A special way to treat your family: gingerbread cinnamon rolls! Make them a day or two before, and enjoy them hot from the oven on Christmas morning!

Cast iron skillet with gingerbread cinnamon rolls, drizzled with cream cheese icing.  Cinnamon sticks and gold forks in the background.

I can’t believe there’s less than a week until Christmas!

Usually by now I’m feeling really stressed out, but this year I’m actually managing to stay sane. I’ve got all the decorations up and the gifts are bought. All that’s left is a little bit of wrapping and some cooking and baking. Woo-hoo!

One thing that’s always top of mind for me at this time of year is our Christmas morning breakfast.

It’s gotta be something a little more special than the everyday. Over the last few years, we’ve settled into a nice overnight cinnamon rolls routine, but this year, I’m mixing it up with a gingerbread twist!

Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls: so soft and gooey!  Loved the added warmth of ginger and molasses, and the lemon-y cream cheese icing was so good!  #food #cinnamonrolls #baking #brunch #breakfast #christmas #holiday #cinnabon

These gingerbread cinnamon rolls are soft and gooey, with plenty of cinnamon sugar and a tangy cream cheese drizzle.

But, there’s an added bonus of robust gingerbread flavor! A little molasses in the dough and plenty of warm ginger makes these gingerbread cinnamon rolls even better than the original.

Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls: so soft and gooey!  Loved the added warmth of ginger and molasses, and the lemon-y cream cheese icing was so good!  #food #cinnamonrolls #baking #brunch #breakfast #christmas #holiday #cinnabon

And the best part is, you can make them ahead! The dough can be made, filled and rolled, and the whole baking dish can go into the fridge up to 2 days ahead. On Christmas morning, just take it out and let it come up to room temp and proof ’til doubled in volume.

By the time you’re done opening your presents, they’re ready to go into the oven, and you’ll have piping hot gingerbread cinnamon rolls on the table in less than a half an hour!

Iron skillet filled with gingerbread cinnamon rolls drizzled with cream cheese icing.  Cinnamon sticks and stack of green plates in the background.


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Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls
Prep Time
1 hr 15 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Proofing Time:
2 hrs 5 mins
Total Time
3 hrs 40 mins
 

A special way to treat your family: gingerbread cinnamon rolls! Make them a day or two before, and enjoy them hot from the oven on Christmas morning!

Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: gingerbread cinnamon rolls
Servings: 12
Calories: 418 kcal
Ingredients
For the dough
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • .25 ounce dry active yeast (1 packet
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (approximately, you may need as much as 5 1/2 cups)
For the filling
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground clove
For the icing
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (from half a lemon)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest (from half a lemon)
Instructions
To make the dough:
  1. Stir the warm water, dark brown sugar, and molasses together in a large bowl.
  2. Sprinkle the yeast on top, and allow it to dissolve for 5 minutes.
  3. Whisk the oil, buttermilk, egg, and salt together in a small bowl or liquid measuring cup.
  4. Add to the larger bowl, along with 4 1/2 cups of the flour.
  5. Stir together until incorporated.
  6. If the dough seems sticky, continue to work in more flour (1/4 cup at a time), until it gathers itself into a ball and pulls away cleanly from the sides of the bowl (you may not need all of the flour).
  7. Knead the dough for 8 to 10 minutes, then place it in an oiled bowl (lightly covered).
  8. Place the covered bowl in a warm place and allow it to proof for 1 hour.
  9. Punch the dough down, and on a lightly floured surface, roll it out to a rectangle about 1/4-inch thick.
To make the filling:
  1. Spread the soft butter on the surface of the dough, leaving about ½ inch margin on one long edge of the rectangle.
  2. Stir the brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves together in a small bowl.
  3. Sprinkle the spiced sugar all over the buttered dough, in an even layer.
  4. Starting at one long side of the rectangle, roll the dough into a long log.
  5. Seal the log along the unbuttered edge.
  6. Cut the log into 12 equal portions, and lay them cut side up in an 8-inch round skillet or baking dish.
  7. Cover, and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
  8. Allow the rolls to come to room temperature, then let them rise a second time, for 1 hour.
  9. Preheat it to 350 degrees F.
  10. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until puffed and golden.
To make the icing:
  1. Beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar together until smooth.
  2. Stir in the milk.
  3. Add the lemon zest and juice and stir until smooth.
  4. Drizzle the warm rolls with icing and serve.
Nutrition Facts
Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls
Amount Per Serving
Calories 418 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 22%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 34mg 11%
Sodium 148mg 6%
Potassium 213mg 6%
Total Carbohydrates 66g 22%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 29g
Protein 6g 12%
Vitamin A 5.6%
Vitamin C 1%
Calcium 6.3%
Iron 15.7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls: so soft and gooey! Loved the added warmth of ginger and molasses, and the lemon-y cream cheese icing was so good! #food #cinnamonrolls #baking #brunch #breakfast #christmas #holiday #cinnabon