Cinnamon Roll Mugs: The Best Ever Overnight Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

Posted December 17, 2018 by Stephanie

I’m a huge fan of cinnamon buns. Or cinnamon rolls. I’m pretty sure everyone I informally polled around here calls them cinnamon buns, but the internet tells me that everyone knows them as cinnamon rolls. I mean, cinnamon rolls makes a lot of sense because they’re literally rolled up. It might even make more sense than cinnamon buns, but I grew up knowing them as cinnamon buns, so I’m going to be sticking with that for now.

I always used to get so excited to go to the malls on the weekends when I was a little kid because it meant that our little family of four would all pile into the car and drive across the bridge into the city from the suburbs. Well, we would actually drive past the city into another suburb to go the giant mall. My parents did it because they met their friends there for coffee. Me and my brother tagged along because…well, we were kids. I would have tagged along anyways though because the mall is where I discovered the gloriousness that is the cinnamon bun.

The Best Ever Overnight Cinnamon Rolls Recipe |

The Best Ever Overnight Cinnamon Rolls Recipe |

For some reason we always got to the mall absurdly early. Early enough that the stores were closed but the food court was open, or on its way to opening. My parents and their friends would grab coffee and all the kids would run amok around the empty, sun-drenched food court, playing hide and seek and generally having the run of the place. It was there, in that suburban food court, that the siren scent of cinnamon buns called to me.

The sweet smell of brown sugar and cinnamon was intoxicating. The buns would bake and their buttery, characteristic aroma would float all over the mall. I would stand, with my nose to the glass of the area where they rolled up the buns. It always looked so fun to me. Giant sheets of pillowy dough, soft pliable butter, and clouds of cinnamon-sugar dust. I’d always beg my mom to buy me one but because my mom is a solid cinnamon hater – she hates it in everything and even doesn’t like the smell – she’d refuse. Luckily for me, the cinnamon bun store was still in its early incarnation and they would always sample buns in hopes that one taste would hook people and entice them into buying.

I’d hang out near the sample area, and take a toothpick – always the biggest morsel with the most frosting – run away with it, savor it in silence and then sneak back for more. I was hooked, so their marketing worked on someone, even though that someone was very small and didn’t have money to buy her own buns.

Even now, I have a soft spot for mall cinnamon buns. You know the ones: hot and gooey and sweet and slathered in cream cheese frosting. SO GOOD. I hardly ever buy them anymore but making cinnamon buns is one of my ultimate baking projects. They’re just so satisfying.

The Best Ever Overnight Cinnamon Rolls Recipe |

The Best Ever Overnight Cinnamon Rolls Recipe |

The Best Ever Overnight Cinnamon Rolls Recipe |

The Best Ever Overnight Cinnamon Rolls Recipe |

The Best Ever Overnight Cinnamon Rolls Recipe |

I went with what was touted as the “best” cinnamon roll recipe on the internet and I have to say, they didn’t disappoint. They were really, really good, and definitely the best ever overnight cinnamon roll I’ve ever made. The dough was plush and fluffy due to the extra egg yolk and the bread flour helped in adding that pleasant mix between chewy, soft and fluffy. Seriously addictive. For some extra cuteness, Mike suggested popping them into mugs to bake.

They were so cute and just the perfect thing for breakfast. Hope you guys get a chance to make these, maybe even for Christmas morning? That would be a super cute Christmas Eve project, making cinnamon rolls for Christmas day :)

Happy baking,
xoxo steph

The Best Ever Overnight Cinnamon Rolls Recipe |

The Best Ever Overnight Cinnamon Rolls Recipe |

The Best Ever Overnight Cinnamon Rolls Recipe
makes 8 rolls


  • 3/4 cup warm milk (110°F)
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active yeast
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk, at room temp
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt


  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temp
  • 2/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon


  • 4 oz cream cheese, at room temp
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temp
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

via Ambitious Kitchen

In the bowl of an electric mixer, add the milk and sprinkle on the yeast. Let sit until the yeast starts to foam, 1-2 minutes. Once foamy, stir in the sugar, egg, egg yolk, and melted butter. Stir in the flour and salt with a wooden spoon until everything comes together into a ball of dough.

Knead with the dough hook on medium for 8 minutes. The dough should be soft and slightly tacky. Alternately, knead by hand for 8-10 minutes on a floured surface.

Lightly oil and large bowl and place the dough inside. Cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and let rise for 1 to 1 and a half hours or until doubled in size.

On a lightly floured surface, tip out the dough and roll out to a large, long rectangle, about 14 x 20 inches. Spread the butter evenly, all the way to the edges. Whisk together the cinnamon and sugar in small bowl then spread evenly onto the dough. Roll into a tight roll, and cut into 8 even pieces. You can also make these in a pan: If using a 8 x 8 inch pan, cut into 9. If using a 10.5 x 7.5 inch ceramic baking dish, cut into 12 pieces.

Place the rolls into the mugs (or pan) cover loosely with plastic and let rise in the fridge overnight. Or, if you’re wanting to bake right away, cover and let rise at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour, or until doubled.

The next day, remove the rolls from the fridge and heat the oven to to let come to room temperature as the oven is heating up, about 30-45 minutes.

Heat the oven to 350°F. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until slightly golden and just cooked through or the internal temp comes to 190°F.

While the rolls are baking, make the frosting by beating together the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy.

Let the rolls cool for 5 minutes, then frost. Enjoy!


  1. Natalie says:

    I love the idea of baking these in cups! Looks delicious and perfect for brunch!

  2. Lesa says:

    Do you spray or grease the coffee mugs before putting dough in them?

    1. Stephanie says:

      i think my ceramic mugs were just extra non-stick so i didn’t, but a light spray or greasing will definitely help them release more easily!

  3. Carri says:

    Can i use all purpose flour?

    1. Stephanie says:

      hi carri,
      you can but the buns might not end up as soft and fluffy

  4. SCOTT says:

    can i use regular flour?

    1. Stephanie says:

      you can but the rolls won’t come out as fluffy and chewy.

  5. Pam says:

    Cam these be made into sticky cinnamon buns, instead of the icing?

    1. Stephanie says:

      yes of course you can make them without the icing!

  6. Eleanor says:

    Hey! I was just wondering if these keep for long, either before or after cooking? Or could you suggest how to store them best? The recipe says it yields 8 buns but there are only 3 of us in my house at the moment, so we wouldn’t eat them all in one go and I’d hate to see any go to waste! Thanks :)

    1. Stephanie says:

      hi, you can keep them for up to 4-5 days after baking, tightly wrapped and in the fridge. give them a quick warm up in the microwave to heat them up a bit before enjoying :)

  7. Tamie says:

    Can regular ceramic mugs with Christmas pics on them go in the oven?

    1. Stephanie says:

      it depends on how they were made, but i wouldn’t risk it!

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