The BEST Overnight Brioche Cinnamon Buns
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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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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