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Sourdough cinnamon rolls ready to be baked

Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

  • Author: Erin Clarkson
  • Prep Time: 12 hours
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 12 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 9 large rolls 1x
  • Category: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


These Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls are the perfect project. They come together super easily, are impossibly soft and fluffy, and are finished with a smooth cream cheese frosting.




  • 18g ripe sourdough starter at 100% hydration
  • 31g whole milk 
  • 57g bread flour

Final Dough 

  • 125g bread flour
  • 125g all-purpose flour
  • 34g spelt flour
  • 48g granulated sugar
  • 21g milk powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 104g whole milk 
  • 88g heavy cream
  • All the levain
  • 7g kosher salt
  • 45g unsalted butter, at room temperature


  • 57g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 100g light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon 
  • pinch of salt

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 90g cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 56g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 68g powdered sugar



  1. In a medium bowl, mix the starter, milk, and flour together to form a stiff dough. Cover the bowl and ferment the levain at room temperature until more than doubled in volume, puffy, and domed, about 8 to 12 hours. 


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix together the flours, sugar, milk powder, egg, milk, cream, and levain until just combined. Cover and autolyse (rest) for 45 minutes.
  2. Add the salt and knead on medium-low speed until the gluten is moderately developed, about 5 minutes. The dough will start out sticky and rough but should gradually come together and feel quite smooth and stretchy. 
  3. Turn the mixer to low and add the butter about 1 tablespoon at a time, incorporating each piece before adding the next. 
  4. Turn the speed back up to medium-low and continue kneading until the gluten is very well developed and the dough passes the windowpane test, about 10 to 15 minutes. The dough should feel very soft and supple. 
  5. Shape the dough into a smooth ball and transfer to a lightly oiled container. Cover and let rise at room temperature for 2 hours. The dough will be noticeably expanded but not doubled. Stretch and fold the dough, cover, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours.  


  1. When ready to shape, in a small bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, cinnamon and salt to form a spreadable paste. Lightly grease a 9x9 inch (23x23cm) square pan, or a 9 or 10 inch cake pan (preferably aluminium, I used a 10" cast iron skillet).
  2. Take the dough out of the fridge and transfer to a lightly floured surface. Roll into a 14 inch (36cm) square, doing your best to maintain an even thickness. 
  3. Spread the filling mixture evenly over the dough, going all the way tot he edges. 
  4. Roll the dough up like a jelly roll, pinching to seal. Turn the roll so the seam side is down. 
  5. Cut into 9 even rolls using a sharp knife (I prefer a bread knife) or unflavoured dental floss. Transfer the rolls, cut side up, to the prepared pan, leaving space between each (they will grow into each other during proofing) Note: If you want them to rise and bake neatly, face the 'tail' of each bun to the middle, so they don't unravel while baking, and stay nice and neat, see pics for reference. 
  6. Cover the rolls with a piece of lightly oiled plastic wrap. Proof at room temperature, about 74°f to 76°f (23°c to 24°c), until the dough is very puffy and roughly doubled, about 8 hours or overnight (see sample baking schedule)
  7. About 45 minutes before you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400°f (200°c) with a rack in the middle. Bake until the rolls are lightly golden and register 195°f to 200°f (91°c to 93°c) in the center, about 20 minutes. 


  1. While the rolls are baking, combine the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and salt in a medium bowl and beat on medium speed until smooth. Add half the icing sugar and beat to combine. Add the remaining icing sugar and beat for 1 to 2 minutes, or until fluffy. 
  2. Allow the rolls to cool on a wire rack before spreading with frosting (unless you are serving ahead of time, in which case frost when ready to serve).


This recipe was reprinted with permission from "Baked to Order" by Ruth Tam

"Stretch and fold" refers to a shaping technique that is usually used for building strength in the dough during bulk fermentation. To do this, wet your hands and life up the dough furthest away from you and pull up and fold it toward you. Turn the bowl 90 degrees and repeat again, performing a total of 4 stretch and folds. 

Keywords: Sourdough, cinnamon rolls, sourdough cinnamon rolls, sweet sourdough, sourdough enriched dough