I must confess, I do love store-bought cinnamon rolls. Ha. I grew up eating those from time to time. But there’s just something about homemade cinnamon rolls that feels extra special. I love them for holidays or when I’m wanting to elevate a moment (like making them before we head off on a boat day or camping trip). The only issue is I don’t want to wake up hours before just so they have time to rise.
This overnight cinnamon rolls recipe is the perfect solution. You make everything the day before, then just wake up and bake them and slather the frosting on. Easy! I also wanted to create an overnight cinnamon rolls recipe that was a small batch—not something that feeds a giant family or big group gathering as that’s just not my situation this year.
Homemade cinnamon rolls are one of those baking projects that almost feels like a craft too. Ha. I love to roll up the dough, slice, and lay them out in the pan. It’s just such a pretty moment! It’s the little things, right?
You could top these overnight cinnamon rolls with a number of different frostings, but I love a classic cream cheese frosting. So delicious and pretty. 🙂
Are you an outer edge cinnamon roll person? Or do you prefer the softer center pieces? Personally, I’ll take one of each if possible. Happy baking, friends! xo. Emma
Overnight Cinnamon Rolls - Small Batch
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 1/4 teaspoons instant dry yeast
- 1 eggs
- 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup butter softened
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 8 ounces softened cream cheese
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
In a small pot, melt the 1/4 cup butter and 1/2 cup whole milk. Whisk in the sugar and vanilla until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and sprinkle the yeast over the top. Allow that to sit for 5-6 minutes. The yeast should appear to foam some on the surface as the mixture cools.
In a large bowl, combine the flour and egg. Pour the milk-yeast mixture into the bowl and stir until a dough ball forms. On a floured surface, knead the dough for 2-3 minutes. Place back in the bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Allow to rise in a warm spot for 1 hour.
Once the dough has risen, punch down and turn out onto a floured surface. Roll into a large rectangle. Smear the softened 1/4 cup butter all over the rectangle. Combine the sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon then sprinkle over the butter. Roll up into a long cylinder. Cut in about 8-10 rolls (if you cut slightly more or less, that's OK too). Place in a buttered pie pan.
Cover and refrigerate overnight. This is also a good time to set out the cream cheese so it can soften overnight.
Remove the cinnamon rolls from the refrigerator 1 hour before baking.
Bake at 325°F for 30-32 minutes, until the outer rolls begin to turn a golden brown.
While the cinnamon rolls bake, make the frosting. In a stand mixer or with an electric mixer, beat the softened cream cheese with the milk, aiming to remove as many lumps as possible. Slowly beat in the powdered sugar.
Top the cinnamon rolls with the frosting and enjoy.