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Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls

  • Author: Molly
  • Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x


These Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls are everything you want in a cinnamon roll but with a little extra holiday flair in the way of molasses, dark brown sugar, and warm gingerbread spices! These are meant for holiday celebrations and would make for the perfect Christmas morning breakfast.



For the Dough:

  • 1 cup buttermilk (or 2% or whole milk)
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 (1/4-oz) packets dry active yeast
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Additional flour, for rolling out dough

For the Filling:

  • 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Pinch of kosher salt

For the Frosting:

  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • Splash of milk, if needed


For the Dough:

  1. Warm the buttermilk in the microwave Whisk together the buttermilk, sugar, and molasses in a heat-safe glass measuring cup (you can also do this in a small pan on the stove). Microwave in 15-20 second increments until the temperature reads between 100-110°F on an instant-read thermometer – you do not want it any hotter than 115°F or it will kill the yeast.
  2. Sprinkle the yeast over the surface of the milk and allow it to sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.
  3. Pour the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer and then add in the egg, egg yolk, and melted butter. Whisk to combine.
  4. Stir in the flour, spices, and salt and mix with the dough hook until a thick, shaggy, and somewhat sticky dough forms (alternatively, this can be done by hand).
  5. Lightly flour your countertop and turn the dough out from the bowl. Knead the dough for a few minutes with your hands until it is elastic and smooth.
  6. Place the kneaded dough ball into a greased bowl.
  7. Cover the bowl and set in a warm place to rise for 1 hour or until it has doubled in size.

For the Filling:

  1. Whisk together the softened butter, molasses, and vanilla until smooth.
  2. Stir in the sugar, spices, and salt and mix until well combined.

To Assemble:

  1. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll it out thinly to a rectangular shape, roughly 12 x 16 inches.
  2. Spread the filling all over the surface of the dough, leaving a ½-inch border around the edges.
  3. Working from the longer end of the dough, tightly roll to form a log shape.
  4. Butter a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Slice the log into 12 equal pieces and place them, cut side up, in the buttered baking dish.
  5. Cover the rolls with a towel and allow them to rest for another 30 minutes (at this point, you can also refrigerate the rolls overnight to use the next day. See recipe notes). During the second rise time, preheat your oven to 375°F.
  6. Once the rolls have risen enough so that they are all touching in the pan, transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the rolls are puffed and golden brown.

For the Frosting:

  1. While the rolls are baking, make the frosting by creaming together the cream cheese and butter until smooth and creamy. Add in the vanilla.
  2. Stir in the powdered sugar and beat again to incorporate. Add more powdered sugar, as needed, to reach desired thickness. If the frosting gets too thick, add a splash of milk.
  3. Spread the frosting all over the rolls while they are warm. Serve!


To make these ahead, prep the dough, let it rise, and then fully form the rolls and place in your baking dish. Store the formed rolls, well wrapped, in the fridge for up to 24 hours. Allow them to come to room temperature for about 45 minutes before baking as directed above. I recommend making the frosting just before serving.

  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: cinnamon rolls

Keywords: Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls, cinnamon rolls with gingerbread spices, Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls with cream cheese frosting, gingerbread sweet rolls, Christmas morning breakfast