Overnight Apple Butter Cinnamon Rolls

Overnight apple butter cinnamon rolls are sweet, sticky, and irresistible! Layers of soft dough, apple butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon, all topped with sweet cream cheese frosting. Prep the night before, then bake in the morning for a phenomenal make-ahead breakfast.

Jump to Recipe

Overnight apple butter cinnamon rolls | Sweet, sticky cinnamon rolls with apple butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon cream cheese frosting. Prep overnight and bake in the morning for an easy make-ahead #brunch - #fallbaking #cinnamonrolls

I know of no breakfast food more universally adored than cinnamon rolls. They’re the hip kid who everyone is super excited to see at the party yet is still down-to-earth and will probably always remember his mama’s birthday. OK, maybe that last part is just me strangly voicing hopes for my son. Hmm. Anyway. If he turns out as well as these cinnamon rolls, I’ll be OK with that.

Over the past few years, I’ve experimented a good bit with sweet rolls, which has led me to this, my very favorite recipe for overnight dough.

Are you a frequent baker? Are you intimidated by yeast? I totally understand if you are. It wasn’t all that long that I was, as well! The good news is, it’s really just like any other ingredient. Follow the instructions, have a little faith, and you, too, can be sitting down to this one morning in the very near future.

Overnight apple butter cinnamon rolls | Sweet, sticky cinnamon rolls with apple butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon cream cheese frosting. Prep overnight and bake in the morning for an easy make-ahead #brunch - #fallbaking #cinnamonrolls

Overnight apple butter cinnamon rolls | Sweet, sticky cinnamon rolls with apple butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon cream cheese frosting. Prep overnight and bake in the morning for an easy make-ahead #brunch - #fallbaking #cinnamonrolls

This dough makes to-die-for plain cinnamon rolls. Soft, supple layers of bread, wrapped around rings of butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Add a generous slather of apple butter in the middle, as well, and you’re headed straight for fall baking heaven.

If you’ve picked up a jar of apple butter somewhere on a whim, here’s a great use for it! But you could also try making your own. You just need about 5 pounds of apples, some basic spices, and time to let the slow cooker work its magic; your house will smell incredible, and you will be rewarded with a big batch of the most delicious apple butter, ideal for dolling up recipes like this, slathering on muffins or toast or oatmeal or yogurt, or gifting to someone you really like. 🙂

Breakfast game doesn't come any stronger than to-die-for overnight apple butter cinnamon rolls!Click To Tweet

Overnight apple butter cinnamon rolls | Sweet, sticky cinnamon rolls with apple butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon cream cheese frosting. Prep overnight and bake in the morning for an easy make-ahead #brunch - #fallbaking #cinnamonrolls

Overnight apple butter cinnamon rolls | Sweet, sticky cinnamon rolls with apple butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon cream cheese frosting. Prep overnight and bake in the morning for an easy make-ahead #brunch - #fallbaking #cinnamonrolls

Now if only every morning could involve a leisurely breakfast with plentiful coffee, a pan of these rolls, fresh OJ, and a few mimosas. Although then again, if I had a pan of these available every morning, I would probably eat a lot of them every morning, which admittedly may have other side effects.

Well, special occasion breakfasts are well worth waiting for. So make these rolls for a birthday brunch, Thanksgiving breakfast, or, uh, just Saturday? I promise you they will be a contender for the best part of your day.

Enjoy!

Overnight apple butter cinnamon rolls | Sweet, sticky cinnamon rolls with apple butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon cream cheese frosting. Prep overnight and bake in the morning for an easy make-ahead #brunch - #fallbaking #cinnamonrolls

3 votes

Print

Overnight Apple Butter Cinnamon Rolls

Prep

Cook

Inactive

Total

Yield 12-14 rolls

Overnight apple butter cinnamon rolls are sweet, sticky, and irresistible! Layers of soft dough, apple butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon, all topped with cream cheese frosting. Prep the night before, then bake in the morning for a phenomenal make-ahead breakfast.

Ingredients

For the dough:

  • 1 cup (240 ml) whole milk
  • 1 (1/4 ounce) package instant yeast (7 grams)
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) warm water
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons, 57 grams) unsalted butter or coconut oil, softened
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 3 3/4-4 cups (450-480 grams) all-purpose flour

For the filling:

  • 1/4 cup (4 tablesoons, 57 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup apple butter, homemade or store-bought
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

For the frosting:

  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons, 57 grams) unsalted butter
  • 4 cups (454 grams) powdered sugar
  • 3 ounces (85 grams) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4-6 tablespoons milk

Instructions

  1. Warm the milk in a small saucepan or in the microwave just until it begins to bubble, then remove it from the heat and set aside until lukewarm, approximately 120-130 degrees F.
  2. Meanwhile, in a stand mixer or large bowl, combine the yeast, warm water, granulated sugar, butter or coconut oil, baking powder, salt, egg, and 2 cups of the flour. Add the milk when it is lukewarm, and beat with the paddle attachment or by hand until the mixture is smooth.
  3. Add an additional 1 3/4 cups flour. Swith to the dough hook, if using a stand mixer, and knead the mixture until a dough pulls together, then becomes smooth and elastic. (5-8 minutes if using a stand mixer, longer if kneading by hand.) Add the final 1/4 cup of flour if necessary. The dough should cleanly clear the sides of the bowl, and easily come together into a ball that is slightly tacky to the touch, but does not adhere to your fingers.
  4. When the dough is ready, lightly coat a large bowl with cooking spray or oil. Place the dough in the bowl, and turn it to coat with the spray or oil. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
  5. While the dough rises, prepare your filling ingredients. Set out butter to soften, combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl, and coat a 9-inch round or square baking pan with cooking spray; set aside.
  6. When the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll it out into a large rectangle, approximately 17”x13”. Spread evenly with butter, followed by apple butter, then sprinkle the surface evenly with cinnamon-sugar mixture.
  7. Starting with the long side, roll the dough rectangle up into a tight log. Using a very sharp knife, slice the log into about 12 rolls of about the same width.
  8. Place the rolls slightly apart in the prepared pans, wrap tightly with plastic wrap, and store in the refrigerator overnight. 
  9. When ready to bake, remove rolls from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature to rise again. After 30-40 minutes, they should appear puffy and almost doubled in size. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C).
  10. Bake rolls for 25-30 minutes, until golden on top. If necessary, cover the pans with aluminum foil toward the end of the baking time to prevent excessive browning. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly.
  11. To prepare the frosting, melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Continue to cook, stirring or swirling the pan frequently, for 1-3 minutes, until the butter foams and then turns a dark golden color. Remove immediately from the heat. In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter and cream cheese until fluffy.
  12. Add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, alternating additions of sugar with spoonfuls of milk. Then add the vanilla and additional milk or powdered sugar to adjust the frosting consistency as desired.
  13. Spread frosting immediately on warm rolls, and serve immediately.

Notes

Adapted from a caramel pecan roll on allrecipes.com. I’ve adjusted the amounts, since it’s really rarely a good idea for me to make TWO dozen cinnamon rolls, even on special occasions, and also have made a few swaps like coconut oil in place of butter.

If you bake the rolls in a square vs. round baking pan, you may need to add an additional few minutes to the cooking time to ensure that the middle ones are done properly.

The frosting can also be stored on its own in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

Want to try these overnight apple butter cinnamon rolls?

Pin them to your breakfast, brunch, bread, or fall recipes board to save for later! 

Overnight apple butter cinnamon rolls | Sweet, sticky cinnamon rolls with apple butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon cream cheese frosting. Prep overnight and bake in the morning for an easy make-ahead #brunch - #fallbaking #cinnamonrolls

And find me on Pinterest for more great recipes! I am always sharing new ideas!

More Fall Baking Inspiration:

Crockpot Honey Apple Butter

Crockpot honey apple butter | Fall baking starts with this amazing homemade apple butter, made in the slow cooker, sweetened with honey. #applebutter #fallbaking #crockpot

Pumpkin Pecan Streusel Muffins

Pumpkin pecan streusel muffins | Sweet, moist pumpkin muffins topped with a cinnamon sugar pecan streusel. Delicious for fall and Thanksgiving brunch! #pumpkin #fallbaking

Ultra-Moist Five Banana Banana Bread
Five banana banana bread | Moist, tender banana bread packed with the dense flavor of 5 bananas in one loaf. An instant family favorite!

 

Overnight apple butter cinnamon rolls | Sweet, sticky cinnamon rolls with apple butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon cream cheese frosting. Prep overnight and bake in the morning for an easy make-ahead #brunch - #fallbaking #cinnamonrolls

7 Comments

  • Reply
    Neli @ Delicious Meets Healthy
    September 27, 2017 at 6:49 pm

    This sounds amazing! Would love to try this for breakfast one weekend! Saving this recipe!

  • Reply
    Ashley - Forking Up
    September 26, 2017 at 4:58 pm

    Oh man you know fall is in the air when the rolls come out! I love the apple flavor in these.

  • Reply
    Sabine
    September 26, 2017 at 4:45 pm

    Monica, I’m totally in love with the photo of this unrolled roll. This will be my weekend breakfast. FOR SURE.

  • Reply
    Jeni @ Biscuits & Booze
    September 26, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    OMG if I had a pan of these available to me every day I would also eat them every day and that would be bad. Or would it? Who needs skinny jeans?

  • Reply
    michele
    September 26, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    These look so fluffy and light! I love baking, but never take the time. Ive pinned this to give a whirl over the holidays!

  • Reply
    Katie
    September 26, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    Are you kidding me with this!? Applebutter cinnamon rolls!? I need these in my life like… today. I know what’s for breakfast tomorrow! Can’t wait to try them! Yum!

    • Reply
      Monica
      September 26, 2017 at 1:35 pm

      Haha! I hear you there – everyone needs these in their life! I hope you enjoy! 🙂

    Leave a Reply

    955 Shares
    Share18
    Pin868
    Yum42
    Reddit
    Flip
    Tweet27