Cinnamon rolls are a recipe that is from my childhood, that might be why I adore them so much. Well, only the homemade kind I adore. Growing up, my mom would make these overnight cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning just about every year growing up. We actually had this huge spread for breakfast growing up on Christmas morning. I am not sure how my mom managed doing that Christmas morning with all 8 kids, but she did. Looking back on it, I am amazed that we had that large of a spread with the craziness of Christmas morning. Maybe thats where I get my organization skills in the kitchen from.
I wanted to make these overnight cinnamon rolls before Christmas morning to make sure that I can make them just as good as my mom did and see if I need to adjust anything before Christmas. Well… they turned out amazing; I am excited that I can now make these year after year for Christmas morning.
Cinnamon rolls can be kind of intimidating to make, but I promise that they are super easy to make. They just have a lot of steps. You have to make a dough,let it rise, roll it out, let it settle in the fridge, and let them rise again. I promise that all of that is totally worth it.
When making these cinnamon rolls, it is easier to use a kitchen aid mixer (like this one), with the hook attachment. I love the one that I have. If you do not have one, you can still make these cinnamon rolls. You will just have to knead the dough by hand. That is how my mom use to make them.
These overnight cinnamon rolls need to be refrigerated for at least 10 hours. The most that you can refrigerate them for would be 48 hours. Once you are ready to bake them, remove them from the fridge and let them sit out for 1-2 hours until they’re puffy again. You can also put a pan on the bottom shelf of the oven, add 1 cup of boiling water to the pan, and put the cinnamon rolls on the shelf above the pan of boiling water. Close the oven and let them sit in there for 30 minutes. Remove the pan of water and cinnamon rolls. Preheat oven and then bake the cinnamon rolls as directed below.
- 1 cup whole milk or buttermilk
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- 2 Red Start Platinum yeast packets
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened to room temperature ( cut into 8 pieces)
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 and ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
- CREAM CHEESE ICING
- 4 ounces full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1 and ¾ cups powdered sugar
- ⅓ cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Make the Dough: In a glass measuring cup or microwave safe bowl, microwave the milk for 50 seconds until lukewarm. You do not want the milk to be boiling hot, just warm to touch.
- Pour the warm milk into you stand mixer with the hook attachment. Stir in the yeast and sugar with a wooden spoon. about 20 strokes. Cover with bowl with a dish towel and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Add the softened butter to the milk mixture, mix on low speed for 2 minutes. The butter wont fully incorporate.
- Next, add the beaten eggs to the mixer and the salt. Mix for 30 seconds.
- Slowly add in the flour. I added one cup at a time, mixed for about a minute shut off the mixer and then added another cup.
- Once all of the flour has been added, turn the mixture to medium-high speed and beat until the dough is soft, about 6-7 minutes. The dough is going to be soft, tacky and not super smooth. If the dough is not reaching this kind of consistency add 2 tablespoons of flour at a time. Be careful to not add too much flour as the dough will then become dense when baked. You want the dough to be clearing the sides of the bowl while kneading.
- Next, lightly flour a surface and knead the dough with your hands for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Form a ball and transfer it to a lightly greased bowl. I use a glass bowl and spray it with coconut oil. Cover the bowl with a paper towel and put in a draft free room for 1-2 hours or until it has doubled in size.
- Spray a jelly roll pan or a 9x13 inch baking dish with non-stick spray. Punch down the dough trying to get out as much air as possible. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into roughly a 13x17 inch rectangle. Make sure that it is evenly thick throughout the whole surface.
- Next, combine the sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Spread the softened butter evenly over the the dough. Sprinkle the sugar cinnamon mixture all of the dough.
- Roll the dough into a tight log starting with the long edge. Make sure to use your finger tips when rolling and not your palms. Pinch the seam closed and turn the log seam side down. Very gently squeeze the cylinder to create even thickness throughout and to make sure that it is 18 inches.The log doesn't have to be perfect.
- Slice the log into 12 pieces, about 1½ inch thick pieces each. Arrange them on the prepared pan, cut side up. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
- Remove from fridge before baking and place in a warm area for about 1-2 hours or until they are puffy.You can also put a pan on the bottom shelf of the oven, and add 1 cup of boiling water to the pan, put the cinnamon rolls on the shelf above the pan of boiling water, close the oven and let sit for 30 minutes. Remove the pan of water and cinnamon rolls and preheat oven.
- Pre heat oven to 325 and bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. About halfway through the bake time, cover the cinnamon rolls loosely with foil to help them from not getting too brown. Remove from oven and let cool slightly while you make the icing.
- Make the Icing: In a medium bowl with a stand mixer or handheld mixer, beat the cream cheese on low speed until smooth and creamy. Slowly add in the powdered sugar and mix on low for 1 minute. Add in the milk and vanilla mix on high speed for 2 minutes.
- Using a knife or piping bag spread the icing over the warm rolls. Cover the leftover rolls and tightly store them for 3-4 days on the counter.
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