Soft Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing

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If you love cinnamon rolls, try this soft and delicious sourdough version! Made with a tangy sourdough starter and filled with a sweet cinnamon sugar mixture, these soft sourdough cinnamon rolls are perfect for a cozy breakfast or brunch.

The creamy and tangy cream cheese icing takes this recipe over the top. Whether you’re a seasoned sourdough baker or just getting started, these cinnamon rolls are sure to become a new favorite.

fresh baked sourdough cinnamon rolls with a frosting glaze

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  • The cinnamon rolls are light and fluffy, yet flakey and perfect.
  • It’s easy! Finally, a sourdough cinnamon bun recipe that’s easy to follow (great for beginners).
  • The dough is easy to handle.
  • It makes lovely soft and gooey cinnamon rolls that are covered in cream cheese icing.
  • These are the best sourdough cinnamon rolls!

Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls Ingredients

ingredients to make cinnamon buns with a sourdough starter
  • Sourdough starter: The main purpose of using a sourdough starter is to give the dough a tangy flavor. Therefore, the sourdough starter doesn’t have to be a ripe or active starter. Keep in mind, the more “starved” the starter is, the more sour the dough will be.
  • All-purpose flour: Bread flour is a good alternative to all-purpose flour.
  • Water: Use room temperature or lukewarm water that’s between 105°F and 115°F. This temperature is ideal for activating the yeast.
  • Sugar: You can use white granulated sugar, honey, or coconut sugar.
  • Oil: I used olive oil in this recipe but you can use vegetable oil or avocado oil.
  • Commercial yeast: Active dry yeast is what I like to use when making these easy sourdough cinnamon rolls. The yeast will help the dough rise. Please remember to check the expiry date on the yeast before using it.
  • Egg: The addition of egg makes it a brioche dough which means a fluffy sourdough cinnamon rolls recipe.
  • Salt: Kosher salt is my preferred salt but you can use sea salt as well.
  • Cinnamon: Cinnamon powder is what takes the flavor on these rolls to another level!
  • Brown sugar: Light or dark brown sugar will work just fine.
  • Powdered sugar: This can be found in the baking section of the grocery store. You can also make your own powdered sugar by blending granulated sugar in a food processor until it turns into a fine powder. Aka icing sugar or confectioners sugar.
  • Butter: Softened butter or melted butter can be used for this recipe.
  • Milk: Feel free to substitute milk with yogurt, or even buttermilk.
  • Vanilla extract: If you can, use pure vanilla extract instead of imitation vanilla.

Optional nuts: Feel free to add chopped pecans or walnuts to the filling before rolling the dough.

Easy Sourdough Starter

Whenever I want to start up a sourdough starter, I buy from Kensington Starterdough. It comes dehydrated and it takes 7 days to get it to be active. I have purchased from them numerous times and it always turns out.

cinnamon rolls baked in a cast iron pan

Dairy Free Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

Looking for dairy-free adjustments to the recipe?

To make these dairy free, use coconut milk instead of regular milk. You can also use almond milk or your favorite non-dairy milk.

Feel free to use ghee, plant-based butter, or coconut oil instead of butter. Ghee or plant-based butter would probably be best for the taste.

dairy free sourdough cinnamon rolls in a cast iron pan

How to Store Sourdough Cinnamon Buns

I recommend storing the cinnamon rolls in an airtight container or a resealable bag (Ziploc bag).

The cream cheese frosting tastes best when it’s fresh, so if you are planning to serve these later. Make the frosting before you serve it. Especially if you’re storing them in a bag (it will get messy and then you’ll be wasting the delicious frosting).

drizzling cream cheese icing over cinnamon rolls
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FAQs about Cinnamon Rolls made with Sourdough Starter

Certainly! You can freeze the rolls and bake them later.

Yes, it’s perfectly okay to do that. In fact, if you do that you will find that your rolls will be more flavorful because they took time to develop flavor. The next day, remove them from the fridge and then bring them to room temp. This should take about 30 minutes to 1 hour. I recommend icing the rolls after baking.

Check your yeast. You may have used yeast that has expired.

The most I have refrigerated them before baking was 10 hours.

Yes, you can dust the rolls with powdered sugar instead of drizzling icing over them.

Yes, if you double the recipe you may need to cook the rolls in 2 separate pans.

Yes, it’s safe but if you have any concerns, I recommend having it rise in the fridge. It will take a long time though. The purpose of the eggs is to enrich the rolls and make them softer and fluffier.

The dough is sour because it is probably fermented for a long time. If you haven’t fed your started in a while, this can happen.

Step By Step How to Make Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

First Rise

To make the dough for your sourdough cinnamon rolls, start by combining your sourdough starter, all-purpose flour, milk, sugar, oil, egg, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Mix everything together until a smooth dough forms.

Knead the dough for 7-10 minutes until it becomes elastic and doesn’t stick to the sides of the bowl.

Cover the bowl with a lid, a damp towel, or plastic wrap, and let the dough rise in a warm place for approximately 2 hours, or until it has nearly doubled in size. Keep in mind that the rise time may vary depending on the temperature of your kitchen.

Once the dough has risen, you’re ready to assemble and bake your sourdough cinnamon rolls.

Get ready for the delicious aroma of cinnamon and sweet dough to fill your kitchen!

To Assemble the Cinnamon Buns

To assemble your sourdough cinnamon rolls, place the dough on a floured work surface and use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll it out into a large, 1/4-inch-thick rectangle.

Next, brush melted butter over the surface of the dough, leaving a small border around the edges. In a separate small bowl, mix together cinnamon and brown sugar, then sprinkle the mixture evenly over the dough.

Starting from the long end, tightly roll up the dough and use a sharp knife, bench scraper, fishing line, or unflavored dental floss to cut it into 12 slices, each about 2 inches wide.

Second Rise

Lightly grease the bottom of a skillet, pan, or 9×13-inch baking dish, or line your skillet with parchment paper.

Place the slices inside the skillet or pan, cover them with plastic wrap, and let them rise for about an hour in a warm spot for their second and final rise.

Baking Cinnamon Rolls

Preheat your oven to 350°F, brush the rolls with butter, and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.

While the cinnamon rolls are baking, make the icing by mixing powdered sugar, butter, milk, and vanilla extract in a small bowl.

Once the rolls are done, drizzle the cream cheese icing generously over the top while they are still warm and fluffy.

More Tasty Desserts

spooning frosting over cinnamon buns

Sourdough Discard Cinnamon Rolls

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours

Indulge in the perfect dessert or breakfast treat with these soft and delicious sourdough cinnamon rolls. Featuring a tangy sourdough starter and a sweet cinnamon sugar filling, these rolls are the ultimate comfort food. Top them with the creamy and tangy cream cheese icing that will leave you wanting more.


For the dough

  • 1 cup of sourdough starter (or discard)
  • 6 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups of warm water 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of oil
  • 2 teaspoons of yeast
  • 1 tsp of salt 1 egg

For the filling

  • 1 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup of melted butter

For the icing

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract


  1. In a large mixing bowl, add your sourdough starter, all-purpose flour, milk, sugar, oil, egg, and salt. Combine all these ingredients until a dough forms.
  2. Knead the dough until it doesn't stick to the sides of the bowl. The kneading should take about 7-10 minutes.
  3. Cover the bowl with a lid, a damp towel, or plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place for about 2 hours, or until it almost doubles in size. Rise times will differ depending on the temperature of your kitchen.
  1. Place the dough onto a work surface that has been dusted with a little flour. Using a lightly floured rolling pin roll it out into a large rectangle that's about 1⁄4 inches thick.
  2. Brush the melted butter over the dough leaving a little border around the edges.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together cinnamon and brown sugar. Spread the cinnamon sugar mixture evenly over the dough.
  4. Beginning with the long end, roll up the dough tightly and then cut it into about 12 slices (2-inch sections) with a sharp knife, bench scraper, fishing line, or unflavored dental floss.
  5. Lightly grease the bottom of the skillet, pan, or 9X13-inch baking dish and place the slices inside. Alternatively, you could line your skillet pan with parchment paper. Cover the skillet with plastic wrap and let it do the second rise (or final rise) in a warm spot for about an hour.
  6. Preheat your oven to 350°F and then brush the rolls with butter. Bake them for 25-30 minutes or until they turn golden brown.
  7. As the cinnamon rolls bake, make the icing by mixing powdered sugar in a small bowl with butter, milk, and vanilla extract in a small bowl
  8. Drizzle the icing generously on top of the warm fluffy cinnamon rolls and enjoy! 

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 464Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 253mgCarbohydrates: 81gFiber: 3gSugar: 25gProtein: 9g

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