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Overnight Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

Irresistible decadence perfect for holidays, house guests, or a weekend treat.

Natasha’s Kitchen

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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 ;).

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 (plus 2 to 4 Tbsp) all-purpose flour *measured correctly, 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

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

How to Make the Best Overnight Cinnamon Rolls:

Prep Time: 2 hours 30 minutes | Cook Time: 23 minutes | Total Time: 2 hours 53 minutes

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).

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

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.

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 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.

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.

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 1/2 Tbsp vanilla then add 1 cup powered sugar and continue mixing until fluffy (3-4 min), scraping down the bowl as needed.

a mixing bowl filled with frosting

Recipe 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.

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This post originally appeared on Natasha’s Kitchen and was published September 17, 2016. This article is republished here with permission.

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