The sound of sleepy little feet tip-toeing down the stairs.
Stocking hang, filled with special goodies.
The talk of the Christmas story.
The smell of fresh-brewed coffee.
And the warmth of gooey rolls being pulled from a hot oven.
With Piper now at the wonderful age where he can enjoy Christmas, I decided last year was the year. The year I took the memory-making, the tradition, seriously. And that’s exactly how this girl envisions Christmas. Warm, cozy, perfect. And somewhere in that warm perfect morning, my food blogger mind desires gooey cinnamon rolls.
Last year I set it in stone, meaning I declared to Dustin, Christmas morning will, from now on, consist of excited children, seasonal jammies with furry socks, warm coffee, and cinnamon rolls. Of course, as any good man knows, his response of, “Yes, dear,” was exactly the motivation I needed to get to work on the classic (newly adopted) tradition of “The Annual Marr Family Cinnamon Roll.”
Cookbooks in hand, I sat late at the table the week of Christmas, scouring for the perfect cinnamon roll recipe. I’m talking perfect, after all, family traditions are always characterized by the word perfect.
Within minutes, I found it. The cinnamon roll recipe my family would come to love and cherish, beg for every year. One thing I should note here: I tend to be a bit of an impulsive woman. Directions? I don’t read them. I just do it! I really should have read the three pages of directions in that cookbook.
Christmas morning came and this mama was wiped. Instead of the floating down the stairs in fuzzy socks, I just wanted to sleep. The problem — I had spent the last two days working tiresly on those perfect cinnamon rolls. Four risings, three kneadings, and two cups of coffee later.
Christmas morning was perfect. The cinnamon rolls were delightful and memories were made. Tradition was forged.
This year, I pledged to continue our tradition of Christmas morning cinnamon rolls, but with a new recipe. From that pledge, this recipe was born. A recipe that requires very little kneading, very little effort, and rises overnight in the fridge. Producing warm, sweet gooey rolls we proudly call “The Annual Marr Family Cinnamon Roll”.
Homemade Overnight Cinnamon Rolls
- 1 cup whole milk warm
- 1 TB active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 2 eggs
- 4 TB honey
- 1 TB apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 3 cups whole wheat pastry flour extra flour on hand after the first rise if the dough is sticky
- 1/2 cup butter cold, cubed + 2 TB butter, melted
- 1 cup organic brown sugar
- 1/3 cup pecans chopped
- 1 TB ground cinnamon
- 4 oz cream cheese I like Organic Valley brand
- 3/4 cup organic powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 TB pure vanilla extract
- 1 TB pure maple syrup or honey
- Pour the warm milk into a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the top of the milk. Allow to sit for 5-7 minutes to proof.
- To the yeast and milk add 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour. Mix together and cover the bowl. Allow the mixture to sit for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl mix together the eggs (beaten), vinegar, honey, vanilla extract, and salt.
- After 30 minutes, add in the wet ingredients (above) and the softened butter.
- Turn on your mixer, using the dough hook. I use a stand mixer, but a hand mixer would work too) until all ingredients are combined.
- Add in all remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time while the mixer does its work.
- Allow the dough to knead for 8-10 minutes.
- Turn the mixer off, cover the bowl, and allow to sit at room temperature for 3-4 hours. The dough will double in size.
- Butter a 13X9 baking dish.
- Transfer the dough over to a lightly floured surface. If the dough is sticky, add flour a tablespoon at a time, kneading the dough until it is able to be handled. Roll out into a rectangle.
- Sprinkle the brown sugar, 1/2 cup cubed butter, cinnamon, and pecans evenly over the dough. Roll up the dough, lengthwise.
- Slice the dough to your liking. I get approx.18 rolls. Place the rolls in the baking dish. Brush with the melted butter. Cover and place in the fridge overnight.
- In the morning, preheat the oven to 350F and remove the rolls from the refrigerator. Allow the rolls to rise at room temperature.
- Bake for 25-30.
- While baking, beat together: cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, maple syrup or honey, and vanilla extract.
- Remove the rolls and allow to cool to a warm touch. Once, cool enough to touch, but still warm, frost each roll with the icing.
- Serve warm.
If your dough is sticky, simply knead more flour into the dough.
Can I make this recipe with einkorn flour or will I need to make adjustments? If so, do you know what adjustments would I need to make? Thanks!
Hey Mary Kathryn, I have an einkorn recipe here: https://livesimply.me/no-knead-homemade-einkorn-cinnamon-rolls/
Can I just bake it directly after the 3-4 hour rise, if I don’t want to do over night?
Hi again, When rolling th ed dough out to a rectangle, what is the dimension and thickness of the dough?
Hey, I don’t have the dimension. I’ve never measured. For the thickness, you’ll want about 1/4 inch. This post has better visuals for dough thickness and size: https://livesimply.me/2018/12/06/no-knead-homemade-einkorn-cinnamon-rolls/
I have a few questions: What temp. does the warm milk have to be? When kneading with the dough hook, what setting is your mixer?
Oh My…words can’t Express how good these are…thanks for sharing this amazing recipe! I used a different icing because I didn’t have confectioners sugar, but wowzers, are these rolls amazing!
I cant wait to make these for my family on Christmas morning. If i need to leave for Christmas eve and it’s longer than 3-4 hours do you think that’ll be a problem? I guess I could make them at the in laws and carry them back home to put in the fridge.
I think 3-4 hours will be just fine :). Enjoy!!
oh thank goodness, i found this page again. I love this recipe and have used it many times. Christmas morning baby. I’ll bookmark it this time. It works so well with a nice hearty whole wheat flour. I’ve tried several whole flours from emmer to a “white” wheat and each one worked beautifully. Merry Christmas
Hey Grace, I’m so glad you found the recipe again, too! Merry Christmas :)!
I love this!! I’m always exhausted on Christmas morning before I even cook. What else do you serve with the rolls?
Hey Adria, I usually serve scrambled eggs, fruit, and sometimes bacon. 🙂
So excited to try this recipe. Please excuse my ignorance but the recipe says overnight cinnamon rolls so I’m guessing you are soaking the flour in the vinegar? If so what ingredients do I mix together to let sit overnight? Thanks and love your blog!
Hey Jessica, Yes, that’s correct, although because of the egg I only soak the dough for 3-4 hours versus a traditional 12 hour soaking period. All of these ingredients are used and then the soaking begins for 3-4 hours:
1 cup warm milk
1 TB Active Dry Yeast
1/2 cup organic whole wheat pastry flour (where to buy)
4 TB honey
1 TB apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
3 cups organic whole wheat pastry flour
Nevermind in my exhaustion I must have missed the fridge overnight step
I just stumbled upon your site and love it. You have several yummy recipes and these cinnamon rolls in particular have me thinking Christmas morning treat. Can you please tell me, if I freeze half of them, would I do so once they are formed in the pan and then just thaw them before baking? Also, can you make the frosting say the night before, refrigerate and then let it come to room temp while the rolls bake?
Thanks so much for sharing!!!!!!
Thank you so much, Barbara! Welcome :). You can freeze half the cinnamon rolls and then place them in the freezer and thaw before baking (you were exactly right :)). For the frosting, you can make it a couple of days before using. It will harden a bit in the fridge, so just remove it from the fridge and allow it to sit for a few minutes on the counter.
Have you done the nutritional information for these?
Hey Nicole, We don’t count calories or other nutritional information, so none of my recipes contain nutritional numbers.
I had hopes of making these for Easter, but it is now almost May. My boys are in for a treat tomorrow morning. I had too many to fit in my 9×13 dish, so I am baking the extra four right now and they smell heavenly! I must give you a hard time though on the amount of butter…I love butter and used every drop you called for, but I did keep doing a double take to make sure I read the recipe correctly:) Love your site!
Hey Brooke, I think the month of May is the perfect time for cinnamon rolls, and you know I love my butter. 😉 lol.
I usually fill up two pans as well, this recipe makes quite a bit. Your boys will be excited in the morning! Enjoy the rolls.
My mom has made a similar recipe for years.she kept the in the shape of Swedish tea rings and after putting on the frosting she used red and green sprinkles to give them a festive look. We gave out over 100 every year as Christmas gifts- our friends and family couldn’t wait! I kneaded a lot of bread as a child- we used raw milk from my families farm and real maple syrup from my grandfathers syrup farm! Great memories!
I’m making these tonight to have christmas morning, but i’m going to freeze half.
These sound heavenly and even though I am not much of a cook, I just might try these. When you take them out in the morning to let rise before baking, approximately how long is that? Just so I have a ballpark to go on. Thanks!! Ps. Love your blog!
Thank you, Kim :). I’m not a huge baker, more of a cook, and tend to shy away from complicated baking recipes. These are pretty easy to make though. The cinnamon rolls will rise for about 25-30 minutes before baking.
Holy yum. Cannot wait to make these. Thank you! …and I love the family tradition. <3
Homemade Overnight Cinnamon Rolls http://t.co/BrxHttxM80