Red Velvet Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

from 11 votes

Add a festive spin to a breakfast favorite with this crowd-friendly recipe for pillowy Red Velvet Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting.

A white baking pan with red velvet cinnamon rolls and cream cheese frosting being slathered on top

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 close-up shot of red velvet cinnamon rolls

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.

A dough hook in a glass bowl of a stand mixer

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.

A hand sprinkling cinnamon-sugar on dough

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.

A white baking dish filled with unbaked cinnamon rolls

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.

A clear stand mixer bowl filled with cream cheese frosting

Put it all together and we have a show-stopping breakfast or brunch item that looks just as great as it tastes.

Not a red velvet fan? Don’t miss my recipes for Apple Cinnamon Roll Bake and short-cut Pizza Dough Cinnamon Rolls!

A white baking dish with red velvet cinnamon rolls and a spatula slathering cream cheese frosting on top

And if you’re short on yeast or on time, check out the recipes below!

Easy Homemade Cinnamon Rolls Without Yeast: Get the Recipe

A white baking dish with cinnamon rolls and a bowl of frosting

Make-Ahead Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting: Get the Recipe

Top down view of Make-Ahead Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

More Red Velvet Recipes You’ll Love

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Red Velvet Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

Add a festive spin to a breakfast favorite with this crowd-friendly recipe for pillowy Red Velvet Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting.
Author: Kelly Senyei
4.46 from 11 votes
A white baking pan with red velvet cinnamon rolls and cream cheese frosting being slathered on top
Prep Time 3 hours
Cook Time 22 minutes
Servings 12 servings


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.
  • ★ Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to give it a star rating below!


Calories: 481kcal, Carbohydrates: 72g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 19g, Saturated Fat: 12g, Cholesterol: 75mg, Sodium: 271mg, Potassium: 116mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 39g, Vitamin A: 604IU, Calcium: 57mg, Iron: 2mg


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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.

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  1. This recipe looks amazing! Just one question: is it possible to make this without the dough hook? I misplaced mine and I only have the paddle and whisk attachment. I would prefer not to do it by hand but if that’s the only other way, I would have to try that out. Thank you!

    1. Hi Ashley! The dough hook is best because it won’t overstretch the gluten in the flour. By hand would be your best bet!

    1. Hi NaTishia – You could do it by hand! It should work out without any issues (although the texture might be slightly different), you’ll just want to make sure the ingredients are well incorporated. Mix the ingredients using a wooden spoon or spatula until the dough starts to come together. Once the dough starts to form, transfer it to a floured surface and knead by hand for about 5-7 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.

  2. 5 stars
    I just made these and I’m so happy how they turned out so beautifully. They are so delicious my kiddos are going to love them for an after school snack. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. Im always looking for new recipes to try.

    1. You are so welcome, Kathryn! I’m thrilled you enjoyed the recipe and I hope your kiddos enjoy the cinnamon rolls, too!

      1. I am making these for my fiance for his birthday tomorrow for breakfast before he goes to work. Can I make these the night before and bake them in the morning. If so how do I store them over night.

      2. Absolutely! After you’ve cut them, place them in the greased pan and cover it with plastic wrap. The next morning, remove them from the fridge and let them come to room temp for about 30 mins then bake and continue with the recipe as directed. Enjoy!

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