Breakfast/ Recipes/ Sweets

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls – with cream cheese icing

overnight cinnamon rolls, easy cinnamon rolls, with cream cheese icing

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls – with cream cheese icing…need I say more?! These cinnamon rolls are easy to make, super gooey (especially that center) and have THE BEST cream cheese icing on top! Also, when you’re making these…your neighbors may come knocking at your door. THAT’S how good homemade cinnamon rolls smell!!

overnight cinnamon rolls, easy cinnamon rolls, with cream cheese icing

Cinnamon rolls are one of my favorite things but I don’t always want to get up super early and start a mess in the kitchen. That’s why these overnight cinnamon rolls are perfect. I can make them when the kids go to sleep at night then just let them rise and bake in the morning! These are perfect for Christmas morning too! Nothing better than opening presents and smelling these baking in the oven!

How to make overnight cinnamon rolls:

They start out the same as any cinnamon roll recipe but I’ll show you how to make them overnight rolls and an option for making them right away as well.

The first step is making the dough. I make these in a stand mixer which makes it super easy. If you don’t have one, you can still make these, you’ll just have to knead by hand for a few minutes.

cinnamon roll ingredients

Cinnamon roll dough ingredients:

  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 large beaten egg
  • 3 and 1/4 cup all purpose flour

You’ll add the first 6  ingredients to the stand mixer and then sprinkle the flour on top last. Mix on medium low speed until a dough forms.

cinnamon roll dough

Tip: your dough should be soft and tacky but not so sticky that you can’t form a loose ball. If your dough is way too sticky to handle, just add in a couple tablespoons of flour and mix again. Repeat this until you can pull the dough off the hook and form a loose ball. Be careful not to add too much flour and dry out your dough.

After making the dough, you’ll take some butter and grease a large bowl. Keep in mind that your dough will double in size so it’s needs to be a bigger bowl. I just put a little butter on a paper towel and rub it all over.

greased bowl with butter

Add your dough to the buttered bowl, cover it, and let it rise for 1 hour. It will double in size. I place mine in my oven with the light on. You can place it anywhere that’s not too chilly.

dough doubling in size, cinnamon roll dough

The next step is punching down the dough (my kids always ask to do that) and then rolling it out. Punching it down is exactly what it sounds like. Take your fist, and just punch down in the middle of the dough to release the air. Then you’ll put the dough on a floured surface and roll it out.

What to use if you don’t have a rolling pin:

  • a bottle of wine
  • a stainless water bottle
  • a pringles can
  • A soda can (just don’t shake it!)

cinnamon roll dough, rolling out dough, overnight cinnamon rolls

Once you’ve rolled out the dough, you can start the filling. I like to pour the butter straight down the middle then brush it out towards the sides. I kind of went haywire in the photo below because I was trying to take photos and pour hot butter at the same time – bad idea!

melted butter on dough, cinnamon roll fillong

After pouring and spreading the butter out, you can mix together the cinnamon and the brown sugar in a small bowl. Then just sprinkle that on the butter. Yes it’s a lot, no we don’t need to talk abut that!

melted butter on dough, cinnamon roll fillong

Ok now you’re ready to roll! I roll starting from the bottom and work my way up to make one long roll.

rolling cinnamon rolls

Once rolled, you can cut your individual cinnamon rolls. I just use a very sharp knife. Some people like to do the dental floss trick where you loop it around and cut each piece with the floss but that’s just too fussy for me. These don’t need to be perfect and they will puff right back up when they rise.

How to get 12 equal cinnamon roll slices:

Cut your whole roll in half. Then cut each of those 2 pieces in half again so you have 4 pieces total. Then cut each of those pieces into 3 equal rolls each.

cutting cinnamon rolls, over night cinnamon rolls

Place the rolls in a buttered 9×13 dish. See how sad and anemic mine look at this point. Perfection is not needed. 🙂

unbaked cinnamon rolls

And one last step…I’d like to say this is optional but if you like a gooey cinnamon roll, I’d highly recommend this part. I take 3/4 cup of half and half and pour about a tablespoon over each cinnamon roll. You can also use whole milk, or cream…whatever you have is fine. I wouldn’t run to the store for just for this one ingredient so use what you have. It just adds an extra touch of moisture and gooey-ness!

cream on cinnamon rolls, heavy cream on cinnamon rolls

This is where you’ll stop and contemplate your life choices…ok just when you want to bake the rolls.

To make OVERNIGHT cinnamon rolls:

As soon as you place them in the 9×13 pan, cover them with plastic wrap and place them in the fridge. The next morning, remove from the fridge and let set 1 hour before baking.

To make cinnamon rolls the SAME DAY as the dough:

Let the rolls rise on the counter for 1 hour then bake.

These will bake at 350 for about 18-23 minutes. I like mine very gooey in the center so I tend to stick around the 18 minute mark. I take them out when the dough in the center of the roll just looks like it has set. They aren’t even browned….I know! If you like a little more firmness to your cinnamon rolls, just cook for at least 22-23 minutes.

overnight cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing

I also like to make the icing the night before and keep it in the fridge. I just take it out when I take the rolls out in the morning. You could also whip it up when the cinnamon rolls are baking. It only takes about 5 minutes.

cinnamon roll icing, cream cheese icing

frosting cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing

And there you have it! Ooey-gooey overnight cinnamon rolls with the best cream cheese frosting!

overnight cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting

overnight cinnamon rolls, easy cinnamon rolls, with cream cheese icing

cinnamon roll bite

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Overnight Cinnamon Rolls - with cream cheese icing

Prep Time1 hr 30 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 cinnamon rolls
Author: Coco and Ash

Equipment

  • stand mixer
  • Hand Mixer
  • rolling pin

Ingredients

Dough Ingredients

  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 large egg (beaten lightly)
  • 3 and ¼ cups all-purpose flour

Filling Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • ¾ cup half n half or heavy cream (you can also use whole milk if that's all you have)

Icing Ingredients

  • 4 ounces cream cheese (softened)
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter (softened)
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon milk or half n half
  • 1 and ¼ cups powdered sugar

Instructions

Making the dough:

  • Warm your milk in the microwave for about 45 seconds. It should be warm but not too hot to touch. Once warm, add it to the bowl of your stand mixer.
  • To the milk, add the yeast, salt, sugar, melted butter and the beaten egg.
  • Turn the mixer on medium-low and combine the ingredients using the dough hook.
  • Once the dough starts pulling away from the sides of the bowl, you can turn off the mixer and remove the dough. (If the dough is not pulling away, you can add in another couple tablespoons of flour)
  • Grease a large bowl with butter and add in the dough. Cover with a towel or loosely placed plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour.
  • After the dough has risen, punch it down and add it to your lightly floured work surface.
  • Use your rolling pin, roll the dough into a rectangle about 18x10 inches. It doesn't need to be perfect!

Filling and Baking

  • Once rolled, pour the melted butter over the dough. Start in the middle and then brush to get all the way to the sides.
  • Mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the melted butter.
  • Roll up the dough longways (see photos above) then slice into 1 and ½ inch pieces. I like to cut the roll in half, then cut those segments in half, then cut those segments into thirds.
  • Butter a 9x13" pan and add the rolls. You should have 3 rows of 4.
  • TO MAKE THE NEXT DAY: Cover the pan and refrigerate overnight at this point. Then in the morning, remove from the fridge and let set at room temperature for 1 hour before baking.
    TO MAKE SAME DAY: Let them rise in the pan for one hour before baking.
  • To bake, pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees then bake the rolls for 18-23 minutes. I dont let them brown very much at all because we like them gooey so just keep an eye on yours and cook to your preference. 18 minutes will be nice and gooey. 23 minutes will be a little more firm.

Icing

  • While your cinnamon rolls are baking, beat together the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, powdered sugar, and milk with a hand mixer. Frost the cinnamon rolls while still warm.

overnight cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing

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