Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

Baker Bettie Breads, Breakfast, Breakfast Breads, Yeast Bread Techniques, Yeast Breads 16 Comments

Make-Ahead Soft Yeast Rolls
Easy Rustic Yeast Bread

Prep these cinnamon rolls the night before and bake in the morning. These overnight cinnamon rolls bake up super fluffy and gooey are are slathered with cream cheese frosting while still warm! 

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls | Baker Bettie

When I first decided I was going to do a series on baking with yeast I asked people to post on facebook what questions they had about baking with yeast. One of my friends asked, “I make cinnamon rolls at night. What do I need to do to be able to bake them in the morning and still have them be as fluffy as if I baked them immediately after they rise?” This is a great question! Plus, any excuse to make cinnamon rolls is okay by me! 

I’ve always thought that all cinnamon roll recipes (or any breakfast yeast bread) should include instructions for if you are making the dough the night before and baking in the morning.

Let’s face it, who really wants to get up 4 hours before you want to eat cinnamon rolls to get the dough prepped? Nobody. That’s who. It just makes a lot more sense to prep them the night before and bake in the morning!

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls | Baker BettieOvernight Cinnamon Rolls | Baker Bettie

The thing you have to remember about making any yeast dough and putting it in the refrigerator is that the yeast is going to slow way down while it’s cold. Remember, as we addressed in the Baking with Yeast 101 post, yeast is most active at warm temperatures.

I had a feeling that the problem with my friend’s cinnamon rolls is that they were going into the oven cold. She confirmed that they were, and this is the problem with the fluffiness of the rolls.

When yeast is awake and feeding, it produces carbon dioxide. This is what makes the bread rise before it goes into the oven. Once the bread hits the oven, the yeast begins to die and the gas that the yeast produced expands and makes the bread rise even more.

Therefore, in order for the cinnamon rolls to be super fluffy, the dough needs to warm back up before going into the oven so that the yeast is awake and feeding.

I find that for best results I put the rolls into the refrigerator as soon as they are shaped. Then I take them out and let them sit in a warm place to come back to room temperature and finish rising before going into the oven.

This usually takes about 2 hours. But that’s 2 hours where you don’t have to do anything. You could even go back to bed! And if your kitchen is very warm, it may not even take the full 2 hours. You can always sit the pan near a heating oven to help them along.

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls | Baker Bettie

If you are ever in Chicago one of the biggest things on your eating agenda should be to get a cinnamon roll from Ann Sather. I’m telling you, they are incredible. I have never in my life had a cinnamon roll so tender, fluffy, gooey, and filled with butter and cinnamon. I have had a lot of cinnamon rolls and none compare to those of Ann Sather’s!

But, with this recipe I aimed to get as close as possible to Ann Sather level and let me tell you these do not disappoint! Definitely the best cinnamon rolls I have made to date! I even made you another little tutorial video so you can see exactly how to do it yourself! I hope it helps!

Please let me know what other questions you have about baking with yeast so I can address them!


Yields 12

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

3 hrPrep Time

35 minCook Time

3 hr, 35 Total Time

Save Recipe

Ingredients

For the Dough
1 cup whole milk (lower fat milk can be substituted)
1 package (0.25 oz) active dry yeast (not instant or rapid rise) (2 1/4 tsp if measuring from bulk yeast)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup unsalted butter, room temp
2 eggs, room temp
1 tsp salt
4 cups all-purpose flour
For the Cinnamon Filling
1/3 cup unsalted butter, room temp
3 TBSP cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar, packed
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temp
4 oz cream cheese, room temp
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar

Instructions

    For the Dough
  1. In a saucepan, heat the milk over medium heat until it just starts to barely bubble. Just under a simmer. Remove the milk from the heat, pour into a bowl, and let cool for 5 minutes.
  2. When the milk is cooled to warm, add the yeast to the milk and stir together. Let sit for 5 minutes to proof.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together the sugar, butter, eggs, salt, and flour. Add the milk/yeast mixture and stir together until it forms a dough.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for about 5 minutes until its smooth and elastic. Alternatively, you can knead with a dough hook in a stand mixer.
  5. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, turn to coat, cover with a towel, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  6. Deflate the dough by gently pushing your fist in the center and folding the sides over. On a floured surface, pat the dough out to a rectangle. Use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll the dough out to about a 16X12" rectangle.
  7. Combine all of the ingredients for the filling together in a bowl. Spread the filling evenly over the rolled out dough, leaving about a 1/2" border. Starting on the long end, roll the dough into a log and pinch the seam closed.
  8. Using a serrated knife, trim the ends off the roll. Cut the roll in half and then cut each half in half. Cut the roll into 12 pieces by cutting each section in 3 even pieces.
  9. In an oiled 9X13 pan, space the rolls out evenly. Lay a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the rolls and press down so no rolls are exposed. Refrigerate the rolls overnight.
  10. About 2 hours before baking, take the rolls out of the refrigerator, remove the plastic wrap, cover with a towel, and let come to room temp and rise. You can place the pan next to a heating oven to speed up the process.
  11. Preheat the oven to 350F. When the rolls are doubled in size, bake for 35 minutes.
  12. Frost the rolls while still hot so the frosting seeps into the rolls.
  13. For the Cream Cheese Frosting
  14. With a hand mixer, cream together the butter and cream cheese. Add the vanilla and powdered sugar and mix until smooth.

Notes

Cinnamon Roll Recipe adapted from More Top Secret Recipes

6.8
http://bakerbettie.com/overnight-cinnamon-rolls/

Tools I used and recommend for this recipe:

J.K. Adams FRP-1 Maple French Rolling Pin (Kitchen)


List Price: $15.00 USD
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Used from: Out of Stock

Pyrex Basics 3 Quart Glass Oblong Baking Dish, Clear 8.9 Inch X 13.2 Inch – 3 Qt (Kitchen)


List Price: $12.99 USD
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Used from: $7.00 USD In Stock

KitchenAid KHM512ER 5-Speed Ultra Power Hand Mixer, Empire Red (Kitchen)


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Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links.

Make-Ahead Soft Yeast Rolls
Easy Rustic Yeast Bread

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Comments 16

  1. Emma

    I love cinnamon rolls but I am eating them only from bakeries. May be it is time to try to prepare them at home. This recipe is not that complicated 🙂 Thanks darling!

    1. Post
      Author
  2. Pam Riedinger

    Digging in freezer looking for something when I ran across a 4 oz. jar of Fleischmann’s Activ Dry Yeast, never opened. The top says it expired 210, but it’s been in the freezer all this time. Do you think it’s okay to use for these cinnamon rolls? or should I throw it out and go get fresh. THANKS!

  3. Mendy

    If I want to bake them as soon as I make them, how long should I allow them to rise once they have been sliced and put in the pan?

    1. Post
      Author
      Baker Bettie

      You want them to proof until double in size. It should take about an hour. If your kitchen is really warm, it will go faster, and if it is chilly, it will go a little slower.

  4. CinammonConvert

    These were soooooooooo good. I don’t like cinnamon rolls but these have converted me. The only thing is my dough took 2 hours to double in size after kneeding. Other than that, awesome recipe! Will make again and again! Thank you!

  5. Kin

    It’s very difficult to find active dry yeast in where I live. Your cinnamon buns look amazing and I really want to make them. Can I use a less amount of insant yeast for this? Thanks

  6. Toni

    So amazing! That frosting is gorgeous and mouth-watering. One question: have you ever tried warming yeast doughs in the microwave in short bursts on 10% power? I’ve been doing it for years after reading about it in Real Simple during that mag’s early days. 3 minute bursts on power level 1 (10% power), followed by 3 minutes rest the 1st time, then 6 minutes rest after the second burst, then a final 3 min and after about 15 minutes more rest, the dough is usually fully risen. It’s an extraordinary tool. I’ve had pizza dough in the oven in just over an hour starting from yeast in water with this technique. I have microwaved dough out of the fridge to get it to wake back up, and with some flexibility on the times, it gets it moving again in fairly quick times…maybe 30 minutes instead of 2 hours. Pretty cool. I’d love to hear someone else’s take on it! The only trouble would be if you didn’t have a machine with good power control. A “defrost” setting, for example, would be too hot and kill your yeast. But ultra low power is magic!

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