Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

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Senior Cook
Jan 9, 2010
Anacortes, WA
Overnight Cinnamon Rolls Recipe : Alton Brown : Food Network

Recipe courtesy Alton Brown, 2006
Prep Time:45 min
Inactive Prep Time:10 hr 30 min
Cook Time:30 min
Serves:12 rolls




  • 4 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1 large whole egg, room temperature
  • 2 ounces sugar, approximately 1/4 cup
  • 3 ounces unsalted butter, melted, approximately 6 tablespoons
  • 6 ounces buttermilk, room temperature
  • 20 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 4 cups, plus additional for dusting
  • 1 package instant dry yeast, approximately 2 1/4 teaspoons
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Vegetable oil or cooking spray

  • 8 ounces light brown sugar, approximately 1 cup packed
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch salt
  • 3/4-ounce unsalted butter, melted, approximately 1 1/2 tablespoons

  • 2 1/2 ounces cream cheese, softened, approximately 1/4 cup
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 5 1/2 ounces powdered sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups

For the dough: in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg yolks, whole egg, sugar, butter, and buttermilk. Add approximately 2 cups of the flour along with the yeast and salt; whisk until moistened and combined. Remove the whisk attachment and replace with a dough hook. Add all but 3/4 cup of the remaining flour and knead on low speed for 5 minutes. Check the consistency of the dough, add more flour if necessary; the dough should feel soft and moist but not sticky. Knead on low speed 5 minutes more or until the dough clears the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface; knead by hand about 30 seconds. Lightly oil a large bowl. Transfer the dough to the bowl, lightly oil the top of the dough, cover and let double in volume, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Mix until well incorporated. Set aside until ready to use.

Butter a 9 by 13-inch glass baking dish. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently shape the dough into a rectangle with the long side nearest you. Roll into an 18 by 12-inch rectangle. Brush the dough with the 3/4-ounce of melted butter, leaving 1/2-inch border along the top edge. Sprinkle the filling mixture over the dough, leaving a 3/4-inch border along the top edge; gently press the filling into the dough. Beginning with the long edge nearest you, roll the dough into a tight cylinder. Firmly pinch the seam to seal and roll the cylinder seam side down. Very gently squeeze the cylinder to create even thickness. Using a serrated knife, slice the cylinder into 1 1/2-inch rolls; yielding 12 rolls. Arrange rolls cut side down in the baking dish; cover tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight or up to 16 hours.

Remove the rolls from the refrigerator and place in an oven that is turned off. Fill a shallow pan 2/3-full of boiling water and set on the rack below the rolls. Close the oven door and let the rolls rise until they look slightly puffy; approximately 30 minutes. Remove the rolls and the shallow pan of water from the oven.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

When the oven is ready, place the rolls on the middle rack and bake until golden brown, or until the internal temperature reaches 190 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, approximately 30 minutes.

While the rolls are cooling slightly, make the icing by whisking the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer until creamy. Add the milk and whisk until combined. Sift in the powdered sugar, and whisk until smooth. Spread over the rolls and serve immediately.


I made the dough last night, rolled the filling and chilled it over night .. proofed & backed them this after noon.

They came out PERFECT! .. sorry no pics of mixing the dough or of the rolls before overnight chill.

Chilled .. Proofed .. Baked .. Ready To Eat


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They are very good. We've made them quite a few times.

I've even made them thru the shaping phase and frozen half of them by using a round pie pan, lining with foil, freezing, then taking out of pie plate and wrapping. Just take out frozen rolls mid-evening before and let defrost in fridge overnight and continue with Alton's directions. When it's just me and Craig, the whole recipe is too much. We usually only eat a couple each for breakfast and then have the other for desert that evening.

I also cut down a bit on cinammon and add chopped pecans. Some might want more cinammon, some even less. I just don't like a real strong cinammon flavor.

It is an excellent recipe. Word of advice though, don't try to sub out the buttermilk. I tried to make it using soured milk once and it just didn't turn out right. They were okay but not like usual. Don't know if there were other coincidental factors or not but it's always turned out perfect with the buttermilk.
Thanks everyone for the praise, I am very pleased with myself only have made cookies before this.

One thing I might do after they are baked, is my mom said something about turning them upside down as they cool. I just let them cool as-is in the pan, and then pulled some out to eat, dipped in the frosting. I kept the rest in the pan & covered them all with the rest of the frosting.

The next day all the sticky goodness slid down to the bottom of the rolls & onto the pan .. not very much was left inside the rolls .. but that could have been my rolling technique (they weren't very tight).
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