Sunday, October 2, 2011

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

There is nothing like waking up to some fresh, hot-out-of-the-oven cinnamon rolls. But really, who has the time to make the dough, let it rise, roll it out and shape it, let it rise again, and then bake it in the morning? Not I.

I really wanted some cinnamon rolls for breakfast, but I wanted them to be freshly baked. I vaguely remembered that Alton Brown had a recipe for some overnight cinnamon rolls. His method still takes some time in the morning, approximately an hour and a half. But with a little prep work the night before and some inactive work in the morning, we had some tender, sweet, cinnamon rolls to enjoy on this crisp October morning.

I used an 18 by 13 inch jelly roll pan because I wanted them to be spaced apart so all of the rolls would have an outer crust. If you prefer to have some with a crust and some without, just use a 9 by 13 inch pan. Either way, they are delightful.

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls
Adapted from Alton Brown
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4 large egg yolks, room temperature
1 large whole egg, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
6 ounces buttermilk, room temperature
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for dusting
1 package instant dry yeast, approximately 2 1/4 teaspoons
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
Vegetable oil or cooking spray

1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Pinch salt
4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted, using some to butter your pan
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup raisins

1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

For the dough: in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg yolks, whole egg, sugar, butter, and buttermilk. Add approximately 2 cups of the flour along with the yeast and salt; whisk until moistened and combined. Remove the whisk attachment and replace with a dough hook. Add all but 3/4 cup of the remaining flour and knead on low speed for 5 minutes. Check the consistency of the dough, add more flour if necessary; the dough should feel soft and moist but not sticky. Knead on low speed 5 minutes more or until the dough clears the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface; knead by hand about 30 seconds. Lightly oil a large bowl. Transfer the dough to the bowl, lightly oil the top of the dough, cover and let double in volume, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Mix until well incorporated. Set aside until ready to use.

Butter an 18 by 13-inch jelly roll pan (a 9x13 glass pan can be used as well). Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently shape the dough into a rectangle with the long side nearest you. Roll into an 18 by 12-inch rectangle. Brush the dough with the 3/4-ounce of melted butter, leaving 1/2-inch border along the top edge. Sprinkle the filling mixture, walnuts, and raisins over the dough, leaving a 3/4-inch border along the top edge; gently press the filling into the dough. Beginning with the long edge nearest you, roll the dough into a tight cylinder. Firmly pinch the seam to seal and roll the cylinder seam side down. Very gently squeeze the cylinder to create even thickness. Using a serrated knife, slice the cylinder into 1 1/2-inch rolls; yielding 12 rolls. Arrange rolls cut side down in the baking dish; cover tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight or up to 16 hours.

Remove the rolls from the refrigerator and place in an oven that is turned off. Fill a shallow pan 2/3-full of boiling water and set on the rack below the rolls. Close the oven door and let the rolls rise until they look slightly puffy; approximately 30 minutes. Remove the rolls and the shallow pan of water from the oven.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

When the oven is ready, place the rolls on the middle rack and bake until golden brown, or until the internal temperature reaches 190 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, approximately 25 minutes.

While the rolls are cooling slightly, make the icing by whisking the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer until creamy. Add the milk and whisk until combined. Sift in the powdered sugar, and whisk until smooth. Spread over the rolls and serve immediately.


  1. These look mouth watering good - oh my! I'd love it if you came by & shared this and anything else you want on Makin' You Crave Monday over at!

  2. My idea of cake heaven - cinnamon rolls with icing on top. Yum.


  3. Hi I'm a new follower from Cure for the Common Monday.

    I LOVE cinnamon rolls!! :o) These look very yummy!!

    Please feel free to link up to my Make Yourself Monday Blog Hop!

    For Love of Cupcakes

  4. Cinnamon Rolls are one of my favorite breakfasts. I admit though that I usually just buy Pillsbury! I would love to try these sometime, they look amazing!

  5. Wow - a cinnamon roll recipe I can make for Christmas morning and not have to spend the whole time in the kitchen! AWESOME!

    I would love for you to share this on my Tuesday linky party (Crazy Sweet Tuesdays)!

  6. YUM!! Can't wait to try these, they sound totally amazing! (Which means they're completely healthy and won't go straight to my belly, right?? LOL!)

    I'm visiting from the NJAH linky party, I hope you'll pop by and say hello!

    I also have a linky party every Tuesday and would love it if you'd link up your tutorial, I'm featuring recipes this week! :) xoxo

  7. wow, this is an easy winner. I love a good cinnamon roll, who doesn't!? Thx for sharing for tea, YUM

  8. omg yum.

    love it! found you via lifemadelovely and hope you'll enter my giveaway and decide to follow:


  9. Ohhh! Yummm! These look sooo de-lish! Thanks for sharing!
    Stephanie @

  10. mmmmmmmm going to have to try these. Minus the raisins though.

  11. We love cinnamon rolls! These sound fabulous!

    Becca @ Crumbs and Chaos

  12. I LIKED IT on stumble upon! here from swanky :)

  13. Yummy and Stumbled! Here from Swanky also :)

  14. Here from Something Swanky, new follower and biggest fan of cinnamon rolls! Come on over for a visit when you get a chance.


  15. I stumbled these, totally love this recipe!

  16. Stumbled over from Something Swanky! I love, love, love cinnamon rolls and these look sure to please!

  17. They look and sound really amazing! I actually had a cinnamon bun this Monday to celebrate Cinnamon Bun Day here in Sweden. No icing though. But they sure are delicious! :p

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  18. These sound delicious! Thanks for sharing! Stumbled from Something Swanky!
    Camille @

  19. Oh yum!! Love that it's overnight, and I also like the addition of buttermilk. I bet it tastes awesome.

    Tracy Screaming Sardine

  20. Oh I want to try these!! I love making cinnamon rolls but hate waking up at 4AM just to have fresh rolls in the morning. You've be stumbled! :)Just stopping by from Something Swanky Hop
    -Robyn from

  21. Cinnamon Rolls are one of my favorite breakfasts. I always prefer its one piece in every morning. These sound delicious and so testy.
    printed bags


  23. Oh these look sooooo good! Stumbled from Something Swanky.

  24. Hi this is Nicole from Colie’s Kitchen I just discovered your blog and wanted to drop by and say hi. I am now a new follower. I would love to have you stop by Colie’s Kitchen if you get a chance.

  25. I make a similar recipe and they are good! Stumbling you from Something Swanky party.

  26. Hi! I found you at I heart naptime! These look delish! I am loving your blog! I am a new follower! I would love it if you wanted to link up some of your recipes! My link party starts on Tuesday!


  27. Yummy, thanks for sharing with Simply Delish.

  28. oh man, i would jump happily out of bed for these!

  29. Yummy, thanks for sharing your cinnamon rolls at Bacon Time.

  30. Oh so Yummy! These look amazing! I featured you on my facebook page! Are you a fan?

  31. I would love to have these waiting for me tomorrow morning! There's nothing better for breakfast than a cinnamon roll. These look delicious! Thanks for sharing on Sweet Indulgences Sunday.