Easy Sourdough Discard Cinnamon Rolls {30 minute recipe!} - Hopewell Heights (2024)

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These sourdough discard cinnamon rolls only take 30 minutes to make from start to finish – the perfect sourdough cinnamon roll recipe for when you don’t have time to long ferment and need something quick for breakfast!

Easy Sourdough Discard Cinnamon Rolls {30 minute recipe!} - Hopewell Heights (1)

This is one of my absolute favorite sourdough recipes because it’s so quick and simple and yields the absolute best cinnamon rolls. They’re so quick and delicious that you’ll want to make them all the time rather than just saving cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning.

What’s the secret to making fluffy sourdough cinnamon rolls in 30 minutes? They are made with biscuit dough! I make these all the time and bring them to gatherings often, and everyone says they’re even better than traditional cinnamon rolls. The combination of buttery, pillowy biscuit dough, cinnamon sugar filling, and cream cheese frosting is such a treat.

Easy Sourdough Discard Cinnamon Rolls {30 minute recipe!} - Hopewell Heights (2)

I may receive a small commission for items purchased through affiliate links in this post at no additional cost to you.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • This recipe for easy sourdough cinnamon rolls only takes 30 minutes from start to finish so it’s perfect for special occasions or any morning you want something delicious but don’t have a ton of time. No bulk fermentation or rise time is required at all, and there is no commercial yeast – the leavening agent in this recipe is just baking powder!
  • This recipe is made with biscuit dough so the rolls are super moist and buttery, you don’t have to worry about dry cinnamon rolls!
  • These cinnamon rolls can be prepped the night before in under 15 minutes and refrigerated overnight to bake the next day.

In this video, I make these sourdough discard cinnamon rolls for breakfast – one of our favorite sourdough discard recipes!

What You’ll Need

INGREDIENTS

DOUGH INGREDIENTS

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup butter, cubed or grated
  • 1 cup sourdough starter (can be active sourdough starter or discard)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk

CINNAMON SUGAR FILLING

  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

  • 4 oz softened cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

TOOLS

Easy Sourdough Discard Cinnamon Rolls {30 minute recipe!} - Hopewell Heights (3)

Step-By-Step Instructions

Prepare the Cinnamon Roll Dough

Preheat the oven to 425F. If baking in a cast iron skillet, put the skillet in the oven now as well so it preheats.

Add the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder to a large bowl and whisk. Cut in the cubed butter with a fork or pastry cutter or grate butter with a cheese grater and whisk it into the flour mixture. (This is what I do – much easier than cutting in!)

Add the sourdough starter, egg, and milk to the dry ingredients and stir the dough with a spoon until it is shaggy. Do NOT knead the dough. Turn the shaggy dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and fold it over onto itself until all the flour is incorporated, but you can still see chunks of butter.

Easy Sourdough Discard Cinnamon Rolls {30 minute recipe!} - Hopewell Heights (4)

Once the dough has come together, roll it out into a 6×9 inch rectangle and trifold it over onto itself – repeat this step 3 times. This folding and tri-folding process will give the dough lots of flaky layers.

Finally, making sure the work surface is floured well, roll the dough out into an 18×12-inch rectangle.

Easy Sourdough Discard Cinnamon Rolls {30 minute recipe!} - Hopewell Heights (5)

Prepare the Filling & Assemble the Cinnamon Rolls

In a small bowl, whisk together the melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. Use a spatula to spread this cinnamon sugar mixture evenly over the rolled-out dough.

If baking in a cast iron skillet, open the oven and add 2 tablespoons of butter to the hot skillet, then return it to the oven while you roll the dough so the butter browns.

Starting with the long end across from you, roll the dough toward you keeping it tight as you go. If the dough sticks to the work surface, just use a bench scraper to keep it from pulling apart. Once the dough is rolled up, use a sharp knife or piece of dental floss or thread to cut the cinnamon buns into 1-inch pieces – which will give you 12 rolls.

Easy Sourdough Discard Cinnamon Rolls {30 minute recipe!} - Hopewell Heights (6)

Once the dough is rolled up, use a sharp knife or piece of dental floss or thread to cut the cinnamon buns into 1-inch pieces – which will give you 12 rolls.

Bake the Cinnamon Rolls & Prepare the Cream Cheese Frosting

Place the cinnamon rolls in a greased 9×13″ baking pan or in the hot skillet with brown butter.

Easy Sourdough Discard Cinnamon Rolls {30 minute recipe!} - Hopewell Heights (9)

Bake at 425F for 15-18 minutes until tops are barely golden brown.

Easy Sourdough Discard Cinnamon Rolls {30 minute recipe!} - Hopewell Heights (10)

While the cinnamon rolls are baking, prepare the frosting. Add the cream cheese to a large mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment and mix at medium speed for 2 minutes until the cream cheese is smooth with no lumps. Add powdered sugar, whisk for 2 more minutes until the frosting is smooth.

Add the vanilla extract and milk and whisk for another 2 minutes. Set the cream cheese frosting aside.

Once the cinnamon rolls are done, pour the frosting over them immediately and serve hot.

Easy Sourdough Discard Cinnamon Rolls {30 minute recipe!} - Hopewell Heights (11)

FAQ

What is sourdough starter discard?

Sourdough discard is simply inactive sourdough starter that has been fed, peaked, and has now fallen and needs to be fed again to activate and be used to leaven dough.

Sourdough discard can still leaven dough if you let the dough rest long enough and it still adds a tangy, sourdough flavor – but the perk of using discard recipes is that you don’t have to wait 8-12 hours for the dough to rise before baking. Another leavening agent like baking powder or commercial yeast is used in the recipe to make the dough rise faster.

Can I use active starter or do I have to use sourdough discard to make cinnamon rolls?

You can use either active starter or sourdough discard in this recipe, it doesn’t matter. Either waty, the baking powder will do the leavening work.

If you choose the overnight sourdough cinnamon rolls option and prepare your dough the night before, you’ll get a small amount of fermentation action while the dough cold proofs in the fridge overnight and they’ll be ready to bake the following morning.

Can I use whole wheat flour to make sourdough cinnamon rolls?

Yes, you can use whole wheat flour to make sourdough cinnamon rolls. Just keep in mind this will change the texture and consistency of the dough and the flavor of the cinnamon rolls as well. Use a little less flour in the dough when using whole grains.

Easy Sourdough Discard Cinnamon Rolls {30 minute recipe!} - Hopewell Heights (12)

Tips

Work quickly with the dough and do not knead.

Remember, this is technically biscuit dough with cold butter cut in, so in order for the dough to maintain its buttery texture you need to work quickly and do not knead at all or the butter will melt into the dough and the dough will be drier.

Make-ahead option.

These sourdough discard cinnamon rolls are super simple and quick no matter when you make them, but if you really want to be prepared for breakfast the next day just prep them the night before, cover them with plastic wrap, and store them in the fridge until the next morning. You’ll have breakfast ready in 15 minutes!

Pour some cream over the dough for extra moist cinnamon rolls.

These cinnamon rolls are very moist and buttery as they are, but pouring a half cup of cream over the dough before baking them makes them even more moist if that’s what you prefer.

Storage

Store sourdough discard cinnamon rolls in an airtight container or covered with plastic wrap in the fridge for 5 days. It’s best not to store them at room temperature because of the cream cheese frosting.

Continue to Content
Easy Sourdough Discard Cinnamon Rolls {30 minute recipe!} - Hopewell Heights (13)

Easy Sourdough Discard Cinnamon Rolls {30 minute recipe!}

Yield: 12 cinnamon rolls

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

These buttery sourdough discard cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting only take 30 minutes to make from start to finish!

Ingredients

DOUGH INGREDIENTS

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup butter, cubed or grated
  • 1 cup sourdough starter (can be active sourdough starter or discard)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk

CINNAMON SUGAR FILLING

  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

  • 4 oz softened cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

Prepare the Cinnamon Roll Dough

  1. Preheat the oven to 425F. If baking in a cast iron skillet, put the skillet in the oven now as well so it preheats.
  2. Add the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder to a large bowl and whisk. Cut in the cubed butter with a fork or pastry cutter or grate butter with a cheese grater and whisk it into the flour mixture. (This is what I do - much easier than cutting in!)
  3. Add the sourdough starter, egg, and milk to the dry ingredients and stir the dough with a spoon until it is shaggy. Do NOT knead the dough. Turn the shaggy dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and fold it over onto itself until all the flour is incorporated, but you can still see chunks of butter.
  4. Once the dough has come together, roll it out into a 6x9 inch rectangle and trifold it over onto itself - repeat this step 3 times. This folding and tri-folding process will give the dough lots of flaky layers.
  5. Finally, making sure the work surface is floured well, roll the dough out into an 18x12-inch rectangle.

Prepare the Filling & Assemble the Cinnamon Rolls

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. Use a spatula to spread this cinnamon sugar mixture evenly over the rolled-out dough.
  2. If baking in a cast iron skillet, open the oven and add 2 tablespoons of butter to the hot skillet, then return it to the oven while you roll the dough so the butter browns.
  3. Starting with the long end across from you, roll the dough toward you keeping it tight as you go. If the dough sticks to the work surface, just use a bench scraper to keep it from pulling apart.
  4. Once the dough is rolled up, use a sharp knife or piece of dental floss or thread to cut the cinnamon buns into 1-inch pieces - which will give you 12 rolls.

Bake the Cinnamon Rolls & Prepare the Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Place the cinnamon rolls in a greased 9x13" baking pan or in the hot skillet with brown butter. Bake at 425F for 15-18 minutes until tops are barely golden brown.
  2. While the cinnamon rolls are baking, prepare the frosting. Add the cream cheese to a large mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment and mix at medium speed for 2 minutes until the cream cheese is smooth with no lumps. Add powdered sugar, whisk for 2 more minutes until the frosting is smooth. Add the vanilla extract and milk and whisk for another 2 minutes. Set the cream cheese frosting aside.
  3. Once the cinnamon rolls are done, pour the frosting over them immediately and serve hot.

Notes

Work quickly with the dough and do not knead.

Remember, this is technically biscuit dough with cold butter cut in, so in order for the dough to maintain its buttery texture you need to work quickly and do not knead at all or the butter will melt into the dough and the dough will be drier.

Make-ahead option.

These sourdough discard cinnamon rolls are super simple and quick no matter when you make them, but if you really want to be prepared for breakfast the next day just prep them the night before, cover them with plastic wrap, and store them in the fridge until the next morning. You'll have breakfast ready in 15 minutes!

Pour some cream over the dough for extra moist cinnamon rolls.

These cinnamon rolls are very moist and buttery as they are, but pouring a half cup of cream over the dough before baking them makes them even more moist if that's what you prefer.

Nutrition Information:

Yield: 12Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 369Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 67mgSodium: 503mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 2gSugar: 15gProtein: 6g

Nutrition information is calculated automatically and isn't always accurate, especially calories.

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Easy Sourdough Discard Cinnamon Rolls {30 minute recipe!} - Hopewell Heights (2024)
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