Home » Brown Butter Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls
A brown butter sourdough cinnamon roll on a plate.

Brown Butter Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

These brown butter sourdough cinnamon rolls are about to become your favorite sourdough cinnamon roll recipe. They have a rich brown butter cinnamon sugar filling and are topped with an incredibly indulgent brown butter cream cheese frosting you will want too eat right out of the bowl. Brown butter gives these rolls a warm nutty flavor that balances all that sugar, giving you rolls that aren’t too sweet and have a sinful feel too them. After trying these rich gooey flavorful rolls, you won’t want to make your cinnamon rolls with regular butter ever again.

A pan of brown butter sourdough cinnamon rolls with brown butter cream cheese frosting.

What Makes Them Different?

Its all in the Butter!

Everyone has a sourdough cinnamon roll recipe, so what makes these different? Brown butter is the secret ingredient here that makes these rolls stand out. It is used in this recipe to make both the cinnamon sugar filling and the cream cheese frosting. The bold warm nutty flavor compliments the sweetness of the cinnamon rolls and cream cheese frosting. It gives your rolls a depth of flavor that you wont get with your average joe sourdough cinnamon roll, and it will have your family and friends begging for the recipe. Not convinced? One of the best sourdough chocolate chip cookie recipes out there, one that seems to have broken the internet, from Boy Who Bakes uses brown butter in place of regular butter.

What’s else, the dough for this recipe uses more butter than most. Butter adds a ton of flavor and moisture to the rolls. This super enriched dough yields rolls that are extremally rich, soft, and tender. You won’t have those rolls that are so fluffy they have an almost dry interior, no, these bad boys are just fluffy enough while also being dense and gooey. This recipe is just begging all gooey cinnamon roll lovers to make it. All that butter in the dough and brown butter in the filling and frosting makes these rolls next level indulgent.

Like all my recipes, this recipe includes step by-step images to help guide you through the process, and I also provide two sample bakers schedules to help you plan your bake and have delicious rolls for the perfect time.

What is Brown Butter?

What is brown butter? Brown butter is regular butter that has been cooked down just slightly past its melting point. When butter is cooked past its melting point, the milk solids found in the butter sink to the bottom and become caramelized. This turns the butter a golden brown color and brings out a bold warm aroma and flavor. Brown butter has hints of nutty-ness, and warm caramel-y undertones. This flavor is the perfect compliment to the sweetness of cinnamon rolls.

How do you Make Brown Butter?

Brown butter is incredibly easy to make, and adds such a rich warm depth of flavor to every recipe you use it in. To make brown butter you will only need butter, a small pan, and a stove top. Heat the butter on medium heat until it is fully melted. Once it is melted continue to cook it over medium heat and stir it consistently. The butter will bubble and crackle as all the water evaporates out. Continue to stir the butte as the bubbling subsides and you will see granules on milk solids sink to the bottom of the pan. These milk solids will then toast and turn a deep golden brown color. You will know the brown butter is ready when the milk solids brown and the butter takes on a warm nutty aroma. The entire process of browning butter takes about 5 minutes.

Toasted milk solid granules on a rubber spatula.

Sample Bakers Schedule

Sourdough baked goods have much longer rise times than recipes that call for bakers yeast. Sourdough brown butter cinnamon rolls will need to rise anywhere from 8-10 hours for bulk fermentation, and 1-2 hours for second rise. This makes sourdough starter the perfect yeast to use when making them, allowing you a convenient overnight rise that will give you warm gooey cinnamon rolls for breakfast. Cinnamon rolls are great any time of day though, so below you will find two separate sample bakers schedules; one that will give you rolls just in time for breakfast, and one that will give you rolls for an extra special after dinner dessert.

What is Sourdough Starter? The dough for this recipe rises using a sourdough starter instead of conventional baker’s yeast. These rolls have the cozy goodness of traditional cinnamon rolls with the added health benefits of sourdough. If you’re not sure what a sourdough starter is, check out my “How to Make a Sourdough Starter” post to learn all about it.

Brown Butter Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls for Breakfast

9 PM (day 1): Mix the dough ingredients together.

9:30 PM (day 1): Strengthen the dough and cover to bulk ferment overnight.

6:30 AM (day 2): Brown the butter, roll and fill the dough, then cut into 12 rolls.

7 AM (day 2): Arrange the cut rolls in a 9″x13″ pan and cover for second rise.

8:30AM (day 2): Bake the brown butter sourdough cinnamon rolls and make the frosting.

9 AM (day 2): Frost and serve the rolls while still warm.

Brown Butter Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls for Dessert

7:30 AM: Mix the dough ingredients together.

8 AM: Strengthen the dough and cover to bulk ferment.

5 PM: Brown the butter, roll and fill the dough, then cut into 12 rolls.

5:30 PM: Arrange the cut rolls in a 9″x13″ pan and cover for second rise.

7 PM: Bake the brown butter sourdough cinnamon rolls and make the frosting.

7:30 PM: Frost and serve the rolls while still warm.

Cinnamon rolls on a sheet pan with parchment paper.
A sourdough cinnamon roll being cut with a fork.

Make the Perfect Rolls

Achieving the Perfect Frosting

The frosting for this recipe is a dream come true, seriously. Browned butter adds all those caramel-y warm tones that perfectly compliment a sweet cream cheese frosting. Every time I make this frosting I have a hard time not eating it straight from the bowl, and have an even harder time saving enough to top my brown butter sourdough cinnamon rolls.

With this frosting you wont re-chill, or even cool down, the browned butter. Add the cold cream cheese in a bowl with the brown butter straight from the stove and use the back side of a fork to mash them together. You should be able to make pretty quick work of it, as the cream cheese will cool the butter, and the butter will warm the cream cheese. Brining them both basically to room temperature. Once combined you can add the powdered sugar and use a stand or hand mixer to fully incorporate it.

With this frosting recipe I always add one tablespoon of butter to thin it out and give it a creamy and velvety consistency. Feel free to experiment though. If you prefer thicker brown butter cream cheese frosting, leave out the milk. If you want it thinner go ahead and add more!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I substitute whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour for bread flour?

Bread flour will give these sourdough cinnamon rolls the best rise and the softest crumb. If using whole wheat or all-purpose flour, you will need to increase the amount of flour or reduce the milk called for in the recipe and strengthen the dough a bit more.

How do I store my leftover cinnamon rolls?

To store any leftover cinnamon rolls, place them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to a week.

What is the best way to reheat leftover cinnamon rolls?

You can reheat leftover cinnamon rolls individually in the microwave for 30 seconds each, or reheat the whole pan in a 300°F (150°C) preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, or until warmed through.

Can I make cinnamon rolls ahead of time?

To make cinnamon rolls to bake later, cover the pan of unbaked rolls tightly and refrigerate for up to 24 hours, or place them in the freezer for up to a week. When you are ready to bake, allow the rolls to come to room temperature and perform the second rise.

Can I use instant yeast or active dry yeast instead of sourdough starter?

This recipe is formulated to use sourdough starter. Using conventional bakers yeast would require ingredients and rise times to be adjusted. If you are looking for a non-sourdough cinnamon roll recipe, take a look at my brioche cinnamon rolls recipe! Both recipes are and adaption of my no-knead sourdough cinnamon roll recipe.

Brown butter sourdough cinnamon rolls before second rise and bake.

More Sourdough Roll Recipes

Brown Butter Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

4 from 29 votes
Recipe by Samantha Citro Course: Breakfast Recipes, Sourdough Bread Recipes, Sourdough Recipes, Sweet Recipes, Sweet Roll RecipesCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Medium
Servings

12

servings
Cooking time

35

minutes
Total time

13

hours

These brown butter sourdough cinnamon rolls are about to become your favorite sourdough cinnamon roll recipe. They have a rich brown butter cinnamon sugar filling and are topped with an incredibly indulgent brown butter cream cheese frosting you will want too eat right out of the bowl. Brown butter gives these rolls a warm nutty flavor that balances all that sugar, giving you rolls that aren’t too sweet and have a sinful feel too them. After trying these rich gooey flavorful rolls, you won’t want to make your cinnamon rolls with regular butter ever again.

Ingredients

  • The Dough Ingredients
  • 200 g 200 whole milk

  • 120 g 120 sourdough starter, active and bubbly

  • 70 g 70 granulated sugar

  • 1 large 1 egg, room temperature

  • 430 g 430 bread flour

  • 5 g 5 salt

  • 6 tbs 6 unsalted butter, room temperature (85g)

  • The Filling Ingredients
  • 8 tbs 8 unsalted butter (113g)

  • 3/4 cup 3/4 brown sugar (160g)

  • 2 tsp 2 ground cinnamon (6g)

  • 1/8 tsp 1/8 salt (1g)

  • 1 tbs 1 all-purpose flour (9g)

  • The Frosting Ingredients
  • 4 tbs 4 unsalted butter (57g)

  • 3 oz 3 cream cheese, softened (85g)

  • 2 cups 2 powdered sugar (250g)

  • 2 tsp 2 vanilla extract (8g)

  • 1 tbs 1 milk (14g)

Directions

  • Plan Ahead: Sourdough baked goods have a long rise time. Take a look at my Sample Bakers Schedule before you begin so you have a better idea on when to begin and how to plan ahead.
  • Mix the Dough
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the active sourdough starter and milk until the starter is fully dissolved. Next, whisk in the sugar and room temperature egg until well incorporated.
  • Sift the flour and salt into the bowl, stirring until a shaggy dough begins to form. Then, add the room temperature butter, mixing either by hand or with a stand mixer until fully incorporated. It is important to use room temperature butter or this step will be difficult. You can test the butter’s softness by pressing your finger into it. If you can easily push all the way through without resistance, then the butter is ready.
  • Strengthen the Dough
  • After mixing, cover the dough with a damp cloth and allow it to rest for 20 minutes allowing the flour to fully absorb all the liquid.
  • Uncover the dough and knead it on medium speed with a dough hook attachment for approximately 12 minutes. The dough is ready when it becomes smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. If working without a stand mixer strengthen knead the dough by hand for the same amount of time.
  • Bulk Fermentation
  • Cover the bowl with a damp cloth to bulk ferment the dough at 71°F(21°C) for 8-10 hours, or overnight. The dough will need to rise until it is double its original size. It’s important to note that rise times can vary based on the temperature in your home, so adjust the time accordingly.
  • Make the filling
  • First brown the butter. Add the butter for the filling to a small sauce pan over medium heat and cook until melted.
  • Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring continuously, until the butter browns and takes on a warm nutty aroma. This should take about 5 minutes.
  • In a small mixing bowl combine the brown butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and all-purpose flour. Set the prepared cinnamon-sugar filling aside.
  • Make the Rolls
  • Before turning out the dough, lightly dust your work surface with flour. Gently pat the dough into a square shape and use a floured rolling pin to roll it out into a 16″x16″ rectangle.
  • Spread the prepared brown butter filling mixture evenly over the sheet of sweet dough, leaving a one-inch margin along the length of the dough. This margin will help to seal the rolls when you roll up the dough.
  • Spread the prepared brown butter filling mixture evenly over the sheet of sweet dough, leaving a one-inch margin along the length of the dough. This margin will help to seal the rolls when you roll up the dough.
  • Once the filling is spread, roll dough up tightly into a log. Start with the end opposite of the margin and roll inwards applying a gentle pressure.
  • Lightly wet the margin with water before sealing the dough. Allow the roll to rest, seam side down, for a minute to ensure a tight seal.
  • Using a non-serrated knife, cut the log into twelve equally-sized cinnamon rolls. Wetting your knife every few cuts will prevent the dough from pulling and give clean slices.
  • Second Rise
  • Arrange the cut rolls in a 9″x13″ pan, ensuring they are evenly spaced apart. If preferred, using a slightly smaller pan will yield doughier cinnamon rolls. Place a cloth or kitchen towel over the pan, ensuring the rolls are well covered.
  • Let them rise at a temperature of around 71°F (21°C) for one to two hours. During this second rise, the rolls will increase in size and become visibly poofy. It’s important to note that rise times can vary based on the temperature in your home, so adjust the time accordingly. See notes for a way to speed up second rise times.
  • Bake and Frost
  • Position your rolls on the center rack of a 350°F (177°C) preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes.
  • While the rolls are baking, prepare the frosting. Start by browning the butter just as you did with the butter for the filling.
  • Add the cold cream cheese and hot brown butter to a medium sized mixing bowl. Using the back end of a fork, mash together the butter and cream cheese until mostly combined.
  • Add the powdered sugar and using an electric mixer, fully combined it with the cream cheese butter mixture. Add the milk and mix until it is creamy and velvety in consistency.
  • Once the rolls are out of the oven allow them to cool for 15 minutes before frosting. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

  • Plan Ahead: Sourdough baked goods have a long rise time. Take a look at my Sample Bakers Schedule before you begin so you have a better idea on when to begin and how to plan ahead.
  • Speed up Second Rise: For a quicker second rise, preheat your oven and place your pan on top of the stove. The heat the oven gives off will allow your rolls to rise much quicker.
  • What is Sourdough Starter? The dough for this recipe rises using a sourdough starter instead of conventional baker’s yeast. These rolls have the cozy goodness of traditional cinnamon rolls with the added health benefits of sourdough. If you’re not sure what a sourdough starter is, check out my “How to Make a Sourdough Starter” post to learn all about it.

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @madeinmotherood on Instagram and hashtag it with #madeinmotherhood

Like this recipe?

Follow @madeinmotherhood on Pinterest

11 Comments

  1. Extremely delicious 🙌 thank you for the insight!!

  2. Pure perfection! This is my ideal cinnamon roll. The brown butter adds so much depth. I even worked with cold started straight from the fridge that was fed 5 days prior. The only thing I adjusted was the frosting because I prefer it less sweet. I used a whole 8 ounces of cream cheese and only 1 cup of powdered sugar. This will most definitely be a staple, my 3 year old is already asking for seconds!

  3. Kathy Stanford

    I can’t wait to make these! They look so delicious!

  4. I don’t like cream cheese, could I just omit from frosting and use powdered sugar butter and milk only ?

  5. 3 words……
    OH MY GOODNESS

    At first, the length of the recipe is a bit intimidating…. But oh SO WORTH IT!!!
    I have been looking for the perfect cinnamon roll and THIS IS IT!!!!

    Thank you thank you for all your hard work in creating this AND for sharing!!!
    Thrilled with the outcome!!

  6. Amazing recipe! This is the best one I found so far!
    Just one question: how many days does it lasts at room temperature?

    From other recipes I understand that it can be left at room temperature up to three days. Does this apply also for this cinnamon rolls? Thank you!!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*