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{This post is sponsored by Land O’Lakes.}

Kicking off December the best way I know how to, with these Overnight Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls.

Overnight Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

As I’m sure you all can tell, I could not be more excited that December is here! December is my favorite month of the year, it holds so much magic! It’s a time for slowing down, spending time with family and friends, and enjoying the last couple weeks of the year…all while eating delicious food.

Of course.

Watch the How-To Video Here:

Since today is December first, I knew I wanted to share a recipe that screamed Christmas, and these Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls have Christmas written all over them. In my family we always do a sweet and savory breakfast on Christmas morning, my mom’s Monkey Bread with a side of something like a quiche or strata. Christmas Eve morning however is reserved for Cinnamon Rolls. There’s not one person in my large family of nine that does not love cinnamon rolls. I’ve made a lot of them over my years of writing HBH, see these Eggnog Cinnamon Rolls, these Pull-Apart Cinnamon Rolls, and also these Brioche Cinnamon Rolls in the HBH Cookbook.

I know, I know, how many Cinnamon Roll recipes does one need? Apparently a lot! These Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls are something extra special.

Overnight Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Overnight Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Overnight Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

The dough is possibly one of the most delicious cinnamon roll doughs ever. Just like gingerbread, it’s made with a good amount of molasses. The molasses not only adds flavor, but keeps the rolls soft and moist. I also added a splash of vanilla extract, because everything made with vanilla is better.

But the best thing about these rolls is the filling. The incredible swirls throughout come from a mix of Land O Lakes® Butter, brown sugar, plenty of cinnamon and plenty of ginger. I like to use a good amount of butter in my center filling. To me, that cinnamon (and ginger) swirl is the best part of a cinnamon roll and I like to make sure it’s extra sweet and extra gooey.

The key is using salted butter. A high quality salted butter, like Land O Lakes® Butter, adds a distinctiveness to baked goods that sets them above. Trust me on this, it’s that extra special touch that every cinnamon roll needs.

For the frosting, there was no doubt in my mind that I needed to do a cream cheese frosting with vanilla beans studded throughout. The cream cheese is not an overly sweet or overpowering flavor, so it allows for the cinnamon roll to shine.

Overnight Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Overnight Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

With Christmas Eve and Christmas morning being so hectic, I wanted to give you guys a breakfast recipe that you could prepare the day before, keep in the fridge, and then just bake up in the morning. Meaning you can make these on Christmas Eve day or even the day before Christmas Eve. Then just take them out the next morning and bake. These are PERFECT for our family since we always open gifts first thing before breakfast.

I, of course, tested these rolls with my family before sharing with you. The fact that the entire pan was gone within a few minutes of coming out of the oven means that everyone, brothers included, loved these rolls.

Again, they’re super moist, buttery, sweet, gooey and all things incredible. I really could not think of a better family holiday breakfast. I am excited to make these again for Christmas in T-minus twenty-four days.

Let the countdown begin!

Overnight Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Overnight Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Overnight Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings: 12 cinnamon rolls
Calories Per Serving: 392 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

Filling

Frosting

Instructions

  • 1. Place the yeast and brown sugar into a stand mixer with the dough hook attached. Add the warm milk and gently stir. Let sit until it is puffed and foamy on top, about 10 minutes. To the bowl add the melted butter, egg, and molasses, stir to combine. Add in the flour and salt. Knead the dough with the dough hook until the dough is smooth and forms a ball, about 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl. Oil the bowl or use cooking spray to coat. Place the dough back into the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm area for about 1 hour or until doubled in size.
    2. Make the filling. Add the sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg to a new bowl and mix well.
    3. Generously grease a 9×13 inch baking dish or a dish slightly smaller with butter.
    4. Lightly dust a surface with flour. Roll the dough into a rectangle (about 9×24 inches). Spread the butter evenly over the dough. Sprinkle the cinnamon/ginger sugar evenly over the butter and lightly push the mix into the butter. Starting with the long edge closest to you, carefully roll the dough into a log, keeping it fairly tight as you go. When you reach the edge, pinch along the edge to seal. Using a sharp knife, cut into 10-12 rolls. Place rolls in the prepared baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and transfer to the fridge to rise overnight. 
    5. In the morning, remove the rolls from the fridge and allow them to come to room temp while the oven preheats, about 30-45 minutes. Preheat oven to 350. Bake the rolls for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
    6. In a medium bowl, beat together the cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and beat until combined. Beat in vanilla. Spread the frosting on warm rolls. EAT!

Overnight Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Three weeks from Monday!

{This post is sponsored by Land O’Lakes. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Half Baked Harvest cooking!}

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Comments

  1. Hi Teigan!

    I made these for Christmas this year and they turned our amazing. I wanted to modify this recipe and just make plain rolls for Valentine’s Day this weekend. What would you recommend to substitute if omitting the molasses.

    Thanks!

  2. What would happen if you didn’t wait until overnight with the active dry yeast? Can I let it rise for an hour or two and use it or no? Thank you!!

    1. Hey Courtney,
      Yes, that will work just fine. I hope you love the recipe. Please let me know if I can help in any other way! Happy New Year! xTieghan

  3. 1 star
    So sad.. mine did not rise? Only thing I can think of is using blackstrap molasses vs regular? Otherwise followed to a T! Looks like it’s Christmas cookies for breakfast 😩

    1. Hey Laura,
      So sorry to hear this, was there anything you may have adjusted? What kind of yeast did you use? Was the milk warm, if it was too hot it killed the yeast. Let me know how I can help! xTieghan

    1. Hey Anessa,
      Yes, that would work well. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! Happy Holidays! xTieghan

    1. Hey Gretchen,
      Yes, you sure can! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! Happy Holidays! xTieghan

    1. Hey Eliza,
      Yes you can do that and store in the fridge. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions. Happy Holidays! xTieghan

    1. Hey Katie,
      You can mix by hand with a wooden spoon. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

    1. HI! I am sure bread flour will work just fine. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you and Happy New Year! xTieghan

  4. 5 stars
    These were delicious! Great texture; great flavor. Unfortunately, the kids (nieces and nephews) in our house weren’t such a fan of gingerbread so it ended up being a disappointment for them but more for the adults. 🙂 creative twist though and easy enough to make.

    1. HI! Of course! Just mix the yeast with the flour instead of the milk. Then continue on as directed. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you and I hope you had Merry Christmas! Sorry my response is a bit late! xTieghan

  5. Have you ever made these a few days in advance? Thinking for Xmas breakfast but won’t have much time xmas eve. Think an extra day in the fridge is doable?

    1. HI! Yes, you can make these up to 2 days ahead. Directions at the bottom of the recipe. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you and I hope you had a Merry Christmas! xTieghan

    1. HI! Honey should work great. I would use only 1/4 cup. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you and happy holidays! xTieghan

  6. 5 stars
    Hi! What are the frosty red goodies that are sprinkled on them in the pictures? Cranberries? I may add that or raspberries or something fresh to have with. YUM! So excited to make these next weekend for sibling Christmas.

    1. HI! Yes, they are cranberries. Either cranberries or raspberries will be delicious with these rolls. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you and happy holidays! xTieghan

    1. HI! Yes, of course! They will still be great! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you and happy holidays! xTieghan

  7. Hi, these look delicious and super Christmassy! I want to threat my family to these for brunch but some of us are allergic to wheat, any advice on the flour(s) I may use? We don’t have cup4cup – your favourite brand 🙂 – in Portugal. Thank you so much all your amazing recipes 🙂

    1. HI! I am sorry, I am not familiar with brands in Portugal so I am afraid I don’t have a recommendation. I would use a GF flour blend that you enjoy and bake with often. That should work well. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you and happy holidays! xTieghan

  8. So I made these rolls, I let them sit in the fridge over night- are they suppose to be bigger than they were when I put them in?

    1. Hi Genee, Yes, the rolls should be a little large then when you put them in the fridge. Did they not rise for you? Was there anything you did differently?

  9. 5 stars
    These were great but my daughter doesn’t eat dairy or eggs so breakfasts are always a challenge! I substituted a few items and this turned out fantastic! I was surprised at how easy it was to roll out, not dry and crumbly. I used coconut milk, Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks, and for the egg, 2T water, 1t canola oil, 2t baking powder whisked together. Unfortunately, I had to eliminate the cream cheese altogether, but just used powdered sugar, Earth Balance and a mix between coconut milk and water to create a frosting. Even my super picky eater son really like these rolls! Definitely a keeper recipe, even with the substitutions!

  10. 5 stars
    I love your recipes!

    I just realized I only have a 9.5 x 13.5 glass baking dish 🙁 how should I tweak the recipe to accommodate for this?

    Thanks in advance! 🙂

    1. No knead to tweak the recipe, a 9×13 inch pan is just fine. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you loved this recipe and had a great Christmas! Thanks so much and happy Holidays!! xTieghan ?

  11. Hello! I’m excited to try these for Christmas morning! Is there something I can replace the molasses with?! Thanks!!

    1. You can try honey, but I have not used this before so I am unsure of the outcome. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you loved this recipe and had a great Christmas! Thanks so much and happy Holidays!! xTieghan ?

    1. HI! Yes, they are sugared cranberries. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe. Thanks so much and happy Holidays!! xTieghan ?

  12. This looks amazing and I am going to try this for Christmas morning! Question though, I’m hoping to reduce the amount of active time in the kitchen Christmas morning, and wondering if there’s a reason the frosting couldn’t be made the night before (and maybe allow that to come to room temp while the rolls are baking so it spreads easier)? Or would there be an issue with the frosting consistency if I did that? Thanks!

    1. Hey Nicole! You can certainly make the frosting the night before. Just leave it on the counter while the rolls bake and that will be great! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe. Thanks so much and happy Holidays!! xTieghan ?

  13. 5 stars
    Hi Tieghan,
    Your cinnamon rolls look amazing. What do you think of using bread flour instead of all purpose flour? Does it make a big difference?

    1. HI! Bread flour will work just fine. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe. Thanks so much and happy Thanksgiving! xTieghan

  14. If I wanted to make these as plain cinnamon rolls without the gingerbread flavor, could I just leave out the molasses and ginger? Or would leaving out the molasses affect the texture of the rolls?

    1. Hey Mandy! Yes, you can omit the ginger and molasses, but us an additional 2 tablespoons brown sugar to replace the sweetness. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe. Thanks so much and happy Thanksgiving! xTieghan

  15. 5 stars
    I’m ashamed to say that I’ve never had gingerbread cinnamon rolls! This recipe looks great though so hopefully that will change! Thanks for posting it Tieghan!

  16. 5 stars
    Wow! Awesomeness and yummy. I bet they would be scrumptious gingerbread cinnamon rolls amazing for kids. Will definitely try this for my daughter. Thanks for sharing.

  17. 4 stars
    I made these twice over the holiday week…everyone loved them. However, my dough was very sticky after only three cups of flour and had to add another cup to get the dough to ball up. Should I have tried mixing longer? It tasted slightly dry both times and I can only attribute that to the extra flour – any suggestions? The flavor was fantastic!

    1. HI! It is important, to use as little flour as possible. A sticky dough is actually what you want.To help with rolling, just use a little flour to help you roll it out and it should be great! Please let me know if you have other questions. Glad love this recipe! Thanks! 🙂

  18. 5 stars
    These were very yummy and perfect for Christmas!! I have never made cinnamon rolls before and everyone loved them!! Store bought cinnamon rolls cannot compare to the softness of a homemade cinnamon roll!! I kneaded the dough by hand. The dough was very sticky with 3 cups of flour so added 1 more cup of flour. Maybe this was because I wasn’t using a mixer. Just thought I’d share for those who are kneading by hand!

  19. made these for Christmas morning… they do not disappoint! Buttery with the perfect amount of sweetness. Thank you so much for improving on our annual xmas morning treat. Never again from a package.

  20. Hey hey! The video calls for cloves, but the recipe calls for nutmeg. I did nutmeg with a dash of cloves… a.m. i totally screwing up? So excited for Christmas Eve cinnamon rolls!

    1. HI! Nope, I just screwed up…oops! You can use either or spice, I like nutmeg, but cloves are great too! Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Happy Holiday’s ? 🙂

  21. 5 stars
    These overnight gingerbread cinnamon rolls absolutely something new for me! Looks yummy! I’m also gonna pin this post on my Pinterest board my followers will love it. Thanks for sharing Tieghan!

  22. Firstly, I am obsessed with your website. Basically your recipes feed my family and anyone else who pops by.

    I would love to make these buns Christmas morning, do you think they can sit in the fridge for two nights? I don’t think I will have time (or energy to make them the night before.

  23. How much softened butter are you supposed to spread on the rolled out dough? It’s not listed in the ingredients nor in the instructions. Would love to make these.

    1. It is 6 tablespoons. Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Happy Holiday’s ? 🙂

  24. Hi Tieghan — any suggestions for halving the recipe? Do you think I could get away with still using the whole egg? Thanks and Merry Christmas!

    1. HI! Yes, you can halve the recipe, but still just use the whole egg. Should be just fine, maybe add 1-3 tablespoons more flour if the dough is a little sticky. Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Happy Holiday’s ? ?

  25. 5 stars
    I made these this weekend and we LOVED them! My boyfriend devoured 4 in one sitting. I REALLY loved the overnight aspect of this recipe! The molasses was also an amazing addition!

  26. Hi, since I don’t have a standing mixer, I mixed the milk/yeast and flour and kneaded all by hand to get it to form a ball. However after 10 minutes the dough was still extremely sticky, and not elastic at all. Is this right?

    1. HI! It’s hard to say without seeing how the dough looks, but I would move forward with the recipe, adding in more flour if the dough is not workable. Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Happy Holiday’s ? 🙂

  27. 5 stars
    These rolls turned out great for me! They are so delicious and a nice change from gingerbread in cookie form. I’m sure I will be making this recipe again!

  28. 5 stars
    Sold with butter and molasses. YES! oh and cinnamon. I am sure these would work with my GF flour too. DIVINE!

  29. Woohoo for cozy December cinnamon rolls! The gingerbread flavor is perfect for the holiday! I’m wishing I could grab one right off my screen Tieghan! Bet these went fast!

  30. 5 stars
    I made these last night and baked them this morning- they turned out awesome!! I followed all of the instructions, didn’t change anything. They were pretty easy to make! They turned out puffy and gooey and super good. I love the spices in them!! I will say that I didn’t get a chance to make the frosting, so I can’t review that part, but rolls were fantastic on their own. I think this is going to be on our ‘every December’ list from now on! Thank you so much for this recipe!

  31. 4 stars
    We made these last night / this morning, They were absolutely delicious, but I feel that they really needed to come to room temperature and could have used a 2nd rising before putting in the oven. Thank you for sharing this!

  32. Hi Tieghan,
    These look so delicious!! I’d like to make them for Christmas morning, but I’m traveling a couple of days before. Will the cinnamon rolls be as good if I made the dough the day before I leave, refrigerate overnight, transport in a cool container until I get to my destination and place back in the fridge until I bake them on Christmas morning? Do you have any suggestions on the best way to keep the dough cold while transporting (a 3-4 hour drive)? Cooler and ice packs?
    Thank you!!

    1. HI! I think the rolls will be just fine in a cooler for 3-4 hours. Honestly, you could probably not even use a cooler and they’d be just fine. Just don’t let the rolls sit in sunlight or a very warm place. Place the rolls in the fridge when you arrive. Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Happy Holiday ? 🙂

  33. Trying these tomorrow morning (they’re in the fridge now.) Hope they’re as good as yours look! I don’t have a stand mixer, so I tried to make the dough in my food processor. It couldn’t handle it and bogged down, so I finished by kneading by hand until the dough looked about right (I think.) I rose well and the “put together” rolls look good, so I’ll keep my fingers crossed …

      1. Spectacular!! I took them out about an hour before baking in the morning as they didn’t look like they had risen much overnight. After about an hour in an 80º F oven they looked pretty good … and after baking they looked WONDERFUL!. Everyone loved the texture and the melange of spices . I also loved the icing. It was super easy to make and was perfect on the rolls with the little hint of vanilla. It made about twice as much as I needed, though, so now I have to make the rolls again so I can use up the remaining icing! Great recipe.

  34. Hey Tieghan,
    These rolls look perfect for Christmas morning (or any day this month!) and I can’t wait to bake them for my family when I visit for break. I love the gooey filling and fluffy rolls and they made me smile when I saw your post. I agree that this month is special and it’s also my favorite time of the year. I love getting to cozy up during break, bake all day, read by the fire, and really enjoy everyone’s company. I hope your tree decorating goes well this weekend and you find the one you want! And I hope you’re staying warm. 🙂

    1. Hi! Thank you, I hope you love these! Decorating the tree was so much fun and I am really getting excited for Christmas! I hope you’re staying warm and having a great time decorating Kristin!

  35. Tieghan, I’m so excited that you posted these today! I’ve been wanting to make something gingerbready the past couple of days, just haven’t found anything that screams “make me”…until today! These are sitting in my fridge to proof overnight as I type this.

  36. Quick Q– if we don’t have a standing mixer, could we use a hand mixer and then knead the dough by hand?

    1. Hi Emma! I recommend just mixingthe dough with a wooden spoon and then finish kneading the dough with your hands until it comes together. Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Thanks! 🙂

  37. 5 stars
    Wow, these look amazing and sound delicious! Definitely need to make these, for Christmas morning, but need to find a dough hook for my mixer first!

  38. How many cinnamon rolls does a person need? That’s the silliest question ever! NEVER enough cinnamon rolls! And gingerbread!? YUMMM!!! These look amazing. I make my dough in a bread machine and of course take them out and cut up and put in the oven to bake. Wondering if I could do that with your recipe as well? Cannot wait to make these.

    1. HI! I am not familiar with bread machines, but I think it would be just fine if you make other cinnamon roll doughs with your machine. Hope it works out well! Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Thanks! :

    2. 5 stars
      You can definitely use the bread machine for the dough! I did, and it came out perfectly, with an incredible elasticity and texture (I also used SAF yeast)
      I have a Zijirushi, which preheats the ingredients before mixing. I placed the wet ingredients in first, then put flour mixed with salt on top, and placed the test on top of the flour. Set it and forget it—I love making yeast doughs in my Zoji! Dough rolled out easily and was great to work with. Have my buns in the oven now—can’t wait to devour and my kitchen smells incredible!

    1. Yes! You can freeze after rising. Instead of rising overnight, just let the rolls rise about 1 hour, then cover well and freeze. Thaw overnight in the fridge and bake as directed. Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Thanks! :

  39. GASP! These are maybe the most beautiful cinnamon rolls I’ve ever seen!!! Tieghan you did it again!

    1. Thank you! The stars are target, but a couple years old. Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Thanks! :

  40. 5 stars
    Hellooooo, December treat goodness! No doubt these cinnamon rolls were such a hit. Love the gingerbread fusion here! Happy Friday.