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Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls {With Make Ahead Directions}

4.88 from 8 votes

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These sourdough cinnamon rolls are light and fluffy, with just the right amount of cinnamon filling yummyness and icing that is not too sweet.

Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing in baking pan on table

“Oh. Em. Gee! These are amazing!”

That is what my daughter said when she tested this batch of sourdough cinnamon rolls.

Pinkie promise.

And I must say, I have to agree with her. We LOVE these cinnamon rolls!

They aren’t too sweet, and the cream cheese icing is, well, cream cheesey…These are perfect for a Saturday brunch or a special breakfast like Christmas morning.

This sourdough cinnamon roll recipe is a great way to use up discarded starter, but not a true sourdough as written. 

And you don’t need to worry about having a sour flavor. These taste just like the non-sourdough cinnamon rolls you love!

If you leave out the added yeast and let it go for 6-8 hours after mixing and again after shaping for the wild yeast to work it will be a true sourdough.

If you aren’t familiar with sourdough, or don’t have a starter, click here to learn how to get started. 

And now, drum roll please! Let’s go make us some Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls!

Ingredients for Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls on counter

Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

Ingredients

  • 1 cup active sourdough starter or un-fed sourdough discard
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 pound of unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon yeast
  • 5 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup instant potato flakes
  • melted butter for brushing on rolls after baking (optional)

Instructions

Start off by heating the milk and butter just until the butter is melted. Then sprinkle the yeast over the milk mixture and stir to dissolve.

Next, put the flour, sugar, sea salt, and potato flakes in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and stir to mix.

Then measure out the starter and add it to the dry ingredients. Add the eggs and milk/butter mixture and mix until combined.

Wet ingredients added to dry ingredients in mixing bowl with spoon
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients

The dough should be fairly stiff.

If it’s too dry add milk 1 Tablespoon at a time; if too wet, add flour 1 Tablespoon at a time. It might look a little dry, but kneading will evenly distribute the ingredients. It should look like this picture.

all ingredients mixed together in mixing bowl
stiff dough

If using a stand mixer, switch to the dough hook and knead for 5 to 8 minutes.

If kneading by hand, turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface.

Knead for 5 to 8 minutes without adding too much extra flour. The dough should be slightly sticky.

Sourdough Cinnamon Roll dough in a ball on counter
All kneaded and ready to cover

Form the dough into a ball and cover with the bowl or a piece of plastic wrap.

Now let rest for 10 to 15 minutes.

While the dough is resting, butter two 9 x 13 baking pans, and prepare the filling.

Sourdough Cinnamon Roll Filling

  • 4 Tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cinnamon

Grab a small sauce pan heat and heat the butter over medium heat just until it’s melted.

Remove from heat and add the sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Mix it up well. Make sure to there aren’t any brown sugar clumps left.

Sourdough Cinnamon Roll filling mixed up in small saucepan
filling ready to go

I have found that when you mix it into a paste like this, it stays put better when you are rolling the dough up.

After the dough has rested, cut into 2 equal pieces. Or, if you have room you can roll it all out at one time.

Using your favorite rolling pin, roll out 1/2 the dough on a lightly floured surface into a 15″ x 24″ (ish) rectangle.

SOurodugh Cinnamon Roll dough rolled out on counter
rolled out and ready for filling

Spread the surface of the dough with half of the filling mixture, making sure to spread to the edges on the shorter sides and one of the long edges. That is so the end pieces have plenty of filling in them.

filling spread over dough
don’t be chinchy at the edges!

Cuz, ya know, we don’t want the end pieces to feel left out… 🙂

Roll up the dough starting on the long side that has the filling all the way to the edge.

Pinch the seam to seal it.

Now grab a sharp knife and cut the dough into 12 equal pieces for normal sized rolls, or 9 pieces for really BIG ones.

Sourdough Cinnamon Roll dough rolled up and cut into pieces
slice evenly into 9 or 12 pieces

Put the rolls in the buttered baking dish and flatten them slightly.

sourdough cinnamon rolls in pan on counter
ready to rise

Then cover them with a damp cloth.

Rinse and repeat with the second piece of dough.

Let the rolls rise for 45 minutes to an hour, or until doubled.

cinnamon rolls doubled in size and ready to bake
doubled and ready for the oven

When the rolls have doubled in size, bake in a 350°F oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until they are golden brown.

Brush the rolls with melted butter. This keeps the rolls from getting hard.

baked sourdough cinnamon rolls brushed with butter
brush the baked cinnamon rolls with melted butter to keep them soft

Place pans on cooling rack and let cool slightly before spreading with icing.

While rolls are cooling, prepare icing.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 6 oz homemade cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons whole milk
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • dash of sea salt
  • cinnamon to sprinkle over top

Grab a small bowl and put the cream cheese in it. With a whisk or fork, stir the cream cheese until smooth.

Add milk, vanilla, and salt and mix well.

cream cheese in small bowl
mixing up the cream cheese

Add powdered sugar and whisk until smooth.

Cream Cheese Frosting in small bowl
adding in the powdered sugar

Spread icing over the cooled rolls.

If the rolls are too hot, the icing will just melt and run off.

Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Iced Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls in baking pan on table
iced and ready to enjoy!

This recipe makes 2 dozen rolls that are light and fluffy, with just the right amount of cinnamon filling yummyness and icing that is not too sweet.

You can even make the rolls ahead and refrigerate overnight before baking if you want to. Just take them out of the fridge, let them come to room temperature and make sure they have doubled in size before putting them in the oven.

Frequently Asked Questions About Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

Why are my Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls hard?

To keep your sourdough cinnamon rolls soft as the cool, brush them with melted butter right out of the oven. Once the frosting is on them, that will help keep them soft.

How should I store my Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls?

These can sit on the counter. Make sure they are tightly covered with plastic wrap, or keep them in an airtight container.

How long will my Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls last?

They will keep for about 3 to 5 days tightly covered on the counter before starting to get hard.

Can I freeze my Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls?

Yes you can! Tightly wrap with plastic wrap and place in a zip top freezer bag. They will keep 3 to 5 months in the freezer.
When you are ready to eat them, allow them to thaw on the kitchen counter.

PRO TIP: If you are making these ahead, freeze them without the icing. Make the icing fresh the day you are going to serve them. That way you don’t lose half the icing when it sticks to the plastic wrap.

More sourdough recipes you’ll love:

Sourdough Cinnamon Roll and fork on red plate

Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

These sourdough cinnamon rolls are light and fluffy, with just the right amount of cinnamon filling yummyness and icing that is not too sweet.
4.88 from 8 votes
Prep Time 1 hr 30 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 5 mins
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 24 rolls
Calories 280 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup sourdough starter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 pound of butter 1 stick
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp yeast
  • 5 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup dehydrated sugar cane juice
  • 1/2 cup instant potato flakes
  • melted butter for brushing on rolls after baking optional

Cinnamon Roll Filling

  • 4 Tbsp butter melted
  • 1/2 cup dehydrated sugar cane juice
  • 1/2 cup sucanat or packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup ground cinnamon

Cinnamon Roll Icing

  • 6 oz homemade cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups powdered sugar *
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • 2 tsp homemade vanilla extract
  • dash sea salt
  • ground cinnamon to sprinkle over top

Instructions
 

  • Heat the milk and butter just until the butter is melted. Then sprinkle the yeast over the milk mixture and stir to dissolve.
  • Put the flour, sugar, salt, and potato flakes in a large mixing bowl and stir to mix.
  • Add the starter, eggs, and milk mixture and mix until combined.
  • The dough should be fairly stiff. If it’s too dry add milk 1 Tbsp at a time; if too wet, add flour 1 Tbsp at a time.
  • Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 5 to 8 minutes without adding too much extra flour. The dough should be slightly sticky. Form the dough into a ball and cover with the bowl.
  • Now let rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • While the dough is resting, butter two 9 x 13 baking pans, and prepare the filling.

Filling Instructions

  • In a small pan heat the butter just until melted. Remove from heat.
  • Add sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Mix well. I have found that when you mix it into a paste like this, it stays put better when you are rolling the dough up.
  • After the dough has rested, cut into 2 equal pieces. Or, if you have room you can roll it all out at one time.
  • Roll out 1/2 the dough on a lightly floured surface into a 15″ x 24″ (ish) rectangle.
  • Spread with half of the filling mixture, making sure to spread to the edges on the shorter sides and one of the long edges.
  • Roll up the dough starting on the long side that has the filling all the way to the edge.
  • Pinch the edge to seal it. Now cut the dough into 12 equal pieces for normal sized rolls, or 9 pieces for really BIG ones.
  • Put the rolls in the buttered pan and flatten them slightly. Then cover them with a damp cloth.
  • Repeat with the second piece of dough.
  • Let the rolls rise for 45 minutes to an hour, or until doubled.
  • When the rolls have doubled in size, bake in a 350°F oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until they are golden brown.
  • Remove from oven and brush with melted butter. This keeps the rolls from getting hard. Place pans on cooling rack and let cool slightly before spreading with icing.
  • While rolls are cooling, prepare icing.

Icing

  • With a whisk or fork, stir the cream cheese until smooth.
  • Add milk, vanilla, and salt and mix well.
  • Add powdered sugar and whisk until smooth.
  • Spread icing over the cooled rolls. If the rolls are too hot, the icing will just melt and run off.
  • Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Notes

This recipe makes 2 dozen rolls that are light and fluffy, with just the right amount of cinnamon filling yummyness and icing that is not too sweet. You can even make the rolls ahead and refrigerate overnight before baking if you want to. Just let them come to room temperature and make sure they have doubled in size before putting them in the oven.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cinnamon rollCalories: 280kcalCarbohydrates: 48gProtein: 5gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.5gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 39mgSodium: 168mgPotassium: 105mgFiber: 2gSugar: 21gVitamin A: 274IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 62mgIron: 2mg
Keyword sourdough cinnamon rolls
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
By on June 27th, 2022

7 thoughts on “Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls {With Make Ahead Directions}”

  1. These looks so delicious! Have you ever tried them with a sweet potato added? That’s what I use usually but it would be handy to have the flakes since they’re shelf stable and easy to add. Thanks for the great recipe!

    Reply
  2. OMG!!! These look delicious! I love that it can be frozen too! I try to get all my baking done on one day and then freeze. Thank you so much!

    Reply
  3. 5 stars
    I’ve gotta be honest, here… I have a MAJOR weakness for cinnamon rolls. Never tried sourdough ones, so that weakness could turn into an addiction. lol

    Reply

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