Overnight Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

All opinions expressed herein are my own!

Cinnamon rolls are very dear to my heart.  They are my children’s absolute favorite thing I bake, and the stuff that brings the fondest of memories to my oldest two (now adult) children. I used to make them every Sunday morning before Church because I could prep them Saturday night after dinner, and bake them while everyone gets dressed in the morning. My husband knows to set the dough pans out on the counter to rise when he gets up, and to wake me when the oven is preheated!  I love how perfectly orchestrated our Sunday mornings are when we start with handmade overnight cinnamon rolls.

Cinnamon Rolls at Home

A few tips before I share the complete cinnamon roll recipe:

Don’t try to rush this recipe with rapid rise yeast.  I have tried it a few times and it doesn’t produce the light and fluffy cinnamon rolls we love.

If you or a loved one has a dairy allergy, feel free to substitute water for the milk, and butter flavored vegetable shortening for the butter in your dough.  I recommend skipping the cream cheese frosting altogether and trying a caramel or honey based glaze for the top instead.

Messy rolling won’t kill this recipe.  Don’t feel like if your dough doesn’t roll up perfectly like the photo above you’re lost.  You’re not.  Just get it in the pan and let them rise.  It will be okay, promise.  I have rolled these up at 2 am with one eye open and they still tasted delicious the next morning.  You got this mommy!

Mommy's Playbook Sunday Morning Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

Does round pans make a difference?

Yes! Just look at that coveted center piece! Isn’t it calling your name right now? — Yum!

I have tried to double my batch and use rectangle cake pans for gatherings.  It works, but it isn’t the same. The baking time is longer and the cinnamon rolls on the outside edges get a little more brown than I prefer. Stick with the round cake pans, even if you are baking enough to share.

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

Mommy’s Playbook Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

(This recipe uses a stand mixer with paddle and dough hook attachments)

Download Recipe Card Here

Dough Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 2 Packets Active Dry Yeast
  • 1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Butter
  • 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Cups Wheat Flour (or All Purpose Flour)
  • 2 Cups All Purpose Flour

Filling Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup applesauce (or butter)
  • 1 cup Packed Brown Sugar
  • 3 tbsp Ground Cinnamon

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1/4 cup Butter
  • 1/2 cup Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1/4 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1-2 cups Powdered Sugar

Directions:

Warm milk in a small bowl. Dissolve granulated sugar and yeast into the milk and allow yeast to activate for five minutes.  Yeast should be foamy, if not, you may need to start over.

While yeast is activating.  Cream butter, brown sugar, vanilla, and eggs with your mixer using the paddle attachment. Slowly add 2 cups of wheat flour (or All Purpose if you are omitting the wheat flour in this recipe).  Mix just until combined.

Switch to your dough hook attachment.  Pour in the milk, sugar, and yeast mixture all at once. Turn your mixer on slowly (may need to imitate a “pulse” method until the liquid begins to mix in).  Add remaining 2 cups of flour 1/2 cup at a time. Knead dough until the flour is fully incorporated.  (Dough may NOT separate from the bowl so don’t wait for that to happen.)

Lightly coat a large bowl with oil or non-stick spray.  Pour dough into bowl (a rubber spatula is a great help here.)  Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour.

For filling: Mix Brown Sugar and Cinnamon together, set aside.

Once dough has risen, pour dough onto a floured surface.  Sprinkle with more flour and flour your rolling pin. Roll dough thinly into a large rectangle. (Tip: Shape the dough into a bread loaf before starting to roll.)

Pour applesauce onto your rectangle.  Spread with a spoon (or your hands) to the edges. Top with brown sugar/cinnamon mixture.

From the long side, roll your dough. Try to keep it tight so you don’t lose your filling when you transfer it to your baking pan(s).

Starting at the middle, cut dough log into 1 inch thick rolls. I use a dough scraper and then readjust the roll into a circle, but if you have floss that works great too.

Lightly grease two round pans.  I use two rimmed pie dishes. Divide your rolls in half, place half in each dish.  They don’t need to touch because they will rise to meet each other during the next rise.

STOP!  Are you making these overnight? If so, cover your cinnamon rolls with plastic wrap and place them into the fridge! (read the overnight instructions at the bottom of the page). If you can’t wait until morning, cover with plastic wrap and allow cinnamon rolls to rise in a warm location for 30-45 minutes.

Let’s Bake!! Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bake rolls for 25-30 minutes. To check to see if they are done, press the center roll gently.  If baking is complete, it will bounce right back, if it sinks, bake for another 5 minutes.

While the rolls are baking, prepare your cream cheese frosting.  Add softened cream cheese, butter, and pure vanilla extract to your mixing bowl (or food processor). Mix until smooth.  Add powdered sugar. Continue to mix until smooth.  Set aside until the cinnamon rolls are removed from the oven.

Top rolls with frosting. Serve warm.


Overnight Instructions!  Your rolls should rise in the fridge overnight so all you need to do is toss them into the oven in the morning.  However, if they don’t, fill a rectangle pan with water and set it on the bottom rack of your oven.  Place rolls on the rack above the pan. Preheat oven to 200 degrees and allow the rolls to rise for 20 minutes.  Remove them from the oven and proceed with the baking directions above.

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45 thoughts on “Overnight Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

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    Oh wow, these overnight cinnamon rolls sound delicious right now! There is nothing better than a freshly made cinnamon roll, and making them the night before is a lifesaver! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.

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      These look awesome! I downloaded rhe recipe and will definitely be trying them! Thank you!

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    This Overnight Cinnamon Rolls Recipe seems fun and tasty to me! I have not had a cinnamon roll in quite while. I know my family would enjoy these also!

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    These make me tear up at happy memories of days past. Will bookmark this – I don’t have any yeast (and it’s been hard to find) but when I get some this will be the first thing I make

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    These look so tasty and perfect with morning coffee. Wish I had seen the recipe last night to make it for this morning

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    They look delicious. They are one of my favorite morning treats.

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    I’ll have to make these when my kiddo is home this weekend! It looks tasty.

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    Nothing better than homemade cinnamon rolls. They look wonderfully delicious.

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    I need to share this recipe with a friend who LOVES cinnamon rolls. He won’t be able to resist trying them.

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    My mother used to make cinnamon rolls – especially for Christmas. I’ve never tried myself but it might be time to try (might give me something new to do during lock downs)

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    These look delicious. I have been on a cinnamon roll baking, and eating kick lately and have to give these a try also.

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    This looks so yummy I’ve always loved cinnamon rolls

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    MMMMM….. I haven’t had a good cinnamon roll in a long time! I’m going to make these!

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    Oh my goodness!! This literally made me salivate!! I’ve never made homemade cinnamon rolls! These look and sound absolutely amazing! Thank you for sharing and wish me luck!!

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    I’d eat that! I’m not much into baking but I’d sure eat these.

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    I totally agree with you! Overnight rolls are the best and make them in a round pan so they all get the same attention! I haven’t made cinnamon rolls for a long time, but since it’s cold outside, maybe I’ll whip some up. I can leave them in the garage overnight (no room in the fridge). Thanks for sharing your secrets!

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    I have never made homemade Cinnamon rolls.I usually buy them from a bakery or the grocery store. This recipe seem to be fairly easy.I may try my hand at making them.

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    Thank you for the recipe, sounds great.

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    These look delicious! I never thought of using applesauce instead of butter in the filling. Genius!

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    These look yummy! I am going to ask my sister to help me make these. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

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    These look so delicious. Thanks for the recipe!

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    Can’t wait to make these. Sound yummy

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    Cinnamon rolls are a family favorite. Thank goodness my brother-in-law takes care of making them. Perhaps I might try shocking everyone and show up with these one day for family breakfast.

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    This looks easy and foolproof to do!

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    These look so delicious! I love cinnamon rolls I always make them on Christmas morning.

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    I just showed my husband and we are going to make these weekend.

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    These cinnamon rolls look delicious. I’ll have to make them for my husband.

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    I love making cinnamon rolls, bacon and eggs for my family on weekends. This recipe looks like it would NOT disappoint!

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    These look absolutely amazing! Will have to try soon.
    digicats {at} sbcglobal {dot} net

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    I never thought of this. Thanks!

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    These look Amazing! My kids love cinnamon rolls. Thank you for the recipe.

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    Thank you for sharing this awesome recipe.

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