This post is sponsored by McCormick, maker of the yummy cinnamon in this casserole.
Oh man, guys. I think I may have just discovered the most easy cinnamon rolls hack EVER.
I mean it. This overnight casserole version takes all of 10 minutes to prep ahead of time, and none of those steps have anything to do with bread-dough-making (or working with yeast). Which means that instead waking up extra-early the next morning to mix and proof and roll out dough from scratch — guys — you can totally sleep in. Because once you roll out of bed, all you need to do is drizzle the the casserole with some cinnamon-sugar-butter, pop it in the oven for 25 minutes, and whip up a quick batch of cream cheese icing while it bakes. Then, in less than 30 minutes total, this ridiculously delicious pan of cinnamon roll goodness will be ready to serve up, share, and enjoy.
Truly, the easiest cinnamon “rolls” I’ve ever made. So if you’re looking for a laid-back recipe to make for brunch this weekend — or hey, how about a super-stress-free-crowd-pleaser for Easter the next weekend — this one’s for you.
The secret to these amazing rolls?
A good loaf of challah bread + good-quality cinnamon.
If you’re unfamiliar with challah, it’s a traditional braided Jewish bread that’s slightly sweet, dense, and makes the best French toast ever. And as such, it also works perfectly in this recipe for cinnamon rolls! I usually buy mine at Great Harvest Bread Co, but it’s available at most places where fresh bread is sold. (Or if not, ask for a good brioche.)
Good quality cinnamon is also a must for me with cinnamon rolls, and I’m happy to be partnering with McCormick Spices again this year, whose cinnamon has always been a staple in my pantry and tasted awesome in this recipe. (Bonus, they also have a new toasted cinnamon that I’ve been using lately and love with cinnamon rolls too — check it out!)
To make the casserole, simply dice up your loaf of bread into bite-sized chunks. Then whisk together some milk, eggs, and cinnamon, and toss the bread in the mixture until it’s evenly coated. Turn the mixture into a 9 x 13-inch baking pan, cover, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours (or overnight).
Then, once you’re ready to bake the cinnamon rolls, drizzle on a cinnamon-sugar-butter mixture on top of the casserole. Bake for 25 minutes. And while the casserole is in the oven, whisk together a simple cream cheese icing.
Then once the casserole is cooked through and nice and toasty on top, drizzle on lots and lots of that cream cheese icing.
(Oh, and don’t forget to drizzle on just a little more icing…for good measure.)
Seriously, this casserole brings together all of the amazing cinnamon roll flavors we know and love, with just a fraction of the work. So if you’re looking for a good brunch hack for this weekend or Easter weekend, I can’t recommend it enough.
Mix eggs, milk, 1 tablespoon of the cinnamon, and vanilla extract in large bowl with wire whisk until well blended. Add bread cubes, and toss until they are evenly coated with the milk mixture. Pour into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish, that has been prepared with cooking spray. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
When you’re ready to bake the casserole, preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove casserole from refrigerator.
In a small bowl, whisk together the melted butter, brown sugar and remaining 1 tablespoon cinnamon until combined. Drizzle the mixture evenly over the casserole.
Bake uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. While the casserole is baking, prepare the cream cheese icing (see below).
Once the casserole is cooked through and toasted on top, remove it from the oven and transfer to a wire cooling rack. Drizzle the cream cheese icing over the top of the casserole. Then serve warm, drizzled with extra icing if desired.
To Make The Cream Cheese Icing:
Whisk cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla extract together until smooth. Add milk — 1 teaspoon at a time — to thin out the icing, until it reaches your desired consistency. Use immediately, or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 3 days.
Slightly adapted from this recipe by McCormick. *Edited on April 7 — I omitted the baking powder in the recipe. After re-testing it, I realized the recipe really didn’t need it! :)
This post is sponsored by McCormick Spices, whose spices I love and use regularly in my everyday cooking. Thanks for continuing to support the brands who help make this site possible.
The pictures are making me water. I’ve never actually made rolls from scratch before… would be interesting to try this out.
This recipe couldn’t have appeared at a more perfect time! I volunteered to make cinnamon rolls for a work brunch next week and this recipe is going to save me a bunch of time :)
Thanks, Nicole, we hope it was a hit! :)
Does this recipe really call for a dozen eggs? 12 seems like a lot, so wanted to double-check before making. Thanks!
Yep, they help keep the bread nice and soft like cinnamon rolls! :)
Yum! This looks like a perfect Easter brunch food =)
Oh My !! YUMMY !!!
would love to have nutritional values and calorie counts for the recipes you post
Hi Candy! We’re sorry but we are unsure of the nutrition facts/amount of calories in this recipe. We currently are not publishing nutrition facts on the site, as the nutrition calculators available are not 100% accurate, and we never want to publish anything that might be misleading. However, a lot of our readers love the My Fitness Pal nutrition calculator, so feel free to try that for an estimate. We hope that helps!
Curious as to why you used baking powder? Thank you for the recipe! Looks yummy – will be making this for Sunday brunch.
Actually, I just deleted that from the recipe. After re-testing it, I realized the 1/4 tsp baking powder wasn’t needed. :) Hope you enjoy!!
Looks like a quick easy recipe to make.
In your blog you refer to baking soda but in the recipe at the bottom it is baking soda. Could you please clarify before I make!
Hey Sue! Whoops, I meant to say 1/4 teaspoon baking powder. But after re-testing the recipe again today, I actually realized that it totally doesn’t need it, so I deleted it from the ingredient list. Feel free to use it, though, if you’d like!
This sounds delicious. I can’t wait to try it. I love to make things from scratch but when a recipe has a short cut and the quality doesn’t suffer it’s a keeper! Company is coming and this will be perfect for the next morning. Thanks!
Thanks, Annie, we hope you and your company love it! :)
Good grief! I can tell just by looking that this is a major winner!
Okay, these are getting made tomorrow night! Adding challah bread to the grocery list now.
Awesome, Britt, we hope you loved it!
Just pulled it out of the oven and took our first bites……AMAZING! This recipe is such a keeper! Thanks, Ali :)
Yay! We’re so happy you loved it, Michelle! :)
Any idea how this would freeze? Perhaps before baking? Getting ready to have a baby and I’m really wanting to celebrate with cinnamon rolls for the morning after, so I’d love to just be able to pull it out of the freezer.
Hi Savannah! We haven’t tried freezing this, but we think it would freeze best after being baked. Let us know if you try it, we hope you enjoy (and congrats to you)! :)
Hi Savannah! Was wondering how this would freeze as well! Any input/feedback if you’ve tried it! Thanks!
Basically the best idea on earth. My grandmother used to make homemade cinnamon rolls, waking up at like 4 am to get them started and letting them rise and that whole crazy process. I sometimes wish I wanted to do that, buuuut let’s be real. THIS is what I’m talking about. Looks delicious!
Thank you, Tera, we hope you love this! :)
I agree with others, this does look amazing! I’ve got to be honest, I’ve never seen a recipe like this where you didn’t make the dough. I’m really surprised that it works and tastes as well as you, and Michelle in the comments, says it does.
Certainly makes it a far easier recipe!
We hope you can give it a try sometime soon, Chris! :)
Alright, I’ve got to admit that I was a little doubtful about how good this would be, especially considering how much my family loves traditional cinnamon rolls. But we gave it a try this morning because it sounded so easy, and it ended up being so good! The eggs and milk definitely softened up the bread cubes and made it borderline quiche-esque, but everyone loved it and polished off the entire pan. We’ll definitely be making this one again soon!
We’re so happy you and your family enjoyed it! :)
This looks so freaking yummy! Thanks for the recipe, I’m going to try this with some brioche bread on my day off tomorrow (we don’t get challah around my parts!)
Thank you, Lo, we hope you enjoyed it! :)
Holy cow, I want to eat this right now. Extra cinnamon drizzle on mine, please. :) I love McCormick’s new roasted cinnamon!!
This looks absolutely delicious. But isn’t it a bread pudding?
Hi Ali, looks like you removed baking powder from the ingredients list, but not the directions. Just scrolled through comments to get an explanation. Can’t wait to try these in the morning! :)
Hi Elizabeth! We actually deleted that from the recipe. After re-testing it, we realized the 1/4 tsp baking powder wasn’t needed. :) Hope you enjoy!!
Loved this recipe! It was perfect for Easter morning breakfast!
Super fast and easy!
We’re so glad to hear that, Heather! :)
Can you guesstimate how many cups of bread cubes this would be? I have brioche on hand and can’t wait to make this – just wanted to confirm amounts/proportions!
Hi Michelle! We’re guessing 8-12 cups, but as long as it’s a standard-sized challah/brioche loaf, you’ll be fine. :) We hope you enjoy!
I sent this recipe to my husband as a “hint” about a nice Mother’s Day breakfast ;) He got the hint and Oh My! This was soooo good! What a delicious way to wake up on Mother’s Day! Thank you for the recipe!
Molly, we’re so glad your husband made this for you and even more glad that you enjoyed it! :)
So delicious and ridiculously easy! Especially perfect for the holidays when you are hosting a big group of people at your house.
We made this for our family Easter Brunch. Very decadent and easy!!!
This was such a great delicious recipe! However I did find that I had to bake it for a total of 40 min and it still was pretty gooey and the egg mixture wasn’t set all the way. Not sure if my Challah loaf was too small or what happened! Would love to make it again because for the most part it was soo yummy!!
This was amazing!! Although, I agree needed a lot longer than 30 mins as the egg mixture was still raw. The flavor was amazing though.
Have you tried this with browned butter? I wanted to make the cinnamon rolls for thanksgiving morning but I just won’t have enough time. But browned butter is MY JAM!! I’ve made both recipes a bunch of times & the casserole is easy peasy but curious about the browned butter. Any thoughts?
I’m sure the browned butter would be extra delicious! :)
First off, I’m so excited to have found this recipe! I was looking for an overnight French toast casserole recipe to make for Christmas morning (working all day both days); however, wanted something similar to a cinnamon roll and here you are! Although I was looking for easy, still wanted quality and this recipe seems perfect all around! Thank you!
Realizing it’s two years later, not sure if questions may be answered, but here goes! Could heavy cream or eggnog be used in the recipe instead of milk? (Not tryng to modify, I just have both on hand that need to be used up!) Thanks again and happy holidays!
The cinnamon rolls were delicious and enjoyed by all. Thank you. Next time, I may try adding some apples and nuts.
Flavor was excellent. However, middle was raw while edges were perfect. Think if I cooked it so muddle was done edges would be dry. Fewer eggs, less milk??
Don’t know what went wrong. I’m pretty good at baking but like Becky it looked done around the edges; toothpick came clean in a number of places and baked it for 30 minutes at 350. 12 eggs. 1.5 cup of milk. loaf of bread. Flavor spot on. But came out Raw. Had to throw it out.
This yumminess has been the centerpiece of every holiday breakfast at our house for the past 4 years! We are a small family, so I cut the recipe in half and bake it for the same amount of time in an 8×8 dish. It’s so easy to prepare the night before, then pop in the oven before everyone wakes up to start the festivities. Take care & thank you!
Awesome recipe and my family loved it. The only thing I would note is: it takes at least 45 minutes for this to bake all the way. I was surprised to see the 25 minute time on the recipe, because I make french toast casseroles nearly every weekend and they are all around 45 minutes. No big deal and it’s a great recipe – just plan to add a little bit to your time.