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Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls with Walnuts (VIDEO)

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These homemade sourdough cinnamon rolls with walnuts are as good as it gets! Made with active sourdough starter, the brioche type dough makes the rolls incredibly soft and full of flavor from the classic beautiful combo butter-sugar-cinnamon. After a convenient overnight bulk fermentation, they’re nestled into an buttery pan, baked, and served warm.

breaking one of the cinnamon roll

I hope you'll make this recipe soon. If you do, please tag me #innichka_chef on Instagram, Facebook, Patreon or Pinterest.

one roll sliced and ane half has butter on

Soft, sweet, homemade, healthier Cinnamon Rolls with walnuts....they are incredible warm from the oven. They always disappear quickly! Each roll gets that sticky glazed bottom and pieces of walnuts here and there. Yummy! My boys are always requesting them.

full pan of cinnamon rolls

I must say I'm a big sourdough lover, but rarely eat sweet sourdough treats, unless it's a special occasion.  ln just a few weeks, we will celebrate Mother's Day and why not try this beautiful and healthier option for her breakfast/brunch recipe?

Try this quiche with kale and mushrooms as well to make her Day extra special.

one slice and full pan of baked quiche

What is GOOD about Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls with Walnuts?

The recipe I'm sharing with you today is well loved in our household, I often take it to school so teachers can have it with their coffee and they love it, too.

  • Even though they are time consuming treats, it really is not much of a time absorbing hands-on recipe. The bulk fermentation allows you to make it ahead of time and you can keep it in a fridge for 8-12 hours. Great to make the night before. The dough can be kept for up to 24 hours if you have to, no worries, a very forgiving dough.

holding with my hands a dough
  • Also I like to serve rolls warm right away or room temperature next day with plenty additional butter for smearing on after they have baked, and extra honey for people with a really sweet tooth.

  • The rolls can stay are fresh at room temperature for up to 3 days.

  • If walnuts are not your favorite; use pecans, almonds or raisins.... the limitations of options are endless. You can skip all together and just stick with cinnamon & sugar.

  • They can be frozen for up to a month: wrap very tightly into a plastic wrap then place it into a freezable zip lock bag.

Similar recipe to try and love it:

cup of tea and roll on a blue plate

About my Sourdough Starter

I love my sourdough, it's my pet that I have taken care of for more than 10 years. A few years ago I received a sourdough from Alaska that had been passed down from the 1800's. Here is the story and some info on how to take care of it but not planning to became a sourdough keeper. And, how to make sourdough from scratch yourself.

sourdough in a jar

A half year ago one of my friends who travels a lot, brought me a San-Francisco sourdough from one of the famous coffee shops, called "Jane the Bakery". So now I own two different colonies of wild yeast and bacteria. They both perform excellently.

What do I need to make Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls with Walnuts?

Sourdough starter - active unfed and bubbling, I must mention this recipe is not discard sourdough starter, so it won't get any help from leavening dough from a commercial yeast or baking soda, it is realized 100% on a starter, so you have to have it ready and being at its own peak of ripeness is very important. If sourdough is overly ripe and loosing its strength the dough will be sticky, difficult to work with, and the end product will be dense and not very soft. If the starter is not ripe, the dough won't rise as quickly.

Flour - I always using organic unbleached all propose flour in this recipe, bread flour can be used here, too.  It will have more chewiness though, similar to a bagel texture. Very important to measure flour correctly.

Milk - whole milk is best, buttermilk or kefir works as well.

Butter - salted or unsalted --it's up to you, but I always recommend it is nice to use a real butter such as Irish grass fed butter. Stay away from Land O Lake types of butter.

Egg yolks - by using only yolks the dough is more delicate, soft and less chewy.

Salt - always --the dough needs it to balance the flavor.

Sugar - in my household I never use white sugar made from sugar beets because it's all GMO products.  I like organic raw cane sugar.

Cinnamon - to make a cinnamon sugar I used in the video a standard ratio 1:10, but feel free to use more cinnamon, which I often do for my family.

Walnuts - or other nuts such as pecans; almonds are great here too. Use raisins or your favorite combo dried fruit & nuts.

Vanilla extract - optional but nice.

Let's go...

Prep time: 10 minutes

Making dough: 10 minutes

Proofing time: 8-12 hours

Baking time: 45 minutes

Total time: 8 hours 65 minutes

Author: Inna of

Makes: 12 rolls

ingredients for the rolls

Ingredients for the rolls:

180 grams active sourdough starter (about 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon)

4 egg yolks

1 teaspoon pink salt

70 grams (1/3 cup) raw cane sugar

1-2 teaspoons cinnamon & 10 teaspoons sugar

1 cup chopped walnuts

450 grams (2 cups) whole milk

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

750 grams (6 & 1/4 cups) all purpose flour or bread flour

80 grams (6 tablespoons) melted butter

Plus 3-4 tablespoons butter for the bottom of the pan size 9*13

1 egg (for egg washing)

2 tablespoons honey (to glaze rolls while they still warm, this is optional, I didn't do it in the video)


  • First, it is best to make the dough the night before. Add to the electric mixer with a whisk attachment: add sourdough ripe starter, sugar, milk, and whisk. Then add yolks, vanilla extract and whisk all together.

  • Then switch to the hook attachment and on low speed slowly add the flour, and when the flour is incorporated or close to being incorporated, then slowly pour in the butter. Mix everything on a low speed. Leave dough to rest for 5-20 minutes than add salt as the last ingredient. I didn't wait in the video.

  • Mix everything for 1-2 minutes or until the dough starts to lift up from the walls of the mixer.

  • Transfer dough onto a floured surface and let it rest for ideally but not more than for 20 minutes.  I didn't in the video. Use a dough scraper to shape it into a ball. Yes, the dough will look like it needs more flour, but keep working with the scraper and don't add more flour. Depends on a brand of the flour you use-- dough can be sticky. But don't add more flour.

  • Oil a bowl and move the dough to the bowl. Cover it with plastic wrap and leave in a fridge for 8-12 hours.

  • Take the dough out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature. Allow 1-2  hours before working with the dough. This step is great but not must. I didn't in the video.  

  • To make cinnamon sugar, mix together 1-2 teaspoons of cinnamon and 10 teaspoons of sugar. Set aside.

  • To the pan add melted butter and with brush apply generously bottom and walls of the pan. Sprinkle with half of your cinnamon-sugar mixture. Set aside.

  • Take dough and divide in half. Work with one half at the time on a well floured surface. One half roll into a rectangle and sprinkle with some cinnamon-sugar mixture and add half of the walnuts. Roll dough. Cut dough into 6 pieces with dough cutter or dough scraper. And place each on the prepped pan, with cutting side up. Repeat with other dough.

  • Cover with damp kitchen towel (try to not touch the dough with it) or use a plastic wrap. Leave dough at room temperature. Depending on the temperature of the dough before you started rolling and temperature in your kitchen, can take anywhere between 20 minutes to 2 hours time.

  • Preheat oven to 350F.

  • Egg wash and place in the oven for 40-45 minutes. If you enjoying my recipe, please consider to subscribe to my YouTube channel and never miss a recipe!

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