This recipe makes the best fluffy sourdough cinnamon rolls that taste great with or without frosting. There are a couple of tricks for getting the moist, gooey cinnamon rolls you’re looking for and I’m sharing them below!
These sourdough cinnamon rolls are soft, tender, and buttery. Their swirls have the perfect, flaky texture.
My kids love them smothered in a simple icing, but I also like them with a simple dusting of powdered sugar.
I love that these are an overnight cinnamon roll and they require very little attention the next morning.
Why you’ll love these Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls
- This sourdough cinnamon roll recipe is great for busy mornings because half of the work is done the evening before. You can even make the cinnamon buns, place them in their baking dish and store in the refrigerator overnight so all of the work is done aside from the baking!
- Some cinnamon rolls are extremely sweet. These have a nice sweetness to them, but aren’t overpowering. If you like minimal sweetness, just sift some powdered sugar over top of the baked rolls.
- These are the best cinnamon rolls because you get the benefits of sourdough paired with the deliciousness of a cinnamony bun.
- Sourdough Cinnamon rolls are soft and fluffy with a gooey cinnamon filling that makes breakfast time so special.
- They taste and smell of warmth and comfort.
Ingredients for Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls
- Active Sourdough Starter- You will want an active starter that is happy and bubbly for this recipe. I don’t recommend using a sourdough discard for this recipe. The starter helps with the fermenting and rising of the dough, so it is important to have a well-fed, mature starter. If you don’t have a starter, definitely make my Pioneer Woman cinnamon rolls that are out of this world!
- Water– This helps keep the dough moist and allows it to all come together.
- Coconut Oil- You can use any cooking oil you have on hand, but coconut oil works well for baked goods. I melt mine prior to using in this recipe.
- Sugar– Any sugar will do, even honey. I use a white sugar, but brown sugar or sucanat will work fine, as well.
- Flour– All-purpose flour is a great flour to use for cinnamon rolls. If you prefer a different flour, most will be able to substitute 1:1.
- Baking Powder and Baking Soda- These will be added right before you roll out your rolls and they help to give your dough an extra boost with they second rise.
- Salt– All cinnamon roll dishes need a bit of salt to bring out the delicious cinnamon sugar mixture.
- Butter– I use unsalted butter to make my gooey filling, but use what you have in your refrigerator.
- Cinnamon– Ground cinnamon gives the filling a depth of flavor and some spice to pair with the sweet.
- Sugar– You can use white or brown sugar.
How to make these simple Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls
- Make the Dough- The night before you want your cinnamon rolls, put your dough ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and knead it with your dough hook for 4 minutes. I use speed 2 or 3 on my stand mixer, which is a medium-low speed on most mixers. Turn the dough into an oiled large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rise overnight in a warm spot of your kitchen. This is the first rise, which is also called the bulk fermentation and is done at room temperature.
- Finish the Dough and Roll Out- The next morning, finish your dough by adding the baking soda, baking powder, and salt to your dough. Knead them all together in the bowl of a stand mixer. Once mixed well, roll out your dough so it is 1/4 inch thick. Flour your counter with a little flour to keep the dough from sticking. You can also use a floured rolling pin if your dough is too sticky to roll out.
- Fill Rolls and Cut- Make your melted butter, cinnamon, and sugar mixture in a small mixing bowl. Spread it out evenly on the top of the dough. Roll your dough, starting at the long edge and rolling until you finally meet the other long side. Pinch the crease together and cut your dough. You can use a knife, bench scraper, or clean dental floss for this step.
- Second Rise- Place your cut rolls in a well greased baking dish. Make sure they are close so they rise up and not outward during this rise. Cover with a tea towel and allow them to rise for 1-2 hours or until they begin to get puffy.
- Bake– Bake in a preheated 375°F oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
Baker’s Schedule for Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls
- Day 1- Feed your starter at noon so it will be active and bubbly for making dough this evening.
- Day 1 Evening– Make your dough and let the dough rise in a warm place in your kitchen overnight.
- Day 2 Morning– The next day, add your sourdough to your stand mixer. Add in the baking soda, baking powder, and salt to the mixer. Let the stand mixer knead the dough a final time for 5 minutes. You should end up with a soft dough that is easy to use.
- Assemble Rolls– On a lightly floured surface, roll your dough and add your filling. Roll up tightly, slice, place in greased baking pan (cast iron skillet or a deep baking dish work the best because it supports your dough as it rises vertically). Let them rise 1 more hour while the oven heats. Rise times might differ due to home temperatures being different. Your rolls should be puffy and have expanded a bit. They will continue growing while being baked.
- Bake– Bake your rolls and when they are finished, cover in icing while still hot so the dough soaks up all of the ooey-gooey goodness.
Can you make sourdough cinnamon rolls ahead of time?
Yes! You can make cinnamon rolls in advance and bake them off the next morning.
If you want your sourdough cinnamon rolls to be ready to bake, make your rolls, put them in the baking dish, and pop them in the refrigerator for up to 8 hours.
Pull them out, set them on top of your stove while it preheats and then bake as directed.
Pro Tip for Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls
After the final rise, add your cinnamon sugar filling, roll, slice, and place in a pan.
To get the most decadent sourdough cinnamon rolls, pour 1/4 cup of heavy cream over your rolls in the pan.
Bake them according to the recipe and enjoy the most moist rolls ever!
Best Icing for Simple Sourdough Rolls
There are several different methods you can use for frosting your rolls.
I prefer the powdered sugar method, but many people like to add maple flavoring or even brewed coffee to create a different flavor.
- Powdered Sugar icing– Mix 1 cup confectioners sugar and 2 tablespoons of milk together. Add milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you get the desired consistency you want.
- Maple icing– Combine 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, and 2 tablespoons milk. Mix until combined well. You may also use 1/2 teaspoon maple extract if you prefer that over maple syrup.
- Maple Frosting– Mix 1 bag of powdered sugar, 2 teaspoons maple flavoring, 1/2 cup whipping cream, 1/4 cup melted butter, 1/4 cup brewed coffee, and a pinch of salt.
- Cream Cheese Frosting– 4 ounces softened cream cheese, 1/2 cup softened butter, 2 cups powdered sugar, and 2-3 tablespoons milk.
How to store leftover sourdough cinnamon rolls
Place leftover cinnamon rolls in an airtight container and store on the counter for 3 days.
If you put the leftover rolls in the refrigerator, you can store them for up to 5 days.
How do you freeze cinnamon rolls?
Complete the entire baking process, but don’t frost your cinnamon rolls.
Allow the rolls to cool completely and place a layer of plastic wrap over the rolls. Follow that with a layer of tin foil.
Cinnamon rolls may be kept in the freezer for 2-3 months.
When you are ready to use them, pull them out the night before.
The morning you are ready to eat them, remove the plastic wrap, tap the top of the rolls with damp hands to keep them from drying out, cover in foil, and warm up for 30 minutes at 300° F.
Did you make this recipe? Please RATE THE RECIPE below!
Sourdough Cinnamon Roll Recipe
Sourdough Cinnamon Roll
- 1 stand mixer
Sourdough Roll Dough
- ½ cup active sourdough starter
- 1 cup warm water
- ½ cup coconut oil
- ½ cup white or brown sugar
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
Cinnamon Sugar Filling
- 1 cup white or brown sugar
- 1 stick melted butter
- 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
Cinnamon Roll Icing
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
Make the Dough
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, add in the sourdough starter, water, coconut oil, sugar, and flour.
- Mix on medium-low speed until combined and well kneaded. Around 5 minutes.
- Put the dough in a well-oiled bowl and cover it. Let it rise overnight or for 8 hours.
Finish the Dough
- After the first rise, add the dough to the stand mixer again and add in the baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix on a speed of 2 or 3 for 5 minutes.
- Roll out the dough until ¼ inch thick. Add the cinnamon sugar filling and roll tightly, starting at one long end and working to the other long end. Pinch the seam together.
- Slice the rolls 1 inch thick and place in a greased baking dish.
- Let the rolls rise for 1 more hour while the oven preheats to 375°F.
Bake the Cinnamon Rolls
- Bake the rolls for 20 minutes or until they are golden brown.
Make the Icing
- While the rolls bake, make the icing. Add the icing ingredients to a small mixing bowl and whisk together.
- Pour over warm rolls so they can soak up the icing.