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Overnight Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

Soft, chewy Overnight Cinnamon Rolls will make you the rock star of Christmas morning. We like to eat them warm with plenty of cream cheese frosting!

These big, fluffy, soft, and chewy Overnight Cinnamon Rolls are everything a cinnamon roll should be. Pair with cream cheese frosting for a breakfast treat!

For about a decade of my life, I refused to eat cinnamon rolls. It all started with the stomach flu, as so many bad stories do. I was about 12 years old and was spending the night at my best friend’s house while my parents got away for the weekend. It had been the most glorious day. We had played and ate ourselves silly, indulging in two of our favorite treats: boxed macaroni and cheese and Cinnabons. Everything was going along swimmingly until the middle of the night, when I woke up with the worst stomach ache of my life. I will refrain from sharing the gory details, but let’s just say cinnamon rolls were effectively ruined for me that fateful night.

For the next few years, I always felt a tinge queasy when I smelled the chemical-tinged cinnamon scent of giant Cinnabon rolls being piped through the mall. The strong aversion eventually subsided, but by that point I had convinced myself I didn’t like cinnamon rolls. And just like that, an entire cinnamon swirl lacking decade passed.

In my early 20s, I rediscovered my love for cinnamon rolls, and I now consider that time of my life “the lost years.” Think of all the gooeyness I missed in those years! The last few months I’ve been trying to make up for lost time by testing out ALL the cinnamon roll recipes. Someone should come test my blood, because I’m pretty sure it’s just rivers of cinnamon and butter by now. I’ve tried a copycat Cinnabon recipe, the Pioneer Woman’s cinnamon rolls, and a few “best ever” recipes from cookbooks I own.

Save yourself from a stressful morning with these Overnight Cinnamon Rolls. They're soft, chewy, and pair perfectly with cream cheese frosting.

Of course, the ultimate recipe ended up being in the most obvious place–an old Mennonite cookbook. The recipe intrigued me from the very start. First off, it was made with bread flour. I don’t know why I never thought to make cinnamon rolls with bread flour before, but it makes so much sense! Bread flour makes the rolls extra chewy and gives them that dreamy, pullable texture I was longing for.

The recipe also adds eggs, butter, and milk to the cinnamon roll dough. All of these ingredients help keep the dough nice and soft and also gives the dough a lot more flavor than a simple yeast, flour, and water roll.

The cookbook gave me a great place to start making my own cinnamon roll recipe, but, like most of my Amish and Mennonite cookbooks, it left out some key details, including the quantities and ingredients for the filling! I eyeballed my first batch, and it was good but not quite right. Luckily, the second batch was exactly what I was looking for–fluffy, chewy rolls around a buttery brown sugar filling with plenty of spicy cinnamon flavor.

No cinnamon roll is complete without frosting, and for me, it’s gotta be cream cheese. I like to keep my frosting on the thick side so it melts a bit into the cracks and crevices of the roll, but you still have a nice slather on top.

These Overnight Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting are soft, chewy, and loaded with cinnamon flavor! The ultimate make ahead breakfast recipe.

I know everyone’s taste in cinnamon rolls is different, but let me tell you why these check all of my boxes. They’re chewy and soft, but still have a nice brown exterior. They’re sweet, but not in a cloying, my fillings are begging for mercy kind of way. They have a whole lot of cinnamon flavor, and most importantly, I can make them the day before I want to bake them.

Let’s be honest, this was a must for me. There is no possible way this girl is getting up at 5 AM to make cinnamon rolls. I love you, family, but no. I will, however, make these at a reasonable hour the day before Christmas and then look like a rock star when I pull fresh cinnamon rolls out of the oven on Christmas morning. You can thank me by making coffee and doing all the dishes.

One last note about these rolls. They make A LOT. Approximately 2 dozen generously sized rolls. This is fantastic if you’re having everyone over for Christmas, but perhaps not so wonderful if you’re making rolls for your tiny family of 3. Luckily, you can also freeze pans of cinnamon rolls to pull out whenever the craving hits. OR, you could become the best neighbor/coworker/customer ever and distribute pans to everyone you know. Either way, no one has ever thought having too many cinnamon rolls is a problem.

These giant Overnight Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting are soft and chewy with gooey cinnamon sugar centers. It's everything a breakfast treat should be.

I developed this recipe in partnership with Ohio Eggs. You can see the original Overnight Cinnamon Rolls recipe on their site!

Cinnamon Rolls

Cook Time 20 minsPrep Time
Preparation 3 hoursCook Time
Total Time 3 hrs 20 mins Total Time
Serves 24     adjust servings

Ingredients

    For the rolls

    • 2 packages fast rise instant yeast
    • 3/4 cup warm water (aim for 105 to 115 degrees)
    • 2 Tablespoons sugar
    • 2 cups whole milk
    • 8 Tablespoons (1 stick) butter
    • 4 eggs, beaten
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 9 cups bread flour, plus more for sprinkling

    For the filling

    • 1 cup brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup white sugar
    • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks, 12 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 3 1/2 Tablespoons cinnamon

    For the frosting

    • 1/2 cup (1 stick, 8 tablespoons) butter, at room temperature
    • 12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
    • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
    • Splash heavy cream
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt

    Instructions

    1. Add the water to the bowl of an electric mixer then stir in the sugar and yeast. Allow the mixture to sit for 10-15 minutes while you prepare the milk. The mixture should foam up quite a bit. If it doesn't froth or foam, your yeast might be bad, and you'll want to start over.
    2. Meanwhile, heat the milk to just below boiling, then stir in the butter, allowing it to melt. Allow the mixture to cool to warm.
    3. Stir the beaten eggs into the yeast mixture. Pour the cooled milk mixture into the yeast mixture in a steady stream, whisking constantly. Whisk in the remaining ½ cup of sugar and the salt.
    4. Add half of the flour to the bowl, using a spatula or spoon to combine. Add the remaining flour (up to 8 cups) and stir, then switch to the dough hook and beat until well combined. Continue to beat with the dough hook until the dough is soft and springy, about 6 minutes. If the mixture is still very sticky, add up to another cup of flour to the dough. The dough should be tacky but shouldn't coat your finger when you touch it.
    5. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover loosely with saran wrap, and place in a warm spot to rise for 40 minutes to an hour, or until doubled in size.
    6. Punch the dough down and turn it out onto a floured surface. Roll or press the dough out into a rectangle approximately 12 inches by 24 inches long. Pour the melted butter over top, spreading it evenly. In a small bowl, whisk together the sugars and cinnamon and then sprinkle that evenly over the top. Cut the rectangle in half so there are two 12 x 12 inch squares. Either roll each square into a tight log and then cut it into 12 slices using dental floss OR use a pizza cutter to slice the rectangle into 24 long strips, and roll each strip individually into a slice. Once the rolls are sliced, place them in a buttered dish, approximately 8 in a 9 x 13 inch pan or 6 in a 9 inch pie pan. Cover the rolls loosely with saran wrap. Refrigerate the rolls overnight, for 8-12 hours.
    7. In the morning, take the rolls out and allow them to rise in a warm place for 30-45 minutes, or until puffed.
    8. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the rolls in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until tops are golden and set. I recommend under baking just slightly so the rolls stay nice and soft.

    To make the frosting:

    1. Combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on high speed until smooth. Beat in the powdered sugar, cream, vanilla, and salt. If you're serving immediately, the rolls can be frosted while still warm. Otherwise, store them unfrosted, then frost and reheat the rolls for a few minutes before serving.

    by

    Recipe Notes

    **You can substitute regular yeast for the fast rise yeast, but your baking time may increase by up to 40%.
    **If you would rather bake the cinnamon rolls right away instead of leaving them to set overnight, follow the instructions through step 6, then immediately set the rolls in a warm place to rise for 40 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake for 20 minutes or until golden.
    Nutrition Facts
    Serving Size
    Amount Per ServingAs Served
    Calories 497kcal Calories from fat 186
    % Daily Value
    Total Fat 21g32%
    Saturated Fat 12g60%
    Transfat 1g
    Cholesterol 80mg27%
    Sodium 223mg9%
    Carbohydrate 69g23%
    Dietary Fiber 3g12%
    Sugars 29g
    Protein 10g

    Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:

    Calories2000
    Total FatLess than65g
    Sat FatLess than25g
    CholesterolLess than300mg
    SodiumLess than2,400mg
    Total Carbohydrate300g
    Dietary Fiber25g

    Thanks for cooking along with me today!


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    { 8 comments… add one }

    Leave a Comment

    • Julana December 20, 2016, 10:47 AM

      My Screen suddenly developed smella vision scrolling down over this post.

    • Melanie | Melanie Makes December 20, 2016, 11:47 PM

      Another bready carby goodness recipe of yours that I have to try ASAP! I mean, we’re having your butterhorns for Christmas Eve dinner so these would be perfect the next day!

      • Courtney @ NeighborFood December 29, 2016, 12:43 PM

        I hope you loved these Melanie! You can just call me the carb queen from here on out. 🙂

    • Karen December 27, 2016, 4:33 AM

      Could this recipe be cut in half? Making this many for a family of 2 is just too many.

      • Courtney @ NeighborFood December 29, 2016, 12:48 PM

        Absolutely. In fact, a friend of mine already cut it down to just make 4 large cinnamon rolls (This is sizing the recipe down by a quarter instead of half, but feel free to halve the measurements above if you’d like 8 rolls) Here are the measurements my friend used for the dough:
        1 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
        1/4 cup water
        1 teaspoon sugar
        1/2 cup whole milk
        2 tablespoons unsalted butter
        2 eggs
        2 tablespoons sugar
        2 1/4 cup bread flour, plus more for kneading
        For the filling, you can eyeball it, but it will be about 1/4 cup brown sugar, a few Tablespoons white sugar, 1/2 stick butter, and scant Tablespoon cinnamon.

        Hope this helps!

    • 2pots2cook December 28, 2016, 7:42 AM

      Great photos ! Great dish: never too much of cinnamon 🙂 Thank you and have a nice day !

    • Laura June 18, 2017, 12:33 PM

      Recipe amounts for these overnight cinnamon rolls seem off…way to much flour?? butter says 1/2 cup then in parentheses…(1 stick , 8 tablespoons….) that’s 2 cups! Cook time 3 hours? needs to have adjustments!

      • Courtney @ NeighborFood June 18, 2017, 1:57 PM

        Hi Laura,

        The flour is the correct amount. This makes a big batch of rolls! The butter is also correct. The amount in parenthesis is just to give equivalents (so 1/2 cup is equal to 8 Tablespoons or 1 stick). The total cook time at the top at 3 hours is off. Thanks for catching that! However, in the recipe you’ll see it says to bake for 35-45 minutes. The recipe has been made and loved by many people. I hope you’ll give it a try!

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