Mornings just got a whole lot better with this recipe for Amish Friendship Bread cinnamon rolls! They are easy to put together and turn out perfect every time.
Who knew one cup of starter could do so much?
Cinnamon Roll Variations
Lots of people love making cinnamon rolls with their extra Amish Friendship Bread sourdough starter, including Kitchen Friends Heather Preuss and Susan Hunter-Whalen, each of whom came up with a cinnamon roll adaptation share their recipes below.
Heather Preuss from Milton, VT, made the most of what she had for making the cinnamon roll frosting…maple syrup! Here’s what she had to say:
“I added 3 tablespoons of maple syrup to the frosting recipe since it’s Vermont and the sugaring season! The kids and adults ate them up. There were none left!”
Another frosting variation would be to use the Brown Sugar Icing I often use with my scones and bundt cake.
Susan Hunter-Whalen’s recipe gives her Amish Friendship Bread sourdough cinnamon rolls an extra crunch:
“This dough was really sticky for me so I added in an extra 1½ cups of flour to the dough. As for the filling I changed it to ½ cup sugar, 2½ tablespoons of cinnamon, and added up to 1 cup of crushed nuts. I would recommend a bake time of 25-30 minutes.”
Walnuts and pecans both make for a nice light crunch!
10 Tips for Making Amish Friendship Bread Cinnamon Rolls
As easy as these cinnamon rolls are to put together with your sourdough starter, these tips will help you get the best results!
1. Use room temperature ingredients
When you use cold ingredients with yeast or sourdough starter baked goods it slows down the fermentation.
2. Add the right amount of flour!
If you add too much, your rolls will turn out dry and tough, too little flour and they won’t have enough structure to rise well. The recipe below calls for 2 cups of flour, though you may need to as more if it’s too sticky. You’re going to be looking for a dough that’s tacky but doesn’t stick to the bowl or your fingers.
3. Let the dough rise in a warm environment
If your room is too cool the fermentation will slow down. Temperatures right around 75-85 degrees work well, especially during the final rise before baking. If your house is cold overnight, you can try leaving it in the oven with the light on!
4. Make sure to flour your work-space when you roll out the cinnamon rolls
No one wants the dough sticking to the counter when you try to roll it up with the cinnamon sugar filling on top!
5. The thickness of your roll changes the final product
I recommend rolling your dough to 1/2 inch, but if you want fluffier cinnamon rolls you can roll them a bit thicker, for chewier rolls go thinner.
6. Spread the filling over all but one edge of the dough
This way you’ll have maximum flavor! Keeping one edge clean helps you pinch the dough together after you roll it.
7. Roll them tightly!
If done too loosely your cinnamon rolls are going to fall apart before you can get them in the pan, so make sure to keep that roll tight as you go.
8. Cut the cinnamon rolls with floss
Yes, you can totally use a very sharp knife, but a simple trick to cutting them without messing with the layers is to use a piece of very thin string or (unflavored!) dental floss. Simply loop the floss around the rolled-up dough and pull through.
9. Place your rolls farther apart on the pan than you think you should
During the last rise time on the pan they will expand and you want them to be able to do that without getting squished.
10. Wait before you frost
Letting the rolls cool slightly before adding the frosting will help the frosting stay on top of the roll instead of melting down into the pan.
Kitchen Friend Kimberly Kozicki also sent in this tip:
“I used my stand mixer to put the dough together. I put all the dry ingredients into the mixer bowl, added the wet ingredients, then used the dough hook. I let the mixer run for 4 to 7 minutes at medium speed, and the dough came out perfectly!”
Kimberly also came up with this gorgeous salted caramel Bundt cake and has a beautiful shot of some White Chocolate Raspberry Amish Friendship Bread.
Amish Friendship Bread Cinnamon Rolls
- 1 cup Amish Friendship Bread Starter bubbly and active (fed)
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup milk
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 egg
- ½ cup shortening
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 4 tablespoons butter softened and reserved for later
- extra flour as needed
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- ½ cup crushed nuts optional
- ¼ cup butter softened
- 2 ounces cream cheese softened
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 tablespoon milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Combine the dough ingredients: starter, flour and milk. Set aside at room temperature for 10-12 hours, or overnight.
- Stir then add the remaining dough ingredients (excluding the butter) and mix well.
- Pour dough out onto a well-floured work surface. Knead until dough is no longer sticky, adding up to an additional cup of flour.
- Roll dough into a rectangular shape ½-inch in thickness.
- In a small bowl, combine together the ingredients for the cinnamon mixture.
- Lightly brush softened butter over the surface of the dough and sprinkle on the cinnamon mixture.
- Roll up dough and pinch to seal the seam. Cut into 1-inch slices.
- Place on a well-greased cookie sheet and let rest for 30 minutes.
- Bake in a preheated 350° F (176° C) oven for 30-35 minutes.
- In a medium-sized bowl, beat frosting ingredients until smooth. Spread frosting over warm cinnamon rolls.
Have you tried this? Give the recipe some stars and leave a comment below to let me know how it worked for you!
I’ve made these a couple of times now and they are delicious. I did some tinkering with how to make them like Cinnabon and found that doubling the cinnamon mixture and adding extra butter to that mix made the cinnamon filling more wet and less paste like. I also used a 13×9 pan and pour heavy whipping cream over the rolls while they rise before baking. Then I cook them slightly less than 30 minutes so they aren’t quite completely done. Then wait about 10-15 minutes before putting the frosting on so it doesn’t completely melt down the sides. Everyone has given me rave reviews for it.
Had to use more flour than stated, and also left the dough to rise overnight in the fridge after cutting and rolling.
Turned out beautifully! Next time I’m going to double the cinnamon sugar mixture, but will absolutely be making these again!
Can these be frozen after rolling and cutting for future baking?
I also made this without feeding my starter first! This is the second time I’ve made it, so once with feeding and once without. I think both turned out the same. Both times I had to use an extra 1/4-1/2 cup of flour, and I think it would be slightly better if I can get the dough to not stick without the extra flour. I’m going to try with my Kitchen Aid next time now that I have the hook! Overall I like this recipe, but it is time consuming so just give yourself extra time! I added 2 tablespoons of maple syrup to the icing and will do so everytime going forward!
I didn’t read the directions correctly and mixed all the ingredients together, hopefully they still turn out okay!
How did it turn out?? I made the same mistake just now and am trying to decide if I throw it out or keep it
I was so looking forward to making these, but unfortunately they turned out poorly for me. I think putting them on a cookie sheet is a bad idea. I cut mine to the one inch measurement and baked 29 minutes just to be on the safe side, and they were way overdone. I even checked my oven temp with a thermometer beforehand and it was exactly 350.
I have made several other Amish breads and they came out perfect. I don’t know what ai could have done wrong. 😩
Hi Debra! It’s such a bummer that the rolls didn’t turn out– it’s always disappointing. Baking with a starter always takes some finessing when you are making non-quick bread types recipes. One possible issue could be that there may have been too much flour added to the dough. It’s sometimes hard to find the right consistency, but too much flour can cause the rolls to be tough and hard.
With that being said, the starter always plays a big factor in recipes like this, so making sure that your starter is super active is really important. Let us know if you try again and if there is anything else we can help you with!
Rebekah D says
We bake ours all the time on a cookie sheet, but we do decrease the time. 15 to 20 minutes.
I forgot to “feed” my starter before taking a cup out 😬 they are resting on the counter hope they still work……if not I guess lesson learned and I will get another starter out of the freezer and try again in 10 days 🙄
I have another non fed starter other than the cup of milk and 2 cups of flour I put in last nigh to let it rest. Could I give it another cup of sugar, cup of milk and cup of flour (like I would have on day 10) then proceeded to make the rolls?
Hi Kristen! We wouldn’t probably wouldn’t recommend adding another cup of flour, sugar, and milk because it would add more liquid to the recipe than it calls for. It may be your best option just to try with your starter that hasn’t been fed that recently. We recommend having a recently fed starter because it means that your starter is more active.
Let us know how it goes!
Betsy Rutledge says
When using the stand mixer, did you add a full cup of flour or just add a little at a time?
Hi Betsy! Are you talking about the additional cup of flour? If so, I would gradually add it in, checking periodically to see if it is no longer too sticky. Does that help?
Caroline Woodman says
I made mine in the stand mixer as well. Also it took more than an extra C of flour to get the tacky but not sticky consistency. I substituted softened butter for shortening. For the icing I made a brown butter icing with vanilla and Fiori de Sicilia. I sent batches to 3 different households and they were a big hit!
Glad you got the recipe to work for you, Caroline! That sounds delicious!
Courtney Brugnoli says
Mine are baking right now..I’m so exited! Question, during the rest time for 10-12 hours will the mixture rise? Same with the 30 minutes rise before baking? I put it in my oven with the light on since we are in Michigan, but they didn’t rise at all.
Hi Courtney! Yes, your dough should rise for both rest times you have! If you’re in Michigan, even putting it in the oven with the light on may still be on the cold side. If you have a temperature gauge, it may be helpful to see how warm your oven is with the light on. Let us know how it goes!
Julia Webster says
I have been using this recipe for years. I make a batch and use half for a loaf of bread and half for cinnamon rolls. I use melted butter of the rolled out dough, cover with a mixture of white sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon. Roll tight, cut with dental floss, 1 1/2 inches thick and bake. For the icing I use cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla. My family begs for the bread and cinnamon rolls. Half of the bread mixture will make 12 rolls. I am 78 years old and have been making this for about 50 years.
Hi Julia! Thank you so much for sharing your tips and story! It really means so much to us when our recipes are loved and used. This is what Amish Friendship Bread is all about!
Do you take the 1 cup of starter out after you add 1 cup of flour, milk, and sugar or before. And do u add the 2 cups of flour and 1 cup milk and then let it sit over night or just the starter and in the morning add the 2 cups flour and 1 cup milk with the rest of the ingredients?
Hi Bekah! If you’re baking with your starter on your feeding day (if it’s the first cycle, then on day 10), you would feed your starter (flour, sugar, and milk), then remove the cup you’re going to use for baking.
Once you add the flour and milk the recipe calls for, then you would let it rise for 10-12 hours or overnight. Does that help?
Yes that helps thank you
Hello!!! When you are letting your dough stand overnight, do you cover it? Thank you!
Hi Marcela! If you have it in a bowl, I would cover it with a light cloth just so nothing falls inside the dough. Happy Baking!
Rebecca Thoreson says
Can I make these the night before to bake in the morning? I would like to get them rolled out and in the pan but then do I keep them in the refrigerator overnight and let them rise some in the morning before baking? Thank you!
Hi Rebecca! We haven’t tried refrigerating them overnight before baking, but it *should* work. Give it a try and let us know how it turns out!
Thanks! I’ll let you know. Also, if I don’t have shortening, can I substitute softened butter? Same amount? Thanks again!
Darien Gee says
Shortening works better for this recipe than butter, and so while you can use to as a 1:1 sub, just know that the finished rolls might turn out a bit different (butter has more water in it and is more flavorful/buttery than shortening), but you can definitely do it!
Hi Rebecca, I made these recently for my sis and brother in law. I saw your question about leaving it overnight. I left mine in the refrigerator for about two days. Put them on a baking sheet and they turned out perfect. I rolled them and cut them into shape, then put them in a gallon size zip lock bag with butter so they didn’t stick. Then onto a greased cookie sheet!! I hope yours turned out well too. Love these cinnamon rolls!!
I’ve been trying all sorts of the FBK recipes for the pat fe months.
This one just didn’t pan out…
gretchen S dudenhoeffer says
I made a variation of the cinnamon rolls, instead of the cinnamon and sugar in the center I used homemade blackberry preserves( a little more than a 1/2 pint jar but this would also depend on how messy you want them) I spread the softened butter then carefully put the blackberry preserves and sprinkled with a very small amount of brown sugar. It was a little hard to roll up but soooooo worth the mess. I baked them the same amount of time. I am going to try it with some of the other homemade jams and fruit butters I have.
The only complaint from my husband was that he couldn’t just get one and carry it in his hand, he had to get a plate so he would dropped the filling. LOL 🙂
Darien Gee says
I love this! Thank you so much for sharing, Gretchen!
I tried these for the first time and they turned out great! I didn’t measure how much flour I added during the kneading phase but I bet it was more than 1 cup. I made 12 rolls and put them in a 13x9in baking pan. I thought the frosting was just the right amount.
We’re so glad you loved them, Tawnya! We’d love to see photos if you took any! Feel free to post them on our group page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/amishfriendshipbread/
Made these today, and they were excellent! I used bread flour and definitely added much more than an additional cup to get the texture right while kneading, and baked them in a 9×13 pan. They expanded nicely in the oven and were fluffy without being too dense. Definitely will make them again!
Darien Gee says
Yay! So glad they were a hit! Would love to see photos if you have them, Sarah. Feel free to post them on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/amishfriendshipbread/
KELLY R. SHOWALTER says
These are wonderful!
I’m new to the baking bread and letting it rise overnight thing. what kind of flour do you use? Will All purpose work or should it be self rising?
Janet Lopas says
I used all purpose flour. After the over night resting period, I had to add over 2 cups more flour. I must say these are ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!
Kristin C says
These look fabulous! I love making cinnamon rolls for special breakfasts.
Katie Bellamy says
These look delicious!! I’m definitely going to make these!
Kobi Hensley says
Yum! We love cinnamon rolls and I make them every time we go camping! I’m going to have try these.
Jenny Devereaux says
I would love to make this for mother’s Day! Yummy! ☺
Dee Johnson says
Yum! These look like they would melt in my mouth. I would definitely make these for Mother’s Day.
I’m making them now!
Janet Boyanton says
These sound delicious. I would love to cook them for Christmas morning!
KENNETH OHL says
Cinnamon Rolls are a big hit in our house
I have some Amish Friendship bread starters, and I am so glad that I found your website! I can’t wait to make these cinnamon rolls for my family on Christmas morning and for my Grandmother, (we call her Meemaw) who is currently in a nursing home.
Id love to make the gluten free version for Christmas for my friends and coworker with celiacs
Angela Hendricks says
These rolls sound amazing! I would love to make these for my husband and kids. And my mom too!
Linda Morales says
I will bake the cinnamon rolls for my mother and my husband. Just the other day he asked if I’d bake some,and today I see this!!!!!!! It looks easy and I do have plenty of starter in my freezer.I
Lisa Mulholland says
This looks so delicious!
I am going to make for my two aunts who love to bake but are limited on what they can do now. They will be so excited to receive a goody baked from someone else.
Susan Mangus says
Who doesn’t love a great cinnamon roll. I’m going to make these for my grandchildren, Josh, Lexi and Ethan.
I love making these for my husband and my two daughters!
I love making these! They come up beautifully, and they taste perfect. Much better than canned.
Alicia Metcalf says
My daughters and I recently tried this recipe, since we always have the friendship starter on hand. These were the best cinnamon rolls we have ever had. We definitely will make these over and over again. Thanks for the recipe.
Alicia Metcalf says
I will make this recipe for my mother and my step-mother Christmas morning before we open gifts.
Samantha S says
I have these in the oven now! I’m hoping my husband enjoys them and I will probably make them for my dad and FIL at Christmas
Jessie Brooks says
I didn’t have Friendship Bread Starter so used my regular sourdough starter. I too had to add an extra 1 c of flour but I thought the dough was supposed to be sticky so left it like that. I just used a table scraper and a large spatula to roll the dough once I placed the filling on it. As to the filling, I HAD to mess with it because I didn’t have anything to frost the rolls. I added a 1/2 tsp each of grd cloves, allspice and nutmeg plus 1/8 tsp of salt to half cup of brown sugar. Ended up using almost 3/4 c of it. They turned out deformed because the dough was SO wet but what did I know?! I’d never made cinny rolls before! But they came out amazing!! I used almost an entire cube of butter because I’d used so much “stuff” for the batter but the bread was tender, the filling was tasty so there was no need for frosting and the craisins I added last minute were a REALLY great idea after all. I know I totally changed the recipe but truly, without your recipe, mine wouldn’t have had a chance!! Thank you, from the bottom of my baking dish!! ???
Dawn Sissel says
What type of flour do your recommend?
When you use your mixer and start with dry ingredients, then adding wet…do you use your regular beater paddle and then switch to the dough hook?
How far apart do you position them on a cookie sheet or do you recommend a pan such as a 9×13 if you want the sides doughy?
I AM GOING TO MAKE THESE SMALLER, TO MAKE MORE OF THEM!
Kerri L says
My Daughter loves Cinnamon rolls. Store bought ones have so much junk in them, I can’t wait to try these out. They look great and best of all I will know everything in them.
I can’t wait to try this recipe. I have always made loaves. Thanks for sharing.
I’m going to make up the rolls then put them in the freezer till i need them!
Nicole, I would like to make these ahead of time and freeze them as well. May I ask how you deal these for the freezer.
Stacey Ruch says
I had to add a bunch of flour to the dough. They ended up pretty good when fished.
I didn’t read all of the instructions (I know) before I started making these. Consequently I added all of the ingredients into my bowl instead of only adding the first few and then waiting for it to rise for 12 hours. Anyway I decided to just see if it would rise over night with everything in there – including the extra flour. It did and very nicely too. In the morning, I rolled the dough into cinnamon rolls and let them rise again for a couple of hours in an oven that had been preheated to 175 and then turned off. They turned out perfectly! So another option, just in case you’re like me and didn’t read ahead.
Thanks for the recipe!!
Thanks for sharing this because I am ready to get started now. 🙂
Cinnamon Rolls are in the ‘planning stage’ for tomorrow. Tomorrow night, we feast like kings and queens.
Dawn Young says
I used granulated Splenda for real sugar.
I just finished eating one of these & it was amazing!
I added 1 1/2 cups of flour to the dough after 24 hours (it took a long, patient while to rise) along with the balance of the dough ingredients. Then put it back into the bowl to rise (kinda) another 8 hours. I rolled it out this morning & let it sit in the pan for 2 hours before baking. I make a caramel sauce for the bottom of one pan (added walnuts too), and left the other pan bare.
It took about 35 minutes and was worth all the time & effort!
I’m baking these right now…they look so pretty. It’s my first time ever making cinnamon rolls. I do love experimenting with the friendship bread starter. I’ve been keeping mine in a glass jar and just stirring it with a wooden spoon.
Michelle Chapman says
I haven’t had Amish Friendship Bread since I was in my 20’s. A friend shared your website and I just started a “starter” today. I can’t wait to begin baking.
Deb Ungemach says
Lisa Watson says
Those look divine!!!! I really need to get some starter started.
Yay! Hope you do soon! It is so easy to do! *Happy Baking*
Hi Helen! If you don’t keep a running starter (some that’s always on hand), then on Day 10, AFTER you add 1 cup milk, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup flour and mix it together, then put 1 cup each into Ziploc baggies to give to friends, whatever is left over for you to bake with (usually much more than 1 cup!) is what you would use.
So you can scoop out a cup of your remaining starter for this recipe, and if you still have some left over, you can leave that in the bowl and feed it again on Day 6 and then again on Day 10 (stirring everyday!), and then start all over again. You can also just store the leftover starter (in a Ziplock if it’s easier) and bake with it whenever you want — you don’t have to keep sharing it every 10 days. After the first 10 days you can bake with your starter at any time, just don’t forget to feed it about once a week!
Does this help?
Paula Yagisawa says
I have seen instructions for either way; feeding 1 cup of each on days six and ten – or 1 1/2 cups of each.
I generally do the 1 cup of each since that’s what I originally learned – plus, I don’t have AS MUCH at the end. But, if I plan to do a lot of baking or have friends asking for it, I do more.
I’ve never really tried the “no counting days” method of just feeding and going with it. Maybe I should try that next time around.
Kay Balsley says
Yum Yum sure looks good I will have to try this