Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

Soft, fluffy, buttery cinnamon rolls you can begin ahead of time. Save time in the morning and have everyone wake up to warm, fresh, cinnamon goodness!

Soft, fluffy, buttery cinnamon rolls you can begin ahead of time. Save time in the morning and have everyone wake up to warm, fresh, cinnamon goodness! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

I love all things sweet rolls. Orange, blueberry, cherry, caramel apple, pumpkin, you name it. But sometimes? Nothing and I mean nothing beats a classic cinnamon roll.

Most of my sweet roll recipes can be started the night before, but none of their doughs are actually developed to be an overnight recipe. Today’s cinnamon roll dough gets better with age. Or you know… overnight… making it a perfect make ahead recipe.

They’re dreamy.

Soft, fluffy, buttery cinnamon rolls you can begin ahead of time. Save time in the morning and have everyone wake up to warm, fresh, cinnamon goodness! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com
This is a wonderful brunch if you’re entertaining this holiday week or anytime throughout the year. (Anytime is cinnamon roll time.) The dough is made the night before. Allow it to rise, roll it up tightly, slice into rolls, cover tightly, and pop in the refrigerator. The next morning, remove the rolls from the cold air and let rise for 1-2 hours before baking.

Your family and guests will wake up to warm, fluffy, fresh, ooey gooey cinnamon rolls. And BONUS! The smell of cinnamon rolls baking. Is there any scent better? I actually have a cinnamon roll scented candle. And I think some genius brand makes cinnamon roll flavored chapstick. Which could be incredibly wonderful or incredibly disappointing.

Anyway. This overnight cinnamon roll recipe is something to keep on hand if you’ve got a busy morning and plenty of mouths to feed. Kevin called them the best thing I’ve baked all year. He must’ve forgotten about my red velvet cupcakes.

Soft, fluffy, buttery cinnamon rolls you can begin ahead of time. Save time in the morning and have everyone wake up to warm, fresh, cinnamon goodness!

Baking with Yeast Guide

Reference this Baking with Yeast Guide whenever you work with baker’s yeast. I include practical answers to all of your common yeast questions.

Making The Dough

Don’t let yeast terrify you. It’s simply an ingredient that goes into the recipe. My go-to brand is Red Star Yeast; I’ve been working with them for a couple of years and I haven’t found a yeast on the market that can do what Red Star Yeast does. Honestly. Their Platinum line is unbeatable and makes working with yeast… easy! The dough starts out with a little yeast proofing, which I explain in the written recipe below. This step is literally telling you if your yeast is active. Which likely, it is. I use a little more yeast in this recipe compared to my easy cinnamon rolls (a great beginner recipe) because these are about twice the size. After that a little butter and two eggs are added, which make the dough incredibly rich and tender. This has to be the richest sweet dough I’ve ever tasted.

The flour comes next. You’ll need a fair amount of flour to support the dough’s moisture. I always use about 4 and 1/2 cups, but this amount will depend on the feel of your dough. If your dough is a little sticky, add another Tablespoon or two until it’s soft and supple, but not overly sticky. Alternatively, if your dough is a little too stiff, beat in a couple drops of warm water to soften it back up again.

Though this is a yeasted dough recipe prepared in a stand mixer, you don’t necessarily need one to make it. A handheld mixer would be just fine. If you don’t have either, you’ll need some arm muscles to break down the dough’s butter and to knead the dough. Once the dough is prepared, into a large greased bowl it goes. Allow to rise until doubled in size. This will be the FIRST rise. There are two. You’ll let the rolls rise again in the morning.

Once risen, fill with all the cinnamon sugar goodness (a lot of it!) and roll up tightly. Cut into rolls and arrange in the baking pan. Like so:

Overnight cinnamon rolls recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Cover this pan up tightly to allow the rolls to rise again overnight. Emphasis on tightly! Any dough directly exposed to cold air may dry out, creating a dry and crumbly dough for your cinnamon rolls.

The next morning (about 8-12 hours), allow to rise in the warm environment again until doubled in size. Look at this supple dough ready to be baked:

Overnight cinnamon rolls recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Bake. Smell. Heaven.

Soft, fluffy, buttery cinnamon rolls you can begin ahead of time. Save time in the morning and have everyone wake up to warm, fresh, cinnamon goodness! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Allllllllll the cream cheese frosting melting into every crack and crevice.

Soft, fluffy, buttery cinnamon rolls you can begin ahead of time. Save time in the morning and have everyone wake up to warm, fresh, cinnamon goodness! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

They’re incredibly fluffy, uniquely rich, buttery, soft, and filled to the max with cinnamon sugar goodness. The filling’s the best part right? The butter used in the filling is what makes them supremely gooey, so don’t skimp! These make ahead cinnamon rolls will be the star of your morning; from scratch always wins.

Follow me on Instagram and tag #sallysbakingaddiction so I can see all the SBA recipes you make. 


Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 12-15 hours (overnight)
  • Yield: 12 rolls
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Soft, fluffy, buttery cinnamon rolls you can begin ahead of time. Save time in the morning and have everyone wake up to warm, fresh, cinnamon goodness!



  • 1 cup (240ml) whole milk*
  • 2/3 cup (135g) granulated sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons (14g) Red Star Platinum yeast (2 standard size packets)*
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature and cut into 4 pieces
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 and 1/2 cups (558g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting/rolling (spoon & leveled)


  • 6 Tablespoons (90g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon

Cream Cheese Icing

  • 2 ounces (about 1/4 cup or 56g) full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 and 1/4 cups (150g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons (45ml) milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Make the dough: Heat milk to about 95°F (35°C)– use microwave or stovetop. Pour the warm milk into the bowl of a stand electric mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment (OR you can use a handheld mixer OR no mixer, but a stand mixer is ideal). With a whisk, manually whisk in the sugar and yeast. Cover with a towel and let sit until the yeast is foamy, about 5-10 minutes. If the yeast does not dissolve and foam, start over with fresh active yeast. On low speed, beat in the softened butter until it is slightly broken up. Next add the eggs, one at a time, and then the salt. The butter won’t really be mixing into the mixture, so don’t be alarmed if it stays in pieces. On low speed, gradually add the flour. Once it is all added, beat on medium speed until a soft dough forms. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until the dough is soft and supple, about 6 minutes longer. *If you do not have a stand-mixer with a hook attachment, knead the dough by hand in this step.
  2. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead it with your hands for 1 minute. Form the dough into a ball and transfer it to a lightly greased bowl. Cover the dough loosely with plastic wrap, a paper towel, or aluminum foil and let sit in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 to 2 hours. Here’s what I do: turn the oven on to 200°F (93°C). Once heated to that temperature, turn the oven off. Stick the covered dough inside the oven and allow it to rise in this warm environment.
  3. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9×13 inch baking dish or line with parchment paper. Turn the risen dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, punch it down and, using a rolling pin, roll into a 12×18 inch rectangle. Make sure the dough is smooth and evenly thick.
  4. For the filling: Spread the softened butter all over the dough. Don’t skimp– you want it all on there. In a small bowl, toss the cinnamon and sugar together until combined and then sprinkle evenly over the dough. Tightly roll up the dough to form an 18-inch-long log. If some filling spills out, that’s ok just sprinkle it on top of the rolls. Cut into 12 even rolls. Arrange them in the prepared baking pan, cut sides up. Cover the rolls very tightly with aluminum foil (no rolls exposed– this dries out your dough!) and stick in the refrigerator for 8-12 hours.3
  5. Remove rolls from the refrigerator and let rise in a warm place just as you did in step 2 until they are puffy, about 1-2 hours. Mine usually take 1 and 1/2 hours.
  6. After the rolls have risen, preheat the oven to 375°F (191°C). Bake for about 25 minutes, until they are golden brown. About halfway through the bake time, I like to cover the rolls loosely with aluminum foil so the tops don’t brown too much. Remove pan from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes as you make the icing.
  7. Make the icing: In a medium bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the confectioners’ sugar, milk, and vanilla. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then switch to high speed and beat for 2 minutes. Using a knife, spread the icing over the warm rolls and serve immediately. Cover leftover frosted or unfrosted rolls tightly and store at room temperature for up to 3 days– I prefer this over storing in the refrigerator. I find that dries them out, but do what you like best.


  1. Freezing Instructions: Baked rolls can be frozen up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and warm up before enjoying. You can also freeze the unbaked rolls and here’s how: let the rolls rise overnight through step 4, then the next morning do step 5. Then, bake the rolls for only about 10 minutes at 375°F (191°C). Cool completely, then cover tightly and freeze. Take the rolls out of the freezer and thaw in the refrigerator. Once thawed, finish baking them.
  2. Milk: Whole milk preferred for richest tasting dough. 2% or 1% would be fine, but not ideal. Nonfat is not recommended.
  3. Yeast: If not using an instant yeast, rise time may be up to 40% longer. Reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs.
  4. No Time for Overnight? If planning to bake the rolls right away, in step 4– instead of sticking the rolls in the refrigerator, loosely cover them and let rise in a warm place just as you did in step 2 until they are puffy, about 2 hours. Then continue with step 6.

Keywords: overnight cinnamon rolls, homemade cinnamon rolls

Merry Christmas. Thank you for reading Sally’s Baking Addiction and making me apart of your day and kitchen!

1st Married Christmas Ornament

See more breakfast ideas.

My FAVORITE overnight cinnamon rolls recipe!


  1. I made these today and they turned out amazing! I did use almond milk since my son I allergic to dairy and they turned out amazing! I also had trouble with the middle of the pan not getting done as quickly as the outside, but I just did as you directed and covered it with foil and baked another 5 minutes and they were perfect!

  2. I make cinnamon rolls every thanksgiving and I will never use another recipe. These were the best I’ve ever made!

  3. For your overnight cinnamon rolls, could i make the dough, let it rise, then roll them out and refrigerate from Friday afternoon until Sunday morning? i have to make 200 cinnamon rolls, and won’t be able to do it on saturday. would there be any problems with this? what is the longest amount of time i can refrigerate the rolls before baking? I can’t find any answers for this online.
    THANK YOU!!!

    1. I wouldn’t recommend more than 12 hours. You can certainly follow my make ahead directions under the recipe and partially bake the rolls, then cover and freeze until the day you are ready to bake them. Enjoy!

  4. These look incredible! I am hoping to make them on Christmas Eve but will need to do the work during the day – do you think the overnight refrigerator rise time can be extended past 12 hours – closer to 16? Or would that ruin the dough? I’ve never made cinnamon buns before and am very excited to try! Thanks so much for this recipe! ☺️

    1. Hi Katrina! Some readers have kept these rolls in the refrigerator for up to 16 hours with luck, but I don’t suggest anything longer than 12-14 hours. Let me know what you try and how they turn out!

  5. I made these two years ago and they turned out amazing! I am making them this year and I was wondering if I could use bread flour instead of all purpose flour? I will be purchasing a bunch of bread flour for scones so thought I could use it all up with this recipe. Thanks!

    1. Hi Rachele! You can definitely use bread flour in these cinnamon rolls with no other changes to the dough. They’ll be extra chewy!

  6. Sally,

    If I freeze them, can I go straight from the freezer to the oven? Or, do I NEED to put them in the refrigerator for a few hours? I’m just trying to cut down on time before breakfast on Christmas morning. Thanks.

    1. Hi Tim! They’d need to thaw before baking them. Sorry that was confusing, I edited the instructions so it’s a little clearer.

  7. Have you ever premade the frosting? I plan to make for my family at Christmas but we will be staying at different houses. Wondering if I could make the frosting the night before along with rolls. If they take out frosting in the morning same time as rolls it would come to room temp. Any thoughts or suggestions would be helpful!

  8. This is my favourite cinnamon roll receipe by far. Will confess I do mine in the bread maker. I warm the milk up for a minute in microwave add cold butter and eggs. All the dry ingredients go in the top and on the knead cycle. Hour and a half later perfect dough to roll out.
    Kids think it’s the best ever so thank you.
    Ps am doing a Xmas version involving mincemeat and marzipan. Yumm

  9. Hello Sally! I’m planning on making these for Christmas morning. Would it be OK to use a bread machine instead of the Kitchen Aid/hand-kneading? Thanks!

  10. Can you leave these covered in the fridge longer than overnight? I was hoping to prep these 2 days in advance of when I need them.

  11. I made these last year and they were a huge hit. Now are a Christmas morning tradition. I send a batch to my sisters for their morning as well. Everyone is making sure I am making those cinnamon rolls for tomorrow. Haha. Thank you for a great recipe.

  12. These were a huge hit at my Christmas this year! I didn’t know if could make these up and refigerate for 36 hours prior to the second rise instead of just 12 hours? I hoping to have them for New Years morning but won’t have time to make them New Year’s Eve. Thanks!

  13. I just made them and they are incredible! Great recipe and not tht much harder than your easy cinnamon rolls but so much bigger! I made regular icing because no one likes cream cheese frosting anymore around here. Traitors! Still fantastic!

  14. I LOVE these rolls!! I make a few tweaks but otherwise fabulous! Wondering if I make in foil pans should I decrease baking temp or anything? I want to take them to work. Thanks!

  15. Have you tried using “water roux” or “TANGZHONG” to this recipe? Do you think it will work? Also, I’m thinking of making this in 2 pans. Will two round 9″x2″cake pan work (6rolls in each pan)?

  16. This may have already been ask but do they have to stay in the fridge over night? Can I leave them on the counter covered so they can go straight in the oven the next morning?

  17. Since I live in England part of the year I ALWAYS miss certain foods like Cinnamon Rolls. I found your recipe and will never use another. These came out perfect and my daughter was thrilled to have a taste of home (USA) when she woke up this morning. Thanks for all of the great recipes!

  18. I was searching for a better overnight cinnamon rolls recipe than the one I had and this is just incredible! So fluffy and buttery. I had made my research first and had read comments in several blogs. For those who are searching for the best overnight cinnamon rolls recipe ,you are in the right place. Thank you Sally for sharing it!

  19. Hi. I couldn’t find the platinum red star yeast. Could I use the red star active dry yeast with the same results? Thanks!

  20. I made these for a 2nd time and they were a big hit over a Saturday party (our no-fuss, extremely small wedding) and a Sunday party (friends came over to toast our nuptials). People really went on and on about them and said they’re better than cinnabon’s. My new hubby said this 2nd batch was even more amazing than my 1st attempt. Practice makes perfect. These will be on a regular rotation. I ain’t afraid of no yeast! Thanks, Sally!

  21. I was wondering why you use white sugar instead of brown. I’ve been practising and most recipes call for dark brown sugar. I have both in so wondering if it will be better with white

  22. Hello! I have an oven that has a convection setting, could I use that? If so what changes should I make when baking?

    1. Hi Kezia! If using a convection oven, the general rule is to lower the temperature by 25 degrees F. Bake time may be a little shorter as well.

  23. I am in Florida with a lot of humidty now in August. My dough is super sticky. I added more flour during the hand kneading process, but still a little sticky. Any recommendations. FYI, once baked they were fabulous!

    1. If the end result was fabulous then you did everything right! Try coating your hands with flour while working with the dough to help, but unfortunately if it’s a super humid day it might be a bit more messy 🙂

  24. Is there a difference in taste or texture of these rolls and your easy homemade cinnamon rolls? (besides the icing)

    1. Hi Catherine! These cinnamon rolls are softer with a more developed dough flavor since they rose overnight. I love this recipe for traditional cinnamon rolls.

  25. Hi Sally! Could humidity impact the softness of the dough? Everything turned out as directed until I rolled the dough into a log, at which point it didn’t hold the log shape well and when I cut them into 12 pieces they flattened out quite a bit. I don’t think it will impact the overall taste/texture, but they didn’t have that neat spiral look that yours have in the picture above once I put them in the dish to chill overnight (they were a little smushed looking). It’s quite warm/humid out tonight so wondering if that was a reason, or if my dough was just too soft (aka I needed more flour)?

    Thanks for your help… first attempt at making any homemade dough-based recipe so trying to troubleshoot where I might be going wrong 🙂

      1. They turned out delicious ! So soft and tasty and perfectly baked throughout the whole dish. They just didn’t hold their shape well, so they didn’t have that perfect spiral look. Going to try again in a few days when the weather cools off with the apple version of this recipe!

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I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally