These Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls feature everything you love about cinnamon rolls combined with delicious holiday flavours! And the best part is that they’re overnight rolls, so start them on Christmas Eve and bake them on Christmas Morning!
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Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls
These gingerbread cinnamon rolls make the best holiday breakfast, snack or dessert! Enjoy one in the morning with a mug of coffee, hot chocolate or eggnog. Top with some sugared cranberries for an extra delicious dessert, or enjoy with a side of gingerbread cookies for a double dose of gingerbread greatness!
The Best Things About Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls
- Thanks to the added molasses and spices in the dough, these rolls have the most perfect gingerbread flavour!
- Can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch and dessert
- Smothered in EGGNOG cream cheese icing
- The gooey brown sugar filling is loaded with both cinnamon and gingerbread spices!
3 Parts to these Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls
There are 3 components to these gingerbread cinnamon rolls that you’ll be working on:
- Gingerbread dough
- Gingerbread cinnamon filling
- Eggnog cream cheese icing
Each part comes together without much difficulty. Let me walk you through it!
Let’s start by making the dough. Warm up the milk and sprinkle in the yeast and some sugar. Allow the yeast to foam up, then mix in some melted butter, vanilla, eggs, molasses and brown sugar. It’s best to use brown sugar instead of white sugar because the molasses in the brown sugar deepens the gingerbread flavours even more.
Combine flour, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, then mix in the wet mixture and knead the dough. This’ll be much easier to do in a stand mixer using the dough hook attachment, since it does all the hard work for you.
But if you don’t have a stand mixer, you’ll have to mix the ingredients with a wooden spoon first, then scoop the dough onto a floured work surface and knead for 7-10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Gingerbread Cinnamon Filling
While the dough is rising, prepare the cinnamon filling. Dark brown sugar and cinnamon, along with gingerbread spices like ground ginger, cloves and nutmeg. Stir them together with a fork, then set aside while you roll out the dough.
Brush on the melted butter, then sprinkle on the filling. When doing this, I like to pick up the sugar a handful at a time, and rub it between my fingers while sprinkling it onto the dough. This method will crumble up any chunks of brown sugar.
Let Them Rise Overnight!
If you’ve ever made cinnamon rolls before, you’d know that they can take all day long to make. Luckily for you, these cinnamon rolls can be left overnight! Technically all of my cinnamon roll recipes can, but for the first time, I’ve written a recipe with specific instructions on how to make overnight cinnamon rolls.
So prepare the rolls the night before you actually want to have them. Divide the rolls and place them into your baking dish, then wrap with plastic wrap and leave in the refrigerator.
This is perfect especially if you prepare them on Christmas Eve because you won’t have to spend hours making them on Christmas Day! Just remove them from the refrigerator and let them get to room temperature, then bake for 30 minutes, make the frosting, spread it on and then you’re done!
Eggnog Cream Cheese Icing
The eggnog cream cheese icing can also be made ahead of time! Store in the refrigerator, then microwave for about 30 seconds to soften it up to spread onto the rolls.
Butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, rum extract, cinnamon, nutmeg and eggnog are combined to make the silkiest, tastiest cream cheese icing to ever grace a cinnamon roll!
I know in my last cinnamon roll recipe, I mentioned that my specifically flavoured cinnamon rolls incorporate that flavour all throughout. So I WAS planning on topping these gingerbread cinnamon rolls with gingerbread cream cheese icing, but I’m so obsessed with the gingerbread/eggnog combination that I couldn’t resist including eggnog in these rolls.
These perfectly spiced gingerbread cinnamon rolls will be your new favourite holiday breakfast indulgence. The gooey gingerbread filling is heavenly and the luxuriously rich eggnog icing will melt into every crevice of the roll, making this one unforgettable Christmas treat!
P.S: the sugared cranberries were just for photography purposes, but I’ll include the recipe in the notes for those who want it!
Happy Holiday Baking!
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Let’s get baking!
- 1 cup warm milk (110-115˚F)
- 1 package (2 and 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
- 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter or margarine, melted
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 cup unsulphured molasses
- 4 - 4 and 1/2 cups All purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 and 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 and 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
Eggnog Cream Cheese Icing:
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 4 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp rum extract
- 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
- 2-3 Tbsp Eggnog
For the Gingerbread Dough:
- In a medium heat-proof bowl, heat the milk in the microwave until warm, about 50-60 seconds. It should be around 110-115˚F. If you don't have a thermometer, test it out by sticking your finger inside. The milk should be warm enough for you to hold your finger inside comfortably. It should not be too hot, if it is, let it sit for 5 minutes to cool.
- Sprinkle the yeast and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar into the warmed milk, do not stir. Allow to sit for about 5-10 minutes or until frothy. If yeast doesn't foam up, your yeast is either dead or the milk is too hot, which means you have to start over.
- Add melted butter, vanilla, eggs, brown sugar and molasses to the milk and yeast mixture and whisk to combine.
- In a stand mixer bowl fitted with the dough hook attachment, add 4 cups of flour, remaining, salt and spices. Mix on low to combine. Alternatively: add the dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
- Pour in liquid mixture and mix on low until just combined, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium-low "2 on a kitchenaid mixer" and knead dough until it's smooth, elastic and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 7-10 minutes. Or you can mix the dough with a wooden spoon, then transfer it to a lightly floured surface and knead by hand for about 7 to 10 minutes until dough is smooth. If the dough is too sticky after 5 minutes, add more flour 1 Tbsp at a time until dough is smooth.
- Lightly oil a separate large bowl with olive oil or cooking spray, place dough inside and turn to cover both sides. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and let it rest in a warm place for 1 to 1 and 1/2 hours, or until dough has doubled in size.
For the Filling:
- In a small heat-proof bowl, microwave the butter in 30 second intervals, stirring after each until melted. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, add brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg and stir with a fork to combine. Set aside until ready to use.
Assembly of the Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls:
- Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish or any other pan of your choice, with cooking spray or softened butter and place a piece of parchment on the bottom. Set aside.
- Once dough has doubled in size, gently punch it down and turn onto a floured work surface.
- Using a rolling pin, roll out dough into a 10x12 inch rectangle. Use a pastry brush to brush melted butter over the dough. Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon mixture over the top, leaving about 1 and 1/2 inches of the border uncovered. Lightly press mixture into the dough.
- Starting on the long side, roll the dough into a tight log and pinch the seams to seal. Slice the log into either 6 jumbo rolls, 8 medium rolls, or 12 small rolls and place in prepared baking dish.
- Overnight instructions: Cover dish with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight.
- If you want to bake the same day: lightly cover the dish with a damp towel or plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes to 1 hour, until doubled in size.
- Baking Instructions: If you refrigerated the rolls overnight, remove them from the refrigerator and let them come to room temperature for 45 minutes to 1 hour. While rolls are rising, preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
- Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until lightly golden. Meanwhile, prepare the icing.
For the Eggnog Cream Cheese Icing:
- In a medium mixing bowl using a handheld mixer, beat beat butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes.
- Add powdered sugar and mix on low until combined. Add rum extract, cinnamon and nutmeg and beat until combined and smooth. Mix in 2-3 tablespoons of eggnog, depending on how thin you want the icing.
- Remove the rolls from the oven and immediately spread half of the eggnog icing on top so the glaze can melt into the rolls. Allow rolls to cool for about 5-10 minutes, then spread remaining icing on top. Serve warm.
- I only included sugared cranberries for photography purposes, but if you want to know how to make them, here’s the recipe:
- 3/4 cups granulated sugar, divided
- 1/4 cup water
- 3/4 cups fresh cranberries
1. Add water and 1/4 cup of sugar to a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar is dissolved. Once sugar dissolves, stop stirring and allow the mixture to come to a simmer. Pour simple syrup into a small glass bowl and allow it to cool for 5-10 minutes.
2. Once syrup is cool, add the fresh cranberries and stir until they're all coated. Transfer to the refrigerator and allow them to sit overnight, stirring every now and then to coat the cranberries. It’s best to start the cheesecake now, then come back to these instructions.
3. The next day: Line a baking sheet with a silpat mat or wax paper. Place a wire rack on top. Using a slotted spoon, remove the cranberries from the syrup and place onto the wire rack. Allow cranberries to dry for about 1 hour.
4. Pour remaining 1/2 cup of sugar into a shallow dish. Add about 1/3 of the cranberries to the sugar and roll or shake the dish to coat the cranberries.
5. Use a clean slotted spoon to pick up the cranberries and shake out the excess sugar. Place them back onto the wire rack to dry for about an hour. Repeat with remaining cranberries. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the refrigerator for 1 week.
- Cream Cheese Icing can be made the day before and stored in the refrigerator. Microwave for about 30 seconds to soften it back up before spreading on the rolls.
- Storage: Store rolls in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave for 30-40 seconds until soft and gooey!
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