Sourdough Discard Cinnamon Rolls

Prep Time:

30 Minutes

Cook Time:

20 Minutes


12 Rolls



About the Recipe

These came out really well and were hard to put down. I like letting them rise overnight for the second rise, makes a great Sunday morning breakfast before church!


For the Dough:

  • 4 tbsp butter, softened

  • ¾ cup sourdough starter discard

  • 2 tbsp honey

  • 3 cups flour (all purpose or whole wheat pastry flour)

  • 1 tsp fine sea salt

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 tsp yeast

  • ⅔ cup milk, warmed (but not hot)

For the Filling:

  • ½ cup brown sugar

  • 2 tbsp honey

  • 2 tbsp butter, melted

  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

For the Frosting:

  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened

  • 1 tbsp butter, softened

  • 3 tbsp powdered sugar

  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

  • 1 tbsp milk


Step 1

In the bowl of a a stand mixer, or in a large bowl, mix all of the dough ingredients until a dough starts to form. Use the dough hook (or your hands) to knead the dough until you have a smooth dough, about 2-3 minutes.

Step 2

Cover the bowl and let the dough rise at room temperature for 2-3 hours, or until puffy and doubled in size.

Step 3

Gently turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a ¼" thick rectangle. I like to roll it on a piece of parchment or silicone baking mat to make it easier to roll up later.

Step 4

Mix the brown sugar, honey, butter, vanilla, and cinnamon for the filling in a small bowl. Spread the filling mixture evenly over the dough, leaving about an inch bare on one of the long edges.

Step 5

Roll the dough up starting on the long edge that has filling all the way to the edge. Use a bench scraper to help if the dough is sticking a little bit.

Step 6

Cut the dough into 12 even rolls. Place them in a baking dish that has been greased or lined with parchment paper.

Step 7

Cover the dish and let the rolls rise for 1.5 to 2 hours at room temperature, or place them in the  refrigerator for an extended rise time overnight. At the end of the rise, rolls should look puffy but may not have doubled in size.

Step 8

If your rolls are room temperature, heat the oven to 400°F. Uncover and bake 16-20 minutes. If they are coming from the refrigerator, heat the oven to 375°F. Uncover the rolls and bake 20-25 minutes.

Step 9

While rolls are baking, make the icing. Whisk softened cream cheese, butter and powdered sugar until no lumps remain. Add vanilla and milk and whisk until smooth.

Step 10

Remove rolls from the oven and frost while warm, or frost individually as you eat them if you plan to same some for later.


  • Use softened, room temperature butter and a room temperature egg for the best mixing. The milk should be warm, but not too hot. The temperature of warm bath water is what you should aim for.

  • The rise times will vary based on what room temperature is in your kitchen, the type of yeast used (active yeast or instant), etc. Place it in a warm spot in your kitchen when rising for the best results.

  • You can use all purpose flour, white whole wheat flour, or a 50/50 mix.

  • Maple syrup or another liquid sweetener may be used in place of honey.

  • This dough is slightly more sticky than normal doughs. It makes for lighter, softer cinnamon rolls. Work with floured hands and a floured rolling pin to keep the dough from sticking.

  • I like to roll the dough into a rectangle on a silicone baking mat or parchment paper to make it easier to roll up after filling.

Original Recipe