August 9, 2022

Overnight Milk Bread Cinnamon Rolls

These Milk Bread Cinnamon Rolls are so divine that words like soft, fluffy, soft, and tender won’t do justice to their wonderful experience. They are indeed divine.

It is soft and dreamy, thanks to the Japanese tangzhong method for cooking milk and flour together. It’s almost as good as brioche, I admit.

Easy Overnight Oats

These delicate, tender rolls are topped with cinnamon, sugar, and butter. I drizzled them with buttery vanilla cream- cheese icing to give them a finishing touch. These rolls can be made once, and they will soon become part of your weekend routine.

This recipe calls for two days of dividing the dough. The dough should be made on the first day. Let it rest in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, form the dough and let it rise for an additional hour. You’ll soon have a cinnamon-scented, buttery roll.

What is Tangzhong?

These rolls have a light texture due to the Japanese technique of mixing flour and a slurry of liquid (milk, water, or water) into the dough. This is called Tangzhong. This technique is used in Hokkaido milkbread, but it is also used in many other baking recipes, including this cinnamon roll recipe, Garlic Parmesan Pull Apart Rolls.

This technique pre-gelatinizes starches in flour. The dough absorbs more liquid than traditional bread dough. This also means that the dough has a longer shelf-life.

Your rolls will still be soft two to three days later, but it is unlikely that they will last long enough to be tested.

What is the Overnight Rise?

You will make the dough on day 1. Mix it and let it rest in the fridge for up to 12 hours. You’ll form the rolls the next morning and let it rise again before baking.

The dough will develop more flavor if it is left to rise overnight. You can also fill the dough and bake them in the morning, and then have them ready for breakfast an hour later. It is also easier to work with the dough when it is cold.

Filling and cutting tricks

These are some tips to make rolling, filling and cutting rolls easy:

  • It is easy to roll the dough because it is so flexible. Begin by forming a rectangle from the dough on top of a piece of floured parchment paper. Use a rolling pin to shape the rectangle.
  • The cinnamon filling is similar to a thick frosting. It can be spread on top of the dough without leaving behind any crumbs of cinnamon and sugar.
  • You can shape your cinnamon rolls easily because the parchment paper is flat so you can roll it into a cylindrical shape. As you roll the dough, lift the edges closest to you.
  • The pressure of a knife on the rolls can cause them to lose shape. It can be difficult to cut the rolls with a knife. To cut the rolls, you can use string or dental floss instead of a knife. After marking the sections with a paring blade, slide a thin strip of string or unflavored floss under each section. Grab the ends of the string and pull it in opposite directions to cut through the roll. It’s easy and fun!

How to store Cinnamon Rolls

After cooling, cinnamon rolls can be stored in an airtight container.

Wrap them in aluminum foil, plastic wrap or foil. Place a large piece of foil or wrap on top of the rolls. Make sure to seal the package. You can wrap cinnamon rolls as directed and store them for up to two days at room temperature, or up to five days in the fridge. After that, they will dry quickly from the cold.

To Freeze: You can freeze them frozen frosted or unfrosted wrapped with aluminum foil, as described above, for up to two months. Frosting that is not frozen should be kept in a separate container and brought to room temperature.

Place frozen rolls on a baking sheet. Cover loosely with foil to reheat. Place frozen rolls on a baking sheet and bake at 300°F for 10-15 minutes or until they are warm through.

Overnight Milk Bread Cinnamon Rolls

PREP TIME – 30 minutes

COOK TIME – 30 minutes

RISE TIME – 12 hours

TOTAL TIME – 13 hours

SERVINGS – 12 portions

These overnight rolls are best made the night before. You will need to make the dough the day before and then shape them and bake them the next morning.


  • To the Tangzhong
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup (156g), bread flour
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • To make the dough
  • 1/3 cup whole milk cold
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick), unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup (66g), granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cold large eggs
  • 4 cups (480g), bread flour
  • 4 1/2 Tablespoons (40.5g), instant yeast
  • 1/4 cup powdered milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (for the rising pot)
  • To make the cinnamon filling
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • Salt a pinch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • To use the glaze
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. Do the tangzhong
  2. Add the flour, milk, and water to a small saucepan on medium heat. Mix until smooth. Whisk constantly until the mixture thickens to a pudding-like consistency, approximately 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Transfer the tangzhong into a stand mixer fitted equipped with the paddle attachment.
  4. The dough:
  5. Mix the butter, milk, sugar, salt, and tangzhong in a bowl. Use the paddle attachment to mix on low speed until smooth. Mix in the eggs until well combined. The dough should be sticky and soft, without any flour. However, it will not be smooth.
  6. Add the flour, yeast and powdered milk to a separate bowl. Mix to combine. Mix the dry ingredients one cup at a.m. in a bowl. Continue mixing on low speed until well combined. It will be slightly sticky.
  7. Cover the bowl with a dish towel, remove the paddle and allow it to rest for 10 minutes. The flour will then hydrate (absorb) the liquid.
  8. Knead the dough
  9. Turn on the dough hook attachment, and knead dough at low speed until it becomes smooth and elastic. This should take between 8 and 10 minutes.
  10. Let the dough rise overnight
  11. Oil the sides and bottom of a large bowl. Make a ball of dough and place it in a bowl. Turn the dough around so that all sides are oil.
  12. Wrap the bowl in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours. The dough will have been proofed in the refrigerator.
  13. Make cinnamon-filled cookies:
  14. Before shaping the rolls the next day, mix the softened butter, sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
  15. Make a rectangle with the dough.
  16. Place a piece of parchment paper measuring 12 by 16 inches on your work surface. Sprinkle flour. Place the dough on the parchment paper. Pat it into a rectangle.
  17. The dough should be the same size as parchment. If necessary, stretch the corners. The dough should measure approximately 1 1/2 inches thick.
  18. Make sure to prepare the baking pan.
  19. Butter a 9-by-13 inch baking pan. Place a piece of parchment measuring 12 by 16 inches in the pan. Make sure the 2 long sides are at least 1 1/2 inches from the edge.
  20. Make sure to fill, roll and cut the dough.
  21. Spread the filling evenly over the dough using an offset spatula. Leave a 1-inch border.
  22. Place the dough so that the long side is parallel with the counter’s edge. Use the parchment to help you roll it off your body. Securely pinch the seam, and then turn the log so that the seam side is downward.
  23. Mark the log with a paring knife into 12 equal pieces measuring approximately 1 1/2 inches in width. Place a 12-inch length of unflavored floss or string under the log.
  24. To cut 12 slices from the log, cross the ends. Place them cut side down in a baking pan. The cut sides should be just touching the bottom of the baking pan.
  25. Pre-heat the oven. Let the dough rise at room temperature.
  26. Preheat the oven to 350°F
  27. Let the dough rise in a loose cover with plastic for between 30 and 35 minutes or until it is puffy and the rolls touch the pan.
  28. Make the rolls, then let them cool.
  29. Bake the cinnamon rolls for 28-32 minutes or until golden brown. A thermometer inserted in the middle of the rolls should register 190F to 205F.
  30. Allow them to cool on a rack for 10 minutes.
  31. Add the frosting:
  32. Mix the butter and cream cheese in a mixer bowl using the paddle attachment. Continue mixing for approximately 1 minute or until smooth and free from lumps. Slowly add the sugar, and blend until smooth. Add the vanilla and salt. The icing will be thick and creamy, but still spreadable.
  33. Frost the rolls, then serve.
  34. The parchment can be used to lift the rolls from the pan. Serve immediately after icing them.