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Brown Butter Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

I decided to combine my three favorite things: brown butter, sourdough, and brunch… and all I can say is wow! These cinnamon rolls have it all— they’re warm, slightly nutty, sour and sweet— all in one! If you’re a fan of big, doughy cinnamon rolls that pack a strong cinnamon punch but aren’t too sweet, you’ll be a big fan of these! Time to feed your sourdough starter and get baking!
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Rise Time12 hrs
Total Time13 hrs
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 rolls


For the Dough

  • 1 cup fed sourdough starter
  • 3/4 cup milk warm
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup butter melted
  • 3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

For the Filling

  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup half-and half

Cream Cheese Icing (Optional)

  • 4 oz cream cheese room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


Make the Dough

  • Combine the starter, milk (105F-115F), egg, and melted butter in a large bowl. Add the sugar and 3 cups of flour. Stir until no large clumps of flour remain. Set aside to autolyse for 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes, sprinkle the salt and remaining 1/4 cup of flour over the dough. Stir to incorporate and turn it out onto a floured surface. Knead gently for 2-3 minutes, or until the dough comes together in a smooth ball.
  • Place into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Leave the dough on the counter (at room temperature) overnight or until doubled in size (about 10 hours).
  • Once the dough has risen, perform a series of “stretch and folds” by grabbing one side of the dough and pulling it over to the other. Repeat 8-10 times, or until the dough has become more tight. If you’re looking for a video demonstration, you can find one here.
  • Turn the dough onto a floured surface and roll until it is approximately 1/4” thick. My rectangle was 20”x14”.

Make the Filling & Assemble

  • Heat a small skillet over high heat. Add the butter and allow it to melt completely. Once melted, begin whisking slowly. Cook for 5-7 minutes, whisking slowly, until the butter is golden brown and smells nutty. The butter will foam before browning— that’s okay, just keep stirring.
  • Spread the browned butter over the dough making sure to spread it to each edge.
  • In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Sprinkle it evenly over the butter.
  • Roll the dough into a tight log and turn it seam side down. Cut into 1” rolls using a sharp knife or bench scraper.
  • Place the rolls 1/2” apart in a parchment lined baking dish. Pour the half-and-half evenly over the top of the rolls.
  • Bake at 375°F for 30-35 minutes or until the rolls are golden brown on top.
  • Once the rolls are finished baking, let them cool slightly (about 5 minutes), and then flip them out onto a plate— be careful, they will be HOT. Flipping the rolls ensures that the cinnamon-caramel on the bottom goes back into the bun (rather than staying on the bottom). This step really makes a difference— don’t skip it!
  • (Optional) To make cream cheese icing, combine room temperature cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Spread of warm rolls.