Skinny Overnight Cinnamon Rolls - Handle the Heat
Filed Under: Breakfast | Dessert | Whole Wheat

Skinny Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

By Tessa Arias
January 12th, 2015
4 from 3 votes
4 from 3 votes

A super easy recipe for Skinny Overnight Cinnamon Rolls made lighter with less sugar, less butter, and 100% whole wheat. Enjoy without guilt!

Yield: 12 cinnamon rolls

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook: 25 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Just like a regular cinnamon roll! Tons of those crave-worthy sweet, spiced flavors. Texture: Slightly softer than a more indulgent version but absolutely scrumptious nonetheless. Ease: Ridiculously easy and perfect for a special weekend breakfast without all the work and dirty dishes. Appearance: Gorgeous. Pros: This simple recipe slashes the sugar and fat and is 100% whole wheat. Doesn't get much better than that! Cons: None! Would I make this again? Of course.

I recently shared a recipe for Quick and Easy Cinnamon Rolls which were a HUGE hit and I can see why! Cinnamon rolls are usually complicated, time-consuming, and messy so you guys seemed to love the fact that the recipe only takes 1 hour. I thought I’d use that incredibly easy recipe and give it a lighter spin for the new year and what I came up with are these Skinny Overnight Cinnamon Rolls!

Less butter, less sugar, and 100% whole wheat?! Amazing!

They’re made with WAY less sugar and butter and are 100% whole wheat without sacrificing that mouthwatering sweet cinnamon flavor. You prepare the rolls completely, with no long rising times, and pop them in the fridge so they can rise slowly overnight. The overnight period allows the rolls to become more soft and fluffy and for the whole wheat flavor to mellow out so you can enjoy the perfect intersection of taste WITHOUT over-indulgence.

The trick to making this recipe 100% whole wheat is to use white whole wheat flour so you get all the awesome whole-grain goodness without the super pronounced nutty flavor of regular whole wheat flour. However, since it is still 100% whole wheat the texture is a little bit different than an all-purpose flour roll. These rolls are more soft, slightly more cakey, than traditional cinnamon rolls. If you want more of the traditional texture and don’t mind sacrificing some of the nutritive value, feel free to use half all-purpose, half white whole wheat flour in this recipe.

Less butter, less sugar, and 100% whole wheat?! Amazing!

More Cinnamon Roll Recipes:

4 from 3 votes

How to make
Skinny Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

Yield: 12 cinnamon rolls
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Inactive Time 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 45 minutes
A super easy recipe for Skinny Overnight Cinnamon Rolls made lighter with less sugar, less butter, and 100% whole wheat. Enjoy without guilt!


For the dough:

  • 1 cup lukewarm almond milk (or any other milk)
  • 1/3 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups (15.75 ounces) white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt

For the filling:

  • 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

For the icing:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar


For the dough:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine all the dough ingredients and stir until combined. Turn the mixer on medium speed and knead for 5 minutes, or until smooth. Remove the dough to a floured work surface, cover, and let rest for 10 minutes.

For the filling:

  1. In a small bowl combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
  2. After the dough has rested, use a floured rolling pin to roll it out into about a 9 by 15-inch rectangle. Trim the edges. Brush all over with melted butter. Sprinkle evenly with the cinnamon sugar mixture, leaving a 1/2-inch border at the far edge. Roll the dough up, pinching with your fingers to keep it tightly rolled. Place the seam before positioning the log seam side down.
  3. Use a very sharp knife to cut off the ends then cut the dough into 12 equal pieces. Place in a greased pie pan or 9 by 13-inch baking pan. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack for at least 5 minutes.

For the icing:

  1. While the rolls cool, whisk together the icing ingredients until smooth. Drizzle all over the warm rolls and serve.
Course : Breakfast
Cuisine : American
Tessa Arias
Author: Tessa Arias

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Find Tessa on  

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Recipe Rating

  1. #
    Melissa — August 28, 2022 at 11:01 am

    My go to cinnamon roll recipe! Comes together exactly as described,

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — August 29, 2022 at 12:57 pm

      Yay!! So happy to hear that, Melissa!!

  2. #
    Ray — July 9, 2022 at 6:08 pm

    do you know the calorie count per serving? sorry if it is in the article and I just missed it!

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — July 12, 2022 at 1:08 pm

      Hi Ray! I’m sorry but we don’t calculate the nutritional value of our recipes. You should be able to find a nutrition calculator online to assist with this. Happy baking!

  3. #
    Amber Da Ponte — December 19, 2021 at 6:32 pm

    I made these and was unfortunately disappointed. They didn’t rise or get bigger. The dough was really thick and dry when I rolled it out. Could you explain why they have to sit overnight? Just curious because on my end it didn’t do anything. I really want these to work so hopefully you can help me figure this out.

    • #
      Emily — December 20, 2021 at 4:14 pm

      Sorry you experienced issues with this recipe, Amber! This recipes sits overnight to allow the rolls to become more soft and fluffy and for the whole wheat flavor to mellow out. Your rolls should have risen slightly overnight, do you know if your yeast was fresh? To test your yeast for freshness, follow the instructions in this article HERE. Did you use a digital scale to measure your flour? It sounds like too much flour may have been added, resulting in your dough to be thick and dry, needing more liquid. How was the outcome?

      • #
        Amber Da Ponte — December 20, 2021 at 5:17 pm

        Thank you so much for your quick response! I followed the instructions to make that day. Let rise for 1.5 hrs ( because it wasnt rising) then I rolled it and cut them and let them rise again for another hour. I will test my yeast but it shouldn’t be expired as I just bought it today. In the instructions it does say to add sugar, I don’t see that in the recipes instructions I see to add the honey afterwards. I will attempt these again and report back! I really want them to work .

        • #
          Emily — December 21, 2021 at 10:10 am

          This recipe does require an overnight rise in the refrigerator, it’s very possible the short length of your rise time could have been the issue regarding the flavor as well as the rise itself. The 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar is added when all the dough ingredients are combined in the first step. There is no honey in this recipe, are you substituting the sugar for honey?

  4. #
    Laura — September 13, 2020 at 6:18 pm

    Really filling and not overly sweet, will definitely make these again!

  5. #
    Samar — April 8, 2020 at 3:17 am


    I want ask if i can perpar the doght for Cinnamon roll from 1 pm till tomrrow ? Like more than 24 hour in fridge ?

  6. #
    krysta Wolfangel — November 23, 2019 at 6:02 pm

    I made these for the family. They were okay.Honestly it was the dough that was disappointing. A non yeasted quick rise dough would have been better in this case I think. Actually, this dough would have been really good as a savory dough though! It was as if the dough was so unremarkable against the lovely cinnamon filling! I make a lot of healthy desserts and all are hit or miss depending on who is eating. I really appreciate the effort to make things healthier! We had great fun making these and the kids and hubby “yummed” them up as my daughter would say

  7. #
    Nicole — February 16, 2018 at 2:41 am

    I really love your recipes! It would be absolutly fantastic if you could post your repices also in grams and celsius (or provide a conversion table). This would make it perfect. 🙂

  8. #
    Amanda — July 6, 2017 at 11:05 pm

    For those asking about a calorie count, I calculated 175 per roll, give or take depending on brands of ingredients. So for anyone counting calories, these aren’t that “skinny”, I guess better than eating a cinnamon roll from a restaurant or bakery I’m sure, but pilsbury grands cinnamon rolls are 140 calories per roll (I looked up on their site to compare).

  9. #
    Kendra — June 19, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    My dough didn’t rise? Was I suppose to mix the yeast first?

  10. #
    Rabia — May 25, 2016 at 11:07 am

    Hey 🙂 I wondered how many calories one off these delicious looking cinnamon goodnesses has?
    Thank you :*

    • #
      Tessa — May 25, 2016 at 8:32 pm

      I’m not sure! I don’t calorie count, but feel free to copy and paste the recipe into a calorie counter 🙂

  11. #
    Carrie — March 26, 2016 at 5:58 am

    Do you have calorie count for these delicious sounding skinny cinnamon rolls? Thank you!

  12. #
    Sara — February 14, 2016 at 4:22 pm

    Hi I was wondering if you weren’t to refrigerate how long do you leave the cinnamon rolls out for to rise ?

  13. #
    Russiandependent Escort — January 5, 2016 at 12:36 am

    At this moment I am going to do my breakfast, after having my breakfast coming again to read further news.

  14. #
    Tracy — May 21, 2015 at 1:50 am

    I made these the other day, and they were simply amazing! I borrowed and tweaked your recipe and put it on my blog – hope this is okay x

  15. #
    Wendy B — April 23, 2015 at 9:15 am

    Would they work the same if I used regular wheat flour, not white whole wheat flour?

  16. #
    Ashley — March 17, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    Can I make these say on Friday and bake Sunday when my in laws are here in the am?

  17. #
    Abby @ The Frosted Vegan — January 12, 2015 at 7:22 am

    Anything involving overnight and cinnamon rolls is a WIN in my book!

  18. #
    Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness — January 12, 2015 at 5:37 am

    I LOVE using white whole wheat flour to make cinnamon rolls, so I am totally ALL over these! And since they’re skinny, I can eat 6. Love it.

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