Adventures,  Creative Cooking,  Family,  Wendi's Daily Blog

#230 – Super FAST and YUMMY Overnight Cinnamon Rolls for a Golden Birthday

Today is a special day! This kid is celebrating his GOLDEN birthday!

He turned 18, on the 18th of July, in 2018, in house #18!


He also completed his Duty to God, turned in his mission papers, AND applied to a University just 2 days before his birthday.  Our young man is GROWING UP!  As a family we are excited for El Gringo to start this new chapter in his life and we all look forward to these precious last few months that we have left with this GREAT KID in our home.

To celebrate this monumental day, El Gringo requested only a few things:

  • No “extra” attention (i.e. – simple house decorations and no fussing over him)

  • He would like to celebrate part of his birthday in the temple

  • He would like cinnamon rolls for breakfast and his FAVORITE birthday cake made for him sometime today.

After a 2 week break from Seminary, waking up at 4:15 a.m. has proved a bit harder to do than I expected.  So last night I wasn’t finding the energy to make our 3 hour cinnamon roll recipe.  Thankfully I was blessed to not only find this AMAZINGLY FAST and SIMPLE cinnamon roll recipe but I also think it is my personal favorite.  I am not a fan of ooey, gooey cinnamon rolls.  I like the dough of the roll to be COMPLETELY cooked and I like the actual cinnamon roll to not be too sweet.  I feel that this recipe NAILED my expectations, of course after I made a few alterations of my own.

(see my version of this recipe below!)

As for the FAVORITE birthday cake, El Gringo LOVES brownies and he LOVES chocolate.  So last year we searched for a cake to fill both desires and we stumbled upon this SUPER RICH, CHOCOLATEY bundt cake and he couldn’t wait to have it once more.  This recipe is SUPER SIMPLE and EASY enough that you can mix it up and have it ready in just an hour.  I didn’t make any alterations to this recipe except what brownie/cake mixes we had on hand in Costa Rica (which happened to be a Betty Crocker Devil’s Food Cake mix and a Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Brownie mix).  The recipe seemed to whip up just the same as last year and it smells divine.

I am SUPER grateful for this special day today.  I have been told that kids WILL grow up and that one day it just happens.  Well, that seems to be true with El Gringo too.  One day he just got up and started to get things done.  Now he is just months away from leaving home and starting his life as an adult.  It is a bit overwhelming and enjoyable, all at the same time.

Mom and new baby – Summer 2000
Daddy Time – 2000
Learning to eat! – 2001
Playing on the bed – 2001
Working with Uncle Chris – 2001
Uncle Chris lived with us – ZhaZha time! 2001
Yes, YOU DID DO THIS all by yourself! – 2002
POCKETS! – 2003
Kiddie Kandids with Grandma – 2003
Kiddie Kandids with Grandma – 2003
Jeep Fun! – 2004
First Crush, Laniki (M.O.P. Preschool) – 2004 
5th Birthday Party (Christian, Kyle, Brendan, Paul, Jacob, Austin, El Gringo & Matt) – 2005
Swimming lessons with Emily Chamberlain, teacher – 2007
Baptism Day w/ BEST FRIEND Brendan Scott by his side (Big Cottonwood 10th ward) – 2008
Favorite Birthday Party “Movie & Treats” (used play money to buy your food and treats) – 2008
El Gringo LOVES Legos and LOVES using his Dad’s old Legos to build his own creations – 2008
Crown Colony Baseball (he hit the ball!) – 2009
Favorite gift to receive anytime = LEGOS – 2009
Rain Gutter Regatta Cub Scouts – 2010
Crossing Guard @ Oakridge Elementary School – 2011
Funny El Gringo (baby Curly Cook next to him w/ messy face) – 2011
Cross Country w/ Olympus Junior High – 2012
Cross Country Meet w/ Olympus High School, took 17th – 2012
Uncle Chris got El Gringo up on a wake board – 2012
Working hard at a gift and talent – 2013
4th Place @ District Cross Country Meet w/ Olympus Junior High – 2013
BSA 100th Anniversary w/ LDS Church Scouts, El Gringo played trumpet in the performance – 2013
Our FIRST Missionaries to come to our house for a meal (Elder Smith and Elder Clough) – 2013
Sleeping in the playhouse during an unusually warm winter night – February 2014
Salt Lake Temple Square – April 2014
Niagara Falls (14 yr. old trip) – July 2014
Silly kids in Costa Rica, Belen House – November 2015
GingerSnap and El Gringo meeting the Jon Schmidt Family (Annie too) when they visited Costa Rica – April 2016
Scuba Diving Training – May 2016
Cousin Kyle comes to visit Costa Rica (look at that hair) – June 2016
Oh THAT HAIR! – Dec. 2016
Meeting up with Sister Holmes @ BYU – July 2016
Selfie – May 2017
Favorite Elders return to say Hello – May 2017
Homeschool Plates – July 2017
Lunch after an Art Museum @ La Sabana – October 2017
Crazy Hair Day @ Homeschool – November 2017
The Scriptorian – November 2017

SOY – January 2018 – the experience that gave him a HUGE leap of faith!

Tyron – fellow future mission and friend

Gotta love these two! – February 2018
Best Buds! – Florida Trip, June 2018

Here’s to your first 18 years El Gringo, we look forward to watching you learn and grow into the FABULOUS man we know you can be.  We love you!!!!!  Happy Golden Birthday!

(a.k.a. – MOM!)

P.S.:  In honor of your birthday, your sister made a list of shows you loved to watch over the years and I thought of songs you loved to listen to most.  Hope you enjoy the walk down memory lane in years to come.

Wendi’s SUPER FAST and EASY Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

~ with the help of,, and

  • 1/3 cup water warm
  • 2 1/4 tsp SAF instant yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk lukewarm
  • 1/2 cup sugar granulated
  • 1/3 cup butter unsalted, melted (margarine can be used as well)
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour + more flour until the dough forms a workable ball that does not stick to rolling pin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • dark brown sugar (around 1/2 to 3/4 cup)
  • white sugar (around 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup)
  • cinnamon ground
  • butter
Lemon Cream Cheese Icing
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1tsp lemon juice (or lime or orange – it just gives it a tangy taste that we love!  Try it.)
  1. In a medium size bowl, whisk together the water with the instant yeast and 1 tsp of sugar. Cover and let it rest for 5 minutes.

  2. Add the eggs, milk, sugar and melted butter to the yeast mixture and whisk until well combined.

  3. In a large bowl combine the flour with the salt. Pour the yeast mixture and using a wooden spoon stir until well combined. You should have a thick sticky dough, see video on how to make this dough. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest for 10 minutes.

  4. Grease a 9×13 inch baking pan. Cover your counter with plastic wrap, enough space that you can roll out your dough without it stretching onto your counter (this step makes for a QUICK clean up!).  Sprinkle the plastic wrap with flour.

  5. Roll the dough out onto the well floured, plastic covered surface, until it’s approximately 16 inches long by 12 inches wide and about 1/4 inch in thickness. The thickness is key!!!  Rolling the dough too thin makes tough rolls, too thick makes a gooey roll.

  6. Spread some butter over the entire surface of the dough, then sprinkle with white sugar evenly over the surface of the dough.  Next sprinkle with dark brown sugar.  Then sprinkle with ground cinnamon.  (Watch this video to see how to layer your filling without measuring.)

  7. Starting at the long edge, right in front of you, roll the dough away from you. Mark out your dough into 2 inch slices.  Then use floss to cut them (as seen in first video). Place the rolls, cut side up, into the prepared baking pan, seams turned into the center of the pan (as seen in the second video).

  8. Cover your rolls tightly with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight.  The next morning, remove the rolls from the refrigerator and let them rise until half again as high, about 1 hour.  Once risen, remove the plastic wrap and place the rolls into a cold oven.  Turn your oven to 350 degrees, allowing the pan to slowly heat up with the oven.   Bake your rolls for 17 – 20 minutes or until golden brown.

  9. While the rolls are baking, prepare the cream cheese icing. Add the cream cheese and butter to a mixing bowl and mix until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until smooth. If the icing is a bit too stiff add 1 tbsp of milk.  Serve the hot rolls and dollop with frosting (my kids like to control how much icing they get).  Enjoy!!!!


  • Allison Owen

    What a tribute to your sweet boy! That is an awesome golden birthday!! Alyssa said she is going to have the same thing next year! 19 on the 19th in 2019! I’m so happy to hear he got his papers submitted! Now the wait begins! Happy Birthday El Gringo! ❤️

  • Heather

    I’ve been thinking about you all week and so I came to your blog and found this sweet post ❤️ I’m going to make cinnamon rolls for tomorrow’s breakfast because it’s just what we need 😁

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