Sour Cream Cinnamon Rolls

Nothing is quite like fresh baked cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning. Over the years our simple Christmas continental breakfast has begun to look more like an all you can eat brunch buffet but it all began with the sweet aromatic smell of cinnamon rolls baking while waiting to see what Santa left by the tree. After the kids got a quick peak at what Santa had left them they would head to the kitchen for a gooey cinnamon roll before the games and playing could begin.

The addition of sour cream into the dough with heavy cream poured on top take these cinnamon rolls from good to by far the softest gooiest rolls you will ever sink your teeth into. I don’t know what it is about sour cream that makes me think I need to add it to every recipe…but the experiment certainly paid off here.

Try these rolls just once and you will soon see why they become the must have family favorite. The next best thing to how these rolls taste, is the fact that they can be made ahead. Make the dough, roll out the spirals and then refrigerate overnight or freeze until ready to use. This makes homemade cinnamon rolls a luxury you don’t have to plan ahead to enjoy…



4- 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp. salt

2 1/2 tsp. instant yeast (1 package)

2 eggs

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup sour cream

6 Tbsp. salted butter

1 tsp. vanilla


1/2 cup butter

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 Tbsp. cinnamon

2 Tbsp. cornstarch

1 tsp. salt

1 cup warm heavy cream


8 oz. room temperature cream cheese

1/2 cup room temperature butter

3 cups confectioners sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 tsp. salt


  1. Whisk the milk and sour cream in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes until mixture is hot. Remove bowl and add the butter and vanilla. Stir until the butter is melted. Allow to sit while preparing the dry ingredients.
  2. In stand mixer combine the dry ingredients for the dough, including the instant yeast packet.
  3. Now that the wet mixture is warm to the touch whisk in the eggs.
  4. With the hook attachment on the stand mixer slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.
  5. Run the stand mixer on medium speed until all of the ingredients are thoroughly combined and mixture is pulling away from the sides of the bowl.
  6. Place dough onto a lightly floured surface and kneed adding very little flour until dough is tacky but not sticky.
  7. Lightly oil or spray with nonstick spray a large kitchen bowl and place dough inside the bowl.
  8. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and place the bowl in a warm area until the dough doubles in size.
  9. While the dough is rising, combine the ingredients for the filling in a small bowl and set aside.
  10. Place the butter in a small bowl and allow to soften to room temperature.
  11. When the dough has doubled in size, remove the dough from the bowl and place on a lightly floured surface.
  12. Roll the dough into a rectangle that is approximately 1/4″ thick.
  13. Spread evenly over the dough the room temperature butter. You can use a pastry brush, rubber spatula, or simply use your hands to apply an even coat. Leave about a one inch boarder on one side of the dough butter free. This will allow the dough to seal together when creating the cinnamon rolls.
  14. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture evenly over the butter.
  15. Starting at the buttered end of the dough roll dough toward the un-buttered end creating the cinnamon spiral.
  16. Use a sharp knife or thread to cut inch and a half to two inch sections of dough.
  17. Place cut cinnamon rolls on a greased cookie sheet or cake pan.
  18. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and allow the dough to once again double in size in a warm location.
  19. While the dough is rising, place cream cheese in the bowl of your stand mixer and beat on medium speed until completely smooth.
  20. Incorporate the butter and once again beat until smooth.
  21. Add the confectioners sugar, salt, and vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy.
  22. When the cinnamon rolls have doubled in size pour warm cream over the cinnamon rolls and place in an oven preheated to 350°. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. 
  23. Remove the cinnamon rolls from the oven and brush the tops of the rolls with melted butter.
  24. When the rolls are warm but not hot frost the rolls with the cream cheese frosting. This will allow the frosting to slightly melt but not disappear into the cinnamon roll. 


  • If using active yeast instead of instant yeast place yeast in a small amount of warm water with a tablespoon of sugar. Allow yeast to activate before adding it to the wet mixture.
  • Space rolls far enough apart in the pan to allow them to double in size. I like them to be just touching after the second rise.
  • I like to double this batch. It does make a long rectangle to work with… but one batch is never enough for my hungry gang.
  • I like to make cinnamon rolls ahead of time for special occasions like Christmas morning. Simply make the rolls and freeze them after the spirals are formed and placed on the pan but before the are allowed to rise for the second time. Then remove them from the freezer and allow them to thaw and rise overnight. bake them in the morning when they have doubled in size.


  1. Fran Smith says:

    I am going to try this recipe as soon as I possibly can; I am dying to try it!

    I just have one question. The heavy whipping cream. Is that mixed with anything or just heated alone and poured over before baking?

    Thanks so much for all your yummy recipes,



    • Hi Fran,
      Heat the cream and pour over the top of the unbaked cinnamon rolls after they have doubled in size. You don’t want to stop the activated yeast by pouring cold cream over the top so heat it until it is warm to the touch. The cream really is the secret to making them SO gooey. Let us know how they turn out…
      Happy baking,


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