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Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

My dad is all about traditions.  Thanksgiving morning, we have to watch the parade.  Christmas Eve, he has to read my brother (17 years old) and me (26 years old) “The Night Before Christmas”. 

One of my own traditions has been making Alton Brown’s overnight cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning and Mother’s Day.  This year, my dad wanted to have them while watching the parade.

So I stayed up past midnight prepping them (hence the dark kitchen lighting).  They are an overnight recipe, but the overnight part can only happen after the first 2 hour rise.


All puffed up after a night in the fridge!


Then they have to proof before they bake.  To get them ready by parade time, I had to get up early, proof for 30 minutes, then bake.

This batch made 14 (with 2 small ones) since I didn’t measure out the twelve perfectly before cutting.


One in the middle got a little bit too excited about the rising.

After a bit of homemade icing, this long process was complete.


The icing was poured as the parade began.


And dad was happy.


Rolls for the hubby, my brother, and my dad (Mom was off playing tennis).


One of the mini ones for me.


With pumpkin spice coffee.


I contemplated trying several different no-rise, no-overnight recipes.  This dough is super sticky, the process takes forever, and everything has to be done just so.


Alton Brown is a food genius though, and you can’t go wrong with this recipe.  The fact that only two remained by the time the parade was over was proof of their success. 


My husband claimed he had six.  I pretended not to hear him.

You can imagine the nutrition facts of these guys for yourself.  There is nothing I “lightened up” in this recipe. 

Thankfully, I spent the rest of the morning and afternoon prepping my lightened up vegetarian Thanksgiving feast.

Are there any recipes that your family saves for special occasions?


19 responses to “Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

  1. peaceloveandoats November 29, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    My great aunt used to make us her upside down gooey rolls every christmas morning! I found her recipe, so I might have to make them! Although I can’t eat them… I might make them for everyone and then attempt a gluten free mini batch! Haha we’ll see!

  2. Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit November 29, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    Wow, these look amazing!! My Mom used to make the best cinnamon rolls. She was never very good at cookies, but man could she make the BEST cinnamon rolls ever!

  3. Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance November 29, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    I love that you guys aren’t afraid to indulge when it comes to traditional foods 🙂 Sometimes the real thing is just so much better, and so worth it!

  4. char on a mission November 29, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    I don’t know who could ever turn down a cinnamon roll and why you would ever want to even try to lighten up the recipe lol. I try to ignore my husband too when I see him devouring everything in site. Last night he told me how he wanted a big jar of almonds and chocolate on his desk at work. I told him I’d purposely get up and make him individual dishes of that each day because he has no portion control – only because I love him haha

  5. cupcakesncardio November 29, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    Yum!! I absolutely love warm cinnamon rolls, and if I am going to have one I like to indulge all the way so I’m happy you pointed out that there was nothing light about the recipe 😉 I made a batch for my boyfriend a few weeks ago and he ate about five of them in one sitting. I try not to get too jealous that he’s able to do that.

  6. Jamie @ Food in Real Life November 29, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    You are a wonderful daughter! Those look incredible! The extent of my cinnamon roll baking is to pop open a can of Pillsbury. And LOL at not hearing your husband when he said he ate 6. 🙂

  7. Shanna, like Banana November 29, 2011 at 11:40 am

    Ohhhh yummmm. I have a huge soft spot for cinnamon rolls. My Grandma used to make the absolute best ones and I never go her recipe. Whenever I have one that compares I’m inspired to try to make my own.

  8. sprint2thetable November 29, 2011 at 11:55 am

    I love these! I made some with berries last Christmas – lots of work but totally worth it. No need to nutritional information… sometimes it’s just better not to know. 🙂

  9. Trainer Kjirsten- Balanced Healthy Life November 29, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    I’m on a huge cinnamon roll kick right now and can’t wait to make more for family during Christmas! I don’t think they are quite the same when they are lightened up. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing!

  10. Katy November 29, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    These look delicious! I’ve always wanted to try making cinnamon rolls.

  11. Tessa @ Amazing Asset November 29, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    Wow yum, you really cannot go wrong with this kind of dish! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  12. Melanie Flinn November 29, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    I have always wanted to make cinnamon rolls. Definitely a little time consuming but so worth it I’m sure. Maybe I’ll give it a try closer to the Holidays.

  13. Kris November 30, 2011 at 2:14 am

    Oooo!! We always have cinnamon buns on christmas morning 🙂 My mom makes them in her breadmaker and they are gooey and good!!! I love them!


  14. Pingback: What I Ate (and What Santa Brought) Wednesday « Live and Love to Eat

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