As the coffee pot rumbled, I stumbled to the fridge half asleep, and reached in to pull out my tray filled with yummy cinnamon rolls just waiting to be popped in the oven. The work, which was really quite easy, had been done the night before and these beauties rose all night while I slept.
It was a beautiful thing, I tell you. Beautiful.
I have made an untold number of Cinnamon Rolls in my life time and if you want the best, you must go with a good ole fashioned yeast roll recipe. If you love perfection in the form of carbs as much as I do, there’s just nothing quite as wonderful as my Copy Cat Cinnabon recipe with my Easy Cream Cheese frosting. They are to-die-for homemade cinnamon rolls, and the best cinnamon roll recipe out there (based on the 100’s of people that have tried it and let me know), but they take a lot of time.
Now, it’s time well spent, but honestly, I bring that recipe out for really special occasions, not a “It’s 10 pm and I feel like some homemade cinnamon rolls in the morning” kind of an occasion.
But this Overnight, Refrigerator – Rise Cinnamon Roll recipe, this is that recipe. It’s the easiest recipe I have come up with for 100% homemade cinnamon rolls because you don’t have to wait for them to rise and they use oil, instead of butter in the batter, so they are a huge budget saver. You don’t have to mix things in multiple bowls, scald the milk, melt the butter, separate the yolk. Nope, none of that (cue angels singing.)
You literally just dump, knead, roll and go to bed.
It’s that easy.
Now, I will confess, I can mix up this dough in only a few minutes because I mix and knead these in my mixer, so if you are doing it completely by hand, the kneading process will take you a few extra minutes, but again, this will be the easiest recipe that you come across for 100% from scratch rolls.
(If you are new to using a mixer for yeast bread and visuals help you, I have a detailed video that I did a few years ago that shows you how to make my homemade French Bread in my Kitchen Aid. The steps will be identical to this, with just different ingredients.)
This weekend, we mixed up these treats both Friday and Saturday evenings. It’s the perfect recipe to teach your children and it gives them a great excuse to stay up past their bedtime.
This was my sweet daughter, live, in action, at 10 pm because we “had” to have some rolls ready for the morning. There’s just nothing better than welcoming the kids into the kitchen with these baking in the oven.
I just love it (and so do they.)
I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.
Recipe: Overnight Refrigerator Rise Cinnamon Rolls
Summary: The perfect way to have hot homemade Cinnamon Rolls first thing in the morning by making them the night before.
- 2 TBS active dry yeast (or fast acting, instant yeast)
- 2 cups warm water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1/3 cup powdered milk
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 5 1/2 – 6 cups white flour (or bread flour), approximately
- 3 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 cup sugar
- 6 tablespoons softened butter
- pecans, raisins (optional)
- If using active dry yeast, dissolve yeast in water.(For instant yeast, add to dry ingredients.)
- Add remaining dough ingredients to water and mix until soft dough forms, adding the last cup of flour slowly at end making sure dough doesn’t become dry.
- Roll dough out to a large rectangle and spread with mixed filling ingredients.
- Sprinkle with pecans or raisins, if desired,
- Roll up long side, and slice into even pieces. (Numbers varies on how large you want them. Approximately 16 -24)
- Place on greased cookie sheet.
- Cover well and let rise overnight in refrigerator.
- In morning, remove from fridge and set at room temperature for approximately 15 minutes.
- Then bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.
- Frost with my easy cream cheese frosting or confectioners sugar/water mixture frosting.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s)
Cooking time: 30 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 12
For a fun holiday change, try these Christmas tree rolls.
now this sounds like the kind of cinnamon roll recipe that I’d love !
@Angie | Big Bear’s Wife, I know. Enough of those hours I’ve spent before.:)
I love making them the night before–pinning this!
These look amazing! I am going to make these this weekend!
Sounds great. One question though: does the powdered milk mean milk powder or milk powder with water added to make the milk? I am sorry if this seems straight forward, but I have a 4month old baby so I am probably tired.
Nope, not an odd question at all. Just dry powdered milk. You can add it in with the dry ingredients or in with the hot water, but you will not be mixing it up first like milk.
@Jen, Thanks. Cinnamon Rolls are not common here in Australia so I am keen to give them a go and see why they get big raves.
Can’t wait to try these!
Perfect! They sound amazing, and how nice that they are ready to pop in the oven in the morning!
Tried these today – they were amazing! I’ve made your Copy Cat Cinnabon recipe before and loved those, too, but you can’t beat how easy these are! And, of course, I made your cream cheese frosting. 🙂 It’s a given, no matter what cinnamon rolls I make.
Thanks for another great recipe!
So glad you enjoyed them, Tracey. I know. I am now so torn as to which to recommend because these are SO, SO easy. I’ll be saving the Copy cats for the holidays. 🙂 I made these two times last week. 🙂
Jen- made these last night and they were so fast and easy! My kids told me to throw out all my other cinnamon roll recipes because this is IT! Thanks for an awesome breakfast and all your other yummy recipes too!
YAY! So glad to hear that! As I worked with the recipe, I couldn’t believe how much faster they were.
Question- since these rolls only rise once- are they as light and flaky as your other roll recipe?
If I had to pick one roll to eat, it would be the Copycat Cinnabon one, but this recipe is much less work, so this is the one I tend to make more often. It’s still very good, maybe not quite as good. Does that help at all? 🙂
I am looking to make yummy, moist, and delicious cinnamon rolls. Mornings are extremely hard so things I can do the night before are preferable. I loved the look of your Cinnabon copy cat, but 8 people getting around in the morning is just to much for doing that kind of work. So I have a few questions.
1) Can the Cinnabon copy cats be done the night before?
2) Are these yummy, moist, and delicious?
3) any tips to make either of these quickly? Such as can I premix some stuff to make cooking time faster?
4) I am feeding 8 people ( many of the teens) should I double this recipe?
I’m not Jen :), but I can tell you that I’ve done the “Cinnabon” recipe the night before. I just got them to the point of being rolled up and cut into individual buns and stuck them in the fridge. They did rise ALOT, but they turned out fine, just big!
I’m sure the overnight ones are really good (and I’ll try a half recipe sometime), but I told my husband they had oil instead of butter, and he won’t let me make them! 🙂 Butter is ‘king’ in our opinion 🙂
Trust me – your hubby is right. Butter is king. 🙂 (That’s why I always have my Cinnabon recipe for the really important times. haha)
These look easy and yummy! I am wondering if there is something that I can substitute for the milk powder. I can’t have dairy. Any suggestions? Thanks!
@CarylMay, I’d also like to know this because my son has a dairy allergy.
Try mashed potatoes! My grandm has a smilar recipe that calls for mashed potatoes OR dry milk.
Thanks so much for the recipe. Always shy away from Cinnamon buns and everything that requires lots of rising (and effort….), but these were great despite the fact my yeast was a little less than up to snuff! Can’t wait to make them again… with the Easy cream cheese frosting! Thanks!
So glad you enjoyed it and yes, the cream cheese frosting takes it to a whole different level 🙂
Can these be frozen for later use? There are only two of us.
Yes, you sure can. Save the frosting for later. 🙂
@Jen, Would you freeze them before letting them rise, then just pull out the night before to the fridge as if they were made fresh?
I’m going to make these this weekend. One question…can I substitute whole milk for the milk powder? How much should I use? Thanks!
Natalie – I read somewhere that whole milk/liquid milk would have to be scalded first because it effects the gluten somehow. So I think you can sub, BUT you would have to scald and add at a different place. I’d look into it more if I was you 🙂
These rolls were amazing! Thank you for a really excellent recipe. You can’t buy proper cinnamon rolls in the UK (or at least I’ve never seen them) and and this was exactly the type of recipe I was looking out for. I’m really glad to have found your webpage.
YAY!! So thrilled you found them. 🙂 Enjoy!
Just put my pan in the fridge. These were so simple to put together – can’t wait till morning. Thank you so much for this recipe!
can’t wait to hear how you enjoyed them 🙂
I made this recipe last night for Christmas breakfast. My very first attempt at homemeade cinnamon buns! I didnt have powdered milk so I used 1 cup water (for activating the yeast) and 1cup whole milk warm. I also substituted butter for canola oil. It turned out AMAZING! Thank you for inspiring me:)
YAY!! SO thrilled you enjoyed them!!! 🙂
Is the sugar in the Dillon for these rolls supposed to be white granulated sugar? I’ve always known cinnamon rolls to have brown sugar in the filling, so just thought I’d ask!
Sugar in the filling I mean! Autocorrect…
I know this is crazy question but is the flour All-Purpose
that you use to make the cinnamon rolls?
There are no crazy questions. I definitely should have put that. Yes, all purpose, but you can use bread flour as well. 🙂 Hope you enjoy them.
Hi, Your overnight cinnamon rolls sound wonderful! I was wondering if you use package dry yeast instead of the instant, how many packages should I use? Thanks, Linda
hi Linda – double check your package, but I think each individual package equals 1 TB? If that’s the case then 2 packages. I buy it in bulk, so not sure how much for a package but it’s 2 TB.
Disaster … but I will state the obvious and guess that if one has no powered milk and uses milk-milk instead it will not end well. OK, it will end with flat leaden lumps … Same fresh yeast strip used for something else and that came out fine so guessing my milk swap was the problm?
Hmm – that is so odd. I wouldn’t think that using swapping that milk would have resulted in lumps since it’s typically the yeast that gives lumps. Did you try to mix the dough and bake it anyhow? SO sorry Always a bummer not to have something turn out when you want it to
I wanted to shape each cinnamon roll into shape of Christmas trees and is it possible to use this to overnight cinnamon recipe to make it?
I wouldn’t want you to do all the work and then have them be too big. You could definitely shape it into one Christmas tree and let it rise, but small individual ones may work, but they may be a bit too big. If you kept them smaller, so there’s room for them to expand , you should be fine.
If I would to add the instant yeast into the rest of the dry ingredients would I still need to add water to the dough?
Yes, you will need the two cups of water. 🙂 Enjoy!