Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

The Best Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

Sourdough makes everything taste extra special and adds that special WOW!

Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls are a fantastic and delicious recipe to use your sourdough starter in.  These Cinnamon Rolls treats are wonderful – so easy to make in your bread machine and so rewarding!  This recipe still uses yeast, and the sourdough starter is added for another dimension of flavor that will amaze your taste buds!  I have been making this recipe for years and always get asked to share my recipe.

As far as I am concerned, Cinnamon Rolls are the best food invention ever made.


Bread Making Hints: Secrets to using the bread machine, About yeast in bread making, and Sourdough Starter – How to make a Sourdough Starter.

More great Bread Recipes, Sourdough Bread Recipes and Quick Bread Recipes for all your bread making.

Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls Recipe:
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
25 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls Recipe
Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls:
Cinnamon Filling:
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted or softened
  • 1/2 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 to 1 cup nuts, chopped (optional)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar (confectioners' sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons hot water
Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls Instructions:
  1. Add all the ingredients in the bread pan of your Bread Machine.  Process according to manufacturer's instructions for a dough setting.  NOTE: Do not be afraid to open the lid and check the dough.  It should form a nice elastic ball.  If you think the dough is too moist, add additional flour (a tablespoon at a time).  The same is true if the dough is looking dry and gnarly.  Add warm water (a tablespoon at a time).

  2. When the bread machine has completed the dough cycle, remove the dough from the pan to a lightly floured surface.  Knead the dough several times and form the dough into an oval; cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes.

  3. Butter a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan; set aside.

  4. After dough has rested, roll and stretch the dough into approximately a 15 x 24-inch rectangle.  Brush the softened butter (listed below in the Cinnamon Filling) over the top of the dough with a rubber spatula or a pastry brush.  Sprinkle Cinnamon Filling over the butter on the prepared dough.  Starting with long edge, roll up dough; pinch seams to seal.  NOTE: Rolling the log too tightly will result in cinnamon rolls whose centers pop up above the rest of them as they bake.

  5. With a knife, lightly mark roll into 1 1/2-inch sections.  Slide a 12-inch piece of dental floss or heavy thread underneath.  By bringing the ends of the floss up and crisscrossing them at the top of each mark, you can cut through the roll by pulling the strings in opposite directions.  Place rolls, cut side up, in prepared pan, flattening them slightly.  The unbaked cinnamon rolls should not touch each other before rising and baking.  Do not pack the unbaked cinnamon rolls together.

    Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls
  6. Two Options or Choices:

  7. 1. Refrigerating or Freezing Unbaked Cinnamon Rolls:

  8. At this point, the cinnamon rolls can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight (I've actually made them two days in advance) or frozen for one (1) month.  Before baking, allow rolls to thaw completely and rise in a warm place if frozen.  I have found that I have to take the unbaked frozen cinnamon rolls out of the freezer 10 to 12 hours before planning to bake.  I just put the frozen cinnamon rolls (container and rolls) on my counter (not in the refrigerator) overnight for 10 to 12 hours.

  9. If refrigerated, they can be either baked upon removing from the refrigerator or let come to a room temperature (I've done both ways).  They do a slow rise overnight and it is not necessary to let them come to room temperature before baking.  If you rolls are not rising enough after being refrigerated, your yeast may need to be tested.  To overcome this, let them rise, while sitting on the counter, until you achieve the desired rising before baking.

  10. 2. Bake Immediately After Making:

  11. Cover and let rise in a warm place for approximately 45 to 60 minutes or until doubled in size (after rising, rolls should be touching each other and the sides of the pan).

  12. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake approximately 20 to 25 minutes in a regular oven until they are a light golden brown.  A good check is to use an instant digital thermometer to test your bread.  The temperature should be between 190 and 200 degrees.

  13. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.  Spread prepared Butter Frosting over the cinnamon rolls while still warm.

  14. Best served warm, but room temperature is also great!

Cinnamon Filling Instructions:
  1. Soften the butter; set aside.  In a bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon; stir in chopped nuts (optional).  NOTE: I like to sift the brown sugar and cinnamon together to remove any lumps.

Frosting Instructions:
  1. In a medium bowl, combine powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and hot water until well mixed and creamy.  Refrigerate frosting until ready to use and then bring to room temperature before spreading.

Recipe Notes

* If you do not presently have a sourdough starter, either make your own Sourdough Starter or purchase Packaged Sourdough Starter Mix by mail-order.

Sourdough Cinnamon RollsI find working with a sourdough starter can be very time consuming.  Especially if you follow what most sourdough books say and feed them everyday.  That's too much work for me as I already have a cat.  You even need a sourdough sitter when leaving town.  Because I do not use my starter everyday, I store it, covered, in the refrigerator until ready to use.  When I decide I want to use my starter, I then remove it from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature (usually I let it sit overnight on the counter). I then feed it with 1 cup flour and 1 cup warm water.  I let this site 8 hours or preferably overnight.  It is now ready to use in your sourdough recipes! - Linda Stradley


Thermapen Internal Temperature Cooking Chart Sourdough Cinnamon RollsI get many readers asking what cooking/meat thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking and baking. I, personally, use the Thermapen Thermometer. Originally designed for professional use, the Super-Fast Thermapen Thermometer is used by chefs all over the world.  I only endorse a few products, on my web site, that I like and use regularly.

You can learn more or buy yours at: Super-Fast Thermapen Thermometer.

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Did you know that the name sourdough comes from San Francisco and their famous sourdough breads? It is thought that French bakers brought sourdough techniques to Northern California during the California Gold Rush in the late 1800s. If you don’t want to make your own sourdough starter, you can buy a San Francisco sourdough starter from Amazon. 

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Baking    Brunch & Breakfast    Cinnamon Rolls    Sourdough Bread   

Comments and Reviews

19 Responses to “Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls Recipe”

  1. Christina Miskam

    This recipe is excellent. The only things I did differently was to add vanilla to my bread dough and I make a cream cheese frosting. ( Neufchatel actually. 1/3 the fat of cream cheese, and tastes the same to me.) I love this recipe and always get rave reviews. It is so tender, airy, yeasty, and light in texture. Truly, this recipe is excellent. I have tried many, and this by far is my favorite!!!!


    I have been making cinnamon rolls for years and this by far is the best cinnamon roll recipe I have ever tried. I made them the night before Thanksgiving and baked them in the morning. They were awesome!

  3. penny place

    I love sourdough! I’m always looking for recipes to bake with it…I’m going to try this one.

  4. Sadie

    If mixing and kneading by hand, would any of the ingredient measures need to be adjusted?

    • Linda Stradley

      The dough should form a nice elastic ball. If you think the dough is too moist, add additional flour (a tablespoon at a time). The same is true if the dough is looking dry and gnarly. Add warm water (a tablespoon at a time).

  5. Melissa Brown

    Does any one have suggestions if you do not have a bread machine?

    • Ann-Marie Hunter

      I just made this recipe with honey instead of brown sugar. I dumped all the wet ingredients in my mixmaster and added the flour gradually. The machine did all the mixing and most of the kneading. I finished off the dough by hand kneading for about 5 to 10 minutes until it formed a cohesive ball of dough. I brushed honey mixed with cinnamon on the tops of the buns when they came out of the oven. No bread machine needed!

  6. Jeanie

    Would the process be the same without a bread machine? I would love to try these delicious looking rolls.

    • Marisol

      Yes, you just add the ingredients for the dough in mixer and finish up by hand for about 3-5 minutes. Let the dough rise in a sealed container until doubled.

  7. Julianne

    When you feed 1 cup flour, 1 cup water…does it matter how much sour dough you are starting with. Is it a cup or can it be more?

    • Linda Stradley

      I usually have 1 to 2 cups left.

  8. Catherine C Garland

    Is the yeast necessary since the sourdough starter raises the dough?

    • Barbrea Laws

      If you have a really strong starter, no the yeast isn’t necessary. But, if you have a new starter that isn’t quite up to par, or unfed discard, the yeast gives a boost to the recipe.

  9. Elaine Meehan

    Have you tried this with half Whole Wheat flour?

  10. Charlie

    I like to cook and bake. Every Sunday it was sourdough waffles and the left over batter was used for bread. I made regular sourdough bread as well. But with our change of eating habits have had to stop this enjoyable feature.

    But this recipe is great it make just 12 and they freeze and warm up great. So we can have a treat now and then.

    I used sugar for the batter, but powder sugar from Swerve for the icing!!!!!

    • Nancy

      I know what you mean, our diets change over time, and then we miss some of our favorite traditions. I like that you used Swerve to cut down on the sugar. Great idea!

  11. Eva

    I made these yesterday – super easy and turned out great! I recommend making less icing unless you want to absolutely drench them in it. Had quite a bit leftover. My rolls didn’t puff up much but were delicious and I got many compliments. Will definitely make again. I added some hazelnut meal to the filling and thinking trying to add dulce de leche or a thin spread of Nutella next time…

  12. Susan

    I made these today, again. Absolutely wonderful, the dough was easy to handle, tastes fantastic, and makes two pans. My starter was very active, thus a huge rise. Thank you for the recipe. I look forward to using more of your recipes.

  13. Linda

    I have recently started doing a sourdough starter and came across your recipe for the cinnamon rolls. And decided to try them when they come out of the oven they looked delicious however they were hard and And not fluffy I don’t know what I did wrong but my sourdough starter I have been feeding and maintaining for about 12 or 13 days now


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