Home » No-Knead Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls
No knead sourdough cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting.

No-Knead Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

Are you looking for the perfect sourdough cinnamon roll recipe? These No-Knead Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls are just the recipe you’re looking for! They are soft, sweet, and buttery with a deliciously gooey center. The best part is, you won’t have to break your back making them.

Why I Love This Recipe

I love a good cinnamon roll, but I don’t love is kneading. I would almost rather buy a can of ultra-processed, ready-to-bake cinnamon rolls than spend twenty minutes working some cinnamon roll dough.

Do we really need to put in all that work? As it turns out, we don’t!

I tested this recipe at least a dozen times, making sure they were as hands-off as possible, and each time they came out perfect! Plus the dough is easy to put together in the evening, letting it rise overnight so you can make your rolls in the morning.

This overnight sourdough cinnamon rolls recipe easily fits into any baker’s schedule. You can even make them ahead of time and store the unbaked rolls in the fridge or freezer to be baked on the perfect morning.

With an irresistible combination of tangy sourdough, warm cinnamon sugar filling, and sweet cream cheese frosting, these sourdough cinnamon rolls are an absolute must-try.

Ingredients

What is Sourdough Starter? The dough for this recipe is leavened 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.

Dough Ingredients:

  • Sourdough Starter – This recipe uses Sourdough Starter to make the dough rise instead of baker’s yeast. Make sure your starter is fed the night before you plan to bake, so it is active and bubbly when you mix the dough.
  • Sugar – Sugar gives the wild yeast in your starter a boost, helping the dough to rise, and also makes it sweet. I use raw organic cane sugar when baking, but any sugar will work.
  • Egg – Egg plays a crucial role in enriching the dough and providing these rolls with a light and tender texture. For best results, use a room temperature egg when making the dough.
  • Bread Flour –  For this recipe, I used organic bread flour. Bread flour will give these sourdough rolls the best rise and the softest crumb. If using all-purpose flour, you may need to increase the amount of flour called for in the recipe.
  • Salt – Salt is added to enhance flavor without making these rolls salty. It also acts to strengthen the dough.
  • Butter – Butter enriches this dough making these rolls soft and tender. I use unsalted butter when baking, but you can use salted by omitting the salt in this recipe.

Filling Ingredients:

  • Butter – Use room temperature butter when making the filling for these rolls so that it is easy to spread. You can test your butter to make sure it is soft enough by pressing on it. If you can push all the way through without resistance, the butter is ready.
  • Brown Sugar – Dark brown sugar makes the filling for these sourdough cinnamon rolls extra rich, sweet, and sticky. If you don’t have brown sugar on hand, you can create your own substitute by adding 1 teaspoon of molasses to 1/2 cup of regular cane sugar.
  • Cinnamon – They wouldn’t be cinnamon rolls without cinnamon! If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, I recommend trying Ceylon cinnamon instead. It’s my personal favorite and adds a more delicate flavor to the rolls.

Frosting Ingredients:

  • Cream Cheese – Cream cheese makes this frosting extra yummy. If you prefer a non-cream cheese based frosting, you can replace it with butter.
  • Butter – Butter contributes a rich flavor to the frosting that can’t be achieved with cream cheese alone. Make sure to use unsalted butter at room temperature for the best results.
  • Powdered Sugar – When making frosting, I prefer using organic powdered sugar. Keep in mind that organic powdered sugar tends to be lumpier than conventional powdered sugar, so it’s recommended to sift it before use.
  • Milk – Adding a little milk helps to make the frosting creamier and easier to spread on top of your sourdough cinnamon rolls. Adjust the amount of milk according to your desired consistency, using less or more than what the recipe specifies.
Frosted rolls ready to be served.

How to Make No-Knead Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

Plan Ahead: Sourdough leavened 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.

Step 1: 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.

Step 2 (optional): Strengthen the Dough

Skip This Step? Strengthening the dough will develop more gluten structure and give your cinnamon rolls more body and rise. However, it’s important to note that this recipe has been formulated and tested to not require any kneading, and the rolls will be delicious without this step.

After mixing, cover the dough with a damp cloth and allow it to rest for 20 minutes.

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 the dough by hand. To do this perform three sets of stretch and folds.

How to Stretch and Fold:

  • To prevent sticking, lightly wet your hands before handling the dough.
  • Start by scooping up an edge of the dough and gently pulling it upwards.
  • Continue pulling the dough until you reach a point where it resists being stretched, then fold it over itself.
  • Give the bowl a quarter turn and repeat this stretching and folding motion.
  • Keep turning the bowl, performing the stretch and fold technique until you complete a full circle. These four stretch and folds are called a set.
  • Repeat the process of allowing the dough to rest and performing the stretch and fold method two more times. In total, you will have completed three sets.

Step 3: Bulk Fermentation

Cover the bowl with a damp cloth to bulk ferment the dough at 72°F(21°C) for 8-9 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.

Step 4: Make the Cinnamon Rolls

Before turning out the dough, lightly dust your work surface with flour. Gently pat the dough into a rectangular shape and use a floured rolling pin to roll it out into a 12″x18″ rectangle.

In a bowl, whisk together the brown sugar and cinnamon to make the filling, then set it aside.

Spread the room temperature butter 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.

Next, spread the cinnamon sugar mixture on top of the layer of butter and roll dough up tightly. Start with the end opposite of the margin and roll inwards applying a gentle pressure.

Alternative Method: Another way to make the filling is to mix the room temperature butter together with the brown sugar and cinnamon before spreading it on top of the sweet dough. I’ve made the filling both ways, and either will give you delicious rolls.

Lightly wet the margin with water before sealing. 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.

Cutting Tip: Wetting your knife every few cuts will prevent the dough from pulling and give clean slices.

Sourdough cinnamon rolls immediately after being cut and placed in a pan.

Step 6: 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 72°F (21°C) for approximately 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.

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.

Step 7: 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. Using an electric mixer or stand mixer, beat together the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and milk until you achieve a creamy, lump-free frosting. Add more or less milk as needed to achieve your desired consistency.

Once out of the oven allow the sourdough cinnamon rolls to cool for 15 minutes before frosting. Serve and enjoy!

A close-up of the sourdough cinnamon rolls in the pan before they have been frosted.

Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls FAQ

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 before bulk fermentation.

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, or reheat all the leftovers 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. This non-sourdough cinnamon roll recipe is a great one to try!

Sourdough cinnamon rolls in a pan with a few of them taken out.

Sample Bakers Schedule

9 AM (day 1): Feed your sourdough starter.

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

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

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

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

9AM (day 2): Bake the sourdough cinnamon rolls and make the frosting.

9:40 AM (day 2): Frost and serve the rolls.

More Sourdough Sweet Roll Recipes

No Knead Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

4.3 from 236 votes
Recipe by Samantha Citro
Course: Breakfast Recipes, Sourdough Recipes, Sweet RecipesCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
Servings

12

rolls
Prep time

30

minutes
Cooking time

30

minutes
Total time

13

hours

Are you looking for the perfect sourdough cinnamon roll recipe? These No-Knead Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls are just the recipe you’re looking for! This recipe makes sweet, buttery rolls with a delicious gooey center. No kneading or stand mixer required!

The dough for this recipe is leavened using a sourdough starter instead of conventional baker’s yeast. 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.

Sourdough leavened 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.

Ingredients

  • The Dough Ingredients
  • 200 g whole milk, room temperature

  • 120 g sourdough starter, active and bubbly

  • 70 g cane sugar

  • 1 large egg, room temperature

  • 430 g bread flour

  • 5 g sea salt

  • 8 tbs unsalted butter, room temperature (113g)

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

  • 1/2 cups dark brown sugar, packed (110g)

  • 2 tsp cinnamon (6g)

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

  • 3 oz cream cheese, softened

  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar

  • 2 tsps milk, plus more if needed

Directions

  • 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.
  • (Optional) Strengthen the Dough
  • After mixing, cover the dough with a damp cloth and allow it to rest for 20 minutes.
  • 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 the dough by hand. To do this perform three sets of stretch and folds. Strengthening the dough will develop more gluten structure and give your cinnamon rolls more body and rise. However, it’s important to note that this recipe has been formulated and tested to not require any kneading, and the rolls will be delicious without this step.
  • Bulk Fermentation
  • Cover the bowl with a damp cloth to bulk ferment the dough at 72°F(21°C), or room temperature, for 9-10 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 Cinnamon Rolls
  • Before turning out the dough, lightly dust your work surface with flour. Gently pat the dough into a rectangular shape and use a floured rolling pin to roll it out into a 12″x18″ rectangle.
  • In a bowl, whisk together the brown sugar and cinnamon to make the filling, then set it aside.
  • Spread the room temperature butter 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.
  • Next, spread the cinnamon sugar mixture on top of the layer of butter and roll dough up tightly. Start with the end opposite of the margin and roll inwards applying a gentle pressure.
  • Lightly wet the margin with water before sealing. 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 72°F (21°C), or room temperature, for 2-4 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. Using an electric mixer or stand mixer, beat together the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and milk until you achieve a creamy, lump-free frosting. Add more or less milk as needed to achieve your desired consistency.
  • Once out of the oven allow the sourdough cinnamon rolls to cool for 15 minutes before frosting. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

  • Strengthening the Dough is Optional: Strengthening the dough will develop more gluten structure and give your cinnamon rolls more body and rise. However, it’s important to note that this recipe has been formulated and tested to not require any kneading, and the rolls will be delicious without this step.
  • 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.
  • Long Rise Times: This is a highly enriched dough, and rise times can be quite long. Adjust the suggested rise times as needed based of the temperature of your home.

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @madeinmotherood on Instagram and hashtag it with #madeinmotherhood

Like this recipe?

Follow @madeinmotherhood on Pinterest

58 Comments

  1. Hiya, would you mind sharing how much in grams is 1 stick of butter?

  2. Just finished baking these. Very easy to make and taste delicious! Next time I will spread the softened butter on the rolled out dough and then sprinkle on the cinnamon sugar. I will also make half of the frosting because I have a lot leftover. Thanks for the recipe!

  3. Very easy recipe, these were delicious.

  4. Allison M.

    These were so delicious and easy!

  5. These look amazing. printing this to try later.

  6. The dough on mine was so sticky I could hardly roll it up. I found it very sticky when I was folding it up as well. What should I do differently.. I used a scale and had all accurate measurements. Thank you.

  7. Jennifer Aragon

    Absolutely delicious! Came out perfectly!

  8. Oh my gosh these were so good! I used coconut sugar in place of regular sugar and as I have a bad gluten intolerance I floured the counter with a gf flour blend since you can’t add regular after the fermentation process and I couldn’t tell. They were really light and fluffy and just amazing. Thank you for the recipe!

  9. These look super good. Going to try them today. Can i let them ferment for 24hours?

  10. Hello! If I want to make the dough up ahead and cold ferment for 24hours, should I room temp ferment some before for rise or will they be fine to do 24hr cold ferment and just the two hour second rise before baking? Thanks so much! Justine

  11. Hello!
    Can I make time it to where I fill, roll, and cut the dough and then put it in the fridge overnight, so all I have to do in the morning is pop them in the oven? Or would it be better to bake and cool and then store in the fridge overnight and reheat in the morning?

  12. Hi! I really want to make these for Christmas morning but won’t have time the day before. If I made these on the 23rd and I kept them fully cooked in the fridge covered, will they stale by Christmas or be just fine? The idea being I’d warm them up that morning and frost.

    • Hey Meg! That would work beautifully. You could also make the dough and after second rise toss them in the fridge. They can stay there for a day or two and be baked straight from the fridge when you are ready.

  13. The title of this post is ‘No knead’ but there’s 12 minutes of stand mixer kneading involved. Am I missing something here?

  14. Hi Samantha! Can I freeze these to enjoy later? Is it best to freeze before or after baking? Thanks!

    • Hey Madalyn! Either should work, it depends entirely on your preference. If freezing before baking I recommend allowing them to go through second rise first, then freezing. When ready to bake thaw them fully in the refrigerator and bake straight from the fridge.

  15. Hi!! Would these work to shape in a “Christmas star” or braid?
    Thanks

  16. My sourdough starter worked fine when fed it. It rose and then I got ready to use it however. I mixed everything and then left it for the first rise it did not really rise at all. Any reason this was ? House is normal room temperature. Could I have done something wrong ?

    • Hey Mary! This is a heavily enriched dough and could need additional rise time. What is the average temperature of your home? I might be able to help you trouble shoot and adjust the rise time.

  17. Just made these for Christmas morning, my god are they good thank you ♥️ the obscene amount of frosting was perfect for us lol

  18. These are literally the tastiest cinnamon rolls I’ve ever eaten in my entire life. My whole family agrees. I will be recording this recipe and making it every Christmas morning until the day I die.

  19. These were a hit! Made them 2 days in a row! Can the dough be frozen and baked later?

    • I’m so happy to hear it Hayli! The rolls can be shaped and allowed to undergo second rise before being frozen for later baking. When ready to bake, allow the frozen rolls to thaw fully in the refrigerator and bake them straight from the fridge when they are ready!

  20. Best sourdough cinnamon roll recipe I’ve found! 😍 these were a Christmas morning hit. Thank you so much for a delightful recipe with very helpful instructions 😌

  21. Julia Mazzaferro

    If I feed my sourdough starter the 40g starter, 40g water, 40g flour (I use King Arthur organic unbleached) will this give me the 120g of starter I will need for this recipe and still have starter to feed to make bread? Thank you. I just baked a loaf from your recipe today and it came out really good.

  22. Thanks for sharing your fantastic recipe!
    It’s very user friendly and they are delicious 🤤
    I did step it up a level on my second batch by adding the heavy whip cream before baking, oh and husband requested raisins !

  23. These are simple and delicious! I have tried other recipes and was left disappointed. This recipe is a keeper! I have made them twice and they have turned out perfect both times.

  24. I made these blueberry rolls this weekend for a family dinner and they were a HUGE success!! I can’t wait to try your cinnamon rolls!! Thanks!!

  25. I have never once written a review on a blog for a recipe now matter how delicious the outcome. But these deserve all the praise and more! The recipe was so easy to follow. I am new to sourdough and have never made cinnamon rolls before and they turned out perfect. If my stomach was big enough I would eat the whole batch in one sitting!

  26. Can I skip the bull fermentation?

    • Hey Allison. Bulk fermentation is necessary for this recipe, as it allows the dough to rise. If you want to speed things up you could add a pinch of bakers yeast and keep a close eye on the dough.

  27. Kelly Reynolds

    It was my first time making sourdough cinnamon rolls, and I followed this recipe step by step, and they turned out DELICIOUS! Ooey, gooey and oh so WOW! I am actually a cinnamon roll snob; I won’t even eat a cinnamon roll unless it is soft, and these cinnamon rolls made the cut! Everyone in my family LOVED them. The icing recipe came out perfect, too, and even my family members that don’t love cream cheese loved this recipe This recipe is a keeper! Thank you so much!

Leave a Comment

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

*