Overnight Cinnamon Roll Casserole (Breakfast Bake)
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A ridiculously easy cinnamon roll casserole drizzled with cinnamon sugar and melted butter mix and topped with a tangy, delicious cream cheese frosting that will make you sing! This is a cinnamon roll baked casserole and it is perfect for breakfast or brunch!
Go ahead, be lazy.
With my cinnamon roll casserole bake, you can skip making the dough for homemade cinnamon rolls. You can forget about letting it rise and then popping it in the refrigerator.
No need to wake up extra early in the morning before the family to roll it out, smear it with melted butter and a cinnamon-sugar mix, and only to let it rise yet again. Nope, you can forego all of that faff and use store-bought bread, make a French toast mix, and pop it all in a casserole dish. Top it with melted butter and cinnamon sugar and bake it until the family comes running to see who made cinnamon rolls for breakfast!
If there’s one thing that I’m making blatantly obvious between this cinnamon roll casserole and my 1-hour cinnamon rolls, it’s that I refuse to spend a minute longer than I have to make them. I’ll eat all the rolls. But if I’m making them, I want two things:
- for the cinnamon rolls to be hot
- for the process to be easy!
What do you need to make a cinnamon roll casserole?
- Bread: You can use a variety of different loaves of bread for this recipe. The easiest one to find is Hawaiian rolls. They bring a deliciously sweet note to this recipe. If you use Hawaiian rolls, be sure to curb the amount of sugar you use in the French toast mixture, I’ve made a note to use ¼ cup less if you use sweet bread. You could also use brioche, challah, or regular old French bread for this recipe.
- Eggs: You’ll need 8 eggs. The eggs are what make this cinnamon roll French toast bake that perfect rich baked texture.
- Milk: I prefer to use whole milk for this recipe, but you could also use half and half. I would say the eggs and the milk are the essential parts of this recipe so if possible, use milk with higher fat content.
- Sour cream: Just a dollop of sour cream gives this casserole that delicious tang that cinnamon roll dough obtains when the yeasted rolls rise.
- Vanilla: A big dash of vanilla makes the casserole taste great, but bonus – it makes the house smell amazing too. This is my absolute favorite vanilla.
- Sugar: I use granulated sugar to sweeten the casserole and for the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
- Butter: We melt the butter and combine it with the cinnamon sugar. Then, we drizzle this mixture on the French toast bake before popping it in the oven.
- Spices: We’ll obviously need cinnamon to make this casserole, but I also add the slightest dash of nutmeg. I find that it gives the casserole a delectable flavor!
How to make an overnight cinnamon roll casserole:
- Gather all your ingredients. Be sure to spray a baking dish with cooking spray, and spread the bread cubes out in the dish. Grab a large bowl or a 4-8 cup glass measuring cup with a spout. Combine the eggs, milk, sour cream, vanilla, and sugar. I sometimes cheat and use an immersion blender to blend things super quickly! Then, pour this prepared French toast batter over the bread evenly. Wrap the baking dish in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight (ideally, attest 6-8 hours.)
- Bake the casserole. When you’re ready to bake the casserole, preheat the oven. Uncover the casserole dish. In a bowl, melt the butter until melted. Whisk in the remaining sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg until combined. Drizzle this prepared mixture over the casserole. Bake the casserole uncovered until it is completely set in the center. This will take anywhere from 28-35 minutes. Let the casserole cool for several minutes before you top it with the cream cheese icing.
Let’s talk bout the cream cheese icing –
I played with the cream cheese icing quite a bit before settling on it for my 1-hour cinnamon rolls. I used a traditional ratio of cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla and no matter how much I played with it, I found it lacked that signature tang that I love about a good cream cheese icing. So I added in a splash of lemon juice.
Let me say that if you don’t like things that have a ‘buttermilk tang’ to them, you might not like the icing with the lemon juice. And you can certainly replace the lemon juice with an extra splash of milk, but if you’re into a more balanced, sweet yet tangy roll, I find that the tang helps cut some of the sweetness and compliments all the other flavors beautifully!
How to make icing for your cinnamon roll casserole:
While the casserole is in the oven, you want to combine the softened butter and cream cheese using a hand mixer. When the two are combined and smooth, pour in the vanilla extract, lemon juice (if using,) and the powder sugar and continue to mix until smooth, once again. Once the icing is combined, you’ll find that it’s a little stiff. You want to add a teaspoon of milk and allow it to mix in completely before adding another teaspoon. Keep going until the frosting is loose enough to drizzle or until it’s the perfect pipable consistency (if you’re using a piping bag to make a design!)
If you like this recipe, you might also like:
- Swirled Nutella Banana Bread
- Sun-dried Tomato Basil Breakfast Casserole
- Blueberry Cheesecake French Toast Casserole
- Old-fashioned Sour Cream Coffee Cake
- Baked Creme Brûlée French Toast
- Easy Blender Crepes
- Caramelized Onion Spinach Feta Breakfast Strata
- Pumpkin French Toast Casserole
- 1 (12-ounce) Hawaiian rolls, loaf brioche, or challah cut into small cubes
- 8 eggs, room temperature
- ½ cup whole milk (or half and half)
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- ¾-1 cup sugar, divided
- ¼ cup salted butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons softened butter
- 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) softened cream cheese, room temperature
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1-4 teaspoons milk
- CASSEROLE: Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray. Spread the bread cubes in the dish in an even layer. In a 4 cup measuring cup or medium bowl, whisk (or use an immersion blender) and mix together the eggs, milk, sour cream, vanilla, and ¼ cup (use ½ cup if you used brioche or challah) sugar until combined. It's okay if you see little specks of the sour cream (if you whisked.) Pour the liquid evenly over the bread pieces. Cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, or at least 6-8 hours.
- CINNAMON SUGAR: Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350ºF. Melt the butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Whisk in ½ cup sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg, until combined. Drizzle this prepared mixture over the casserole.
- BAKE: Bake the casserole uncovered for 28-35 minutes or until the casserole is browning and set in the center (test with a toothpick.) If at any point it starts browning too much, cover loosely with foil. Allow the casserole to cool for 10-15 minutes before icing.
- ICING: While the casserole is baking, beat the softened butter and cream cheese together using a hand mixer, until smooth. Pour in the vanilla, lemon juice, and powdered sugar, and mix until smooth. Once the icing is combined, add a teaspoon of milk at a time, mixing thoroughly before adding the next teaspoon. I didn’t need more than 2 teaspoons, the more you mix, the more the icing will thin naturally. But add milk until the icing reaches your desired consistency. I like the consistency to be a little thick so that it doesn’t become too loose when you drizzle over the warm casserole. Tilt the bowl and drizzle the prepared icing over the warm cinnamon roll casserole or pour the icing into a piping bag, snip off the end, and drizzle in a pretty design! Serve warm!
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