These super easy homemade cinnamon rolls are supremely fluffy, extra decadent, and luscious; prepared overnight and ready to bake in the morning and then slathered in a delicious ooey gooey vanilla bean cream cheese icing! Be sure to check out the recipe how-to-make video included below.

close up shot of cinnamon rolls in baking dish with frosting

OH. MY. GOODNESS. GRACIOUS. Y’all!

Listen, I am so excited to share this recipe with you…seriously, these overnight cinnamon rolls are just too lovely that I could burst with pride!!! And yes, lots of exclamation points are being used here because I need you to feel the excitement that I have for these cinnamon rolls over these inter-webs, ha! Oops, I did it again.

So, I do realize that homemade cinnamon rolls have the tendency to bring on unfortunate bouts of anxiety, stress, and everything in between. However, I’m *really* hoping that this recipe will bring you nothing but happiness, no headaches, and infinite amounts of audible yells of OMG, yummy, and plenty of mmmm’s. And maybe even a moment where you stop mid-bite and look up towards the heavens above? Yup, that’s the kind of energy that these rolls will bring alright.

one cinnamon roll on a mini white plate with vanilla beans

The very scent of cinnamon rolls baking in the oven is arguably one of the best things ever! Just try and tell me that I’m wrong on that, I’ll wait. These rolls are right up there with my blueberry streusel muffins and my buttermilk biscuits in terms of epic morning baked goods that’ll wake up even the heaviest of sleepers- eye crust, foul breath and all, ha!

Now, in case you missed it, I’m calling these overnight cinnamon rolls for a reason. You see, all of the main work is done the night before and the only thing you do the next day is sit them out to reach room temp a bit and then bake ’em.

It’s extra important to note when working with yeast dough that you follow each step to a tee. This is not a time to improvise and throw caution to the wind, my friends. And for the people in the back, let me say it again, follow my recipe as it is written please. This goes for rise times, how to handle the dough, etc. Mainly because this recipe will yield to you the most beautiful, fluffy, delicious, and dreamiest homemade cinnamon rolls mmkay. Good, I’m so so glad that we had this talk, muah. Pause, let us take a brief moment to look at those naked pre-iced cinnamon rolls below, swoon!

How To Make Cinnamon Rolls (Video)

unfrosted cinnamon rolls in a speckled baking dish

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls Ingredients:

  • Active Dry Yeast: the star of the show! Did you know that yeast is a living organism? Yup, it’s alive. Liquids that are too hot can destroy your yeast too, and always make sure that you’re using fresh yeast and NOT some that’s been sitting in your pantry for a few years: so check that expiration date, peeps! Most grocery stores have them in the little convenient packets that are in perfect measurements of 2-1/4 teaspoons.
  • Whole Milk: for the yeast dough (needs to be warmed but not scalding hot, tip= as if you would give it to a baby) + in the vanilla bean cream cheese icing!
  • Butter: unsalted, please: this goes in the yeast dough, the filling, and the vanilla bean cream cheese icing.
  • Sugar: two kinds for this recipe; white granulated (for the yeast dough) and brown sugar (for the filling).
  • Eggs: 3 of ’em for the yeast dough…and be sure they’re room temperature!
  • Salt: I highly recommend kosher salt but any salt will do.
  • Flour: unbleached all-purpose flour, please!
  • Cinnamon: duh, we are making homemade overnight cinnamon rolls, right?
  • Cream Cheese: used in the vanilla bean cream cheese icing that’ll top these beauties.
  • Powdered Sugar: also used in the vanilla bean cream cheese icing.
  • Vanilla Bean Paste: it has a more vivacious punch than vanilla extract, I’m just keeping it real with you: it gives us super robust vanilla flavor + those gorgeous vanilla bean flecks are everything, trust me!
black woman's hand frosting cinnamon rolls in a baking dish

So, How Do I Make The Best Overnight Cinnamon Rolls?:

CLASS IS NOW IN SESSION: Professor Quin has arrived, let’s make some homemade cinnamon rolls, people!

Okay, first things first, we will start by making the yeast dough. Now I highly recommend using a stand mixer for making dough but it is not entirely needed as you can knead your dough by hand. In the bowl of stand mixer (or alternatively, in a large bowl) combine the warmed milk with the yeast and sugar; then let sit unbothered for 5-7 minutes. You’ll see the warm milk activate with the yeast and get nice and bubbly!

Next, add in butter, eggs, flour, and salt. If using a stand mixer, make sure it’s fitted with the dough hook attachment. Knead the dough on medium-low speed and make sure dough does not stick to the bowl. If so, add more flour in, a tablespoon at a time.

And alternatively if not using a stand mixer, knead dough by hand to combine everything. Add more flour if needed, just until the dough is smooth but still soft, about 6-7 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball and place it into a lightly greased (using butter/baking spray) large bowl. Turn dough in bowl to coat with butter/baking spray.

Lastly, cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm environment until it nearly doubles in size, the time for this is about 1 1/2 – 2 hours. A friendly tip from me to you: I like to place my dough bowl on top of my home dryer machine and let it run for a good cycle to help the “warm environment” process. Whatever spot that you can find in your home just as long as it’s warm otherwise your dough will not rise. Yeast comes alive in warm cozy places!

cinnamon rolls in speckled baking dish with serving knife in center

Cool Cool, What’s Next About This Recipe?

Woot woot, once the dough has risen and doubled in size, we’re ready to work with it! Punch the dough down and turn out onto a lightly floured work surface. And if you have a large baking mat that is super helpful too. Roll dough out into a rectangle, don’t overthink this step, the dough doesn’t have to be exactly in a rectangle shape. Just aim to have all the dough rolled out with the longer side facing you.

Spread the room temperature butter all over the dough followed by a sprinkling of the brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Do this step as evenly as you can and smear all over with your hands if needed. Then, starting with the longest part of the dough furthest from you, roll up the dough into a log. Pinch the seams of the dough to seal. Phew, we’re just about done. The last step is to cut the log crosswise into 8 equal slices using a sharp knife.

Now some folks like to use the floss method to cut their rolls, if you do, I want you to make sure your floss is unscented! Otherwise, I recommend using a good ole sharp knife.

Before cutting, it also helps to kind of make light indentations in dough to make sure you end up with eight even rolls before you make the actual final cut. Once rolls are cut, arrange them cut-side up into a 9×13 baking pan and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, 8-12 hours.

black woman's hands holding a big cinnamon roll on a small white plate

The morning of…we are finally making and enjoying these homemade overnight cinnamon rolls!

Take the cinnamon rolls out of the fridge and let sit out to reach room temperature for another 1 – 2 hours. Look for them to be puffed up and expanded some. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the rolls until golden brown, about 30 minutes. And your home is going to smell so delightful that you’ll feel like you can’t wait any longer, I know.

While the rolls bake, make the icing and then immediately pour the icing over the cinnamon rolls as soon as they come out and enjoy! These rolls are beautifully thick, rich, soft, and fluffy. They are truly my favorite kind of indulgent treat and I certainly hope that they become a staple in your home as well. Shout out to my Mom in the picture above who thoroughly enjoys coming over and being a hand model when I need one. Oh, don’t worry friends, she was paid in an abundance of all-you-can-eat cinnamon rolls with extra icing, too!…Check out these sweet potato cinnamon rolls, they’re also quite heavenly!

REMEMBER TO LEAVE A ⭐️STAR RATING⭐️AND TAG ME ON THE ‘GRAM IF YOU MAKE ANY OF MY RECIPES! I ALWAYS LOVE TO SEE IT WHEN YOU DO!

Until next time…love and butter,

Q.

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black woman's hands holding a big cinnamon roll on a small white plate

The Best Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

  • Author: Quin Liburd
  • Prep Time: 30m
  • Cook Time: 30m
  • Total Time: 1hr
  • Yield: 812 rolls 1x
  • Category: Breakfast, Baking
  • Method: Overnight
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These super easy homemade cinnamon rolls are supremely fluffy, extra decadent, and luscious; prepared overnight and ready to bake in the morning and then slathered in a delicious ooey gooey vanilla bean cream cheese icing!


Ingredients

Scale

Yeast Dough:

  • 1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active-dry yeast
  • 1 cup whole milk, lightly warmed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 4 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more if needed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Filling:

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup light or dark brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Icing:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese (brick-style), softened to room temperature 
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1/4 cup whole milk

Instructions

Yeast Dough:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer: add yeast, milk, and sugar. Let sit for 5-7 minutes to activate. Mixture will be bubbly and somewhat fragrant. Then add in butter and eggs. Attach dough hook attachment to mixer and add in flour and salt.
  2. Knead/mix on medium-low speed until dough begins to come together. Add in more flour, a tablespoon at a time, only if needed to make sure dough does not stick to bowl. Knead dough until smooth but still soft, about 6-7 minutes. Alternatively, knead dough by hand if not using a stand mixer. 
  3. Shape the dough into a ball. Then butter (or use baking spray) a large bowl. Add the dough into bowl and turn to coat dough. Cover dough tightly with plastic wrap and let dough rise in a warm place until it doubles in size, about 1 1/2 – 2 hours.
  4. Once dough has risen, punch dough down and turn out onto a floured work surface. Roll out dough into a rectangle (about 14×9 inches) with the longer side facing you. Use a little extra flour if dough is sticking. Filling: spread the butter over the dough and then sprinkle brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt evenly over the dough leaving a 1 inch border at the top and bottom. 
  5. Roll up the dough into a log starting with the longest side furthest from you. Pinch seams of dough to seal. Cut the log crosswise into 8 equal slices using a sharp knife.
  6. Butter/spray a 9×13 inch baking pan. Arrange the slices with the cut side up in the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and transfer to refrigerator overnight, 8-12 hours.
  7. Remove from refrigerator and let rolls sit out to reach room temperature for 1 – 2 hours, until puffy, before baking. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove the plastic wrap and bake rolls until lightly golden brown, about 30 minutes. While cinnamon rolls bake, prepare icing.
  8. Once rolls are done, immediately pour icing over rolls and serve. Enjoy!

Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Icing:

  1. Beat butter, cream cheese, and vanilla bean paste together until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add powdered sugar and slowly add in milk. Mix until everything is fully incorporated.

Notes

  1. Cinnamon rolls can be kept covered in plastic wrap in refrigerator for up to one week.
  2. This recipe can also make 12 rolls if rolls are cut smaller.
  3. To make the rolls same-day, simply allow for a second rise after you roll/cut the cinnamon rolls.

Keywords: breakfast, baking,