Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls – The best and most moist cinnamon rolls

You want something special for breakfast tomorrow morning. I guess you could drive to the bakery and get something good. While that is okay, the stuff that you bake at home is usually much, much better, but what to make? This is my recipe for sourdough cinnamon rolls.

Cinnamon rolls are the stuff of legends. It’s ambrosia. Food of the Gods. When you walk past a bakery, or even a 7eleven, and the smell of something fresh baked with cinnamon in it, you just start to instantly salivate. How many people do you know that don’t like a cinnamon bun? If you do, do you really trust them?

The perfect companion for a wonderful homemade breakfast, is, in my very humble opinion these delicious crusty sourdough rolls. Together with the cinnamon rolls, this is the breakfast of champions.

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The dough composition


Total weight1200 grams
Prefermented flour7.6%
Yield12 cinnamon rolls

The dough in this sourdough cinnamon rolls recipe

The dough for these cinnamon buns is highly enriched. Milk, sugar, egg and butter. Essentially a poor mans brioche.

Part of the dough is cooked into a tangzhong, or water roux, which encapsulates part of the water into the starch cells of the flour. This helps give a superior moisture and shelf life, but also an unparalleled fluffy texture to the finished baked roll.

There’s enough salt to not have it taste bland, but not salty at all. The hydration is about 70%, but your flour’s absorption is not going to be important, because we’ll add as much flour that’s needed to get to a tacky, but not sticky dough.

The inoculation is around 17%, and you should assume a very long fermentation, even if you use a proofer, which I would highly recommend.

close up of a cinnamon rolls on a plate

The filling

The filling is made from equal parts sugar, dark brown sugar and butter. The holy trinity of sweet baking.

The mixture of the dark brown sugar and the butter makes this delicious caramel that runs out while baking. That’s the baker’s prerogative. You get to pick that off the parchment paper afterwards and eat it. Yum!

To that mixture we add about 2 tablespoons of cinnamon. Just the perfect amount to not be overpowering, but just bring that wonderful warm and spicy smell and taste.

a cinnamon roll on a plate in front of a brick wall

The glaze and the frosting

I give you two choice of topping on these cinnamon rolls. A white glaze and a cream cheese frosting.

The white glaze is very much the standard for cinnamon rolls in Denmark, so that’s no doubt why that is my preferred frosting, but I also know that the many of my readers (and watchers) are from the grand ol’ US of A, and they really love their cream cheese frosting.

So you get to choose what kind you like.

Head to the formula playground

If you want to play around with the formula, change hydration, quantity, inoculation and many other things, you can do so here in my Bread Calculator.

a cinnamon roll on a plate on a wooden floor

The conclusion of this sourdough cinnamon rolls recipe

For me there are many different variables that make for a delicious cinnamon rolls.

The most important being moisture. There’s nothing worse than a cinnamon roll that is dry. No amount of glaze, frosting or cinnamon can fix that.

The dough needs to be either made with a wonderful layered dough, or have the softest, pillowy, fluffy texture.

Another important thing is that it needs to have a rich buttery smell and taste. The filling needs to be sweet, buttery and moist and have delicious complex dark caramel notes.

This cinnamon rolls meets all though criteria, and more. It is by far the fluffiest, moistest cinnamon bun I’ve ever had. The filling is delicious.

The smells that come off this thing is off the charts. Fresh baked bread, cinnamon, butter, caramel, you nose is telling your brain to just dig in, and never stop.

If you like cinnamon rolls, and who doesn’t? This is your jam. Well, not literally, but you should make them.

five cinnamon rolls on a board

Please share this recipe for sourdough cinnamon rolls on social media

This is my recipe for sourdough cinnamon rolls. If you like the recipe please consider sharing it with like-minded snack lovers on social media.

If you make it and post it on Instagram, please tag me as so I can see it. That would make me very happy.

Ad links! Links for equipmement and ingredients in this recipe are affiliate links, which means that I will a commission if you purchase the product!

Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

Course: Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: All
Keyword: cinnamon rolls, sourdough starter
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Proofing: 7 hours
Servings: 12 rolls
Calories: 443kcal
Author: Sune Trudslev
Nutrition Facts
Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls
Amount Per Serving (1 roll)
Calories 443 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Fat 15g23%
Saturated Fat 9g56%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Sodium 460mg20%
Carbohydrates 71g24%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 35g39%
Protein 7g14%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
The moistest, most wonderful , buttery, and scrumptious homemade cinnamon rolls possible. Leavened using sourdough starter.
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  • 520 g bread flour divided
  • 70 g sugar
  • 10 g salt
  • 170 g whole milk
  • 70 g egg a bit less than 2 small eggs
  • 90 g starter fed and grown to its peak
  • 90 g butter


  • 100 g dark brown sugar
  • 100 g sugar
  • 100 g butter
  • 15 g cinnamon

Sugar Glaze

  • 150 g powdered sugar
  • 40 g egg white

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 200 g cream cheese
  • 50 g butter
  • 200 g powdered sugar divided
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • salt

Egg Wash

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp water


Make tangzhong

  • To a microwave safe container add: 30 g bread flour and 150 g water and mix it up.
    30 g bread flour, 150 g water
  • Put it in the microwave on full for about a minute, then check the temperature.
  • It should be at or above 65°C/150°F. If it’s not warm enough, heat in 10 second increments until it is.
  • Then mix it all together and put it somewhere cool until it’s below 30°C/86°F.
  • Once it’s cooled down it’s time to make the dough.

Make dough

  • To a medium bowl add: 420 g bread flour (we'll ad the rest later), 70 g sugar, and 10 g salt. Then mix it up.
    520 g bread flour, 70 g sugar, 10 g salt
  • Then add: The entire cooled tangzhong, 70 g egg, 90 g starter, and 170 g whole milk. Mix it all together.
    70 g egg, 90 g starter, 170 g whole milk
  • Once it comes together we can start adding extra flour. Start by adding the remaining 100 g little by little.
    520 g bread flour
  • Once it's added start kneading the dough and add enough flour to have a tacky, but not sticky dough. You can use more flour if needed.
  • Then leave the dough covered to rest the gluten for about 30 minutes. While you’re waiting you should cube 90 grams of butter to let it soften.

Knead in butter

  • Knead in the butter, little by little. Keep going until it's all been absorbed by the dough.
  • If a the end the dough is still sticky, you can knead in some more flour.


  • Put the dough in a proofing container and put it somewhere warm to double in size. I put mine in my Brød & Taylor proofer set to 30°C/86°F.
  • This took around 7 hours in the proofer, so if you proof at a lower temperature it'll probably take much longer. Be patient.
  • Once the dough has risen put it in the fridge until the next morning so you can have freshly baked cinnamon rolls with breakfast.
  • Or you can go straight to shaping.

Make filling

  • To a small bowl add: 100 g dark brown sugar, 100 g regular sugar, and 15 g cinnamon. Use a fork to knead the sugars and cinnamon into the butter.
    100 g dark brown sugar, 100 g sugar, 100 g butter, 15 g cinnamon
  • Keep going until it’s pretty uniform. Then put it away until you need it.

Shape cinnamon rolls

  • In the morning I turn my oven on to 180°C/350°F.
  • Now it’s time to shape the rolls. Flour your counter.
  • Get the dough out of the bulking container onto the flour. Flour the dough on both sides.
  • Then roll it out into a rectangle about 50 cm x 30 cm. About 20 inches x 12 inches.
  • Spread the filling on top of the dough. At the top leave about 2.5 cms/1 inch of room, but go all the way to all the sides.
  • Then roll the dough tightly. Cut off the edges to get to the filling.
  • Slice them into 12 equally sized pieces, and put the pieces on two baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
  • Then mix an egg wash made from one egg and one tablespoon of water. Brush the cinnamon rolls lightly with egg wash.
    1 egg, 1 tbsp water

Bake cinnamon rolls

  • Then put both sheets in the hot oven, and bake for about 18 to 20 minutes until they are golden brown.
  • If your oven heats unevenly. Rotate the sheets after about 10 minutes.
  • Then when they are done, remove them from the oven, And place them on a wire rack to cool off.

Make glaze or frosting

  • To make the glaze do the following:
  • To a small bowl add: 40 g egg white, and sift in 150 g powdered sugar, and mix it.
    40 g egg white, 150 g powdered sugar
  • Pour the mixture onto the rolls in any design or way you like. You can be creative, or just put a big glob in the middle. There are no rules.
  • To make the frosting do the following:
  • To a small bowl add: 200 g cream cheese and 50 g butter. Mix it until it pales.
    200 g cream cheese, 50 g butter
  • Add about 100 g sifted powdered
  • Then you can leave them for the glaze to set, but honestly, who has time or patiences for that?
  • Imma eat mine now.
  • Mmmh. Damn. That’s good.
  • While I finish my roll, you can watch these beauty shots.

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