There is never a wrong time to wake up to the smell of cinnamon rolls baking, but there’s something about waking up to them on Christmas morning that makes them extra special. Now, don’t get us wrong, we love a classic cinnamon roll, but this red velvet cinnamon roll recipe puts those to shame. Let’s get started!
Festive, fun, and delicious are three words we would use to describe these cinnamon rolls that are sure to complete any holiday brunch or breakfast you may be hosting. All that’s missing are some Christmas sprinkles on top. Check out this recipe from Just a Taste.
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup + 1 Tablespoon sugar, divided
- 1 (3/4-oz.) package (2 ¼ teaspoons) active dry yeast
- 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out dough
- 3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- Red food coloring
- Cooking spray
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, at room temp
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temp
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 Tablespoons buttermilk
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
Make the dough:
- In a small sauce pot set over low heat, combine the milk and butter and cook until the butter has melted and the mixture is warmed to just below 110°F.
- Stir in 1 tablespoon sugar and the yeast then set the mixture aside for 5 minutes.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine the flour, cocoa powder, salt and remaining ½ cup sugar.
- Add the yeast mixture and eggs to the stand mixer and beat for 2 minutes.
- Add red food coloring until the dough reaches your desired color then continue beating for 6 minutes until the dough is combined. (It will be tacky. If it’s too tacky, or you’re in a humid environment, add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time until the mixture reaches a smooth consistency.)
- Grease a large bowl with cooking spray. Transfer the dough into the bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Store the dough in a warm, dark place until it doubles in size, about 2 hours.
- Grease a 13×9-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
- Lightly flour your work surface then roll the dough into a rectangle that’s 1/4-inch thick and measures about 12×18 inches.
Make the filling:
- Brush the dough all over with the melted butter.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, sugar and cinnamon.
- Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mixture evenly atop the butter.
- Beginning at the long end, tightly roll the dough up into a log. Slice off the ends then slice the log into 12 rolls.
- Arrange the rolls in the greased baking dish then cover them with plastic wrap. Set the rolls aside in a warm, dark place until they double in size, about 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Uncover the rolls and bake them for 18 to 22 minutes or until they are no longer doughy. Set the rolls aside to cool.
Make the frosting:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese and butter.
- Add the vanilla extract, buttermilk, salt and confectioners’ sugar and beat until combined.
- Spread the frosting atop the cinnamon rolls and serve.