December 26, 2021

Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls

Chapter 3:

Falling Snow

As the chill sets up, and the sweaters come out. As the coziness of the season settles upon us, the smells, sounds, and colors there is one thing that undoubtedly brings warmth. Gingerbread. More specifically the spices that make it up, ginger, clove, cardamom, all spice, cinnamon all evoke the comfort that only this particular dessert offers in this season. The flavors of gingerbread, and caramelized butter frosting come alive in this fluffy brioche dough. Soft and pillowy just like the falling snow.

I was always intimidated by cinnamon rolls, something about rising the yeast, making sure the dough was hydrated, and ensuring that it was soft and pillowy always had me hesitating. A few weeks back I decided I'd test my knowledge of brioche and took a blind shot at making cinnamon rolls and out came these babies. Gingerbread cinnamon rolls combine all the best flavors of cinnamon rolls and gingerbread cookies, and come out entirely unforgettable. They're also incredibly easy to bring together.

Milk- The milk in this recipe is the kickstarter for the eventual rise of the yeast and the general makeup for the fluffiness that a cinnamon roll provides. You're going to want your milk warmed about 100-110 degrees for the yeast to bloom properly with the sugar.

Eggs- The eggs in this recipe need to come to room temperature. As a general rule you don't want to put anything ice cold in a dough that will eventually be baked.

Flour & Butter- For both of these ingredients I find a weight scale is immensely helpful, a lot of the time I find it difficult to ensure that a ough is properly hydrated just by cup measurement alone. Factors such as milk, butter, and eggs all contribute to the hydration in said dough so having an exact measurement on the amount of flour you're using really helps! Same goes for the butter in this recipe which shows up both for the brioche dough and for the filling and they are crucial for that buttery taste, make sure you can get the best quality you can find.

Gingerbread filling- To create that quintessential gingerbread taste we have to rely on all the spices that make it up. Ginger, all spice, ground cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, all evoke the taste of this special cookie. I also add cinnamon sugar, and vanilla sugar for good measure but they're not necessary in this recipe!

Brown butter frosting- Even though this frosting takes an extra step its so worth it, the butter is browned and then frozen for 10-15 minutes until its room temperature and then added to the cream cheese powdered sugar base to create the best cinnamon roll frosting ever!

Baking Pan- I prefer using a cheesecake pan to make cinnamon rolls, it makes the release easier and gives me those soft edges that I like!

Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls

The flavors of gingerbread, and caramelized butter frosting come alive in this fluffy brioche dough. Soft and pillowy just like the falling snow.


Hira Rehman











Brioche Dough:

  • 152g milk
  • 2 ¼ tsp dry active yeast
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 82g butter
  • 412g flour


  • 90g butter
  • 110g brown sugar
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp all spice
  • ¼ tsp cloves
  • ½ tsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla sugar


  • ¼ butter
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar


  1. Begin by taking out your eggs so that they can come to room temperature.
  2. Heat the milk until it reaches 100-110 degrees and then add the yeast and 1 tbsp sugar and stir. Set it aside until it begins to foam up.
  3. In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment add the flour, sugar, and salt and whisk until it comes together.
  4. Change the attachment to paddle and then add the foamy yeast mixture, and eggs one at a time until the dough comes together. Beat at a medium speed for at least 6 minutes.
  5. Add the butter one tbsp at a time and continue to beat the dough for 8 minutes. Once the dough is pliable, soft, and hydrated but not overly sticky, add a warm cloth over the bowl and let it rise.
  6. Once the dough has risen, roll it out onto a floured surface, until it's ½ an inch thick and proceed to bring the butter to room temperature. Spread the butter along with sprinkling the sugar and spices and roll the dough tightly from one end all the way to the other.
  7. Let the rolled up dough chill for 10-15 minutes in the fridge before using a serrated knife to cut your rolls. Spray a 6-7 inch cheesecake pan with oil and place your rolls in and set aside with a warm towel for another round of rising.
  8. Set the oven to 350 degrees and bake for 25-35 minutes depending on your oven. I would start checking around the 25 minute mark though, one of the keys to a soft cinnamon roll is not overbaking.
  9. While the rolls bake, brown the butter in over medium heat in a saucepan, stirring until you see the brown flecks of browned butter and the color changing. Pour it into a heat resistant container and freeze for 10-15 minutes until it's at a soft room temperature. If it freezes harder, leave it out at room temperature and stir to soften it.
  10. In your stand mixer with the paddle attachment add in your cream cheese and powdered sugar and the softened browned butter and mix till it's combined and ready to glaze your buns out of the oven!

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