Overnight Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls

The last few years, I started the tradition of making cinnamon rolls for my family on Christmas morning. I like to have something quick and easy to eat, but also something special that we don’t have every day. This year, on Christmas Eve day, I set out making these Overnight Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls. They were easy to make, with minimal work on my part, but tasted so good. (And they tasted just as good this morning too!!) In years past, I always purchased Pillsbury cinnamon rolls out of the can and thought those were ‘good enough,’ too…but, wow, what a shocker to check out the ingredient list in those! Enriched flour bleached, partially hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed oil, dextrose, corn syrup solids, DATEM, polysorbate 60, artificial flavor, potassium sorbate, propylene glycol, yellow 5, color added, and red 40! Of course, that’s not all the ingredients…but talk about unnecessary!!! I really can’t get over it. I honestly used to read labels and think, “Well, those ingredients must be necessary to make this.” No joke; I used to think that. Now I realize companies use these ingredients instead of REAL FOOD because they are CHEAPER (and because these ‘foods’ need to sit on a grocery store shelf for a long period of time). Making your own cinnamon rolls (with better-for-you ingredients) really isn’t all that difficult with just a little prep and pre-planning. Pretty sure this recipe will be used for many years to come! And, as a bonus, I’m using almost all organic ingredients now…so these could even be renamed to “Homemade Organic Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls” now!

Cinnamon Rolls

These cinnamon rolls are yet another reason why I love having my own bread machine! Here is the one I own:

Overnight Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls

(Recipe adapted from Grain Mill Wagon)


  • 4 cups white whole wheat flour (I’ve been using organic lately)
  • 1/2 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup warm organic milk (I use whole milk)
  • 2 eggs, plus 1 egg white (pastured is ideal)
  • 3 T coconut oil, melted
  • 3 tsp. fast rise yeast

Add ingredients to the bread machine in the recommended order. Set to whole wheat, dough cycle. (My dough cycle takes 3 hours and 15 minutes.) When the timer beeps, roll out the dough into a 9 x 13 inch rectangle.

Cinnamon Filling

  • 3 T super soft, almost melted organic butter (or completely melted)
  • 1 cup organic brown sugar (something I reserve for special occasions only)
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon (I’ve started buying organic in bulk from Amazon)
  • 1/4 cup chopped raw pecans, optional

Spread the butter on the dough. Mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over the butter and lightly press into the dough. Add chopped pecans. Roll up the rectangle and cut into 12 equal slices. Place in a greased 9 x 13 baking dish and cover. Place in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning, let the rolls sit on the counter for about 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake for about 22-25 minutes or until rolls just start to brown on top. Spread with cream cheese icing while still warm.

Organic Cream Cheese Icing*

  • 6 oz of a brick of organic cream cheese, softened
  • 3 T organic butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups organic powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Beat cream cheese and butter in mixing bowl until smooth. Add in vanilla and powdered sugar. Mix until no lumps remain. Spread on cinnamon rolls while still warm.

*The recipe amounts have been lowered from the original version. The original recipe made way too much icing…even for someone who loves icing! This is still PLENTY to cover all of the cinnamon rolls, so I may even try reducing the amounts a little more next time. It gives our family a bit too much of a sugar rush these days, especially since we’re not used to eating sugar anymore.

The whole process was quite easy and took minimal effort on my part.

The dough is ready!
Rolled out dough, spread with butter and sprinkled with goodness.
Rolled out dough, spread with butter and sprinkled with goodness.
Rolled up and cut into 12 pieces.
Rolled up and cut into 12 pieces.
Rolls in the morning, prior to baking.
Rolls in the morning, prior to baking.
Baked, iced, and ready to enjoy!
Baked, iced, and ready to enjoy!

These cinnamon rolls could also make the perfect New Years Day breakfast, don’t you think???

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Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same, but Real Fit, Real Food Mom will earn a small commission (which helps to offset web hosting fees, maintenance, etc.). Your support is greatly appreciated!

LeAnn Nome

Hi there! Here's a little info about me: I've been married to my husband for over 10 years and I'm a stay-at-home mom to our three young kids (a six year old daughter and four year old twin boys). As you might imagine, they keep me quite busy! In early 2013, we decided that we wanted to be a healthier family. To do this, we cut out all processed foods from our home and we now eat only REAL, whole foods. (When we're on vacation or at someone's house, we're not quite as strict.) We also try to exercise every day. Our goal is to raise healthy, happy kids...while maintaining our own health and happiness along the way! I hope you will follow along with us in our journey.

20 thoughts on “Overnight Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls

  1. These look delicious! And well worth the effort to avoid the partially hydrogenated shortening alone. I too have noticed items in the grocery including DATEM (which sounds like an innocent derivative of dates, at first glance). But an internet search reveals that is far from the truth, DATEM is an acronym for Diacetyl Tartaric Acid Esters of Mono-diglycerides, it is an emulsifyer that is derived from , soy, palm, or canola oil, by a chemical process, of course… ugh!

  2. These cinnamon rolls look amazing, however I don’t have a bread machine. Do you have directions for these that can be made without a bread machine?

    1. Hi Courtney! No, I’m sorry…I haven’t made bread without a bread machine probably since I was in middle school home economics class! I’m sure it can be done, and the recipe is probably very similar, but I don’t want to steer you in the wrong direction since I really have no clue. Sorry I can’t be of much help! I bet you could search on the web and modify something to combine the two recipes in some way?

  3. Thank you for this yummy recipe!! Your site is quickly becoming my favorite (you may notice that I’ve already commented on a few of your posts..ha!) I bought the bread machine you have and am so glad I made the investment! Thanks to you I now know how to make homemade bread and cinnamon rolls. My next thing I want to try is your recipe for almond milk! For the cinnamon rolls, I went exactly by your recipe (except I didn’t add the pecans although I will try that next time)! And I halved the recipe for the icing and it was the perfect amount. Thank you and please keep the recipes coming!! 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, Christy!! Your comment just totally made my day. 🙂 I love hearing that you are enjoying my blog and my recipes! I will do my best to keep the recipes coming! 🙂

  4. I have a bosch that I use to make all of my bread. So with that it does all of the mixing and kneading for me in about 5 minutes. I am wondering how this recipe would work with that machine. The bosch makes 4-5 loaves of bread at one time and then I separate into loaves and let rise in a warmed oven for 1/2 hour and then bake. Could these be done kind of the same?

    1. Hi Michelle, I am not familiar with what a bosch is…but I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t make the dough using my recipe! Hope it works for you!

  5. Hello, I was wondering if I absolutely have to use white whole wheat flour or if I can use regular whole wheat flour instead? Also, I have bread machine yeast and was wondering if the measurements would be the same of would it need to be adjusted? Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Laura – I’m sure you can use whole wheat flour with this recipe, I just haven’t tried it since I prefer white whole wheat. And I use bread machine yeast in this recipe as well, so it should work great for you! I hope you enjoy the recipe! 🙂

  6. These are so good. My daughters’ friends all ask for these when they spend the night. Now I am going to have to try more of your recipes. Thank you for sharing this one.

  7. Hi there, I am unfamiliar with using my bread machine! I do have a whole wheat setting, but have three different settings for loaf size – Regular 1.5lb; Large 2lb; and Large Rapid 2lb. Can you advise? Also, when it says to add the ingredients in the recommended order, I don’t know what that means either. 😉 Any “Baking For Dummies” advice? Thanks for your help! 🙂

    1. Me again. If I use the whole wheat settings – does that bake it? I also have a separate listing of settings that includes a dough setting. It looks like I have to choose from one set of settings or the other. Ugh. I should not be trying something new on a whim when I really don’t have a clue! ;/ Thanks for your understanding and help!

    2. Hi LeAnn,
      First, thanks so much for answering me on Christmas Eve! It’s always been our tradition to have cinnamon rolls with the kids on Christmas morning, but this year I was determined not to buy the cans. We found the manual for our old bread machine online and took a guess at the settings. Whatever we did to mix the dough, worked, and only took about 37 minutes! (?!) We followed the rest of your directions and had perfect rolls the next morning. Huge fans of the canned variety, all four kids and hubby said we never need to buy them again. Win! ? Plus we had enough left to enjoy over the weekend… double win! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Michelle! So sorry it’s taken me SO long to reply! I’ve never tried to make these ahead of time (because usually the night before IS enough ahead of time for whatever I have going on)…but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work?? Lots of people have asked me, so I really should try testing it out sometime! Keep me posted if you try first! 😉

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