Take the stress out of the ultimate breakfast treat with an easy recipe for Make-Ahead Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting.

Make-Ahead Cinnamon Rolls with cream cheese frosting being spread over top

Few store-bought sweets captivate my attention like Cinnabon cinnamon rolls.

There’s just something about the freshness factor of the cinnamony swirls, whether I spot them at a kiosk in my local mall, or smell the aroma of that classic frosting from 14 gates away at airports across America.

Top down view of Make-Ahead Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

No matter the Cinnabon locale, I concede to my cravings, approach the counter, and greet the friendly face that’s rolling, filling, slicing and icing cinnamon roll after cinnamon roll after cinnamon roll. The rolls are fresh. I mean F-R-E-S-H fresh. 

There’s only one other option when it comes to achieving that level of fresh: the DIY route! 

Hand poking cinnamon roll dough in clear bowl

Are homemade cinnamon rolls a labor of love? You bet! But with a few simple tricks for how to successfully start and then stop the prep, you can in fact master Make-Ahead Cinnamon Rolls, a.k.a. Overnight Cinnamon Rolls.

Check out the swirled beauties below. They’re all ready for stashing in your fridge, which means you’re 90% of the way there.

Top down view of unbaked cinnamon rolls in baking dish

Then all that’s left to do in the morning is pop them into the oven and start sippin’ on your mimosa while you whip up the topping.

Stand mixer bowl with paddle attachment and cream cheese frosting

Warm cinnamon rolls, meet the lightest, tangiest cream cheese frosting to ever slather your buns.

And that right there is a big-time breakfast win. Cinnamony, swirly, buttery, better-than-Cinnabon perfection.

Spreading cream cheese frosting over easy homemade cinnamon rolls

To really master DIY dough, tune in below to discover the surprising place where I proof my cinnamon roll dough!

 

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Breakfast

Make-Ahead Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

Take the stress out of the ultimate breakfast treat with an easy recipe for Make-Ahead Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting.
4.8 from 5 votes
Top down view of Make-Ahead Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting
Prep Time 3 hrs
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 3 hrs 20 mins
Servings 12 rolls

Ingredients 

For the cinnamon roll dough:

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon sugar, divided
  • 2 ½ teaspoons (one 3/4-oz. packet) active dry yeast
  • 4 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out dough
  • 2 large eggs, at room temp
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

For the filling:

  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons cinnamon

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, at room temp
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 2 Tablespoons buttermilk
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/3 cups confectioners’ sugar

Instructions 

Make the cinnamon roll dough:

  • Warm the milk and butter on the stovetop or in the microwave until it is warm but not hot to the touch (it should be below 110°F). Add 1 tablespoon of sugar and the yeast to the milk, stirring to combine, then set it aside for 5 minutes. 
  • In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, mix together the flour, cinnamon, salt and remaining ½ cup sugar. Add the yeast mixture and eggs and mix for 8 minutes until dough is smooth. (The dough will be slightly tacky.) Place the dough in a clean, greased bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Place the bowl in a warm, dark place to proof until it has doubled in size, about 1 hour.  
  • Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with butter.
  • Lightly flour your work surface then scrape the dough out, and using a rolling pin, roll the dough into roughly a 12×20-inch rectangle that is 1/4-inch thick. 
  • Brush the melted butter generously over the dough. 
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, sugar and cinnamon then sprinkle it atop the melted butter. Starting at the long edge of the rectangle, roll the dough up into a tight log, then using a sharp knife, slice the log into 12 2-inch rounds.
  • Arrange the rounds in the prepared baking dish (discarding any smaller ends). Cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and place it in a warm, dark place to allow the cinnamon rolls to rise a second time for 30 minutes. (Note: This is the point at which you can cover the pan securely with plastic wrap and refrigerate the rolls overnight. Continue with the recipe as directed on the day of baking.)
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Bake the cinnamon rolls until they are pale golden, 22 to 25 minutes. (Note: If you are baking the cinnamon rolls directly from the fridge, add about 10 minutes to your bake time.)
  • While the cinnamon rolls bake, make the cream cheese frosting.  

Make the cream cheese frosting:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and cream cheese until smooth. 
  • Add the vanilla extract, buttermilk, salt and confectioners’ sugar and beat until combined.
  • Spread generously over completely cooled cinnamon rolls. Best served immediately.  
  • ★ Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

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Recipe by Just a Taste. Please do not reprint this recipe without my permission. If you'd like to feature this recipe on your site, please rewrite the method of preparation and link to this post as the original source.


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Nutrition

Calories: 593kcal, Carbohydrates: 81g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 26g, Saturated Fat: 15g, Cholesterol: 98mg, Sodium: 335mg, Potassium: 166mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 45g, Vitamin A: 885IU, Calcium: 87mg, Iron: 2.5mg

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I am using a different roll recipe and using your icing recipe for them because this one looks bangin’! Next time I make them (and there will be a next time) I will use your entire recipe. And just a quick note, if you buy yeast in bulk, freeze it. I bought my yeast 5 years ago and and it’s still good! Keep it in a sealed container. I just had mine in a Ziploc container. Thanks again Kelly!

    1. You are so welcome, Donna! I’m looking forward to reading your results in the future :)

  2. 5 stars
    Hi Kelly, I wanted to make these, like, now and I was wondering what dimensions should the rectangle be after rolling the dough out? This is my first attempt at making cinnamon rolls from scratch and I really don’t want to make them too doughy.

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Donna! Roll the dough into a rectangle that is 1/4-inch thick and measures about 12×18 inches. :)

  3. 4 stars
    I made these and left them in the fridge overnight! I baked them for a half hour and they are still pretty raw! Did I do something wrong?

    1. Hi Rebecca – Oven temperatures (as well as baking dishes) can cause great variances in the bake time. Do you have an oven thermometer to ensure your oven is running at the correct temperature? And was the rack in the center of the oven?

  4. Thank you for the recipe.
    A quick one though.
    Do i wait for the second rise (30 minutes) before placing it in the refrigerator overnight OR do i wrap with plastik wrap and immediately place it in the refrigerator without waiting for the second rise?

    1. Hi there! Option #1; wait for the second rise before covering the pan securely with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

  5. I seem to be missing where the 1/2 chip of sugar goes in the dough mix?? It only says to use 1 tbsp and nowhere else in ther texture does it tell toy where tti use ther other 1/2 C.

    1. Thanks so much for catching this, Melissa! The remaining 1/2 cup goes in with the dough. The recipe has been updated!