Overnight Cinnamon Bun

How many times you walk into a mall or the food court and you smell something distinctly good and warm? Have you realize the store that is responsible is always located right by door the second you step in? Pat and I seldom go to the mall but when we do, we never leave without a cinnamon bun in hand. Once, Pat was suckered by the counter lady into buying 2 box of 20 buns because there was a 2 for 1 deal. We didn’t even make it out of the parking lot before Pat tore the box open and ate one. THEN, turn to me asking if I have a wet wipe. Like I would be carrying everything he needs in my bag!

In the end, we had to give one box away before we started sweating cinnamon and that was the last time Cinnzeo saw us.

So, I thought how can those people have so much power in creating something so nice and hypnotise you in handing over $5-6 from your purse in 2 seconds. It is not fair! However, Alton has the secret to the power and he shared it. So now, I HAVE THE POWER TOO. It is a Patrick proof method if I ever make him angry OR if he makes me angry and cut him off! HAHA!

I made this once from Alton’s Good Eats book but somehow, the filling seem to all pool onto the bottom after baking and my rolls would be left empty. There wasn’t a gooey melty centre of goodness like all cinnamon buns have and I facebooked Alton asking if I did something wrong. Turns out, he improved his recipe and asked me to give it a try. Can you imagine my hear doing a dance when I saw that he replied my message. Now, I respect this guy even more because he takes his time to reply to people’s questions.

I love to make this in the morning for breakfast and let the house smell so nice. The recipe can seem a lot of work and a lot of steps but really… this is so bloody worth it that you no longer have to go to the mall. Cinnzeo, you are never going to earn another penny from me!

Overnight Cinnamon Buns

 Prep Time: 30 mins + 18 hours standing time

Cook Time: 30 mins

Yield: 8 Cinnamon Buns


The dough

  • 4 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1 large whole egg, room temperature
  • 2 ounces sugar, approximately 1/4 cup
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon cold butter for lubricating baking dish [ I usually tear off the end of a butter stick and go to town lubing the dish]
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 15 ounces all-purpose flour divided into 10 ounces, 4 ounces and 1 ounce batches
  • 1 package rapid rise yeast, approximately 1/4 ounce or 2 1/4 teaspoons
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt

The filling

  • 8 ounces light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon, ground
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

The icing

  • 2 1/2 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 5 1/2 ounces confectioners’ sugar


The dough

  1. Combine the egg yolks, whole egg, sugar, butter and buttermilk in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk at medium speed.
  2. As the mixture comes together add 10 ounces of the flour, along with the yeast and salt and continue whisking until combined.
  3. Remove the whisk attachment and replace it with a dough hook. Add another 4 ounces of the remaining flour and knead on low speed for 5 minutes. At this point the dough should feel soft and moist but not sticky. If it is sticky, add a bit more flour (one ounce at a time). Knead on low for another 5 minutes or until the dough clears the sides of the bowl.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface; and form dough into a smooth ball. Transfer to a large bowl that has been lightly lubed with the vegetable oil. Rotate the bowl so that the dough ball is evenly covered. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and set aside until the dough doubles in volume. ( I won’t state the time because it is different for everyone so just keep an eye on it)


  1. Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
  2. Butter a 9 by 13-inch glass baking dish with the cold butter.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gently shape into a rectangle with the long side nearest you. Then use a rolling pin to shape into 18 by 12-inch rectangle.
  4. Brush the dough with the the melted butter, leaving a 1-inch border along the top edge.
  5. Sprinkle the brown sugar mixture over the dough, also avoiding the top border.
  6. Gently press the filling into the dough. (If you tend to have hot hands, you may want to cover the filling with a layer of plastic wrap first.)
  7. Beginning with the long edge nearest you, roll the dough away from you into a tight cylinder. Firmly pinch the seam to seal and roll the cylinder seam side down. Very gently squeeze the cylinder to create even thickness.
  8. Using a serrated knife, gently cut the cylinder into 2-inch rolls; yielding 8 pieces.
  9. Arrange rolls cut side down in the baking dish; cover tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight, or up to 16 hours.
    • Because my hands are small and my rolling skills are quite terrible, my cinnamon roll doesn’t end up as tight and I would like to. At such, I like to arrange the cut rolls with the ends facing in, touching the adjacent roll. That way, when the roll grows, the ends will not come loose and unroll.


  1. Heat the oven to 200 degrees F/95C.
  2. When the oven has reached 200 degrees F/95C, turn it off and place the rolls in the turned-off oven. Let the rolls rise until they look slightly puffy, about 30 minutes. ( Silly to say but remember to remove your plastic wrap!)
  3. Without taking the rolls out of the oven, increase the oven temperature to 350 degrees F/175C and let the rolls continue to bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 190 degrees F. Remove the rolls and let cool while you make the icing.


  1. Whisk the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer until creamy. Add the milk and whisk until combined. Sift in the powdered sugar, and whisk until smooth. Spread over the rolls and serve immediately.
Note: Keep leftovers, if any, on a plate covered with cling wrap. Nuke one for 30 seconds before serving and think of preservatives Cinnzeo adds to keep their buns soft for so many days.
Recipe from Alton Brown

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