Make Ahead Freezer Cinnamon Rolls

You may remember that Nora was born right before Christmas, and that it was our very first Christmas celebrating with just our own little family. Well, the week before Christmas my angel mother was in town helping out, and I mentioned that I was just going to buy some freezer cinnamon rolls to make for Christmas morning. Apparently she did not like that idea and insisted that we make our own “freezer cinnamon rolls” and than we could have easy and delicious all in one package on Christmas morning. Boy am I glad she was so adamant. Not only were the rolls delicious then, but we have enjoyed them several Sunday mornings since (this recipe makes a ton) and as soon as we run out I’ll be making more! So today I am going to try to break down the instructions for you in several basic steps.


Cinnamon Rolls: *Yields approximately 64 rolls
2 Tablespoons fresh yeast
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 Cups warm water
1 Cup melted butter
6 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 Cup sugar
9 Cups flour
2 Tablespoons butter
Brown Sugar

16 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup butter
8-10 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1-2 Tablespoons milk

1) Mix and let rest: 2 T. fresh yeast and 2 T. sugar and 2 C. warm water
2) Add: 1 C. melted butter, 6 beaten eggs (not ice cold eggs), 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1 C. sugar
3) Stir in: 9 C. flour (best if done by hand and not with a mixer) DO NOT KNEAD. Cover and let rise until double. Push air out with fists, and again let rise until double. *It is a good idea to coat the bowl lightly with cooking spray first.
4) Divide dough into four equal parts.
5) Roll each part into a rectangle. Try not to work your dough too much or it will get tough.
6) Once dough is rolled out, brush dough with soft butter and a pastry brush.
7) Sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar as much as you like. A thin layer works well, I usually use a bit more brown sugar than I do cinnamon, but that’s just my preference.
8) Start at the wide side of your rectangle and roll into a log. Try to pinch the seam shut.
9) Take a piece of thread and cut dough into generous one inch slices.
10) Cover a baking sheet with wax paper. Lay out your cinnamon rolls and flash freeze. (It only takes about 30-60 minutes.)
11) Take rolls off your baking sheet and store in freezer bags!

At this time I also made my icing up and froze it in individual baggies, so that when I decided to bake the rolls all I had to do was thaw an icing bag and I was good to go. I was a little worried about how the icing would freeze because of the cream cheese but it worked like a dream!

Icing: Combine cream cheese with butter and vanilla and blend well in a mixer. Add in powdered sugar a little at a time until desired consistency is reached. You can use up to 2 T. of milk as needed to wet sugar.

(This recipe is adapted from my Grandma’s delicious crescent roll recipe, so I had to show this picture of her recipe. I love her handwriting.)

How to bake frozen rolls:
Arrange frozen rolls two inches apart on a greased baking sheet or 9×13 cake pan. Cover with plastic wrap coated with cooking spray (don’t wrap tightly, just lay lightly over the top of your rolls). Meanwhile pull out your frozen frosting to start thawing. Place pan in a warm place and let the rolls rise until double in size. Bake at 375 degrees for fifteen or twenty minutes or until golden brown. Frost rolls after they have cooled just slightly. *I recommend pulling out your rolls and sticking them in the fridge over night to decrease your rising time.

Now you will have fresh tasting cinnamon rolls for many months to come, I hope you enjoy them!

If you liked this post you may like these other popular freezer cooking posts:
Bacon Breakfast Burritos
The Perfect Freezable Meatball
10 Freezer Meals in 2 Hours!
Healthy Freezer Breakfast Cookies 
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    Garee Geist

    I froze unbaked cinn. Rolls and BIEROCKS before allowing them to raise. Couple weeks later, Pulled them out of freezer to thaw. But they never raised. Tasted GOOD…Just not raised. Suggestions?

    Stephanie Festian

    so I could make these now for Christmas Day and pull them out the night before and let thaw overnight?

      Sarah + Jessica

      Yes, absolutely!

      Sarah + Jessica

      If you want another option, I have since come to love this recipe ( even better! (They are what we are making for Christmas morning, haha!) I just do everything the night before and stick the trays in the fridge, and then Christmas morning I pull them out to warm first thing and as soon as they are room temperature I pop them in the oven to bake! Hope that helps :)

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    Hannah Viera

    So, I made these earlier this summer and froze them. The first and second time I baked some, they were delicious. But the last two times, the buns haven’t seemed to rise so when I bake them, they stay very dense and solid. I’ve been defrosting them in the fridge overnight, then letting the pan sit in a larger pan of warm water for awhile in the morning. Any thoughts? I’m not the best baker so I’m not sure what the problem could be…

      Sarah + Jessica

      Hey Hannah! I’m so sorry you are having this issue! We’re the ones that didn’t work ever partially thawed and then refrozen?! They do lose their ability to rise correctly if that happens (even Rhodes rolls etc. do) but that is really the only issue I’ve ever seen until it’s been around a year since I’ve made them! I’m so sorry! I hope the next time works better!


    Hi! About how many do you stuff into a 9×13 pan? I assume that the frosting recipe is for the entire batch…. So if you are going to make half at a time, just do half the frosting?


    Planning on trying these but was wondering about the waiting until they’ve doubled part, I’m worried that my house wouldn’t be warm enough since it’s around 70 in the winter months and was wondering if I could put it on warm in oven or how long do you think it would take to rise at 70 :) sorry have never done anything like this before

      Jessica @ Pretty Providence

      It definitely does matter how warm the house is how quickly they rise, so it takes a little longer in the winter months! I’m sure you could buy them in on warm and that would be fine!!


        Thank you!!


    Make these even better by using Korintje cinnamon. They will taste like Cinnabon!


    Approximately how long does it take for the rolls to double in size?


    About how many 13 X 9 pans do you think this would make? Trying to figure out how many baggies to divide the icing into and how many pans this will make. THANKS!


    I’m excited to try your recipe but all I have is Active dry yeast… Can I use that? And how would I do that? I have 3 different house holds asking for my home made cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning but I don’t want to spend the 2 days befor Christmas worrying about making them! Please help!!

      Beth Harris

      yes, but you only need about 2/3 the amount. I made them yesterday and they turned out perfectly with 4 tsp of dry active yeast

    Mums make lists

    These look so good – such a great idea for the freezer.

    I would love for you to link up this and your other brilliant freezer cooking posts at the Mommy Archive – we’re focusing on favourite freezer recipes and tips this week, Alice x


    I just found your blog and fell in love with this recipe. I make cinnamon rolls every weekend for my husband and three kids, but they get tired of waiting the hours it takes for my fresh-from-the-oven rolls…this is my perfect solution!


      Yay I’m so so glad! Welcome to the party! Thank you for commenting, you made my day!

    Heidi @

    I’m so glad you have the recipe in your Grandmother’s handwriting! That is a really cool memory. I lost the last letter my grandmother ever sent me, and I am still kicking myself!

    Thanks for linking up at One Creative Weekend. I’ll be featuring you tomorrow! Please come grab a featured button and link
    up anything new you’d like to share at


    Love cinnamon rolls! I have never made them totally from scratch, you make it look easy! Do you think for the icing instead of powdered sugar, splendar can be added? husband a diabetic.

    Sarah @ Pretty Providence

    Here! This is a great explanation of flash-freezing from The Pioneer Woman:

    Sarah @ Pretty Providence

    Thank you Mary!! We are so glad you like the recipes & ideas! :)

    Hilary Cook

    When you say flash freeze, what do you mean by that?

    Hilary Cook

    When you say flash freeze, what do you mean by that?


    Love the handwritten recipe!!!


    Love the handwritten recipe!!!



    Wanted you to know how much I enjoy trying the recipes you share. My family is gluten-free so any menu planning help I get is a Godsend. Your posts are all enjoyable but the recipes with an eye to pre-planning and convenience, I so look forward to. Love, love, love the freezer meals and I’m going to try to adapt the cinnamon roll recipe to be gluten-free.

    You are so right about the leisure ideas. You have a ton, until the moment you can actually use them, then poof!…you can’t remember a single one. The Leisure Book is a great way to alleviate that. Thanks for sharing.

    Keep those convenience meal ideas coming!!!

      Sarah @ Pretty Providence

      Thank you Mary!! We are so glad you like the recipes & ideas! :)


    pinned for later! They look so good!

    Sarah @ Pretty Providence

    Those look yum!