Overnight Apple Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls

The perfect recipe for fluffy overnight gingerbread cinnamon rolls, loaded with chunks of sweet apples and topped off with vanilla icing. Prepare these rolls ahead and bake in the morning!

Overnight Apple Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls  Recipe from bakedbyrachel.com The perfect holiday breakfast!

I’m not sure about you, but I love breakfast. I could eat it all day, everyday. The options are endless and totally delicious no matter what you choose. Eggs, bacon, and toast. Waffles or pancakes. Even a muffin or bagel. Sometimes cereal tastes okay too, but in reality that’s usually just a quick fix for me when I don’t want to put any effort into breakfast.

I honestly don’t really mind making breakfast, it’s actually pretty fun, unless it’s morning and then I rarely do much. That’s where cereal shows it’s ugly face or toast, because they’re quick and simple. Which also means, they require zero thought, or practically zero. Quick and easy is what I like first thing in the morning. In fact, I typically skip breakfast. I know bad bad. But that’s how it is.

Overnight Apple Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls  Recipe from bakedbyrachel.com The perfect holiday breakfast!

This is one of those recipes that I really just want to tell you to make it. Because it’s that good. But would you believe me and trust me if that’s all I said? I didn’t want to share them with the family. I wanted them all to myself. Shhhh. But I did share. In fact, my family pretty much devoured these. The kids craved them. The Mr snuck some out of the house to bring to work. And when they were gone… well that was a very sad day. I need to make them again sooner than later.

I wanted to share a super easy, and ridiculously tasty breakfast idea that requires extremely little thought first thing in the morning. Prepare these gingerbread cinnamon rolls the night before and then all you have to do the morning of is bake, frost and enjoy. It’s that simple. They’d be a perfect addition to your Christmas brunch menu, or any day of the week!

These gingerbread cinnamon rolls are moist and fluffy with a filling of sweet apple chunks and cinnamon, topped off with a layer of vanilla icing. It’s the perfect holiday breakfast that you can make ahead!

Overnight Apple Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls  Recipe from bakedbyrachel.com The perfect holiday breakfast!

Overnight Apple Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls

The perfect make ahead gingerbread cinnamon rolls, loaded with chunks of sweet apples and topped off with vanilla icing.
Prep Time1 hour 15 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Total Time12 hours
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 rolls


Dough ingredients:

  • 1 C warm milk
  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 4 - 4 1/2 C all purpose flour See note
  • 1/4 C light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 C unsalted butter melted
  • 1/3 C molasses

Filling ingredients:

  • 1 C light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 C apple chunks
  • 1/4 C butter melted

Icing ingredients:

  • 2 C powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3-4 Tbsp water


  • In a measuring cup, heat milk to 115°F. Stir in yeast and granulated sugar. Allow yeast to proof.
  • Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer, combine 4 cups flour, brown sugar spices and salt. With mixer on low, slowly add yeast mixture, molasses, melted butter and egg. Increase speed as needed. Add additional flour as needed, one spoonful at a time, until dough forms a smooth ball. Transfer dough to a lightly greased bowl. Cover and allow to rise in a warm location until doubled in size, roughly 1 hour.
  • Prepare a 9x13-inch pan with parchment paper.
  • Roll out dough on a lightly floured work station or a silicone counter mat until it is roughly a 12x20-inch rectangle.
  • Brush entire surface with melted butter. Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. Cover with apple chunks. Roll into a tight log, pinching edges as you roll. Slice dough into 12 equal pieces. Carefully place in prepared baking pan. Cover and chill overnight.
  • Remove rolls from refrigerator, allowing to come nearly to room temperature. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F. Bake rolls for 35-40 minutes or until lightly browned.
  • Mix together icing ingredients, spread over warm rolls. Enjoy immediately.


*I used 4 1/4C all purpose flour. Use enough flour so your dough is no longer sticky but not so much that it becomes dry.
An original recipe from Baked by Rachel

More breakfast recipes to try:
Apple pumpkin gingerbread muffins
Apple cinnamon streusel muffins
Make ahead freezer waffles
Lemon blueberry muffins
Apple pie French toast casserole
Perfect breakfast potatoes

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28 Responses to “Overnight Apple Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls”

  1. #
    Kerry — December 11, 2013 at 8:34 am

    I usually make a baked french toast for Christmas Day but I am so making these instead! Yum!

    • #
      Rachel — December 11, 2013 at 4:09 pm

      I hope you do! And I hope you like it as much as we did :)

  2. #
    Jennifer @ Mother Thyme — December 11, 2013 at 9:38 am

    These look incredible! Such a great breakfast idea for Christmas morning!

    • #
      Rachel — December 11, 2013 at 4:09 pm

      Thanks so much Jennifer!

  3. #
    claire @ the realistic nutritionist — December 11, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    Holy crap. these are insane. I’m totally making these for christmas morning.

    • #
      Rachel — December 11, 2013 at 4:09 pm

      Thanks Claire :)

  4. #
    Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) — December 11, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    Now this is my idea of Christmas breakfast! amazing!

    • #
      Rachel — December 11, 2013 at 4:10 pm

      Mine too! Glad you agree :)

  5. #
    Anna — December 11, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    I super want to make these! So far everything I’ve tried of yours has been a huge hit with my family, thank you super much :) The only thing is, as of now I don’t have a stand mixer, only a hand-held type. Would that work as well? Is there anything I should do – aside from buying one lol – that would make it as effective? Thanks loads in advance!

    • #
      Rachel — December 12, 2013 at 7:28 am

      Buy one? ;) They really are super helpful but I’m totally just teasing. If you’re familiar with making bread by hand then it would be similar to that. It’ll require more work by hand, some kneading on the counter and most of all… patience and determination :) I’m positive you can do it without a mixer.

  6. #
    Laurie {Simply Scratch} — December 11, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    I love the apple and gingerbread combo! Amazing!

    • #
      Rachel — December 12, 2013 at 7:24 am

      Thanks Laurie!

  7. #
    Rebecca @ Dorm Room Baker — December 11, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    Breakfast is definitely the best meal of the day! Too bad I’m rarely ever up that early haha. Guess I’ll just have to make these and eat them for lunch, dinner, and midnight snack!

    • #
      Rachel — December 12, 2013 at 7:24 am

      You definitely should! :)

  8. #
    Aimee @ Simple Bites — December 11, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    These look awesome, Rachel!

    • #
      Rachel — December 12, 2013 at 7:25 am

      Thanks so much Aimee! :)

  9. #
    Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen — December 11, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    I usually make cinnamon rolls Christmas morning but these would knock my family’s socks off :)

    • #
      Rachel — December 12, 2013 at 7:25 am

      Definitely! :) This is somehow reminding me of that baby sock picture you shared though lol

  10. #
    Sommer@ASpicyPerspective — December 11, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    Rachel, you outdid yourself! I’ll be dreaming about these tonight.

    • #
      Rachel — December 12, 2013 at 7:26 am

      Haha! Thanks so much Sommer :)

  11. #
    Julie @ Table for Two — December 12, 2013 at 11:27 am

    This is seriously making me so hungry!! Apple gingerbread is such a great combo for the season! Jason loves breakfast and I only do sometimes – the requirement is that i have to sleep in til like 11am hahaha so brunch, I guess. But I just hate eating breakfast early..I feel like my sense aren’t all fully awake yet :)

    • #
      Rachel — December 12, 2013 at 2:29 pm

      I’d totally make this for you if you lived closer lol

  12. #
    Diane {Created by Diane} — December 13, 2013 at 1:14 am

    mmm…oh I just love everything about this :) gingerbread is so yummy and these cinnamon rolls look like they belong on the top of my “to make” list!

    • #
      Rachel — December 13, 2013 at 7:04 am

      Thanks so much Diane! :)

  13. #
    Nancy — December 16, 2014 at 11:53 pm


    Sounds delicious!
    Has anyone tried using gluten-free flour to make these? I wasn’t sure if it would work – with the yeast and setting right.
    I would use Cup4Cup GF Flour – seems to be interchangeable with most recipes – but any insight?
    Thank you!!

    • #
      Rachel — December 17, 2014 at 7:01 am

      I have not personally used gluten-free flour so I can’t be sure if you’d get the same results or not. If you’re familiar with substitutions that need to be made for yeast baking, definitely give it a try. Good luck!

  14. #
    Tracy — December 27, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    So delicious! Even my husband who isn’t crazy about gingerbread loved these! The overnight method is great. Thanks for the awesome recipe!

    • #
      Rachel — December 28, 2015 at 7:34 am

      So glad to hear everyone loved them! Thanks for sharing, Tracy! :)

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