place. After rising, the dough should be touching from one roll to another in the pan.
- Preheat the oven to 375∞F. Bake for 20-24 minutes until the tops are lightly browned. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes, then add the frosting.
For the Frosting
- Beat the softened cream cheese until it’s free of lumps. Then add the melted butter, milk, and vanilla extract and mix until combined. Next, add the powder sugar and beat until combined. If you prefer a thicker frosting, add additional powdered sugar 2 tablespoons at a time. To make it thinner, add additional milk 1-2 teaspoons at a time. Frost the rolls while they’re still warm.
- For 1 tablespoon of yeast, you’ll need 2 individual packets (2 1/4 tsp size)
- A good active yeast will foam up to around 1 cup of foam within 8-10 minutes.
- Leave at least ½ -inch of the buttered dough uncovered with sugar on one of the long edges will help to seal the dough when it’s wrapped
- To help facilitate rising the dough, you can place the dough in the oven with the oven light on. Or try running your dryer for 15-30 seconds, and then place the dough in the dryer. These warm environments help the dough to rise, especially in the colder months.
More Helpful Tips
- Storing: Store leftover rolls in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days or in the refrigerator for 4 days. Reheat in the microwave for 15-20 seconds. If you are planning for leftovers, I recommend not frosting them and instead adding the frosting to warm rolls after reheating.
- The best pans to use: I recommend using a glass or ceramic baking dish, as a metal baking dish will cause the bottoms of the rolls to brown much faster.
- Preparing the pan: Baking dishes should be greased with butter or shortening. Lining the pan with parchment paper is my preferred method, it makes the clean-up super easy.
- Cutting the rolls: It is easiest to cut the dough with a sharp serrated knife or floss.
- Why slice them before refrigerating? I tested this recipe overnight after rolling and slicing the dough, and before rolling out the dough entirely. I found that preparing the rolls and slicing them, then refrigerating not only produced a lighter and fluffier roll, but it significantly cuts down on the prep time the next morning.
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: homemade cinnamon rolls, best cinnamon roll recipe, how to make cinnamon rolls