Cinnamon rolls are a delicious and popular baked good that are enjoyed by many. Their sweet cinnamon flavor paired with a soft, doughy interior makes them hard to resist! However, proper storage is key to maintaining the fresh taste and texture of cinnamon rolls after baking. Follow these tips to learn how to best store your freshly baked cinnamon rolls.
Cool the cinnamon rolls completely before storing
It’s important that cinnamon rolls are completely cooled before you store them. The residual heat will cause the cinnamon rolls to become soggy if you immediately put them in a storage container or bag while still warm. Allow the baked cinnamon rolls to cool down on the baking sheet or cooling rack for at least 30-60 minutes after removing them from the oven. The center should be fully cooled and no longer warm to the touch before storing.
Store in an airtight container
To retain freshness and prevent the cinnamon rolls from drying out, store them in an airtight plastic container or bag. A plastic container with a tight fitting lid is ideal, as it prevents moisture from escaping and keeps the cinnamon rolls soft. You can also use resealable plastic bags. Squeeze out excess air and seal the bag tightly. An airtight environment will extend the cinnamon rolls’ shelf life at room temperature or in the fridge.
Use parchment or wax paper
Before placing the cooled cinnamon rolls in an airtight container, line it with parchment paper or wax paper. This prevents the cinnamon rolls from sticking together and makes it easier to remove them from the container. Parchment paper is preferable over wax paper, as wax paper can sometimes stick to foods with high moisture content. Make sure the parchment or wax paper fully lines the bottom and sides of the container so the cinnamon rolls won’t touch the sides.
Store at room temperature or in the refrigerator
Freshly baked cinnamon rolls can be stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Countertop storage will keep them tasting fresh for 2-3 days. For longer storage, refrigeration extends freshness up to 5-7 days. When storing in the fridge, use an airtight container and place in the back of the fridge where temperature is most consistent. Allow refrigerated cinnamon rolls to come to room temp before eating for best taste and texture.
Freeze for long-term storage
For longer term storage of 1-3 months, cinnamon rolls can be frozen. Allow baked cinnamon rolls to cool completely, then place in a freezer bag or airtight container with parchment paper lining it. Squeeze out excess air before sealing and freezing. Frozen cinnamon rolls will keep their fresh taste and texture when thawed and reheated before eating.
How to thaw frozen cinnamon rolls
Follow these simple steps for thawing frozen cinnamon rolls and restoring their delicious fresh-baked taste:
- Remove frozen cinnamon rolls from freezer and place in the refrigerator overnight. This allows them to slowly thaw.
- Take thawed rolls out of the fridge and let sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes until completely thawed.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Place cinnamon rolls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes until heated through and slightly browned. The centers should feel soft when lightly pressed.
- Let cool 5 minutes before serving to allow filling to set. Enjoy the cinnamon rolls warm with frosting or icing.
How to reheat leftover cinnamon rolls
Reheating leftover cinnamon rolls is easy. Follow these instructions for warm, delicious cinnamon rolls that taste freshly baked:
- Preheat oven to 300°F.
- Place leftover cinnamon rolls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake for 5-10 minutes if storing refrigerated rolls. Bake 10-15 minutes if frozen rolls were thawed in the refrigerator overnight.
- Check frequently to avoid over-baking. Stop reheating when cinnamon rolls are warmed through and slightly browned.
- Let cool 2-3 minutes before serving to allow filling to set.
The lower oven temperature ensures the cinnamon rolls warm gradually without drying out. Enjoy the reheated cinnamon rolls as is or with icing.
How long do baked cinnamon rolls last?
|Storage Method||Shelf Life|
|Room Temperature||2-3 days|
Properly stored cinnamon rolls will maintain optimal freshness and taste for the time periods listed. Make sure to use airtight storage containers or bags and limit exposure to air and moisture.
How to store cinnamon roll dough
In some cases, you may prepare cinnamon roll dough in advance before baking. Here are tips for proper storage of unbaked cinnamon roll dough:
- Place shaped, unrisen dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
- For longer storage, place balls of dough on a sheet and freeze. Once frozen, transfer to freezer bags. Frozen dough will keep for 2-3 months.
- Thaw refrigerated dough overnight in the fridge. Let frozen dough thaw in the fridge for 24-36 hours before use.
- Let thawed dough rise until doubled in size before baking as usual.
With proper refrigeration or freezing, cinnamon roll dough maintains its freshness for baking later on. Allow time for the dough to thaw slowly and rise again before baking.
Can you freeze cinnamon rolls after baking?
Yes, it is possible to freeze cinnamon rolls after they have been baked and cooled. Simply follow these steps:
- Allow baked cinnamon rolls to cool completely, about 1 hour.
- Place rolls in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until hard, about 2 hours.
- Transfer frozen cinnamon rolls to a freezer bag or airtight container with parchment paper between layers.
- Squeeze out excess air and seal bag/container.
- Store frozen up to 3 months.
- Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating to serve.
Freezing after baking helps preserve the fresh taste and texture of the cinnamon rolls. It saves time as you can enjoy freshly baked rolls again with just reheating.
Can you freeze cinnamon rolls before baking?
Freezing unbaked cinnamon roll dough is also an option. Here’s how to do it:
- Prepare cinnamon roll dough and shape into rolls but don’t let rise.
- Place unrisen rolls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Freeze for 1-2 hours until hard.
- Transfer frozen rolls to a freezer bag removing as much air as possible. Freeze for up to 3 months.
- When ready to bake, thaw rolls overnight in the refrigerator.
- Let thawed dough rise until puffy, about 1 hour.
- Bake according to recipe instructions.
Freezing unbaked dough allows you to enjoy hot cinnamon rolls with just a quick thaw, rise, and bake. It saves the time of preparing dough when craving fresh rolls.
What temperature should you bake cinnamon rolls at?
The optimal oven temperature for baking cinnamon rolls is 350°F. This moderately hot temperature evenly bakes the interior dough while also browning the exterior to perfection.
Baking at a higher temp like 375°F may over-brown the outside before the center cooks through. Lower temperatures around 325°F can result in undercooked dough. 350°F hits the ideal balance for perfect cinnamon rolls.
Check rolls after 20-25 minutes when baking at 350°F. They should be golden brown on top and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center should read around 200°F.
Do you bake cinnamon rolls covered or uncovered?
For best results, uncovered baking is recommended for cinnamon rolls. Baking uncovered in the oven allows for greater air circulation and exposes the tops of the rolls directly to the heat source.
This helps achieve evenly baked rolls with browned and slightly crisp edges. The centers will be fully cooked through without getting dried out.
Covering the pan while baking can cause condensation to form inside the pan. This can make the tops of the rolls soggy. Uncovered baking avoids that issue.
If needed, cover loosely with foil in the last 5-10 minutes of baking time to prevent over-browning. But keep uncovered for most of the baking duration.
Should you bake cinnamon rolls on parchment paper?
Baking cinnamon rolls directly on parchment paper is highly recommended. Parchment paper prevents the bottoms from burning and makes removal easy after baking.
Without parchment paper, cinnamon rolls are likely to stick to the pan as the sugary filling melts and oozes out. Parchment creates a non-stick surface to support easy release.
Parchment paper also enables even heat distribution for thorough baking. The rolls will bake up evenly golden brown instead of developing hot spots on the pan surface.
For best results, line sheet pans or baking dishes with parchment paper before portioning and arranging the shaped cinnamon rolls for baking.
Should cinnamon rolls be covered while rising?
It’s best to cover cinnamon rolls loosely while they rise before baking. Lightly covering them helps retain moisture in the dough’s surface during the proofing process.
Drape a sheet of plastic wrap over the pan or bowl, or lightly tent with aluminum foil. Make sure the cover is not touching the dough directly.
An air-tight cover is not recommended, as it can restrict air circulation. The dough needs exposure to oxygen while rising. A loose cover allows for airflow while still creating the warm, humid environment yeast needs.
You can also place the covered dough in an oven (turned off) with the oven light on. This warms the space to aid rising.
Check rolls occasionally and remove cover once doubled in size when ready to bake.
How do you make homemade cinnamon rolls soft and fluffy?
Achieving soft, fluffy homemade cinnamon rolls starts with the dough preparation:
- Use a fortified dough – An enriched yeast dough with eggs, butter, and milk results in a softer texture.
- Knead thoroughly – Longer kneading develops the gluten structure to support fluffiness when baked.
- Let rise twice – Allowing the dough time for two rises creates airiness.
- Roll out dough gently – Overhandling can make the texture tough; roll just until 1/4-inch thickness.
- Avoid over-proofing – Let dough rise only until doubled to prevent collapse.
Flouring the work surface and gently rolling to shape the dough maintains softness. Bake immediately after the second rise for light, fluffy rolls.
How do you keep cinnamon rolls moist?
Preventing cinnamon rolls from drying out starts with proper storage to lock in moisture. But you can also help keep them moist with these baking tips:
- Apply any icing or glaze while rolls are still warm to penetrate the layers.
- Let cool completely before storing to avoid condensation.
- Spritz rolls with water before reheating to add light moisture.
- Reheat rolls covered with foil at 300°F to gradually warm without drying.
- Microwave individual rolls for no more than 15 seconds to prevent toughening.
A balance of egg, butter, and milk in the dough also contributes richness to keep rolls moist. Storing rolls in an airtight container prevents moisture loss.
Storing cinnamon rolls properly is key to preserving the delicious freshly baked taste we know and love. Allow rolls to cool completely before placing in an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 5-7 days of freshness or freeze rolls for 1-3 months. When ready to enjoy, thaw frozen rolls slowly in the fridge before reheating gently in the oven or microwave. Follow these tips for cinnamon roll success!