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 9×13 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 hours
Cook 25 minutes
Overnight Refrigerate 8 hours
Total 10 hours 25 minutes
Save Recipe

Equipment

Ingredients
 
 

Dough:

Filling:

Frosting:

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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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
    I made these for Christmas. It was the most absolutely amazing thing that I’ve ever created. I feel like a Michelin chef. I’m making them again today for New Year’s Eve. I will never eat or buy cinnamon rolls from the store or eat at Cinnabon. thank you so much Lauren I’m always on this website getting great recipes. My wife’s loves for me to cook for her especially when I use your recipes.

  2. Just made these. Did the overnight version to have this morning. The cinnamon rolls turned out great and I will make them again. The cream cheese frosting turned out gloppy and sickening sweet to me. Won’t use that again. Easy and tasty recipe.

  3. 5 stars
    If I were to use this recipe to make mini cinnamon rolls is it okay to still let them sit in the fridge overnight?

    I’ve made this recipe a couple of times and everyone loves it! I want to make mini rolls for a Christmas party!

    Thanks!!

  4. Hi!

    Looking to make and freeze as gifts for Christmas. When freezing do you frost them before freezing or would you frost after reheating them?

  5. “Place rolls in a buttered 11×13 dish ?” But then I read further down and it stated 9×13 ? These are my go-to sweets, raised money for our church youth… fantastic recipe.

    1. Hi Ken, I am so glad you enjoy this recipe. Thanks for finding that typo, it should be 9×13 in both places. It’s fixed.

  6. 4 stars
    These turned out good but were not as fluffy as I was expecting. I followed the recipe exactly and only used three cups of flour. Also the amount of frosting was ridiculous. I made half and it was more than enough for twelve rolls. They are very sweet to begin with.

  7. 5 stars
    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!

  8. 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.
    Regards, Johanna

  9. 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!

    1. 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!

    2. 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 😊

  10. 5 stars
    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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