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Make-Ahead Cinnamon Rolls
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
1 hr 25 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 cinnamon rolls
For the Dough
  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 cup milk, lukewarm
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
For the Filling
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3 tbs cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
For the icing
  • 6 tbs unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt
To make the dough
  1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk. Let it sit for about 5 minutes. The yeast should start to froth and bubble a bit.
  2. Add the sugar, butter, kosher salt, eggs, and flour to the bowl of a stand mixer and mix until well incorporated.
  3. Pour the milk and yeast mixture over the flour mixture. Using the dough hook, mix until everything is well incorporated.
  4. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray (or lightly coat it in vegetable oil). Place the dough into the bowl, cover and let it rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.
To make the filling
  1. Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a medium-sized bowl.
  2. Add the room temperature butter and mash everything into a paste. Set aside.
To make the rolls
  1. Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray or butter
  2. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface until it is approximately 16 inches long and 12 inches wide. The dough will be approximately ΒΌ-inch thick.
  3. Spread the filling evenly over the dough.
  4. Working carefully, from the long edge, roll the dough down to the bottom edge.

  5. Cut the dough into 1 1/2-inch slices, and place in the prepared baking pan. Cover the baking pan tightly with plastic wrap. Pop the rolls into the fridge overnight.

To bake the cinnamon rolls
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Remove the cinnamon rolls from the fridge and let them rise for about 30 minutes
  3. Place the baking pan in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until they golden brown.
To make the icing
  1. While the cinnamon rolls are baking, with an electric mixer, beat the butter, powdered sugar, cream cheese, vanilla extract, and kosher salt together in a medium-sized bowl.
  2. Slather the hot cinnamon rolls with icing.

Recipe Notes

Notes: The preparation time does not include the time that the rolls spend in the fridge overnight.

If you want to make the cinnamon rolls right away, rather than letting them rise overnight, follow these instructions:

  • Once you have placed the unbaked cinnamon rolls in the prepared baking pan, cover the pan with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel. Allow the rolls to rise for about 30 minutes, or until they have doubled in size.
  • Bake the cinnamon rolls for 20-25 minutes or until they are golden brown.
  • Make the icing and ice the cinnamon rolls as directed above.