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

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.


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!

403 comments on “Overnight Buttermilk Soft and Fluffy Cinnamon Rolls”

  1. I just printed this recipe out. I have a carton of buttermilk that will go to waste if I don’t make these cinnamon rolls so obviously, this needs to happen in my kitchen asap! These are gorgeous, Averie. I can’t wait to slather my rolls with a ton of the frosting and since you said these are best eaten fresh, let’s see how many I can plow through ;)

  2. I’m honestly trying to eat better these days…and then I have to look at these heavenly cinnamon rolls. I want them all!!!

  3. These look amazing Averie and I love anything that can be made and assembled the night before. I am so not a morning make a big breakfast sort of person. I want to get up and either re-heat something quickly or pour myself a bowl of cereal. I would definitely need a big cardio workout after inhaling one of these buns, but it would so be worth it :)

  4. Sally has been taunting me with all of her yummy sweet roll creations, and now here you are with the cinnamon rolls — too much! In a completely good sort of way, of course. There’s not much else more comforting than a warm cinnamon roll!

  5. My all-time favorite part of working with yeast is the part when you punch down the doubled dough…Aaaahhhhh! It’s the best :) Well, I guess that’s a little lie. My real favorite part is when you get to dig in! Thanks for the delicious-looking recipe!

  6. Had to come over and see your cinnamon rolls after you commented on our orange rolls! These look divine! Also, absolutely love your blog. Think I’ve found a new fave! :)

  7. I never made cinnamon rolls but I am trying my hand at yeast breads, so these are soon going to be on my list. They look amazing.

  8. I would love to wake up with these! Pinned!

  9. Dear Averie, I really want to make these cinnamon rolls. The pictures are wonderful! I have one question. I read your recipe closely and I want to make them straight away. In the recipe you wrote I have to let them rise for 1- 1 1/2 hours in a warm, draft-free place until the rolls have nearly doubled in size. There is not one warm spot in my house at the moment. Can I do the 1 minute heat blast in de oven thingy with the rolls also?
    If someone else has asked this question already, I’m sorry. I didn’t take the time to read all the comments.
    Thanks in advance.
    (love your blog btw :-D)
    Kind regards from the Netherlands,


    • Yes do the oven/1 minute blast trick…Make sure to let the SIZE of the rolls and not time, dictate how long they should rise for. If that takes 1 hour for you, that’s fine. If that takes 2 hours for you because your house is cold, that’s fine. With any breadmaking, patience and adapting the recipe to suit your environment is key! LMK how it goes!

  10. Pingback: Orange Cranberry Honey Stick Bun Recipe | Barbara Bakes

  11. I stumbled across your blog one day (I have no idea how–That’s the best part, stubbling across amazing blogs when you least expected it.) I very rarely ever comment (i’m a lurker!) but I had to comment on this–I made this recipe and it was DIVINE. Everyone exclaims it was the best cinnamon rolls ever, and I have made a few before, but never like this one! This recipe is a keeper as well as your cinnamon swirl bread which i made earlier this week. I cannot wait to try your peanut butter cookies as well as others! Thank you for sharing your recipes with all of us!

    • Monique, thanks for writing to tell me you made these! I am so happy to hear that you love them and that you agree they’re the best cinnamon rolls ever! And also glad to hear you made the Cinn Swirl Bread. It’s always great when people write to tell me what they’ve made and what they’ve loved so thank you for that. And please write to tell me what else you try. I love the PB cookies and have a few new PB cookie recipes coming, too, over and beyond what’s in my Peanut Butter Comfort Cookbook. Thanks for finding me & making the recipes!

  12. Dear Averie,
    As asked in your reply on my previous post: Eventually I had to let them rest overnight, I didn’t make them straight away anymore. Today I took them out of the fridge, I finally found a warm enough spot beside a radiator and let them rest there. Then after an hour or two I baked them. And I have to say; I completely agree with Monique! This is the first time ever I tried making cinnamon rolls and I was kinda anxious for them not turning out good but they are DELICIOUS! I really appreciate how elaborately your wrote everything down. This really helped me along the way :)
    So once again, this recipe rocks and is a real recommender for every one who wants to try their hand at cinnamon rolls for the first time or even for the umpteenth time that you’ve tried a recipe.
    Much love,


    • I am so glad to hear they worked for you and that you tried your hand at making cinnamon rolls and that your first attempt was such a success! I am glad to hear that my detailed directions were helpful (when I was writing the recipe, it was getting sooooo lonnnnng and I was wondering if anyone would even make these) but glad to hear that it was all helpful and useful. Thanks for writing back to tell me all about it! :)

  13. I am truely impressed, and in love with you and your gorgeous food blog. Will you come live with me?!!! Lol jk I bet you get that all the time from your friends:-) I thought that I was a skilled baker, but you put me to shame! Beautiful pictures, even better recipes! You rock! You make me think maybe I should blog my food adventures:-)

    • Thank you for your kind words and high praise. This is my job and I give it 110%, every day, every post, all the time. I wouldn’t feel good about not baking, cooking, writing, or photographing the food to the best of my abilities and try to always push myself. Thanks for noticing :)

  14. Oh goodness – I need these in my life! Cinnamon rolls have been on my bucket list for at least 2 years and I think 2013 is the year that I tackle them, starting with this recipe here!

  15. Oh my goodness…these look so good for a weekend brunch…or any day with my coffee:) I will be trying these! Thanks so much for sharing!

  16. I have tried at least 10 cinnamon roll recipes trying to find one that my grandson thought were as good as his best friend Bo’s mother’s . Well he said these are even better . Thanks for making me a star!!!!!

  17. I have tried lots of different cinnamon rolls recipes too – this will be my next (and if they taste as good as their picture, my last!) One tip I found from another recipe if you’re really pressed for time in the mornings: mix up and slice your cinnamon rolls, freeze them 1-2 hours on your cookie sheet and then store in a plastic bag, the night before you want cinnamon rolls just lay them on a sprayed cookie sheet, cover with plastic wrap and leave on top of your stove overnight, in the morning they will be thawed, risen and ready to put directly into the oven!

    • That’s a good tip…sort of a version of a theme on my overnight/makeahead refrigeration option for the 2nd rise. To just let them go into the fridge and rise on counter the next morning for an hour or so, then bake off. Eliminates the freezing/thawing step but some circumstances/situations call for various timeframes and timing/scheduling so it’s always nice to have options. LMK if you try these & please tell me how it goes!

  18. I saw those photos and I knew I had to make them, IMMEDIATELY. So I did. There were some mishaps, but there always are when making something for the first time, in my experience. I think I should have rolled them tighter. When I went to cut them, there was extra slack in the dough that made them hard to cut. Practice makes perfect! Although, I don’t know how these could be made any more perfect, given how delicious they were!

    There was one thing that happened that I think you might find hilarious – heaven knows I did! I usually put yeast dough into the oven with the oven light on while it rises, and the oven light makes the oven nice and ~80 degrees. So I put the dough in the oven, and went to go read on the couch while waiting for it to rise. Only one problem – I fell asleep! When I woke up, it’d been a little over two hours. And when I went to check the dough….it had EXPLODED. It had gotten so big, it had thrown off the plastic wrap, and had spilled over onto everything! it was so unexpected that I just cracked up! I couldn’t stop laughing for half an hour, and after that I still kept giggling sporadically.

    • Wow, that’s some good-rising dough! Holy moly! I’ve never had any explosions quite like that. I guess your yeast was active and working well :)

      And so glad to hear you made them and for a first effort, very pleased! Rolling dough into logs is a practice makes perfect thing. Trying to get a tight log/tight seal can be tricky. And then if you slice it with a dull knife, or even a sharp one, it can compress your handiwork!

      Anyway, thanks for coming back to LMK you tried them & they were delicious! :)

  19. Just wow! My sister and I just finished making these and are in the fridge for the overnight rise, but we just haad to sample out the off-cuts, sooo good! I love the goey sticky kinda sauce that forms at the bottom, paired with the cream cheese frosting and it’s just heaven!

    • I am so glad to hear that you made them and they’re already in the oven for tomorrow! And that you sampled some already and are so happy! Thanks for coming back to LMK you tried a few tastes already and tried the recipe!

      • Um it’s so much more amazing this morning! My whole family loved them and they taste like Cinnabon, which we don’t have in Australia but tried overseas last yr and fell in love with! Thank you! I think this will become a weekend regular and my place!

      • I was so baffled by your last comment about the time of day and I thought, well, maybe she’s a real early riser and on the east coast, i.e. New York. Ahh, I get it now. Australia!!! :)

        I love the rolls too and so glad they met your approval and the family’s, too; and that you think they’re like Cinnabons! YAY! Thanks for coming back to LMK you enjoyed them so much!

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  22. I’m making these tonight/tomorrow morning, Avery! The first recipe of yours I’ve tried (and now make whenever I want a cookie) is your Chewy Chocolate Chip and Chunk cookies – they’re amazing! Then I tried your One Hour Whole Wheat Pizza Dough, my first ever homemade pizza dough – and it turned out so delish too! So excited to make these and just wanted to say thank you for posting your recipes and also all of your detailed tips and techniques – I’m sure it takes a lot of time to write each post but it makes a huge difference!


    • Wow you’ve made so much and thanks for LMK! The cookies are some of my faves and glad you tried pizza dough and now these rolls..you’re going to love them!

      I am so glad that my writing/tips/tidbits help because you’re right, it does take a fair amount of time but I’d rather be thorough so people have success! It’s a peeve of mine when I read recipes that are not quite flushed out enough to really know if I am on the right track or not so I try to be super clear.

      Please report back if you make the rolls how they went for you!

  23. I don’t know if this has been asked already….I understand that you preheat the oven to 400 turn it off and then quickly place the dough inside. But, when powering the oven on again for one minute, is the dough still in the oven for the one minute of heat?

    I am going to try this on Sunday night.

    • The point of doing this is to create a warm environment for the dough to rise. If you house is 68F inside, that’s chilly for yeast. They like it about 90F. So just keep the pan in the oven for a minute while you power the oven on, then shut it off. This creates a 90F spot. It does cool back down as time goes on, but at least it gives them a headstart. Please come back and tell me how the recipe goes for you!!

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  25. Hi Averie, thanks so much for this amazing recipe! I just made them and they were SO AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS! This was my first attempt at making cinnamon rolls, I was never too excited in waking up at 5AM to start the baking, even starting them the night before seemed like too much planning ahead for me :), but I love your blog and recipes so this was the one to try! They turned out fantastic, your detailed recipe was really helpful and nothing went wrong! I did kneed the dough by hand, I think it might have been easier/less sticky than using a dough hook.

    The results were fantastic! I made them for my boyfriend and his roommates to help with studying for finals, everyone loved them but I think it backfired because everyone needed a nap after! Thanks for the great recipe Averie, happy baking!

    • I am beyond impressed that you kneaded by hand, never made cinn rolls but made them, that you got up at 5am and that you gave them to your boyf & gang for studying. You get GF of the year award!! :) Thanks so much for making them & LMK! And glad the detailed info & instructions help! :)

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  27. OH MY GOODNESS. I baked these this morning for Mother’s day (she LOVED THEM) but made them last night, and I didn’t need to add extra flour. When I rolled out my dough, it was pretty thick and when I rolled it up, I was scared it was too thick. It wasn’t. IT WAS DELICIOUS. I had never made cinnamon rolls but these are perfect. I gave them away to neighbors and I’m sure they are enjoying them now. thank you so much for the recipe! <3

    • So glad to hear that they turned out so well for you and that they were a big hit!! And that you’ve never made cinn rolls before and still had perfect success! That is wonderful! Glad your mom loved them (and no doubt the neighbors)- in the future you can take the finished rolls, wrap them in clingwrap or foil, stuff into gallon sized ziplock bags and freeze for months. That way on a random Sat morning you can pull out a couple if that’s all you need :) Thanks for coming back to tell me you made these!

  28. I was wondering how essential it is to make these in a jelly roll pan? I know you mentioned using another but the rolls could brown easier. Also, can this recipe be halved? I am only cooking for 2 people and I think this night make too many for us :) or at least I shouldn’t eat that many!! Your recipe looks delicious and I can’t wait to try it! Thanks for taking the time to write a detailed post :)

    • I have never halved it but I’m sure you could. I simply make the rolls as directed and freeze extra and pull them out as desired.

      You could use a 9×13 pan or a jelly roll pan for the fullbatch; I personally think you will get better results with a jelly roll pan (less squishing) but either will be fine. LMK when you make them and how they were!

  29. What is the difference if I use active dry yeast (Red Star Brand) compared to the instant? Can I substitute this or is there another step I need to take?

    I am making these tonight for a breakfast date tomorrow :) they look absolutely delicious!!

    • Active dry yeast needs to be proofed, i.e. combined with water, milk or another warm liquid for about 10 minutes until foamy and bubbly and THEN added to the rest of the recipe. Whereas instant can just be tossed into the dry ingredients, no extra step required.

      I really love love love Platinum Red Star yeast. It’s $2 bucks for a pkg of 3 at the grocery store and if you’re seriously making these, I do really recommend that yeast for super soft, puffy rolls if you haven’t started yet. Either way, LMK how they turn out!

      • I followed your advice and went to the store and got instant yeast! The rolls look amazing, I have never seen dough that soft before, and I’ve made a fair share of bread recipes. They are in the fridge now rising and I can’t wait to bake them tomorrow morning!!

        Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to my comment and also for the amazing detailed recipe! I’ll let you know how they turn out tomorrow morning :)

      • YAY! Glad you made them and that you’re loving the soft PUFFball status :) Yes, that yeast is amazing and it never lets me down. And the dough itself, with the buttermilk, it’s like buttahhh!

        So happy they’re in the fridge right now rising. Keep me posted how they bake up for you! I am sure you’re going to have a very happy morning!

      • THEY WERE ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!!!! :) I cannot thank you enough for your detailed recipe and all of your advice! I ended up baking them in a 9×13 glass pan for about 23 minutes and they were perfectly golden on the top and soft and doughy in the middle. The frosting was of course amazing, I ended up making 3/4 of a batch this morning and it was the perfect amount!

        As expected there aren’t too many leftover :) This is my new “keeper” recipe for cinnamon rolls and I will pass it along to family and friends! I cannot wait to try more of your recipes :)

        Thank you again!!

      • Looooove this comment & that you had success and that they turned out perfectly for you AND that this is your new keeper recipe! When I write these posts they take.me.forever. But I figure if I can help 1 person have cinnamon roll nirvana, it’s worth it! So glad you followed my instructions to a T and that everything worked out amazing! Thanks for LMK! Makes my day :) Have a great weekend and LMK if you try other recipes!

      • I also froze one cinnamon roll just to test out how it held up…well it’s only been a few days but I couldn’t wait any longer and I reheated it and it was just as delicious as the first day!!! I’m now obsessed with your blog and every recipe! I think I have pinned every single recipe!! I can’t wait to try more :)

        And it just so happens that I have a bag of cinnamon chips sitting around and I am going to make those cookies that you posted yesterday! Thanks again :)

      • So glad to hear that the freezer test worked! I do it all the time :) Such a timesaver, too!

        Thanks for all the pins and the sweet compliments and if you try the cinn chip snickerdoodles, LMK how they go!

  30. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  31. These are magnificent cinnamon buns! Moist, tender and fluffy. I added a half package of vanilla pudding and 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract to the dough. I increased the yeast to 1 tablespoon. When it came time to bake the buns, I put them in a cold oven and turned on the heat to 350 and baked them for 21 minutes. I learned this little trick from another website and it works wonderfully to get that last little rising out of your buns. Give it a try, you will be amazed. Fantastic recipe, a keeper for sure!

    • Thanks for the detailed report, Irene! I have always wanted to mix a packet or half packet of vanilla pudding mix into the dough (I’ve read recipes that do that – unfortunately when I use pudding in recipes, I get all kinds of emails from intl readers as well as those who are deadly against pudding mix…so I’ve avoided it in yeast recipes til now). My fave banana recipe of ALL TIME (and I have 15+ on my site) uses pudding mix https://www.averiecooks.com/2012/08/banana-bread-with-vanilla-browned-butter-glaze.html

      Glad the 1 tbsp of yeast worked for you. 1 packet at 2 1/4 teaspoons is really close to a tbsp and with the Red Star Platinum yeast I swear by, they are SO PUFFY as it is, I don’t need to increase it or they may just fly away :)

      And the cold oven, interesting. I know with puff pastry you’re supposed to bake the dough when it’s cold in a hot oven. Interesting about using a cold oven. Never heard that one! Glad you love the recipe!

  32. These are AMAZING! These are the best rolls that I have ever made. My husband said that they are better than his grandmother’s!

    I just wanted to let you know that I cut short the initial rise by about an hour (since I was really tired and wanted to sleep) and they still turned out amazing. I’ll have to try it again when I have more time, but I thought that it was kind of neat that you can cut that step short if you run out of time.

    Thanks for the fabulous recipe!

    • Thanks for LMK you made them and find them to be the best rolls you’ve ever made! They are my personal favorite as well! And the fact that they’re better than your hubs’ grandmas is high praise :)

      On cutting the rise time short, glad it worked out for you! As a general rule, in the summer/warmer times of the year you can get away with fudging yeast doughs a bit whereas in the dead of winter, the yeast are cold and need the full time to do their thing. Thanks for trying these!

  33. So…..this was my first time making cinnamon rolls and I am still kinda new to yeast doughs, but this was AMAZING and EASY. I truly appreciated the detailed instructions and your many responses to comments that were also very informative. I couldn’t find instant yeast so I used “highly active yeast” which worked perfectly in its place. Like another comment I misread and added all 4 1/2 cups of flour right of the bat and the dough was too stiff so I added another 2 T of melted butter and then it was perfect. I did it all in my stand mixer and refrigerated them overnight and we took the extras to church and they recieved rave reviews. Yay! Thank you thank you thank you!!!!

    • YAY! Thanks for making them and coming back to tell me you had success! Being that your mistake was common (people speed-read and seem to miss the flour thing) I just updated the post and in the flour line changed it to read:
      up to 4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided

      Hopefully that should do the trick. Good call on more melted butter. Can’t go wrong with more butter.

      And highly active yeast sounds like it probably was instant yeast. Good thinking!

      Thanks for LMK you tried these and that all my comments, replies, and post helped you have success! LMK if you try other recipes!

  34. Thanks for posting these! I really appreciate it! I’m going to make the dough today and do the overnight method.Your pictures look lovely ;) xo

    • please LMK how they turn out!

      • Yes, they were sooooo good! Almost like Cinnabon, actually! These are the most fluffiest ones I’ve ever made, usually because whenever I make yeasty breads I *always* end up with having them taste hard. And the dough rose so perfectly! I also ended up using more cinnamon ( I loveeeee cinnamon), about 4 1/2 teaspoons. They were so ooey and gooey. Especially the cinnamon filling. When I saw how the recipe needed buttermilk, I knew these were going to be good! Buttermilk makes everything so moist and fluffy!

        The frosting was HEAVENLY. These were such a hit at my house. Whenever I need a recipe for something soft, light, fluffy and moist, I’ll know where to look- at your website!

        Thanks again for posting this fab recipe! xo

      • Hi Liz – thanks for the glowing compliments about the rolls. So happy they turned out soft, light, fluffy & moist for you and that you had no issues with them & they turned out like Cinnabons for you! And yes to adding more cinnamon – love that – I always do too when I read recipes! And so glad to hear you’ll be trying out more of my recipes. Please LMK how they go!

  35. oops- I accidentally wrote Liza as my name, sorry its Liz!

  36. Yikes, my dough did not come together, not sure why. I trusted the moisture, but after rising still a sloppy mess. I had to add more flour but its still sticky and sloppy. My cut cinnamon rolls do not look nice like yours, they are all droopy. We’ll see how they turn out tomorrow, not sure what I did wrong!

    • Do you live in a humid climate? If so, you’re likely going to need more flour than I did when I made these in dry San Diego in the winter. If it’s sticky to the point that it wasn’t workable, not sure how you got them into rolls (add more flour next time – trust yourself and the dough in front of you!) But sounds like you did get them rolled up – okay good.

      Just let them sit and rise overnight in the fridge and then pull them out about 2 hours before you want to bake them, and let them rise at room temp. And then bake them. I have a feeling you will be okay. Sometimes bread dough can look pitiful before it bakes – like I’ve baked some things I was sure weren’t going to work, but they do.

      Keep me posted!

  37. Well they tasted ok, you’re right though, should have trusted my instincts. Unfortunately all the sugar and cinnamon kinda slid out overnight! So we ended up with more like frosted sweet bread!

    • Sorry to hear that the cinnamon sugar slid out. At least you ended up with something that tasted ok but yes, next time, and with ALL bread making (all recipes, really) if what you see in your mixing bowl and your instincts differ from what’s written on a computer screen or book, you’ve always gotta go with your instincts and that ball of dough in front of you! :)

  38. Your cinnamon rolls are to die for. I did not add anthing, i followed the exact measurements & it was perfect. Thank you for sharing this recipe with us.

  39. Just wanted to say that I made these today and the family adored them. They turned out so beautifully and looked AMAZING. Thank you!!

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  41. Ok, made these tonight for tomorrow morning breakfast. Of course I had to try on tonight. These are heaven! Somethin I tired an it worked well for me is….when they were rising in the oven I put a pot of boiling water in the oven , even when they do their second rising, that only took about 35 min. It speeds up the proofing process. These only took 2.5 hour from start to in my belly finish. Everything else I followed perfectly. Thank you for our new wonderful cinnamon roll recipe!

    • Thanks for trying them, Carrie, and glad you’re a fan and that they’ll be your new cinn roll recipe! What you describe with the water is a version on a theme of putting water in the oven in a pan having it sit there when baking pizza, bagels, baugettes. Lots of people say the steam helps to create thicker crust, which isn’t what I’d want for rolls but, like you said, it helps add moisture for the rising, which IS a great thing. Awesome little trick and thanks for sharing :)

  42. Do you know if the dough can be made in the bread machine just to knead the dough and let it rise (manual option)?

    • I don’t use a bread machine and honestly have no idea how they fully operate. So if you’ve made other cinnamon roll dough in them with luck, I’d expect this to be similar. But I have no way of knowing for sure.

  43. Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe! I had Googled “Soft and Tender Cinnamon Rolls” and found your website. About 2 weeks ago, I had made dough for cinnamon rolls in my bread machine for the first time, but the dough consistency turned out rather dense. I want to thank you so much for your impressive recipe and the generous instructions and beautiful progressive photos. I also appreciated the tips you shared which will help me immensely. I do have a mixer with a dough hook which I have never used for making bread dough – I will try it for this recipe. I am wondering if a substitution for buttermilk would work effectively by mixing milk with lemon juice or vinegar. I noticed you made this recipe in San Diego. I’m a native Californian who lived in Fresno for approx. 60 years and retired to Brookings, Oregon near the California/Oregon border. We have a mild climate here, and I’m sure I’ll have no problem with the cinnamon rolls rising. Again, thank you so much for sharing this wonderful recipe.

    • Hi Sharon
      Thanks for the great comment and glad you found me and find the pics, instructions, and everything so helpful – that’s great! You can make buttermilk as you said by taking about 1 cup milk to about 1-2 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar and letting it stand. You could probably also use a big dollop of yogurt, cut with a little bit of milk. You just want something like that to add softness and help the rising. As long as you’re going to the trouble of making these, I probably would stick with real buttermilk the first time, then swap out from there after your comfortable with the recipe the next time. Your dough hook is going to be your new best friend. Just put it on, and let ‘er go! Walk away and do your nails or something :)

      And yes we live in San Diego. Love it here! Your area I’m sure is beautiful as well.

      Keep me posted how these go for you!

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  45. oooooooohhh these cinnamon rolls look soo fluffy and delicious. Yum

  46. I love homemade cinnamon rolls and am happy with how easy they are to make. For some reason I always put them off, thinking it’s a daunting task, but each time I make them I’m reminded of how effortless it really is to get fluffy yummy breakfast cinnamon rolls. I’ve done this overnight method before too, a la Alton Brown, and like you been a fan since you don’t have to wake up with the chickens…not that my kids would have it any other way, but you know. :)

  47. So i went through the recipe and have everything to make them but, i have active dry yeast from red star, and not instant dry yeast, do i activate my yeast first in buttermilk, before adding it to the flour?

    • I would say yes, you need to proof it, i.e. activate it in a warm liquid, in this case the buttermilk should do the trick. Being that I did not write the recipe this way, I haven’t tested it, but as long as you’re a somewhat experienced bread maker, you know what you should be looking for, foamy, frothy, etc.

  48. Hello! I made these today (not for breakfast though, as I can’t eat so much aftter I just wake up! ) and they are incredible! They are beautiful just too look at that I kinda feel sorry to eat them lol :) and that glaze…AMAZING! I must admit though, for as much as I like these rolls, I like your cinnamon roll coffee cake the best! Maybe because of its consistency or its richness, I dont know! :) Thanks for the recipe! ;)

    • Thank you so much for trying these and saying they look (almost) too pretty to eat! And for the pic you emailed me. You did such a great job! I am happy that you love these and of course that coffee cake. Yes that cake is super good, minus any of the work that goes into cinn rolls! Glad you’re a big fan :)

  49. i did the overnight method and they were on my counter for an hour and didnt double, so i took them outside covered the top in aluminum foil. might there be a problem with my dough? :(

    • Before you put them in the fridge overnight, as long as you had a nice, normal rise, soft fluffy dough that had doubled, and then sliced/rolled them up, you more than likely are fine.

      After taking them out of the fridge overnight, if you let them sit at room temp for about 2 hours and they’re not growing any more, then I would just bake them. Yeast likes a warm environment, like 100F. Think body temperature. When you say ‘outside’ I don’t know what that means but it sounds cold and drafty (yeast hate it and will not cooperate).

  50. These cinnamon rolls were so light, fluffy, and cinnamon-y I couldn’t believe it. (Don’t tell my mom, but these were even better than hers!) I loved that they was an overnight option and all I had to do in the morning was pop ’em in the oven. Amazing recipe and I will definitely be making them again!

    • Hi Sarah! I’m thrilled you love them (and that they even beat your mom’s – okay that’s a serious high honor to come in ahead of anyone’s mom’s cooking – I won’t tell her…LOL) So glad you enjoy the make-ahead option. Me too! :)

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