The Long Wait for Overnight Cinnamon Buns

Yeast. I think as a baker, there’s this unspoken rule to use it at least once. In all honesty, I hate using yeast: it’s temperamental, it’s high-maintenance and worst of all, it’s slow. If I wanted something quick and delicious, I would make something cinnamon roll pancakes (Carmen posted a recipe a couple of weeks back)… not wait hours for bread to rise. But, without using it, you lose access to all different kinds of bread. So, as this is crossing my mind, I’m trying to think of what to make. How can I ease myself into doing this? Why not do something overnight? I’ll be sleeping anyway, so why not capitalize on that time.

As a first attempt in the world of yeast breads, I made some overnight cinnamon rolls.

The recipe follows:

For 6 rolls:


1/2 cup of warm milk (around 100ºF)

1/2 cup sugar

1 package (1 and 1/4 tsp) yeast

1/4 cup melted butter

1 egg

pinch of salt

2 cups all purpose flour


1/2 cup of softened butter

1/4 cup of sugar

1 tbsp cinnamon

*Note: feel free to adjust the ratios for the cinnamon sugar


Dissolve the sugar and yeast in the warm milk and wait for it to become foamy (~5-10 minutes)

Add the melted butter, egg, and salt and mix until well combined

Slowly incorporate the flour and knead until the dough is smooth (either by hand or with a stand mixer)

Place the dough somewhere warm covered with a towel until the dough has doubled in size

Once doubled, knock the air out and roll into a rectangle

Spread the softened butter and sprinkle cinnamon sugar (adjust for how sweet you want these to be)

Roll and then cut into 6-7 pieces

Place into a greased dish

This is what my rolls looked like:


Let this sit in the refrigerator overnight and let it rise 1-2 hours the next morning.

Next morning:

Preheat the oven to 375ºF

After the second rise, bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown

They should look something like this:


For a first attempt, it was alright. My housemates liked them, but I think they could definitely use a little more oomph. One key thing that I’ve learned from this is to use fresh yeast and try to maintain the temperature around 100ºF consistently during the non-overnight rises. My dough might also have been too dry, so using flour sparingly is also key. But overall, not too bad.

Good luck, and hopefully, your rolls turn out better than mine. If you have suggestions, that would also be great.


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