Small Batch Overnight Mocha Cinnamon Rolls

overnight cinnamon rolls in baking pan

5 from 1 reviews

An easy recipe for a small-batch of perfectly tender and gooey cinnamon rolls. Add cocoa powder and instant coffee to make them mocha flavored and omit them and stick with a classic breakfast treat. Perfect for weekend guests or holiday baking. This small batch can be easily doubled and baked in a 9×13-inch pan.



For the Dough:

  • 1/2 cup whole milk, warmed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups (187250 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg yolk (1 whole large egg if doubling the recipe)

For the Filling

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and divided
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder (optional)
  • pinch of salt

For the Glaze:

  • 2 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon softened butter
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee hydrated in 2 teaspoons water
  • 12 tablespoons whole milk, or enough to make a spreadable glaze


  1. In a small saucepan warm the milk to just warmer than body temperature about 110 degrees F.
  2. Transfer milk to a large bowl and sprinkle yeast over the top. Add a pinch of brown sugar. Allow mixture to sit for 3-5 minutes to allow to yeast to activate, foam, and froth.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 cups flour, salt, brown sugar. Break the softened butter into a few large chunks and add to the flour mixture. Create a well in the center of the bowl and pour the warm yeast milk and egg yolk into the flour mixture. Use a wooden spoon or a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment and stir or beat until incorporated and a ball starts to form. Add up to 1/2 cup more flour, a few tablespoons at a time if the dough feels too wet. Bring the dough together into a smooth ball by kneading by hand for 5 minutes or so.
  4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
  5. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured work surface. Roll into a roughly 9 x 12-inch rectangle.
  6. Spread with about 4 tablespoons of melted butter. In a small bowl stir together sugar, cinnamon, cocoa powder (if using), and salt. Generously sprinkle over the melted butter. Roll starting at the longer edge into a tight coil.
  7. Slice into 6 pieces using a sharp knife or a piece of plain floss.
  8. Use remaining 2 tablespoons of melted butter to lightly grease the bottom and sides of an 8×8-inch baking pan. Place rolls in the pan leaving about 1/2 inch of room between them. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in the refrigerator overnight (8-24 hours).
  9. When you’re ready to bake, place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  10. Remove plastic wrap and allow rolls to come to a cool room temperature. I leave my rolls on the counter for 30-45 minutes. Bake the rolls for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown, puffed, and bubbling.
  11. Remove from the oven, allow to cool just slightly.
  12. In a small bowl use a rubber spatula to blend together cream cheese and butter. Add the powdered sugar and coffee. Mix and add a splash milk. Add another splash for if your glaze feels to thick to spread. Spread over warm rolls and enjoy!!