Breads, Rolls + Donuts

No-Knead Sweet Dough Recipe

sweet dough

This Sweet Dough Recipe is from my book, Baking for the Holidays, and I use it all the time! Not only does it come together quickly, but there is no kneading with a stand mixer required and it can be refrigerated overnight.

That means you can get your sleep rather than waking up in the wee hours of the morning if you want to serve fresh, hot out of the oven Cinnamon Rolls for breakfast or brunch. 

How to Fold Sweet Dough

Recipes to use Sweet Dough with:

Cinnamon Rolls
cinnamon rolls
caramel rolls
rhubarb rolls in a circle pan
sweet dough made into cinnamon rolls

No-Knead Sweet Dough Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Resting Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
This easy sweet dough can be used to make recipes like cinnamon rolls, caramel rolls, and cinnamon buns. No kneading required! It can be refrigerated for up to three days and bakes up light and tender.
Sarah Kieffer
4.88 from 8 votes
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  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup [180 g] warm whole milk (100 to 110F [35 to 42C])
  • 1/4 cup [85 g] honey
  • 4 cups [568 g] all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 10 tablespoons [1 1/4 sticks or 142 g] unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 1 in [2.5 cm] pieces


  • Grease a large bowl.
  • In a large liquid measuring cup, combine the eggs, milk, and honey.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, mix the flour, yeast, and salt and stir on low to combine. Add the egg mixture and mix on low to combine. With the mixer on low, add the butter, one piece at a time. When all the butter has been added, increase the speed to medium and beat the butter into the dough, until all the little butter pieces are incorporated, 1 minute. Transfer the dough to the prepared bowl. The dough will be very sticky and you will need a spatula to scrape the dough into the bowl.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes. Place your fingers or a spatula underneath the dough and gently pull the dough up and fold it back over itself. Turn the bowl and repeat this folding again. Continue 6 to 8 more times, until all the dough has been folded over on itself. Re-cover the bowl with plastic and let rise for 30 minutes. Repeat this series of folding 3 more times, for a rise time of 2 hours and a total of 4 foldings. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or up to 72 hours.


*** Throughout my recipes posted on this website, 1 cup of flour equals 142 grams. Please note that 1 cup of flour can range anywhere from 120g to 142 grams, depending on the baker or website. I found that after weighting many cups of flour and averaging the total, mine always ended up around this number. If I am posting a recipe from another cookbook, I will use whatever gram measure of flour used in that book, which is why you may see a few posts with a different cup measurement. 
Different brands of flour have varying levels of protein, ranging from low to high, which can result in very different outcomes when baking. I’ve found Gold Medal all-purpose unbleached flour to be the best option for many of my recipes; I use it in all the baked goods that don’t use yeast. For yeasted doughs that call for all-purpose flour, I like to use King Arthur Brand. 
  • Reply
    Monday, January 22, 2024 at 11:38 pm

    4 stars
    I had trouble getting a soft dough. It was coming out hard, stiff, very sticky and gooey, and it just would not rise well. The buns came out dry and hard. They TASTED great but the texture just wasn’t right!

    It’s near 0? outside and barely 45? in my kitchen right now and I’m pretty sure that has something to do with it. I did everything I could to keep the dough warm, including using my oven (heated to 90? with a pan of hot water on the bottom rack) as a proofer to get the dough to rise… It just wasn’t working.

    I decided to try using a few more familiar-to-me baking methods and do it over.

    I used my food processor and chopped the butter into the flour and salt until it was powdery (use a pastry cutter or blender if you don’t have a processor), I added the yeast and honey to the warm milk and let it sit for 10 minutes to let the yeast bloom (BEFORE adding it to the dry ingredients) and then added the eggs, THEN I mixed it all together.

    The result was a much softer dough that rose and came together beautifully and will make wonderful buns in the morning.

    Thank you for the ingredients and quantities but the assembly could use a little adjustment depending on what your working conditions are.

  • Reply
    Tuesday, January 9, 2024 at 10:59 am

    5 stars
    The perfect sweet dough and cinnamon rolls! I have tested many, but these take the cake! I made a batch with beautiful ripe satsumas for an orange roll for Christmas. Delightful! Sending love from Birmingham, Alabama! xx

  • Reply
    Sayida Tunnisa
    Tuesday, August 17, 2021 at 9:50 pm

    5 stars
    Hi. Thanks for the recipe. Can I use bread flour?

  • Reply
    Belem Hernández
    Wednesday, July 14, 2021 at 3:34 pm

    5 stars
    It looks very delicious, thanks for sharing recipes.

  • Reply
    Thursday, November 7, 2019 at 10:44 pm

    Am I able to use something other than a stand mixer. Do you recommend hand mixing or using a hand held mixer.

  • Reply
    Monday, August 12, 2019 at 8:10 pm

    Can I freeze the dough? And for how long?

  • Reply
    Friday, July 5, 2019 at 1:48 am

    After 72 hours? What to do ?? Thxx

  • Reply
    Monday, May 20, 2019 at 2:46 am

    I want to ask you if I can skip the rising in the fridge and just leave the dough rise and continue with the cinnamon roll recipe?
    Thank you.

  • Reply
    Thursday, September 20, 2018 at 7:25 am

    I think I’m missing something, or maybe my phone isn’t loading it right….but the instructions seem to end after scraping the dough into the buttered mixing bowl. How long does it need to rest/rise before moving forward with the caramel roll process? Just double in size?

    • Reply
      Thursday, September 20, 2018 at 8:13 am

      Sorry about that! The last half of the instructions weren’t showing up. I fixed it, and they are there now.

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