Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

I have to be honest, in the past, the Winter Holidays were usually the only time I dared think about making cinnamon rolls.  There are usually at least 2-3 cinnamon roll worthy morning occasions in December alone.  We have two birthdays, at least two work parties (I work from home, so it’s always a party🎈), and let’s not forget Christmas morning. The thing is, cinnamon rolls are not a spur of the moment pastry. They’re relatively easy to make, but you need time for the dough to rise, let alone bake, and I’m not about to get up at 5 am so someone can bring something in to work.  I love you guys but yeesh 🙄 .  So I experimented with my regular cinnamon roll recipe and played around with letting it rise in the refrigerator overnight and they came out great!  By taking the dough out in the morning and allowing it to come to room temperature and “rest” for half an hour or so (go take a shower, have some coffee), your cinnamon rolls will come out puffy and delicious every time. Now,  I'm also gonna share a little tip with you guys. It's about the heavy cream I placed at the end of the ingredient list. It might sound nutty, but a little known secret of old Southern ladies making cinnamon rolls is, pouring some warm heavy cream all over the rolls just before baking them! They come out so soft and gooey, but I swear to you not at all wet. It sounds unbelievable, but true!  Where do you think Cinnabon came up with the idea? You've gotta try it! Anyway, whether you make and bake today or put it away till tomorrow, you’re going to want to make these cinnamon rolls all year round!  That’s how you roll now 😉 

Cinnamon Roll Dough
 1 cup (237g) warm milk (105°-115° is optimal)
 1 tbsp honey
 1 tbsp active dry yeast
 ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
 2 large room temperature eggs
 1 stick (113g) melted unsalted butter, room temperature and cut in small cubes
 1 tsp vanilla extract (or paste)
 4 cups (520g) all-purpose flour
 1 tsp fine grain kosher or sea salt (if using table salt, only use about a quarter of the amount)
Cinnamon Sugar Filling
 1 stick (113g) softened, unsalted butter
 ½ cup (100g) brown sugar (light or dark)
 ½ cup (100g) granulated (white) sugar
 3 tbsp ground cinnamon
 ½ cup toasted pecans, chopped (optional)
Cream Cheese Frosting
 8 oz (226g) cream cheese, room temperature
 ¼ cup (57g) unsalted butter, room temperature
 2 cups powdered sugar
 ½ tsp vanilla extract (or paste)
 2 tbsp milk
 Teensy pinch of fine grain kosher or sea salt
And finally
 ½ cup (170g) warm (NOT HOT) heavy cream

Making the dough
1

Warm milk in the microwave for 45-60 seconds, to about 105°-115° (prime yeast awakening temperatures!)

Place the milk into the bowl of your standing mixer, then add honey and yeast. Let sit until it becomes foamy, about 5-10 minutes.

2

Mix the sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla into the milk.

Add 4 cups flour, and the salt and stir with the dough hook, starting on low and increasing to medium-high, until all the flour is mixed in. It's going to look like the hook won't be able to bring all the dry flour to the dough party, but it will. This part will take about 2-3 minutes.

Let the dough hook do its thing for about another 5-6 minutes or until a large ball is formed and it pulls away from the bottom and sides of the bowl. It will still be slightly sticky, but if the dough seems too sticky and is not forming a ball, add more flour 1 tbs at a time until it comes together.

3

Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for a few minutes until it is just barely tacky and form it into a smooth ball.

Grease a large bowl and place the dough inside. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap and put the bowl in a warm place to rise for about an hour or until the dough has doubled in size.

Make the filling
4

In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, granulated sugar, and cinnamon until mixed.

Making the rolls
5

Sprinkle a large work surface with flour and plop the dough out.

Form the dough into a rectangle, pressing out the gases as you go.

Roll the dough into an 24”x16” rectangle.

Using a silicone or offset spatula (I used my clean hands 🤗), spread softened butter all over the dough and then sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar, going all the way to the edges. If using pecans (I’m from Georgia, pecans are the law), sprinkle them on top of the cinnamon sugar and gently press down to “adhere”.

Roll the dough tightly away from you, along the long end and cut into 12 equal sized rolls using a serrated knife. Use a ruler. It’s your friend.

Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper and lightly spritz with non-stick spray. Place rolls in 4 evenly spaced rows of three.

6

Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes and preheat your oven to 350° If you would like to make these the night before and bake them in the morning, cover tightly and place in the refrigerator overnight to finish proofing. In the morning, preheat the oven to 350°, take the rolls out of the oven, and allow them to rest next to the preheating oven for 30 minutes or until almost doubled again in size. If it's a particularly cold morning it might take an hour. When they're appropriately fluffy, pour the warm cream all over the top of each roll and allow it to soak in. Bake at 350° until golden brown, about 25-30 minutes.

Frost the rolls and eat them so fast
7

While rolls are baking, beat together cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, milk, vanilla extract, and salt.

Spread the cream cheese frosting on the rolls while they are still warm so it gets into all the nooks and crannies. Eat them. Eat them. Eat them. Share 🙄

Ingredients

Cinnamon Roll Dough
 1 cup (237g) warm milk (105°-115° is optimal)
 1 tbsp honey
 1 tbsp active dry yeast
 ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
 2 large room temperature eggs
 1 stick (113g) melted unsalted butter, room temperature and cut in small cubes
 1 tsp vanilla extract (or paste)
 4 cups (520g) all-purpose flour
 1 tsp fine grain kosher or sea salt (if using table salt, only use about a quarter of the amount)
Cinnamon Sugar Filling
 1 stick (113g) softened, unsalted butter
 ½ cup (100g) brown sugar (light or dark)
 ½ cup (100g) granulated (white) sugar
 3 tbsp ground cinnamon
 ½ cup toasted pecans, chopped (optional)
Cream Cheese Frosting
 8 oz (226g) cream cheese, room temperature
 ¼ cup (57g) unsalted butter, room temperature
 2 cups powdered sugar
 ½ tsp vanilla extract (or paste)
 2 tbsp milk
 Teensy pinch of fine grain kosher or sea salt
And finally
 ½ cup (170g) warm (NOT HOT) heavy cream

Directions

Making the dough
1

Warm milk in the microwave for 45-60 seconds, to about 105°-115° (prime yeast awakening temperatures!)

Place the milk into the bowl of your standing mixer, then add honey and yeast. Let sit until it becomes foamy, about 5-10 minutes.

2

Mix the sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla into the milk.

Add 4 cups flour, and the salt and stir with the dough hook, starting on low and increasing to medium-high, until all the flour is mixed in. It's going to look like the hook won't be able to bring all the dry flour to the dough party, but it will. This part will take about 2-3 minutes.

Let the dough hook do its thing for about another 5-6 minutes or until a large ball is formed and it pulls away from the bottom and sides of the bowl. It will still be slightly sticky, but if the dough seems too sticky and is not forming a ball, add more flour 1 tbs at a time until it comes together.

3

Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for a few minutes until it is just barely tacky and form it into a smooth ball.

Grease a large bowl and place the dough inside. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap and put the bowl in a warm place to rise for about an hour or until the dough has doubled in size.

Make the filling
4

In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, granulated sugar, and cinnamon until mixed.

Making the rolls
5

Sprinkle a large work surface with flour and plop the dough out.

Form the dough into a rectangle, pressing out the gases as you go.

Roll the dough into an 24”x16” rectangle.

Using a silicone or offset spatula (I used my clean hands 🤗), spread softened butter all over the dough and then sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar, going all the way to the edges. If using pecans (I’m from Georgia, pecans are the law), sprinkle them on top of the cinnamon sugar and gently press down to “adhere”.

Roll the dough tightly away from you, along the long end and cut into 12 equal sized rolls using a serrated knife. Use a ruler. It’s your friend.

Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper and lightly spritz with non-stick spray. Place rolls in 4 evenly spaced rows of three.

6

Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes and preheat your oven to 350° If you would like to make these the night before and bake them in the morning, cover tightly and place in the refrigerator overnight to finish proofing. In the morning, preheat the oven to 350°, take the rolls out of the oven, and allow them to rest next to the preheating oven for 30 minutes or until almost doubled again in size. If it's a particularly cold morning it might take an hour. When they're appropriately fluffy, pour the warm cream all over the top of each roll and allow it to soak in. Bake at 350° until golden brown, about 25-30 minutes.

Frost the rolls and eat them so fast
7

While rolls are baking, beat together cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, milk, vanilla extract, and salt.

Spread the cream cheese frosting on the rolls while they are still warm so it gets into all the nooks and crannies. Eat them. Eat them. Eat them. Share 🙄

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

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