Overnight Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

Melt-in-you-mouth overnight cinnamon rolls with whipped cream cheese icing. Perfect for holidays and busy mornings. The best make-ahead cinnamon rolls! | natashaskitchen.com

We’ve been making these melt-in-you-mouth overnight cinnamon rolls on the regular but there’s something new and wonderful about this recipe. Did you notice the fluffy cream cheese crown of irresistible decadence on the top? That my friends is the same frosting I used on my wildly popular pumpkin cake and it will change your life.

The part that touches the cinnamon rolls melts a bit, sinking into every groove and the top stays whipped and gorgeous.

This is also an overnight cinnamon rolls recipe (meaning, there is a make-ahead option!)  I’ve had so many curious folks asking if my maple cinnamon rolls would work overnight, so I’m sharing my tips and tricks (and it couldn’t be easier!). These are perfect for holidays, house guests, and you of course ;).

Melt-in-you-mouth overnight cinnamon rolls with whipped cream cheese icing. Perfect for holidays and busy mornings. The best make-ahead cinnamon rolls! | natashaskitchen.com

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I’ll always remember the first time I brought a batch of my cinnamon rolls to my sister’s house and how quickly they were eaten by the children (and my sister!). They’ve been in high demand ever since ;).

Ingredients for Overnight Cinnamon Rolls:

1 cup warm milk (not hot)
1/2 Tbsp active dry yeast (we use Red Star Brand)
4 Tbsp granulated sugar, divided
3 cups + 2 to 4 Tbsp all-purpose flour, divided (*see notes below)
1 large egg, room temp
2 Tbsp unsalted butter melted (1 Tbsp for batter and 1 Tbsp to grease pans)
1/2 tsp salt

For the Cinnamon Roll Filling:

7 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened, divided (6 Tbsp for filling and 1 Tbsp to brush tops)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon

overnight-cinnamon-rolls-recipe

For the Cream Cheese Icing:

4 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup confectioners (powdered) sugar

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How to Make the Best Overnight Cinnamon Rolls:

1. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, add 1 cup warm milk and sprinkle with 1/2 Tbsp yeast. Let sit uncovered for 7 minutes at room temp. Add 1/2 cup flour, 2 Tbsp sugar and whisk until blended. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for 35-45 min (or in a 100˚ oven for 25 min). It will look puffy (**See Important Note Below).

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2. Whisk in 1 egg, remaining 2 Tbsp sugar, 1 Tbsp melted butter and 1/2 tsp salt.

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3. Using the dough hook on speed 2, add remaining 2 1/2 cups flour (1/2 cup at a time) letting it blend with each addition. Add more flour 1 Tbsp at a time just until dough is no longer sticking to fingertips or the walls of the bowl as it mixes then knead/mix for 10 min. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temp 2 hours (or in a 100˚ oven for 1 hr). Dough should double in size.

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4. Generously dust flour over a clean work surface and place dough in the center. Sprinkle dough with flour (just enough to keep the rolling pin from sticking) and roll into even 17″x10″ rectangle. Dot the top of dough with 6 Tbsp softened butter and spread it out gently with a spatula.

Melt-in-you-mouth overnight cinnamon rolls with whipped cream cheese icing. Perfect for holidays and busy mornings. The best make-ahead cinnamon rolls! | natashaskitchen.com

5. Stir together 1/4 cup sugar and 1 Tbsp cinnamon and sprinkle ALL OF IT evenly over buttered dough. Roll the dough up starting with one of the longer sides, keeping a tight roll. Once it’s rolled up, push ends in slightly to make them a little more uniform then slice into 12 equal sized cinnamon rolls.

This tip is GOLD: use unflavored floss to prevent squishing your rolls. Slide it under the roll, then bring it up, cross it at the top and pull both ends to cut through the roll easily then repeat.

overnight-cinnamon-rolls-recipe-12

Melt-in-you-mouth overnight cinnamon rolls with whipped cream cheese icing. Perfect for holidays and busy mornings. The best make-ahead cinnamon rolls! | natashaskitchen.com

Melt-in-you-mouth overnight cinnamon rolls with whipped cream cheese icing. Perfect for holidays and busy mornings. The best make-ahead cinnamon rolls! | natashaskitchen.com

6. Butter sides and bottom of a 9×13 baking pan with 1 Tbsp butter and evenly space cinnamon rolls in pan, cut-side down. If making overnight cinnamon rolls, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate (up to 18 hours). Remove from refrigerator and keeping them covered, let cinnamon rolls rise at room temp 1 to 1 1/2 hours (or in a 100˚F oven for 35 min) or until puffy.

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7. Brush tops with 1 Tbsp melted butter and bake at 350˚F for 22-24 mins or until tops are light golden brown. Let cool in pan 15 minutes then frost warm buns generously with the cream cheese glaze (instructions below).

Melt-in-you-mouth overnight cinnamon rolls with whipped cream cheese icing. Perfect for holidays and busy mornings. The best make-ahead cinnamon rolls! | natashaskitchen.com

Melt-in-you-mouth overnight cinnamon rolls with whipped cream cheese icing. Perfect for holidays and busy mornings. The best make-ahead cinnamon rolls! | natashaskitchen.com

How to Make Cream Cheese Icing:

1. Using an electric mixer, cream together 4 Tbsp softened butter, 4 oz soft cream cheese and beat on medium speed until creamy and smooth. Beat in 1/2 Tbsp vanilla then add 1 cup powered sugar and continue mixing until fluffy (3-4 min), scraping down the bowl as needed.

overnight-cinnamon-rolls-recipe-5

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

4.9 from 21 reviews
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
These melt-in-you-mouth cinnamon rolls can be made in advance so they are perfect for holidays, company and busy mornings. The whipped cream cheese icing melts a bit, sinking into every groove and the top stays whipped and gorgeous. P.S. These can be baked the same day as well, just let them rise instead of putting them in the refrigerator.
Author:
Skill Level: Easy
Cost To Make: $4-$6
Serving: 12 medium rolls

Ingredients

Ingredients for Overnight Cinnamon Rolls:

  • 1 cup warm milk (not hot)
  • ½ Tbsp active dry yeast
  • 4 Tbsp granulated sugar, divided
  • 3 cups + 2 to 4 Tbsp all-purpose flour, divided*
  • 1 large egg, room temp
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter melted, divided
  • ½ tsp salt

For the Cinnamon Roll Filling:

  • 7 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened, divided
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon

For the Cream Cheese Icing:

  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • ½ Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup confectioners (powdered) sugar

Instructions

How to Make Overnight Cinnamon Rolls:

  1. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, add 1 cup warm milk and sprinkle with ½ Tbsp yeast. Let sit uncovered for 7 minutes at room temp. Add ½ cup flour, 2 Tbsp sugar and whisk until blended. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for 35-45 min (or in a 100˚ oven** for 25 min). It will look puffy.
  2. Whisk in 1 egg, remaining 2 Tbsp sugar, 1 Tbsp melted butter and ½ tsp salt.
  3. Using the dough hook on speed 2, add remaining 2½ cups flour (1/2 cup at a time) letting it blend with each addition. Add more flour 1 Tbsp at a time just until dough is no longer sticking to fingertips or the walls of the bowl as it mixes then knead/mix for 10 min. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temp 2 hours (or in a 100˚ oven for 1 hr). Dough should double in size.
  4. Generously dust flour over a clean work surface and place dough in the center. Sprinkle dough with flour (just enough to keep the rolling pin from sticking) and roll into even 17″x10″ rectangle. Dot the top of dough with 6 Tbsp softened butter and spread it out gently with a spatula.
  5. Stir together ¼ cup sugar and 1 Tbsp cinnamon and sprinkle ALL OF IT evenly over buttered dough. Roll the dough up starting with one of the longer sides, keeping a tight roll. Once it's rolled up, push ends in slightly to make them a little more uniform then slice into 12 equal sized cinnamon rolls.***
  6. Butter sides and bottom of a 9×13 baking pan with 1 Tbsp butter and evenly space cinnamon rolls in pan, cut-side down. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight (up to 18 hours). The following day, remove from refrigerator and keeping them covered, let cinnamon rolls rise at room temp 1 to 1½ hours (or in a 100˚F oven for 35 min) or until puffy.
  7. Brush tops with 1 Tbsp melted butter and bake at 350˚F for 22-24 mins or until tops are light golden brown. Let cool in pan 15 minutes then frost warm buns generously with the cream cheese glaze (instructions below).

How to Make Cream Cheese Icing:

  1. Using an electric mixer, cream together 4 Tbsp softened butter, 4 oz soft cream cheese and beat on medium speed until creamy and smooth. Beat in ½ Tbsp vanilla then add 1 cup powered sugar and continue mixing until fluffy (3-4 min), scraping down the bowl as needed.

Notes

*On Measuring Flour: Fluff up flour then spoon into a dry measuring cup. Scrape off the top with the back of a knife.
**Oven should not be hotter than 100˚F or you will cook and ruin the yeast.
***Use unflavored floss to prevent squishing your rolls. Slide it under the roll, then bring it up, cross it at the top and pull both ends to cut through the roll easily then repeat.

If you make this recipe, I’d love to see pics of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag them #natashaskitchen

Melt-in-you-mouth overnight cinnamon rolls with whipped cream cheese icing. Perfect for holidays and busy mornings. The best make-ahead cinnamon rolls! | natashaskitchen.com

The start of September is when I roll up my sleeves, pull out the baking tools and incorporate cinnamon in as many desserts as possible! I think it’s the best way to welcome Autumn :).

Q: Which food is the heart of Autumn for you?

Melt-in-you-mouth overnight cinnamon rolls with whipped cream cheese icing. Perfect for holidays and busy mornings. The best make-ahead cinnamon rolls! | natashaskitchen.com

Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review

  • Sofiya
    January 14, 2018

    Would the icing be just as good if prepped the night before and covered with plastic and refrigerated? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      January 15, 2018

      Hi Sofiya, I haven’t tried that but I think it would work to do that, except you will need to soften it at room temperature afterwards and whip it up to a spreadable consistency, or it will be too firm to spread after refrigeration. Reply

  • Sofiya
    January 12, 2018

    What kind of milk works best? 2%? Whole milk? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      January 12, 2018

      Ho Sofiya, we usually use whole milk because it is what we buy for the kids, but 2% will work just as well 🙂 Reply

  • Angela
    December 24, 2017

    All I have on hand is Instant yeast. Would this still work? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      December 24, 2017

      Hi Angela, I haven’t tried this particular recipe with instant yeast but I think it would still work. With instant yeast, you don’t have to wait for the initial proofing with liquid. If you test it with instant yeast, let me know how it goes! Reply

  • Irena
    December 22, 2017

    Hi Natasha, I have a question. Could I use cinnamon sugar for the filling? Do you know if it’s the same thing as mixing the cinnamon and sugar together? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      December 22, 2017

      Hi Irena, I do use cinnamon sugar for the filling and yes I just stir the two together (see step 5). I hope you love the cinnamon rolls! 🙂 Reply

  • Ellen
    December 22, 2017

    If I bake these 1-2 days before serving should I keep them in the fridge without the frosting? What would be the best way to warm them up out of the fridge? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      December 22, 2017

      Hi Ellen, you could do that – I think it would work well. If you are leaving them in the pan and reheating the full batch, I would suggest you put them back in the oven until they are very warm then spread the frosting over the top. Reply

    • Donna
      December 23, 2017

      Nothing better than warm fresh cinnamon rolls but so very hard to do if you want breakfast before noon! I know you can buy frozen cinnamon rolls that you let thaw and rise then bake fresh. Could you freeze these before the last rising? Any idea how long it would take to thaw and rise? Reply

      • Natasha
        natashaskitchen
        December 23, 2017

        Hi Donna, to be honest, I haven’t tried freezing these, but I think it could work to freeze then thaw and bake. If time permits, I would thaw in the fridge overnight then follow the instructions in the post above: “Remove from refrigerator and keeping them covered, let cinnamon rolls rise at room temp 1 to 1 1/2 hours (or in a 100˚F oven for 35 min) or until puffy.” Reply

  • Cathy
    December 21, 2017

    I would like to take these to work for a ER shift that starts at 6am on Christmas morning and am looking for options – should I make and bake them the night before, warm up and frost in the morning or bake in the morning (the problem with this option is that I would have to get up super early to let dough rise and then bake / frost in morning). Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      December 21, 2017

      Hi Cathy, getting up super early to bake the cinnamon rolls seems like a really big hassle. I would bake and frost them the night before and you could definitely warm up and frost the morning you are serving them then serve at room temp by the time you get to work. Should be delicious!! 🙂 Reply

  • Lana
    December 11, 2017

    Oh my goodness! These are super delicious and thousand times better than store-bought! You are talented! Did you make up this recipe yourself? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      December 11, 2017

      Hi Lana, one of my readers shared the dough recipe with me and it was used to make baked piroshki so I applied the same dough to make cinnamon rolls and it worked wonderfully! 🙂 Reply

  • Marian
    November 15, 2017

    I forgot to add I wrapped very well with heavy duty foil then into a large freezer bag. No freezer burn ever happens to my rolls. They freeze well for about 3 to 4 months. I’ve actually forgotten about them and left them in the freezer for 6 months and they are still fine. Just thaw, warm in a 350 oven then glaze. taste like it was just baked. Time it takes depends on the size of the breads or rolls you are warming up. Just check them. Of course don’t leave them in there for a half hour or more. Just 10 minutes should do it. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 15, 2017

      Thank you so much for sharing your tip! That is so helpful! 🙂 Reply

  • Marian
    November 15, 2017

    Someone asked about freezing. Why can’t they be baked, cooled then frozen? I’ve frozen baked yeast based coffee cakes before. Just thaw and warm in an oven, if desired, then glazed. Takes the guesswork out of wondering how long it would take to rise. Also they are always ready when you want them or company comes by. I’ve frozen already baked rolls many times. They turn out fine. Any problem why they shouldn’t be frozen after baking? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 15, 2017

      Hi Marian, I haven’t tried but I don’t think there would be any issues with freezing the finished rolls. It sounds like a smart idea! 🙂 Reply

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