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Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

World Baking Day: Overnight Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

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Whether you are an experienced baker or just getting started, there is something about the joy that baking brings us – especially when you get to share your creations with others!

In honor of World Baking Day, we’re sharing one of our team member’s favorite recipes you’re going to want to try out with your family.

Forget having to wake up 4 hours early just to have fresh cinnamon rolls. Simply make the dough and filling ahead of time and allow the dough to come to room temperature and rise in the morning before baking.

Love to bake? We’ve included a few baking tools and accessories throughout the recipe you may want to add to your Giftster wish list. You never know who might want to surprise you with a gift to make your baking experience truly wonderful.

Find the links to these baking accessories in the recipe instructions below.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Let’s get started.

  1. Begin by making the dough by hand, with a stand mixer or go high-tech with this handy bread machine.
  2. 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 to mixer and add in flour and salt. 
  3. Kneed/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 the bowl. Knead dough until smooth but still soft, about 6-7 minutes. Alternatively, knead dough by hand if not using a stand mixer.
  4. 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 ½ to 2 hours.
  5. 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 – you can use this silicon baking mat from Walmart) with the longer side facing you. Use a little extra flour if dough is sticking.
  6. 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. (I like to mix my brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt into a bowl so it’s easier to spread evenly.)
  7. 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. 
  8. 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.
  9. Remove from refrigerator and let rolls sit out to reach room temperature for 1 to 2 hours, until puffy, before baking. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the plastic wrap and bake rolls until lightly golden brown, about 30 minutes. While cinnamon rolls bake, prepare icing.
  10. Once rolls are done, set them on this extra large hot pad, immediately pour icing over rolls, and serve. We love to serve these with fresh coffee (either iced, or hot depending on the season) and a side of fruit or bacon. Enjoy!


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


  • 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 OR vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup whole milk

Happy baking!

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