Easy Skinny Overnight Cinnamon Rolls: An easy homemade cinnamon roll that is prepped the night before and ready to be baked to perfection in the morning. Made with whole white wheat flour, less butter, less sugar for a more wholesome morning treat.
Do you all have a favorite Christmas breakfast?
Growing up my family always had Spicy Sausage Tarts and a fruit salad for Christmas breakfast, but that is not the tradition that I carried on into my own household once I had kids.
I can’t remember when or why I started making Cinnamon Rolls for Christmas morning, but it is now a Christmas morning tradition that my kids hold near and dear–and I have to say as much as I enjoyed my family Christmas breakfast growing up, my new tradition of warm baked homemade cinnamon rolls totally trumps my childhood tradition.
My Breakfast Recipes
Easy Skinny Overnight Cinnamon Rolls
The first time I baked cinnamon rolls for my family, my husband who is a devoted Cinnabon Cinnamon Roll lover, declared he would take my Homemade Cinnamon Rolls any day over Cinnabon–especially once he heard how much healthier these cinnamon rolls were. I call that success!
Skinny Overnight Cinnamon Rolls only have 250 calories and 4 gram of fat compared to the a Cinnabon Cinnamon Recipe that has a whooping 830 calories and 36 grams of fat per roll.
The best part about these Cinnamon Rolls? They still taste incredibly rich and decadent. From the yeasty homemade dough to just the right amount of sweetness and warming spices to the light cream cheese glaze, this cinnamon roll recipe satisfies!
What I truly love about this recipe, other than the memories of Christmas mornings it brings, is the fact that these cinnamon rolls can be made the night before and baked while everyone is opening their presents. Any make-ahead breakfast on a holiday morning, like Hashbrown Casserole or Eggnog French Toast Casserole with Bourbon Glaze, is a winner in my book.
Skinny Overnight Cinnamon Rolls are sure to become a new favorite at your house, and this easy recipe may become a new Holiday tradition at your house.
Healthy Cinnamon Roll Swaps:
- Whole white flour is exchanged for bleached flour.
- French Bread Dough is used in place of a rich butter dough.
- A mere 3 tablespoons of butter is used instead of over a stick of butter.
- Unrefined coconut sugar is used in place of white sugar or brown sugar.
Steps to Making Cinnamon Rolls:
Make the dough. I use a fat free bread dough recipe that I find has the perfectly yeasty taste and fluffy texture. Be sure to let the dough double, covered in a large greased mixing bowl.
Once the doll has doubled in size, punch the dough down and roll the dough out to a 9×13 rectangle.
Brush the dough with melted butter.
Sprinkle over the sugar mixture. I use coconut sugar for a healthier swap, but granulated sugar or a traditional brown sugar cinnamon combination works as well.
Roll the cinnamon roll dough up lengthwise.
Cut the dough into thirds.
Cut each third into thirds again.
Place cinnamon rolls into a greased baking pan.
Let rise for 30 minutes at room temperature.
Once risen, cover with plastic wrap, and then refrigerate overnight.
In morning, remove cinnamon rolls from fridge and let come to room temperature anywhere from 30-60 minutes (while oven is preheating.)
Brush cinnamon rolls with remaining tablespoon melted butter.
Bake cinnamon rolls.
Glaze with Cream cheese frosting.
Serve and Enjoy!
Notes on Healthier Overnight Cinnamon Rolls:
- Feel free to use premade bread dough for an even easier homemade cinnamon roll.
- Regular granulated sugar or brown sugar can be used in place of the coconut sugar. Just be sure to mix the sugar, cinnamon, and cloves together before sprinkling over the cinnamon rolls.
- In my experience, it is best to let dough rise 30 minutes prior to refrigerating. You can skip this step and place directly in refrigerator for a slow rise over night. The next morning, remove the cinnamon rolls from the fridge and let rise for 30 minutes before baking.
- To make these cinnamon rolls immediately, let dough rise for 1 hour after cutting and placing in pan and then bake as directed.
- Do not omit the cloves. The tiny bit of ground cloves gives these cinnamon rolls a warm, deep flavor.
- The little bit of lemon juice added to the cream cheese glaze, adds the perfect bit of acidic balance to the sweetness of the cinnamon roll.
What is the best way to reheat baked cinnamon rolls?
If you have cinnamon rolls leftover, store in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. To reheat cinnamon rolls, preheat oven to 300 degree oven and bake for 10-15 minutes until warmed through or in the microwave for 45 seconds.
Can you freeze Cinnamon Rolls?
Yes, you can freeze Skinny Cinnamon Rolls. Prepare dough as directed. Roll up dough with sugar mixture and cut into 9 rolls. Place in tin pie pan and cover tightly with a layer of plastic wrap and foil. Freeze for 30 days.
Allow dough to defrost 24 hours in refrigerator. Bring dough out of fridge and let rise for 1 hour before baking as directed.
To Make Dairy-Free Skinny Overnight Cinnamon Rolls:
To make simple vegan cinnamon rolls, use melted coconut oil or a vegan butter spread like Earth Balance. For the glaze, use 1 cup sifted powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract and dairy free milk.
To Make Gluten-Free Skinny Overnight Cinnamon Rolls:
This recipe for skinny cinnamon rolls can easily be made gluten-free. Follow directions as stated, using 1:1 Gluten-Free Flour in bread dough. Or you could make my friend over at My Gluten Free Kitchen’s Gluten-Free-Pull-Apart Cinnamon Rolls.
Easy Skinny Overnight Cinnamon Rolls
For the Cinnamon Roll Bread Dough
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons yeast
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 3 1/2 cups whole white wheat flour
For the Filling for Cinnamon Rolls
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
For the Cinnamon Roll Frosting
- 1/2-1 cup sifted powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons cream cheese softenened
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon milk
For Assembling Cinnamon Rolls
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
For the Dough
- Make the dough. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and let sit for 5 minutes, until yeast is a bit foamy. Add the remaining ingredients and mix together. I like to do this in my kitchen stand mixer with a dough hook, so that it can also knead the dough for me (for about 3 minutes.) If not, just knead by hand until the dough forms a smooth ball.
- Cover the dough and let rise for 1 hour in warm place.
For the Cinnamon Rolls
- Roll dough out to 9x12 rectangle.
- Brush dough with 1 tablespoon melted butter.
- Mix together sugar, cinnamon and cloves and sprinkle evenly over dough.
- Roll up lenghtwise.
- Cut dough into thirds, then each section into thirds again, for a total of 9 cinnamon rolls.
- Grease a 8x8 baking dish with 1 tablespoon melted butter.
- Place rolls evenly spaced apart in baking dish and cover with towel and let rise 30 minutes.
- Cover cinnamon rolls very tightly with plastic wrap and place in fridge overnight.
- In morning, removed cinnamon rolls from fridge while oven is preheating. If you have a full hour to let the cinnamon rolls come to temperature, that is best, but they will still be great if you bakes as soon as oven preheats.
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush the rolls with remaning tablespoon of melted butter and bake for 23-27 minutes, or until just golden.
For the Cream Cheese Glaze
- Make the glaze by mixing together the cream cheese, lemon juice and milk. Add 1/2 cup powdered sugar and whisk until smooth, adding up to 1/2 cup more powdered sugar to make your glaze as thick as desired.
- Spread over warm cinnamon rolls and serve.
More Overnight Breakfast Recipes
- Easy Overnight French Toast Casserole
- Overnight Ham and Egg Casserole
- Overnight Steel Cut Strawberries and Cream Oatmeal