Whole Wheat Sourdough Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

cinnamon rolls with frosting in a round white baking dish lined with parmchment.

Whole wheat sourdough cinnamon rolls made overnight and filled with a brown sugar and pecan filling, then topped with easy cream cheese frosting are the most delicious treat for using your sourdough starter! 



For the dough:

  • 3 tbsp butter, melted
  • 3 cups white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup active 100% hydration sourdough starter
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt

For the filling:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans (optional)

For the icing:

  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tbsp butter, softened
  • 3 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp milk


  1. In a large bowl, mix all of the dough ingredients together. If the dough is too stiff, you can use your hands to mix it. You can also use a stand mixer if you prefer.
  2. Cover the dough and let it rest 30 minutes. After resting, knead the dough 1-2 minutes to form a smooth ball.
  3. Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with a clean dish towel or bowl cover. Let rise at room temperature overnight, or 8-10 hours (this is the bulk rise). If you want, you can do an optional set of 'stretch and folds' after the first 30 minutes of the bulk rise by taking a piece of dough and folding it in toward the center, rotating the bowl 90 degrees, and repeating until you have completed four folds.  
  4. After the bulk rise, gently turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface or a sheet of parchment. Roll the dough out into a 1/4 inch thick rectangle. 
  5. Mix the brown sugar, honey, butter, vanilla, and cinnamon for the filling in a small bowl. Spread the filling mixture evenly over the dough, leaving about an inch bare on one of the long edges. 
  6. Sprinkle the pecans evenly over the filling. 
  7. Roll the dough up starting on the long edge that has filling all the way to the edge. Use a bench scraper to help if the dough is sticking a little bit. 
  8. Cut the dough into 6 even rolls. Place them in a baking dish that has been greased or lined with parchment paper.  
  9. Cover the dish and let the rolls rise for 1-2 hours at room temperature, or transfer them to the refrigerator for an extended rise time (up to 8 hours).
  10. Heat the oven to 375°F. Uncover the rolls and bake 18-23 minutes from room temperature, or 25-30 minutes from the refrigerator.
  11. While rolls are baking, make the icing. Whisk softened cream cheese, butter and powdered sugar until no lumps remain. Add vanilla and milk and whisk until smooth.
  12. Remove rolls from the oven and frost while warm, or frost individually as you eat them if you plan to same some for later.


  • Make sure your starter is active and bubbly when you mix the dough.
  • If the dough is a little bit hard to mix, finish bringing it together with your hands. You can also use a stand mixer.
  • Make sure the cream cheese and butter are nice and soft for the frosting so that you don't have lumps.
  • I love using whole wheat pastry flour, but white whole wheat flour is good, too. If you can't find white whole wheat, you can use a 50/50 mix of regular whole wheat and all purpose flours.
  • I love pecans in these cinnamon rolls, but leave them out if you prefer no nuts.
  • If you'd like, you can cut 9-12 smaller cinnamon rolls and decrease the baking time just a bit.
  • Store leftover cinnamon rolls in the refrigerator up to 3 days. Reheat them in the microwave or oven, then frost with reserved frosting.


Keywords: whole wheat sourdough cinnamon rolls, overnight sourdough cinnamon rolls, sourdough pecan cinnamon rolls