Overnight Buttermilk Soft and Fluffy Cinnamon Rolls

Homemade cinnamon rolls sound great in theory until you do the math and realize in order to have a warm cinnamon roll with your 10am coffee, you need to wake up about 5am.

No thanks. I solved that problem and made the fluffiest, softest, and best cinnamon rolls I’ve ever had.

Overnight Buttermilk Soft and Fluffy Cinnamon Rolls averiecooks.com

Every recipe out there promises the best cinnamon rolls, and I have more recipes to try. Consider this the first installment in my Cinnamon Roll Recipe Showdown, but to date these are the best cinnamon rolls either my husband or I have ever had, and I’m super picky. The next recipe will happen when I have time to work in an extra cardio to make up for all the fluffiness I consumed.

Even if you’ve never worked with yeast or made cinnamon rolls, this recipe is do-able, but it’s not for everyone. There are no shortcuts, this is not bread-in-a-hurry, which is why I made the recipe work as overnight rolls. At 5am the last thing I am is wide awake and wanting to dive right into a yeast bread recipe. However, you can make it through if preferred, and start to finish you’re looking at about 5 hours. You’re either getting up at the wee hours, or you’re having afternoon cinnamon rolls.


Overnight Buttermilk Soft and Fluffy Cinnamon Rolls averiecooks.com

A stand mixer will make your life immensely easier because the dough needs to be kneaded for a minimum of 10 minutes, but you can do it by hand. And in the process, you’ll burn off enough calories that you easily deserve a couple rolls. If you want no-knead, make Challah or English Muffins.

I wrote the recipe in the recipe section (below) as clearly and descriptively as possible, and before making these, read it over at least three times so you know where you’re going, what’s next, and more importantly, how much butter you need to set aside.

To the bowl of your stand mixer add four cups of all-purpose flour, instant dry yeast, sugar, optional salt. I love bread flour for producing extra chewy bread, rolls, and cookies, but for these rolls I didn’t want any chewiness. I wanted softness and fluffiness, and AP is the way to go. It has a lower protein and thus lower gluten content, meaning the finished rolls will be more tender and soft with less chew-factor.

Overnight Buttermilk Soft and Fluffy Cinnamon Rolls averiecooks.com

I used Red Star Platinum yeast, which is my gold standard. It’s an instant dry yeast so you don’t have to proof it first with water and wait for it to get bubbly and foamy. Just sprinkle it right into the bowl with the other ingredients and then pour the liquids over the top of everything. When I deviate from Platinum and use other yeast, my dough doesn’t rise as well and doesn’t bake up as puffy and fluffy.

Let the dry ingredients hang out in the mixing bowl while you melt some butter, lightly beat 3 eggs, and warm the buttermilk. I warm it in the microwave for about 45 seconds in a glass measuring cup. If after warming the buttermilk, it’s separated or gotten a little foamy, whisk it and it will smooth out.

Overnight Buttermilk Soft and Fluffy Cinnamon Rolls averiecooks.com

The type of yeast you use and the manufacturer’s directions will dictate the necessary buttermilk temperature. For Platinum yeast, the water should be warmed to about 120F to 130F, which is notably warmer than most other instant dry yeast, which typically call for temps in the 100F range. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for whatever yeast you use.

Some people just dip their finger into the liquid and if that’s the method you’re using, err on the side of warm bath water rather than hot because you don’t want to risk killing the yeast. In bread-making, I don’t like to guess and always use a candy thermometer. I just never use it for candy. I urge you to buy a (cheapie) thermometer. They’re about $5.99 at the grocery store, Bed Bath & Beyond, or Target. It could save you from a bread fail and if you’re going to go to the work of making cinnamon rolls, having one is a no-brainer.

Overnight Buttermilk Soft and Fluffy Cinnamon Rolls averiecooks.com

Beat the dry and wet ingredients together with the paddle, and after a minute, switch to the dough hook. Moist, wet batter will be stuck to your paddle and just pick it off as best you can. Allow the dough hook to knead for 10 to 12 minutes. If after 5 minutes the dough is still extremely wet and sloppy and not coming together, add one-quarter cup more flour, one tablespoon at a time, until it firms up.

The most important thing you can do in this entire recipe is trust that the high moisture level of the dough is high and not over-flour it. The more flour you add, the denser the dough becomes, and the heavier the rolls will be. No way to have fluffy, light rolls with dense dough. It’s nice in theory to have a smooth, round, mound of satiny, non-sticky dough, but that’s not this dough. It’s wet, gloppy, moist, messy, sticky, and of all the bread I’ve ever made, this dough gets the award as the sloppiest. I was cursing it.

I wanted to add flour so badly to it. Another half-cup and it would have been that satiny, smooth globe I love to see, but resisted the temptation and so should you. When kneading in a mixer, the rule of thumb for this type of dough is that it clears the sides of the bowl, but sticking the bottom of the bowl is fine.

Overnight Buttermilk Soft and Fluffy Cinnamon Rolls averiecooks.com

Transfer the sloppy mess to a cooking-sprayed large mixing bowl, cover it with plasticwrap, and let it rise for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until doubled in size, in a warm, draft-free environment. The sloppiness factor will diminish as the dough rises and all the moisture helps create light and fluffy rolls.

A trick for creating a warm environment is to turn on the oven for one minute to 400F, then shut the oven off. Repeat: don’t leave the oven on, you are just blasting in hot air for one minute only. Quickly slide your bowl into the oven and let it stay there to rise. It will be about 85F inside the oven after the brief one minute blast. This tricks the yeast into thinking it’s a nice, warm summer day in your kitchen, which is how do their best work. For the 2 1/2 hours the dough bowl was parked inside my powered-off oven, I powered it on 3 times, every 45 minutes or so, for 1 minute each time. This kept the oven toasty because it was a cold night I made the dough and the oven and my warm environment was cooling off.

Just look at the blubbery, wobbly, jiggly puffiness after 2 1/2 hours.

Overnight Buttermilk Soft and Fluffy Cinnamon Rolls averiecooks.com

It was literally pillowy soft. It felt like I was punching a pillow.

Overnight Buttermilk Soft and Fluffy Cinnamon Rolls averiecooks.com

Pssssssss. Deflation. Trapped gases released. Talk about a limp, deflated state of affairs after the punchdown.

Overnight Buttermilk Soft and Fluffy Cinnamon Rolls averiecooks.com

On a floured Silpat or counter, roll the dough out to a large rectangle, about 16×10 inches. I didn’t measure with a ruler because I know that’s just slightly larger than my Silpat, so I rolled it about that size.

Spread a stick of very soft butter over the dough and sprinkle with about 1 cup brown sugar and shake on the cinnamon. I used almost 5 teaspoons cinnamon, but wrote to use 3 teaspoons in the recipe, or to taste. I love cinnamon, especially in cinnamon rolls, hence their name.  In no way was 5 teaspoons overpowering. That’s a lot of dough and it needs to be properly flavored, but season to taste.

Overnight Buttermilk Soft and Fluffy Cinnamon Rolls averiecooks.com

Starting on a long edge (I started where you can see some letters on the Silpat peeking out), roll up the dough into as tightly coiled log as possible. It’s messy and if your log isn’t perfect, that’s okay. Slice it into 12 pieces and put them onto the baking sheet. For slicing, use a serrated knife or unwaxed and unflavored dental floss works great. You can pinch off the slices without compressing and squishing down the log. I used my trusty bench scraper.

I used a large jellyroll or sheetcake-style baking sheet with a raised edge, 11-by-16-inches. You could use a 9×13 pan, but I prefer the jellyroll pan because the rolls are less squished, have more room to spread out and rise, and baking is more uniform. Some people complain their cinnamon rolls get too browned on the top before the center cooks through, which can happen if they’re too cramped in a pan. The jellyroll pan was $5.99 in my grocery store baking aisle and did the trick. I imagine that you could also make two eight-inch round pans.

Overnight Buttermilk Soft and Fluffy Cinnamon Rolls averiecooks.com

Cover with plasticwrap and now it’s decision time:

If you’re doing the overnight make-ahead option, slide the pan into the fridge and keep it there for up to 16 hours before baking the rolls. When it’s time to bake the next day, allow the rolls to come up to room temperature and rise for 1 hour on the counter, or until almost doubled in size. And then bake.

If you’re making them straight through, allow the rolls to rise in a warm, draft-free place for 60 to 90 minutes, or until almost doubled in size. And then bake.

Bake them at 350F for 22 to 25 minutes, or until lightly golden on top and cooked through, but not overly browned. I prefer these on the paler side. Nothing says dealbreaker like a hard or crusty cinnamon roll.

After 12 hours in the fridge, this is what my rolls looked like. They sat on the counter for 1 hour before I baked them.

Overnight Buttermilk Soft and Fluffy Cinnamon Rolls averiecooks.com

I baked for 23 minutes, and rotated the pan once. It’s amazing how much they puffed during the 1 hour rise and in the oven. The term for it is called oven spring. Yes, they sprung, which is why I can’t imagine a 9×13 pan.

While they bake, make the cream cheese frosting. However, if you’re doing the overnight option, I highly suggest making it the night before so it’s one less thing to think about the next day before you’ve had your coffee. Put the frosting into an airtight container and slide it into the fridge along with rolls. The next morning, take them both out at the same time. You want the cream cheese frosting to be very soft so that it spreads smoothly over the rolls.

Immediately after taking the rolls out of the oven, generously frost them so it drips into all the cracks and crevices. And dig into a little piece of heaven.

Overnight Buttermilk Soft and Fluffy Cinnamon Rolls averiecooks.com

The recipe for cream cheese frosting, like all frosting, is dictated by personal preference. I simply use butter, cream cheese, vanilla, and confectioners’ sugar. Adding milk, cream, buttermilk, orange zest, almond extract, or whatever you like in your frosting is all up to you.

The amount I made is in excess of what you may need for your rolls if you don’t like a lot of frosting, but I do. Plus, frosting keeps for a couple weeks in the refrigerator and I have also frozen it for months. When I am dirtying the mixer to make it, I may as well make a decent amount. Halve the recipe if preferred, but you’d be surprised that if you make it, people will want it and eat it. It’s not like making extra lima beans where requests for extra are nonexistent. A smear of extra frosting before nuking leftover rolls is extra wonderful.

The rolls are best eaten fresh, but will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Reheat leftover rolls for a few seconds in the microwave before serving. If you have issues with cream cheese frosting at room temperature, then refrigerate the leftover rolls; I don’t.

Overnight Buttermilk Soft and Fluffy Cinnamon Rolls averiecooks.com

Soft, fluffy, tender dough that’s buttery and scrumptious. They’re as light and feathery as cinnamon rolls can get. They’re lighter and not as dense, heavy, and ‘bready’ as Cinnabons. They still are heavy and filling, but less like a ton of bricks in your stomach. Maybe just a half ton.

While baking, the filling mixture of brown sugar and butter melts and caramelizes, producing a thick, sweet, caramely sauce, pleasantly spiced with cinnamon. That saucy filling, along with melted frosting, is what a cinnamon roll is all about.

Just like Carrot Cake needs cream cheese frosting, so do cinnamon rolls. The frosting is tangy from the cream cheese, rich from the butter, and densely satisfying. There is nothing like homemade cream cheese frosting. So smooth, creamy, indulgent, and blissful.

Overnight Buttermilk Soft and Fluffy Cinnamon Rolls averiecooks.com

They were every bit as wonderful as I had hoped. Future recipes have their work cutout for them.

To date, the best cinnamon roll I’ve ever had, and the family concurs.

Overnight Buttermilk Soft and Fluffy Cinnamon Rolls averiecooks.com

Overnight Buttermilk Soft and Fluffy Cinnamon Rolls - Move over Cinnabon, this recipe is my favorite! Easy recipe at averiecooks.com

Print Recipe

Overnight Buttermilk Soft and Fluffy Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

To date, the best cinnamon rolls I've ever had. They're soft and fluffy and taste better than the kind you get at the mall. The recipe is very do-able even if you've never made cinnamon rolls. The overnight make-ahead option means you can wake up, pop cinnamon rolls into the oven, and enjoy fresh, warm, gooey rolls with your morning coffee. The dough is buttery soft, light, and fluffy. The cinnamon and brown sugar filling caramelizes and thickens while the rolls bake, creating a caramely, sweet sauce. The cream cheese frosting is a must-have and takes an already great roll into a league of it's own.

Yield: 1 dozen generously-sized rolls

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 22 minutes

Total Time: 5 hours


up to 4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons instant dry yeast (one 1/4-ounce packet, I use Red Star Platinum)
pinch salt, optional and to taste
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (3/4 of one stick)
3 large eggs, lightly whisked
3/4 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), very soft - let it sit out while dough rises
1 to 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar, packed
about 3 teaspoons cinnamon (I used almost 5 teaspoons)

Cream Cheese Frosting - batch may be halved
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 pound confectioners' sugar (4 cups)


  1. Dough - To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine 4 cups flour, 1/3 cup sugar, yeast, salt to taste; set aside.
  2. Place 6 tablespoons butter in a small microwave-safe bowl, and heat to melt, about 45 seconds; set aside. Crack eggs in another bowl and whisk; set aside.
  3. Add buttermilk to a glass measuring cup and warm to temperature, about 45 seconds on high power in the microwave. (Based on the type of yeast used, milk temperatures will vary. Red Star Platinum yeast calls for warmer temperatures than most, 120 to 130F; other brands and yeast call for much lower temperatures, about 95 to 105F. Warm milk according to manufacturer's recommendations on the packaging. Taking the temperature with a digital thermometer is highly recommended, but if you're not, make sure the milk is warm, not hot. Err on the cooler rather than hotter side so you don't kill the yeast.) If the milk separates or gets a little funny looking after being warmed, whisk it to smooth it out.
  4. To the dry ingredients in the stand mixer, add the melted butter, eggs, buttermilk, and beat on medium-low speed for about 1 minute, or until combined.
  5. Switch to the dough hook (the dough will have stuck to the paddle and just pick off what you can and put it into the bowl) and knead for 10 to 12 minutes (15 to 18 minutes by hand). If after 5 minutes more flour is needed, add the remaining 1/4 cup flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough clears the side of the bowl but sticks to the bottom. This is a very sticky, tacky, moist, and borderline sloppy dough; don't be tempted to over-flour it. It's supposed to be that way. The more flour you add now, the less fluffy and more dense the rolls will be. Dough should clear the sides of the mixer while kneading but sticking to the bottom is fine.
  6. Remove the dough from the mixing bowl, spray a large mixing with cooking spray, and place the dough in the bowl. Cover with plasticwrap and place it in a warm, draft-free place to rise for about 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or doubled in size. I keep my bowl inside a powered-off oven. Every 45 minutes or so, I power on the oven for 1 minute to 400F, as if I am preheating it, then I power it off. Do not, repeat not, keep the oven on. These short bursts of 1 minute of heat create a stable 85F-ish warm environment, ideal for the yeast. If your rising spot is cold, it will take longer than 2 1/2 hours.
  7. Prepare a 11-by-17-inch or similar sized jellyroll pan or sheetcake pan with a raised edge, or use a 9-by-13-inch pan. I prefer a jellyroll pan because it's slightly larger so the rolls are less squished, have more room to rise, and bake more evenly. Line pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
  8. Rolling Out the Dough - After dough has doubled in size, punch it down. Turn dough out onto a floured Silpat or floured countertop. Knead it lightly for about 2 minutes. With a rolling pin, roll it out to a 16-by-12-inch rectangle; just slightly larger than a standard Silpat.
  9. Filling - With a knife, butter the dough with 1/2 cup soft butter, leaving a 3/4-inch border around the edges. Sprinkle the brown sugar over it. Sprinkle the cinnamon over the brown sugar; I was very generous with the cinnamon and used almost 5 teaspoons and recommend at least 3; just eyeball it and shake it on.
  10. Slicing the Dough - Loosen the dough from the counter using a bench scraper (or metal spatula), and starting with a long edge, roll the dough into a tight log. Pinch the seam closed and turn log so seam side is down. Gently stretch the log to be 18 inches in length with an even diameter all the way around and pat the ends to even them up. Don't fret if your log isn't perfect; it's okay.
  11. Slice the cylinder into 12 evenly sized rolls (about 1 1/2 inches wide) using a bench scraper, serrated knife, or plain unwaxed dental floss (works great to not squish and compact the log). Arrange the rolls cut side down in the prepared baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap.
  12. Decide to Make Straight Through - Let rise in a warm, draft-free place until the rolls have nearly doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  13. Or...Decide to Make as Overnight Rolls - Don't let rolls rise after they've been sliced and placed in covered pan. Place pan in refrigerator for up to 16 hours. Before baking, let the rolls sit at room temperature until they have nearly doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  14. Baking -For either version, bake at 350F for 22 to 25 minutes, or until lightly golden on top and cooked through but not overly browned. Immediately and generously, spread cream cheese frosting on the warm rolls. Serve immediately. Rolls are best eaten fresh, but will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Reheat leftover rolls for a few seconds in the microwave before serving. If you have issues with cream cheese frosting at room temperature, then refrigerate the leftover rolls; I don't. For longterm storage, I recommend making the rolls as directed and then freezing unfrosted rolls; allow to thaw at room temp prior to serving and frost as directed. I prefer freezing finished rolls rather than freezing uncooked dough.
  15. Cream Cheese Frosting - I recommend making this at night if you're doing the overnight version, refrigerating it, and taking out along with the rolls as they rise so when you need it, it's well softened.
  16. Frosting may be halved (makes about 3 cups as written), but unused frosting can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks and I have frozen frosting for up to 3 months; I'd rather have too much than not enough. All measurements and ingredients are to taste; consider adding buttermilk, almond extract, orange zest, heavy cream, or your other favorite specialty tweaks as desired. I keep it very simple.
  17. To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine 1/2 cup butter, cream cheese, and beat on medium speed to combine, about 1 minute. Add the vanilla, 3 cups confectioners' sugar (I don't bother sifting), and beat until smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add remaining 1 cup of sugar (or more, or none) as necessary, to taste, based on desired frosting consistency and flavor.

Dough base ingredients loosely adapted from America's Test Kitchen Cinnamon Rolls; the filling, cream cheese frosting, preparation methods and techniques are my own.

Only Eats

Related Recipes:

Cinnamon Swirl Bread – This cinnamon swirl bread is as close to cinnamon buns as bread gets. Filled with a sweet cinnamon-sugar and butter mixture that’s swirled throughout, this is a tender, buttery, sweet loaf that even new bread-makers can successfully tackle

Cinnamon Bun Pie  (Shortcut Recipe)- Topped with cinnamon-sugar streusel, use a shortcut, ready from start to finish in less than 30 minutes, and give Cinnabons a run for their money

Nutella Cinnamon Rolls with Vanilla Glaze (Shortcut Recipe) – A can of crescent rolls never tasted so good as when they’re stuffed with Nutella and rolled up. Ready from start to finish in 15 minutes, no joke

Browned Butter Buttermilk Banana Bread with Strawberry Butter – Use your leftover buttermilk for this easy quickbread, full of richness of flavor from the browned butter, softness from the bananas, and fluffiness from the buttermilk

Cinnamon Raisin English Muffin Bread with Cinnamon Sugar Butter – If you’ve never made bread before, this is a goofproof, foolproof, no-knead recipe that’s perfect for the first-time bread maker. You’ll never have a need for storebought English muffins again, especially because this bread is spiked with cinnamon-sugar and raisins

Honey Dinner Rolls – My favorite dinner roll recipe, lightly sweetened with honey, soft and chewy. A family favorite and a very goof-proof yeast recipe because this dough loves to rise

Healthy Oatmeal Raisin Rolls – Hearty oats, chewy raisins, cinnamon-and-sugar combine to create these texture-filled, chewy and hearty rolls

Have you ever made cinnamon rolls? Do you have a favorite recipe?

Please share recipe links to your favorites.

Thanks for the Deluxe Six-Piece Bakeware Set Giveaway and Pure Protein Prize-Pack Giveaway entries!


  1. I bet the buttermilk in this takes it over the top!! I’ve made cinnamon rolls a few times and have been looking for a new recipe to trial, so this can be added straight to my to-do list (and be accomplished… sometime… in the next few months…)

  2. Oh man, as a teen living at home with my parents’ stand mixer, I used to make cinnamon rolls a lot. I made them starting in the afternoon though for an evening dessert because I hate eating sweets in the morning (breakfast foods are my favorites on earth but I can’t them at their appropriate time).
    I made a recipe that had some whole wheat flour in it, and a frosting made with powdered sugar, vanilla, milk, and corn syrup-my fave on cinnamon rolls if applied liberally because it soaks in a bit. Actually, similar to the frosting on your cinnamon donuts I made recently! Mmmmm.
    Geez, someday I ‘ll have a KA mixer again!

    • breakfast foods are my favorites on earth but I can’t them at their appropriate time = ME too! I do love waffles, pancakes, donuts, muffins/pastries, etc but not at breakfast time. I am barely awake and the last thing (for once) on my mind is a ton of sugar!

  3. Uh oh. This is going to be dangerous, because cinnamon rolls are my Achilles heel. I am such a huge fan that even the manufactured smell of cinnamon rolls in the airport or mall Cinnabon or IKEA gets me, but I never give in because there is nothing like a freshly baked one! This is now at the top of my list for future recipes for sure. I’ve never made cinnamon rolls from scratch before because they take so much effort, but I’m definitely trying these out the next time I have a bit of time (and buttermilk!).

    • Buttermilk – just take 3/4 to 1 c of regular milk and add 1 tbsp of vinegar to it and wait 10 mins. You now have buttermilk :) Enjoy the cinnamon rolls. See how easy I am making this for you. And the TJ’s buttermilk…you get a nice sized container for 1.69 And you can make like 4+ recipes of mine of of it…the carrot cake, blueberry loaf, cinn rolls, browned butter banana bread :)

    • I sense some serious enabling going on here!

  4. They look heavenly. I love waking up to cinnamon rolls when all the work has been done the night before.

  5. You always know how to solve all of my life’s problems…first chewy cookies and now easy cinnamon rolls. I’m in love!

  6. Averie.. OMG these look ahhhhmazing and I only wish I had one {or seven} to go with my coffee! LOVE!

  7. Averie, these look INCREDIBLE! So fluffy and I loooove the look of all that yummy frosting. Great overnight method. Pinning this to try!

  8. Trust me, I will be stalking your cinnamon roll series. I finally tried making my own cinnamon rolls recently, and one was an utter fail (the second version turned out much better). I love the fact that your recipe above also allows for an overnight option – that’s what I’ll probably do since we’re usually hard pressed for time in the mornings, and even on weekends!

    • There’s just no way that I could ever do this, start to finish, in one sitting or start early enough! I have to say after making them and the length of the post, recipe, photos, etc…and the time involved on the backend, it will be awhile before recipe #2 comes out…because honestly, I loved everything about these and they’re the best I’ve ever had and am not in a burning hurry to start this all over…if you try these, I think you will love them!

  9. Bring on the showdown – I can practically smell these from here! I’ve never made any from scratch but my cousin and I could have bought stock in the canned version during college ;-)

  10. Cinnamon rolls have been on my bucket list forever… I need to make them happen! Love that there is an overnight option – so nice to be able to have them fresh in the morning. I bet the buttermilk in here is delicious!

  11. OH. MY. WORD. Averie!!! This recipe is like a dream come true….overnight cinnamon rolls?!?!? My mom was a big cinnamon roll maker. I remember her getting up really early and even delivering them to the neighbors when THEY had company. I’m too lazy….but THESE I can handle. (Although, I’m not sure I’d ever give any away.)

    • Giving away my cookies, cakes, bars, brownies, etc is one thing…but I would never go to the work of making these and donating them! But my grandma used to do it…all the time! Sounds like your mom and her were cut from the same cloth!

  12. Oh my goodness, Averie. You’re killing me! These cinnamon rolls look FANTASTIC. And I love that you can make ’em the night before and chow down in the AM. Perfection! PS, I am totally with ya on the cinnamon–you can never have enough!

  13. I absolutely love cinnamon rolls but hate the time involved in making them. Wanna make a batch for me? ;)

  14. These look fantastic, I love the photos. However, I do not have a kitchenaid stand mixer. Any suggestions for how I could still make these? Thanks!

    • You could make them and knead by hand, as I wrote in the recipe section where I listed mixer vs. by-hand kneading times. You are just going to have to knead for longer and you will get your workout it, but do-able. Just get your elbow grease going and the results will be worth it. LMK if you try the recipe!

    • oops, guess i missed that. thanks for the tip!

  15. I definitely agree, when it comes to pastry things for breakfast if they are not an overnight recipe then I end up having them for lunch instead because I really don’t feel like waking up that early.

  16. these look absolutely stunning and what BEAUTIFUL pictures. i will definitely be trying these.

  17. The wind is howling and gusting this am–I’d love to curl up on the couch with one of these…and just stay in all day! I’ve never used buttermilk in yeast rolls or bread–but I know milk in general gives it a softer, more tender quality. Cream cheese frosting is always a winner! I think I’d have to go the mixer route with the kneading on this one–trying to hand knead a stickier, wet dough for that long would probably be tough. If this is just the first of more cinnamon roll recipes, I can’t wait to see what else you have come up with because this one looks pretty darn good!

    • After making them: research, photographing, the actual making of them, typing the post, editing the photos, it’s going to be awhile before the next cinn roll recipe. So in the meantime, enjoy these…they are the best I’ve ever had which is why I’m not in a big hurry to try this all again, fun as it was :)

  18. Oh, YUM! Averie, your Overnight Buttermilk Cinnamon Rolls ROCK! Overnight is the way to go for an enjoyable breakfast the next morning. Recently, I developed a Non-yeast Overnight Cinnamon Roll recipe. So easy, so moist! Instead of buttermilk, I call for sour cream. The rolls are like Sour Cream Coffee Cake & Cinnamon Rolls in one! Meanwhile, I’ve been making the same exact cinnamon roll yeast dough recipe as yours for years. The buttermilk and instant yeast with overnight application is pure magic! Ever since I saw Alton Brown of FoodNetwork make his that way over 5 years ago, I have been making them this way ever since. THE BEST! xo

    • Sour Cream Coffee Cake & Cinnamon Rolls in one sounds great!

      And I didn’t know Alton B made rolls like this. I adapted the dough base from the ATK source I cited and then everything else was my own. I never even saw his recipe. There’s a popular Cinnabon recipe on Allrecipes I keep stalking though!

  19. Oh, my, do these ever look good. I love buttermilk in baked goods, so these sound extra appealing. I haven’t made cinnamon rolls since my high school Home Economics class, which was too long ago to get in to, but this recipe is going to make me bake some more! I’ll let you know when I do!

  20. Gosh darn it! You definitely do a cinnamon roll right!! WOW!!

  21. I’m dying over those! They look amazing!

  22. You know how much of a sucker I am for a good cinnamon roll…these really do look so light and fluffy and perfectly gooey! I know what you mean about the sloppy dough part, I always have to resist adding more flour, but you can’t deny the results. :) These look fantastic Averie!

  23. Those rolls look amazing! My all time favorite recipe is vanilla pudding cinnamon rolls recipe by art smith. I discovered it last year and have baked it several times with success every time. I might try your recipe for a change :)

  24. YUM!!!!! :D These look great!

  25. I’m drooling! I’ll take a half dozen, please! :)

  26. Your rolls look absolutely delicious! I am amazed by your productivity Averie! :) While I was reading this post an interesting thought crossed my mind: how different recipes look in our days from what our mother’s and grandmother’s did. Last week, when I was in Seattle, I met a person, who came to US to visit her sister. We had a delicious Tuscan soup for lunch and I asked her to email me the recipe. She didn’t hesitate and exclaimed: “It’s easy!” When I got home I found in my in-box a list of ingredients from her! She assumed that I have to know what goes first, what second, and etc. She did say to ask her if I have any questions, but the fact itself put a smile on my face. And this fact also makes me deeply respect what you do as I know how much effort you put in writing such detailed and precisely measured recipes, and more. :)

    • Thank you, Marina, for your comment and as I was making these, and writing them, and it just kept getting longer and longer and longer…. I was wondering if it was all really necessary. But unfortunately, unless I want to deal with reader questions, emails, or worst yet an at-home recipe fail for someone who tries this due to unclear directions on my part, I am always as airtight as I can be with my writing. However, when I read recipes in old cookbooks or when I travel and read cookbooks in the Caribbean say, they assume you know what to do to get the dough to a workable stage. With just the major ingredients listed for all components and then do it yourself. Or for something like frosting – they would just say cream cheese, butter, sugar, beat until smooth. It’s amazing how far we’ve come in so many things in modern life, but with cooking and recipes, it’s gone the other way. Unless it’s all spelled out, no one can make anything. You’d be surprised how many emails I get for people who try *smoothie recipes* of mine…and can’t get them to turn out. A smoothie. So imagine a yeasted bread roll!

    • I know what you mean and how you feel about *smoothie recipe*. And I admire your bravery and dedication to write precise recipes (I know it works, I followed a few to a Z just to try!). :)

  27. wowww!!! These definitely look like they are worth the effort! Unfortunately, by 10 am I’m usually long since at work. An indulgent weekend breakfast, for sure!

  28. Gorgeous Averie. I’m so glad you found the “best” cinnamon rolls yet for you guys. :) Now I am curious about trying my hand at a buttermilk roll! I have had many readers ask me if there are any shortcuts to my roll recipes so far. No! There are not. It’s a recipe that requires patience and time and the result is unlike anything a storebought can or Cinnabon could ever emulate. The satisfaction of making them yourself makes it all even better. No chewiness – just soft, fluffy texture. YES. red star yeast: YES. Stand mixer : oh YES. Cream cheese frosting: YES! I am loving everything about these. And America’s Test Kitchen can do no wrong.

    PS: you have me craving carrot cake w/ cream cheese frosting lately lol!

    • I researched the dough base until I didn’t think I could look at any more. It all came down to 3 eggs and buttermilk. Some recipes use 1 or 2 eggs and regular milk – and this just brought the fluffy factor up a bit more :) And NOT overflouring the dough! Not sure if your F & W Raspberry Roll recipe was sticky or the Orange Rolls or your latest Apple one…but this dough was so soft, sticky, and gloppy. I really was cursing it but knew to have a light rolls, super soft and fluffy, I couldn’t overflour it, even though that makes things easier, cleaner, and neater.

      And no, no shortcuts. If you want shortcuts, a tube of Crescent rolls is the best call. But there is no comparison between the two :)

  29. I would like to wake up to these every day for the rest of my life! They look so soft and fluffy, and the cream cheese frosting looks like creamy perfection!

  30. Overnight cinnamon rolls seem like a perfect solution for wanting them first thing in the morning. I always make them on the weekends when I’ll have more time but they still end up being eaten around brunch time or later. Your rolls seriously look like perfection. I don’t think I put enough frosting on mine last time I made them, and your cream cheese frosting looks to die for. Here’s my recipe. Let me know if you try it.


    • Your rolls are so pretty! They are really perfectly rolled. I think you’d love this buttermilk recipe b/c it keeps them even fluffier and there’s an extra egg (3 rather than 2) so just a smidge lighter. And yes, I am a huge frosting lover…I always add tons :)

  31. My kids always laugh when I punch the down and it deflates :) It’s fun for all of us! Love overnight breakfast ideas. Makes it easier to get up in the morning. :) Need to make some cinnamon rolls…. It’s been a while….

  32. Wow! These look super super fluffy, I love it! And I’m totally with you on making the cinnamon roll process a bit easier in the morning. I love the overnight fridge trick. Fantastic!

  33. I could eat an entire pan of cinnamon rolls all myself! I have never used buttermilk in the dough – what a great idea! I love doing them overnight. There is no way I’m getting up at 2am to get breakfast on the table at 6am, ha!

  34. Averie, I cannot even put into words how much I want one of these cinnamon rolls right now. They look like complete and utter perfection!

  35. Are you kidding me? The best you’ve ever had AND an overnight recipe? I’ve been gearing up to making a batch of cinnamon buns, and now I know which recipe I’ll use. I can tell by the photos that they are amazing, thanks Averie!

    • Sue they are the best I’ve ever had. Just don’t over-flour the dough. It’s a sloppy mess to work with, I won’t lie..but you have a mixer and you can be 95% hands off when it’s at it’s gloppiest :) And yes, who on EARTH gets up at the crack of, to start playing with…yeast. I can barely shut my alarm clock off, let alone properly cook. Please LMK if you try these!

  36. Do you by any chance have your gluten free recipes all grouped together anywhere on your website???


  37. OH I am drooling looking at these. This past weekend I adapted Sally’s caramel apple cinnamon rolls but I NEEDED cream cheese frosting. Cinnamon rolls are just not right without cream cheese frosting, in my world anyways. I ate the last one yesterday for breakfast. I actually hid it in the fridge and said a few white lies that they were all gone.. oops! I would love to try some with buttermilk in the dough. America’s Test kitchen is my go to for any recipe. Will have to give this one a go next!

    • I agree that rolls just HAVE to have cream cheese frosting, or else a creamy white frosting of some sort…It’s how I grew up eating cinn rolls so they have to have that for me. Caramel is great…in ADDITION to my beloved frosting :)

  38. I am always looking for super soft and pillowy cinnamon rolls but it’s so hard to find the perfect one. These might do the trick, especially with how fab that dough looks.

    • It’s soooo hard, and over-flouring it is key with any of them. And then the buttermilk and extra egg (3 not 2) compared to many recipes, helped do the trick on these! I am super, super picky. I would not say they’re the fluffiest and best if they weren’t of every roll I’ve ever tried!

  39. I want a huge pan of these right now! Soft and pillowy is exactly the kind of cinnamon rolls I like. Another awesome recipe for the books!

  40. Oh man! I’d probably need someone to pry me away very forcefully from a tray of these babies! This one is pure brilliance, Averie!

  41. Where were you at 5 am this morning when our alarm clock went off? One of these puppies straight from the oven would have made my morning!!!! I want to sink my teeth into one of these every day.

    • And you’re working the kind of job and living the type of lifestyle where you truly could go to town on these, and not miss a beat. There are benefits to all your hard work…like more cinnamon rolls :)

  42. Beautiful! Given the amount I would consume, I’d have to opt for the knead-by-hand method- to avoid going up several pant sizes. :D

  43. Although my family loves cinnamon rolls, I have never made them from scratch. I have been so intimated to try it. I never mind getting up early to make a big and detailed breakfast, but getting up that early may be pushing it, even for me! I am all for the overnight part! :-D Buttermilk sounds like it would make these so much more moist and flavorful.

    Your attention to detail is fantastic. Thank you so much for making your recipes so thorough and your photos so beautiful. Really, it’s all the little things combined that make your blog so terrific. :-)

    • Thanks, Michele, for the nice words and I was thinking of you when I was making these…wondering if these would even be too early for you! I am glad the details help. Trust me, as I was writing this, the photos, editing, I was like…omg this post is my FT job! But hey, I did it, and can check it off my list :)

  44. :-) i love how you state this is your first installment on cinnamon rolls…will as always look forward to your next editions….and how kind of you to state read the recipe 3x through…I am notorious for not reading the recipe…diving in and realizing that it has to chill for an hour etc… and I wanted them done in an hour. LOL…so I have red star yeast on my grocery list…I am going to do it Averie…I am going to make one of your bread recipes!

    • With a recipe of this magnitude, yes, you HAVE to read it over many times! Especially yeasted breads. And I will be honest, if you are going to make bread (I dont know what your experience is) this is the trickiest one of all to make; it’s not hard but if you want a super light, flavorful loaf that’s very forgiving I would recommend that Challah b/c it’s no-knead AND make-ahead. The Raisin Bread for Raisin Lovers is also easy. So are the pretzels and the honey dinner rolls. Each of them require shaping or rolling other than the Raisin Loaf. But I don’t want to talk you out of these (but I am gathering from this comment you’ve never ever made any bread at all)! LMK what you decide on!

  45. Averie, these look so wonderful!!! I might have to start in the morning and eat them in the afternoon. Think I can stop at just one? :D Thank you for telling us not to add the extra flour. I made some French Bread recently and did just that. Made them much denser. Now I know to just leave the recipe alone and put up with the sticky. Can’t wait to taste these!

  46. Wow Averie, these look amazing! Cinnamon rolls are hard to beat especially warm with a big cup of coffee :)

  47. I think at least once a week, I see a recipe on your blog that I simply HAVE to make that weekend. This is the selection for this week. :-)

  48. You should open a bakery!!! :-)

  49. These cinnamon rolls do look like the ultimate. So gorgeous and perfect!

  50. Hot damn! I am SO baking these!!! Love it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *