Overnight Cinnamon Buns

Most people enjoy this treat at breakfast time, but who wants to get up early enough to go through the whole process of proofing yeast and waiting for dough to rise? Using this recipe makes it easy to serve warm buns for Sunday brunch; or on any other day of the week that tickles your fancy! These cinnamon buns can be prepped the night before and then refrigerated overnight. They’ll just need an hour to warm up before you pop them in the Memphis pellet grill next morning.


  • ½ C warm water
  • 1 T white sugar
  • 1 package quick rising yeast
  • ½ C soft butter
  • 1/3 C white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ C warm water
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 C all-purpose unbleached white flour
  • ¾ c brown sugar
  • 1T cinnamon
  • 1 C icing sugar
  • 2 T soft butter
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 T coffee cream


  1. Dissolve 1 T white sugar in warm water and sprinkle the yeast over top. Set aside.
  2. Using a hand mixer slowly add the sugar to the softened butter while beating on a low speed until the mixture is light and fluffy. Steps 2 – 5 can be done using a stand mixer with the appropriate attachments. I still make bread the old-fashioned way, starting with a hand mixer and then kneading the dough by hand!
  3. Add one egg at a time while continuing to beat the mixture.
  4. Add the kosher salt and 1 cup of the flour and beat until the flour is completely incorporated into the mixture.
  5. Add another 2 C of flour a bit at a time. When the dough starts to form a ball turn it out onto a well-floured surface and begin to knead the dough while slowly adding the remaining flour, a bit at a time. Add just enough flour to keep the dough from sticking to the surface as you knead. Continue to knead until the surface of the dough is shiny and the texture is soft and elastic.
  6. Coat a clean bowl, large enough to accommodate the dough when it has doubled in bulk, with a bit of oil. Place the dough ball inside the bowl flipping it around so that it gets coated with the oil. Cover with a clean tea towel and place in warm draft-free location. Let the dough rise until it has doubled in bulk. This will usually take 1 ½ - 2 hours.
  7. Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a very lightly floured surface. Roll it out into a 12” x 18” rectangle. Spread ½ C of soft butter evenly over the surface of the dough leaving 1” without butter along one of the longer edges.
  8. Mix the cinnamon with the brown sugar and distribute this mixture evenly over the surface of the buttered dough (again, leave 1” clear along the 18” edge that has not been buttered).
  9. Starting along the 18” edge of the rectangle roll the dough, towards the unbuttered edge, forming it into a log. Pinch the dough to seal the seam. With the log seam side down slice the dough at 2” intervals. This will yield nine slices. Place the slices into a buttered 9”x13” metal pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  10. The next morning place the pan inside the oven and turn the oven light on. The heat from the bulb will help the dough warm up and begin to rise. To help this process along we also place a pan with boiling water in it on the oven rack directly under the rack holding the pan with the rising buns. Shut the oven door and let the buns rise until they double in bulk. This will take 45 minutes to one hour.
  11. Preheat the Memphis grill to 350 F. Place the buns on the middle rack and close the lid. Bake for 25 minutes.
  12. Cream the butter with the icing sugar and slowly add the coffee cream until the glaze reaches a soft consistency. It will be a bit thinner than regular icing but not totally fluid. The warm buns will melt this glaze slightly so it doesn’t need to be too thin.
  13. Spread the glaze evenly over the top of the buns while they are still slightly warm.

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