During lockdown, many students spent time practising and fine-tuning the skills learned during their training. Many, like Aurora (Set 43), developed their cooking skills and here she shares her sourdough cinnamon rolls recipe as part of Sourdough September.

“My love for sourdough started during lockdown. At first, it was just a way to pass time and have some bread since the supermarket shelves were empty. Over time, I have experimented more and more with sourdough and created some yummy treats. This is my recipe for sourdough cinnamon rolls. This recipe is great for families with different dietary requirements as it can very easily be made vegan.

a tray of sourdough cinnamon rolls cooked by a Norland student

Ingredients (makes eight)

For the dough

  • 160g (2/3 cup) milk
  • 28g (2 tbsp) unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 100g (1/2 cup) bubbly, active sourdough starter
  • 24g (2 tbsp) granulated sugar
  • 300g (2½ cups) plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • cooking spray or oil, for coating

For the filling

  • 28g (2 tbsp) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tsp cinnamon

For the glaze

  • 1/4-1/2 cup icing sugar, sifted (add more if you like it sweet!)
  • 1-2 tbsp water

Note: To make this recipe vegan, use vegan butter and an alternative milk such as almond or soya milk.

a bowl of cinnamon rolls cooked by a Norland student

Make the dough

  • In the evening, warm the milk and butter in a shallow pan or in the microwave. Cool slightly before using.
  • Put the oil, sourdough starter and sugar in a bowl. Mix to combine, and slowly pour in the warm milk mixture.
  • Add the flour and salt, and continue mixing until a rough dough forms, for about one minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Cover with a damp towel and let rest for 30 minutes.
  • After the dough has rested knead for 10 minutes.
  • Transfer the dough to a medium bowl, coated in butter. Cover with a damp towel and let rest for another 30 minutes.
  • After resting, take a portion of the dough and stretch and fold it towards the centre of the bowl. Repeat this four times, turning the bowl as you go. This will aerate the dough and make it feel soft.
  • Cover again and let rise overnight at room temperature until double in size. This can take anywhere from 8-12 hours or more.

Roll the dough

  • The following morning lightly oil your countertop to prevent sticking. Gently coax the dough out of the bowl.
  • Stretch and fold the edges toward the centre to gently deflate some of the air.
  • Using floured fingertips, flip the dough over and let it rest for 15 minutes to relax the gluten. It will be easier to roll out.
  • Butter the pan/dish you want to cook the cinnamon rolls in.
  • Lightly dust the surface of your dough with flour and then do the same for your rolling pin.
  • Roll the dough into a 16 x 12-inch rectangle. If at any point the dough shows resistance and is no longer easy to roll, let it relax for another 10 minutes and then try again.

Cinnamon sugar filling

  • Melt 28g of butter in a shallow pan or microwave.
  • Combine the cinnamon and sugar in a separate small bowl and set aside.
  • Once the butter has cooled slightly, brush the entire surface of the dough, including all the sides.
  • Using your hands, sprinkle the dough with the cinnamon sugar mixture over the dough.

Roll and  cut the dough

  • Using lightly oiled fingertips, working with the long side of the dough (16-inch), roll it up pressing down as you go. Take your time with this step. You want the log to be somewhat tight so that the swirls stay intact when baked. Once you get to the end, make sure the dough is facing seam side down. If at any point the dough starts to stick (it tends to get warm from the heat of your hands) lightly oil or flour your fingertips.
  • Cut the dough into eight rolls. For best results, gently score the dough first so that each piece is roughly the same size.

Second rise

  • Place the rolls into the pan/dish you will cook them in and let them rest for about 1-2 hours.

Bake the cinnamon rolls

  • Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.
  • Place the dough in the centre of the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes (check at the 30-minute mark). The tops should be golden brown.

Make the glaze

  • While the rolls are baking, or cooling, make the glaze.
  • Add sifted icing sugar to a bowl and add milk until the consistency you desire.
  • To serve, top the rolls with some of the glaze or lightly dust with powdered sugar.
  • These rolls are best enjoyed slightly warm on the same day they are baked.


You can adapt this recipe to create chocolate orange rolls. Simply add some cocoa powder and orange peel to the filling along with some chocolate chips and add orange juice instead of milk to the icing sugar for the glaze.

How can children get involved?

When making cinnamon rolls, children can help at many stages. Children can help to spread the cinnamon sugar across the dough and to roll the dough up to create the swirl. They can help to cut the rolls with adult supervision and then arrange them in the baking dish.

You can stay up to date with Aurora’s Norland journey by following her on Instagram – @aurorathenanny

A dish with some sourdough cinnamon rolls that have just been baked

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