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Red Velvet Cinnamon Rolls With Cream Cheese Icing

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These delicious red velvet cinnamon rolls are made from scratch and are totally worth the extra effort.

Red Velvet Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing

Some red velvet cinnamon roll recipes use a box of cake mix. My version of this red dessert recipe is not cake mix cinnamon rolls. But I do love a good recipe cheat using cake mix. Scroll all the way down for a good list of recipes using cake mix that are not cake.

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We are going all out here and making our yeast dough from scratch. We are making the cinnamon sugar mixture from scratch and finally, our cream cheese icing is also made from scratch.

Make this red velvet cinnamon roll recipe anytime but especially for Valentine’s Day and Christmas morning.

Ingredients for Red Velvet Cinnamon Rolls from scratch

Dough Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk
  • ⅓ cup unsalted butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, divided (1 1/2 cups and 2 1/2 cups)
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • Red food coloring

Filling Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon self-rising flour

Cream Cheese Icing Ingredients

  • 1 (8 ounces) package cream cheese, softened
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Directions

Step 1

In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 ½ cups flour, cocoa powder, and yeast then set aside. I do this part in the large bowl of a stand mixer.

A stand mixer with a dough hook works best for this recipe.

Large mixing bowl with dry ingredients

Step 2

In a medium saucepan, heat the milk, butter, sugar, and salt until 120°. Remove from heat and continue stirring until the butter is melted. Pour the mixture into the large bowl with the flour mixture.

Milk in saucepan with cut up butter next to it

Step 3

Mix on low, using a regular paddle, adding the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition. Add the food coloring a few drops at a time and stir after each addition until it reaches your desired shade. Be mindful that you will be adding more flour and that will soften the color.

Step 4

Change the mixer attachment to the dough hook. Beat the dough on low, adding the remaining flour which should be 2 1/2 cups remaining, a little at a time, mixing after each addition. Increase speed to medium until a soft dough forms, approximately 3 minutes.

Step 5 Let the dough rise

Grease a large bowl with either cooking spray or oil and then transfer the dough to the bowl.

Cover with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap. Set the covered bowl in a warm area of the kitchen until the dough doubles in size, approximately 1 1/2 hours.

I like to sit mine on the stovetop and turn on the hood vent light.

Step 6

Prepare a work surface on the counter. I like to use these disposable counter covers.

Once the dough has doubled in size, punch the dough down and turn it out onto a floured surface. Cover with the kitchen towel or plastic wrap and allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes.

Cinnamon Roll filling ingredients
Cinnamon Roll Filling ingredients

Step 7 Make the cinnamon filling

While the dough is resting, add the filling ingredients to a small bowl and stir well to combine. The mixture will be sandy.

Cinnamon roll dough rolled out with filling on top

Step 8

Roll the dough into a rectangle, approximately 20 inches by 10 inches. Sprinkle the top of the dough with the filling mixture, leaving a 1-inch space on one long edge without filling.

Rolling the cinnamon roll dough up jelly roll style

Step 9

Starting on the long side, roll the dough up, jelly-roll style, working it tightly but without pulling the dough too much. Pinch seams to seal the long edge.

Step 10 Cutting the cinnamon rolls

Cut the dough into 12 even slices by cutting the dough in half, cutting those halves in half, and then the quarters into three slices each. This method will give you the most similar size cinnamon rolls.

Red Velvet Cinnamon rolls ready to rise again

Step 11

Prepare a large baking sheet with parchment paper or cooking spray. Place each roll onto the prepared pan, allowing about one-inch space between each roll. Cover and allow to rise in a warm dry place for about 40 minutes or until doubled in size.

Step 12 Baking the cinnamon rolls

Once the rolls have doubled in size it is time to bake! The house is about to smell delicious. Bake in your oven preheated to 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.

Making the Icing

Step 13

While the rolls are baking, make the cream cheese icing. In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla, stirring until well blended. Stir in the powdered sugar then add the milk a little at a time stirring after each addition until reaching the desired consistency.

Icing the cinnamon rolls in the pan

Step 14

Remove the cinnamon rolls from the oven and allow them to cool completely before icing. Cover with icing. Serve and enjoy!

Made from scratch, Red Velvet Cinnamon Rolls are the perfect dessert for Valentine’s Day or a breakfast treat on Christmas morning. Making them from scratch gives you a rich delicious bakery fresh cinnamon roll flavor.

Red Velvet Cinnamon Rolls covered with cream cheese icing

Can these cinnamon rolls be made today and baked tomorrow?

Yes. Follow all of the steps except the final rise on the baking sheet. Instead, cover tightly with plastic wrap and set in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Remove from the fridge and allow the final rise before baking and icing.

How To Make Soft Cinnamon Rolls

Placing your cinnamon rolls on the baking pan with sides touching will give you softer cinnamon rolls. If you leave space between them while baking, the edges will be slightly more hard.

Also, as shown here, bake the cinnamon rolls with sides touching in a baking dish with sides for softer cinnamon rolls.

Homemade cinnamon rolls are always a real treat. Scroll down for a few more of my cinnamon roll recipes, not from scratch you should try.

a pan of red velvet cinnamon rolls
Yield: 12

Red Velvet Cinnamon Rolls With Cream Cheese Icing

Red Velvet Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing

Make these made from scratch Red Velvet Cinnamon Rolls for Valentine's with cream cheese icing for Valentine's, Christmas, or special occasions. Great for a sweet breakfast treat, on a brunch menu, or dessert with milk or coffee.

Ingredients

  • Cinnamon Roll Dough Ingredients
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 4 cups all purpose flour, divided
  • 3 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • Red food coloring

Filling Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon self-rising flour

Cream Cheese Icing Ingredients

  • 1 pkg (8 ounces) package cream cheese, softened
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Instructions

    In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 ½ cups flour, cocoa powder, and yeast then set aside. I do this part in the large bowl of a stand mixer.

    In a saucepan, heat the milk, butter, sugar, and salt until 120°. Remove from heat and continue stirring until the butter is melted. Pour the mixture into the large bowl with the flour mixture.

    Mix on low, using a regular paddle, adding the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition. Add the food coloring a few drops at a time and stir after each addition until it reaches your desired shade. Be mindful that you will be adding more flour and that will soften the color.

    Change the mixer attachment to the dough hook. Beat the dough on low, adding the remaining flour a little at a time. Increase speed to medium until a soft dough forms, approximately 3 minutes.

    Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, turning once to coat both sides. Cover with a clean dish kitchen towel or plastic wrap. Set the covered bowl in a warm area of the kitchen until the dough doubles in size, approximately 1 1/2 hours.

    Once the dough has doubled in size, punch the dough down and turn it out onto a floured surface. Cover with the kitchen towel or plastic wrap and allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes.

    While the dough is rising again, add the filling ingredients to a small bowl and stir well to combine. The mixture will be sandy.

    Prepare a work surface on the counter. Place dough onto your prepared work surface and roll the dough into a rectangle, approximately 20 inches by 10 inches. Sprinkle the top of the dough with the filling mixture, leaving a 1-inch space on one long edge without filling.

    Starting on the long side, roll the dough up, jelly-roll style, working it tightly but without pulling the dough too much. Pinch seams to seal the long edge.

    Cut the dough into 12 even slices by cutting the dough in half, cutting those halves in half, and then the quarters into three slices each. This method will give you the most similar size cinnamon rolls.

    Prepare a large baking sheet with parchment paper or cooking spray. Place each roll onto the prepared pan, allowing about one-inch space between each roll. Cover and allow to rise in a warm dry place for about 40 minutes or until doubled in size.

    Once the rolls have doubled in size it is time to bake! The house is about to smell delicious. Bake in your oven preheated to 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.

    While the rolls are baking, make the cream cheese icing. In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla, stirring until well blended. Stir in the powdered sugar and then add the milk a little at a time until reaching the desired consistency.

    Remove the cinnamon rolls from the oven and allow them to cool completely before icing. Cover with icing. Serve and enjoy!

Nutrition Information

Yield

12

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 530Total Fat 19gSaturated Fat 10gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 64mgSodium 274mgCarbohydrates 82gFiber 2gSugar 36gProtein 8g

Nutrition information is estimated and may not be exact based on uncontrolled variables in home kitchens used by each individual cook.

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