This is my go-to recipe for cinnamon rolls, sticky buns, etc. The sourdough starter we use has been passed down for generations in my husband's family. It gives the rolls the characteristic sourdough punch that contrasts well with the sweet filling and frosting.

Recipe Summary

45 mins
35 mins
2 hrs 10 mins
3 hrs 30 mins
8 servings


Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified


Instructions Checklist
  • Mix 1 cup flour, starter, milk, white sugar, and yeast together in the bowl of a stand mixer. Let stand until spongy and bubbling, about 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup butter, egg, and salt; stir to combine. Add remaining flour 1 cup at at time until a soft, slightly sticky dough forms.

  • Transfer dough to a floured work surface; knead until dough comes together, 3 to 5 minutes. Place in a greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap; allow to rest until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan.

  • Punch dough down; transfer back to the floured surface. Roll into a square 1/4-inch to 1/3-inch thick. Spread 1/2 cup butter on top; sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon on top. Roll dough up tightly; pinch seam together.

  • Trim the edges and cut the log into 8 equal pieces using a sharp knife. Place rolls in the prepared baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap; let rise until not quite doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 35 minutes. Remove from oven; cool for 20 minutes.

  • Mix confectioners' sugar, cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, and vanilla extract together until frosting is smooth and fluffy. Top each cooled roll with an equal amount of frosting.

Cook's Note:

This recipe was developed at high altitude, (6,000 ft) so adjustments to flour, cooking time, rise time, etc... may be necessary.

Nutrition Facts

894 calories; protein 11.8g 24% DV; carbohydrates 134.4g 43% DV; fat 35.7g 55% DV; cholesterol 117.1mg 39% DV; sodium 426.6mg 17% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (9)

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Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
they are great Read More
13 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 12
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
Best cinnamon rolls I've made yet!!! Like my grandmother's!!! Be sure and measure the cinnamon as I thought sprinkling and covering dough would be sufficient! It isn't!! I will definitely measure next time also will reduce baking time to 30 minutes as I misread baking suggestions! Over baked at 35 minutes tops are very brown, yet rolls are soft and perfect!!! Thanks for posting!!! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
they are great Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Followed this recipe exactly and the cinnamon rolls turned out great Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Made as written, everyone loves these Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I loved the sourdough! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I followed the recipe exactly. These cinnamon buns are delicious and the dough was very easy to work with. Both rise times were longer for me but that may be because I am not at a high altitude. My rolls baked to an internal temperature of 205 degrees in 30 minutes. I had to cover them with foil in the last 10 minutes since they were doughy in the middle. I might adjust the baking temp to 350 next time. The filling was very sweet for me but I don't have a big sweet tooth. I will cut the brown sugar by half and I prefer to work with softened butter rather than melted but these are personal preferences. I don't usually frost my cinnamon buns but this frosting was very good, not overly sweet. All in all a very nice recipe that I will definitely make again. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Wonderful! Dough took longer to rise than stated both times, but the results are outstanding! I followed a previous suggestion and only cooked for 30 min. Also added a few chopped pecans to icing for personal preference. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Oh my god ... I think I just had a FLAVORgasm! However, I suggest making these the day before you bake them. Let them sit in the fridge overnight to allow the sourdough flavor fully develop. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
My house is pretty cold so they didn't raise a lot, but were still just as delicious! I cut the recipe in half and made 10 smallish rolls. I mixed cinnamon in with the brown sugar but decided to it again after with more cinnamon. I also added butter over the rolls before baking and preheated the oven as part of the baking time to give a final kick to the rising process. Overall, really enjoyed these! Pretty simple and very tasty. Read More