These overnight cinnamon buns are made with an overnight brioche recipe. They are filled with cinnamon sugar and pecans. These Easy Cinnamon Rolls are the perfect make ahead cinnamon roll recipe.
Breakfast time is the part of my birthday that I look forward to the most. I almost always end up awake before everyone else (which is predictable when you wake up at 6am every morning anyway), and I like to take a little second with just me before everyone else gets up.
This year I popped out for a quick walk on the beach, then woke Rich up and made him come for a walk into Montauk Town to buy a rolling pin, because cinnamon rolls were the first order of the day. An hour later the house was filled with the amazing smell of freshly baked cinnamon rolls, which I loaded up with cream cheese frosting as soon as they came out of the oven. We ate them straight out of the tray, as soon as they were cool enough to touch. It was an awesome start to what would be an epic birthday.
The best part about these rolls were that the dough was made the night before and left to rise in the fridge overnight, meaning that the working time in the morning was kept to a minimum. The house we were staying at didn't have a mixer, so I mixed these by hand - it took a little longer, but still worked just as well! Once they had gone to bed with the rest of us, the next morning I rolled them out, then I filled them with a simple mix, melted butter, cinnamon sugar, and a solid dose of pecans. They then have a quick rest in the pan while the oven is preheating, before being baked until they are golden brown. Total time from waking up to cinnamon rolls in your belly is only about an hour and a half. More than ideal. The dough is light and fluffy, the filling sweet and flavoursome, with a little crunch from the pecans, and the cream cheese frosting can't be skipped.
A few wee notes:
- I used an overnight brioche recipe here, but if you really can't wait and you need cinnamon buns immediately, you can use this dough recipe here (which does make more, so increase your pan size a little)
- A stand mixer comes in handy, but you absolutely don't need one, plus you get a solid arm workout to boot
- Leave out the pecans if that isn't your jam.
- The frosting makes enough for a generous layer, and it is quite sweet, so feel free to cut back a little on it if you don't want it as intense (it's good though, you should keep it all on there)
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Answers to your baking questions
Over the years, many of you have asked me questions about:
- baking in grams
- adjusting oven temperatures
- what kind of salt to use
- and many more!
I've curated and answered them all for your easy reference in this frequently asked questions post!
Overnight Cinnamon Buns with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Yield: Makes about 8
Overnight Cinnamon Buns with Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 cup (250ml) whole milk, lukewarm
- ¼ cup (50g) sugar, divided
- 1 ½ tsp active dried yeast
- 1 stick (113g) unsalted butter
- 500g (17.6oz) bread flour
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp vanilla bean paste
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1 ¼ cups (250g) brown sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 ½ Tbsp Cinnamon
- 1 cup toasted pecans, roughly chopped
- 1 egg whisked with 1 Tbsp water
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2 cups (250g) powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 8oz (200g) package cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- Place the warm milk, 2 Tbsp sugar, and yeast in a small bowl and whisk briefly to combine. Leave to stand for 5-10 minutes or until foamy. Meanwhile, melt the butter either in increments in the microwave, or in a small pot. Set aside to cool.
- Place the flour, remaining 2 Tbsp sugar, salt, and vanilla bean paste in a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Mix briefly to combine. Add the milk and yeast mixture, melted cooled butter, and the eggs. Mix 8-10 minutes on low speed, until it becomes smooth and glossy, and begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. If you are doing this by hand, mix vigorously with a wooden spoon for 10-12 minutes, or until the mixture becomes smooth and glossy and begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. The mixture will be very wet, but do not worry!
- Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and place in the fridge to prove overnight.
FILLING AND ASSEMBLY
- The next day, preheat the oven to 350˚f / 180˚c. Line a 9" or 10" springform pan with parchment paper. Melt the butter, and set aside to cool slightly. Combine the brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and roll into a rectangle 16" x 24" (40cm x 60cm), flipping once or twice and lightly dusting with more flour as needed. Place with the long side facing you.
- Brush the surface of the dough all over with the melted butter, then evenly sprinkle the brown sugar cinnamon mixture over the dough, patting down with your hands to make sure that it sticks. Sprinkle the pecans over the sugar mixture, then drizzle the remaining butter over evenly.
- Starting with the long side of the dough, roll up into a tight spiral log. Using a serrated knife, cut into 8 evenly sized pieces, and arrange in the prepared tin.
- Cover the buns lightly with plastic wrap and allow them to sit in a warm place while the oven finishes preheating - about 15 minutes, or until slightly puffy.
- Brush the surface of the buns all over with egg wash. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until golden brown, and the middle bun is holding up on its own. While the buns are baking, make the frosting.
- Remove from the oven and stand for 10 minutes before frosting with the cream cheese frosting.
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- Place the powdered sugar and cream cheese into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or into a large bowl. Beat on high for 1-2 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and beat well until combined. Spread generously over the warm rolls.
- Serve immediately. Leftovers are best served warmed slightly in the microwave before eating.
Brioche dough adapted slightly from The Brick Kitchen
This was my first time making brioche dough, and my first time making cinnamon buns. The recipe was extremely easy to follow, the grams measures made it exactly as in photos, and the actual buns were THE SOFTEST, most delicious cinnamon buns I’ve ever had. They even kept super well in the fridge for almost a week. I’ve sent the recipe to my whole family to make on Christmas morning as a fun way to enjoy a meal “together”, despite not being able to gather together this year for Christmas due to COVID.
Love love love this recipe 💕
Hi! yayyyy I am so glad you enjoy! This recipe is such an oldie but a goodie! x
These are so so perfect! Made them TODAY for Christmas breakfast and my family raved. Not too bready - so soft and tender. Made the dough Christmas Eve and they were done baking by the time we finished presents Christmas morning! As always, shout out to baking by weight. I thinned out the frosting with some milk to make it more of a glaze to fit the fam’s preferences and that worked like a dream!
Made these for Christmas morning this year, doing the dough the night before was so simple and they were seriously the best cinnamon rolls I’ve ever made and eaten.
Ah yayyy I am so glad you enjoyed! x
These are delicious!! The recipe is so easy to follow and the frosting is super yummy too 🙂 I'll definitely be making these again!
Ahhh so happy you love them!
This recipe is so easy to follow and now my house smells like a cinnamon wonderland (covers all the weird baby smells, which is a bonus).
The dough is so soft and fluffy and the cream cheese frosting is my favourite. I didn’t add pecans because I don’t like weird chunks but it was delicious and sweet even without this.
I’ve made this recipe a few times now. Always on Christmas morning. I follow it exactly as written - your details are so helpful. I use a cast iron skillet instead of a springform pan and only sometimes frost them (I know, I’m missing out!). They’re always exceptional!!! So soft, so cinnamony, so delicious! Thank you so much for this recipe - it’s perfect!
These are UNREAL. My husband ate two! I had leftover brown butter cream cheese frosting from the brown butter cinnamon rolls recipe (also unreal) so I frosted with that. I love Cloudy Kitchen and now cinnamon rolls are no longer scary.
I’m a professional pastry chef and this dough is even better than the one I use at work. I made these smaller and baked them off in muffin tins which worked great (adjust baking time) and omitted the cream cheese frosting. I only did this because I had to do finger food for 15 people. I got a huge yield, about 24 buns so we still had leftovers. Such a great dough to work with and perfect results. Thanks Erin!
This recipe makes cinnamon rolls easy. I followed the instructions, I did end up forgetting the vanilla bean paste (oops!) but these came out absolutely delicious. I didn’t make the icing just because I didn’t have cream cheese but honestly I didn’t even realize it was missing anything by the time I finished my first roll! Boyfriend approved and the overnight part made it extremely low stress. They were ready by the time our coffee was brewed in the morning. Thank you!
Absolutely amazing. I’ve made cinnamon buns before and wondered why it was soo dry and this step by step recipe was beyond perfect! This will
Be my forever go to recipe! Thank you thank you!!!!
I wasn't able to get a picture, but this recipe turned out amazing! This is my second year making it for Christmas morning and I love the result every time!