The Best Cinnamon Rolls (with over-night/make-ahead option AND secret baking instructions!)

October 2, 2021Brianna
The Best Cinnamon Rolls (with over-night/make-ahead instructions AND secret baking instructions!)

Cinnamon rolls are honestly a tricky thing to make well. Sometimes you get a super dry roll that just tastes like plain sugar, sometimes you get a roll that is so doughy in the middle you’re worried it’s going to make you sick. Finding the balance between a roll that’s done, but not dry, that also is gooey and melts in your mouth is something I’ve been working on for several years. With many, MANY, batches baked and trying to come up with my own recipe and technique, I came up with this one!

The secret?! It’s baking some of the frosting INTO the rolls during the last few minutes of baking! I hope you give it a try, it’s life changing in the cinnamon roll world.

One reason why I’ve never posted a cinnamon roll recipe is because my biscuit cinnamon roll recipe is so good that I couldn’t post a recipe for normal cinnamon rolls unless it was just as good as that recipe. I finally have one to share with you (though my husband would say nothing beats the biscuit cinnamon roll).


The Best Cinnamon Rolls (with over-night/make-ahead option AND secret baking instructions!)

The best of both worlds– Ooey gooey cinnamon rolls that are still cooked all the way through. No soggy or doughy cinnamon rolls.

  • Prep Time: 35 minutes (plus at least 2 hours inactive rising time)
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 65 minutes (plus at least 2 hours inactive rising time)
  • Yield: 12 cinnamon rolls 1x




1 cup warmed milk (any percentage will work)

1 tablespoon active dry yeast

1 tablespoon sugar

2 large eggs + 1 egg yolk, room temp

6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled

2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil

1/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

4 cups flour


8 tablespoons butter, room temp

3/4 cup light brown sugar

2 tablespoons cinnamon


4 oz cream cheese, softened

4 tablespoons butter, room temp

3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

12 tablespoons cream (or milk)

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Pinch of salt



In the bowl of a stand mixer pour the warm milk followed by the yeast and sugar. Stir lightly and let sit for about 5-10 minutes till starting to bubble.

Melt the butter and let cool during this 5-10 minutes of waiting on the yeast.

Add the eggs, cooled melted butter, oil, sugar, salt, and 1 cup of the flour to the bowl. Attach a dough hook and start to mix. Add the remaining flour. Knead for 4-5 minutes. You want the dough to not be stuck to the sides of the bowl. If it starts to stick to the sides instead of forming a ball around the hook, add more flour, about 1/4 cup at a time till it clears the sides of the bowl.

Remove dough from bowl briefly, spray with cooking spray, return the dough and cover with plastic wrap. Put in a warm place and let rise for 1 hour, or till doubled in size.

Sprinkle a clean counter with flour and tip dough out. With a rolling pin, roll the dough out as even as you can thickness wise into a roughly 10×20 inch rectangle.


Using a pastry brush or a rubber spatula, spread the butter onto the dough as evenly as you can.

In a small mixing bowl combine the brown sugar and cinnamon till combined.

Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture all over the butter and gently press it into the dough a bit.

Roll (the long side) tightly into a jelly roll. Using a sharp knife or bench scraper or dental floss, cut the rolls into 12 even pieces. (Cut in half. Cut each half in half. Cut each fourth into 3.)

Lightly butter a 9×13 inch casserole/baking dish and place each roll in 3 across and 4 down. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise again for another hour.


***Overnight instructions- At this point, you can put them in the fridge till morning. You have several options for the rise after you remove them from the fridge.

1- Remove them from the fridge and place the pan on a hot pad or thick towel (just don’t put it on a cold stone counter or it will stay cold and not let them rise) and let them rise for 2-3 hours till visibly starting to be good and puffy. Continue on with the baking instructions.

2- Preheat your oven to the lowest heat setting it has. Once it’s come to be the lowest temperature on your oven, shut the oven off, open the door and put the cinnamon rolls in the oven (remove the plastic wrap and place foil on it instead). Let them sit in the warm oven for 45 minutes. Remove and let sit on the stove till your oven is preheated to 350. Continue on with the baking instructions. ***


Baking instructions-

Preheat oven to 350 F during last 30 minutes of the second rise.

Bake for 15-20 minutes till rolls are starting to get a bit golden hint on top.

During this time, make the frosting. In a medium mixing bowl, whip the cream cheese and butter till light and creamy. Sift in the powdered sugar and whip again till combined well. Add 1 Tablespoon of the cream, the vanilla and a pinch of salt and whip till combined. You don’t want the frosting to be too thin, but if it’s just too thick add another tablespoon of cream. Whip for at least 2-3 minutes using a hand mixer.

Remove the rolls when they get the smallest hint of golden on top of them. Quickly frost with about 1/4- 1/3 of the frosting, letting the frosting melt and ooze into the rolls.

Place back in the oven for another about 5 minutes to finish cooking.

Let cool for 15-20 minutes and frost generously with the remaining frosting.

Keywords: Cinnamon Rolls, gooey, the best, make-ahead, yeast bread, breakfast, dessert

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Rachel Beenfield
Rachel Beenfield
2 years ago

Wow! I’ve made a lot of cinnamon rolls and these take the cake! I’ve never heard of baking the frosting into the rolls, but it really takes the cinnamon rolls to the next level.

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