Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls

These gingerbread cinnamon rolls are winter flavors in a delicious, doughy form! A molasses enriched dough gets filled with butter, brown sugar, and gingerbread spices (ginger, cinnamon, cloves). All of that gets baked and topped off with a spiced and slightly sweetened cream cheese frosting.

Preparation: 2 hr. 30 min. (includes proofing)
Bake time: 15 min.
Yield: 12 cinnamon rolls


Gingerbread Cinnamon Roll Dough
2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
1 tsp. molasses
6 oz. whole milk
360g all purpose flour (3 c.)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg, room temperature
30g molasses
57g unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into 16 cubes (4 tbsp.)

Gingerbread Filling
85g unsalted butter, room temperature (6 tbsp.)
60g light brown sugar (1/4 c.)
1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves

Egg wash
1 egg, room temperature
1 tbsp. milk

Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting
4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp. molasses
150g powdered sugar (2/3 c.)

Instructions

Gingerbread Cinnamon Roll Dough
Heat the milk in the microwave to 105F/40C (~30 seconds). If the milk is too warm, wait for it to cool to 105F before proceeding. Stir the yeast and 1 tsp. molasses into the heated milk, and leave to sit for 5-10 minutes until the mixture begins to foam.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough-hook attachment, add in the flour, salt, egg, and molasses. Once the yeast mixture begins to foam, add it into the mixer bowl. Begin to mix the dough on low speed until it is fully combined, approximately 3 minutes.

Begin to add the room temperature butter to the mixture. On medium-speed, add 2 pieces of the cubed butter to the dough at a time, and let the butter incorporate for 30 seconds before adding the next two pieces. Repeat until all of the butter has been used. This process should take 4 minutes total. Continue to knead the mixture on medium-high speed for an additional 3 minutes, for a total of 10 minutes of kneading.

Take the dough out of the mixing bowl, spray the mixing bowl with nonstick cooking spray, and place the dough back into the mixing bowl. Loosely cover the top of the mixing bowl with a clean towel and leave the dough to rise in a warm environment until the dough has doubled in size, approximately 1 hr.

Gingerbread Filling
Either using a mixer or a wooden spoon, mix together the softened butter, brown sugar, ground ginger, ground cinnamon, and ground cloves until everything is well-combined.

Once the dough has risen, punch it down to release the excess air and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface.

Roll the dough out to an 12″ x 15″ rectangle (30cm x 38cm). Evenly spread the gingerbread filling over the dough. Begin to roll the dough using the shorter side. Cut the dough into 12 even slices (1″ each). Place into a lightly greased 9×13″ pan and loosely cover with a towel. Leave the dough to rise in a warm environment until doubled in size, approximately 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350F/180C. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and milk for the egg wash. Once the dough has doubled in size, lightly brush the egg wash over each roll. Place the rolls into the oven to bake for 15 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the rolls is 190F/88C. Leave to cool completely before frosting.

Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting
In a medium sized bowl, beat together the room temperature cream cheese, ground ginger, and molasses until smooth. Slowly add in the powdered sugar until fully combined. Beat in the milk until the mixture is combined. Spread over the cinnamon rolls as desired. Serve warm and enjoy!


Storage
These gingerbread cinnamon rolls will be best enjoyed on the day that they are baked, but will last for up to two days. Any rolls that are frosted must be stored in the refrigerator. I recommend leaving the unfrosted cinnamon rolls at room temperature in an airtight container and warming them before frosting. Enjoy!

If you make these gingerbread cinnamon rolls, I would love to see them and know what you think! Tag me on instagram @doughlights and use #doughlights. Thanks for stopping by!

*recipe updated 12/30/2020