Home Baked Breakfast: Gooey Cinnamon Rolls

Baking, Cook, Try This at Home, Weekend Project

There is quite possibly no better aroma than a pan of these big, puffy rolls baking in the oven, fragrant with cinnamon, brown sugar and orange zest. If you prepare these the night before up until the final rise and baking, then all you have to do in the morning is let them come to room temperature and then slide them in the oven to bake.


Gooey Cinnamon Rolls


Baker’s Note

If you like, add 1/3 cup raisins or toasted chopped pecans to the filling.

For the dough:

1 package active dry yeast

3/4 cup milk, warmed (110°F)

1/4 cup granulated sugar

4 eggs

4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed

1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into chunks


For the filling:

4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into chunks

2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Finely grated zest of 1 large orange

1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 tsp. water


For the cream cheese frosting:

1/2 lb. cream cheese, at room temperature

4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted


To make the dough, in the bowl of an electric stand mixer, dissolve the yeast in the warm milk and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add the granulated sugar, eggs, the 4 1/2 cups flour and the salt. Attach the dough hook and knead on low speed, adding a little more flour if needed, until the ingredients come together. Toss in the butter and continue to knead until the dough is smooth and springy, about 7 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl. Form the dough into a ball, put it in the oiled bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.


Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Cut the dough in half.


Roll out 1 dough half into a rectangle about 9 by 14 inches. Spread with half of the butter, then sprinkle evenly with half of the brown sugar, half of the cinnamon and half of the orange zest. Starting at the long side closest to you, roll the rectangle away from you, forming a log. Cut the log crosswise into 8 equal slices. Arrange the slices, cut side down, in half of the prepared pan. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling ingredients, and arrange the slices in the other half of the pan. Cover the pan loosely with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm, draft-free spot until puffy, about 1 hour, or refrigerate overnight, then let stand at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes before baking.


Preheat an oven to 400°F.


Brush the rolls lightly with the beaten egg mixture. Bake until the rolls are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of a roll comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.


Meanwhile, make the cream cheese frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, combine the cream cheese, butter and vanilla and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar and continue to beat until thoroughly combined, stopping the mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. If the consistency is too soft, refrigerate the frosting until it is spreadable, about 15 minutes.


Transfer the pan with the rolls to a wire rack and let cool slightly, then spread the rolls with the frosting while they are still warm. Pull the rolls apart and serve warm. Makes 16 rolls.


For more great rolls and other baking recipes be sure to check out our latest book, Williams-Sonoma Home Baked Comfort.

46 comments about “Home Baked Breakfast: Gooey Cinnamon Rolls

  1. Bonnie

    Is it possible to print this without the photos, i.e. so it doesn’t run to four pages?

  2. chefmindy

    Bonnie, do a search for the recipe under the recipes tab on the home page. it prints out in 2 pages

  3. Kim

    Ditto on the printer friendly option. I would like to keep this for later… can’t exactly tackle this on a work night/day!

  4. janie

    OK, am going to make them this weekend as I’m off for spring break-will report back!!!

  5. Amy

    Can these be made ahead and save half in the freezer before baking for a smaller household? 🙂 I’d be in heaven but wouldn’t fit in my jeans if I ate all of them in 1 sitting!

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  7. Heather

    So I’m not sure what I did wrong. I thought I followed the directions but my cinnamon rolls turned out hard. The dough wasn’t fluffy…but hard. Any advice???

    1. Emily Dodge

      Try not to knead too long and let the dough restf or about five minutes covered.

  8. Williams-Sonoma Editors Post author

    Amy, yes, you can absolutely freeze this dough! I’d recommend freezing the rolls in the assembled rounds and then letting come to room temperature before baking and icing. Enjoy!

  9. Williams-Sonoma Editors Post author

    Heather, I’m sorry the recipe didn’t turn out as expected! It’s hard to say exactly what went wrong without more details, but the dough can be hard if it’s overworked. You may try kneading a bit less when you make them again. Good luck!

  10. Melody

    How many rolls does this make? And if I wanted to make a lot (say, 200), would it be okay to just multiply the recipe or will I need to adjust it? Thanks!

  11. Kat Marcos

    Hi! Sorry, I’m new with this baking stuff… the recipe calls for 1 package dry yeast. Is there a standard package? How much yeast is this normally?


  12. Ashley

    I made these twice so far and they turned out amazing. They tasted amazing! The only problem I had was that they gave everyone really bad gas. Did I do something wrong when I was cooking them? I dont think they should do that.

  13. Debbie Blakley

    Dear Williams-Sonoma Editors: I would also like the answer to Melody’s question from July 8th, 2012 regarding: How many rolls does this make? If I wanted to make a lot (say, 200), would it be okay to just multiply the recipe or will I need to adjust it?
    We have a very large family reunion coming up and I would love to make these for that event. Thanks for a reply!

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  18. Oonagh

    Made these yesterday,was a bit nervous converting the recipe to metric, AB FAB !!!
    By the way I am a Scot living in Italy. x

  19. Jaci

    Thank you for stating how long to let the yeast stand, double the size of the dough, beat the mixture until fluffy, etc…. That is so helpful as I never understand how to figure out these steps in a recipe. Cannot wait to try these!

  20. Amy

    Dear W-S,

    Thanks for posting this recipe! Can’t wait to try. Can you please make your blog-posts printer-friendly? On some, you have a link to load a printable document, but not on all. It would be so nice to be able to print these more easily. Thanks!

  21. Jill

    I’d like to make these up to the baking point and deliver them as Christmas gifts on Christmas Eve. Would they be ok sitting in the fridge overnight before baking? Thank you and Happy Holidays

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  24. Jaclyn

    I’ve tried to make this recipe several times now and it doesn’t come out. My problem is the yeast. It’s not blooming. I’ve used a thermometer, whisked it, kept warming it to 110 – NOTHING! I’ve tried to bloom yeast about 6 times now. The yeast isn’t expired and I’ve tried several different packages of yeast – it’s not all coming from the same pack of 3.

    I read online that water is the best bloomer, but there’s no water in the dough.

    What am I doing wrong?!

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  27. S. Westbrook

    I used canned milk instead of whole or 2% milk and it gave it a very unique flavored unique in a good way! Awesome recipe Hubby says this is a dedicate SAVE!

  28. dee finan

    delicious, i cut the roll into 16 pieces, no problem getting them into a 9×13 pan and less quilt per portion. iare the nutritional values for this recipe available?

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    1. Williams-Sonoma

      Hi Rivkah, we haven’t tested the recipe that way, but it should work — the resulting dough will be a bit less rich, but it should still turn out. Let us know how it goes!

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