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Soft Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

These beautifully swirled Homemade Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls are made from our Soft Sourdough Bread recipe. Roll it up with butter and cinnamon sugar for a delicious pastry that everyone loves. It’s is all topped off with a creamy, sweet icing.

We have so many wonderful ways to use up your sourdough discard and fresh lively starter. Sourdough is endlessly creative and very useful for a variety of baking recipes.

Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls
Sourdough cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting

Watch our video tutorial to make these Easy Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

We show you how to make this recipe in just one day OR put them in the fridge for overnight sourdough cinnamon rolls for even MORE yummy flavor.

These are are the BEST sourdough cinnamon rolls made from a delicious basic sourdough recipe that makes on the of the best sandwich breads too.

These rolls are made from our Soft Sourdough Sandwich Bread Recipe. It has a soft dense crumb that is perfect for cinnamon rolls. They are squishy and fluffy, exactly how a cinnamon roll should be.

Our tender and light Cinnamon Raisin Bread is also well loved by our sourdough bakers. Both recipes are linked in the pictures below.

Why use Sourdough in baking?

Sourdough starter or discard is a fantastic ingredient to have in your kitchen. I wrote a whole post on why sourdough bread is good for you. Sourdough isn’t limited to just bread loaves, the starter can be incorporated into a variety of baked goods like these sourdough cinnamon rolls to give a stronger structure, deeper flavor, and even reduce the gluten content of a recipe.

What a gorgeous cinnamon roll that sourdough starter creates. I opened the rolls up so you can see the tender, soft crumb.

Opened Sourdough Cinnamon Roll
Fluffy sourdough cinnamon rolls are melt in your mouth good.

Is it better to freeze baked or unbaked Cinnamon Rolls?

If you are planning to make these Cinnamon Rolls ahead of time, freezing is a great option and they can be kept frozen for up to 8 weeks. It is better to freeze unbaked Cinnamon Rolls and then thaw, rise and bake when you are ready to enjoy them.

This keeps them fresher and allows for an additional cold rise just before baking which will yield fluffy rolls. Simply prepare the dough, fill and assemble them into a flat, freezer safe pan. Cover them tightly and label.

Sourdough Rolls-Bite
Soft sourdough bread recipe makes a light tender cinnamon roll. This roll was made in about five hours.

Does it take longer to make Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls?

These rolls take longer to bake than banging a Pillsbury Cresent roll container on the edge of the counter and adding the premade icing on top. I’ll grant you that. So what? These sourdough rolls are the bomb. And worth the time. These sourdough rolls can be made in about the same amount of time as my yeasted cinnamon rolls. That’s a fair time comparison since they are both fantastic.

You can make these rolls in about 5 hours if your starter is ready to bake. If you prefer, let the dough sit in your fridge after the stretch and fold stage up to 24 hours. That gives you plenty of flexibility. The dough rise will be more developed and easier to handle with a long fridge time.

Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls
These sourdough cinnamon rolls were made with the long cold rise method.

NOTE to Gluten sensitive bakers. We highly recommend the long cold rise for you. Sourdough baked goods (even cinnamon rolls) are much more digestible since they ferment the gluten properly.

This is especially true when the dough is allowed to long cold rise. As the dough develops the gluten is used, fermented longer and broken down more completely.

Can you over knead Cinnamon Roll Dough?

You can over knead cinnamon rolls and all homemade breads. You don’t want to do that. Over kneading Cinnamon Roll dough will yield dense rolls because it over develops the gluten in the flour. When this happens, the dough will be pulled together rather than being allowed to expand and rise.

These rolls are not kneaded in a mixer or by hand in the conventional sense. We use a no knead dough development method to prevent overworking the dough.

It is important to handle the dough gently and allow the rises to do the majority of the work. You only want to knead the dough until it is smooth, shiny, and pliable.

This dough WILL be sticky. We recommend you use slightly wet hands and tools to allow the dough to slide away from skin and tools.

Recipe for Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls:

I’ve cut the original Soft Sourdough Bread Recipe in half to make about 12 sourdough rolls. They fill a 9 x 13 baking dish.

You will see the video playing in the sidebar of this post. We also have it posted at the bottom of our printable recipe card.

Freshly Baked Sourdough Rolls
This recipe makes 12 rolls to fill a 9 x 13 pan.
R Baked Cinnamon Rolls
Four cinnamon rolls baked in my 6 inch springform pan. Cut the recipe down by two thirds for four rolls.

Cinnamon Icing Variation

I have the recipe in the recipe card for both the cream cheese icing and this cinnamon cream cheese icing. they are both delicious. If you love cinnamon. This brown icing is for you!

Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls On A Plate
This brown icing has 2 teaspoons of cinnamon in it. Now that’s a cinnamon bun. These rolls were made in one day.

How do you store Cinnamon Rolls So They Don’t Dry Out?

Why are my cinnamon rolls dry and hard?

  • Did you overbake them? Allow the cinnamon rolls to reach 205 degrees F. in the middle of your cinnamon roll pan and then remove them from heat. This is more important than religiously following the timer. Why? Because your oven, flour and starter are all unique to you. They will develop and bake possible quite differently than mine.

This is true of all baked goods nut with sourdough is it even more likely that your recipe will be impacted by factors I cannot predict. With that said, I want you to know this recipe is well tested and reliable. But sometimes the ingredients, kitchen temperature and oven will impact a recipe.

  • Did you use the water bath? The steam produced by preheating the oven with a water bath will impact how the dough hydrates as it bakes. Water baths are important. Please use one.
  • AFTER baking: Allow your rolls to cool to room temperature all the way through before icing them. THEN cover the rolls with plastic wrap or foil to keep them fresh. If your rolls are allowed to sit out on the counter unwrapped after cooling they can get dry and hard. Icing will protect the roll tops somewhat. However, Air dries out baked goods.

Cinnamon rolls need to be stored in an air tight container like a covered cake plate or deep tupperware container with a lid above the frosting to protect the rolls and keep them fresh.

Covered Cinnamon Rolls can be stored in a cool, dark corner on your counter or in your fridge. Always wrap cinnamon rolls tightly to prevent any air from penetrating the rolls. This will keep them moist, soft and tender.

Freezing These Rolls: These cinnamon rolls can be frozen. It’s best to freeze them unfrosted, double wrapped in plastic so they don’t get dry or freezer burned. Freeze them up to three months. To defrost just set them out on the counter to thaw. Then you can ice them if you wish.

Your Printable Recipe Card

Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls
Yield: 12 sourdough cinnamon rolls

Soft Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

Prep Time: 5 hours
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 7 hours 30 minutes

These Beautifully swirled buns are made of our delicate soft sourdough bread rolled with butter and cinnamon sugar. It's is all topped off with a yummy icing.

Ingredients

  • 150 grams starter-freshly fed and active (2/3 Cups)
  • 325 grams warm water (1 1/3 Cups)
  • 25 grams honey (1 1/2 Tablespoon)
  • 20 grams avocado oil (or any flavorless vegetable oil) (1 Tablespoon)
  • 500 grams White bread flour (high protein) (4 Cups)
  • 10 grams Salt (1/2 Tablespoon)

Cinnamon Sugar Filling:

  • 150 grams melted butter-*(1/3 cup use the amount of butter it takes to cover your dough evenly)
  • 2 Tablespoons cinnamon
  • 99 grams sugar- (either brown sugar or cane sugar works)-1(/2 Cup)

OPTIONAL filling addition:

  • 150 grams dried raisins (1 cup)
  • 150 grams water (for plumping raisins) (2/3 Cups)

Icing

  • 225 grams Powdered sugar (2 Cups)
  • 1 Tablespoon Cinnamon (optional)
  • 75 Grams melted butter- (1/3 Cup)
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla
  • 4 Tablespoons (as needed) water or milk

Instructions

MIXING:

  1. Begin with a very active recently fed starter. It should pass the float test.
  2. Set a large bowl on a digital food scale set to grams and press the tare button. The scale should read zero.
  3. Pour in the water to weight of 325 g. Press tare.
  4. Pour in 150 grams of starter. Press tare. The starter should form a floating mass on the water.
  5. Add the oil. Press tare
  6. Add the honey. Press tare.
  7. Whisk together the starter, oil, honey and water until they are mixed.
  8. Add the 500 grams of flour.
  9. Mix the flour into the water/starter with a dough hook, spatula and your wet hands until you have a shaggy ball of dough.

AUTOLYSE:

  1. autolyse (rest the dough on your counter in the bowl) 1 hour.
  2. Sprinkle salt across dough.
  3. spritz with water bottle and work in the salt with wet hands.
  4. Rest 30 mins

STRETCH AND FOLDS:

  1. Begin Stretch and Folds. You need 4 rounds of stretch and folds 30 mins apart. The dough is ready when it passes the window pane test. See video for technique.


Bulk Rise:


After the stretch and folds let the dough sit in your bowl at room temperature to develop about an hour.

IF you want the rolls done in a day omit the long cold rise and go to the rolling out step. We do this in the video.

OPTIONAL long Cold rise:

This dough benefits from a long cold rise in the fridge. The dough will develop more slowly and build a better structure. And be easier to handle. Cover the dough with a lid or plastic and set in your fridge up to 24 hours. Remove and set on the counter to warm an hour or so. Continue the recipe.

Rolling out and Degassing Dough:

  1. Dump the dough onto an oiled or bare work surface. Do not flour the work surface. You can spray the surface with water if you wish.
  2. Spray your rolling pin with either water or oil and roll out the dough into a rectangle about 12 inches wide by 15 inches long. (you can use hands if the dough is too sticky for the rolling pin)
  3. Roll (or press dough with hands) until the air pockets are all out of the dough.

The Cinnamon sugar filling:

  1. Mix the cinnamon and sugar together.
  2. Spread melted butter over the entire surface of the dough top.
  3. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mix evenly over the dough.

Forming the rolls:

  1. With your dough scraper (or a metal spatula) release the dough from the counter all along the narrow edge a little at a time. Slowly roll the dough up as it is released.
  2. TIP: The dough will be stuck to the counter so you control the release and roll. Work from side to side along the narrow edge and continue rolling until to dough is rolled like a jelly roll and completely released from the counter.
  3. Pull the dough gently until it forms a long tube that is evenly round end to end.
  4. Measure and cut into evenly sized rounds.

Final Bulk Rise:

  1. Oil your cinnamon roll pan (9 x 13)
  2. Place the rounds face up ( Cinnamon Swirls showing ) touching slightly.
  3. Rise on counter until the rolls swell and push tightly together. About 60 to 90 minutes in a warm place. (I used my bread proof function on oven).

Cold Rise and Bake:


The final cold rise will help the dough attain optional oven spring. You can omit this if the oven is preheated with a water bath and the height of the rolls is not your focus.

  1. Place rolls in fridge 60 minutes or until the rolls are completely chilled.
  2. Place a roasting pan or other large shallow pan on bottom rack half full of water.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  4. Bake the cold rolls for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F.
  5. Bake rolls 20 minutes more. Check for doneness. The Center rolls should be 195 to 200 degrees F. when poked with a digital thermometer.
  6. Continue baking until proper temperature is reached.
  7. Remove to cooling rack.

Topping:

  1. Mix together powdered sugar, melted butter, vanilla and (OPTIONAL) ground cinnamon.
  2. Add in half of the water (or milk). Stir and continue adding the liquid until the icing consistency is loose enough to pout thickly over the rolls. (the icing should be wet enough to follow the hills and valleys and drop into the holes in the roll swirls.)
  3. Pour the icing over slightly warm rolls so it melts into the centers a bit.

Notes

*Note on The Butter:

Please use the amount of melted butter you need to evenly coat the dough. Using the exact amount of butter called for in the recipe might be ok. BUT reduce or increase the amount of butter to coat the dough without loading the dough too heavily with butter.

Remember, the dough is rolled and cut, Then risen with the layers in. If the butter is too warm, or you use a lot of butter, it may fall into the pan bottom and not cook into the rolls.

Cinnamon Icing Variation:

Add 2 teaspoons of cinnamon to the icing with the dry ingredients for a cinnamon icing.

Storing:

If kept covered these rolls will last 3 days fresh at room temperature.

They will be great for up to a week covered if you plan to reheat them with a bit of butter in the microwave about 15 seconds or so. (until butter melts).

Reheat:


These rolls are great reheated with butter on top. Just set a pat of butter on the icing and set in your microwave until the butter is almost melted (10 seconds or so) or the rolls is warm. Serve immediately.

Freezing:


Sourdough freezes EXTREMELY well.

  • Place the rolls with NO icing in an airtight freezer bag will al the air sucked out.
  • These freeze well up to a month.
  • Defrost by letting the rolls sit at room temperature until defrosted. You can put the in your fridge covered to slow defrost.
  • Do NOT microwave these to defrost them. The rolls will go hard.

NOTES ON CONVERSIONS:

I don't like doing the conversion to US volume measurments because the measurements do NOT transfer over exactly. That is why ALL the sourdough recipe are weighed. The recipe is much more accurate and this will matter a LOT with sourdough.

That said I did put the conversions into the recipe at a reader request. I highly recommend using the weights though if you can. You'll get a better cinnamon roll. Happy Baking!

Nutrition Information

Yield

12

Serving Size

1 roll

Amount Per Serving Calories 494Total Fat 19gSaturated Fat 11gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 47mgSodium 491mgCarbohydrates 74gFiber 2gSugar 36gProtein 8g

Did you make this recipe?

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More Delicious Sourdough Discard Recipes

We have so many ways to make sourdough recipes. Here’s a few pictured below.

Find all of our Sourdough Recipes here

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Fluffy Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls-Pin Image
These Beautifully swirled homemade cinnamon rolls are made of our delicate soft sourdough bread recipe. Roll it up with butter and cinnamon sugar. It’s is all topped off with a creamy sweet icing.

Gail David

Wednesday 18th of January 2023

Can you post conversion to American measurements?

Diane

Wednesday 18th of January 2023

Hi Gail, I did update the recipe with the conversions you requested. However,I strongly encourage you to use a digital scale and weigh the ingredients rather than using volume measurements. As an old time American baker I can relate to wanting to use the measurements we are familiar with. Sourdough has taught me that weighing the ingredients will give me the best, most reliable results in sourdough baking. This is especially true of the starter, but even the flour will change as hydration in the air affects it. I hope this helps. Happy Baking!

Sarah

Sunday 15th of January 2023

These are DELICIOUS. Totally worth the time it takes to make, the rolls were soft and pillowy. Just trust the recipe, the dough is sticky but it needs to be for these to work.

Diane

Sunday 15th of January 2023

Hi Sarah, Thanks so much for the feedback and great review of this sourdough cinnamon rolls recipe. It's wonderful to hear the recipe worked well for you. Happy Baking!

Bonnie

Thursday 25th of August 2022

I have these rolls ready to go in the oven. Keeping my fingers crossed. The dough was incredibly wet. I have been a sourdough baker for many years and have never worked with dough this wet. We will see how they turn out

Ruby

Wednesday 3rd of August 2022

Is there a recipe conversion of grams to ounces? This looks really good.

Diane

Thursday 4th of August 2022

Hi Ruby, These are good rolls. I don't recommend you do sourdough baking with volume measures. The measurements, even when converted, will vary since flour and starter can vary by volume. For sourdough baking using a digital scale and weighing the ingredients is very helpful when looking for consistent excellent results.Happy Baking!

Melissa

Monday 4th of April 2022

Made these this past weekend and they turned out wonderful! Like many others have said, definitely only use as much butter as needed. Mine only needed about 2½ tbsp for the filling and I used the other 2½ tbsp for the icing. My entire family enjoyed them and I even froze the last 4 for a rainy day. Yum!

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