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+ servings

Best Ever Cinnamon Rolls - Soft & Pillowy

The secret to fluffy, pillowy, light cinammon rolls? Mashed potatoes. Even instant mashed potatoes! This method uses an overnight rest in the refrigerate to develope a wonderful creamy and airy consistency. It means you have to wait until the next day but it's totally worth it.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
rising and rest time 15 hrs
Total Time 15 hrs 50 mins
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Servings 14
Calories 341 kcal


Mashed Potato

  • 1 cup mashed potato prepared (see note)


  • 1 cup milk whole milk, slightly warmed
  • 1 package active dry yeast 2 ¼ teaspoon
  • 6 tablespoon butter unsalted
  • mashed potato prepared (noted in 1st instruction group)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 ½ cup flour bread flour
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon salt (see note)


  • 6 tablespoon butter softened (may need additional 2 tbsp)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup pecans or walnuts rough chopped
  • pinch salt

Top with your favorite frosting or see my Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe



    • In a mixing bowl of a stand mixer, pour in slightly warmed milk (no hotter than 95F degrees) and add yeast, let sit a few minutes to bloom.
    • Add remaining dough ingredients and mix on low speed to incorporate, then low to medium until soft and pulling slightly from the bowl - about 12 minutes. Expect dough to be quite wet, but there should be some strands sticking then pulling away from the sides when being mixed. If it's mixing without any strands sticking and pulling away, then add a few more tablespoons of flour and continue mixing until incorporated.
    • Dough should be quite soft and tacky. On a clean and lightly floured counter, scrape out dough and roughly shape into a ball, using lightly floured hands. Lightly cover and let rest 1 hour.
    • Reshape into a tighter ball and place into a large bowl sprayed with non-stick spray. Cover with plastic wrap or a shower cap or bowl cap and let rest in the refrigerator until the next morning.
    • On a clean and lightly floured counter, scoop out dough. The dough should be cohesive, heavy feeling, slightly risen but holding it's shape.
      In it's current size, press in the sides and edges to make a rough rectangle shape.
    • Roll out into a large rectangle about 24" by 12".
    • Spread soft butter over the entire surface.
    • Spread cinnamon sugar mixture evenly over the entire surface, then the nuts
    • Starting at one long edge, roll tightly & firmly but without tearing or squishing the dough. When you get to the other end, seal the edge seam by pinching with your fingers and roll the seam so it's seam side down on the counter. Reposition the dough so it's closer to you and more comfortable to slice
    • Using a sharp knife, slice into 1 ½ inch sections. I use a serrated knife and start at the middle, then mark out 1 ½ inches on each side going outward to the ends. Slice and place in a 9 x 13" greased baking sheet or cake pan giving each roll about 1 ½ inches of space on each side. These will rise again and become larger. (see notes). You might need a 2nd smaller cake pan if you have additional rolls that couldn't fit into the 9 x 13.
    • Loosely cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rise until not quite doubled in size, shoot for about 50 - 75% rise.
    • Bake in preheated oven at 350F on middle rack about 30 minutes or until thermometer reads 210F. Check ½ way through for doneness and color, tenting with foil if needed to prevent over-browning.
    • Remove and cool completely before frosting.


    Mashed potatoes really gives these rolls a pillowy texture. You can use fresh potatoes, microwaved or baked, cooled, and mashed with a fork until smooth or pressed through a ricer or potato masher. Or, the easy way is to use instant potatoes and use water only to rehydrate them.  1 cup dried potato flakes and 1 cup water.  If you do use instant, take note of how much sodium is in the potato mix. If it's low or no salt, then boost your salt in the dough to 1 teaspoon (rather than ½ tsp). 
    The baking pan or cake pan needs to be really well greased. I try to use a generous layer of butter or spray. Some of the brown sugar will cook on the bottom and will be sticky and hard to remove the rolls if the pan isn't greased well enough. You could also try lining with parchment, but again, butter the parchment so that won't stick, as well. 


    Calories: 341kcalCarbohydrates: 55gProtein: 6gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 51mgSodium: 201mgPotassium: 185mgFiber: 2gSugar: 24gVitamin A: 366IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 52mgIron: 2mg
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!