When I set out to make these Cinnamon buns, butter tart flavor was what I was after. And although I used all the same ingredients that I use in my other butter tart recipes, for some reason, they didn't turn out that way. And in the end, I really didn't even know how to describe what they actually tasted like or what to even call them, except DELICIOUS! So, I am calling them Cinnamon Overnight Sticky Buns because they are part sticky bun and part cinnamon roll, with a gooey caramel flavor.
Either way, they are really easy, yummy, and perfect for bringing along to a breakfast potluck or holiday brunch! They are great any time of year, but are the ideal delicious breakfast for Christmas morning, a special breakfast, or other special occasions!
💭Difference Between Sticky Buns and Cinnamon Rolls
This recipe is a hybrid because it's not really a cinnamon roll, nor is it a sticky bun! Typically, a sticky bun has a caramel glaze and nuts and after baking, the pan is inverted so the glaze is on top (like it is in this recipe). The big difference is that cinnamon buns/rolls are generally placed directly into a baking dish, and a cream cheese glaze is drizzled on top after baking. If you're looking for the best cinnamon roll recipe, give my Gruyère Apple Pie Bread Machine Cinnamon Rolls a try! You can also make them without a bread machine.
Typically, cinnamon rolls do not contain nuts and sticky buns don't have raisins. So there you have it - a true hybrid! You can read more about the differences between cinnamon rolls and sticky buns HERE.
If you've heard of Best of Bridge's "Land of Nod Buns" then you will be familiar with this method, as this is a similar recipe and was adapted from it. Frozen dough, bought from the grocery store, in the form of frozen dinner rolls (unbaked), are topped with yummy stuff, left to rise overnight, then baked in a bundt pan the following morning. It's an easy and convenient way to get delicious, fresh-tasting cinnamon sticky buns without very much effort!
In addition to frozen rolls, for these sweet rolls, you'll also need:
- butterscotch instant pudding powder
- brown sugar
- lemon zest
- ground cinnamon
- unsalted butter
- whipping cream
- maple extract
- butter extact
📖 Variations & Substitutions
- Raisins- you can substitute almonds or pecans
- Maple extract- you can substitute 1.5 tablespoon of maple syrup, but be sure to reduce whipping cream by 1.5 tablespoon and reduce brown sugar by 1 tbsp
- Butter extract- I do not recommend you substitute for this, but if you absolutely have to, you can use a rum extract or in a pinch, use vanilla extract
Although I'm a morning person, sometimes it's nice to just sit, drink coffee and not worry about putting together breakfast. This is especially helpful if you have to go to a breakfast or brunch.
Make- ahead: We have a lot of breakfast potlucks at work and that's why I love make-ahead breakfasts like these Overnight Cinnamon Rolls!! When I have to be out the door by 7 am, there isn't much time for prepping and cooking, so doing most of it the night before is ideal. I have also made these a day in advance, but you can make them up to 3 days in advance if you store them in the fridge (in an airtight container). They do reheat quite nicely. If you are just storing them in the fridge overnight, you can cover them with plastic wrap. This is also great recipe for overnight guests, since they are easy to throw together the night before and pop in the morning.
Freezing: You can freeze these sticky buns for up to 3 months in a sealed container.
You will need bundt pan for these frozen bread dough sticky buns, but you could also use an angel food cake pan if you don't have a bundt pan (it will just look a little different). You will also need mixing bowls and a small saucepan.
👪 Serving size
This Best of Bridge monkey bread recipe makes 20 buns, but they are small so you are going to want more than one! Just keep that in mind when you are planning to serve this recipe. You can double this recipe, but you'll need 2 bundt pans.
All my recipes have adjustable serving sizes, so you can click on the blue serving size and select the number of servings you'd like, and the quantities will adjust accordingly.
I wasn't successful in making these guys butter tart flavored, but I have had other butter tart successes, including this Butter Tart Bundt Cake, Butter Tart Waffles, and these Butter Tart Thumbprint Cookies, as well as this collection of The Best Butter Tart Recipes. So be sure to check them out if you also LOVE butter tarts!
And I still have some other butter tart ideas up my sleeve. But if I don't succeed, hopefully, the result will be as delicious as this Sticky Bun recipe! So, if you are looking for an easy cinnamon rolls recipe, using frozen bread dough, you'll love this one!
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📋 Cinnamon Overnight Sticky Buns Recipe
- 20 frozen (unbaked) dinner rolls
- 1 ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- ¼ cup butterscotch instant pudding powder (butterscotch pudding mix) (dry mix) - do NOT add milk
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
- ¼ cup whipping cream (heavy cream ) - 33-35%
- ¼ teaspoon maple extract
- ½ teaspoon butter extract
- ¾ cup raisins * or substitute almonds or pecans
- Spray a 10-inch bundt pan generously with non-stick cooking spray and add frozen rolls to the bottom of the pan.
- Sprinkle lemon zest over dough rolls.
- Then sprinkle on the butterscotch pudding powder, cinnamon and brown sugar.
- In a small saucepan, melt butter, then mix melted butter, vinegar, extracts and whipping cream together. and pour butter mixture over buns.
- Then sprinkle on raisins, almonds or pecans.
- Cover with a damp tea towel and let sit at room temperature (in a warm place) overnight.
- The next morning, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 degrees C), place the whole thing in the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
- Let sit for 5 minutes, then turn warm sticky buns onto a serving plate or platter to remove buns from bundt pan.
- Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.
And if you're looking for additional holiday brunch recipes, check out my Christmas Brunch Menu!