We’ve been having quite a few overnight house guests lately, with moving to Central Oregon, a few hours away from my family, and then with having a baby, there are plenty of reasons for folks to come our way and stay awhile. One of my favorite things about overnighters is making a big breakfast in the morning. I just love making breakfasts! Breakfast is made easier with Make and Freeze Cinnamon Rolls!

I have to confess that before I had Libby, I would fantasize about what being a mom would look like for me. It always included making my family a big weekend breakfast and showing my kids a few tricks about how to flip a pancake. For some reason I want my kids to get excited about it being Saturday, and Saturday means Breakfast with a capital B.

Libby and I making the glaze the morning I baked these. It’s so easy!

The reality of doing this now looks drastically different. While I still want to make a large breakfast, with a baby I’m happy to have a piece of peanut butter toast! #survivalmode. But I still want to make something special for guests and get in the habit of doing breakfast when Libby gets a little older. So that’s why I adapted my favorite cinnamon roll recipe to be a make ahead hack! 

The raw, thawed rolls, frozen right on the pan I will bake them in: 


I can make these cinnamon rolls during nap time — weeks before company comes or before we get a cinnamon roll hankering — and they are ready for us. These are my favorite because the dough stays really moist and soft due to the Yukon gold potato in the dough. I also love that the glaze is made with easy stuff I always have on hand, like powdered sugar and butter. You could do a cream cheese frosting on these, but I find that I don’t always have cream cheese in the fridge.

Try these make ahead and freeze cinnamon rolls and then thaw and bake when you are ready. It’s the perfect thing to make for family sleep overs or when you want to surprise the littles in your life. 


Make and Freeze Cinnamon Rolls
Yields 12
A super moist cinnamon roll recipe that you can make ahead of time for easy weekend baking and entertaining. These are great for brunch, especially when you have time to make them ahead.
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  1. Dough
  2. 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 2-inch pieces
  3. 1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt
  4. 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  5. 3 large eggs
  6. 4 1/2 cups (or more) unbleached all purpose flour
  7. 1/2 cup warm water (105°F to 115°F)
  8. 3 1/4-ounce envelopes active dry yeast (scant 2 tablespoons)
  9. 2 tablespoons sugar
  10. Filling
  11. 1 1/3 cups (packed) golden brown sugar
  12. 2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  13. 3 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour
  14. 9 tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, room temperature
  15. Glaze
  16. 4 cups powdered sugar
  17. 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  18. 4 tablespoons (or more) whole milk
  19. 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  20. 1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
For the Dough
  1. Combine potatoes, 2 cups water, and 1 tablespoon coarse salt in large saucepan. Boil until potatoes are very tender, 15 to 18 minutes. Mash potatoes with water in pan (do not drain water). Add butter and mash until butter is melted. Whisk in eggs, then 1 cup flour; mash until very smooth. Let potatoes stand until barely lukewarm, about 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, pour 1/2 cup warm water into large bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment; stir in yeast and sugar. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add potato mixture to yeast mixture; mix on low speed until well blended, 2 minutes. Mix in 3 cups flour, 1 cup at a time, beating well. Beat until sticky dough forms.
  3. Spread 1/2 cup flour on work surface. Scrape dough out onto floured work surface. Knead until dough is smooth and elastic, adding more flour by tablespoonfuls if dough is very sticky, about 8 minutes.
  4. Coat large bowl with butter. Transfer dough to bowl and turn to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, then kitchen towel. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
  5. Meanwhile, make filling
  6. Mix brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour in medium bowl. Using fork, mix in butter.
  7. Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 425°F. Line large rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Turn dough out onto well-floured work surface. Roll out dough to 24x16-inch rectangle. Sprinkle filling evenly over dough. Starting at 1 long side, roll up dough jelly-roll style, enclosing filling. Using large knife dipped in flour, cut roll crosswise into 12 pieces. Transfer rolls to baking sheet, spacing rolls about 3/4 inch apart. Cover baking sheet loosely with plastic wrap. **If freezing, continue to wrap well and freeze just like this. When you are ready to bake, thaw overnight in the fridge or on the counter if it's a cold night. Then proceed to the next step. You may just need to let the rolls come to room temperature, rather then letting them rise for a specific time. They will be very puffy and large.)
  8. Let rise in warm draft-free area until almost doubled in volume, about 20 minutes (rolls will be very puffy).
  9. Bake cinnamon rolls until golden, about 20 minutes. Cool rolls 10 minutes on baking sheet.
  10. Meanwhile, make glaze
  11. Whisk powdered sugar, melted butter, 2 tablespoons milk, vanilla, and coarse salt in small bowl. If glaze is too thick to spread, add more milk by 1/2 teaspoonfuls as needed. Spread glaze over warm rolls.
  1. These are an unusual recipe - using yukon gold potatoes! But trust me, these are the most delicious and moist cinnamon rolls you will ever bake.
  2. If you want to add chopped nuts or raisins, I recommend sprinkling them over the filling before rolling them up, about 1/3 of a cup of each.
Adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine, March 2009
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