Fill your house with the smell of freshly baked Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls, full of lots of cinnamon flavor and topped with a homemade whipped cream cheese frosting. Made with my sourdough starter, these rolls will melt in your mouth and you will want to make another batch immediately! For another delicious breakfast (or anytime) roll, try my Raspberry Cream Cheese Sweet Rolls.

Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Rolls have to be one of my favorite sweet rolls of all time. With just the right amount of cinnamon flavor and the perfect amount of frosting, I can’t pass them up anytime they are around or at my local cafe. The rolls are the perfect lazy morning treat to have with your coffee or tea. Adding the sourdough starter to these cinnamon rolls gives each bite just a little extra ‘zip’, or tangy flavor that I love with sourdough bread.

Sourdough Cinnamon Roll on White Plate with Fork

Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

There are three main parts to this recipe–the dough, the cinnamon filling, and the whipped cream cheese frosting.

Dough Ingredients (full recipe below)

Filling Ingredients

  • Butter
  • Brown sugar
  • Cinnamon

Frosting Ingredients

  • Cream cheese
  • Butter
  • Confectioners’ sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Salt

Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls Dough

It all starts with the dough for these Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls. So, get out your stand mixer with the hook attachment, and mix all the dough ingredients together for about 5 minutes. Make sure the dough is moist and sticky, but not too sticky. You can always add a little flour to the dough, but you don’t want it to be dry. Place the dough into a greased medium-sized bowl, cover it with a towel, and let it sit in a warm spot for 3-5 hours.

Adding Butter and then Cinnamon Sugar to Raw Dough

How to Make Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

After the 3 hours, place the dough onto a floured work surface. Flatten out the dough into a rectangle. (You shouldn’t even need a rolling pin for this step.) If you want 9 cinnamon rolls, roll the dough a little thinner. For thicker cinnamon rolls, keep the dough to about 1/2-inch thickness.

This cinnamon filling is going to be what is spread out and rolled up inside these yummy rolls. Start by melting 3 tablespoons of butter and letting it cool. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon with a fork. Pour the butter all over the dough, making sure to cover as much of the surface as possible. Next, spread the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture on top of the butter. Again, spread it out as much as you can. You want that sweet cinnamon taste in every bite of these rolls! Tightly roll the dough into a log using the bottom long edge as a starting point.  Using a very sharp knife, cut the rolls into your 9 or 6 pieces.  Place each roll into a greased 8×8-inch pan and let them rise for about 2 hours. Then, bake the rolls for about 25 minutes at 350°F. Remove them from the oven and let them sit on the counter for about 5 minutes while you prepare the cream cheese frosting.

Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls After They Have Risen

How to Make the Cream Cheese Frosting

It only takes a few minutes to whip together this cream cheese frosting for the Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls. So, while the rolls are still baking, or even cooling, put the cream cheese, butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of your stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, start on low to get all the ingredients combined. Then, mix on high for 4-5 minutes, or until the frosting is light and fluffy. You can spread this all over the warm rolls that are still in the pan. Or, another option would be to flip over the rolls onto a serving plate and add the frosting then. Either way you ‘roll’ (get it?), these will be a hit!

Pan of Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls with One Missing

Can I Freeze Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls?

Yes! You can freeze them before they rise and bake by covering them with plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Just take them out of the freezer when you are ready to bake them and let them thaw and rise before completing the rest of the steps. You can also freeze them after baking the rolls, but before adding the frosting. In addition, you can freeze them with no problem after you have frosted the baked rolls. Again, cover them with plastic and aluminum foil. But, be sure to let them cool before freezing them.

One Sourdough Cinnamon Roll on White Plate with Fork

Looking for More Sweet Roll Recipes?

Lemon Blueberry Sweet Rolls

Orange Sweet Rolls

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

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4.56 from 29 votes

Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Rest/Rise 5 hrs
Total Time 5 hrs 45 mins
Use your extra sourdough starter to make these melt in your mouth Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls!

Ingredients

DOUGH

  • ½ cup (123g) whole milk, room temperature
  • cup (219g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 cup sourdough starter, discard or fed
  • 1 pinch salt

FILLING

  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
  • cup (67g) brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon

WHIPPED CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup (57g or 1/2 stick) butter, softened
  • cup (188g) confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt

Instructions

DOUGH

  • Add all the dough ingredients to stand mixer. Using the dough hook attachment, knead ingredients for about 5 minutes. The dough should be moist and sticky, not dry and in a ball. If it is too sticky, you can add up to 1/4 cup more flour so that you can easily move it to the bowl.
  • After all the ingredients are incorporated and the dough is smooth, place into a medium-sized bowl that has been greased. Cover with a towel and place in a warm spot for about 3 hours. (Can sit for up to 5 hours.)
  • After the dough has risen, prepare a solid surface countertop with a light dusting of flour.
  • Pour dough out onto the counter and press it flat. This dough is so soft and pliable you should not even need a rolling pin. Press the dough out (being sure it is not sticking to the counter) into a rectangle shape. If you want 9 rolls, make the rectangle thinner and larger, if you want 6 rolls it can be a bit thicker, like 1/2 inch thick.

FILLING

  • In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon with a fork.
  • Pour 3 tablespoons butter over the dough so that it covers the entire surface.
  • Spread brown sugar and spice mixture over dough making sure it covers the entire surface.

ROLLING & CUTTING

  • Roll the dough up, pinching with your fingers to keep it tightly rolled. Press the seam to seal before positioning the log seam side down.
  • Using a very sharp knife, cut the dough into 6 or 9 pieces (depending on the thickness of dough). Place in a greased 8x8-inch baking pan.
  • Place the rolls in a warm dry space and allow them to rise for about 2 hours.

BAKING

  • Bake at 350°F for about 25 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.

WHIPPED CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

  • When rolls are almost done baking, put cream cheese, butter, confectioners sugar, vanilla, and salt in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
  • Mix on low to just combine. Once ingredients are all incorporated turn mixer on high and leave it for 4-5 minutes. Frosting should be light and fluffy.
  • Place cream cheese frosting on rolls right in the pan OR invert rolls onto serving plate and then top with frosting.

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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

  1. I don’t understand the negative comments on this post. (The internet is brutal.) I have been using this dough recipe (and baking directions) about once a month for over a year now. It’s perfect as written for cinnamon rolls, and it’s also a great jumping off point if you want to fill it with other options (like pecans and caramel, or whatever.) I thank you. My family thanks you. Everyone but my “skinny jeans” thanks you.

  2. Dough was way way too sticky, and of course adding the flour was problematic. Dough didn’t want to rise even after 4 hours. Other recipes have different ingredients like baking soda and baking powder. I thought it might be the starter but other recipes seem to have worked just fine. Not a fan.

    1. Hi Carey! Sorry you had that experience. Was your starter active? If your starter isn’t active there is nothing to make the dough rise. There isn’t any leavening ingredients on purpose, because the starter replaces them. Were you looking for a traditional cinnamon roll? I have several. 🙂

  3. So glad to find this recipe! So many others require recently fed starter and I really want to use discard. I was nervous about it not rising at first, but my dough rose beautifully (especially after moving it to a warmer spot), and the finished rolls were light and fluffy. I doubled the recipe and made half cinnamon and half cream cheese + strawberry jam. I cut into twelve rolls per batch, let them rise for a while, then refrigerated overnight. In the morning I let them sit out of the fridge for a bit, then baked for 30 minutes to account for the dough being a little chilled still. Will definitely save this recipe to use again and again. Thank you!

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