Sourdough Saturday – Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

Easter (the unofficial start of a REAL spring for many of us) is right around the corner, and that means it’s time for the heavier rustic breads to take a back seat and allow lighter fare to come to the forefront. For many families, Easter morning means cinnamon rolls. Cinnamon rolls are usually made from a soft straight dough. But since I am trying to carry this Sourdough Saturday theme through the whole year, this time I experimented with sourdough rolls. The end result was a little bit heavier roll than usual, but one with that added sourdough tang that sings on the tongue. If fact, I am becoming so enamored with the extra flavor that sourdough imparts that I may never eat a straight bread again – and sliced bread from the grocery store is now like the poor cousin that barely resembles the rest of the family.


  • 2 cups of sourdough starter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 cup chopped pecans


  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp plain yogurt

In a large bowl or stand mixer bowl, combine the sourdough starter, milk, salt, sugar, and egg until well mixed. Add the flour and knead until dough has a satiny sheen; 8-10 minutes by hand, about 5 minutes when using a stand mixer.

Roll the dough into a 12 x 8 inch rectangle. Brush with melted butter. Mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the dough. Distribute the chopped pecans over the cinnamon mixture.

Roll up the dough from the long side of the rectangle. Slice into one-inch thick rolls. Note – I find it’s easiest to slice the log in half, and then slice each half in half again. Then slice 3 rolls from each quarter of the log. That way I end up with 12 equal or nearly equal rolls. If I just start slicing willy-nilly from one end, I end up with some huge rolls and some miniature rolls! Maybe you have a better eye. If so, I am jealous. If not, my method works pretty well.

Place the rolls on a greased or parchment lined baking sheet. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 2 hours.(At this point they can be placed in the refrigerator overnight and baked the next day.) Remove cover and bake in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes or until well-browned. Note – as you can see from the photo, I crammed all 12 rolls into an 8 x 8 inch pan. Thus, it took almost an hour to fully bake the rolls and still the ones in the middle were not done as well as I would like. I recommend you not do this! Next time I will use a baking sheet and place the rolls close together, but not like clowns in a VW bug!

Remove rolls from baking pan and let cool on a rack. While the rolls are still hot, combine the powdered sugar, vanilla and yogurt and drizzle over the rolls. Tangy yogurt goes well with the sourdough flavor, but you can also use milk to make the icing if you prefer. Let sit at least 15 minutes before tasting.

As I mentioned above, these rolls had really good flavor. They weren’t cloyingly sweet like some cinnamon rolls, and they didn’t have that cotton-candy texture that store-bought cinnamon rolls seem to have. I’ll definitely make them again.

More Cinnamon Roll Recipes – check our some other recent cinnamon roll posts that sound yummy too!

me versus martha

Weekend Bakes

Yeastspotting at the Wild Yeast Blog


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About the Author

Renee Pottle, an author and heart-healthy educator, loves to explore and write about the Mediterranean Diet. She blogs at and

Comments (9)

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  1. sonjapracticalstewardship says:

    This looks great! I am just getting into sourdough. I especially want to try the glaze because I’ve never tried yogurt in a glaze. I tried to pin this, but it wouldn’t let me (FYI).

  2. sonjapracticalstewardship says:

    I tried to pin this, but it didn’t work (FYI). Something about your pictures. I REALLY want to try this glaze since I’ve never used yogurt for a glaze. I am just getting into baking with sourdough, and this looks awesome!

    • Sonja, I have to warn you, baking with sourdough can become an obsession – it certainly has with me! I’d love to have you pin this. Any idea what the issue might be with the photos? Sadly I am no expert with photos/technology!

  3. […] really enjoyed the extra flavor it gives to the three recipes I done over these last few weeks (cinnamon rolls, hot cross buns). So what do you think? Have you ever made sourdough sweet breads before? How do […]

  4. […] weeks of sourdough dessert-like sweet breads (cinnamon rolls, hot cross buns, orange blossom rolls) was a nice sojourn, but it’s time for a good, […]

  5. Angie Leyse says:

    Hello, sourdough is new to me. What is sourdough starter?

    • Angie, sourdough starter is the wild yeast mixture that gets the rising dough “started.” Instead of using dried yeast, when making sourdough we use a starter. You can purchase a dried starter, but it’s really easy to start and keep your own starter. The primary method I use is posted here. Good luck with your sourdough. A warning though – once you start it’s kind of addicting!

  6. NHNana says:

    Thank you soooo much for posting these recipes. I made the Sourdough Oatmeal Bread last weekend and it’s the BEST I’ve ever made or eaten. I’m now going to try the cinnamon rolls but have a question. Does it make a difference if I use “fed” or “unfed” starter. I have quite a reserve built up in my freezer and was thinking to thaw and feed some to make the 2 cups. Any advice??

    • You will have better results with fed starter. Thawing and feeding some should work perfectly! Thanks for the nice comment. I love the oatmeal bread too – if only every experiment worked so well 🙂


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