Overnight Cinnamon Rolls


Overnight Cinnamon Rolls stand out from their regular counterparts due to a myriad of factors. Firstly, the preparation method allows for an extended resting period. This makes the dough much softer and fluffier. When compared to Cinnabon Cinnamon Roll Cake, the Overnight Cinnamon Rolls have a distinct texture and depth.

Freshly baked overnight cinnamon rolls topped with creamy icing on a white plate.

Furthermore, the richness of the dough ensures that every bite is a delightful mix of gooey sweetness and tangy cream cheese icing. The use of whole milk or buttermilk, along with a generous amount of butter, contributes significantly to this richness. Unlike regular cinnamon rolls, these have an aroma and flavor that’s truly irresistible, reminiscent of the indulgence found in the Cinnamon Roll Apple Pie.

Another distinguishing factor is the flexibility they offer. You can prepare the dough the previous night, making morning baking a breeze. Moreover, the rolls can be frozen after a partial bake, ensuring you can enjoy them fresh at a later time. This method is similar to preserving the freshness of Amish Cinnamon Bread, a treat in its own right.

Lastly, Overnight Cinnamon Rolls can be adorned with a variety of icings. While cream cheese icing is a favorite, there’s ample room for creativity. Whether you choose vanilla, brown sugar, or caramel icing, each variant offers a unique twist to the classic.

Role of Ingredients in Shaping the Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

Each ingredient in the Overnight Cinnamon Rolls plays a pivotal role in delivering the perfect roll. Let’s dissect their contributions:

  • Whole Milk: This forms the base and ensures the rolls are soft and rich. It’s a step up from the 2% or 1% milk commonly found in Bisquick Cinnamon Rolls. Buttermilk, a worthy alternative, imparts a tangy undertone to the rolls. For those who prefer a dairy-free version, non-dairy milk substitutions have also proven successful.
  • Sugar: The sweetness in the dough primarily comes from white granulated sugar. Additionally, brown sugar in the filling enhances the overall flavor, making each bite even more delightful.
  • Yeast: Crucial for the rising of the dough. Using a quality brand like Red Star Yeast guarantees better results. The proofing step, though often seen as redundant with instant yeasts, ensures the yeast is active.
  • Butter: It makes the dough rich and adds a buttery flavor. The presence of butter ensures the softness and richness of the roll, making it distinct from simpler bread recipes.
  • Eggs: They enhance the texture, making it softer. Eggs also enrich the dough, setting it apart from more basic recipes.
  • Salt: It’s not just about sweetness! Salt balances the flavors and accentuates the sweet notes.
  • Flour: All-purpose flour is typically used, but bread flour can be an alternative. It slightly alters the texture, making the rolls chewier. For those used to the softness of treats like Amish Cinnamon Bread, all-purpose flour might be the preferred choice.

Understanding these ingredients and their roles can make baking a more engaging and informed experience, ensuring every batch of Overnight Cinnamon Rolls is perfect.

Variations to Explore with Overnight Cinnamon Rolls Dough

The beauty of the Overnight Cinnamon Rolls dough lies in its versatility. Just like the myriad of flavors in the Cinnabon Cinnamon Roll Cake, there are numerous variations one can explore:

Close-up view of a gooey cinnamon swirl in a homemade overnight roll.
  1. Filling Variations: Move beyond the traditional cinnamon and brown sugar mix. Consider adding apple pie filling, inspired by the Cinnamon Roll Apple Pie, or even a chocolate and hazelnut spread for a unique twist.
  2. Herb Infused Rolls: Add finely chopped herbs like rosemary or thyme to the dough for a savory version. Paired with a garlic cream cheese frosting, it’s a divine savory treat.
  3. Nutty Addition: Incorporate finely chopped nuts like pecans, walnuts, or almonds to the filling. They add a lovely crunch and elevate the taste.
  4. Fruity Rolls: Add dried fruits like raisins, cranberries, or currants to the filling. This not only introduces a new flavor profile but also adds a chewy texture to the rolls.
  5. Different Icings: Move beyond cream cheese icing. Try a caramel drizzle, chocolate ganache, or even a simple glaze made of powdered sugar and milk.
  6. Whole Grain Variation: Replace half of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat or spelt flour. This offers a nuttier taste and increases the nutritional value.

The possibilities are endless. By understanding the base recipe, one can get creative and experiment with various flavors and textures.

Exploring Milk Variations in Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

Yes, the type of milk used in the “Overnight Cinnamon Rolls” recipe can indeed be altered to cater to dietary preferences or to introduce a slight variation in flavor and texture. Here are some options:

  1. Buttermilk: This lends a tangy flavor to the dough and can make the rolls even softer. It’s a great choice for those who want a slight sour undertone to their rolls, reminiscent of some traditional bread recipes.
  2. Non-Dairy Milks: Almond milk, soy milk, oat milk, and coconut milk can be used as substitutes. Each non-dairy milk introduces its unique flavor. For instance, coconut milk will give the rolls a slight coconut undertone.
  3. Half-and-Half: A mix of whole milk and cream, using half-and-half makes the rolls richer and creamier. It’s an excellent choice for those special occasions.
  4. Evaporated Milk: This milk has had about 60% of its water content removed, making it creamier and richer. It can introduce a caramelized undertone to the rolls.
  5. 2% or Skim Milk: For a lighter version of the rolls, one can opt for 2% or skim milk. While the rolls might not be as rich, they will still be delicious.
  6. Lactose-Free Milk: For those who are lactose intolerant, lactose-free milk is a perfect alternative. It ensures everyone can enjoy the rolls without any digestive issues.

When experimenting with different milk types, it’s essential to consider the fat content. Higher fat content will make the rolls richer and softer, while lower fat content might make them slightly drier but still tasty.

Delving into the Brown Sugar Advantage in Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

The choice of sugar in any dessert is not just about sweetness. It’s about texture, moisture, flavor, and the overall experience of the dish. When it comes to cinnamon rolls, especially the delectable Overnight Cinnamon Rolls, brown sugar plays a vital role in elevating them from good to exceptional.

  1. Flavor Depth: Brown sugar is essentially white sugar with molasses added back into it. This molasses imparts a rich, caramel-like flavor, which pairs exceptionally well with the warmth of cinnamon. Compared to granulated sugar, brown sugar offers a deeper, more nuanced sweetness.
  2. Moistness and Texture: Thanks to its molasses content, brown sugar introduces more moisture to the filling. This ensures that even after baking, the interior of the roll remains gooey and soft, mimicking the consistency found in treats like the Bisquick Cinnamon Rolls.
  3. Melting and Caramelization: Brown sugar has a different melting point than white sugar. When used in the filling of cinnamon rolls, it provides a luscious, almost caramel-like layer between the spirals of dough.
  4. Visual Appeal: The darker hue of brown sugar gives the rolls a golden-brown color, enhancing their visual appeal and making them even more tempting.
  5. Perfect Pairing with Butter: When brown sugar combines with butter, it creates a rich, buttery caramel sauce within the layers of the rolls. This is what gives the Overnight Cinnamon Rolls their signature gooeyness.
  6. Versatility: Brown sugar can easily be swapped for its darker counterpart, dark brown sugar, for an even richer flavor. On the other hand, for those who prefer a milder taste, light brown sugar works just fine.

Understanding the reasoning behind ingredient choices can greatly improve one’s baking experience. By using brown sugar, the Overnight Cinnamon Rolls achieve a combination of flavor and texture that’s hard to match, ensuring they remain a favorite in many households.

Mastering the Freeze: Ensuring Freshness in Your Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

The beauty of cinnamon rolls, especially those delightful Overnight Cinnamon Rolls, is that they are as versatile in storage as they are in flavor. One of the questions that often arise is the possibility of freezing them without compromising their taste and freshness. The answer is a resounding yes! Here’s a breakdown of how to do it right:

Stack of buttery overnight cinnamon rolls beside a bowl of tangy cream cheese frosting.
  1. Partial Baking Method: The key to preserving that fresh-out-of-the-oven taste is to partially bake your cinnamon rolls. Bake them for only about 10 minutes, just enough to set but not brown. Afterward, allow them to cool completely.
  2. Storage: Once cooled, wrap the rolls securely in both plastic wrap and aluminum foil. This double layer ensures no moisture escapes, maintaining the softness of the rolls. For added protection, store them inside a zip-lock freezer bag.
  3. Thawing and Final Baking: To serve, retrieve the rolls from the freezer and place them in the refrigerator overnight. Once they’ve thawed, proceed to bake them for the remaining 15-20 minutes. This ensures they finish cooking and achieve that beautiful golden-brown hue.
  4. Icing Post-Thawing: It’s recommended to ice the rolls after the final baking. Whether it’s the classic cream cheese glaze or the caramel icing from apple cinnamon rolls, applying post-thaw ensures the icing remains fresh and gooey.
  5. Gifting Tips: If you’re thinking of sharing the love with friends and family, this method is especially handy. Attach a little note with thawing and baking instructions, ensuring they get the best experience out of your gift.
  6. Benefits: Freezing partially baked rolls is not just about convenience. It also ensures you have fresh cinnamon rolls on demand, whether for unexpected guests or sudden cravings. Plus, this method allows the rolls to retain their original texture and flavor, unlike fully baked and then frozen rolls.

In essence, freezing Overnight Cinnamon Rolls doesn’t mean sacrificing quality. By following the proper steps, you ensure a delicious, fresh-tasting pastry ready whenever the mood strikes. The knowledge of having a stash ready to go might just make these rolls even more irresistible!

Freshly baked overnight cinnamon rolls topped with creamy icing on a white plate.

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

Delight your taste buds with these indulgent homemade cinnamon rolls, characterized by their buttery softness, luscious cinnamon sweetness, and crowned with a rich cream cheese frosting. Whether you’re keen on baking them over a few hours or wish to use the convenient overnight method, this recipe promises mouthwatering results.
5 from 2 votes
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: overnight cinnamon rolls, overnight cinnamon rolls recipe
Prep Time: 3 hours
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 12 luscious rolls


For the Dough:

  • Warm whole milk 100°F or 38°C: 1 cup (240ml)
  • Granulated sugar: 2/3 cup 135g to be used divided
  • Active dry/instant yeast: 1 ½ Tablespoons 14g equivalent to 2 standard size packets
  • Softened unsalted butter room temperature, quartered: ½ cup (113g)
  • Room temperature large eggs: 2
  • Salt: ½ teaspoon
  • All-purpose or bread flour spooned & leveled: 4 ½ cups (563g) additional may be required
  • Canola vegetable, or olive oil (for greasing the bowl): 2 teaspoons

For the Filling:

  • Softened unsalted butter room temperature: ½ cup (113g)
  • Packed light/dark brown sugar: 2/3 cup 135g
  • Ground cinnamon: 1 ½ Tablespoons

For Cream Cheese Icing:

  • Full-fat brick cream cheese softened: 4 ounces (113g)
  • Confectioners’ sugar: 1 cup 120g
  • Heavy cream or milk: 1 Tablespoon 15ml
  • Pure vanilla extract: ½ teaspoon


  • Dough Preparation: Mix warm milk, 2 Tablespoons sugar, and yeast in a large mixer bowl (use a dough hook or paddle attachment). Leave for about 5 minutes until foamy. If you lack a mixer, use a large mixing bowl and blend using a wooden spoon or spatula. Add the remaining sugar and butter, followed by the eggs and salt. Gradually incorporate the flour until the dough forms and detaches from the bowl edges.
  • Kneading: Either knead in the mixer for about 5 minutes or do it manually on a floured surface for the same duration. The dough should be soft and bounce back when poked.
  • First Rise: Grease a bowl, place the dough, ensuring it’s coated with oil. Cover and let it double in size for 2 hours.
  • Preparation for Filling: Roll out the risen dough on a floured surface into a 12×18-inch rectangle. Spread softened butter, then sprinkle a mixture of sugar and cinnamon.
  • Forming the Rolls: Roll the dough into an 18-inch-long log, slice into 12 equal parts, and arrange in a prepared baking dish.
  • Second Rise (or Overnight Option): Let the rolls rise for an hour or use the overnight method as detailed in the notes.
  • Baking: Preheat your oven to 350°F (177°C). Bake the rolls for 25-28 minutes, shielding with foil after 15 minutes to avoid over-browning.
  • Frosting and Serving: Prepare the cream cheese icing by blending all ingredients until smooth. Smear over warm rolls.


  • Overnight Alternative: Post step 5, rolls can be refrigerated for 8-12 hours. The next morning, let them sit for 1-2 hours before baking.
  • Freezing Guide: Both baked and partially baked rolls can be frozen. Instructions are provided in the main text.
  • Suggested Tools: Stand Mixer, Rolling Pin, 9×13-inch Baking Pan, Mixing Bowls.
  • Ingredient Insights: Whole milk or buttermilk is recommended. Active dry and instant yeast are interchangeable.
  • Alternative Frosting: You can opt for vanilla, brown sugar, maple, or even caramel icing.