Soft, gooey, and delicious - homemade Overnight Cinnamon Rolls from scratch is an amazing treat to make for your loved ones. Wake up to fresh cinnamon buns.
Whisk together warm milk, honey, and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Let it sit until foamy and doubled in size. Looks Like: the top of a super creamy root beer! If you have instant yeast, skip this step and combine all the dough ingredients together and follow directions in step 2.
Add flour, sugar, eggs, salt, and butter. Using the bread hook attachment on the stand mixer, mix the dough until it is a solid mass and the sides of the bowl are clean (about 2 minutes). If the dough is still super sticky, add flour 1 tablespoon at a time until it is no longer sticking to the sides.
Gather the dough in one hand and quickly grease the bowl (I use a drizzle of olive oil). Place the dough back in and cover bowl with a clean damp kitchen towel. Let it sit until the dough has doubled in size (about 1 hour). Looks Like: a puffed up mass of dough with the top sides pulling away from the bowl.
You can also proof your dough in an Instant Pot using the yogurt setting and a glass lid. Drizzle a bit of olive oil into the instant pot insert and add the dough. Cover with the glass lid and press "yogurt" and set the timer for 30 minutes. Check after 15. It will take 15-40 minutes to double in size.
Sprinkle a bit of flour onto a clean surface. Make a ball out of the dough and gently press it with your hands to create a rectangle. Pro tip: using the palm of your hand before using a rolling pin will save you a lot of work. Roll out the dough to make a large rectangle (about 18x22 inches).
Spread softened butter over the dough, leaving a small butter-less perimeter around the outside. Cover with brown sugar and top with cinnamon.
Starting with the long edge of the dough furthest from you, tightly roll the dough towards you until you have a solid "roll".
Cut into 15 rolls. Pro tip: using a bread knife (aka serrated knife) will create the cleanest cuts. Some people use dental floss, but I am totally pro-bread knife for this step.
Grease a 9x13 baking dish (pro tip: use the empty butter wrapper to use all up the leftover bits of butter and to grease the dish). Place the cinnamon rolls into the dish. Set aside in a warm place until the rolls have doubled in size (about 1 hour). Looks Like: the cinnamon rolls will have "fluffed" up and are likely touching each other in the dish.
Tightly cover the pan and store in the fridge for up to 36 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 28 minutes or until the tops are lightly golden brown.
While the cinnamon rolls are baking, combine butter and cream cheese in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium until soft and fluffy. Looks Like: whipped butter
Reduce the mixer to low and add the powdered sugar 1/4 cup at a time. Pro tip: taste as you go because not everyone likes their frosting the same level of sweetness.
Add in the vanilla and almond extract and orange juice and slowly increase the mixer speed to medium until well combined. Pro tip: if you want a spreadable frosting, skip the orange juice. If you still want an orange flavor (you do!), add in 1 tbsp of orange zest with the vanilla.
Pour/spread the frosting over warmed cinnamon rolls.
No stand mixer? You can technically mix the dough by hand, but be prepared for it to take about 10 minutes and for your arms to get freaking jacked.
Types of milk - I would recommend 2%, whole, or buttermilk. Results with 1% or lower are generally poor. I have not tested this recipe with non-dairy milk.
To freeze: press a piece of plastic wrap over the cinnamon rolls after the second rise. Tightly wrap the pan in foil and freeze unbaked cinnamon rolls for up to two months. To thaw: place in the fridge overnight. Bake as normal.