Gingerbread cinnamon rolls are a delicious twist on classic, gooey cinnamon rolls that everyone will love.
There’s no doubt that cinnamon rolls are a popular breakfast food (or dessert). There are food chains devoted to creating perfect cinnamon rolls and selling them on the streets, but what if I told you that the best cinnamon rolls could be made in your own kitchen?
Now, these aren’t just any ordinary cinnamon roll recipe, these are special HOLIDAY cinnamon rolls.
Gingerbread cinnamon rolls are perfect for winter because it helps to bring in those wonderful winter spices and soft cinnamon roll in every bite. With a delicious and easy recipe like this one, you can have an entire batch of gingerbread cinnamon rolls to yourself in no time. Of course, sharing a warm and sticky roll with friends and family is highly encouraged too. 😉
These lightly spiced gingerbread cinnamon rolls are fantastic for helping to get you in the holiday mood and would even be AMAZING served on Christmas morning.
One of our favorite Christmas traditions is baking cinnamon rolls together on Christmas Eve. This is a fantastic variation to add to your Christmas cinnamon roll line up!
How to Make Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls
- In a large bowl combine 3 cups of flour, salt, yeast, and ground ginger in a bowl. Create a well in the center.
- Add in the egg, butter, milk, molasses, and water. Mix until combined.
- Add in the remaining cup o flour, and mix until combined.
- Cover and let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
- On a floured surface, turn out the dough and knead until it comes together and is smooth. This should take about 6-8 minutes by hand or 4 minutes if you used an electric mixer.
Assembling the rolls
- In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and salt.
- Roll out the dough into a rectangle about ¼ in thick.
- Spread the softened butter evenly over the top of the dough.
- Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over the top of the butter and spread it out evenly, lightly pressing down to help it adhere.
- Roll the rectangle up tightly, starting from one long side to the other, until the log is formed.
- Cut the log into 12-15 even sized rolls. You can do this more easily by dividing it into 4 sections and then dividing each section into 3 more.
- If you want the rolls to bake with softer sides, place them ½ inch apart in a sheet tray, in a pie plate, or in a cast iron skillet. If you don’t want the rolls to touch, space them out 1 ½ inches apart, just make sure that the baking dish of choice has been generously sprayed beforehand.
- Cover and let the rolls rest for 15 minutes.
- Uncover and then bake at 350 degrees F for about 20 minutes. The tops of the rolls should just barely be beginning to turn a golden color. The centers will be cooked through.
- Combine the cream cheese and butter in a bowl until smooth.
- Add in the vanilla extract and mix well.
- Add in half of the powdered sugar and the milk, mixing until smooth.
- Add in half of the powered sugar until your desired consistency is reached. I like my icing to be thick, but still pourable.
- Pour the icing over the rolls as soon as they are removed from the oven.
How to make cinnamon rolls the night before
After you have fully assembled your cinnamon rolls in the pan and they are about to rest before baking, place them in the fridge instead. Take a piece of greased plastic wrap and face the oil down onto the rolls, covering well and then place the baking container in the fridge overnight.
In the morning, pull the tray out and let it rest on the counter for 30 minutes while the oven is preheated and then bake. Now you get gooey and good cinnamon rolls first thing in the morning without all of the early-morning hassles!
Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls
For the Dough
- 4 cups flour all purpose
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon yeast
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon ginger ground
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons butter melted
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 cup water see note
For the Filling
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons cinnamon
- 1/2 tablespoon ginger ground
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/2 cup butter one stick stick, softened
For the Icing
- 2 ounces cream cheese softened
- 3 tablespoons butter softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup milk
For the Dough
- Mix 3 cups of the flour with the salt yeast, sugar, and ginger together in large bowl and create a well in the center.
- Add the egg, butter, milk, molasses, and water to the dry ingredients. Mix until combined.
- Add the remaining cup of flour and mix until combined.
- Cover and let dough rest for 10 minutes.
- On a floured surface, turn out the dough and knead until it comes together and is smooth, about 6-8 minutes by hand or 4 minutes in a stand mixer.
To Assemble the Cinnamon Rolls
- Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger and salt.
- Roll out dough into a rectangle, about 1/4 inch thick.
- Spread softened butter evenly over the top of the dough.
- Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over the top of the dough and spread it out evenly. Press lightly to adhere the cinnamon sugar mixture to the butter.
- Roll the rectangle up tightly (you will be rolling the long side) so that you have a long rolled log.
- Cut the log into 12-15 even rolls. This is most easily done by dividing the dough into 4 pieces and then each of the 4 pieces into three pieces (for 12 cinnamon rolls) or dividing the dough into 3 pieces and then each of the 3 pieces into 5 pieces (for 15 cinnamon rolls).
- For rolls with soft sides, place them 1/2 inch apart on a sheet tray, in a pie plate, or in a cast iron skillet. For rolls that do not touch, place 1 1/2 inches apart. Be sure to grease whatever you use to bake them in.
- Cover rolls and let rest for 15 minutes.
- Uncover and bake at 350 degrees F for about 20 minutes, the tops will just barely start to turn golden and the center cinnamon roll will be cooked through.
For the Icing
- Combine cream cheese and butter until smooth.
- Add vanilla extract and mix well.
- Add in half of the powdered sugar and the milk, mix until smooth.
- Add in the rest of the powdered sugar until your desired consistency is reached, I like the icing to be thick but pourable.
- Pour icing over rolls as soon as they are removed from the oven.
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