Cinnamon Rolls (for gifts) - freeze unbaked, par-baked, or fully baked?

I’m thinking about making cinnamon rolls for holiday gifts this year, and would LOVE to make them ahead of time.

I’ve had bad luck with pizza dough that I’ve frozen for a month (the unbaked dough didn’t rise well), and I’m wondering if there is a freezer life to yeast based dough…

That said, I’m also reading up on many different methods on make-ahead cinnamon rolls and am wondering if anyone out there has any experience on which method works best for the finished product (freezing completely baked, par-baking, or freezing unbaked after the first rise).

I use the Cooks Illustrated cinnamon buns, and they are fabulous. My notes indicate that once you have them put in the pan and topped with butter, just seal them up and place them in the freezer. The day before you are going to bake them, place them in the fridge to defrost. Then an hour before baking, let them warm up on the counter and complete their final rise.


I would freeze them unbaked, do not let them rise before freezing. Thaw and let rise then bake. If you buy frozen cinnamon rolls in a foil pan that’s how they are produced. They give you a pack of icing to put on after baked.

Late reply here but carefully consider the gift recipients- I certainly know people for whom taking out to defrost and rise would both be stressful and likely botched. For them fully baked and frozen with very simple clear directions would be key to a successful gift…

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