Sourdough Discard Cinnamon Rolls

My soft sourdough discard rolls is probably one of my most popular recipes – and for good reason! They’re soft, easy to make, and use up a lot of sourdough discard. A few months ago, however, one of my readers asked if it was possible to turn my rolls into something a little sweeter: Sourdough Discard Cinnamon Rolls.

I haven’t made cinnamon rolls in years, so I thought it would be a fun way to get back into making them. And now I’m grateful for the suggestion.

Thanks to readers like you, I’m not making cinnamon rolls for my family on a regular basis using my KitchenAid mixer*. They’re perfect for desserts, and sometimes I make them for Christmas or birthday breakfasts.

sourdough discard cinnamon rolls

Delicious Rolls for Everyone

These sourdough discard cinnamon rolls are light, fluffy, and soft, just like my original sourdough roll recipe. Better still, the sourdough starter adds a barely-there tang that meshes beautifully with the cinnamon and sugar and cream cheese frosting.

This recipe (and the rolls themselves) is fairly large. It’s perfect if you want to make a lot of sourdough discard cinnamon rolls for friends and family. But if you’re making rolls for a smaller crowd, you could cut the recipe in half and still have plenty of cinnamon rolls to share with guests.

Still too many rolls to eat at once? I’ve made a small-batch skillet version of this same recipe.

sourdough discard cinnamon rolls

Sourdough Discard Cinnamon Rolls

Light, fluffy, and perfectly sweet, these cinnamon rolls are a great way to use up your sourdough discard and impress your friends and family.
4.75 from 16 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Rise Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 18 minutes
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 24 Rolls
Calories 395 kcal

Ingredients
  

Dough

  • 600 Grams Water, Warm (2 1/2 Cups)
  • 18.6 Grams Dry Active Yeast (2 Tablespoons)
  • 226 Grams Sourdough Discard, Fed, Unfed, or Discard (1 Cup)
  • 1020 Grams All-Purpose Flour (8 1/2 Cups)
  • 75 Grams White Granulated Sugar (1/4 Cup and 2 Tablespoons)
  • 12 Grams Salt (2 Teaspoons)
  • 54.5 Grams Vegetable Oil (1/4 Cup)

Cinnamon Filling

  • 300 Grams White Granulated Sugar (1 1/2 Cup)
  • 15 Grams Ground Cinnamon (2 Tablespoons)
  • 56 Grams Butter, Melted (1/4 Cup)

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 226 Grams Cream Cheese, Softened (8 Oz. Block)
  • 113 Grams Butter, Softened (1 Stick)
  • 520 Grams Powdered Confectioner's Sugar (4 Cups)
  • 4.34 Grams Vanilla Extract (1 Teaspoon)
  • 1.5 Grams Salt (1/4 Teaspoon)
  • 60 Grams Milk, to taste (2 Tablespoons to 1/4 Cup)

Instructions
 

Make the Dough

  • In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine the warm water and the yeast. Stir and then let the yeast sit for 10 minutes to proof.
  • Add the sourdough starter and stir until well incorporated.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt.
  • Add the flour mixture to the yeast mixture and the vegetable oil to the standing mixer bowl.
  • On a low setting, use the dough hook of the standing mixer to knead everything together. Continue to mix until the dough pulls away from and cleans the sides of the bowl.
  • Turn out the dough onto a lightly greased surface and shape into a round.
  • Place round in a lightly greased container with a lid. Let dough rest until double in size, about 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on kitchen temperature.

Make the Filling and Shape

  • In a small container, combine the cinnamon and sugar. Mix well and set aside.
  • In a small container, melt the butter and set aside.
  • Turn out the dough onto a lightly greased surface. Divide into four sections.
  • Roll out one section into a rectangle. Brush one quarter of the butter onto the rectangle. Sprinkle one quarter of the cinnamon sugar over the dough.
  • Starting at the longest edge of the dough roll toward the opposite side (so resulting dough is wider than it is long).
  • Use unflavored waxed floss or kitchen scissors to cut the dough into 6 pieces. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet.
  • Repeat with the remaining dough, butter, and cinnamon sugar to make a total of 24 cinnamon rolls.
  • Cover the rolls and let rise for 30 minutes to 45 minutes until puffy.

Bake and Frost

  • Preheat the oven to 400° Fahrenheit (204° Celsius).
  • Bake the rolls for 16 to 18 minutes.
  • In a mixing bowl, use an electric hand mixer to combine the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla extract.
  • Mix in the powdered sugar and salt.
  • A tablespoon at a time, slowly mix in the milk, until the frosting achieves your desired consistency.
  • Frost the cinnamon rolls with the cream cheese frosting and enjoy!

Notes

Keep in mind that you may need more or less flour depending on the consistency of your sourdough starter. I feed my starter a 1:1 ratio of whole wheat flour and water, and I needed more flour than when fed my starter 1:1 of all-purpose flour and water. 
If you have an all-purpose starter, I suggest starting with just 6 cups of flour and then slowly adding the remaining 2 1/2 cups until you achieve the consistency you want. You might not need all the flour. 
Depending on your ambient room temperature, you may need to lengthen or shorten your rise times. In the summer, my dough rose much faster and only needed to rise for about 30 minutes for the second rise. 
Note that you don’t have to divide the cinnamon roll dough and roll out it out separately in four sections. The first time I made these rolls, I did everything in one big batch. This made for some unevenly shaped rolls when I did it, but an expert hand could save time by rolling it out this way. Also, you don’t have to make 24 large rolls – 48 smaller rolls would also work just fine.
Not a fan of cream cheese? You can make buttercream frosting instead and swap out the cream cheese for more butter. You’ll need a total of 2 sticks butter instead of one. 
Keyword Sourdough, Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls, Sourdough Discard, Sourdough Discard Cinnamon Rolls

Did You Try It?

I love it when my readers try my recipes. If someone hadn’t commented on my sourdough discard post, I never would have had the inspiration to make cinnamon rolls. Your feedback and suggestions help me create great recipes, so feel free to give input in the comment section below.

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