overnight cinnamon rolls with perfect cream cheese frosting

Ok, so last week I posted the recipe for this Perfect Cream Cheese Cinnamon Roll Frosting, and now I am going to share with you the amazing cinnamon rolls that go with it!

I have been on a quest for the perfect cinnamon roll for years and years.  I keep trying them and keep finding things I don't love about each recipe.

Well, finally this is a compilation of all the things I love from several recipes and I am so excited about the results!!

I adapted my recipe so that the dough can rest in the fridge overnight and I can pop the cinnamon rolls in the oven to bake in the morning...  because let's face it:  Morning is when we usually want cinnamon rolls and morning is not when I want to do the work of making cinnamon rolls!

Get these rolls ready in the evening (or whenever you have time - you can always freeze the pan at the 'refrigerate overnight' point and just take them out of the freezer to thaw overnight before baking them!) and in the morning you have fresh, warm, sweet, gooey cinnamon rolls to spoil yourself with!

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls with Perfect Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
serves 12

for the dough:
1 cup milk
1/3 cup butter, room temperature
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon salt
4 1/2 cups (or so*) all-purpose or bread flour
for the filling:
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
for the frosting:
6oz cream cheese (approximately...  just eyeball 3/4 of a brick!)
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a small saucepan, heat the milk and butter together until the butter is melted.  Set aside and let cool to warm (110ºF).

Pour this mixture into the bowl of your stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast over the warm milk/butter mixture with 1 teaspoon of the sugar and let sit and get bubbly and foamy for a few minutes.

Mix in the rest of the 1/2 cup of sugar, the eggs & salt until combined. Mix in most of the flour until combined and then switch to your dough hook attachment.

Knead the dough on med-low speed (2 on a KitchenAid!) until smooth, adding the remaining flour bit by bit if needed.

(*Remember, making doughs with flour is not an exact science.  Flour is temperamental... you can bake the same recipe several times and you may need different amounts of flour each time.  The end result of a smooth dough is more important to focus on than the exact amount of flour you ended up using!)

Lightly grease a large bowl.  Place the kneaded, now smooth, but still soft dough into the bowl and turn once to coat the top of the dough.  Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap (or a lid!) and place in a warm, draft free place to rise until doubled in size, about 1 - 1 1/2 hours.

(I put my dough-bowl under the covers in my bed to rise because my house is quite large and drafty!  If it's very cold in the bedroom, I'll even pile extra blankets on top...  or use an electric blanket on low if I have one!)

Once the dough has doubled in size (eyeball this, but you should also be able to press down two fingers into the dough and it should leave an indent that doesn't pop back out!), punch down the dough gently to deflate it.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, cover with a damp towel and let rest for 10 minutes or so.

Sprinkle a bit more flour on top of the dough and roll it out into a large rectangle (about 16x20" or so!).

In a large bowl (or your clean mixer bowl!) beat together the filling ingredients until smooth and fluffy. Spread the filling evenly over the rolled out dough.

Roll the dough up into a long log and press the seam together (you can use a bit of water on your fingertips to do this if needed!).  Gently cut into 12 rolls with a serrated knife and place the rolls cut side up in a greased 9x13" baking dish.

Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight.  (If you don't want to make these overnight, then just cover loosely and let rest on the counter for 30 minutes before proceeding).

Remove the rolls from the fridge to take the chill off and preheat the oven to 375ºF for about 30 minutes.  Bake for 20-30 minutes, until the cinnamon rolls are golden on top and no longer doughy in the middle if you peek with a fork.

While the rolls are baking, beat together the frosting ingredients, cream cheese and butter first and then adding the rest, until smooth.

When the rolls come out of the oven, frost and serve!

(Tidbit:  These are LARGE cinnamon rolls!)

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