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frosted gingerbread cinnamon rolls in baking pan

Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls

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5 from 2 reviews

  • Author: Jenna Barnard
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 12 cinnamon rolls


These gingerbread cinnamon rolls have that classic gingerbread flavor in the dough, in the filling, and in the cream cheese icing. They definitely aren’t lacking in flavor and have a delicious soft and fluffy texture.


Gingerbread Cinnamon Roll Dough

  • 5 1/26 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 (4 1/2 tsp) packets Fleischmann’s RapidRise® Yeast*
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg, room temp
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Gingerbread Cinnamon Filling

  • 6 tbsp butter, room temp
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tbsp molasses

Gingerbread Cream Cheese Icing

  • 4 oz cream cheese, room temp
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 tbsp milk


Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine 3 cups of flour, brown sugar, yeast, and salt.
  2. Melt the butter and pour it into a measuring glass filled with 1 1/2 cups of warm water. Test it with your finger. It should be warmer than room temp, but not hot. If there’s steam coming off the top, let it rest for a few minutes.
  3. With the mixer running on medium, slowly pour the butter and water into the dry ingredients. Let it run until it’s completely mixed in. It this point it should look like watery oatmeal.
  4. Mix in the egg, molasses, and vanilla.
  5. Once that’s combined, tilt the mixer up and toss in 2 cups of flour. Mix on medium until the flour is fully absorbed. It should look like a very shaggy and sticky dough.
  6. Switch to the dough hook and add 1/2 cup of flour. Run the mixer on medium until the flour is absorbed, then turn it up to high and let it run for 2-3 minutes. It should form a ball around the dough hook but will stick to the bottom of the bowl.
  7. Cover your work surface with 1 tablespoon of flour and scrape the dough out onto it. It will be very sticky and soft.
  8. Dust an additional tablespoon of flour on top and begin to knead the dough. Knead for 1-2 minutes and the dough should transform into a smooth and workable texture. Form it into a ball and press two fingers into the center. If it springs back, it’s ready. If not, keep kneading for another minute.
  9. Leave the dough where it is and loosely cover in a sheet of plastic wrap or a clean towel. Let it rest for 10 minutes.

Gingerbread Cinnamon Filling

  1. While the dough rests, make the filling.
  2. Make sure your butter is soft to ensure a smooth and spreadable filling. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
  3. After 10 minutes, begin to roll out the dough. Lightly dust flour underneath and all around the dough and roll out into a 12×16 inch rectangle. It will try to spring back, so switch between your hands and the rolling pin to press and roll it into shape.
  4. Spread an even layer of the filling on top, leaving 1/2 inch bare around the edges.
  5. Roll up from the long end of the dough into a large log.
  6. Use a piece of unflavored floss and pull it tight and flush against your work surface. Push it underneath the log and pull the two ends over top of the log. Cross them over and pull through to make a clean cut.
  7. Slice off each end of the log, then slice the log into 12 even pieces. Make a slice in the center, then slice each of those halves in half. You should now have 4 large pieces. Slice each of these into 3 rolls to get 12 rolls total.
  8. Set the rolls into a lightly buttered 9×13 baking pan. Space them evenly and allow some room for them to grow.
  9. Cover them in a towel and let them rest at room temperature for an hour. They should double in size and fill the entire pan. **SEE NOTES ON HOW TO MAKE THESE OVERNIGHT AND BAKE THE NEXT MORNING
  10. Preheat the oven to 350F and bake for 25-30 minutes. The edges should be golden brown and the centers of the rolls should pop up (a sign of super fluffy cinnamon rolls!).

Gingerbread Cream Cheese Icing

  1. While the rolls cool, make the icing.
  2. Cream together the cream cheese and butter (either using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment or by hand).
  3. Mix in the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, and then the molasses and vanilla.
  4. To thin it out, mix in one tablespoon of milk. If it’s still too thick, add in one more tablespoon milk.
  5. Spread the icing onto the warm rolls and dig in!


  1. *This recipe is specifically made for RapidRise yeast and will not work the same with active dry yeast.
  2. **To make overnight: Place the rolls into the baking pan and cover tightly in plastic wrap. Place the pan in the fridge overnight. To bake the next morning, take the rolls out of the fridge and let them rest at room temp for an hour. They may not completely double in size before baking, but that’s OK. Then bake as instructed: 350F for 25-30 minutes.
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
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