If you love the kind of cinnamon rolls that are rich and buttery rather than overly sweet, this overnight homemade cinnamon roll recipe will become one of your favorite morning indulgences. Rich, buttery rolls with swirls of cinnamon sugar, slathered in vanilla cream cheese icing.
FOR THE DOUGH
- 2 cups whole milk, at room temperature, between 70 and 75 degrees
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 3½ tsp active dry yeast
- 1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk, slightly beaten
- 6 tbsp butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 6 cups unbleached, all purpose flour
- 2 tsp salt
FOR THE FILLING:
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, melted
FOR THE FROSTING:
- 8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 stick butter, at room temperature
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
MAKE THE DOUGH:
- Pour the milk into the bowl of a standing mixer and add the sugar and yeast. Stir to combine and then let sit for about 5 minutes to let the yeast begin to come alive. Whisk in the egg, egg yolk and melted butter.
- Fit a standing mixer with the dough hook, add the nutmeg and 5 cups of the all-purpose flour and mix on low speed (speed number 2 if using a KitchenAid Mixer) until the dough begins to come together.
- Continue kneading, adding enough additional flour so that the dough comes together into a soft, slightly sticky ball. Depending on the humidity in the air, this might take the entire remaining cup of flour, or only a bit of it. What you’re looking for is a soft, smooth ball of dough that clings to the dough hook, does not stick to the sides of the bowl, but does stick slightly to the bottom of the bowl. If you stop the mixer and touch the dough, it should feel a bit sticky, but not so wet as to be confused with cookie dough.
- Once the dough has come together, sprinkle in the salt. Continue to knead in the mixer for about 8-10 minutes. The dough should look very soft and smooth.
- Spray a large bowl with non-stick cooking spray and dump the dough into the bowl. Spray a piece of plastic wrap with non-stick spray and use it to cover the bowl. Let the dough rise at room temperature for 1-2 hours, until the dough has doubled in size.
FILL AND ASSEMBLE THE CINNAMON ROLLS:
- Stir the 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl.
- Brush a 13×9 inch baking dish with a little bit of the melted butter.
- Gently turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and roll it into a rectangle that is about 18 inches wide and 12 inches long. Spread all but about 1 tablespoon of the melted butter evenly over the surface of the dough with a pastry brush or spoon. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar evenly over the butter.
- Roll the dough into a long, cigar shaped roll. With the seam side down, cut the roll into 12 even pieces. Place each piece into the buttered baking dish, spacing them evenly. (It will be a tight fit.) Brush the tops of the rolls with the remaining melted butter, cover with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator to rise overnight. (If you’d like to just keep going and bake the rolls the same day, simply let the rolls rise in the covered baking dish at room temperature, for about 1 hour, until nearly doubled in size, before baking.)
- The next morning, remove the pan from the refrigerator and let the rolls sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the plastic wrap and bake the rolls for about 40-45 minutes, until the tops are golden brown. To test if the rolls are done in the center, pull the pan from the oven and use a butter knife to gently separate a couple of the rolls in the center of the pan. If the rolls still look doughy, bake for a bit longer.
- Remover the pan from the oven and let cool on a wire rack while you make the frosting. (You can also make the frosting the night before, refrigerating it until ready to use. )
MAKE THE FROSTING:
- Add the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla to the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on low speed just to combine and then on medium speed until the mixture is light and creamy.
- Slather the frosting over the top of the warm rolls and serve.