This Overnight Cinnamon Rolls recipe results in big, fluffy, delicious cinnamon rolls that you can make the night before! Top with cream cheese frosting to make them next-level!
Want to try more breakfast favorites? Check out my Cranberry Orange Scones, Breakfast Casserole, or learn How to Make Crepes!
Why I love these:
- Make Ahead – The entire recipe is made the night before, so all you have to do in the morning is bake and enjoy.
- Cream Cheese Frosting – Traditional glaze is tasty too, but thick and creamy cream cheese frosting is my all time favorite on cinnamon rolls.
- Delicious – This easy cinnamon rolls recipe results in big, fluffy, and delicious cinnamon rolls! Perfect for a special morning or for guests!
How to make Overnight Cinnamon Rolls:
Proof Yeast: Add yeast, warm milk, and ½ teaspoon sugar to mixing bowl and stir. Rest for 5 minutes; mixture should get foamy.
Make Dough: Add salt, sugar, egg, butter, and 2 cups of flour to the mixing bowl. Mix on medium speed until combined. Add another cup of flour and continue mixing. Add more flour as needed until dough pulls away from the bottom and sides of bowl. Dough should be smooth and elastic but slightly sticky.
First Rise: Place dough in a large greased bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 ½ hours or until doubled.
Roll and fill: Punch down and roll into a 20″x18″ rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Smooth butter on top. Sprinkle cinnamon and brown sugar mixture, leaving a ½ inch border.
Shape and cut: Starting at the short end, roll the dough into a tight log. Slice with a serrated knife or dental floss into 1.5 inch thick slices.
Refrigerate overnight: Place rolls in a buttered 11×13 dish. Cover pan tightly with plastic wrap and aluminum foil and place in refrigerator overnight.
Second rise: In the morning, remove rolls from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature and rise for 1 ½ to 2 hours, or until doubled.
Bake at 375 degrees F for 18-23 minutes, until golden and cooked through.
Add frosting: Spread cream cheese frosting on warm rolls and enjoy!
How to Make Cream Cheese Frosting:
- Beat cream cheese with electric mixers until smooth. Add powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla and mix well until smooth.
- Add additional milk or powdered sugar to make the frosting thicker, or thinner, as desired.
Storage and Freezing Instructions:
To Store: Store leftover cooled homemade cinnamon rolls in an airtight container for 3-5 days. Rewarm individually in microwave for about 15 seconds or until soft.
To Freeze: Baked rolls can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and warm in the microwave for a few seconds. To freeze unbaked cinnamon rolls, bake the assembled rolls for only 12 minutes at 375°F. Cool completely, then cover well and freeze. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then return to oven for 10-15 minutes, until cooked through.
- Instant Yeast: to substitute instant yeast, skip the first step of proofing the yeast and add the yeast, 2 cups flour, sugar and salt to stand mixer before adding water, milk, egg, and butter.
- Orange Rolls
- Classic Cinnamon Rolls
- Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
- Lemon Blueberry Cinnamon Rolls
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Overnight Cinnamon Rolls
- Stand Mixer optional
- 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast*
- 1 cup warm milk
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar + ½ teaspoon, divided
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter , softened
- 3 ½ – 4 cups bread flour , or all-purpose
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter , softened
- 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 4 ounces cream cheese , ½ block softened
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 6 Tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Proof Yeast: In a mixer add yeast, warm milk, and ½ teaspoon sugar and gently stir. Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes for the yeast to “proof” and the mixture to get foamy on the top (if this does not happen, try again with fresh active yeast).
- Make Dough: Add salt, sugar, egg, butter, and 2 cups of flour to the mixing bowl. Mix on medium speed until combined. Add another cup of flour and continue mixing. Add more flour as needed until dough pulls away from the bottom and sides of bowl. Mix for 5 minutes. Dough should be smooth and elastic but slightly sticky.
- First Rise: Remove dough to a large greased bowl, cover, and allow it to rise for 1 ½ hours or until doubled in volume.
- Roll and shape: Punch dough down and turn out onto a lightly floured or greased work surface. Roll dough into a 20''x18'' rectangle.
- Fill and cut: Smooth butter over the top of the dough, Mix cinnamon and brown sugar together and sprinkle evenly over the top, leaving about 1/2inch border. Roll the dough into a tight “log” and use a sharp serrated knife or some tooth floss to cut the dough into slices about 1.5 inches thick.
- Refrigerate overnight: Place rolls onto a buttered 9×13'' or rimmed bakers half sheet (18×13''). Cover pan with a lid or tightly with plastic wrap and tinfoil and refrigerate overnight, 8-12 hours. (You could also freeze at this point, if desired. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.)
- Second rise: Remove rolls from the refrigerator and allow to rise until doubled in volume, about 1 ½ – 2 hours.*
- Bake: Bake at 375 degrees F for 18-25 minutes, until golden and cooked through in the center. Spread frosting over warm from the oven rolls.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
- Add cream cheese to a mixing bowl and beat with electric mixers until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and beat well until smooth. Add additional milk or powdered sugar to make the frosting thicker, or thinner, as desired. Smooth frosting over cinnamon rolls.
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I originally shared this recipe February 2017. Updated December 2021.
I followed your overnight recipe to a T using instant yeast and the cinnamon rolls turned out perfectly. Soft, tender and insanely delicious! My only wish is that I’d doubled the recipe so there would be some leftover after Christmas morning. Thank you for sharing this 5-star recipe!
Hello, could you please double check conversion of flour from US customary to metric, it states 4-cups = 937, which is incorrect, it should be 500-g.
I would like to make these rolls today but can you clarify how much water you are referring to when you say ….
“Instant Yeast: to substitute instant yeast skip the first step of proofing the yeast and mix the yeast with 2 cups flour, sugar and salt before adding that to the stand mixer with water, milk, egg, and butter.”
I don’t see water mentioned in the ingredients.
Thanks for pointing that out Barabara! You are right there in NO water in the recipe so it should say milk, egg, and butter. Hope you love them!
If used instant yeast then mixed all ingredients together for dough and you can use water instead of milk,if you wanted, to make a dough. Enjoy 😊
Oh my word these are delicious!! The flavor is really better by letting them refrigerate overnight. I did melt the butter with the cinnamon and brown sugar (and let cool slightly) and it was easily spread onto the dough before rolling it up. I’ve we made sourdough cinnamon rolls before and these were just as soft and tasty. Saving this recipe!!
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