Overnight Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls

Fluffy gingerbread cinnamon rolls, made easier by preparing a day ahead. Top off with sweet vanilla icing.

Last week, I posed a question on Facebook, for if I should continue with Christmas recipes or move on to New Year’s food. It’s such a hard call since Christmas is next week and surely many people have a plan in mind for what they want. But at the same time it’s hard to skip over a holiday when it hasn’t happened. And yet… that only leaves a week for New Years! So… This may be the last Christmas post of 2012, or not. I’m undecided. It could certainly change and I guess only time will tell.

So far I’ve shared all sweets, perfect for cookie exchanges and holiday parties. But a request was made for breakfast. What do you plan for breakfast on Christmas morning? No one wants to stand by the stove slaving away before or even after presents have been torn open. You want something simple and easy, yet still completely tasty. And here is the solution: overnight gingerbread cinnamon rolls. I went with gingerbread because, I’ve already done apple cinnamon sticky buns, orange rolls and even pumpkin cinnamon rolls. Gingerbread just seemed right as it’s one of my favorite flavors of the season. From cookies to bread and even cupcakes. It’s very versatile.

Prepare this the day before, pop them in the fridge and simply bake when you’re ready. The only work you’ll have to do the day of is whip up some sweet icing to top off these fluffy rolls with. Fluffy, sweet, gooey and just perfect for Christmas morning… or any lazy weekend day.

Yield: Makes 12 rolls

Cook Time: 25-35 minutes

Overnight Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls

Fluffy gingerbread cinnamon rolls, made easier by preparing a day ahead. Top off with sweet vanilla icing.


Dough ingredients:

  • 4-4 1/2C all purpose flour
  • 1/4C brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 package rapid rise or instant yeast (not active dry)
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4C milk, warm
  • 1/3C molasses

Filling ingredients:

  • 1C brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2C unsalted butter, melted

Icing ingredients:

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


In a large bowl or stand mixer, add 2 cups of flour plus remaining dry dough ingredients. Melt butter and heat milk to 105-110 degrees, test temperature after 45 seconds and do 10-15 second intervals until you reach the correct temperature.

With the mixer on low, add molasses, melted butter and warm milk. Add remaining all purpose flour by spoonfuls until fully incorporated and dough is no longer sticking to the bowl. Only add enough flour to pull dough together, all of it may not be necessary.

Grease a large bowl with baking spray, such as Pam for baking. Lightly grease your hands, pat dough into a smooth ball and transfer to prepared bowl. Cover and allow to rise for 1 hour.

Use a silicone counter mat or flour your work surface lightly. Roll out your dough to roughly a 12x20 rectangle. In a small bowl, combine dry filling ingredients. Brush melted butter over entire surface. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture over entire surface. If any butter remains, drizzle over dough and filling.

Beginning at one of the short ends, roll dough as tightly as possible. Lightly pinch to seal the ends. Slice into 12 equal pieces. Place in a lightly greased 9x13 rectangular baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight.

When ready to bake, remove prepared rolls from the refrigerator, allowing the baking dish to come to room temperature. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl, beat icing ingredients until smooth, set aside.

Bake rolls for 25-30 minutes. Drizzle with icing immediately.

*As with any bread recipe, there is room for some adjustment. If your dough is too dry, add more liquid. Do not add all flour in at once, reserve some and add additional as needed. Altitude also may play a role.

**Dough should not be sticky but should also not be dry

Adapted from: Baked by Rachel

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