December 19, 2022

Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls

Gingerbread cookies may be one of the most common cookies during the holiday season, but what about Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls? They're sweet and fluffy with that classic spiced gingerbread flavor, but can be eaten for breakfast. They're also topped with the most delicious cream cheese icing that works well with their ginger and cinnamon filling.

Ginger is added to both the dough and filling to give the rolls that warm spice flavoring without being overpowering. The rolls have three elements: the dough, the filling, and the icing. You'll work on making the dough first which will take about two hours to rise: part of which is before the rolls are formed and part of which is after. The filling comes together the fastest since it is just brown sugar, ginger, and cinnamon and the cream cheese icing can be thrown together once the rolls start to bake.

A FEW NOTES BEFORE WE GET STARTED.

Who's ready to bake? You'll start by making the gingerbread cinnamon roll dough. Warm the milk in a small bowl until it reaches 105-110.º It's important that it isn't any hotter than this or it will kill the yeast. Sprinkle yeast on top and whisk together. Set this aside for 10 minutes until it starts to look foamy. If the mixture does not foam, start over with a new packet of yeast.

Meanwhile, mix together the flour, brown sugar, ginger, and salt together in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Slowly add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture, followed by the melted butter and egg.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed and mix on low-medium speed until the dough starts to stick together and pull away from the sides of the bowl. You may need to add a little more flour at this point. Once dough starts to stick to the paddle, switch out the paddle for the hook attachment and mix on medium speed for 8 minutes. Dough should be tacky but not sticky.

Coat a large bowl with cooking spray or vegetable oil. Shape the dough into a ball and gently place in bowl, flipping the dough over to coat the top of it as well. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rise for about an hour and a half, until it has doubled in size.

Once the dough has risen, coat a 13 x 9 inch pan or a 9″ round pan with cooking spray and line with parchment. To prepare the filling, whisk the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a flat rectangle that’s about 10 x 12 inches. Using a pastry brush, carefully coat the top of the dough with melted butter, except for an inch border at the top.

Spoon cinnamon sugar onto dough and spread around evenly, except for that same inch border at the top. With the long side of the dough closest to you, carefully roll up the dough into a tight log. When you have reached the other end, pinch the seam of the roll by pressing down to ensure that it is sealed.

Gently cut the log into 12 large rolls with a serrated knife. Do your best not to flatten them as you cut down by cutting them in a sawing motion. Arrange rolls in pan, cover in plastic wrap, and let them rise for another 30 minutes. While the rolls rise, preheat oven to 350º F and remove cream cheese from the fridge for it to soften. Once rolls have risen, bake them for 30-35 minutes. Let the rolls cool completely on a cooling rack.

Now it's time to make that delicious cream cheese icing. While the rolls bake, mix the cream cheese on low in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until it is smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add powdered sugar and milk, mixing on medium low until it is smooth. Drizzle the icing over the rolls and spread out until all rolls are evenly covered.

Rolls are best served fresh. Leftovers can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for several days. Rolls can be reheated slightly in the microwave or oven. I recommend only frosting the rolls as you eat them. If you have leftover rolls, keep the rest of the icing in an airtight container and add to the rolls once you heat them up as leftovers.

If you're looking for another fun gingerbread themed recipe, check out this Gingerbread Bundt Cake!

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Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls

Gingerbread cookies may be one of the most common cookies during the holiday season, but what about Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls? They're sweet and fluffy with that classic spiced gingerbread flavor, but can be eaten for breakfast. They're also topped with the most delicious cream cheese icing that works well with their ginger and cinnamon filling.

  • Author: Marisa Guerra
  • Prep Time: 2 hours and 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours and 45 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings
  • Category: Breakfast

Ingredients

Cinnamon Roll Dough

  • 227 grams (1 cup) milk
  • 2 ¼ tsp (1 packet) active dry yeast
  • 510 grams (4 ¼ cups) flour
  • 53 grams (¼ cup) brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 egg

Filling

  • 213 grams (1 cup) brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

Cream Cheese Icing

  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 113 grams (1 cup) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 tbsp milk

Instructions

Gingerbread Cinnamon Roll Dough

  1. Warm milk in a small bowl until it reaches 105-110.º Sprinkle yeast on top and whisk together. Set aside for 10 minutes until it starts to look foamy. If the mixture does not foam, start over with a new packet of yeast.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the flour, brown sugar, ginger, and salt together.
  3. Slowly add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture, followed by the melted butter and egg.
  4. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed and mix on low-medium speed until the dough starts to stick together and pull away from the sides of the bowl. You may need to add a little more flour at this point.
  5. Once dough starts to stick to the paddle, switch out the paddle for the hook attachment and mix on medium speed for 8 minutes. Dough should be tacky but not sticky.
  6. Coat a large bowl with cooking spray or vegetable oil. Shape the dough into a ball and gently place in bowl, flipping the dough over to coat the top of it as well. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rise for about an hour and a half, until it has doubled in size.

Assembly

  1. Coat a 13 x 9 inch pan or a 9″ round pan with cooking spray and line with parchment.
  2. To prepare the filling, whisk the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a flat rectangle that’s about 10 x 12 inches. Using a pastry brush, carefully coat the top of the dough with melted butter, except for an inch border at the top.
  4. Spoon cinnamon sugar onto dough and spread around evenly, except for that same inch border at the top.
  5. With the long side of the dough closest to you, carefully roll up the dough into a tight log. When you have reached the other end, pinch the seam of the roll by pressing down to ensure that it is sealed.
  6. Gently cut the log into 12 large rolls with a serrated knife. Do your best not to flatten them as you cut down by cutting them in a sawing motion.
  7. Arrange rolls in pan, cover in plastic wrap, and let them rise for another 30 minutes. While the rolls rise, preheat oven to 350º F and remove cream cheese from the fridge for it to soften.
  8. Once rolls have risen, bake them for 30-35 minutes.
  9. Let rolls cool completely on a cooling rack.

Cream Cheese Icing

  1. While the rolls bake, mix the cream cheese on low in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until it is smooth.
  2. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add powdered sugar and milk, mixing on medium low until it is smooth.
  3. Drizzle the icing over the rolls and spread out until all rolls are evenly covered.
  4. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Rolls are best served fresh. Leftovers can be placed in an airtight container and stored in the fridge for several days. Rolls can be reheated slightly in the microwave or oven.
  • I recommend only frosting the rolls as you eat them. If you have leftover rolls, keep the rest of the icing in an airtight container in the fridge and add to the rolls once you heat them up as leftovers.

Keywords: gingerbread, cinnamon rolls, christmas

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