Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I am finally in the upright position after having the flu for four days. I was pretty much in bed or pretending to feel well, walking and looking like a zombie, while baby college girl was home for Christmas. I think that Santa must have decided to give me the flu for Christmas instead of coal. Jeepers….I must have been a bad girl this last year ; )

Anywho, while I am still feeling good enough, I am going to finally post my overnight cinnamon roll recipe. I don’t know if you remember me talking about making over a hundred cinnamon rolls for the staff at my high school in December, but I had so many staff members wanting the recipe I thought I better get it posted in time for the new year. What better way to start 2014 than eating hot cinnamon rolls for breakfast, right? One of the best things about this recipe (besides the gooey icing) is that you can make them the day before, put them in the fridge overnight and bake them in the morning. I am using Alton Brown’s Overnight Cinnamon Roll recipe, with some changes and with a different, delicious cream cheese icing. From the viewers who made his recipe, some had a hard time getting the dough to rise. I have included the little tricks that I used and it worked for all 130 something cinnamon rolls. So come on, give them a try…who can resist warm cinnamon rolls.

Here is what you need to make these cinnamon rolls.

Make sure that your ingredients are at room temperature. This will help in the dough rising.


The first thing you need to do is put four egg yolks and one egg in a large mixing bowl. Next, add the sugar and combine.


Next add the buttermilk. I warmed my buttermilk in the microwave for 3o seconds before I slowly poured it into the egg mixture. After, I mixed in the warm milk, I added the warm melted butter and combined everything together with the mixer.


Now, add in two cups of flour, salt and the yeast. Use the paddle attachment to mix the dough until the flour and yeast is all mixed together. Now, take the paddle attachment off and put on the dough hook.

Add in enough flour to form a nice soft, slightly sticky dough. The amount of the flour depends a lot on how fresh the flour is. I just add about 1/2 cup of flour at time and when the dough starts pulling together with the dough hook, I just start tapping flour in a little at time until the dough cleans the sides of the bowl. You do not want to add too much flour because it can make your dough dry. When you dough is ready, use vegetable spray and spray a large bowl. Put the dough in the bowl to rise. I also spray the top of the dough so it does not dry out. I cover the bowl with a cloth and put the bowl in a warm place to rise.


Here is a picture of all the bowls of dough I had sitting on the oven doors to rise for the ones I made at school. I warmed the ovens up and then turned the ovens off. I sat the bowls on the oven doors with a cloth over them to rise. I felt like the dough needed the extra warmth to rise.

When the dough doubles in size (mine took about two hours), punch the dough down and get ready to roll the dough out.

Lightly flour your counter top. Set the dough on top of the flour.

Roll the dough into a large rectangle about a 18 inch by 12 inch. Spread melted butter on top of the dough.


Measure out the brown sugar and the cinnamon and mix together.


Spread the cinnamon brown sugar on top of the buttered dough. Starting with the long side of the dough, roll the dough up. Cut the dough into approximately 10 rolls.

Set the rolls on a parchment paper covered cookie sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator until  you are ready to bake. When you are ready to bake, warm your oven to 200 degrees. Place the pan of rolls in the oven (take the plastic wrap off). Make sure to leave the door of the oven  ajar. Let the rolls rise for about 20 minutes. Take the rolls out of the oven and heat the oven up to 350. When the oven is preheated place the rolls back into the  oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until the inside of the roll is cooked through.

The rolls will pop up in the middle and brown sugar will start oozing out.

While the rolls are still warm, spread with the icing.

If you want, after you ice the warm cinnamon rolls you can top them with sugared pecans.

Here is how to make my favorite icing for the cinnamon rolls.

In a bowl add the soften butter and cream cheese.

With a mixer, mix in the powdered sugar, warm water, vanilla and salt. You will end up with a bowl full of creamy icing.

Here is the recipe:

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

Recipe adapted from Alton Brown


4 large egg yolks: room temperature

1 large egg: room temperature

1/3 cup sugar

6 tablespoons melted butter

3/4 cup of buttermilk, warmed slightly in the microwave

Approximately 4 cups of flour: you may not use the total amount

1 package of instant dry yeast or 2 1/4 teaspoons

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

Vegetable spray


1 cup packed brown sugar

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Melted butter: enough to brush on the dough approximately 2 tablespoons


4 tablespoon butter, softened

2 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

2 tablespoons warm water

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt


In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine the egg yolks, egg, sugar, butter and buttermilk. Add 2 cups of flour along with the yeast and salt. Combined until all the flour is incorporated. Switch to the dough hook attachment. Add 1 cup of flour and  knead for 5 minutes. Add more flour until the dough cleans the sides of the bowl. The dough should be soft and moist. Spray a large bowl with vegetable oil. Take the dough out of the mixing bowl and transfer to the large bowl. Lightly spray the top of the dough with the oil. Cover and let rise in a warm place (I used a warm oven door) until the dough doubles in size. It took mine about 2 hours.

Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll the dough into a rectangle about a  18 by 12 inch rectangle. Brush the dough with melted butter. Sprinkle the dough with brown sugar and cinnamon. Leaving a edge on one side to use later to seal the rolled dough together. Press the brown sugar on to the dough. Beginning with the long edge, roll the dough up. Seal the edge together. With a serrated knife, slice the dough into 10 to 12 cinnamon rolls. Arrange on a cooking sheet, lined with parchment paper.  Cover the rolls with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, remove the rolls from the fridge and place in a warm 200 degree oven. Be sure and take off the plastic wrap. Turn the oven off and leave the door ajar. Let the rolls rise and proof for 20 minutes or until the rolls look slightly puffy. Take the rolls out of the oven.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

When the oven is preheated, place the rolls in the preheated oven and bake until the rolls are golden brown. While the rolls are baking, make the icing. When the rolls come out of the oven, let them cool slightly. After the rolls have cooled, ice with the icing and serve.

Before, I finish this post, I wanted to thank all the teachers who came to my rescue the morning I was making all those cinnamon rolls.

Does it look like we are having fun!!!

Don’t worry, you don’t have to make this many….not unless you have a really big family.



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Buttermilk Pecan Pancakes