Provided World Peace isn’t an option, my holiday wish list this year includes: fleece-lined leggings, a faux fur vest, and a pan of Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting.

Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Rereading my list (which is completely legitimate, by the way) leads me to realize a few things about myself:

One: I work from home in a freezing (um, 67 degrees) house. In order to remind myself that I am an actual human being, I exit my sweatpants each morning and put on leggings, which are clearly more refined than sweatpants (please do not fight this logic). The fleece lining will keep me warm, alleviating my current need to walk around the house wrapped in a blanket like a giant human burrito.

Two: Due to the amount of time I spend in said leggings, I clearly have fettered desires to be more fashionable outside the house. I hear faux fur vests are totally hot. True?

Three: I am craving all things cozy. Gingerbread is one of my all-time favorite holiday flavors, and I can’t imagine a snugglier, more comforting breakfast than cinnamon rolls.

Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls with the best Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

The Best Easy Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls

Fluffy, buttery cinnamon rolls that taste just like gingerbread cookies! This recipe can be prepped the night before, so all you need to do in the morning is bake. Perfect for holiday breakfast and brunch.

These soft and tender cinnamon rolls are packed with the rich, warm flavors of your favorite gingerbread cookie. The dough is deeply tinted with molasses, spicy with cinnamon, ginger, and cloves, and sweetened with brown sugar.

It’s a lovely gingerbread color and oh so fluffy too.

Homemade Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

The filling is a mix of brown sugar, cinnamon, and even more spice. It’s like holiday fairy dust, sprinkled over melted butter. (Do you see why these cinnamon rolls are on my Christmas list?)

Homemade Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls topped with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Ready to roll. Gingerbread cookie taste, meet cinnamon roll shape.

No self-respecting cinnamon roll would be without frosting, and since holiday wishes are being granted here, let’s make it a cinnamon spice cream cheese frosting, shall we?

Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls with Spiced Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Make Ahead Tips

These rolls are perfect to make ahead and let rise overnight in the refrigerator.

  • Once the rolls are shaped, arrange them in the pan, cover with plastic wrap, then let rise in the refrigerator overnight.
  • The next morning, set the pan out at room temperature for a half-hour, then bake as directed.

More Scrumptious Cinnamon Rolls

Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls with Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting

Now all that remains is to eat these fabulous, fluffy, gingerbread cookie-flavored rolls warm from the oven. I think I’ll munch mine in fleece leggings and a faux first vest.

Cozy, cozy, all the way.

Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

5 from 3 votes
Homemade cinnamon rolls with the flavor of gingerbread cookies smothered in cinnamon cream cheese frosting. Recipe can also be made as overnight cinnamon rolls.

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 3 hrs 40 mins

Servings: 12 rolls


For the Dough:

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour or substitute all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons Red Star Platinum Instant Yeast 1 standard envelope yeast
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 1/2 to 3 cups all purpose flour

For the Filling:

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, light or dark
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter melted

For the Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 3 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves


  • Prepare the dough: Pour milk into a large glass measuring cup. Add butter and microwave on high, until the mixture is warmed to the temperature directed by the yeast manufacturer (120°F to 130°F for Red Star Platinum Yeast). Start with 30 seconds, then microwave in 10-second intervals, until the desired temperature is reached. The butter may not melt completely and the milk should feel warm but not hot.
  • Place the white whole wheat flour, brown sugar, egg, molasses, vanilla, yeast, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg in the bowl of a standing mixer or a large mixing bowl. Pour in the heated milk and butter. Beat on low speed for 3 minutes, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl. Add 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour. Beat on low speed, until the flour is absorbed and the dough is no longer sticky, scraping down sides of bowl as you go. If dough is extremely sticky, add remaining 1/2 cup flour one tablespoon at a time, combining after each, just until dough begins to form a shaggy ball and pulls away from sides of bowl. It should still feel fairly tacky.
  • If using a stand mixer, fit the mixer with a dough hook and knead on medium low for 6 minutes, until smooth and elastic. If kneading by hand, turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Add a little flour, one tablespoon at a time, if the dough is too sticky and clings readily to your hands. Lightly oil a large, clean bowl with cooking spray. Form dough into a ball and place it in the bowl, turning once to coat with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel. Let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.
  • Meanwhile, make the filling: Stir together brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Set aside. Line a 9x13-inch pan with parchment paper and lightly coat with cooking spray.
  • Once the dough has risen, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a 12x20-inch rectangle. Brush all over with 3 tablespoons melted butter and sprinkle all of the sugar and spice filling over the top. Starting at one of the short edges, roll the dough into a tight log, then tightly pinch the seam to seal. Gently stretch and pat the dough log as needed so that it is roughly even in diameter and 18 inches in length. With a serrated knife, gently saw the log into 12 segments (each segment will be 1 1/2 inches wide). Arrange the rolls in the prepared pan, cut sides up. Cover the baking dish with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in volume, about 45 minutes. (It may take a bit longer but is worth the wait.) Alternatively, you can place the rolls in the refrigerator and let rise overnight.
  • Place rack in center of your oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Bake the rolls until golden and the internal temperature reaches 185 degrees, 25 to 35 minutes. Check the rolls at the 20-minute mark. If browning too quickly, gently tent with foil and continue baking.
  • For the frosting: In a medium bowl, beat together the cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth. Add 3 tablespoons milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and cloves. Add a little additional milk as needed to reach the desired consistency. Frost rolls and serve warm.


  • TO MAKE AHEAD: These rolls are perfect to make ahead and let rise overnight in the refrigerator. Once the rolls are shaped, arrange them in the pan, cover with plastic wrap, then let rise in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning, set the pan out at room temperature for a half-hour, then bake as directed.

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I baked these Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls with my favorite bread-baking tool, Red Star Platinum Yeast. It’s foolproof, yields consistent results, and most importantly, creates super-fluffy, tender breads every time. For baking tips, check out Red Star Yeast’s step-by-step baking guide, and don’t forget to follow Red Star on Facebook for tasty recipes and inspiration.


I created this recipe and post in partnership with Red Star Yeast. As always, all opinions are my own, and thank you for supporting the brands and companies that make it possible for me to continue providing quality content to you!

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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  1. Girl, your cinnamon roll game is AWESOME. I’ve been continually impressed, but I think these are my favorite so far.

  2. These look gorgeous Erin! Never tried gingerbread cinnamon rolls, but will definitely make some! Great pictures as always!

  3. Erin, I would like a clarification please. From what I have read on platinum yeast you should use half the flour that you would normally use with other yeast, is the flour amount in your recipe for the regular yeast or with the platinum yeast? Thank you.

    1. Hi Rodger!
      This is very interesting. I’ve never heard that before, although I do know that sometimes the dough will rise more quickly. Otherwise, I’ve always used it keeping the flour amount the same in any recipe. Therefore, I’d do the same with these rolls.

      1. Thank you Erin. I was just wondering because my wife try the recipe yesterday with RedStar rapid (instant)rise and the dough didn’t rise sitting in our kitchen with the temp setting at 70 plus the dough seemed really thick and tough. Went out last night and found the platinum yeast so I will try it again today while she is at work.

        1. Rodger, I’m sorry to hear this! A few ideas: Be sure to take the temperature of the liquid. Depending upon how hot it was, it could have caused the yeast not to activate (not hot enough) or been too hot and actually killed it. Platinum yeast calls for the water to be 120 degrees, but I know other yeasts are less. As far as the rise time, each time I’ve baked these, my dough takes a full 2+ hours to rise and doesn’t do much until then. You also might not need the full amount of flour call for in the recipe. Add the final 1 1/2 cups slowly and stop as soon as the dough is no longer super sticky. And last but not least, be sure to spoon the flour lightly into the measuring cups, vs. scoop directly from the bag, which can sometimes cause too much flour to be in the batter. You might have already done all of these things, but I thought I’d include them just in case it’s helpful!

  4. These are genius! I’ll take warm gingerbread spices anytime of day. I keep the heat on 67 in the house and sometimes I get warm. I know, I’m weird; )

    1. I wish I had your ability to stay warm Laura! I’m sitting wrapped in a blanket as I write this :-) Glad you like the rolls. Thanks so much!

  5. Thanks for the marvelous posting! I quite enjoyed reading it,
    you are a great author. I will remember to bookmark your blog and will often come back later on.
    I want to encourage one to continue your great job, have a nice weekend!5 stars

  6. These looks amazing! How do you think making a half-batch would work? Could I use an 8×8 dish? If so, how big would I roll the dough out to?  I’ve never made cinnamon rolls before, and I’d love for these to be my first! :) 

    1. Hi Erin! Halving yeast dough can actually get really tricky, so to be honest, I’d recommend making the full amount. You can always freeze the leftovers for later. I hope you LOVE them! Cinnamon rolls are so much fun to make (and so deliciously rewarding too!)

  7. Erin, have you ever tried this recipe making the dough in the bread machine? I thought I’d give this recipe a try for Thanksgiving. Let me know what you think. Thanks!

    1. Hi Nancy! I’ve only tested the recipe as written, so it would be a complete experiment. If you decide to play around with it, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  8. Not overly sweet. Will add a little more sugar to the dough next time. Will be great with hot chocolate on Christmas morning,5 stars

  9. It’s unfortunate that so few people have actually made these cinnamon rolls because they’re excellent! The crumb is soft and chewy and not too sweet. The spices are well balanced. You can control the level of sweetness by adjusting the amount of sugar in the frosting. I wanted a thick frosting so used 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar. I also increased the vanilla in the frosting to 1 1/2 tsp and increased the cinnamon to 1 tsp. The dough came together quickly and easily by hand. I added 1 rounded tbsp of vital wheat gluten. It rises slowly. The first rise was almost 4 hours. There was no appreciable rise overnight in the fridge. In the morning I set the rolls out at room temperature for about 3 hours before baking. They baked for 24 minutes. Some of the centers popped up but were easily pushed back down when the rolls came out of the oven. I found it helpful to line the pan with a parchment paper sling so that the rolls could be lifted out of the pan after cooling for 10 minutes, then frosted. They’re delicious warm from the oven, but every bit as good reheated for a few seconds in the microwave.5 stars

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