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4 Weeks to Fill Your Freezer: Cinnamon Rolls (Day 2)

Today was a much better day than yesterday — and I’m so thankful for that!

Before I headed out to Aldi, the health food store, and Dillon’s with Kaitlynn (more on those shopping trips tomorrow!), I threw one batch of dough in the bread machine.

When I got back home, the dough was ready to be rolled out (have I mentioned how much I love my bread machine?!).

Once again, Silas helped me out.

He has the makings of being a really great chef!

We’ll see if his interest in cooking continues, but at the rate he’s going, he’ll soon be quite skilled in the kitchen — which I couldn’t be happier about!

Silas intently working on his “cinnamon rolls.” Notice how he rolled them up? It was so cute to see him try to do exactly what I did!


Did you do any freezer cooking today? If so, I’d love to see the results of your efforts! Link up your blog posts below or tell us about your success in the comments.


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  • Melissa says:

    Those cinnamon rolls look delicious, and Silas is such a cute helper!

  • Laura says:

    I was hoping there was going to be an alternate recipe for those of us without bread machines.

  • OMG those look so good!!! It doesn’t help that I am pregnant though….I think I am going to try this recipe. 🙂 I’m also off to find any posts you have on “how to freezer cook”. I tried to freeze meals with my 2nd baby, but I unfortunately didn’t seal them right I think because they spoiled. I want to get it right this time!

  • Kim says:

    Thanks for the freezing recommendations! I wasn’t sure what to do. Once the rolls are sliced and placed in the pan, are you supposed to let them rise again, or just go ahead and cook or freeze them? Thanks! My first attempt at cinnamon rolls!

    • Crystal says:

      If you’re going to bake immediately, you’ll want to let them rise for around 30 minutes. Otherwise, you can just freeze them and then thaw according to the directions in the post and then bake.

  • What a cutie! I want to do cinnamon rolls sometime this challenge too! although it will be hard for my children to watch me put them in the freezer instead of straight in the oven. I just might have to leave a few out to cook right away or their could be an uprising in our home.

  • Becky says:

    Thanks for this recipe! I tried the “assemble, slice, freeze, thaw, bake” method with your original cinnamon roll recipe (which we LOVE!!), and it didn’t work very well. When I let the rolls thaw in the fridge overnight so I could bake them in the morning, they ended up surrounded by liquid that somehow leached out of the unbaked rolls. I tried to spoon the mystery liquid back onto/into the rolls before putting the pan in the oven, but that didn’t really work, and I ended up with somewhat dry rolls surrounded by sticky goo. This happened both times I tried to use that recipe in that way, so I figured I’d need another recipe if I wanted to keep trying that method. If anyone has any idea what happened, how to stop it, and/or if this recipe is likely to do the same thing, I’d sure love to know. The idea of being able to pull out just 5 or 6 rolls to bake is great!

    • Crystal says:

      Hmm, I wonder if it was the dough or if it was thawing them in the fridge instead of on the countertop?

      I experimented with the slice, freeze, thaw, bake for this recipe and it worked without a hitch. I didn’t wait overnight, though (just thawed for an hour or so today after I’d frozen them) so let me know if you have any issues.

      • Becky says:

        Thanks for the tip! I plan to try this recipe soon. And I may try the other recipe again and just freeze a few rolls to try thawing on the counter instead of overnight in the fridge — I’m sure the length of time does have something to do with it. We’ve shared those cinnamon rolls (freshly rolled and baked) with lots of people, and everyone (EVERYONE!) raves about them. 🙂

  • Christen Wakefield says:

    I love everything you do in your bread machine. What kind of bread machine do you have/recommend?

  • Jody Susan says:

    Silas looks like he has grown from yesterdays pics!!! 🙂 Isn’t that crazy how they shoot up overnight?

  • Emma K says:

    Question about coconut oil. The one I bought is more solid looking substance. Is that normal? Do I need to melt what I need before adding it to the recipe?

    • Crystal says:

      It will be more solid, but it should soften when it’s at room temperature (similar to the consistency of butter or softer). As long as it’s somewhat softened, you shouldn’t need to melt it before sticking it in the recipe as it will melt and mix in with the bread machine cycle.

      • Emma K says:


      • Allison says:

        Are there any substitutions for Coconut oil?

        • Crystal says:

          Someone said that they successfully used olive oil today.

          • Allison says:

            I now see later posts that you say don’t worry about substituting, but instead, use a different recipe. I will do that. Then I will go buy coconut oil for the future. I just got the bread machine for $5 at a garage sale! (It came from someone I know, so I’m not too grossed out by that….but if you think that’s totally unsafe and gross, please let me know!) And I’m going to make my first batch of dough today! I’m going to try the cinnamon rolls!!!! SO excited! So do you buy sandwich bread? Or do you use the bread made from the machine for that?

      • Allison says:

        I now see later posts that you say don’t worry about substituting, but instead, use a different recipe. I will do that. Then I will go buy coconut oil for the future. I just got the bread machine for $5 at a garage sale! (It came from someone I know, so I’m not too grossed out by that….but if you think that’s totally unsafe and gross, please let me know!) And I’m going to make my first batch of dough today! I’m going to try the cinnamon rolls!!!! 🙂 SO excited! So do you buy sandwich bread? Or do you use the bread made from the machine for that?

  • brandi says:

    What if u don’t have bread machine ??

  • I recently started letting the bread machine mix the dough for my bread and then baking it in the oven. It is perfect! I am so glad I decided to finally try it out. Your cinnamon rolls look yummy! I have yet to try freezing those. Maybe before the month is over…

  • Elizabeth says:

    For food safety, food should never be left at room temperature to thaw.
    I always bake my cinnamon rolls right from the freezer. It only takes a few minutes more to bake. 🙂

    • Crystal says:

      I’ve found that they don’t rise/bake as well if you don’t let them rise at room temperature or in a warm place.

    • Amber says:

      There’s nothing in that bread that’s going to rot or spoil, especially over night. There isn’t meat or dairy. I mean you’d normally leave the rolls to sit a rise for a while before cooking them, that’s certainly not going to make you die.

    • Heather says:

      Bread doughs rise at room temperature all the time. The yeast needs to grow! It’s not a safety issue.

    • Dineen says:

      Numerous foods are left at room temperature to ferment and rising dough is a type of fermentation. Please be careful with using the word “never” in blanket statements.

      • Elizabeth says:

        I am not talking about when dough is rising. It’s the part where a product with raw eggs is being left out, overnight, in the “danger zone” of 41f – 135f. That is where there are concerns. The safest place to thaw would be in the refrigerator.

        • Crystal says:

          These don’t have eggs in them so I think there shouldn’t be an issue. Also, just to clarify, leaving them out is to thaw them and so that they rise (since that part is omitted before these are frozen).

          I hope that helps explain things better.

        • Elizabeth says:

          Btw, I realize there are no eggs in the recipe Crystal has posted, but there is dairy.

  • Jennifer says:

    I have got to learn how to use my bread machine. It was my grandmothers, and it is so old that you can’t get the manual online. All I know how to do is make a loaf of bread. I don’t know how to use any other settings. But I really want to try this recipe.

    • Becky says:

      Oh yes! Please do see if there is a setting just for mixing/kneading/rising dough, and try that out! I never actually bake bread in my machine, but using it to make dough saves soooo much time and makes it easy to have homemade bread, pizza crust, rolls, etc. on hand regularly. I hope it works for you and that you love it!

  • Lisa says:

    GAh! How I miss my bread machine!

  • Kimberly says:

    I tackled muffins today – 36 blueberry struesel, 36 of these donut-like ones I found on lintersst earlier this week and 30 corn muffin / yellow cake blend muffins. Plus a birthday cake. I’m exhausted! But I got 3 dozen muffins into the freezer plus happy hubby and kids today with the other muffins. Added these to 3 pans of banana bread we made yesterday and now frozen. Yay! My goal tomorrow is either homemade bread or life as mom’s slab apple pie. :). We’ll see how I recover overnight from today -I’m 30 weeks pregnant with baby #7.

  • rebecca says:

    Your cinnamon rolls look beautiful!!! Mine always end up a sticky, awkward mess 🙁 Maybe I need to try again!

  • Miranda says:

    Thanks for the recipe! I just came on here to hunt down your cinnamon roll recipe…and here it’s the first post!! 😀 Can’t wait to make them. Thanks!!

  • jen says:

    i am sure this question has been asked before and i missed the answer… can you substitute the coconut oil in your recipes? i hate coconut and have this fear that all i would taste is coconut when i eat it. i am liking all your series! thanks 🙂

  • Anna says:

    I made 33 applesauce muffins instead of the cinnamon rolls. I may try them in another day or so. I also cut up the banana bread for the freezer. I am set. I worked from 4:30 pm until 6:30 pm last night making muffins, dinner, cutting up banana bread, and making dump cake in the crock pot. I also put today’s dinner in the crock pot to cook plus made 5 lunches (which I do every day anyway). I felt quite accomplished after working all day as well.

  • mireille says:

    making these today! i do not have a bread machine so i compared the link for the dough recipe to my mom’s and they are pretty similar! i hope to get my 5 year old to help. looking forward to seeing how they turn out (hopefully as tasty as yours!)

  • Sophie says:

    These look so delicious! What type of bread machine do you use?

  • Christine says:

    Crystal were you able to double the recipe and fit all ingredients in your bread machine or did you make 2 separate batches? Thanks.

  • Amber says:

    Well I got started yesterday afternoon. I made 2 loaves of your banana bread but I switched out apples for bananas. Then I made a double batch of dairy free waffles. I didn’t have a chance to last night but this morning I am going to post about it on my blog and link up. 🙂

  • Sara S. says:

    Do you make the icing ahead of time and freeze that separately? Do you portion it out before freezing? What size portions?

  • Lindsay says:

    I am going to give these a try, I followed your link to the dough recipe the other day and the website was quite adamant that using coconut oil was the best. So my question is about coconut oil. I live in the UK so I guess things will be a bit different. It is not something I can get in my regular supermarket. An online search brings up a variety of choices, mainly from health food shops. It isn’t cheap, the best deal I seem to be able to get is from somewhere like Amazon where is it £8 (around $13) for 500g (17oz) . So if I’m going to invest I wonder if there are any top tips out there for the best sort to go for, country of origin, amounts etc.

  • Lindsay says:

    Thats great, thanks, Canola Oil is I think the equivalent of Rapeseed oil which I love using so that is perfect. We’ll see how they turn out 🙂

  • I’m doing the challenge one day behind you so i can see how you’ve done something. So far, so good. Cinnamon rolls today!

  • Carrie says:

    I love these great ideas. It’s so precious to see little ones helping in the kitchen. I can’t wait until my little boy is old enough to help with cooking!

  • Momofthree says:

    Okay I am inspired to use my bread machine that I received as a wedding gift three years ago for the first time! This will also be my first time with cinnamon rolls so I have a couple of very basic questions:

    When you roll out the dough into a rectangle, how big do you make it? And when you cut the rolls how to you avoid squishing the whole roll as you cut?

    I am loving this series! We are following along a day behind so I have two loaves of banana bread scheduled to make after work today for the freezer plus a batch of banana muffins for tomorrow’s breakfast since the oven will already be hot:)

  • Pat says:

    I don’t have a short dough cycle on my bread machine, will the regular dough cycle be okay?

    • Crystal says:

      Yes, it should be.

      • Julie says:

        My dough cycle is an 1 and 40 minutes. Do you think we could just stop halfway through, or should we let it go the whole way?

        • Julie says:

          Meant to say 1 hour and 40 minutes!!!

        • Crystal says:

          You could probably stop it halfway through. I’m guessing it has a “rise” portion of the cycle. If so, the dough should be mixed up by then, so you could probably stop it then.

          • Julie says:

            Thanks so much. I have frozen dinners before, but never breakfasts and so I am excited about this week’s venture. Starting the dough now and then while that is mixing I’ll make the waffles!

          • Julie says:

            Crystal, you are so right! I just found my manual and for those of you who don’t have a short cycle, I’m assuming yours will be the same. For the last 56 minutes mine rises, and then it mixes again for 4 minutes, so I can just cut off the last hour! Woohoo!

          • Erica says:

            First time using a bread machine. Does this mean you don’t want the dough to rise after being mixed ?

  • Sonia says:

    Those look delicious! Any ideas on what I could use in place of the butter in the filling?

  • Shawna says:

    Yummy! I am going to make these in a little bit. They look delicious.

  • Danielle B says:

    I wasn’t able to make any bread yesterday due to being busier than I originally planned. Today I’m planning on doing two back-to-back batches. I won’t freeze these four loaves, since they’ll carry us through the rest of the week until Monday. Then Friday and Saturday I’m planning on making bread to freeze.
    Hopefully I can get a little ahead of the curve and not be constantly running out. Our grocery budget is super thin right now so homemade bread makes up a larger-than-normal share of our diets. I’m loving this series, even if I haven’t actually followed along exactly! 🙂

  • Lana says:

    Making these today. I spent yesterday having lunch and shopping with my 28 year old daughter. She called and said she wanted her Mommy. I think her pregnant self is on a hormone high as she was not like this before 🙂

  • Caterina Mangano says:

    Bread machine is awesome! I need to be on the look out for a good deal so I can get one.
    Thanks for this post,

  • Tabitha says:

    Yesterday I made your whole wheat chocolate chip cookies! They are one of my favorite cookie recipes! 🙂

  • Sara says:

    My dough was sooooo sticky! But I just realized that this recipe is different from the “Bread machine cinnamon rolls” on your recipe tab under ‘from my kitchen’ at the top. Ugh. Better luck next time, I guess.

  • Shelly says:

    I got mine done. I usually bake mine before I put them in the freezer. But I will have to try to freeze them first then bake next time. My bread machine broke so I used my mixer to mix up the dough. It works out quite well.

  • Patti says:

    I made banana bread and strawberry sour cream bread yesterday, making two large loaves and two small ones. I cut the larger loaves into individual pieces, then froze them in small portions for later. I gave the two small loaves for a birthday present to a girl friend at a party last night and they were a big hit!! Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Marie says:

    This seems like a lot of work for a few cinnamon rolls if you don’t have a bread machine. I may try one day, though. I baked waffles instead.

    • Crystal says:

      I agree that it would be a lot of work without a bread machine. If you doubled or triple the recipe, that would at least make it more worth your time!

  • Sandra says:

    Your rolls look beautiful. I always lose half the filling when cut mine. Any tips????

  • Funke says:

    I can’t use coconut oil due to tree nut allergy. Will using only olive oil mess up the recipe ?

  • Theresa says:

    While reading these posts I thought to myself, I would love to follow along, but today is the third. I like starting things right at the begining (I think that is my excuse for procrastinating, but oh well). Then I realized that Tuesday I made stuffed peppers for dinner, and made an extra meal for the freezer. Yesterday I made two pizzas for dinner, before they were baked Grandma called to say she took the two older kids to McD’s. Well, only need one pizza, so the other one went in the freezer.
    I guess what I am trying to say with all this rambling is that I was so excited to find out that I was unknowingly ‘filling my freezer.’ This morning I made chocolate chip banana muffins, and instant oatmeal banana bread for the freezer. Three days down! Thanks for the challenge!

  • Gina says:

    Thanks for the inspiration, Crystal. I made two double-batches of muffins and waffles for the freezer this morning. While those were going, I browned 7 lbs of ground beef and packaged it up in crockpot-friendly meals like sloppy joes,e tc. I made a bag of taco meat and a shepherds pie for tonight. It feels great to be ahead!

  • Stacia Simonsen says:

    Just got this dough out of the bread machine and it was crumbly and didn’t look like it had risen. I used 2 C whole wheat and 1 C white flour and added a t. of gluten since I didn’t have bread flour. I wonder why it didn’t turn out.

    • Crystal says:

      I’m so sorry it was crumbly!

      It may have been the gluten — I’m not sure on that since I never use gluten. You can just use regular flour for this. No bread flour needed.

      Did you try adding more water to it — that might work?

      Also, did you make sure the water was warm enough so that the oil would melt and the yeast would dissolve?

      • Stacia Simonsen says:

        Thanks Crystal. I am adding a little water and frying it up for scones. I used hot tap water – it may not have been hot enough. I make bread almost weekly and usually take the water temp with a candy thermometer. I won’t skip that step again!

    • kj says:

      I have never used gluten in my bread machine when I am using regular flour. I used to buy only bread flour, but I could rarely find a sale on it so I stopped. Any recipe I use white or wheat flour and I have never had a problem with the dough or the bread not rising. Just something to try. 🙂

  • Zoe says:

    I followed the recipe closely but half cup melted butter seemed like way to much. There was no way I could brush it all on. There was a lot of filling too. I think I could have doubled the dough recipe and then it might have worked out. I still got the dozen rolls for the freezer but they didn’t look pretty. Anyone else have this problem?

    • Crystal says:

      Whoops! It was supposed to be a half stick of butter. My apologies on the typo that I made — argh! Thanks for letting me know — that would have been a LOT of butter!

  • stacey says:

    looks delicious! The OCD in me really wants to rip the sticker off your machine though 😉

    • Crystal says:

      Don’t worry, I tried since I’m that kind of person, too. 🙂

      But it was SO stubborn that I could tell it was going to be a sticky, icky, ugly mess if I took it off. So I left it on because I knew the sticky, icky half-pulled off sticker would bother me more than having the sticker on it would!

  • Ashlyn says:

    I’m curious about the switch-up with the doughs. I’ve made your original “Bread Machine Cinnamon Rolls” multiple times (LOVE them-except I do use half whole-wheat and half all purpose). Do you prefer the taste of the “new” dough. Is there much difference?
    And thanks so much for this series. I already had a couple of loaves of banana bread and a couple of batches of cinnamon rolls in the freezer but today I am making the waffles (waffle sticks actually-my boys love them in “stick” form). I ran out a couple of weeks ago and have been meaning to make more. Your series is the perfect reminder to make more waffles!

    • Julie says:

      I was also wondering why the change in recipes. Now I can’t decide which to make!!

      • Crystal says:

        Mostly just because I like to try new recipes sometimes — even if I think I already have a recipe that I think is a winner. Every once in awhile, I find that a new recipe beats out an old standby. 🙂

        I need to make the other recipe again so that I can compare them to this recipe. After making four batches of these, I’m thinking that the other recipe is a bit more time-consuming and calorie-laden, but it’s also better. I’m not completely sure how well it would freeze and thaw, though, since it has raw egg in the dough.

        If anyone makes both, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

  • Sarah says:

    Made sausage, egg, cheese biscuits; Egg McMuffins; and smoothie kits for freezer today.

  • Allison says:

    My very first batch of anything in my bread maker is in the oven right now!!! I was wondering if you could do a post on any tips for beginners. I made the cinnamon rolls–any tips for cutting the dough? It seemed to smoosh down when I cut it. Just didn’t look quite as perfect as yours…..

  • Robyn says:

    These look amazingly good. I have the exact same bread machine and I also LOVE it! It was a little pricy, but I have never had a problem with it and I really like the loaf shape too.

  • Lori says:

    I don’t have a bread machine. Can I make these with store bought dough, or is there something else you think might work? Thanks!

    • SMS says:

      I’d cook them first if using store bought dough and freeze after cooking. I don’t think you should refreeze dough. Not sure if you can find “Sweet” dough as this has a bit more sweetner than regular bread dough. I’ve made them with regular bread dough on vacation and by the time you add all the brown sugar no one could tel the difference. Could use the frozen raisin bread if your family like raisins. Pricey though I think.
      How do I keep the family out of them If I cook them first? Do they make a mouse trap that big?! 🙂

    • nancy lamarre says:

      yes you can make these with sour cream

  • Shannon says:

    I don’t have a bread machine and I used a sweet dough recipe and I tripled my recipe. I also made some yummy lemon cheese rolls.

  • Kim says:

    What kind of bread machine do u have?? I have been wanting to buy one but just haven’t been able to decide which.

    • SMS says:

      Try Freecycle first and ask around. My first 3 bread machines have been hand me downs. If you have friends willing to loan them, it would give you an opportunity to try different brands/styles and see which you prefer.
      I use them mostly for bread dough. The requests here are now for “Homemade rolls” with pulled pork, chicken sandwiches, stew….etc. Spoiled bunch!

  • MaryAnn says:

    I just got a bread machine and this will be my first time using it. I don’t have a short dough cycle but I have a rapid dough cycle for 58 minutes. Does anyone know if this will make a huge difference?

    • MamaHonza says:

      Just keep an eye on it. It may rise too much. If so, just take it out early. If it doesn’t rise enough, leave it in once the cycle is done until the rise is complete.

  • Quintana says:


    Do you go ahead and make the icing and freeze it too? Or make it up when you know you are going to use the rolls?

  • Jen says:

    Homemade cinnamon rolls can be a cost-effective addition to a brunch or dessert table. Our church just had a ladies dinner which consisted of a variety of appetizers and desserts. I made up a batch of cinnamon roll dough and cut the batch in half, then rolled out each half to make mini cinnamon rolls. One batch made 3 dozen mini rolls! I used 3 batches to quickly make over 100 mini rolls.

    If you have the freezer space, you can make these ahead of time and freeze in layers on parchment paper. Then pull them out on party day, let them thaw and rise, and pop them in the oven!

    • janie says:

      Love how you think! Thanks for that great idea……so doing that for a party this weekend. God Bless You!

  • Dana says:

    Ok so I am illiterate when it comes to bread machines but am intrigued however I have 1 quick question; If all I use my machine for is to make the dough do I have to use the bread flour or would all purpose work?

  • riann says:

    I made these for Mother’s Day and while they tasted great all the filling came out and was all over the bottom of the pan. I didn’t freeze them but cooked them fresh. Maybe they needed to chill for a bit first in the fridge?

  • Betty says:

    I have made different dough for cinnamon buns or other buns in my bread machine and after freezing it will never rise proper. Do theses ? What am I doing wrong

  • Kelly Kennedy says:

    My son really liked these, but said they should be fluffier. Did I not let the dough rise enough? My brad machine doesn’t have a quick rise, so I set my timer for 45 minutes and took it out. Or maybe I rolled the dough too thin?

  • Jenny says:

    If I make the dough without a bread machine, should I let it rise?

  • Emily says:

    Do you know if you can double the recipe in the bread machine? I’d like to make a batch and make another to freeze. Thanks!

  • Emily says:

    Another question. My bread machine only has one dough setting and it last 2hrs. Is that going to work for this recipe? Thanks again!

  • Fizza says:

    Hi, just a question , do you give time to the rolls to rise up a little before putting them ib freezer or just roll and slice and put em in freezer ?

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