The BEST Overnight Brioche Cinnamon Buns
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These brioche cinnamon buns can be made the day before serving, stuck in the fridge, and baked the following morning or made entirely the same day. It’s a simple no-knead dough, but the result is outstanding: a light but rich cinnamon bun blanketed with the most delicious cream cheese frosting. Kids and adults alike go wild!
About this time last year, someone messaged me on Instagram telling me she had used the brioche recipe from Bread Toast Crumbs to make cinnamon buns.
Inspired by this Washington Post article, she also assembled the pans of buns the night before and baked them in the morning.
It worked like a charm, she said, which inspired me to try it immediately. The method worked beautifully for me as well—an overnight Christmas miracle!
Overnight Brioche Cinnamon Buns How-to
- Make the brioche, Bread Toast Crumbs-style: whisk together the dry ingredients; mix together the wet ingredients, combine the two, and let rise — no kneading, no fuss!
- After 2 hours, turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and divide into two equal portions. Roll out each portion into a large rectangle.
- Spread a cinnamon-brown sugar-butter mixture evenly over top.
- Roll each rectangle into a tight coil. Cut each into 9 equal portions. Space each coiled bun equally in an 8- or 9-inch pan.
- Transfer the pans to the fridge to rise overnight; then bake in the morning. Or let the buns rise at room temperature for another hour (or so) and bake immediately.
Brioche Cinnamon Rolls
- Gather your ingredients: flour, salt, sugar, instant yeast, water, milk, melted butter, eggs.
- Stir together dry ingredients. Stir together wet ingredients. Mix to form a sticky dough ball.
- Let rise in a warm spot for about 2 hours or until doubled.
- Turn dough out onto a floured surface and divide into two portions. Shape each into a ball.
- Roll each round into a large rectangle.
- Spread with a brown sugar-butter mixture.
- Roll into a coil.
- Cut coil into 9 pieces.
- Transfer to 9-inch square baking dish. At this point, you can let it rise for about 30-40 minutes, then bake. Or you can transfer the pan to the fridge and bake the following morning.
- Bake buns for 25 minutes.
- Beat cream cheese with confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and salt until smooth.
- Frost the buns in the pan or …
… turn the buns out onto a board and frost on the board.
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The BEST Overnight Brioche Cinnamon Buns
- Total Time: 12 hours 20 minutes
- Yield: 9-18
Yield = 9 or 18 buns
This dough recipe is the light brioche recipe from Bread Toast Crumbs.
The assembled pans of buns can rise in the fridge overnight and baked directly from the fridge (no additional rising on the counter top) in the morning.
The assembled pans can also be frozen. Thaw at room temperature about 6 hours before you plan to bake. Then bake as directed in recipe.
*For lukewarm water: Mix 1.5 cups cold water with .5 cups boiling water. Or, simply, use 2 cups warmish tap water.
for the dough for 18 rolls:
- 6 cups (768 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1/3 cup (77 g) sugar
- 2.5 teaspoons instant yeast
- 2 egg
- 2 cups lukewarm water* (see notes above)
- 1/2 cup milk, 2% or whole
- 6 tablespoons melted butter
for the dough for 9 rolls:
- 3 cups (384 g) all-purpose flour
- 1.5 teaspoons kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1.5 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1 egg
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- 1/4 cup milk
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
for the filling (halve these quantities if making 9 rolls):
- 1.5 cups packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup cinnamon
- pinch salt
- 12 tablespoons melted butter
for the glaze (halve these quantities if making 9 rolls):
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch salt
- milk or cream to thin
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, sugar and yeast.
- In a separate large bowl, beat the eggs. Add the water, milk and melted butter. Whisk to combine. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry and mix with a rubber spatula until combined; the mixture will be wet and sticky. Cover the bowl with a bowl cover or tea towel and let rise until doubled, 2 hours.
- Flour a work surface generously and have more flour nearby — use as much flour as you need to prevent sticking to your hands and work surface. I can’t emphasize this enough: this is a sticky dough, and if you don’t use enough flour, it will stick. (Watch the video if you’re looking for visual guidance.)
- Turn dough out onto work surface. Divide into two equal portions. At this point, you could transfer one half to a buttered loaf pan and simply bake a brioche loaf. Or, you can make two pans of cinnamon buns.
- Form each half into a rough ball, using flour as needed for the board and your hands. Let rest while you make the filling.
- Make the filling: Place the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Pour the melted butter over top. Mix with a fork or spoon to combine. Set aside.
- Butter or grease with nonstick spray a 9×9- or 8×8-inch baking pan.
- Working with one round at a time, pat or roll out dough into a rectangle about 15×11 inches — it doesn’t have to be exact, but don’t go larger than that. Spread the filling over top, using your hands to spread if necessary. Starting at the short end, roll the rectangle into a tight coil. Cut into 9 equal pieces. Transfer to prepared pan. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Cover each pan with plastic wrap or a bowl cover or tea towel and transfer to the fridge.
- The following morning, heat the oven to 375ºF.
- Transfer pans to the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden. Meanwhile, beat the cream cheese with the sugar, vanilla, and salt until light. Thin with milk if desired.
- Remove pan from the oven. Let buns cool briefly. Spread frosting over top or turn buns out onto a serving platter, and spread the frosting over top. Serve warm with more frosting on the side.
- Prep Time: 12 hours
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: bake
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: cinnamon rolls, breakfast, overnight, brioche, holidays
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344 Comments on “The BEST Overnight Brioche Cinnamon Buns”
These were amazing, so decadent! I used vegan substitutions for this recipe, and it came out great. (I used Just egg, oatmilk, and Miyoko’s butter and cream cheese.) I was a little nervous about the dough reading the comments but mine was actually really easy to work with. The only slightly tricky part was when I rolled it up and sliced them. My filling was runnier than in the video so the slices were a little loose and messy but it all came out fine in the end! I also added in the zest of one orange to the filling – yum!
Wow, amazing, thanks so much for writing and sharing your veganized version notes — so helpful for others. Happy Holidays, Priscilla!
How early in the day can I make the dough for the cinnamon buns if I’m going to refrigerate them overnight to rise?
I would say midday? Noon-ish?
Looks fabulous! Can you freeze one half of the dough at some point, for a future batch?
Yes! After you stick the buns in the pan, transfer it to the freezer immediately (wrapped well of course).
Could I get away with putting in the fridge during the afternoon of Christmas Eve until the next morning? I think I’d be too busy in the evening to make them.
Yes, absolutely! I’ll be doing the same 🙂
Hello! We have made this recipe many times and LOVE it!
I have a question though! We will be out all day and I’m hoping you can help me figure out how to make this work? Could I make the dough in the am and after the first rise and shaping leave it in the fridge until the next am to bake or is that too long? Could I do everything and freeze?Basically we are out all day Christmas Eve until late and then hope to bake off Christmas am.
Ok I’m seeing some of these questions addressed so I guess my new question is, if I freeze them how do I adjust bake times? Thank you!
If you want to freeze them, you’ll need to let them thaw at room temperature for 6 to 8 hours or so. Or you can let them thaw in the fridge for 18 hours (roughly), then let them rise at room temperature until they puff and fill the pan (2 to 4 hours). Then bake as directed.
But I think making them the morning of Xmas eve is your best bet. I’m making them xmas eve midday.
Hi and yes! Assembling the rolls on the morning of Xmas eve should work just fine. Be sure to wrap the pans in plastic wrap to ensure the dough doesn’t dry out. Merry Christmas!!
These are my go to cinnamon rolls. I sometimes mix it up and use cardamom instead of cinnamon. Everyone who has ever had them LOVES them. So easy, too.
How far ahead can these be made and left in fridge? Or can they be partially baked and held in fridge an extra day? Thanks
Great to hear, Brenda! I haven’t tried storing the shaped rolls for more than 24 hours or so. I worry about holding the shaped rolls longer than that because I find with my buttermilk pull-apart dinner rolls, they don’t do well when store for more than a day. I store large batches of dough in the fridge for days, but I think there’s something about the shaped roll that is less forgiving.
I’ve never tried parbaking, so I can’t speak to that idea, but if you’ve had success doing that, go for it. How long are you hoping to shape them in advance?
High Altitude Help? These look absolutely delicious. I am hoping to make for Xmas morning this year and was wondering if you have any high altitude tips. We are in Denver.
The only thing I’ve been told that helps is adding another rise. So, let this dough rise, punch it down, then let it rise again, then shape. The fridge should definitely help, too. My friend who lives in Denver has great luck with my overnight focaccia recipe, which calls for a frdige rise.
Hi – These cinnamon rolls are the absolute favorite of my household. We are eternally grateful for this incredible recipe. I was considering freezing a double batch and giving them away in small baggies so that people could pop one or two into the oven when they want one. I see the posts about freezing, but I’m still not sure at what point do you freeze? Do you freeze after they have risen overnight? And then thaw in fridge overnight? Or do you freeze after you have cut them and they are still unrisen, and then re-rise them while unthawing in the fridge overnight? Thanks!
Hi Megan! I would freeze after you shape them and stick them in the baking vessel. You’ll want to freeze them before they start making their second rise. As the rolls thaw in the fridge overnight they’ll begin to rise. They may need some time at room temperature before baking as well.
I made these for Christmas and the flavor was excellent but the texture of my cooked dough was off. It was a little spongey, kind of like a dry challah rather than the plushness of brioche. I followed the recipe for the dough exactly and the only substitution I performed was to swap 1/4 cup of the brown sugar in filling with white sugar because my dark brown sugar was particularly strong which I can’t imagine affected the dough. I’m a fairly experienced baker and used weights where applicable. Any ideas what an did wrong?
Hi Laura! That is strange. I made these yesterday as well, and the texture of the dough was light/pillowy. A dry challah is not completely far off in terms of texture, however, but the dough was definitely not spongey. What type of flour are you using? I don’t think the white sugar in the filling would have affected the dough texture. Did the first rise go OK?
OH thank you SO much. I made these for Christmas morning and they were devoured with delight. Next time I will definitely do the big recipe and bake the loaf of brioche – huge bonus and heaven knows we don’t need 18 of those amazing buns. As with all new recipes I have learned some techniques and made a few minor mistakes but it did not affect the outcome – that gives me so much confidence. Your instructions are always clear and very easy to follow; videos are amazing without any excess chatter! Have a wonderful New Year and thanks for all the help with becoming a better cook. And much-appreciated grandmother and friend.
Judi, you are too sweet! I am just seeing this comment. Thank you so much. It’s wonderful to read all of this. Wishing you and your family a happy happy 2023! xo
We had these Christmas morning and they were incredible! I have used another recipe for several years and decided to try this one…..and let me tell you….it did NOT disappoint! They were light and fluffy and will be our new “go to” recipe for Christmas morning, or any special morning. 🙂
I also have a bagel recipe that I usually use, but am now thinking that I want to try your bagel recipe now. All of your recipes are divine!
Awwww thanks so much, Joanne 🙂 🙂 🙂 Means the world to read this. Happy New Year!
These are delicious and easy to make. My new favourite cinnamon roll recipe.
Great to hear, Terry! Thanks so much for writing 🙂
I made these and they turned out dreamy! So good!!! They will be my go to moving forward!
Wonderful to hear this, Christine! Thanks so much for writing 🙂
Made these for Christmas morning. My kids all agree it’s the best recipe yet! I made the double batch but shouldn’t since I also made the cranberry breakfast cake! What was I thinking?? (Also I received your book for Christmas! Yay!!)
Oh Yay! This all means the world 🙂 🙂 🙂 And I think your thinking is spot on. Thank you for writing. Wishing you a happy happy 2023!! 🎉🎉🎉
These are AMAZING! A new favorite recipe in our kitchen. These will be my new go-to for Christmas morning and birthday mornings! Bake these…. you will not be disappointed!
So nice to hear, Emily! Thanks so much for writing. Happy New Year!
The absolute best cinnamon rolls. I love how easily it comes together and can be baked same day or the next morning. I share this recipe with everyone!
Great to hear, Amber! Thanks so much for writing 🙂 🙂 🙂
could you add raisins to this recipe
I can’t wait to try these. After the rest in the fridge overnight. Do I let them rise before baking or do they go straight from fridge to oven?
Just bring them to room temp while the oven is preheating. Good luck!
I’ve made a lot of cinnamon rolls, but this recipe (after just one go) is superior. The dough is fairly sticky, but sufficient flour makes it perfectly workable, and it’s soft enough that you don’t need to roll it out so much as gently encourage it by hand.
Once baked, the rolls are so light and fluffy that they fairly melt. Most cinnamon roll doughs can be pretty stodgy and dense when baked. This is now the go-to recipe as it comes together so easily and the ability to go from cold proof directly to the oven makes it perfect for lazy weekend mornings.
Great to read all of this, Hunter! Thanks so much for writing and sharing your experience. The dough definitely is sticky, but I think that’s what makes for such a light final result.
This is the recipe I’ve been searching for, it’s delicious & I love the convenience of being able to prep the night before.
I’d like to bake the rolls, freeze them without frosting & send to someone by 2 day priority mail. I’d be sending in Winter from a cold climate to someone also in a cold climate. How would you recommend I do this? Thank you.
Great to hear, Nancy! I think your plan sounds great: I would bake them, let them cool completely. Tuck them into a ziplock bag, then freeze them. Mail them in a box to protect them when they are completely frozen.
These were easy to make. The cinnamon is way too much. I use Saigon Cinnamon in all my recipes. The dough is very tastey.
I can’t believe how fluffy and delicious these are, with so little effort! I goofed and made my in a round pan that ended up being too small, so the middle roll was underdone when the edges were getting well browned. No worries, though, I just carved out that middle one and let it bake on its own for a few more minutes. For the glaze I added orange zest and used orange juice and maple syrup instead of powdered sugar. I loved the sunny hit of acidity it added.
Great to read all of this, Emily! That glaze sounds fantastic. Thanks for writing and sharing.
Wonderful & easy recipe! I did add some sourdough starter. Discard to mine. I also realize the morning of that I forgot to get regular cream cheese, so we used strawberry cream cheese… Super yummy by total accident! Thank you for sharing your recipes! I’m also making your super easy overnight sourdough right now, but it has not gone in the oven yet. I’ll keep you updated.
Great to read all of this, Katrina 🙂 🙂 🙂 Thanks so much for writing.
Hi Ali! I made these cinnamon buns today for a celebration treat for my family. They were a big hit! So soft and fluffy. The dough was very forgiving as I did not cut the rolls perfectly even, but they settled into the pan nicely, and baked up beautifully. My husband requested that I add chopped apples to the filling and then I added a touch of molasses to the glaze because I saw it in the fridge and I thought it might add an interesting twist. It complemented the flavors nicely.
As always, another great recipe. The video and photos were helpful references in the process. Thank you!
So great to read all of this, Sheri! Thanks so much for writing and sharing your notes regarding the apples and molasses, both of which sound delicious! Love this idea.
Have you ever tried using a non-dairy milk source for this recipe?
I have not, but others have with success 🙂