Softest Overnight Cinnamon Rolls are your perfect cinnamon rolls. These are soft, fluffy, light, buttery, flavorful, and are made in two stages to make the process easier. Long gone are the days of tough, overly sweet, and difficult rolls... these will be your new best friend for any breakfast, brunch, or dessert!
Perks of Overnight Cinnamon Rolls
I don't know about you, but I have always felt SO pressured when making cinnamon rolls because the process is definitely a bit longer than the processes for most other classic baked goods. It's not necessarily time-consuming, it's just that the rise times mean that you have to start the process so early if you are planning to serve these at breakfast. With Softest Overnight Cinnamon Rolls, however, the process is broken up so that you don't have to wake up at 4am.
Cinnamon Roll Process
- Prepare the dough (15 minutes)
- 1st Rise (1- 1 ½ hours)
- Make Filling (2 minutes)
- Form Rolls (15 minutes)
- Fridge (8-12 hours AKA overnight)
- 2nd Rise (1 hour)
- Bake (25 minutes)
- Make Frosting (10 minutes)
The bolded bullets are steps where you don't have to do anything! You'll notice that these are the most time-consuming steps! In reality, the amount of time that you spend actually making these cinnamon rolls is not at all demanding even though the process may seem a little daunting!
Kneading and Rising Tips and Tricks
KNEADING: It's one aspect of many doughs that intimidates people. Here are a few signs that will let you know that your kneading process is complete!
- elastic and stretchy in nature
- dough is smooth with a slight shine
- tacky not sticky
- slowly bounces back when poked
RISING: You want your dough to rise in a warm place! Here are a few recommendations!
- on top of a running oven
- inside a microwave (not running)
- inside a dryer that has just finished running
- in an oven that WAS preheated to 200 degrees
Cream Cheese Frosting
This cream cheese frosting is thick but light, flavorful without being overly sweet, easy to whip up, and the PERFECT topping for these rolls.
I'm not a huge cream cheese fan, but the butter to cream cheese ratio in this recipe helps to balance out the often overwhelming cream cheese flavor. My biggest tip with this frosting is to beat it on high speed for at least 2 minutes after adding the heavy cream. This creates a light, fluffy, and white frosting!
In case you don't have the time, effort, or resources to make this frosting, you could absolutely do regular buttercream, simple glaze (milk and powdered sugar), or store-bought frosting!
Softest Overnight Cinnamon Rolls are your perfect cinnamon rolls. These are soft, fluffy, light, buttery, flavorful, and are made in two stages to make the process easier. These will be your new best friend for any breakfast, brunch, or dessert!
For the Dough
- ¾ cup whole milk (whole or 2% will work best)
- 2 ¼ teaspoons active yeast
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 3-3 ½ cups all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
For the Filling
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter, almost melted
- ¾ cup light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons cinnamon
For the Frosting
- 4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
- ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ tablespoon heavy cream
For the Rolls
- Warm milk to 95-105 degrees Fahrenheit. Pour warm milk in a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer (preferred).
- Add instant yeast, granulated sugar, room temperature egg, room temperature egg yolk, and warm melted butter. Mix until combined with a wooden spoon or with the paddle attachment.
- Sprinkle salt into the batter before adding 3 cups of flour, one cup at a time. If using a stand mixer, switch to a dough hook after incorporating the flour. Mix with a wooden spoon if you aren’t using a stand mixer. Add flour in 2-tablespoon measurements if the dough is sticking to your bowl or hands as you are kneading.
- Knead by hand or using a dough hook for about 7 minutes. Dough should be tacky, elastic in feel, and smooth. You should be able to stretch the dough, in width and in height, between your middle finger and thumb of both hands without it breaking.
- Place dough in a well-oiled bowl. Place the bowl in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1- 1 ½ hours. Read notes above on recommendations for warm places in your house!
- After dough has doubled in size, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Use a rolling pin to roll dough into a 14×9 inch rectangle.
- Mix light brown sugar and cinnamon together in a medium-sized bowl. Spread softened butter over the dough before topping with cinnamon sugar mixture. You will want to tap and rub the sugar mixture into the butter.
- Roll dough from the 9 inch side. Ensure you roll tightly.
- Cut off about ½ inch of the dough on both ends of the roll to create cleaner, more even rolls.
- Using an unscented piece of floss or sharp knife, cut cinnamon rolls (9 for a 9×9 pan or 12 for a 9×13 pan). Spray pan with cooking spray before transferring rolls to the pan.
- Tightly cover the pan with plastic wrap, ensuring that no part of the pan is exposed to air. If air slips in, the rolls will dry out.
- Place pan in the fridge for 8-12 hours.
- After removing the rolls from the fridge, let them sit in a warm place for about an hour. This is a second rise for the rolls.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake rolls for 20-25 minutes until light golden brown. Overbaked cinnamon rolls will be dry and crumbly, so they should still have soft-looking centers!
- Allow rolls to cool for at least 15 minutes before frosting! Rolls are best when served immediately!
For the Frosting
- In the bowl of your stand mixer or a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat butter and cream cheese together until smooth.
- Slowly add powdered sugar to the mixture over medium/low speed.
- Mix vanilla extract and heavy whipping cream into the frosting. Beat on high speed for 2 minutes until light, smooth, and creamy.
- Generously top rolls with frosting!
Keywords: Overnight Cinnamon Rolls, Soft and Fluffy Dough, Yeast Dough, Cream Cheese Frosting