Overnight Cinnamon Rolls


Don’t you want to wake up to a pan of this tomorrow? You can! Of course, you have to start with Grandmother Bread. My overnight cinnamon roll recipe uses the one-loaf standard version, or for a more egg bread-like texture (which suits cinnamon rolls well), sometimes I add oil and egg. (To add oil and egg to any Grandmother Bread recipe, use 1/3 cup oil and one egg per one-loaf recipe.) You can let these rolls rise and bake them right away, or let them rise overnight in the fridge for that make-ahead easy breakfast! (These are perfect for lazy weekend mornings. Recipe can be doubled for two pans of rolls.)

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How to make Overnight Cinnamon Rolls:

One-loaf Grandmother Bread recipe

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 teaspoon yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar*
(Optional add-ins: 1/3 cup oil, 1 egg)**
3 1/2 cups flour

*If you have a sweet tooth, add up to 1/3 cup sugar to the dough instead of 2 tablespoons.

**If using oil and egg, you’ll need about 1/2 cup more flour.

In a large bowl, combine water, yeast, sugar, and salt, along with oil and egg, if using. Let sit five minutes. Stir in first cup and a half of flour with a heavy spoon. Add more flour a little at a time as needed, stirring until dough becomes too stiff to continue stirring easily. Add a little more flour and begin kneading. The amount of flour is approximate–your mileage may vary! Continue adding flour and kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic. Let dough rise in a greased, covered bowl until doubled. (Usually, about an hour.) Uncover bowl; sprinkle in a little more flour and knead again. Roll out onto a floured surface into an approximately 15 x 8 rectangle.

3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Brush dough with melted butter.
Combine sugar and cinnamon; generously spoon onto dough, taking care to get right up to the edges!
Roll dough up and seal seams. How many rolls you get will depend on how you cut the slices. I cut them about an inch thick to get 15 rolls.
Place rolls in a large greased pan. To bake right away, let rise 30 minutes to an hour, until doubled, or for overnight rolls, stick the pan (covered) in the fridge. They’ll be risen and ready for you the next morning!
Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for approximately 30 minutes. (How thick you cut your slices will vary your baking time, so keep an eye on ’em!)

Powdered Sugar Icing:
Combine 1 cup sifted powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and enough milk (two to four teaspoons) for drizzling consistency.

Drizzle lavishly.
And I mean lavishly.
Then devour the sweet, yummy, fresh-baked goodness!
(Hurry. They go quick.)

Try a variation!

Raisin-Cinnamon Rolls
Add one cup raisins to the water/yeast mixture before adding flour. (Or, if you’re making the two-loaf recipe for Grandmother Bread and want to reserve one half for a regular loaf of bread, you can also sprinkle the raisins on top of the cinnamon mixture after the first rise.) You can also use chopped apples for Apple-Cinnamon Rolls.

Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls
Make it sourdough! Learn how to convert any Grandmother Bread recipe to sourdough here.

Caramel-Pecan Rolls
Heat and stir 2/3 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup butter, and 2 tablespoons light corn syrup in a small pan. Pour into baking pan and sprinkle with 1/2 cup chopped pecans. Brush dough with 3 tablespoons melted butter. Combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Sprinkle sugar/cinnamon mixture over dough. Roll up and place slices in pan on top of pecans and brown sugar/syrup mixture. After baking, invert rolls onto a serving platter or aluminum foil-covered baking sheet etc to serve.

Any Jam Rolls
Instead of brushing dough with butter and sprinkling with sugar and cinnamon, spread dough with homemade jam or apple butter! (It will take an 8-ounce jam jar.)

Orange Rolls
For the filling, spread a combination of 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons butter (softened), 4 tablespoons sugar, 2 teaspoons orange juice, and 1 teaspoon orange extract or orange peel. For an orange glaze on top, stir together 1 cup powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons orange juice, and 1/4 teaspoon orange extract or orange peel.

See this recipe at Farm Bell Recipes and save it to your recipe box.

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on March 26, 2009  

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54 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 3-26

    OK…so I’m up at 3 in the morning, worrying about major budget woes at work and my nonexistent love life when I noticed I’m really hungry. Middle-of-the-night eating….BAD. So, I popped in here in an attempt to distract myself. Hmmmm….not a good move! Those rolls look way too tasty. I think I’m NOT going to bake in the middle of the night, but maybe just a little bit of cinnamon toast….

    Thanks for sharing what looks like a terrific recipe!

  2. 3-26

    oh yummie

    at this rate i will never fit in any bathingsuit…….. :lol:

    gwen :heart:

  3. 3-26

    there is a hole in the wall, been there forever restaurant in memphis that has an old fashion butter roll desert on the menu. it’s oh so wrong, but oh so right. might try to make such a version starting with the grandmother bread. yummy!!!!

  4. 3-26

    OOOOOOOOO, those look absolutely delicious!!

    Wonderful idea for an overnight rise!! Whudda thunk! LOL!! You, of course!!

    I have used GMa Bread for EVERYTHING that requires a bread dough…. Cinnamon Rolls, Garlic Bread, I’ve also used a big round casserole dish as my pan so I would have huge pieces to make French Toast the old fashioned way…

  5. 3-26

    Wow, one look at those and I can never go back to store-bought!

  6. 3-26

    Oh wow, I wanna know more about this butter roll dessert!

  7. 3-26

    I’ve figured you out, Suzanne! It is your mission in life to make us fat on good food! You should start an in-print Chickens In the Road magazine. (Full color, of course!)

  8. 3-26

    Those look fantastic. Thanks for listing all the variations too. :snoopy:

  9. 3-26

    Made stromboli w/ the Grandmother Bread recipe! Yummy!!!!! :sun: :sun:

  10. 3-26

    Oh my Betty! We love Pillsbury’s orange rolls, and whjile I do make homemade cinnamon rolls, I think I’ll combine the cinnamon with the orange(Pillsbury’s have both also). Oh my BETTY! Did I say that already?

  11. 3-26

    I have to say that my yogurt/granola breakfast just isn’t looking all that appetizing this morning! Those rolls are now on tap for this weekend! Thanks!

  12. 3-26

    :happyflower: Oh I’m starving now!! LOL! I will HAVE to make these this weekend. They look delish! :purpleflower:

  13. 3-26

    Now I’m starving here. I haven’t had breakfast yet and want to eat my screen now. LOL.

  14. 3-26

    My, oh MY!! THIS is exactly what I was looking for!! Seem to have lost the old recipe for refrigerator breakfast rolls, and this will do more than nicely!

    Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! :snoopy:

    PS In case you wanna, you can also put the dough in the refrig overnight for the first rise, then do the roll out and fill the next morning. The only advantage I can see for doing it that way is that by the time you handle the dough and get it into the pan it will have come back to room temp before putting it into the oven. But, then you have to clean up the counter! Sounds better to me to have that all done the night before!


  15. 3-26

    OH MY!! Those look absolutely wonderful!!
    I am definitely trying this recipe!

  16. 3-26

    Groan. Here you go again. The only reason I’m not drooling on my keyboard this time is that I’ve got a bad cough today and that is interrupting the drooling.

    Love the picture of Honey the wether trying to decide whether to go out in the rain!!! :purpleflower:

  17. 3-26

    That looks simultaneously sickening and delicious. I really don’t know how you manage to do that…

  18. 3-26

    They look yummy! I know they wouldn’t last long here. :hungry:

  19. 3-26


  20. 3-26

    OH YUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!! I am definitely going to have to make these. My mouth is watering.

  21. 3-26

    One of my favorite foods! Your recipes are wonderful, but if I cooked as much as you do, I’d be big as the barn! Nice photos, I can just smell them… mmmm.

  22. 3-26

    It’s a good thing I don’t bake because seriously I could eat these nonstop (drool, drool, drool).

  23. 3-26

    YUM, reminds me of the wonderful homemade cinnamon rolls my ex sister in law used to make – she made wonderful ANYTHING. Makes me want to head to the nearest Cinnabon. LOL Why? Because I am not in the mood to knead, roll out…ect. LOL YUMMMY. :snoopy:

  24. 3-26

    I am making these tonight so hubby can take in tomorrow for his birthday instead of stopping for donuts!!
    They will be appreciated and made with love. Thanks Suzeanne!

  25. 3-26

    Oh man… *drool*

  26. 3-26

    i think the jist of it would be…..
    instead of the cinnamon and sugar filling, you would sub that for butter (although i would probably add some cinnamon as well) and then create a sugar, milk, and vanilla concoction (i’ll bet an egg yolk or two in that would be nice as well) to pour over the rolls prior to baking. so it’s like a cinnamon roll and bread pudding love child.
    how could that be wrong????

  27. 3-26

    I have got to try that! thanks!

  28. 3-26

    These look delicious! I have a pan in the fridge now for tomorrow morning using homemade raspberry preserves. Plus I made a double recipe of dough so we can have a loaf of Grandmother’s bread with dinner. First time making it because I normally just make a big batch of sourdough, but thought I’d give the “famous” recipe a try.

  29. 3-26

    The cinnamon rolls look awesome!

  30. 3-26

    just stopped by the new raw milk dairy today and they had butter. sweet and country!!!! so looks like it’s a toss up this weekend between shortbread cookies or butter rolls.

    butter rolls vs. bathing suit.
    butter rolls… bathing suit.
    what is a girl to do???!!????!!!!

  31. 3-26

    O gosh. You’re making me drool on my keyboard!

  32. 4-13

    These were a hit at the church breakfast yesterday. I am making another batch today just for us. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

    Is there anyway that you could make printable recipe cards for your recipes?

  33. 4-16

    I loved your newsletter from end to end – this is a perfect early beginning to a weekend because now I feel like baking!

  34. 4-29


  35. 7-4

    I made these cinnamon rolls for breakfast this morning. I actually started them last night and then put them in the fridge overnight. My oh my were they a hit! I have tried several recipes for cinnamon rolls in the past and I havent been happy with the results but your cinnamon rolls are amazing!!! Thank you for sharing the recipe. I look forward to making them on many more occasions!

  36. 7-6

    Confession time. I am a complete baking noob, and this blog has really helped me out. To the other baking noobs out there, when you cut dough log, use a serrated knife, otherwise no matter how sharp the knife it just kinda goes squish…

  37. 7-28

    I am going to make these tomorrow night, bake them Wednesday morning and take them to work. I don’t need a whole pan of gooey goodness and my workmates always appreciate my bringing goodies to work.

    I think I will try brown sugar … this recipe is really similar to what my mom used to make…. and adding in raisins too!!

  38. 1-29

    I have made these rolls twice, once the cinnamon and the other time the cinnamon. They are the best!!!! I thought I lost this website but found it again and made it one of my favorites.
    Thank you!

  39. 1-29

    Oops…I meant one time cinnamon and the other orange. Yum!!!

  40. 2-9

    I made these yesterday. OMG…my husband loved them. They rose so beautifully and came out looking just like your picture. I did add the oil and eggs and the dough was so very easy to work with. I will be making these again for him. I did not refrigerate them, but rather waited for the required rise times. The first did take one hour and I let the second rise sit for 45 minutes. Delicious!!

  41. 5-1

    Suzanne, i would lke to know if wholewheat flour can be used for the cinnamon buns and if ingredients need to be adjusted. I have made this recipe twice now and oh always rave reviews. Even made it for my husband’s ex in laws

  42. 5-1

    Yes, you could make it with whole wheat! It comes out fine just as it is with the same recipe, though I would add dough enhancer. I have a homemade dough enhancer recipe here:

  43. 5-5

    A great thing to do to cinnamon rolls is after the second rise, right before putting the rolls in the oven, take one part heavy cream to one part brown sugar, mix well, and pour generously over the rolls. Once cooked, invert pan for ooey gooey carmally decadence.

  44. 6-1

    I tried these over the weekend, and we had some high altitude problems with the dough. Anyone have any ideas on how to adjust the recipe for high altitude?

  45. 10-10

    Tried this recipe this week..yummie!! And so easy!! :shimmy:

  46. 12-25

    Thank you so much for your wonderful recipe. Our Christmas breakfast was made very special with your delicious cinnamon rolls. I made the dough in my bread machine and they turned out perfect. Big hit :)
    Merry Christmas!

  47. 6-7

    This is just one of your many recipes that I have tried and absolutely love! As a mother of 2 that prefers to make most of our families food from scratch, I really enjoy your site and your amazing recipes. Thank you!

  48. 6-15

    I have made these twice now and bake 1/2 and froze 1/2 and then bake them. 4 out of 5 taste testers give it two thumbs up. The only issue I have is rolling the roll up evenly and neatly. My roll sort of looks like a snake has swallowed something in the middle. LOL. I even tried chilling the dough after rolling it out and then rolling didn’t work. I guess I will just have to keeping practicing.

  49. 8-3

    I have to know your secret to rolling the dough so tightly and cutting it so neatly! My rolls look like my two year old cut them… they still taste great but I’d love for them to look as pretty as your do!

  50. 10-31

    To give a tip I learned a long time ago in cutting dough, use a string of dental floss (unflavored). Also another trick I learned was to refrigerate the dough with the butter and sugar spread on before rolling. I do that by using a cutting board that will fit into my ref. and roll my dough out on it. I have also used the freezer if it was bigger…..you get the idea. That allows the butter to harden up and not squish out.
    I was just thinking of making cinnamon rolls for a surprise to my kids on Sunday morning. Think I will give your recipe a try.

  51. 1-25

    :wave: Had to stop by and say thank you for this recipe! I made it today as a comfort from the cold weather, and I posted about it on my blog. :hungry: Delicious!

  52. 2-10

    So I decided to make these gorgeous looking cinnamon rolls, I added raisins and pecans and brown sugar to my filling. It’s in the fridge now, overnighting. I took some pics after the slicing and placing into the pan. How do I post pics.?

  53. 2-10

    kikitigger, you can post pics on the recipe at Farm Bell Recipes, not here.

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