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!

Cinnamon rolls baked in a 11x13 inch pan, with cream cheese frosting on top.

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 FrostingTraditional 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.

A mixing bowl with yeast, warm water and sugar proofing.

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.

Two process photos for making cinnamon roll dough in a mixer.

First Rise: Place dough in a large greased bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 ½ hours or until doubled.

A mixing bowl with risen dough for cinnamon rolls.

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.

Rolled out cinnamon roll dough with butter, then cinnamon sugar spread on top.

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.

Uncooked cinnamon rolls in a baking dish, ready to refrigerate and rise 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.

Risen cinnamon rolls in a pan, ready to bake.

Bake at 375 degrees F for 18-23 minutes, until golden and cooked through.

A pan of freshly baked cinnamon rolls.

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.
A cinnamon roll frosted with cream cheese frosting, on a plate with a fork.

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.

Recipe Variations:

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Recipe

Cinnamon rolls baked in a 9x13 inch pan, with cream cheese frosting on top.
Prep 2 hrs
Cook 25 mins
Overnight Refrigerate 8 hrs
Total 10 hrs 25 mins
Add to Meal Plan

Ingredients
 
 

Dough:

  • 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

Filling:

  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter , softened
  • 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon

Frosting:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese , ½ block softened
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Notes

Storage Instructions: 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.
Freezing Instructions: Baked rolls can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and warm in the microwave for a few seconds. 
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.

Nutrition

Calories: 259kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 2gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 45mgSodium: 235mgPotassium: 66mgSugar: 34gVitamin A: 435IUCalcium: 57mgIron: 0.2mg

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I originally shared this recipe February 2017. Updated December 2021.

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    These are amazing. Made them Christmas Eve evening for Christmas morning. They were a huge hit and not hard to make at all. I will definitely be keeping this recipe on speed dial.

  2. I like raisins or cranberries in my cinnamon rolls. Should I mix them into the cinnamon sugar mixture, or just lay them on top before rolling them up? Thank you.

  3. Could you put the buns in the oven as it’s preheating to temp to proof? You would have to add about 20-25 minutes to baking time I think.

  4. I tried twice to make these rolls and just couldn’t get the Yeast to proof. Some direction on how you warmed your milk and for how long would have helped.

  5. 5 stars
    Ooooh… these turned out fabuously! Will definitely be making them again and again and… My pan (that seemed just right when I put them in) shrunk so they were tall and very cozy, but tasted oh-s0-good! Thanks so much for this great recipe!

  6. 4 stars
    I made these and they look perfect, however were a little blander than I prefer. I would make them again, but will use salted butter in the filling and will use a frosting recipe that also contains butter.

  7. 5 stars
    Dear Lauren,
    I just made the dough, added 4 cups and a dash of flour and it came out very nice. It is a little sticky but that’s how every dough containing active yeast I make tourns out to feel.
    Now I have to wait for the dough to rise…
    I am making this receipe for my neighbor, she has a birthday party tomorrow. I hope there is enough dough so I can “test-bake” of some cinnamon rolls today ?
    Greetings from Germany.
    Mareike

    1. They turned out perfectly ?
      I am definitely doing this receipe again! They may be made the night before but since they are so delicious I probably can’t wait to bake them the next day next time – they were perfect this time as I did them right away.
      Thank you for sharing this receipe!