Sourdough cinnamon rolls are a step up from yeasted cinnamon rolls! They are soft and fluffy and have an incredible depth of flavor!

Pan of sourdough cinnamon rolls frosted with cream cheese frosting

How to Make Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

I developed my sourdough cinnamon roll recipe based on my famous yeasted overnight cinnamon rolls. I have made them for years to rave reviews and decided I wanted to make a version using sourdough starter. These are now my favorite!

Make the Dough

The dough is a standard enriched dough and it comes together quickly by cominbing all of the ingredients together into one bowl. The order in which everything is combined doesn’t make a difference. Just weigh everything in the bowl and mix with a spoon, your hands, or in a stand mixer until everything starts to come together.

The dough can then be kneaded by hand or in a stand mixer with the dough hook. Knead for 8-10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Bulk Ferment

This dough takes quite some time to bulk ferment (go through the first rise). Typically about 8-10 hours based on the temperature of your kitchen and how powerful your sourdough starter is. I suggest not rushing this process by using a proofer because this is the point where all of the flavor will build in your dough.

In the written recipe I include several example timelines for you to play out your dough schedule. I typically plan it so that my dough will bulk ferment overnight and I will shape and bake in the morning.


After the dough has gained in volume by at least 50%, you can roll the dough out and fill it with butter and cinnamon sugar. I find that using brown sugar and a high ratio of cinnamon makes the absolutely best sourdough cinnamon rolls! I also like to mix a bit of flour into the filling which prevents the filling from leaking out too much.


Once the rolls are shaped they need to rise for a second time (proof) before baking. This will take about 1-2 hours depending again on the room temperature of your kitchen and how powerful your starter is.

Wait until the rolls are puffy and have increased in size by about 50% before baking.

Bake and Frost

pan of sourdough cinnamon rolls frosted with cream cheese frosting

Cinnamon rolls are always best served fresh and I recommend trying to bake them right before serving. I love to top them with a cream cheese frosting that I add while the rolls are still fairly warm so it melts a bit and seeps down into the dough. I think that the tanginess of the cream cheese pairs so well with the slight taniginess of the dough. You can also use a vanilla glaze if you prefer.

sourdough cinnamon roll on a plate with a bite taken out of it showing the inside
Yield: 12 Rolls

Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Rising Time 10 hours
Total Time 11 hours 5 minutes

Sourdough cinnamon rolls are a step up from yeasted cinnamon rolls! They are soft and fluffy and have an incredible depth of flavor!


For the Dough

  • 152 grams (⅔ cup) whole milk (lower fat or non-dairy can be substituted), warmed to about 85°F/29°C
  • 100 grams (½ cup) granulated sugar
  • 75 grams (⅓ cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt or fine sea salt
  • 510 grams (4 ¼ cups) all-purpose flour, unbleached
  • 150 grams sourdough starter, fed and active

For the Filling

  • 75 grams (⅓ cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 36 grams (3 tablespoons) ground cinnamon
  • 200 grams (1 cup) brown sugar, preferably dark brown

For the Frosting

  • 113 grams (4 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 56 grams (¼ cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 180 grams (1 ½ cups) powdered sugar


*See note section for example timelines

Make the dough:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large mixing bowl, combine all of the dough ingredients together including the warmed whole milk (152 grams/ ⅔ cup), granulated sugar (100 grams/ ½ cup), butter (75 grams/ ⅓ cup), eggs (2 large), salt (1 teaspoon), all-purpose flour (510 grams/ 4 ¼ cups), and sourdough starter (150 grams). The order in which they go into the bowl does not make a difference.
  2. Use a rubber spatula or a clean hand to begin mixing the ingredients together until most of the flour is absorbed.
  3. Knead the dough either with the dough hook on your stand mixer on medium speed, or by hand, for 8-10 minutes until the dough is very smooth and elastic. The dough should feel tacky. Avoid adding too much extra flour as the dough will become less sticky the more you knead it.
  4. Place the dough in an oiled bowl to rise for 8-10 hours, until rounding in the bowl and full of air. It should increase in size by at least 50% and if you poke a floured finger into the dough the indentation should remain.
  5. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured work surface to about an 18 by 14-inch (46 by 36-cm) rectangle.

Add the Filling:

  1. Brush the dough with the softened butter (75 grams (⅓ cup) until covering all of the dough, leaving about a 1-inch (2.5-cm) border along one long side.
  2. Combine the cinnamon (36 grams/ 3 tablespoons) and brown sugar (200 grams/ 1 cup) for the filling. Spread evenly over the dough avoiding the unbuttered border.
  3. Starting on the long end that is covered in filling, tightly roll the dough up into a log until you reach the end that doesn't have any butter or filling. Pinch the clean end of dough to the log to seal closed.
  4. Cut the dough into 12 roughly equal pieces using a serrated knife.
  5. Grease a 9 by 13-inch (23 by 33-cm) pan with oil or butter. Place the rolls in the pan and cover with plastic wrap to proof until increased in size by at least 50%, about 1-2 hours. Alternatively, you can let the rolls rise partially (about 45 minutes to 1 hour), and then refrigerate overnight to finish rising and bake in the morning.

Bake and Frost:

  1. While the rolls are rising, preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C.
  2. Bake the rolls for 30-35 minutes until lightly browned on top and cooked through in the center.
  3. To make the frosting, cream the cream cheese (113 grams/ 4 ounces) and butter (56 grams (¼ cup) in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract (1 teaspoon) and powdered sugar (180 grams/ 1 ½ cups) mix until completely combined.
  4. Frost the rolls while still warm and serve immediately.
  5. Store unbaked rolls at room temperature covered in foil for 24 hours.


Example Timeline 1:

Feed Starter: 2:00 pm Day 1

Mix Dough: 9:00 pm Day 1

Shape Dough: 6:00 or 7:00 am Day 2

Bake Rolls: 7:00/7:30 or 8:00/8:30 Day 2

Example Timeline 2:

Feed Starter: 7:00 am Day 1

Mix Dough: 1:00 pm Day 1

Shape Dough: 8:00 pm Day 1

Refrigerate Dough: 9:00 pm Day 1

Bake Rolls: whenever you are ready on Day 2 before 10:00 am (rolls should be able to go straight from fridge to oven unless they look like they have not risen enough)

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