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Easy Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls

These soft Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls are quick and easy to make, and are perfect for your holiday breakfast. They can be made in under an hour and a half. Soft gingerbread dough is filled with a gingerbread molasses butter, then topped with a fluffy cream cheese frosting. Every bite melts in your mouth. These save great for the next day, so you can make them ahead if you prefer.

Ah, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. I truly do love this time of year. December weekends are usually filled with Christmas baking, shopping, picking out the perfect Christmas tree, and just getting in the holiday spirit. It’s been crazy busy trying to test a bunch of Christmas recipes in time for you all to enjoy before the season is over, but I’m grateful for all I’ve been able to accomplish so far. Stay tuned, I have a handful of really, really good Christmas cookies I will be sharing over the next couple weeks. My family loves them too, even my dad, who is pickier than anyone I’ve ever met. So, if it gets his seal of approval I’d say they are safe to share with the world :).

Anyways, growing up, Christmas morning breakfast was always special. Typically my mom would make dippy eggs with pan fried potatoes (she always called them hashbrowns, but they were thinly sliced potatoes, not shredded, cooked in a skillet until golden and crispy). Then, of course we would have to finish the meal with dessert. We didn’t have a special dessert that we enjoyed – just something that felt Christmas-y, like Christmas cookies or Christmas morning cinnamon rolls.

Now that i have my own family and began making a lot of things from scratch, I’ve come to really enjoy having fresh cinnamon rolls for special occasions, like Christmas. This past year we all enjoyed having a cinnamon roll for breakfast on our birthdays. These gingerbread cinnamon rolls are a fun twist on traditional cinnamon rolls. They have all the warm spices that you find in a gingerbread cookie, and oh my word, they make your house smell delicious when they bake! As always, I feel like I don’t have a lot of time when making a yeast rising bread, so I’ve included a few steps that speeds this process along. These rolls can be made in roughly an hour.

The details

Making the dough

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, or a large mixing bowl, add the yeast, warm milk, molasses, flour, butter, spices, salt and egg. Make sure the milk is roughly 110F. I like to stick to a tight range of 108-112F to make sure the yeast is warm enough to help the dough rise faster and not too hot (otherwise it would kill the yeast).

Mix the ingredients in your stand mixer for 5 minutes. The dough will be very soft. If you are mixing by hand, knead the dough for 10 minutes.

Spray a bowl with nonstick spray. Using a bowl scraper, transfer the dough from your mixing bowl to the greased bowl. Spray the top of the dough with nonstick spray, then cover with plastic wrap. I prefer covering the dough with plastic wrap because it keeps the air from drying out the surface of the dough.

first rise and preparing the filling

Preheat your oven to 100F. Once the oven reaches this temperature, turn the oven off. Place the bowl with the covered dough in the warm oven. Allow to rise for 20 minutes.

While the dough rises, prepare the filling. In your stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment or a medium mixing bowl, add softened butter and molasses. Beat until combined. In a separate bowl, add your filling spices and sugar. Use a fork to stir the ingredients together.

rolling and filling

On a floured surface, roll the dough into a 12×18 inch rectangle. Spread the molasses butter over the dough, then sprinkle with the spiced sugar mixture. Use your hand to evenly spread the spiced sugar mixture over the dough.

Starting at the short end, roll the dough into a cylinder. At this point, you may cut the rolls into 9 or 12 rolls. I made 9 rolls, but they were big cinnamon rolls. If you cut into 9 cinnamon rolls, place them in a greased 8×8 inch pan. If you cut the rolls into 12, use a 9×13 inch pan. To cut the cinnamon rolls, either use a serrated knife, or a piece of unflavored dental floss. Yes, you read that correctly! The dental floss works like a dream when cutting cinnamon rolls. It prevents the beautiful swirl from getting squashed from the knife. The serrated knife works too, you just have to cut slowly and carefully. Cover the pan with plastic wrap.

second rise

For the second rise, you will again preheat the oven to 100F. Once it reaches that temperature, turn the oven off, then place the rolls in the warm oven. Allow the rolls to rise for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven.

Baking and frosting

Bake the rolls in a preheated 350F oven for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. While the rolls bake, make the icing. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a large mixing bowl, beat all ingredients until light and fluffy. Spread the frosting over the warm cinnamon rolls.

If you make these Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls, let me know what you thought in the ratings and comments. I always appreciate your feedback. Make sure you find me on instagram and youtube for the full baking video and more fun behind the scenes.

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Easy Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls


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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Jolene
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x

Description

These soft Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls are quick and easy to make, and are perfect for your holiday breakfast. They can be made in under an hour and a half. Soft gingerbread dough is filled with a gingerbread molasses butter, then topped with a fluffy cream cheese frosting. Every bite melts in your mouth. These save great for the next day, so you can make them ahead if you prefer.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast
  • 1 cup milk (warmed to 110F)
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs

Filling

  • 4 tablespoons salted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

Frosting

  • 6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 100F.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, add all ingredients to the mixing bowl. Mix on low speed until ingredients come together, then knead on medium speed for 6 minutes. Dough will be very soft.

3. Place dough in lightly greased bowl. Spray top of dough with nonstick spray. Cover with plastic wrap. Place bowl in preheated oven. Turn oven OFF. Allow to rise for 20 minutes.

4. Filling: In the bowl of a stand mixer or large bowl, beat together the 4 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons molasses, until combined.

In a separate medium size bowl, add brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and allspice. Stir with a fork to combine.

5. Roll and fill the dough: Roll the dough into a 12×18 inch rectangle. Spread the molasses butter over the dough, then sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over the dough. Use your hand to evenly spread the mixture over the dough.

Starting at the short end, roll the dough into a cylinder. Use a serrated knife to cut 9-12 roughly even rolls. If you cut 9 rolls, place in a greased 8×8 pan. If you cut 12 rolls, place in a 9×13 pan. Cover with plastic wrap.

6. Preheat oven to 100F, then turn oven OFF. Place pan in oven and allow to rise for 15 minutes. Remove rolls from oven and allow to sit at room temperature, while the oven preheats to 350F.

7. Preheat oven to 350F. Bake rolls for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown in color.

8. While the rolls bake, make the Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting. In a large bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl, if needed. Add in the cinnamon, vanilla extract and confectioners’ sugar. Beat until light and fluffy.

9. Allow rolls to cool, then spread frosting on rolls. Enjoy!

  • Prep Time: 45
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

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2 Comments

  1. I made these as Christmas gifts for my neighbors. They all raved over and over about the texture, so soft, but also how the flavor was not overpowering, just subtle and warm. I’ve never made any of Jolene’s recipes that didn’t come out perfectly and surprisingly easy for such wonderful flavors. You will be so happy you made these…and honestly anything else you try from her. ❤






    1. Mary Rose,

      You are so sweet!! This made my day. I am thrilled to hear that you tried these and that you as well as your neighbors enjoyed them so much. Merry Christmas and happy holidays to you! Thanks so much for trying my recipes :).

      -Jolene

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