Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon rolls are a favorite breakfast item for many, but since they require quite a bit of prep work to make, they often aren’t practical for a quick Sunday breakfast. Between making the dough, letting it raise, then shaping and baking the rolls, it can be a 3 hour process. With this recipe, you put the work in the night before, then simply let them raise a bit in the morning, and bake them. Warm, gooey cinnamon rolls without having to get up at the crack up dawn. A win-win for all involved!

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

Yields: 12 large rolls


For the dough:

  • 4 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1 large whole egg, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 6 oz. buttermilk, room temperature
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 package instant dry yeast
  • 1 1/4 tsp. kosher salt

For the filling:

  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the icing:

  • 2.5 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 3 Tbsp. milk
  • 1.5 cups powdered sugar


To make the dough, whisk the egg yolks, whole eggs, sugar, butter and buttermilk together in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add about 2 cups of the flour, the yeast and the salt to the bowl, and whisk until moistened. Switch the whisk attachment for the dough hook, and knead the dough on low speed for about 5 minutes, gradually adding in the remaining flour. The dough should be soft and moist, but not sticky. Continue to knead the dough for about 5 minutes, adding more flour if necessary, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead gently for about 30 seconds. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray, transfer the dough to the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to raise until double in volume, about 2-2.5 hours.

To make the filling, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl, and mix until well combined. Set aside until ready to use.

To assemble, butter a 9×13” baking dish and set aside. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface, and gently shape into a rectangle. Use a rolling pin to roll into an 18×12” rectagnle. Brush the dough with the melted butter, then generously sprinkle the filling over the dough, leaving a 1/2 inch border around the top edge.

Starting the with long edge nearest you, roll the dough into a tight cylinder, firmly pinch the seam to seal the cylinder and then turn the roll seam side down. Using a serrated knife or a piece of dental floss, slice the roll into 12 equal pieces. Arrange the rolls cut side down in the baking dish, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or up to 16 hours.

When you’re ready to bake your rolls, remove the pan from the refrigerator and place in a cool oven on a high rack. Fill a shallow pan 2/3 full with boiling water, then set the pan on the rack below the rolls. Close the oven door and let the rolls rise until they look slighty puffy, about 30 minutes. Remove the rolls and water from the oven.

Preheat the oven to 350°. Place the rolls on the middle rack and bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes.

While the rolls are cooling slightly, make the icing by whisking the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer until creamy. Add the milk and whisk until combined. Sift in the powdered sugar, and whisk until smooth. Spread over the rolls and serve immediately.

Ricarda Rutter

*Ricarda Rutter is a Ten News reporter. She’s an award-winning and Walkley nominated journalist. She has worked at the SBS, ABC, and Triple R.Rutter is a mother and a wife.