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This cinnamon roll casserole is the ultimate cozy brunch idea. It’s made with cinnamon roll dough that’s filled with cinnamon sugar, then soaked in a vanilla custard overnight. Make this recipe the night before, then bake into a golden, fluffy, tender casserole the next day.
Today we’re going to take my cinnamon roll recipe and turn it into a casserole made with vanilla custard. I made this for my teen and their friends this weekend and they devoured the entire thing in an hour! This recipe is meant to be assembled the night before, then baked into a golden, tender cinnamon roll casserole topped with vanilla icing in the morning. It does need some rising time in the AM, so it’s ideal for brunch or a cozy afternoon treat. 🙂
Why You’ll Love This Cinnamon Roll Casserole
- Flavorful. Each slice of this casserole is stuffed with the slightly caramel flavors of brown sugar and cinnamon, all topped with a simple vanilla icing.
- Perfect texture. This casserole is fluffy on the inside and has a perfectly golden, slightly crisp top.
- Make it ahead. If you’re looking for a showstopper casserole to make the night before, this is a contender. It’s ideal for Christmas or Sunday brunch.
Here’s a quick video I made this morning before everyone devoured this casserole:
How to Make a Cinnamon Roll Casserole
Here’s a quick look at how to make this breakfast casserole. Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card for more details.
- Make the dough. You can use your stand mixer or you can make it by hand in a large bowl. Let the dough rise until doubled.
- Add the filling. Roll the dough out, then spread the brown sugar-cinnamon mixture on top. Make sure you leave a margin around the edges of the dough.
- Shape the buns. Roll up the dough lengthwise, then cut into rolls with a sharp knife.
- Freeze. Place the rolls onto a freezer-safe plate and put them in the freezer for 15 minutes. This will make them easier to cut up for the casserole.
- Assemble the casserole. Spread melted butter on the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Cut the chilled rolls into six pieces each, then add to the dish. Make the custard and pour over the cut up rolls. Make sure it is evenly distributed.
- Let set overnight. Cover with saran wrap and let the casserole sit in the fridge overnight. This gives the dough time to soak up the custard.
- Rise. Take the casserole out of the fridge and let it rise for 2 hours.
- Bake. Preheat your oven to 350F. Remove the saran wrap, then cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil, then bake for another 15-20 minutes until golden.
- Cool & add icing. Allow the baked casserole to cool for at least 30 minutes. Then make the icing and drizzle all over the casserole.
Tips & Variation Ideas
- Don’t rush the process. This cinnamon roll casserole is meant to be made a day ahead. Don’t try to rush the process by skipping the overnight chill time. If you do, the casserole will not bake properly and the custard will not set. You need that time for the cinnamon roll dough to soak up the custard.
- Let it cool. Before you add the icing let your casserole cool for a bit. If you add icing to the casserole while it is still hot, it will melt into the dish instead of sitting on top and looking all pretty.
- Add nuts. You can add toasted and chopped pecans to the filling along with the cinnamon sugar. Chop them finely and press them into the dough gently along with the sugar filling. You can add up to 1 cup of chopped nuts.
- Add cardamom. If you want to add a bit of cardamom, that adds a lovely flavor profile similar to my Vetekrans recipe.
How to Store
Once the casserole has cooled completely, you can cover it with saran wrap and store it on the counter for up to 3 days. To extend it’s shelf life, you can cover it tightly with saran wrap and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
More Breakfast Casserole Recipes
And if you’re a fan of cinnamon buns with a twist, definitely check out my apple pie cinnamon rolls!
Cinnamon Roll Casserole
For the Dough
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- ⅔ cup buttermilk, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 – 3 ½ cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon olive oil, for greasing the bowl
For the Filling
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the Casserole:
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- 4 large eggs
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ⅓ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ cup brown sugar
For the glaze:
- 1 cup confectioners sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Make the Dough
- Combine all dough ingredients except the flour. In the mixer bowl with the paddle attachment combine the yeast, eggs, sugar, butter, buttermilk and salt.
- Add the flour. Add 1 cup of the flour and mix until smooth. Add the remaining flour ½ cup at a time until the dough stops to stick but is still very soft.
- Knead. Switch to the dough hook attachment and knead the dough for 4 minutes, add a few tablespoons of flour at this point if it’s still too sticky, one spoon at a time. Transfer the dough to lightly floured surface and knead by hand for 1 minute.
- First rise. Form the dough into a smooth ball and place in a lightly greased with olive oil large bowl. Transfer the dough to the bowl, turning once to coat both sides of the dough with oil. Flip once to cover the dough ball in oil on both sides. Cover with saran wrap and let rise in warm place until doubled in size. This will take about 2 hours.
Assemble the Rolls
- Make the filling. In a medium bowl combine the light brown sugar, cinnamon and salt.
- Roll the dough into a rectangle about 16×8inches.
- Add butter. Melt the butter and brush it evenly all over the dough.
- Add filling and roll up. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar filling onto the dough, leaving a 1 inch border on all sides. With hands or a spoon gently press the filling to make it stick to the dough. Fold the left and right sides of the dough in, the parts that weren’t sprinkled with sugar. Then roll it in, from the long side up. Pinch the seam on the top to seal the log.
- Cut into rolls. With a serrated knife, slice the log into 10 rolls.
- Freeze. Arrange the rolls on a plate and put into the freezer for 15 min. This will make the cutting process easier.
Assemble the Casserole
- Add butter. Pour the melted butter on the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish, coating the entire bottom.
- Cut up the rolls. After freezing for 15 min, cut each bun into 6 pieces and arrange in an even layer in the buttered baking dish.
- Make the custard. Whisk 4 eggs in a large bowl. Add heavy cream, cinnamon, brown sugar and vanilla. Whisk again until combined.
- Set overnight. Pour the egg mixture over cinnamon rolls. Make sure it is evenly distributed. Cover your baking dish with saran wrap, then place in the fridge to chill overnight. (8-12 hours)
Bake the Cinnamon Roll Casserole
- Second rise. Take the casserole out of the fridge and let it it rise for 2 hours. Leave the saran wrap on so the casserole does not dry out.
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Do this about 30 minutes before the rising time is done.
- Bake. Remove the saran wrap, then cover the baking dish tightly with foil. Bake in the preheated for 25 minutes. Remove the foil, then bake for another 15-20 minutes, until golden and set.
- Cool. Let the casserole cool for 30 minutes.
- Make the icing. Place 1 cup confectioners sugar in a medium bowl, add 2 tablespoons milk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Stir to combine, if the mixture is too thick add more milk, ½ tablespoon at a time, until it’s smooth and pourable. The glaze will harden over time so make sure to use it right away.
- Add icing and serve. Drizzle the glaze over the casserole and serve.