The only sourdough cinnamon roll recipe you will ever need. Soft rolls with layers of cinnamon sugar rolled up and baked until golden brown and gooey, and topped with cream cheese icing for the ultimate breakfast treat. The fermentation process gives the cinnamon buns a greater depth of flavor for the perfect balance of sweet, sour, and oh, so soft. You have to try this delicious recipe.
I had to test these easy sourdough cinnamon rolls several times to get it right. Twist my arm. I will try this over and over and over again, if I must.
Then maybe another time for good measure. But sourdough can be slightly tricky sometimes.
The goal for overnight sourdough cinnamon rolls is to have them taste great, but also get all the grains thoroughly fermented with starter.
So the tricky part is time management, because you need to get some of the ingredients soaking overnight so the grains can ferment and get all the sourdough benefits.
And y’all, I think I nailed it with this recipe.
Healthy, fermented grains and delicious, soft, and sweet sourdough cinnamon buns or rolls… whatever you want to call them.
Recently, I created this amazing chocolate version you have to try.
Why You will Love This Recipe:
- These sourdough cinnamon buns are soft and fluffy, with ribbons of brown sugar and cinnamon butter smothered between the dough.
- Much of the work is done the night before and you don’t have to wait hours the next day to wait for them to rise – making them perfect for Christmas morning, any holiday, or a weekend. You don’t have to get up at 5 am just to prepare them for that second rise.
- They can be long fermented, making them much more digestible and easy to tolerate for those who have a hard time with gluten.
- Is there anything better than warm gooey cinnamon rolls covered in cream cheese icing? Nope.
- No commercial yeast required. This recipe uses the wild yeast in the sourdough starter, baking soda and baking powder to give these fluffy rolls rise.
Tips For Making Fluffy Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls:
- Start the night (or up to 24 hours ahead) before you want to bake these sourdough cinnamon rolls, so the dough has a chance to ferment and create more flavor.
- You will need an active sourdough starter to make this recipe. Active starter refers to a starter that has been fed 4-12 hours before preparing the dough and is nice and bubbly.
- If the dough seems too stiff, it could be because the house is cooler and the coconut oil has solidified. Place the dough in the oven, turn it on to 150 degrees and leave it on for a few minutes, then turn off the oven. This should warm the dough just enough to make it more pliable.
- Use string or unflavored dental floss to cut the cinnamon buns. A sharp knife also works, but is more likely to smush the rolls rather than help them keep the shape.
- Einkorn flour can be substituted for the all-purpose flour in this recipe, but it is not a one-to-one swap. You will need to either decrease the liquid or increase the flour a bit.
- This recipe has been edited to reflect changes made over the years of making this recipe. Some people had issues incorporating the eggs on the second day, so I changed this and started mixing them into the dough the night before. This works amazingly well. See notes down below. Another change is I am no longer recommending adding the cream to the top. I just found it unnecessary.
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- Active sourdough starter – This is sourdough starter that has been fed 4-12 hours before starting the recipe and is nice and bubbly.
- Flour – I use freshly-milled hard wheat or unbleached all-purpose flour
- Coconut oil
- Baking soda
- Baking powder
Cinnamon Sugar Filling
- Butter: Use very soft butter for the filling. It shouldn’t be too hard, but it also shouldn’t be melted. If it is too hard, it will be nearly impossible to spread evenly over the soft dough. If it is melted, it will absorb into the dough.
- Brown sugar
- Cinnamon: For a fall twist you can substitute with pumpkin spice blend.
Cream Cheese Topping
- Cream cheese: Preferably full fat. I don’t skimp on the good stuff.
- Heavy cream
- Maple syrup or honey
- Vanilla extract
Tools you may need:
- Stand mixer with dough hook attatchment
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Grain mill (if you want to mill your own grains – totally optional).
- Silicone spatula
- Large bowl
- Cast-iron skillet or large baking dish
- Immersion blender (optional) for making cream cheese topping
- Kitchen scale (optional)
How To Make The Easiest Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls From Scratch:
Step 1: Make The Dough
In a bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment, combine fed sourdough starter, flour, honey, water, eggs, and melted coconut oil. Mix together and then form into a ball. Knead for a few minutes on medium low speed, until smooth and glossy and passes the windowpane test. This develops the gluten strands.
*This is where you grab the dough, pinching it with your thumb and pointer finger, and stretch it. If it breaks apart, the gluten strands haven’t developed enough. If you can stretch it to the point of being able to almost see through it, then it is ready.
Step 2: Cover And Ferment
Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover the dough with a beeswax wrap or plastic wrap. Something tight fitting.
Allow to rest in a warm place overnight 8-12 hours.
Note: I ferment my dough with eggs with my brioche dough all the time and never have an issue. While I know some others may not feel comfortable doing this, you can ferment it for 4 hours at room temperature and then stick it in the fridge overnight.
Step 3: Add Remaining Dough Ingredients
The next day, add baking soda, baking powder, and salt to the dough, and knead for about 5 minutes in the stand mixture or on a floured work surface the all the ingredients are well incorporated.
Step 4: Make Filling
In a bowl, combine softened butter, organic brown sugar, and cinnamon. Stir.
Step 5: Roll Out Dough And Add Cinnamon Sugar
Place dough on a counter lightly dusted with flour. Using a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thickness. You may want to use einkorn flour to dust the surface of the counter, so that way you are not getting much modern-day unfermented grains.
Recently, I’ve been just rolling the dough out on my countertop and use my bench scraper to roll the rolls. That way I’ve avoided using any unfermented grains.
Add butter and cinnamon-sugar filling to the dough and spread evenly.
Roll the dough up as tightly as you can. When you get to the end, pull it up tightly and pinch the ends into the main roll.
Step 6: Slice Rolls and Bake
You can do this with thread or dental floss. I’m just using thread.
I like to start by making a slice in the middle, and then I cut each half into 6, making 12 total rolls.
Place the unbaked rolls into a well-seasoned 14″ cast iron skillet or a 9×13 baking dish. 12″ will work also, but you may have a little dough leftover. If using a baking dish make sure to butter or grease the bottom of the pan.
Bake them in a 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until the rolls are lightly browned and the dough is cooked through. Allow them to cool a bit.
Now you can just eat them as they are, or you can make a delicious cream cheese topping. Why not, right?
How To Make Cream Cheese Frosting
In a small sauce pan over medium heat, add 6 ounces cream cheese, 1/2 cup heavy cream, 1/2 cup maple syrup or honey, and 2 tsp of vanilla extract.
Stir until combined. I like to use my immersion blender to get the topping really smooth.
Pour over cinnamon rolls and enjoy.
How To Store
Unfrosted cinnamon rolls can be kept at room temperature for 2-3 days covered. Store frosted cinnamon rolls in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
How To Prepare Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls Ahead Of Time
Make the dough according to the directions. Cut and place in a baking dish (don’t add cream until right before baking). Wrap with plastic wrap and place in the fridge (up to 12 hours) or freezer. You don’t want to leave the buns in the fridge too long or they may overproof.
Allow to rest on the counter for 2 hours before baking if refrigerated, and overnight if making them from the freezer.
Bake according to directions.
12 PM the day before baking:
Feed starter, if wanting to use an active sourdough starter. You can also use discard as long as it has been fed recently and just skip this step. Sometimes I will just use it straight out of the fridge and use it like that – as long as I fed it before putting it in the fridge. And it hasn’t been super long since being fed.
You can see more about caring for a sourdough starter here.
In a stand mixer, create the dough. Add all the ingredients (minus the baking soda, baking powder, and salt) and knead until smooth and glossy.
Cover with plastic wrap (or a tight lid) and allow to ferment overnight.
7-8 AM The Next Morning (or later):
Add baking soda, baking powder, and salt to the dough. You can either do this by hand kneading or using the dough hook on a stand mixer. Mix on medium speed for about 5 minutes until the dough forms a ball and isn’t sticky.
Roll the dough out into a large rectangle. Spread out the cinnamon, sugar, and butter mixture over the top of the dough.
Roll the cinnamon roll up tightly and pinch the seams. Cut into 12 equal rolls and place into a cast iron skillet or baking dish.
Bake for 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool a few minutes before serving.
While the buns are baking, make the cream cheese icing.
Can I Freeze Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls?
Yes, you can freeze baked cinnamon rolls that have not been frosted, or you can freeze them before the final rise. Cover them with plastic wrap and place in the freezer. Allow them to thaw and rise before baking.
Do I have to ferment these overnight?
No. If you want to skip the long fermentation process, just add the remaining ingredients and knead together until the windowpane test has been reached. If the dough is too sticky, you may have to add a little bit of flour.
Can cinnamon roll dough rise too long?
Yes. If allowed to rise too long, they will overproof and won’t hold their shape.
What type of baking dish will work best?
I love using cast iron skillets because they heat evenly and are easy to clean. But a glass or ceramic baking dish, or even a springform pan will also work. Baking times may vary slightly.
Check out our farmhouse favorite breakfast and dessert sourdough recipes:
- Long Fermented Biscuits
- Sourdough Peach Cobbler Recipe
- How To Make Sourdough Waffles
- Cinnamon Maple Sourdough Apple Pie
- Sourdough French Toast Casserole Apple Cinnamon Raisin
- Cinnamon Raisin Sourdough Bread
If you make this recipe and love it, I would love if you gave it 5 stars! Tag me on Instagram @farmhouseonboone with your delicious creation.
- 1/2 sourdough starter, bubbly and active (113 grams)
- 1/2 cup water (118 grams)
- 4 cups all-purpose flour (540 grams)
- 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
- 1/2 cup honey (168 grams)
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Cinnamon Sugar Filling
- 1/2 cup softened butter (114 grams)
- 1 cup brown sugar (200 grams)
- 2 tablespoons cinnamon
Cream Cheese Topping:
- 6 ounces cream cheese
- 1/2 cup heavy cream (120 grams)
- 1/2 cup maple syrup or honey (168 grams for honey)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine active sourdough starter, flour, honey, water, eggs, and melted coconut oil. Mix together until smooth, glossy, and passes the windowpane test.
- Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover the with a beeswax wrap, foil or plastic wrap.
- Allow to rest in warm place overnight, or up to 12 hours.
- The next day, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Add the baking soda, baking powder and salt to the dough and mix in the stand mixer on medium speed for about 5 minutes, or knead with you hands. Combine well.
- In a separate bowl, combine softened butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Stir to combine.
- Lightly dust the counter with flour, and roll out the dough into a 1/4 inch thick rectangle.
- Add butter and cinnamon-sugar filling to the top of the dough and spread evenly.
- Roll the dough up as tightly as you can. When you get to the end, pinch the edge into the main roll, to create a seam.
- Slice to make 12 even rolls.
- Place the rolls into a well-seasoned 14" cast iron skillet or baking dish.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until the rolls are lightly browned and the dough is cooked through. Allow them to cool a bit.
Cream Cheese Topping
- In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, add cream cheese, heavy cream, maple syrup or honey, and vanilla extract. Stir until combined. Use an immersion blender to get the frosting extra smooth, if desired.
- Pour over cinnamon rolls and enjoy.
You will need active sourdough starter to make this recipe. Active starter refers to a starter that has been fed 4-12 hours before preparing the dough and is nice and bubbly.
If the dough seems too stiff, it could be because the house is cooler and the coconut oil has solidified. Place the dough in the oven, turn it on to 150 degrees and leave it on for a few minutes, then turn off the oven. This should warm the dough just enough to make it more pliable.
Use string or unflavored dental floss to cut the cinnamon rolls.
*This recipe has been edited to reflect changes made over the years of making this recipe. Some people had issues incorporating the eggs on the second day, so I changed this and started mixing them into the dough the night before. This works amazingly well.
*Another change is I am no longer recommending adding the cream to the top. I just found it unnecessary.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 14 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 562Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 78mgSodium: 327mgCarbohydrates: 74gFiber: 4gSugar: 32gProtein: 9g