Hello and welcome to the weekend! These Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls are are a great way to start Easter Sunday (tomorrow!) or to celebrate spring where ever you are. Of course you can nix the carrots and you’ll have some delicious “regular” Cinnamon Rolls for breakfast.
This recipe takes some time, but its worth it! Start by using good yeast. I used Platinum Superior Baking Yeast by Red Star and holy cow, these cinnamon rolls grew and grew! It was my first time using it, so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but you can bet I’ll be buying it from here on out! Anyway, I love recipes that only call for one packet of yeast, because ain’t nobody got time to measure yeast by the gram or teaspoon — am I right?
So this recipe is a bit different because you add finely chopped, or shredded, carrots to the dough. Yes, you read that right — TO THE DOUGH! You can make them as chunky or tiny as you want. You’ll also add some Cinnamon and Allspice to the dough, because more is more!
The hardest part about making cinnamon rolls, in my opinion, is the time it takes for the dough to rise, then rise again, then bake. But! As long as you start the night before, and have a bit of time in the morning, you too can have delicious cinna-rolls.
Once your dough has “proofed” or doubled in size for us lay-people, you’ll want to punch it down — not literally, metaphorically, and roll it out to get to the delicious filling.
This is where these cinnamon rolls take it to another level. You can do the regular brown sugar and cinnamon mixture — but WHY!? Lets kick it up and add not only cinnamon, but allspice, ginger, and cardamom to the mix. YUM. It’s warm and spicy and delicious.
So, depending on how big you like your buns, hun (see what I did there?) you can cut them into 9 equal servings or 12. Once you’ve cut the buns, place them in either a buttered 13×9 inch pan or 9 inch round pan. If you decide to use the round pan, realize that you may have to squeeze the buns into it, which just means they will puff up and out of the pan as they bake.
I also made this recipe twice, one with regular all-purpose flour and the spiced filling and the other with whole wheat flour and added nuts. The major difference between the two recipes is that the whole wheat flour made the rolls slightly chewier and not “as puffy”. They still rose just fine, but they weren’t as tall as the AP Flour ones. Just something to note.
Anyway, here’s where your patience comes into play. Wrap the pans tightly with plastic wrap and store in the fridge over night. This step will allow the flavors to meld and develop in the dough.
Of course you can skip this step and go on to the second rise of the dough in the pans and bake them off if you’re pressed for time, but the flavor won’t be as developed.
The next morning, remove the buns from the fridge and remove the plastic wrap. You’ll want the dough to come up to, or close to room temp so place them in a warm location and allow for them to rise for the second time. As these buns rise and then bake, your house will be filled with the warm scents of cinnamon and ginger and it will make your mouth water!
Once the bun have baked and cooled enough to remove from the pan, you’ll want to dump cream cheese icing all over the top of them.
I removed my carrot cake cinnamon rolls from the 9 inch pan, but you can certainly leave them in the pan or if you’re using a 13×9 pan, and ice them in the pan. Either way — delicious.
Now you’re ready to serve to a grateful audience!
Want to see more cinnamon recipes? Check them out here!
Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls
- 1/2 Cup Milk
- 1/2 Cup Water
- 4 tsp Sugar granulated
- 1/4 oz Packet Yeast
- 3 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour plus more for dusting
- 1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Kosher Salt
- 1 Large Egg
- 1 1/2 Cups Finely Shredded Carrot
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- 1 tsp Cinnamon ground
- 1/2 tsp Allspice
- 6 tbls Unsalted Butter Softened
- 1/2 Cup Unsated Butter melted
- 3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
- 2 tsp Cinnamon ground
- 1 tsp Allspice
- 1/2 tsp Ginger ground
- 1/2 tsp Cardamom ground
- 2 tbls Cream Cheese Softened
- 2 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- 1 tbls Heavy Cream
Heat the milk and water in a microwave safe bowl for 30-45 seconds. Add it to the bowl of your stand mixer and add the sugar, and yeast. Stir to combine & let sit for 10 minutes until the yeast is bubbly.
In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, salt cinnamon and all spice together. Set aside.
Once the yeast is bubbly, add the egg and the vanilla and using the dough hook, mix together.
Follow with the dry ingredients and shredded carrot.
Mix with the dough hook on low speed, until the ingredients come together and then turn the speed up to medium-high and knead for 5 minutes, or until the dough pulls together into a ball in the mixer. (if the dough is still too wet, add flour 1 tbls at a time until the dough comes together).
Place in a large greased bowl and cover with a clean towel. Allow to rise in a warm location for 1 hour.
Next, gradually add the butter until the dough is smooth and silky to the touch, but not sticky.
Once the dough has risen, punch down the dough and roll it out on a floured surface into a 15×8 in rectangle. Brush the dough liberally with melted butter.
In a small bowl, combine all remaining ingredients for the filling and using a fork, mix to combine. Spread evenly over the dough.
Starting on the long edge, tightly roll the dough into a long log. Cut into 9-12 even pieces.
Place the Rolls in a greased baking dish or pan and wrap with plastic wrap and store in the fridge over-night. If you are unable to wait, cover the pan and allow to rise for 30 minutes.
If rising overnight, remove the rolls from the refrigerator at least 1 hour before baking to allow to rise & come to room temp.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and bake the rolls for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and set on top.
Remove rom the oven, top with cream cheese frosting and serve immediately!
Add the softened cream cheese to a bowl and whisk until creamy.
Whisk in the powdered sugar & vanilla, and then slowly add the heavy cream until a glaze forms.
Whisk to remove any lumps & add more cream as needed to reach the desired consistency.
Pour over hot Cinnamon Rolls.