Add a festive spin to a breakfast favorite with this crowd-friendly recipe for pillowy Red Velvet Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting.
Are you ready to take breakfast to a whole new level? Behold, the ultimate red velvet cinnamon rolls slathered with tangy cream cheese frosting!
These beauties may require a bit of time and patience, but the end result is more than worth it. Just check out those chocolatey-cinnamony swirls…
A true red velvet recipe (whether for brownies or cakes) doesn’t just add red food coloring and call it a day. It must have cocoa powder, and that works majorly in our favor in this 100% made-from-scratch cinnamon roll recipe.
There are a whole lot of red velvet cinnamon roll recipes out there that are made with cake mix, but my thought is, if you’re going to do it, let’s do it right! A yeasted dough made with cocoa powder is proofed then buttered, filled and cut into rolls.
After a second proof, these bright red beauties are baked until they’re pillowy and soft. And before you get worried that this is going to be sugar overload, allow me to calm your fears with the reassurance that this isn’t your ordinary cloyingly sweet frosting.
This cream cheese frosting includes buttermilk for an added touch of tangy. The result is a silky-smooth frosting that’s the quintessential pairing for red velvet everything.
Put it all together and we have a show-stopping breakfast or brunch item that looks just as great as it tastes.
And if you’re short on yeast or on time, check out the recipes below!
Easy Homemade Cinnamon Rolls Without Yeast: Get the Recipe
Make-Ahead Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting: Get the Recipe
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For the dough:
- 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
For the filling:
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
For the frosting:
- 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 13x9-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 12x18 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.
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Recipe by Kelly Senyei of Just a Taste. Please do not reprint this recipe without my permission. If you'd like to feature this recipe on your site, please rewrite the method of preparation and link to this post as the original source.